C. B, WV. I grew up poor in a rural West Virginia. My race, the way I talk and where I’m from immediately make people assume I’m illiterate, uneducated, and deeply racist without ever actually talking to me. The irony… I get so angry at how common and acceptable it is to use Hee-Haw accents […]
Ali Iranmanesh, Oakland, CA. It took me a long time to realize that no matter what you accomplish in your life, people still at times view you through their own hazy and distorted lens of what and who you should be.
Lenzy KB, Tulsa, OK. Like many Native Americans, I’m mixed and frankly, don’t look like the stereotypical “Hollywood” Native. I have to balance the Native world — both its contemporary and traditional components — daily with life in modern society.
Abigail Macy, Zimbabwe. I am a white American living in Zimbabwe. It never ceases to amaze me how much racism I experience, how much prejudice there is against white people. It bothers me that things such as a dance are classified as “white” or “black”. I hear things like, “Oh, you can’t do that, you’re […]
P. Contreras, Benicia, CA. How you choose to dress gives an impression about you. Whether that impression is accurate or not no one will know unless they get to know you. But, they won’t get to know you if your image repels them. Example. Teenage Boy (black, Hispanic, Asian, white) in your neighborhood in jeans […]
Rebecca Schwarzlose, Roayl Oak, MI. I am white and my husband is Indian. My daughter has my husband’s complexion. When we are together as a family people assume that she’s mixed but when I’m out with my daughter alone (which is most of the time) everyone assumes that she’s adopted. People ask me where she’s […]
Kimi Redd , Submitted via Twitter: @alaKimi.
Andrea Cordero Salt Lake City, UT I no longer wan to be viewed just by the color of my skin or my gender. I am ready for this world to see me for my abilities and streangths and not just catagorize me as a “minority”. If we want to see each other as equals we […]
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 […]
Kim Conner, Rutherfordton, NC. I always have to defend myself when people learn I am from the South. I’m a 42 year old white woman, married with kids, and I was born and raised in Upstate South Carolina. I am a first generation college graduate, as in my husband. I have an accent. I’m proud […]
Diane “Bunny” Fleeks, Fairbanks, AK. My father arrived here in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1959. My mother and I “came into the country” (as we old farts call coming to Alaska to stay) in 1960. I grew up here, left after high school and moved back nearly 20 years ago. African-Americans have been part of Alaska’s […]
Jordan Gray, Newport News, VA. For much of my adolescence, I have been deeply involved in an extremely conservative church, as well as portraying a confederate chaplain in a civil war reenacting company. Through my journeys in both areas, I have been called many things, but the most troubling of those terms afforded to me […]
Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, England.
Cathy Jo Deusenberry, Davis, CA. No matter where you land in life, if you come from the hills of West Virginia you will always be a Hillbilly. We are nothing like the toothless uneducated people depicted in films, television and books. We are hard working folks with teeth!
Christina Aviles, Bethesda, MD. “You don’t talk like most Hispanic girls do, you don’t wear your hair like them, you don’t listen to the same music as them, you’re just not, well you’re not like super Hispanic”. This is what my white college roommate said to me during our first semester of freshman year when […]
Dianna Hamden, CT I realize that height isn’t necessarily race, but it’s a preconception that I’ve dealt with my entire life. Yes, I’m over 6 feet tall. No, I don’t play basketball. After years of the same answer, I finally learned to respond: “No, I play piano–there’s less running involved.”
Lauren Johnston Denver, CO I may fit under the common-white-girl stereotype but I love black history and music. A lot of my friends are black and I find inspiration in Hip-Hop culture, and music. Whenever I’m singing Jazz and R&B, I feel it in my soul. No other genre of music does that to me….
