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Proud white son, loving Chicano family

JB Tellez, Seattle, WA. All my remembered life I have been fortunate enough to be raised by a loving chicano father (and grandmother, great grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins too!) Here’s a picture with my abuela/grandmother and primo/cousin. She called me ‘Jonny Ojos Azules’ (Jonny Blue Eyes). Sometimes people will be surprised when I tell […]

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Parents gave me Confederate flag: protection

Steve Morris, Seattle, WA. In the mid-1950s my father made a business trip from our home in Connecticut to Florida and back. He decided to make the trip by car, and to take my mother, my brother, and me along with him for a family travel experience. In the Deep South I witnessed undisguised segregation […]

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I am black and a target

Chris Porter, Seattle, WA. It is hard for me to think about living in a country where my life seems to have little value. It is hard to think about living in a country that is the envy of so many around the world and yet I am not part of that envy. It is […]

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I will never really ‘get it’.

Celia Beasley, Seattle, WA. Being an upper-middle class white woman, I know I will never truly understand what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Despite my attempts to be aware of racism in this county through conversations, news stories, interviews, books, this website, etc, I know that I will never […]

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White choir weekly sings black gospel

Merrile Sing, Seattle, WA. A predominantly white choir in Seattle has built relationships with multi-ethnic communities and raised funds for the needy in the past 10 years by singing African-American gospel music. Gospel music, through its message and interactive call-and-response nature, opened a door. Since its inception, the University Presbyterian Church (UPC) Gospel Choir, located […]

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Pick ’em up & lay ’em down.

Anonymous, Seattle, WA. My five-month-old Ameri-Kenyan daughter and I were part of a group of 300 Americans with the National Parks Service who commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights March. For five days, we marched from Selma to Montgomery. She rode just over my heart, clapping and singing as we went.

Do you make your own tortillas?

Norma Torres Addis Seattle, WA The first time I heard this question, I thought it was funny. After hearing it a few times, it made me wonder. If my heritage is Mexican and I don’t know the first thing about making tortillas does that make me less of a Latina? So many times organizations I […]

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¿Eres mexicana? Entonces, ¿por qué el disfraz?

Maria Seattle, WA You’re Mexican? Then why the disguise? I was asked this by a viejito selling his wares in Tijuana, México, probably about 20 years ago. He had been shocked to hear me speak Spanish. I would of been in my early 20s, all rebellious with punked out bleached blond hair, red converse & […]

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Deliberately deviant to preserve white privilege

Marcos Cu, Seattle, WA. I would prefer to write about diversity instead of someone else’s prejudices. For example the Mayan’s mathematical wonders architectures. The Kwakwa ka’wakw Pacific Northwest Coast people, totem poles monumental sculptures, the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literature thus we talk about what matters not what put us down.

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You do not look INSERT RACE

Jamie M. Young, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I was born in Subic Bay, Philippines at the former U.S. Naval Base. My father is from Minnesota (of Norwegian/Irish decent), and my mother is from Minuhang, Leyte, Philippines. I am mixed race, but I have fair skin and […]

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Running for the freedom in myself.

Bob Preston, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I thought of this while being told about this project, immediately, and since it has helped me through my transition back to my regular life from military life.

But Your Not Really Black

Damme Getachew, Seattle, WA. My parents are from Ethiopia and so I self-identify as Ethiopian. I’m frequently asked “Where are you from?” as if being a person of color means that I was born somewhere other than the United States. Aren’t we past that?

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Deconstructing “whiteness” won’t change my skin.

Mariel Rieland, Seattle, WA. I’m about as stereotypically European-American as you can get… Born to an upper-middle-class family, raised in the suburbs, graduating from a private Christian university. And yet, I’m a sociology major who studies systematic social inequality for a living. I’ve learned how to deconstruct the broken systems of race, gender, and class […]

Once uneducated/naive. I’m changing that.

Jordyn Ducotey, Seattle, WA. Recent events have really made me challenge my own thoughts and the perceptions that I have been taught. I consciously make an effort to expose myself to the injustices that are occuring in the world around me. I actively seek stories and look into them instead of listening to what my […]

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Blackanese is not Black or Japanese.

Brian Murray, Seattle, WA. Growing up it was always hard to find my own identity because I came from a bi-racial background. I am half Black and half Japanese and always had problems being accepted by either racial group because of my uniqueness. Although coming from a low-income housing development called the Rainier Vista Projects […]

Breaking the stereotype black male nurse

Chris Porter Seattle, WA History and TV have provided many roles, mostly negative, for black males. Our society rarely sees black men in the role of care taker or nurse, providing nursing care and in the role of leader particularly in a female dominated profession. It has been my life’s mission to tear down that […]

You’re nice for a “white” girl

Colleen Schwab, Seattle, WA. I grew up in a very diverse area of CA where many children were first generation immigrants, and many children were of multi-racial backgrounds, mostly middle to lower class families. And my whole family has grown up with and around people from many different backgrounds. So I had no issue trying […]

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Do you want some BLACK COFFEE?

