Not white enough and too white.

Maritza Aviles de Garcia, Dallas, TX. My entire life has been spent walking between two worlds, the predominantly white world outside of my home, and the watered-down Puerto Rican culture of my home. Growing in Central Texas, there were three Puerto Rican families. We were one of them. I translated for my parents whether they […]

White girl black school sixties: scared

Tamie Odom Sherman, TX I was only five at the time. Me and my 2 sisters were going to an all black school in Newburg, NY. The race riots were happening and lots of tension was in the city. Black kids hated me because I was white. I had no idea what I had done […]

My Not So White Life

Joye Beard, Corpus Christi, TX. In the 23 years that my husband and I have been married I’ve noticed some disconcerting things about being in a mixed race marriage. First, I’m not comfortable around other white people at all. If they’re open minded it’s not so bad. But most are not, and once they learn […]

Thanksgiving: Called out my racist brother

Annabel Knight, Austin, TX. We were talking about SS Disability, and he said “No, it’s not hard at all to get on disability–all you have to do is be a fat Mexican.” So wrong, I just couldn’t be silent. My husband backed me up, most of the rest of the table squirmed uncomfortably. Why is […]

Half Japanese Half Irish Hapa? Whateva

Lois Ann Knezek, Sanger, TX. I was born and raised in Hawai’i to a Hawai’i born Japanese woman and an Irish Bostonian. Luckily, in Hawai’i, everyone is mixed so I didn’t feel any different. Then I married a haole from Texas and moved to a culture where people didn’t know what I was. I wasn’t […]

Borderlands born. Always illegal. Always home.

Chuy Benitez, Houston, TX. When you grow up at the collision of two countries, of two cultures, of two identities, you learn very quickly the different nuances between the two cultures and you adapt to appease whichever culture you have to encounter. It makes you more observant, but of course it doesn’t occur without making […]

All-American Girl: Minority at Work

Stefanie Bernosky, Houston, TX. I was raised as an All-American girl to an All-American family in an All-American town. I even looked “All-American”, proudly featuring my braces and American Flag sweater in this dated family photo (circa 1994). We can trace my family (both sides) to the United States prior to the United States Revolution. […]

I’m white, but I dream, too.

Catherine Moses, Port Arthur, TX. Let it be known for posterity’s sake that I am white, but I want equality, too. We’re on the same side. Why don’t we use that instead of talking about how I can’t possibly understand? You’re right, I can’t understand. I’m sorry. Let’s move beyond that and work together for […]

Cold Stares Warm Smiles Evens Out

Eric Flores, Lubbock, TX. I am a Mexican-American or simply put American. I was born and raised in a conservative town. I was too Mexican for the Whites and too White for the Mexicans. I was stuck in the middle. I always wanted to be white but now I am glad that I am Mexican. […]

I think DIFFERENT should be Celebrated

Dhani Slater, Houston, TX. Great expression idea (the Race Card). I believe our differences should draw us together out of a healthy curiosity, and a thirst for learning about the diversities of humanity & nature that make things special.

Ni de aqui, ni de aya!

Yesenia Chavez, Houston, TX. I’m a first generation Mexican- American, born and raised in Houston, Texas. Sometimes it feels like I’m too in between both identities to really feel like I’m either. My Spanish isn’t perfect and sometimes I forget words in English.

“American” is the most accurate label

Anonymous, San Antonio, TX. Look, I’ll keep it real simple. My family is from Texas. Now we’ve had a French Texas, a Spanish Texas, a Mexican Texas, a Republic of Texas, a Confederate Texas, and finally Texas, USA. Am I Mexican? Hell no. I’m from Texas, and this is the United States of America. My […]

My name tells a great story.

Lise (rhymes with ‘please’), Austin, TX. My 6-word essay was originally “What kind of name is that?”– a question (both the polite and impolite versions) I’m regularly asked. My answer is something like this: “Well, my last name is Indian (yes, like from India)–sort of. My father’s family is from India, but the name changed […]

The Racist Salesman

Sam Smith, Stafford, TX. Ya I figured that would catch people off guard. I’ve been a salesperson now for about 10 years in Houston. Love the city and the culture, made a pretty good career out of it too. I’ve sold cars and motorcycles for a living. One thing I will readily acknowledge is I’m […]

Hated for being a white cop.

Brett Maisel Nacogdoches, TX As a young, naive police officer I mistakenly thought most people would appreciate my sincere desire to help and protect the citizens of my community. I was shocked to find out that some people (who didn’t even know my name, background or what was in my heart) hated the very sight […]

I’m one of the rare ones.

