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 […]
Christopher A Hernández, Corpus Christi, TX. Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, you can always smell the sea; after all: it’s practically in your backyard. But there’s also something else that is constantly in the air that one may not be able to smell, but it’s just as pungent: Stereotypes. I come from […]
Pinkish Jim, Seal Beach, CA. I was raised hearing this idea expressed many ways. My parents bought into all the racial stereotypes in the 50s and 60s and yet they had black friends. Their friends weren’t like the rest of them. They were different. None of the African Americans we actually knew fit the stereotype, […]
Lora McManus, Altadena, CA. Being transracially adopted (by Caucasian parents) comes with a plethora of advantages and challenges. One of the most common misconceptions that I face on a daily basis is the assumption that I was raised in an Chinese family and speak Mandarin, when actually neither of those are true. Stereotypes are one […]
Mark, USA. This means that judging people doesn’t come out of nowhere. Assuming people are something because of what they look like is not okay. But, there is a reason that more black people are in prisons than white people. That’s because more black people commit crimes than white people do.
Caroline Kish, Dunwoody, GA. I will not deny that race continues to reek extreme havoc on modern day social order. I see it every day at my high school, in the news, and even on the billboards lining the highway. We can all say that we ‘don’t see color’, but in reality, there are not […]
Mayra Cramer, Menlo Park, CA. I’m a brown typically Hispanic looking upper middle class woman living in an affluent suburb of San Francisco. I’ve allways had a hard time fitting in because I was raised in “white” neighborhoods and went to elite and desirable schools. My third child is fair and people in the street […]
Charles C. Chatman, Hanover Park, IL. As a black man, I feel that when I enter a room, I must explain my reason for being there. When I go to work, I have to explain every decision I make. When I show interest in things that are obscure or not typical of the preconceived black […]
T.W., Baltimore, MD. I am White, non-Hispanic, but I go to Mexico on a regular basis so I have worked really hard to speak decent Spanish. I’m not fluent, but I can get around, and I have a believable accent. So back in the U.S., there are times when knowing Spanish comes in handy. I […]
Clemen W. DSM, IA Many people look at me and/or hear my accent and immediately create a full story about me in their minds. They react and act according to what they’ve assumed about me (Based in their own stereotypes). Please, listen to my story first. You might be surprised with who I am, what […]
Erich Gibeault, Sacramento, CA. It seems to be less of a problem as the newer generations come in.
Emily, Houston, TX. Many people complain about discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices relating to race; and I am under no illusion that what they experience is real and happens every day. After experiencing such treatment, I would hope that those people would be more sensitive to the subject and try not to stereotype people. Unfortunately, I […]
Anonymous, Minneapolis, MN.
Richard Haynie, Oakland, CA. I walked into a roadside tavern near Allentown PA that had several motorcycles parked outside. Loving bikes, I thought nothing of it. Inside, a motorcycle “club” were the only patrons on that Sunday morning. I ordered some food and, despite a warning from the proprietor, decided to stay and eat there. […]
Shaunise Allmond, Baltimore, MD. Society assumes since I am a black woman with natural hair I cannot do simple tasks like combing my hair. My hair texture is extremely curly and what some consider nappy. I have broken combs in the past and will continue to break them in the future. My problem with people […]
Catherine C., Fullerton, CA. All people see when they see an asian is a calculator, someone who is good at math, and science and has no social skills.
Michaela Helinski, USA. Yes I am white, yet I am so much more than a color. I have a whole history behind me of relatives traveling from different parts of the world in order to make a new life in America. Yes I am Polish as my last name contains a “ski”, but that is […]
Joan Kalimba, Riverside, CA. Pure African from Rwanda, much of what I get is, do you guys ride on giraffes, and things like do lions walk around your neighborhood like it is the most normal thing to do, but not much of the racial part.
Marcella Gucho, Sacramento, CA. I’m half Hispanic and half Irish, and it’s put me a few interesting positions with other groups of people. For instance, some assume that Mexican stereotypes can’t bother me because “I’m White passing.” Some more extreme people I’ve encountered as a child think I’m a mistake because of my parentage (i.e., […]
Isabella Fioretto, Park Ridge, IL. Many people assume since I am 100 percent Sicilian that I have relatives in the mafia. None of my relatives or people from our small town in Sicily are involved with the mafia.