James Johnson, Seattle, WA. One of my white peer teachers asked each black student if they wanted some BLACK COFFEE upon entering her class. Each student said no thank you. She asked them again with the emphasis on BLACK COFFEE. The student was 13 years old. This occurred in 2012 not 1932.

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No one else chooses my identity.

Natalie, Seattle, WA. My grandmother never got to pass for white. She was sent to indian boarding school. 50 years later, I grew up in white suburbia, where no one assumed I was Native or even mixed-race. I self-identify as Native, I speak Chahta, I participate as a tribal citizen, I carry on the family […]

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Norwegian with nappy hair doesn’t fit.

WilmaS, Seattle, WA. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if my sons were adopted…It’s happened a lot. A complete stranger approaches my family, usually in a grocery store or some other public location, and compliments me on my family. “Your sons are so handsome,” the person will say, and by […]

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“But you’re not like other Mexicans.”

Tom Vásquez, Seattle, WA. I was in high school when this happened. I’m a son of a Mexican-American, so I’m 50% Mexican blood. 50% French-Canadian and English. When I was in high school, I was struggling to understand what it meant to be Mexican-American. The other Mexican kids in my school … well, the ones […]

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Invisible African American immigrant Chinese son

Nic Rossouw, Seattle, WA. My son and I are both immigrants. I left apartheid South Africa in 1983. My family are white Africans who have lived in South Africa since the 16th century, only a few of my cousins and I have left. I sometimes half jokingly call myself African-American, but it is not really […]

I’m tired of being the “Other”!

Kevin Stordahl, Seattle, WA. Every time I fill out important documents they ask for my “race” and every single time they do I wonder a couple things; one, why do they need to know that? And two, where is my category? I have never considered myself one race or another. I have always just felt […]

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I grew up in the 98118

Guy Godefroy , Seattle, WA. Submitted via Twitter: @mrfatlace Additional information for the 6-WORD ESSAY: http://southseattle.komonews.com/news/arts-culture/445093-census-bureau-98118-most-diverse-zip-code-us

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Ashamed that accomplished minorities surprise me.

Daniel Robbins, Seattle, WA. No matter how liberal and progressive I might claim to be, no matter how many workshops I’ve been to or essays I’ve read about privilege, I still hear my inner voice express pleasant surprise when I see a minority doing well at something. Whether I see a minority excelling in business, […]

I hate being called white girl

Alexa Fay, Seattle, WA. I dance at a predominately black dance studio, and anyone who sees my friends there is quick to point out that I look different from everyone else. I wish they cared more about my personality than my skin color.

Young black gang kids scare America.

David Evans, Seattle, WA. People equate young black gang members with crime and trouble… I was watching the PBS special and when the young black guys were speaking I felt they were in gangs and up to no good. You need to change the image of the young male black gang image or you will […]

Progressives destroyed race relations in America.

Stacey Seattle, WA The Civil Rights movement was hijacked by progressives. Since that time, they have destroyed Dr. King’s “Dream”. The virtual enslavement of the near-entirety of America’s black populace to the statist ideological plantation is destroying any hope of reconciling the differences between majority & minority. No longer is a man encouraged to exhibit […]

My “ah-ha”: race is socially constructed!

Jack Bautsch Seattle, WA The RACE exhibit at the Seattle Center in late 2013 was a real eye-opener for me, a white male. What previously seemed like clear distinctions between races became, after experiencing the exhibit, much more nuanced and arranged along a continuum. I feel more kinship with POC than before seeing the exhibit.

“I am chocolate Mama is ice-cream”

Naghmeh Moshtael Portland, OR These are my daughter’s words. We live in a world of different race, culture and heritage. My husband in African American, born in Seattle and raised in Compton, CA. I am originally from Iran, raised in Cameroon (Central Africa) and now living in the US. My daughter is adopted from Ethiopia. […]

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A Peabody for The Race Card Project

The Race Card Project Receives Peabody Honor Respected Journalist and Author Michele Norris Grateful for Recognition and the Opportunity for Dialogue that the Award Provides (Washington D.C./April 4, 2014) – The Race Card Project received a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in electronic communications for turning a pejorative phrase into a productive and […]

A cloak behind which people hide

Nathen, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges You are what you make of yourself. There will always be those that will tear you down, call you names seek to defame you, they are not important. What is important is what you choose to do with your lot in […]

Why am I always somewhere inbetween?

Anna Catlin Baker, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I was adopted when I was 1 year(s) old from Southeastern China by a single Caucasian woman. I found out later in life that my birthparents are actually Vietnamese. I was raised “white”, American, but I look Asian. When […]

Not unless your ancestors owned mine

Solveig Whittle Woodinville, WA In 1992 I moved to Seattle and began working at a new job. The first week I saw in the company email roster that someone else had the same last name as I did. I dialed his extension and introduced myself as a new employee. My last name is not common […]

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Always, what are you? Long story.

