When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]
Molly, Bozeman, MT. I was in my teens before it occurred to me that Band-Aids are made to match the skin of the White majority. That’s a trivial example of White privilege, but a telling one.
Mike O’Begley, Canada. The ideas behind whites being inherently privileged, regardless of all the nuances that make up human life, are often untrue since privilege and class is a lot more complicated than you make it. And even if it were totally “correct”, only serves to alienate possible allies from the struggle of people of […]
Clare Cecil-Karb, Providence, RI.
Miriam Mayteson, Columbus, OH. White privilege is everywhere, but so many of us white people can’t or won’t see it. How can we change that?
Greg, San Fransisco, CA. We can all be friends without blame and guilt.
Steve Hammond, Oberlin, OH. The first time I heard the phrase white privilege was at our dining room table. The kids were catching us up with their day at school and I was a bit surprised by something one of the kids had done that involved managing to never go to one of her classes […]
Jessica McMurtry, Collins, GA. I am white, yes, but it makes me very bitter when other white people refuse to see how being another “race” could affect their life. Empathy is not the same as not being prideful of your heritage. My ancestors were Irish, Scottish, and Native American- and I am supremely proud of […]
Margaret Ann Watts, Elgin, IL. We all bleed the same color.
Annie Berman, Northhampton, MA. Smith College This is what it means to be a good ally. It is not POC’s job to be the only ones constantly asserting that their lives matter. Silence can be a powerful tool of resistance and empowerment, but not when white people who think race does not concern them choose […]
Marcos Cu, Seattle, WA. I would prefer to write about diversity instead of someone else’s prejudices. For example the Mayan’s mathematical wonders architectures. The Kwakwa ka’wakw Pacific Northwest Coast people, totem poles monumental sculptures, the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literature thus we talk about what matters not what put us down.
Suzanne Rogers, Sherwood, AR. I was born with white privilege. I didn’t know true racism until I was married. I didn’t know that supposedly “good” people could be blatant racists. I learned my own white privilege wasn’t because my parents went to college and worked hard. It was simply because they were white. No one […]
Cynthia Lawrence, Carmichael, CA. Working together we can learn from each other and build a better community.
Andrew S. Philadelphia, PA. To say minorities had it easy in this country would be like saying the sky is green, both insanely false statements. Minorities suffered the most in this country unless you differentiate the Native Americans who never became citizens and were killed by the millions. Were the majority of those in power […]
DeAnna Calderon, Austin, TX. I grew up poor in the Southside of Chicago. We were extremely poor and even homeless at times. Sleeping outside in the middle of winter when I was a child. When I was 22 I joined the Army. The treatment I faced as a woman in the military felt like it […]
Jim Scherrer Northport, MI I grew up in Grosse Pointe Woods …. All Caucasian community born in 1950. Around 1960, give or take, I attended the Detroit Free Press sponsored golf school. When you completed the classes, you received a card that allowed one to play at any of Detroit’s city courses for 25 cents! […]
Newo Zoils, Minneapolis, MN. I understand that as a white male in America I have in many unconscious ways perpetuated racism. I and my family have also benefited from over hundreds of years of white privilege. This is a systemic problem in America that continues to be unresolved. I am a teacher and one can […]
Benjamin Christy, Laguna Niguel, CA. This is the title of John Lydon’s autobiography, which refers to his upbringing as an Irishman in London. He was reminded of how the Irish were despised and how there used to be signs in apartment buildings and hotels that expressed their displeasure with these three races. I used to […]
Cara, UT. I have been having debates with my husband for a long time. We have spoken about how there is trained racism and acknowledge white privilege to a point. There are still one points that do not make total sense to us but we are tired. We have best friends who are of other […]
Douglas Wayne Thomas, Kissamee, Fl. I am not apologizing for something I have no control over. Every major contribution to mankind was done by people of my race, Society owes White people a debt of gratitude not scorn.
Tiffany, Indianapolis, IN. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. But I grew up in the middle class suburbs. My schools were overwhelmingly white. Black was something you saw on the news, heard about from others or saw on Marta. I grew up in a neighborhood where ding dong ditch was called N-word Knocking. […]
Michael Boyle, Newtonville, MA. If you haven’t read it, read the essay by Peggy McIntosh: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Joseph Benjamin, San Antonio, TX. I’m a light skinned black man who grew up poor and black in the south, but because of my skin color I’ve always been treated differently from birth to the time when I realized the significance of it being white while black. I went with a dark skinned friend to […]
Anonymous, Knoxville, TN. I’m from the Mountain South, where white privilege and racism take on a range of meanings outside the mainstream. I’ve heard our regional identity described as a kind of “otherized whiteness,” and I think that’s about right. Whatever else we were, we always knew our whiteness was the wrong kind. That’s what […]
Barbara Kingsley, Palo Alto, CA.