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, […]
Austin McGlothlin, Berea, KY. I’m an Asian studies major with a concentragtion in Japanese language. I have spent the only year I’ve been in college identifying the cultural differences in Asia that has created stereotypes about all Asians being smart or gifted at musical instruments,etc. But I’ve mostly noticed the fact that no one, even […]
Terri, Chicago, IL. Um…neither – Really. That is the first question asked by someone who had just met me. Really? That’s the first question you ask me? We really need to stop defining each other by one or two word descriptions and take a few moments to get to know each other beyond the generalizations […]
Dahomey Abanishe, Secrest, FL. As a child in Kansas, I always assumed I was African-American and not because of what I was culturally but because of how I looked. I am Truly a Nigerian American culturally. My father is Nigerian and I was raised eating pepper stew and listening to Fela. No one fried chicken […]
Nataly Morales, Austin, TX.
Shamica, Oklahoma City, OK. I never knew that becoming a mom would be different based on race. I was raised on military bases, everyone got along. I knew that people could be racist but I never really experienced it. I was . . . naive. Then I married my husband, at a young age, then […]
Livia Messenger, Northhampton, MA. Smith College Before I told you my grandmother was from Japan, I wasn’t Asian to you. I’m white. I don’t speak Japanese. I’ve never been to Japan, worn a kimono, or even met my Japanese relatives. I flunked out of calculus – but I suppose my “white side” was holding the […]
Jeremy Jones, Chicago, IL.
Denali Lukacinsky, Honolulu, HI. People look at me and assume all kinds of offensive things about what black people are supposed to be like, they come up to me and explain all the ways that I’m “different”, and “better” and “not like them.” Well guess what, I am like them. Don’t lift me up by […]
Jeremy J., Denton, TX. I hate when people are talking crap about a race or group of people and they feel like they have to mention “there are good ones out there.” Who do you think you are.
Alison Blomster Minneapolis, MN I think there are some healthy reasons why stereotypes of black male teens exist. After being mugged by 5 black teenage boys wearing hooded parkas, I can understand the fear that any other person, of any skin color could feel when confronted by a black male teen whose eyes cannot be […]
Wendy Stokesbary Cedar Rapids, IA I went to middle school with lots of African american students and noticed the boys seemed to admire my curvy figure- I was flattered, not frightened, because no one ever tried to hurt me. I grew up with a curiosity and respect for diversity, and partly because of my professional […]
Lily O’Hara New York City, NY Brooklyn
Kehinde Yemen I sat down at a store today in the middle of Mumbai and a cute little girl about two years old was walking by with her grandma. She took one look at me and refused to come any further. I smiled at her encouraging her to take the few extra steps but she […]
Coco Centennial, CO Stereotyping; the act of judging one based on society’s perception on a group of people, is a form of racism that has effected me personally. “Aren’t you supposed to be smart?” is a phrase that I have heard directed towards me many times due to the stereotype that all people of Asian […]
Victoria USA I don’t know if this fits on the site, (which I love by the way), because Judaism is a religion and not a race. But I am sick and tired of being judged by my Jewishness and comments like “you don’t have a Jewish nose” or “kinky Jew-fro” and “if someone picks up […]
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 […]
Rachel Allocco Phoenix, AZ My boyfriend is Mexican and grew up in Southern Arizona near the Mexico border. His father, a successful doctor and US Army veteran, is from Mexico. His mother is from a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles. People assume that because he grew up immersed in his Mexican heritage, the future […]
Francesca Magno Portland, ME I come from a very large Irish/Italian family. We have traditions and ideals representative of different cultures. Yet, when people identify me I am simply a white girl. People do not view me as a mix of races. I could be any other ugg wearing, latte in hand, textaholic, but I […]
SHANIQUA JONES Philadelphia, PA Stereotypes are mean and not needed.