Nabeste, Chicago, IL. I’m a Mexican-American. I hate white people. I have grown to hate them. They came to America to steal the land and kill the Native American Indians. They brought the slaves here. They brought with them diseases that are here now. They went and took Texas and all the states that belonged […]

Strength in pedigree proud of race

Tory Robinson, Omaha, NE. I refuse to be fearful growing up in Texas, I learned fear is an obstacle. I now live in Nebraska a state that hides its racism but I won’t be broken because of the strength in my pedigree.

Black Girls Play Video Games Too

Chelsea L. Harris, Fort Worth, TX. I’m a gamer, and I don’t mean the occasional “Angry-Flappy Bird” app gamer, or “Just Dance” gamer. I’m a “Own Every Console, Collect Every Series Title, No-Life” gamer. My two brothers and I have been gamers since the days of NES, before I even quit wearing Pull-Ups. Gaming was […]

I am scared for my children

Jamie, Wylie, TX. I live in a society that I am afraid of the world that my kids will have to be adults in. We are going backwards instead of forwards. We are losing our view of everyone is the same, no matter how different we might look. I am having to have HARD conversations […]

You’re Probably Not Racist, You’re Classist.

Melanie Moctezuma, Dallas, TX. There is a difference between racism and classism. Being racist is hating a race, you already know what the definition is. Being classist on the other hand, is being discriminatory towards a specific economic class. You may think that you’re racist because, though I hate to admit it, as a person […]

Yes, those boys are my brothers.

Julia Guerra, Austin, TX. My brothers are very important figures in my life. They were born to a white mom and a white dad. They are blonde and red-haired, with blue and green eyes. When they were little babies, my white mom married my Mexican dad and he adopted both of them as his own. […]

Don’t Bring Home No White Girls

Anonymous, TX. Said a well travelled Black American female veteran to her biracial, trilingual, and dual citizen son. Behind her, in full agreement, stood her Eastern European Jewish husband. As madly in love as was at first sight, their relationship was taboo, condemned by family and friends alike. Now years later they faced their resultant […]

The difference between realism and racism.

Danny Denzler, Wichita Falls, TX. There’s a difference between being realistic and being racist. Police profiling isn’t racist. Look at the facts. Who commits the most crime even while being less than a 1/4 of the population? Personally, I know that not all blacks are bad, just like all whites aren’t good. I will say […]

My Looks Don’t Define My Bloodline

Sierra McGeoghegan, Weymouth, MA. Growing up and even now I am always denied my Mexican heritage by lots of people of all races. I am Irish + Mexican and a few other races. My family treated my Hispanic blood as a taboo, the Latinos I knew as a child rejected me once I shared I […]

Black girls can rock bold lipstick!

Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. Often black women are told that we shouldn’t pull any more attention to our lips because they are sooooooo big! We have to stop feeding into the Eurocentric ideas of what is beautiful!

United yet unique, diverse yet connected.

Dana, San Antonio, TX. Around the world, my white skin and my blonde hair make me easily identifiable as an American. This superficial categorization has lead me to wish that people took the chance to get to now me for who I am, rather than making assumptions about my character. In return, I challenge myself […]

Justice for all requires White awakening.

Albert Marten, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit how unaware I was as a white person about the hate, the daily indignities, and in many cases, the physical terror suffered by my fellow citizens because of the color of their skin. The failure of my country to live up to […]

We are people, not your mascots.

Jacob K Tingle, San Antonio, TX. As the grandson of an Oklahoma Choctaw, I am deeply sensitive to the negative impact of stereotypes. Though no one looks at me and says, “He’s Native,” I try to use my multiple privileges to push back against the use of racists sport mascots and logos. We must understand […]

You can sit in the bar

Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]

I’m white but I still have a culture (Welsh and proud)

Katherine Davies, Houston, TX. I understand that racial inequality is a huge problem, has been for centuries and hopefully, will not exist centuries from now, but judging someone because of their race, their culture, whether they are black, white, hispanic, asian or anything in between. I get told all the time that white people don’t […]

“You can only check one box…”

I got my driver’s application returned the first time because I chose boxes that aligned with both of my racial identities. The woman gave me one look and sort of laughed a bit, then pushed the clipboard back to meet my hands. I sort of looked over to my mom and erased the two boxes […]

From Unawareness to Critically Examining Whiteness

In my world, white was normal. I believed that race was something other than whiteness. The normalcy of whiteness meant I did not have to think about what it meant to be white. I grew up in a predominantly white suburb, which meant most of my friends were white and most of my schoolmates were […]

No apologies for who I am

Stanton Lawrence, San Antonio, TX. Throughout my professional life, I have experienced efforts to devalue or negatively assess the contributions of blacks in the work place. These efforts are greatly elevated when the individual is strong and confident. It takes me back to the era when we had to “be put in our places” because […]

Bicultural and Bilingual should be enough.