Vid Raatior, Hilo, HI. Being a Micronesian in America is as much my personal journey as it is a communal opportunity for common advancement. My success is rooted in the degree to which I help my brothers and sisters succeed in their journeys. How we succeed as a people to overcome negative stereotypes and prejudice […]
Katie R. Phillips, Green Mountain, NC. I might be white, but growing up in the Southern Applachians is definitely its own ethnic identity. I didn’t truly understand this until I went to college, and brought friends home with me for the first time. One of my friends actually asked me if my family was inbred […]
Michelle Allen, Grand Rapids, MI. I took drivers education in the summer of 1997, during a time when my hometown (a predominantly conservative, Christian Dutch community) was starting to become more heterogeneous. This lesson about locking my doors while driving downtown was strongly emphasized by my (white male) drivers ed teachers. It wasn’t until finishing […]
Desh Bagley, Tampa, FL. Yes. I am the owner of the science and technology center that offers Java, C++, Arduino, Robotics, and Engineering workshops for students. Yes. I do wish that more girls took classes here. No. The young guys who take classes aren’t surprised by me. Yes. It’s their parents who often ask to […]
Zee Brennan Grand Rapids, MI Often times when I share with people that I am Irish, many people aren’t surprised and demand that I dance a jig for them. Although I am also an accomplished Irish dancer, it feels as though there is an assumption among many Americans that all Irish know how to dance […]
Marie Farrell, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in San Diego, California where the sun shines all the time. I was the kid that never tanned, just freckled and burned. I was also raised by an Irish mother so there was a lot less love than fights and tension. I recall a day when I bravely […]
Victoria N. Fortson, GA My ancestors came to America just like many others. Just because I am white, does not mean my family “owned” “slaves”. When an African American girl says to me “you’re so lucky to have that hair” or “I would pay a lot for some of your hair”, it makes me mad. […]
Katelyn Nicole Volz Hemet, CA “You know they say Gingers have no souls right?” “A Ginger gains a freckle every time they steal a soul.” “Do the carpets match the drapes?” Does ANYONE know how tired I am of hearing that? Yes, my hair is red, yes it’s natural, and yes I am Irish. Does […]
Sarah Diggins, Berlin, MA. I’m almost entirely Irish by heritage (my dad’s side is 100%), but I never really clicked with the culture. I grew up loving Celtic music, looking at gorgeous landscapes of the Irish countryside, and hearing stories about my Irish cousins and ancestors from my grandparents. But when I went to live […]
Joan Socorro Sullivan, Minneapolis, MN. I’m a quarter Mexican and over half Irish, I don’t attend church and I don’t drink. My hair is dark brown, my eyes are blue, I freckle like no one’s business; there’s the black Irish. My hips and bosom refuse to fit in anything smaller than a medium since I […]
Stephanie, Baltimore, MD.
Alice N, TN. I want to feel like my achievements are because of me and not because of my race. However, I’m told that I’ve only gotten to where I am because I’m white. This makes me feel like years of studying into early morning and fighting to get myself noticed out of a sea […]
Kelly Stuart, Brooklyn, NY. I was five when my mother married my stepfather, Alfred Brown, Jr. in 1980. My stepfather, or, as I think of him, my father, was 21 years older than my mom and had already raised a daughter by the time he met me, but that didn’t stop him from getting a […]
Jamaal, USA. http://thepoetryquestion.com/2013/05/17/whats-in-a-name/
Adam Moran, Billings, MT.
Robyn, Norfolk, VA. Real Canadians do not tip in Canada because their wait staff is paid an adequate salary. However, black people, in the restaurant world, have been given the nickname Canadians because they normally do not tip. I feel like this is so wrong to stereotype people and give them unacceptable service just because […]
Angie Cruz, Los Angeles, CA. The fact that I am a Latina should not make you assume I am not intelligent. I am college educated, I am well-spoken, and I have undergone experiences that have created a foundation for my intellect and my ability to communicate. Don’t be surprised because I can use “big words”.
Jamie-Claire Chau, Philadelphia, PA. We have reached a dilemma in our fight for justice. How can we intentionally battle racism without being racist? We think reconciliation is embracing people because of their race rather than despite of their race. I constantly question whether I have what I have and am where I am because I […]
Linda Eremita, Pittsburgh, PA.
J Hill, Canton, OH. I am the proud mother of three children, two girls and a boy. They are all adults now. Every mother worries about her children. But I feel especially concerned for my son. He has done everything well so far in his life, entering his senior year in college, no kids, hardworking, […]
Tad C., Overland Park, KS. With very little exposure to other races while growing up I found myself faced with 2 stereotypes for blacks; pigeonholes of overachiever mascots and dangerous thugs. But I did not realize my isolation fostered prejudice until my son fell in with a predominately black group of friends. Now I’m uncertain […]
Mary Mills, Los Angeles, CA. I am a black female surfer. (What stereotypes?)
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 […]
シドニー Submitted via Twitter: @_sxdni
Charlene Dashiell, Manassas, VA.
Kitt Smith, USA. I have white skin, green eyes and brown hair. I appear every bit a homogeneous American white. I am not. I am a first generation American born to a Mexican illegal and a Irish immigrant. My family has no history here and no part in the oppression of black people. Both sides […]
Tina, Birmingham. AL. Nevermind the fact that I speak with a southern accent, that my attire is noticeably of American influence, or that my last name is German. When someone asks where I’m from and I give them the name of my hometown, this answer is somehow unacceptable, so I give them the name of […]
Gabriella Ortega, Riverside, CA. I live in a world where my own kind thinks I’m a shame because I’m Mexican and don’t know Spanish. They think of me as a white girl but white people take one look at me and assume I know Spanish because I’m Mexican. Sometimes I begin to question myself along […]
Seven, Summerville, GA. I am a redhead from Visalia CA. I moved to Georgia with my family and after the move I realized things weren’t going to be the same anymore. People often poke fun at me saying that I have no soul or that I would take theirs. Just because I am a redhead […]
Tiffany Compton, Colorado Springs, CO. I always thought I was like everyone else until a kid in my 6th grade class asked me this question. After 9/11 my Middle Eastern background has been stereotyped and my life hasn’t been the same.