Raymond Currie, San Francisco, CA. Thanks to the Race Card Project for the opportunity to say this. I often wonder, but could never say to my friends or family; it must be nice to be white? What is it like:… to be welcomed and treated with respect no matter what country one visits, to be given the […]
Lee, Queens, NY. I live in NYC. A melting pot no? I am one of the few people where I work who is white American. I have a lot of experience but there are people there that have more experience than me and are better then me. I make at a minimum $15 more per […]
Anonymous, USA. Once we’ve made the realization, or just simply acknowledged the obvious, what are we supposed to do now.
Kati, Nottingham, MD. I did not know what white privilege was before coming to the US. I definitely see how I have it easier here than people with different skin colors. But I will be honest. I have had a hard time being told all the time that I cannot understand hardship because of my […]
Marcy, Little Rock, AR. I want to be an ally but I’m scared to make hurtful mistakes. I want to learn how to speak up for others without speaking over others.
Laurence Almand, Reno, NV. As a White male who has worked and supported himself since the age of 18 I am sick and tired of hearing about “White Privilege”. When I worked for the SFPD in the 1980s the Black women were paid just as much as I was.
A. Odell Richardson, Pittsburgh, PA. America’s greatest export to the world…! Distinguishing people by the color of their skin with “white” at the top of the food chain…!
Susan Garvin, Carson City, NV. I was born a member of the majority race. I enjoy a life I did nothing to earn.
Linda Effinger Quinde, Chicago, IL.
Chinna, Vallejo, CA. I love my Caucasian brothers and sisters I just HATE the institutions in which racism is embedded in.
Briana Kidd, Tuscaloosa, AL. I am blessed and cursed by my White privilege. I want the veil to be lifted so that I can help lift the veil Du Bois so candidly exposes.
Blake Beach, Mission Viejo, CA.
Emily Carter, Needham, MA. I am un-mistakenly white. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, grew up in a neighbourhood full of other white people, and had teachers who were all white. I have an name that is unmistakably white and very easy to pronounce, yet in a classroom filled with children with difficult sounding, Chinese […]
Justin Banks, Mission Viejo, CA. I was born into an average middle class family that is dominantly white. I know that my father was born into a working class family where my grandfather worked a number of odd jobs but mostly was a handyman for most his life. My dad was the first in his […]
Jason Struhs Salt Lake City, UT All safety and comfort that I currently enjoy has been at the expense of those who have a different cultural heritage than I. I do not want to benefit from this, but it is impossible not to. Walking alone in a suburb late at night, an officer is more […]
Margee Herring, Wilmington, NC. Cheerleaders are predominantly white girls and boys. Why? Because their parents could afford gymnastics lessons. It’s just one of the many ways that white privilege is ordinary. I’m white but a black friend who was asked to integrate the university’s cheer squad was shocked when skills defaulted to an all white […]
Anonymous, Portland, OR. I use the Race Card project framework to update my racial autobiography occasionally, so it changes over time. Right now, I am struck by the urgency to unpack my White privilege and not waste time or energy on guilt. I didn’t make systemic racism but I know it exists to engineer some […]
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 […]
Danielle Blixt, Riverside, CA. Although my heritage is Lebanese, Costa Rican and German, to the outside world I look white. I recognize and accept that going into an interview I have an upper hand. I understand that when I walk into a restaurant no one is thinking I am up to not good or that […]
Steve Jones, Durham, NC. I grew up in a segregated community and the concept that African-Americans (of course, not the word that was used) were inferior. It took a long time to get out of that mindset and even longer to acknowledge the privilege that comes with my white skin. It’s a privilege to be […]
Remy, Surprise, AZ. Being white isn’t a luxury. Being white can be a burden. What I mean is. People automatically assume I am raciest based off of my skin color. By law, companies have to hire a certain amount of minorities, so by that fact alone, white people get overlooked because companies already have enough […]
Eric Moore, Anchorage, AK. “I get it” cuts three ways. First, I understand this is true. Second, I am in most ways the example of a person who is privileged and this has brought me opportunities, second chances and more. But Third can be an exasperated “I get it” because no matter the advantages I’ve […]
Kayla Bernier-Sontag, Brattleboro, VT. Smith College I’m a student at Smith College and my six word story is about my observations in social justice education–the intersectionalities of class and race make it hard to explain the importance of white privilege.
Jeanne Hover, South Royalton, VT. Having parented two African American children, I learned more than I wanted to about the privileges of skin color.
Barbara Young, Stockton, CA. I’ve realized my own white privilege for some time now. But being the white female half of an interracial marriage, I suddenly experience America in a new frightening way. My husband is a 6’4″ 300 lb black man. I have a plan worked out in my mind of how I can […]
Astrid afKlinteberg Gloucester, MA As a criminal defense attorney I am reminded constantly that I am privileged because I am white. I’ve represented many minority clients who where initially pulled over because the cop ran a ‘routine’ plate check on the cars they were driving, or in which they were passengers. There have been several […]
Jennifer Achilles New York CIty, NY Manhattan I wish people understood the power of institutionalized racism and sexism in our society — it’s not about one person or one news network feeling a certain way; we are all affected.
