Judy Seymour Madison, WI I grew up upper class white outside New Haven, CT. ‘Bill’ and ‘JB’ cleaned my parents’ house for ‘Mrs. Seymour’, my mother. My mother hung a calendar photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the wall behind a folding door between our kitchen and family room that was only closed/unfolded […]
Jack, Saint Paul, MN. My mom is an expert in manipulation and fake kindness, always sounding kind to hurt and control and shame. Because of rampant child discrimination across cultures, it was not hard for my mother to convince others that she was right, or to uphold the illusion of a happy “white suburban family”. […]
Nelson Aponte, Bronx, NY. We can build skyscrapers, put a man on the moon, we consider ourselves so intelligent, but we can’t figure out how to get along. What a shame!
Carissa Lew, CA. Being born in America but having my heritage from China leads me to believe I should choose one or the other. Many people question me about how “connected” I am to my heritage, but truth be told..I’m not very in tune with my Chinese culture. It’s difficult to discern who I really […]
Karim Ali, Columbus, OH. I suppose I have been pondering my Race Card (TM) entry for a few months. When I read the comments of Michael Sam’s father (Michael Sam Sr.) about his disappointment in his son for being gay, I was nearly in tears, as it reminded me of my own coming out with […]
Veronica, Woodland, CA. Don’t look down on me because I don’t speak Spanish. I would love to learn but you shaming me makes me nervous to even try, should I make a mistake. You think I spit on “my language”? Well, you spit on me, your Mexican sister.
Michelle DePass, Portland, OR. I live in Portland, a City that is overwhelmingly white. Our State Constitution was a racist one. Slavery was not allowed, however Black people were discouraged by a clause in the Constitution that says that Black people who locate in Oregon are subject to public whippings every 6 months until they […]
Avery, Los Angeles, CA. All throughout my life I’ve felt many challenges that come along with my race. All throughout elementary school, when I was an impressionable little kid, in all my history classes I was told that white people did all the harm in the world and were literally heartless. I even got bullied […]
Francis Lafayette, NC. Much like modern Germans, lower class white males in America have been granted a shame about their past. We’ve been told the History we learn in school is Eurocentric, but as a former social studies teacher, I can tell you that most Americans cannot tell you who Louis IV was. Or John […]
Miranda Nogaki, Burien, WA. I’m sad and shamed it took me so long to see the racism in myself and my country. It’s so much a part of my thought processes, my brain now feels wrong. I’m eager to do the hard work of learning to listen, how to drop my agenda and expectations of […]
Sonja Shipp, Lancaster, TX. The way that we treat each other as human beings in America is shameful and evil! Yet we always want to scream and shout about freedom and rights and how great our country is. That only makes sense if you’re rich and white.
Kyle Spiegel, Secaucus, NJ., Monmouth University
Kelly Escarcega, Northwest, AR.
Rachel Settle, Gurnee, IL. I am a European American, but I have been shamed to think I’m not as good as everyone else because of my skin.
Lynn Scott Cochrane, Washington DC. I grew up in a deeply segregated Charlotte, NC in the 1950s and 60s. When my high school, North Mecklenburg, was finally integrated in about 1963, there was one black girl who always sat alone in the cafeteria. She may have been the only black girl in the school that […]
Vivian Johnson, Marietta, GA.
Pam Lindberg, Minneapolis, MN. I am embarrassed by the behavior of my race. We need to open our eyes accompanied by our hearts
Holly Richmond, East Lansing, MI. I uttered this statement of shame at 12. My Dad said “sorry,nothing you can do about it now so live with it”. My Mom said “behave so you give whitey a good name”. I’ve been trying ever since but I still don’t want to be white!!!!!!!
Alia Laurence Orlando, FL When I was 18, we found out that we were not simply Cherokee and various shades of European pale. (My father always considered being part Cherokee his ‘greatest shame’.) We found out we were also part African. Specifically, African-American of Malagasy descent. Not that this should’ve come as a great surprise […]
Mary Bunce Benson, Lufkin, TX. My maiden name is BUNCE, because of which on my wall beside my bed hangs a tapestry with the words of “Amazing Grace.” Pride in the family stories of, several great grandfathers back, New England sea captain Harvey Bunce turned to horror when I learned that slaves were his homeward […]
Colleen O’Sullivan-Velez FL
Mary Lillie North St. Paul, MN