Lorna Green, Altadenam, CA. I am an independent filmmaker, a writer-director, African American, and a woman. This combination confuses some people; it makes no sense to them because most directors are white guys. Granted, I selected a profession that relegates me to invisibility, but what’s interesting is the day-to-day reality of this. Working with new […]
David Wu, Southborough, MA. Even among Asians I am considered to have really small eyes. People always make fun of me fore my eyes. Whenever i trip or run into something simply because I wasn’t paying attention people would tell me to open my eyes. Even when my eyes are open sometimes I get yelled […]
Yodassa Williams, Oakland, CA. Whenever I speak freely around strangers, I am reacted to as if I am an alien for being black but not “sounding black”. “You speak so well” they say, leaving out the ending, “for a black girl.” I’m irritated and saddened by the insult that a black person’s use of proper […]
Emmy Corey, Harrisburg, PA. I’m a white Alabama native from an all-white town with a black sister who is 17 years younger than I. I love passing down the things that I enjoyed at her age- dolls, movies, books. For the most part, she likes receiving them too. The problem is that before she came […]
Miguel Ramirez-Cornejo, Riverside, CA. As a kid I was told that because I grew up in the barrio that I would become a cholo. I would grow up to be in a gang, do drugs, and end up in jail. I heard this from other kids and even adults. But as I grew I used […]
Lianna Thomas, Congers, NY. I am a Chinese adoptee. Ive lived in NY practically my entire life (since I was 7 months old). My family is entirely white and I was brought up in a western culture with western traditions. I celebrate my eastern culture as well through holidays like chinese new year, I study […]
Shirin Akhter, Philadelphia, PA. When I tell other that I am Asian, they don’t believe me because they think my skin color is a little dark or my eye shape or the way I talk. I am west asian, i am from the west side of asia. All asians don’t look alike, we don’t have […]
Marlena Reese, Washington, DC.
Malik Evans, East Stroudsburg, PA. Syracuse University I am from East Stroudsburg, PA, which is a huge ski and snowboard resort area. Whenever I tell people where I am from and what I do during the winter time at home, they seem to be lost and confused as to how I can ski.
Kwabena Tettey, Syracuse, NY. The CONTINENT of Africa is not one big jungle inhabited by villagers in mud huts and wild animals. I do not have a lion as a pet nor do I ride on elephants to get to places. I also did not row a canoe over the Atlantic Ocean in order to […]
Jaylene O., Harrisburg, PA. I’m mixed. But I am predominantly Puerto Rican. I explained this once and I got the response “But you don’t act Puerto Rican.” ……..What? Since when is race defined by actions. I shouldn’t have to act any certain way to be considered what I am. I speak Spanish and Puerto Rican […]
Sonya Wang, Ballston Lake, NY. Yes, Asian-American issues are not addressed with the same urgency as many other important issues However, they are not addressed because Asian-American issues tend to be placed under the blanket ‘model minority’ stereotype, and that is simply not true.
Aaron Matthew Villalobos, Norman, OK. While I’m admittedly more apple pie than beans & rice, I have never felt my heritage as a Mexican-American detracted from my ability to honor my country with the gift god has given me–my voice. I love singing our national anthem. I feel like it’s the biggest contribution I can […]
Desiree C, Philadelphia, PA.
Rebeca Cruz-Esteves, Philadelphia, PA. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in both the U.S. Although my first language is Spanish it’s hard to tell since I have no accent. Growing up it was hard to immediately blend in as I spent my childhood in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood. As a teenager my family […]
Aspen, USA. The world likes it that way.
Barney Rush, Chevy Chase, MD. Ours is an adopted family: my wife and I have two daughters, both of whom are Caucasian, as we are. We adopted them through agencies, the older when we lived in New York; the younger when we lived in Florida. After living six years in Europe, we returned to the […]
Faith Roessel, Bethesda, MD. Georgetown Day I am Navajo Indian, born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. I now live in the “bubble” and within the “beltway” of Washington, DC with my non Indian husband and my three incredible boys. No one can imagine the challenges we face day in and day out […]
Danielle , Submitted via Twitter: @perfectlygdkids.
Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]
Lauren Qualters, West Chester, PA. For my race card project I chose the phrase “Too white for my own good” which is most certainly a true statement, in both humerous and negative ways. I am certainly very sterotypically “white” but not in an intentional or discriminatory way. My traits are my own and they embody […]
Natalie Ngong, Louisville, KY. Sometimes in this world not having the voice that is expected of you as the race you are, creates a need for insults. In some people’s minds you are not truly the race you appear to be you act like another race simply due to the way you converse. This should […]
Gianna Donovan, New York, NY.