Josh Raymond Studio City, CA Despite what people say, or the balances of social power, I was born white and am continually judged on that. People make assumptions based on my skin color and like any other victim of racism I can’t change who I am or the color of my skin. There is no […]
Aaron Reich Boca Raton, FL I am white and Jewish and I sometimes get insulted by others for being Jewish. The insults are mostly meant to be taken as jokes, but sometimes they are too far. I’d rather if they weren’t said.
Emily Los Angeles, CA I’ve never been a fan of Starbucks, but everyone always assumes I spend everyday there just since I’m a preppy white girl.
Adam Justin Drake University Des Moines, IA
Cyerra Hawkins Riverside, CA I’m a African American female and I am irritated behind the fact that people associate African american women as loud and verbose. people are people we all have different personalities and ways of expressing ourselves. Stop with the categorizing and that is for any race or ethnicity. Vicious stereotypes have been […]
Bart71 Chicago, IL I am who I am. I accept who I am. I love who I am. Black men have jumped over all forms of racism in the past and will continue to jump over them. I know that daily I defy all stereotypes. It makes me stronger. It keeps me on my game. […]
Basundhara Mukherjee South Burlington, VT I was born in India, lived in Saudi Arabia, and grew up mostly in a small town in Vermont. English is in my blood, just like Bengali. When someone asks me why my English is so good, it reminds me of the ignorance that still, unfortunately, exists in this country. […]
Jay Grabow Omaha, NE I’m a white, middle-aged, male that used to believe the racist stereotypes that I was taught growing up. Two events changed my thinking about race. One was a vicious fight I witnessed when a white teen bullied black teen over the fact that he was black. When the black teen fought […]
Glenn Schwitter Simsbury, CT I live in CT, am socially more liberal and financially more conservative, and I do not know any white people who are overtly racist. That would be zero, nada, none. I have also rarely/never seen a problem solved by others. All progress is made by you. The world may not be […]
John Book Pasco, WA In my experience as someone who is part-Hawaiian, I’ve found that the stereotypes of what I am and where I’m from were very misinformed, yet seemed endless at the time. Sadly, those who were in error often did not want to know anymore than the stereotype they presented to me. It […]
Lagaria Farmer Springfield, TN This was hammered into me starting in the 7th grade – mostly by other black kids, but it extended to family members as well. As long as I like hard rock/metal and goth/industrial music, sound like a blond Valley Girl, date white guys and enjoy academics, I’m not black enough. Outwardly […]
Tracie Combs-Cantu Austin, TX I was born and raised in Kentucky from an Appalachian family. The stereotypes and the realities of being poor and from Appalachian decent always make you self-conscious of your speech, look and skills. Even when you don’t need to worry about any of it.
Gabriela Bonilla Palmdale, CA Both my parents were born in Mexicali, Mexico and migrated to the USA for great opportunities. I was born into a blended family and had a total of four sisters and two brothers. Growing up in a home with several sisters, my sisters and myself were stereotyped that we would live […]
Kwame Lamaar Govine Fairmont State, WV
Valentina Colorado Springs, CO When people first see me they immediately associate me with being Mexican. I am Latina, but I am from Colombia. Everyone seems to instantly categorize me with the stereotypes created for Mexicans. To me it is an insult because people are judging me by the way I look, instead of asking […]
Karen Niremberg Ann Arbor, MI Summary: Sometimes stereotypes of certain people are true in certain cases. Many times they aren’t. Never judge anyone based on how often you have found a stereotype to be true. Always give the people you meet a blank slate.
Dr. Gisselle Velez-Ruiz Ann Arbor, MI Stereotypes & generations
Mohamed Abdallah Italy I have received this backhanded compliment in my adopted home, the US, and around the world many times, and I have commiserated with many African-Americans, Hispanics — substitute any race, creed or nation for “Muslim” — about how grating and disheartening it is. Despite what you have achieved, if you don’t fit […]
Emmerson Lee Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Pauline Devlin Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan This is in reference to my friends and I. I do not believe any of us would consider ourselves racist, so I feel bad when I hear people casually perpetuating stereotypes.
