Couldn’t understand kid who mowed lawn.

Nancy L Moore Livingston, MT We lived in DC 1964-65 and one day a kid from the inner city offered to mow our lawn. He so wanted to do a good job he was starting to cut it too short. So my dad sent me out to offer him some lemonade to get him to […]

Let them stare, it doesn’t matter

Samantha Charter, Phillipston, MA. My six words may seem a little odd until you hear the story behind them. I am white and my boyfriend is not. I grew up in a small predominantly white town and because of this the few non white families in town tended to stick out a little. No one […]

I never know what to say.

Sydney, KS. I do the best I can to be an ally for my friends of color. Sometimes, though, I stay silent on issues. Not because I am not being the best I can be- but because often I say things as a white person that offends my friends because the language I use isn’t […]

Little brown man in white class.

Student Century College, MN As an English language learner, sometimes I feel bad, shy, and ashamed.  I still struggle as everybody moves on.  Every day I am waiting to understand what everybody understands.  By that time I am going to feel I am a big man. See more from the Century Race Card Project conversation: […]

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I don’t understand why race matters.

Jennessa Cairo, Los Angeles, CA. I believe it’s important to know who we are, and to learn and respect our cultures all over the globe. But growing up I never saw race, I just saw people as equals. Sometimes I just don’t understand why is matters to people.

I can never begin to understand

Josh Miller, Salt Lake City, UT. I have had to opportunity to meet many people from all across the globe. I can never begin to understand what it is like to experience racism as a white middle class male. I have seen racism and it is WRONG. Let’s all be nice.

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You’re not Spanish, you wouldn’t understand.

Sean Patrick Nicholl, Storrs, CT. Heard it plenty of times… I mention that my first name is after my grandfathers; John… y Juan. That stops them for a second. John, Juan, and Sean are all the same name in various languages. A great grandfather of mine adds Jean to the list. They think I’m joking. […]

I Can’t Understand What You’re Saying

Brenda Ling, Casper, WY. I’ve lived in Wyoming four years now and no one has said this to me – knock on wood. Though someone tried to give me an order at a Chinese restaurant in Casper while I was waiting for my food. Some sales clerk in Wal-Mart in St. Cloud, Minnesota, said those […]

Being white doesn’t mean can’t understand

Tim Fall El Macero, CA I refuse to believe that complete understanding is barred because of the color of a person’s skin. There may be other factors that interfere – culture, economics, religion – but not the amount of melanin in one’s epidermis. Being in a mixed race family and raising children who are navigating […]

Seek to understand; then find forgiveness.

Stephanie Bell Easton, PA More than 40 years ago, I was verbally assaulted on my college campus by a militant group of black girls who accused me and my roommate of playing a prank on them. The college urged us to apologize (for something we hadn’t done). Even after the true pranksters came forward, the […]

To Understand, you have to listen.

Michael Wendlandt Drake University Des Moines, IA Current culture is so based on social media and on entertainment, that stereotypes are becoming more and more commonplace among the youth. Because of that, no one has taken the time to listen to issues about race in America recently, at least to the point where they deeply […]

I wish I could fully understand.

Hilary E. Cooke West Lafayette, IN I was unsure how to answer “where I am” because I am currently on sabbatical in France, but I technically and a resident of West Lafayette, Indiana. Although I’ve been thinking about the race card project for a while, it is only here, on sabbatical, that I’ve finally had […]

Quick to Judge. Slow to understand

Submitted by Paul Cutter Potsdam, NY Lyrics by:  Neal Peart, drummer for the band,  Rush From the song “Witch Hunt” The night is black, without a moon. The air is thick and still. The vigilantes gather on The lonely torchlit hill. Features distorted in the flickering light, Faces are twisted and grotesque. Silent and stern […]