Cora Keahl, Lakeland, FL. My mother has always held high expectations of me when it comes to grades and knowledge, I’ve always been really good when it comes to testing and keeping my grades up. And when I told people that I was Asian (Filipino), they would make remarks like, “that’s why you’re so smart” […]
Raheem Cash, Alexandria, VA. As a kid I spent a lot of time being one of two or three black kids in honors classes. Spent a lot of time being only black kid that played tennis. Spent a lot of time not being considered “black enough”. Well I’m not a kid anymore and fortunately I […]
Ed Wang, West Lafayette, IN. As an Asian living in the U.S., I have been underestimated my whole life and probably will for the rest of my life. I am allowed to be smart and get good grades but I am seen as physically inferior, void of any athletic abilities. People don’t believe that I […]
Fannie Blakely Philadelphia, PA Was in a gifted class in junior high school. First day in an advance math class teacher informed me not to worry, but I would never be as smart as the other kids, that it was not in my genetic make-up. I aced that class (highest grade) and every other class […]
Amanda Sperow, Chehalis, WA. Oregon State University Because I am a young woman with blonde hair, and I take pride in the way I look most people presume I am a “bimbo” or dumb blonde. It’s sad our minds don’t extend beyond the sexuality of an individual, and we can only see as deep as […]
Vasvi Babu, Scottsdale, AZ. Romindian: 50% East Indian, 50% Romanian. Married 21 years at a time when few Indian women married outside their own. Boys know who they are because my husband and I know who we are and what we stand for.
Tac Mohamed, Miami, FL. I’ve heard it from friends, co-workers and many in between. Other variations include: You’re pretty smart for a black man. Is that a compliment?
Alissa Ward, Pontiac, MI. I know that even though I am a very intelligent and smart girl, I still will get discriminated because of the color of my skin. Whether it is in a social environment or a business environment I will always be judge because of what I look like or my complexion. I […]
Samantha, Seattle, WA. I’m an Asian American woman who gets this all the time. Throughout high school, people assumed that because I was Asian, I should be smart. Most times I laughed it off, but that’s allowing the stereotype to live on. It’s interesting to look back and see how other Asians in my year […]
Nedra Rutherford, Bridgeport, CT. People often think that I am not smart, my children have different fathers and last names. My husband is the father of them all.
Nana A. Forson, Baltimore, MD. Said to me, by a Caucasian male, after a brief conversation during orientation- at The Johns Hopkins University. We were both freshman, enrolled in the same class.
Lauren Dalecke-Sabandith, Holland, MI. About my whole life people teased me because I was Asian. I also hear people teasing other people to. People used to say “I’m smart because I’m Asian” and I told them it has nothing to do with being Asian, it is only my race. Asians aren’t born with a computer […]
Chiyoko, USA. I am one quarter Japanese. I have auburn hair, light brown eyes, and freckles. I am five foot nine, and my skin is paler than even my white friends’ skin. But my name is Japanese, which leads people to ask me where I’m from, no, where I’m REALLY from. I’ve been called J*p, […]
Michele J. Andrews Richmond, VA Upon seeing a picture of me with my (apparently) white grandmother, my boss said this to me. Then tried to backtrack by saying he was dumb because he was only white.
Katherine Pan San Francisco, CA
Nancy Yuan Philadelphia, PA In most people’s eyes, I’m Chinese, and therefore, naturally talented in academics. If I score well on a test, it’s normal because I’m Chinese. If my score is bad, they celebrate because they bested the “smart kid”. For once, I want someone to say, “Wow, Nancy, you must have put a […]
Derek Kendall Cullowhee, NC Why Is it when people see a African American student going to college they automatically assume that he must be here on a to play sports. On the other hand when white people are at college its only because they are smart and their parents have a good amount of money […]
Phuong Christian Portland, OR Just because someone is Asian does not mean they inherently have the “smart genes”. I’ve seen hopes and dreams shatter because people couldn’t live up to this expectation.
Linda Basilicato Frederick, MD My mother’s comment on my new, polite, handsome, articulate, smart, college boyfriend in 1993. “I had black friends–in school.” (My mother’s compromise)
Anonymous Inspired by The Help
Norene Lealamanua Portland, OR My very white family was confused by my choices until they fell head over heels for my exceptionally smart, beautiful brown children!