Patricia Richardson Sacramento, CA Came from a VERY poor family mother w/8 kids on welfare. I heard those words so many times growing up “I believed them”, I identified with them. We were all called that, relatives who thought they were better than us, by neighbors, at school by other kids and I even heard […]
Anonymous Kansas City, MO
Barbara Rybacki Washingtonville, NY I’m Puerto Rican, not Mexican. There’s a difference. Drives me crazy.
Steven Nelson Los Angeles, CA Before the advent of email, people would commonly say this to me when they would meet me after a phone conversation. Funny, they always squirmed when I responded, “Oh. What are black people supposed to sound like?”
Anonymous Eugene, OR This was done as a practical joke. The most frequent question I have heard is not about why someone would do this, but how on earth someone could think this was funny. My generation is in their thirties, and living on the West Coast I have sometimes needed to explain the history […]
Heather Martin Submitted via Twitter: @heatherbrezo #TheRaceCardProject
Linde Sifuentes Rochester, MN
Dacia Mitchell Oakland, CA
Jason Smith Long Beach, CA I sometime catch people off-guard when I ask them what they mean by saying “your the whitest black guy I know”. What does that mean? Is there some kind of way I’m supposed to dress, talk and act. I think there is a underlying most of the time unintentional racist […]
Yvonne Michigan Black people have really bad stereotypes that’s why I don’t claim black , but I don’t claim Hispanic either, they have there stereo- types as well. Ghetto Hoodlums Mean Scary Constant fights Gang bangs Workers Farmers A lot of kids No husband Poor When people look at me the first thing they see […]
Anthony F Castro Valley, CA Student of Ms. Tunik @ Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, CA
Paul Houston, TX Most early rap music with which I’m familiar was about innocuous subjects. When gangsta rap hit the scene and sprouted a sub-culture (or at least the perception that there is a sub-culture) of lawless, violent, rage-filled mostly black youths who self-identify through dress and mannerisms, I started becoming fearful of people who […]
Yanah This is true and not intended to be incendiary. After all, young black man ≠ evil, bad.
Paul Houston, TX Whether right or wrong, the impressions we make on others play a big part in how others treat us.
Nehemiah Bourne College Park, MD Being black in America I will always be a target. Some one will think im stealing, poor, stupid, ghetto and countless other terms.
Jenny Braintree, MA I used to work at my dad’s Chinese restaurant answering the phone and taking orders. One time a man came in to pick up his order and was shocked that I was Chinese. He out right told me I did not sound Chinese when I was on the phone with him taking […]
Janette Santos North Quincy, MA I was at the local grocery store mulling over which yogurt to get, when a middle-aged woman came up to me. The first words out of her mouth were, “Do you speak English?” I was so shocked at the time that before I could even get a chance to respond, […]
Alisa Dennis Los Angeles, CA Many white people do not personally know any blacks, or very few. As a result, their only reference point for black culture is drawn from stereotyped, caricatured images from T.V. news, sitcoms, Hollywood movies, or quickly driving through the outskirts of economically marginalized black neighborhoods where they are likely to […]
C.N. Hart Los Angeles, CA EDUCATED, BLACK FEMALE
Cliff Ratner, Jr. Wichita, KS Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Eric Van Meter Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Kimi Corvallis, OR All of us do something that looks suspicious at times, some of us get stopped for it every time other never. Think what would happen if tonight you were walking down the street at dusk carrying a T.V.
Tami Jacksonville, FL Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation (I am an African American woman who was born and raised in the South).
Wayne Siebenaler Portland, OR Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Michael Burgess Bluffton, SC
Robert San Francisco, CA Fear of outsiders is not the same as hate for outsiders. Urban cultural stereotypes popularized and promoted by the very individuals in that culture have played an important role I creating fear. It’s not the reason but it is irresponsible of us not to talk about it.
Mark Ross, California, CA. These issues are complex. Stereotypes (or action using information from stereotype) are based often enough on at least some modicum of reality (authentic or perceived). The wrong view As an African-American male, I have been unduly perceived as a threat. That suspicion has been acted upon several times by government authority, […]
Hiawatha Walker Submitted via Twitter: @hiawathaw