Erin Powell, Washington, DC. “Are you sure your dad is really black?” “If you imagine her with curly hair, you can tell she’s mixed.” “You look straight white, nothing else.” “Ugly half n*****.” Just a taste of the both disparaging and conflicting comments I’ve received on my YouTube vlog about my personal experience being biracial. […]
Julie, Summervile, GA. Yes I`m from the South and i`m a redneck but that`s not all of me. My mother`s father is a Native American and what I know of my father`s family his mother was italian. My mother`s mother`s mom was German. So here I am in the South all types of mixed.
Bryce Barrett, Summerville, GA. I am Asian-American and that means Asian jokes. People call me Wasian when I say am part Asian, Thai in particular. Im not offended by it and sometimes I play along with them. It sometimes gets on my nerves that that say “Hey Wasian!” instead of my name. :L
Catherine Tiger, Kansas City, MO. I’ve been to many pow wows and I love to explain to my friends what it is that we do their. It was one day when a man over heard my friend and I talking and he asked if Native America’s dance around a fire and really think they can […]
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?
Noah Clayton, Lakeland, FL. In the past year I have started be become really fond with Bass fishing. I caught my first Bass towards the end of 2012 and ever since then I have become “hooked”. As I was watching videos on YouTube and doing a little research on techniques and places to fish I […]
Katrina Varga, Schaumburg, IL.
Aniaka McCowan, Union City, CA. Everyone one always says “oh my god you have a kid” Just because I hold a child doesn’t mean I’m a young mother. A caucasian women asked me why I ruined my life having a bastard child you probably don’t even know the father. I simply said why do you […]
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 […]
Michael Tackie, Pittsburgh, PA. Upon graduation from college with a B.S.in Chemical Engineering, I got this from someone I had known for three years, someone I regarded as a friend. He was white, and majored in History or English, I forget which. I was initially amused, not understanding the subtext to what he was saying. […]
Karen Button, Middletown, CT. Phone call from the neighborhood grocer – followed by my husband on the line asking me to come down to the corner store to verify that he was in fact the father of our bi-racial infant daughter since they were used to seeing me with her and were refusing to let […]
Addam Walker, Beaumont, TX, I’ve experienced white woman crossing to the other side of the parking lot to walk past me, the sudden locking of car doors when I approach, the clutching of purses, and so on. It hurts to treated like some kind of criminal when you’re not. Oh well; such is life.
Dee Moore, Shreveport, LA. Hajimemashite! That is the stigma I am always facing in my community. I am a 25 year old African American educator who has plans to teach overseas in Japan. I am also studying Japanese so that I can develop some kind of fluency. Since I was young, I was always interested […]
Amanda Weller, Atlanta, GA. I’m an army brat, a former soldier, and an army wife. Of course I notice differences in skin color and culture (I’m not blind, or stupid); they simply take a back seat to the most important color in my life, a shared color: green. When I met my husband at the […]
Alan Sugiyama, Seattle, WA.
Paulyna Ouk, Riverside, CA. Why? Is it because I’m Asian?
Elizabeth, Denver, CO. My mother is mixed race, Indian and white. She grew up pretty poor, but she told me once that she always had two pairs of shoes: one pair of moccasins and one pair of boots. Depending on who her father was trading with she would either have to pull on her boots, […]
Riley Witting, Denver, CO. More often than not, whenever a friend turns twenty, most of my friends congratulates her by saying “Way to go! You missed teen pregnancy”. Although I know this is a harmless comment, and is meant to be funny, I think it is really sad how in todays world we have brought […]
Crystal Gregory, Kenya. An American by birth, I live in East Africa. Here my neighbors assume because of my skin I am rich, beautiful, or have extra love to share. I offend neighbors when I refuse to have a househelper or a driver or even, really, detest having a security guard or the other ‘helpers’ […]
Yazan Hamed, St. Louis, MO.
Arlene Arias, Waterbury, CT. As an adult, I am an educator and social worker who fights for equality and promotes the value of diversity.
Michael R Riley, Potlatch, ID. I can go over to Seattle and order coffee, make conversation, and say I’m from Idaho, and the people are all, “Oh, there’s a lot of white supremacy over where you live.” I explain that the SPLC shows more hate groups on the I-5 corridor than there are in my […]
Katie, USA. My family is proudly multicultural and many shades of brown, from my pinky-beige to my cousins’ deep cocoa tones. In the past year I have been accused of being racist more times than I can count. When I ask why they would say that the answer is always the same, “You’re white, all […]
Nicole Huber, Colorado Springs, CO. I am Asian American. Being an Asian American, no one clutches their purse tighter when I walk by, and no one finds it surprising that I teach at a university. But despite Asian Americans being perceived as the “model minority,” we are not seen as “real” Americans. I was adopted […]