Megan Medrano, Houston, TX. Growing up Latina in south Texas, I have always been surrounded with rich culture. My home was filled with both the English and Spanish language and I was encouraged to live both my Mexican and U.S. Latina identities. I did not realize how important an ethnic identity was until I came […]

Damn, did you see that White girl?

Lisa Jasinsk, Trinity University In 2007, I spent a year working at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. One day on my way into the office, I slipped on an icy sidewalk on 125th Street, and in a comic prat fall, landed on my bottom in a filthy puddle. A group of guys gathered outside […]

Benefit and burden with being biracial

Ryann Williams, Trinity University In a lot of ways, having two parents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds allows a unique insight into both cultures. It can be extremely enlightening to see how both sides can be so different and yet so similar at the exact same time. However, there is always this feeling as if I […]

Turban, Assumptions, Fear, Perpetually Foreign, Inferiority

Simran Jeet Singh, New York, NY. Trinity University My visible Sikh and South Asian identity have shaped my experiences with racial and cultural identities. Upon seeing me, people mark me as different and make various assumptions about me. Associations assume (but are not limited to): foreign, violent, conservative, uneducated, terrorist, victim, uncivilized, and dogmatic.

Segregation and inequity; the struggle continues

Dr. Deneese L. Jones, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University Race still matters! Even after sixty years past the Brown v. Board decision where the courts mandated: “With all deliberate speed.”,race is still a significant factor in our educational institutions, the criminal justice system, and employment. There are real differences in how different races and ethnicities […]

Biologically baseless with immesurable social impact

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in his book Between the World in Me that “racism is the father of race.” I teach that to my students every semester. Racism created race, not the other way around. The categorization of people according to a perceived racial difference was one of the worst mistake every to be called scientific, […]

South Texas Born, Melting Pot Raised

Jerheme Urban, Trinity University I am very proud of the fact that I was born in south Texas, a location steeped with history and tradition. It is also an area that is a melting pot of race, culture, and economic diversity- with a heavy blue collar, agrarian influence. After traveling/working across the country, I have […]

Treat others as you’d be treated.

Kindness and the Golden Rule are so impactful when applied to any situation. I remember hearing the Aesop’s story (many years ago) about the North Wind and the Sun. Kindness or gentleness carries the day over aggression, force and a mean spirit. This story tells a lot about how we should treat our neighbors, and […]

Race switches between dominance and minority

Nhi Nguyen, Trinity University In Vietnam, my ethinicity is Kinh, which is the dominant group of Vietnamese. Before coming the U.S., I never really cared about my race because I did not need to challenge any racial inequality. When I’m in the U.S. to study abroad, Vietnamese is a minority. Most people just know about […]

Biracial woman: strength, confidence, confusion, pain.

Melissa Flowers, Trinity University My mother is caucasian and my father is black. I have immense privilege in my life, and I feel that being a biracial woman gives me a sense of pride which leads to strength and confidence. But this comes at a cost. I am often referred to as “acting white” by […]

I will make reparations to you.

Jane Cavazos, San Antonio, TX I have been reading the stories of African Americans for several years–their struggles, triumphs, setbacks and progress…I feel badly about the immense suffering they have endured over centuries of injustice. I will make reparations by volunteering my service in a public library in the African American community.

Who invented the “race card” anyway?

Kathryn Terry, Katy, TX. I hate the term “race card” because when I hear it, it tells me that the person using it doesn’t have any desire to listen to or understand anything about the experiences of racism that people of color face. If you think there’s a “race card”, who do you think put […]

The word racism is used dishonestly

Howard Hilliard, Grapevine, TX. Dialogue can’t be honest about race when the use of the word racism isn’t even defined. People that have different values than racialists are demonized even if they couldn’t care less about about the color of someone’s skin. Not believing in a certain form of multiculturalism has been conflated by the […]

Wish I was not a racist

Brian Smith, Sugar Land, TX. Part of me wish I wasn’t racist. I did my best not to be like my parents when I was growing up, but as I grew up I kept noticing common themes. I’m 28 now, grew up in middle class conservative Houston, Texas. I watched my dad created a business […]

I’m told to get over it.