Mariko Lockhart, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges My dad was black, born in Panama, as my grandfather from Monserrat went there to work on the Canal. My grandmother was from Jamaica. They moved to Chicago where my dad grew up on the South Side. My mom’s parents […]

Frustrated, Aggravated, Discouraged by Black Stereotypes

Kern, Seattle, OR. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges With each passing decade (now 5 of them)I have reflected on whether the issue of race has improved, declined or remained the same. I must say that it seems that for every step forward (a President of color, women and PEO […]

Stop and see Race in America

Josie Watanabe Seattle, WA Too many people believe that our work is done. Or why do we still need affirmative action? I wish for everyone to stop, listen and look around so that we can really take a closer look at race relations in our country and find real ways we can keep moving forward […]

I’m not pretending to be Latina

Meghan Morales Seattle, WA Even though I’m mixed race (Latina with Puerto Rican & Dominican heritage & White), my lighter toned skin provides me the privilege to ‘pass’ most days. I’m often mistaken for someone whose sole race is White from those who do not know me. Because of this, it was especially shocking to […]

Once had dreadlocks. Now know better.

Susan Tsoglin Seattle, WA At the time, I was a white female college student in a mainly white university. Following the disaster that was the reaction to NineEleven, I became more political. I became involved in protests and rallies, doing educational flash mobs, being “alternative.” I was surrounded by white hippie culture, which had re-appropriated […]

Better to offend than not discuss

Joe Mallahan Seattle, WA As a white man raised in the United States, I have, by no choice of my own, indelible racist perspectives ingrained in me. While my logic and my civic values reject this racism, it doesn’t change the fact that my brain clicks to a different place when I’m interacting with an […]

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40 years celebrating MLK at E Madison’s Mt. Zion

Posted on January 17, 2014 by jseattle Friday, dignitaries, students and the community filled Mt. Zion for the 40th year of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday at the 19th and Madison Baptist church. 53 years ago, King visited Zion pastor Reverend Samuel B. McKinney and spoke to thousands in Seattle. McKinney, now near 90, […]

LGBTQ people represent the rainbow race.

Jeff Keever Seattle, WA I just wish people would get out of their minds that the focus on “race” only includes some sort of ethnic identification. When people speak of diversity they should be speaking of all kinds of differences–differences in abilities, sexual preference or identity, religion, or any other sort of differences that may […]

My parents said “No Mexican boyfriends”

Patricia Paquette Seattle, WA I grew up in Southern California where half of my classmates and neighbors were Mexican and so were my best friends and eventually, boyfriends. Even though my parents knew and liked these guys, they forbade me to date them or call them boyfriends. They gave no explanation — probably felt they […]

Race grievance: some therapy, mostly poison.

John Peeples Seattle, WA My concern (besides the crazy anti-spam check that not even a human being can read) is that the race grievance industry seeks to perpetuate itself and prop up its own leaders by creating and fomenting permanent self-fulfilling grievance at the expense of a healthy society. I hope my voice makes the […]

Closing Fault lines : our life long journey

Frank Alden Blethen Seattle, WA Fault Lines was a construct of Washington Post Journalist Robert Maynard who became the first black owner of a major metro newspaper , the Oakland Tribune [ Calif.] . I have used it continuously in my personal and professional lives for more than 30 years. It enables one to think […]

Obstacle course meets me every day

SLTR Seattle, WA I was raised in a white protestant homogenous family. From the time I was young, my curiosity led me to friends of other colors, races, personalities…anything new. In my 40’s I find myself with a Mexican husband, in a profession where I constantly learn and teach in a petri dish of races, […]

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Personal Identity Creates Community And Conflict.

Ty Pethe, Seattle, WA. For better or worse, we are social creatures that innately create groups of people like us. Whether it’s race, nationalism, gender, sex, ethnicity, economic class, sexual preference, religion, culture, age, sub-culture, political identity, philosophical identity, geographic identity, etc., we all tend to find value in our own (shared) identity. It tells […]

Cherish your race, appreciate others diversity

Anonymous Seattle, WA Diversity is a gift that has been manipulated to segregate people. Divide and concur is how the system of government controls so many people but to be able to overcome this one must first accept Everyone for what they stand for and not what they wear or there pigmentation.

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Seattle, please stop fearing black folks.

Roland Groce, Jr., Seattle, WA. All 52 years of my life has been affected by white privilege and racism. My son is bi-racial, now graduated from college and approaching grad school at a racist institution (University of Washington). I am concerned that at the UW, Asian people have taken over and continuing to carry out […]

Asian: Discounted everywhere but HR reports

My experience Seattle, WA People say “reassuring” discounting things like “I never think of Asians as people of color, you’re like white people with funny eyes.” and operate using stereotypical assumptions believing they are operating “color-blind”. In most workplaces recognition of racial diversity is limited to certain days of celebration and when it makes HR […]