Anonymous, Houston, TX. It’s hard being a young “smart” black man, especially in the military. If to good at my job it’s because “we helped you out more because we don’t want you to think we where racists” then if I’m not good at my job its. “Well you know black people are lazy…” Plus […]

When people ask… What are you?

Naomi, Grand Rapids, MI. I am an American, of Mexican decent… No, I don’t speak Spanish, no I don’t know where my family is from in Mexico… My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were born in Texas… I grew up in Gary, IN around mostly Black people… people don’t know what box to put me in. How […]

My Industry can’t get Latino right.

Ricardo Chavira, San Antonio, TX. Actor who splits time between SA and LA. Alumnus of TV series Desperate Housewives. Id say I was shocked that industry can’t tap into Latino market, but I’m not. I also realize that we as Latinos have a tendency to get in our own way.

There are good ones out there

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.

Two white children in Halloween photo

Dave Parnell, Carrollton, TX. Our kindergarten daughter wanted to go to her friend’s Halloween party. I saw that the address and the protective father in me did not feel safe letting her go. But I called and the black man I spoke to certainly heard the fearful white father on the other end of the […]

I CAN speak English and Spanish!

Fernando Martinez, McAllen, TX. Some people assume I don’t speak Spanish because I have light skin. But others assume I don’t speak English when they find out I lived my entire childhood in Mexico and English is actually my second language. Little do they know that I can speak both!

White & Proud Not = KKK nor Racist

Heather Mast, Houston, TX. I’m tired of not being able to express my own opinion for fear of being labeled a hate monger or racist! Im sorry for injustice done but I did not victimize anyone. Many are too fearful to “do anything” to help one another of a different race because then, in turn, […]

White doesn’t make me a racist.

Dee Oh, TX. Why isn’t it racist for other people to say that because I’m white, I’m a racist? I am attacked solely because of my skin color from black people. Only from black people. Why isn’t that racist? I add to a conversation that statistically, more blacks are killed by other blacks than by […]

You are smart to be Mexican

Teresa Gonzalez, Weslaco, TX. Many people say expressions like this one without taking into consideration its being offensive. They don’t think or recall that being smart or dedicated to your job, school etc has nothing to intervene with your knowledge or nationality. Not because your Mexican they will treat you how they want. This is […]

My DNA is 2.6% Neanderthal

Roger Hernandez Angleton, TX 48% Native American 22% Mediterranean 14% Northern European 8% Southwest Asian 4% Northeast Asian 2% South African but my wife says I’m a 100% Caveman.

TV people don’t look like us

Ana Artigas Houston, TX I am the child of an Italian-American mother and Spanish (from Spain) father, and I was born in Mexico. I am married to an American man of Dutch and British ancestry, We have friends in mixed race marriages. All of us have children, and there are very few TV programs, none […]

Drop the guilt, and become aware

Danyahel Norris, Houston, TX. When I have a conversation about race or racism with someone white, I tend to get a few common responses. One being the fact that they weren’t even alive for things like slavery and Jim Crow, so they shouldn’t be blamed for it (not that I ever did). Another is the […]

So, did you all eat tacos?

Hilary Salazar, McAllen, TX. I attended a middle school with only seven Hispanics/Latinos. One day during 2nd period, the librarian called all seven of us over the intercom to come to the library. I had no idea why, but everyone laughed as I walked out of class. I got to the library along with the […]

I’m frustrated with my white peers.

CP, Garland, TX. I’m frustrated. Very much so. There is a lot of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, especially within my race – Caucasian. I wish so much for everyone to open their eyes, minds, and hearts to the plight of others. To recognize that the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s didn’t eradicate the inherent […]

A little This, A little That

Elizabeth James Sugar Land, TX I wasn’t really aware of this till I became older, yea my mom looked different than I and pretty much everyone mostly on my moms side of the family but I never put much thought into it. I got this a lot in middle school and high school actually “Well […]

Your skin feels just like mine!

Laura Speegle Waco, TX I teach elementary school in Waco, Texas. I can’t remember why this little bitty girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old, was sitting in my lap crying… but suddenly she reached out and stroked my pale white are and looked up at me in surprise. After making this observation she snuggled […]

Half White, Half Hispanic, Full Human

John Michael Rendon Nicholson, San Antonio, TX. Growing up around Latinos and Caucasians, I was either “too White for Latinos” or “Too Latino for Whites”. Very few people saw me as “one of them”, even to this day. Of course, this didn’t stop me from indulging in my culture. I learned Spanish; and I even […]