Stephen Wollentin Asheville, NC In the words of French philosopher Voltaire, ”with great power comes great responsibility.” I believe it is my responsibility, as one with power, to listen to and validate the experiences of those for whom discrimination is a daily reality and to exercise my privilege in support of equality and appreciation for […]
Keith Stewart Stone Mountain, GA
Derrick Duemler Grand Rapids, MI I have had people tell me that I have it easy because I am white and even that I can land a job easier because so. What is not realized is that I struggle as much as the next person with balancing life. My color puts me nowhere ahead of […]
Katie Goldstein New York City, NY Brooklyn White privilege is extremely present for me in my life and it is important to be featured in this project.
Chris New York City, NY Queens Some people have it easier than others. They need to stand up for those who have it harder.
Nick Casey Saratoga Springs, NY I grew up in upstate NY. I was raised by my grandparents who have passed. My Mother was in the Air Force and married a man names Matthew. Mack (as he likes to be called.) has treated always treated me like his son and I love him very much. I […]
Jason Ledbetter Livingston, TN I am tired of race baiters using terms like “white privilege” to divide us. We should be working to come together, not separate ourselves by the color of our skin.
Patrick O’Laughlin Falls Church, VA ‘White’ by privilege, but not by culture.
Janet Eckles Des Moines, IA
Heather Barr, Burien, WA.
Nadine ZeBelle Orlando, FL I feel guilt for things I have never done, that my child will never do or say. Even as our generations move together I see people looking at me with anger, saying I have “privilege”. Believe me, my life is anything but.
Shannon Rose Eugene, OR Explore Identity People have so much baggage about privilege. So often people act as though it’s the end of a conversation. That somehow acknowledging the privilege that comes with just being seen as white means that you didn’t work hard for what you have, or that you don’t deserve it. I […]
Martin Smith Mobile, AL We are told that the wealth and functionality of Whites and the poverty and dysfunction of non-Whites comes from “White privilege.” Yet it doesn’t work for Asians, who as a group are as wealthy as Whites. How did they overcome racism like that, and why did the Blacks not? The Jews […]
Eileen Kugler Springfield, VA Those of us who benefit from white privilege and from middle-class privilege need to constantly be aware of how our lives are different from a person of color. Walking with my son on a cold rainy day in early April, I watched him nonchalantly pull his hood up as we walked […]
Bjorn Leslie Harlson Seattle, WA For the longest time I was not fully aware of my own privilege. I would be one of those crying “reverse racism” at things like affirmative action, or any other sort of law that identifies people by their race in anyway. After taking some classes in the matter and talking […]
Anonymous Erie, PA At one point I worked three jobs just to make ends meet and pay student loan bills. I’m tired of people saying it’s easy to be white.
Elizabeth Alford Oakland, CA White privilege goes wholly unnoticed and unacknowledged by a lot of white folks. Talking about it often makes people defensive. I recognize my white privilege every time I come up to a street corner with a person of color already waiting to cross, and cars stop for my white skin and […]
Melissa Hansen Dallas, TX
Richard A. Stevens, Jr. Herndon, VA My privilege as a White male requires that I acknowledge this fact and work to reduce oppression within my sphere of influence.
Andrea Sigetich, Bend, OR. I know much about privilege, having done diversity work in major high technology corporations. The important word in my essay is “occasionally.” I give back, I do my share, I work for the betterment of life’s circumstances for those less privileged than me. However, I can go home to my nice […]
L Williams San Antonio, TX Everyone makes their own way; no one is entitled to anything but the Works of their own hands.
Kathryn Sanders Summerville, SC I am white Southern woman . I will never forget overhearing a group of white co-workers harshly criticize a black co-worker’s slip into African American vernacular at an on-the-job baby-shower while handing out gifts. I have some Appalachian forbears and am an English major and I take great pleasure in using […]
Jennie Clement Riverview, FL Thank you for doing this project. I noticed how my university applications changed in the wake of 9/11; how there was all of a sudden a magical radio button for being Arab. I had previously been invisible; moderately enjoying white privilege until 9/11. I was no longer “white”; which was a […]
Journey Submitted via Twitter: @PupsherLive
David Painter Winter Springs, FL I had a black southern Mammy in 1963 (who I adored), graduated from private, elite, lily-white high school in 1981, and welcomed my first niece, who’s mother is black, into the world in 1991. I have benefited from white privilege throughout my life, but most frequently black people bestowed the […]
Charles Z Carroll Oakland, CA
Becky Christensen Ann Arbor, MI Despite growing up in a somewhat racially diverse area in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had never thought about the privileges I had based on being White until I read Peggy McIntosh’s “White: Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” in graduate school. Since then, I’ve been actively exploring and acknowledging […]
Alec Malstrom Ann Arbor, MI I chose these words based on an interaction I had with a close friend who believed social justice work isn’t necessary anymore because racism doesn’t exist in our society. I was so taken aback that I didn’t even know how to respond to him. As I come to think about […]
Jessica Kornstein Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan After talking about diversity and race in our class, I have felt nothing but guilt when hearing about the inequalities and unfortunate circumstances of people of color or different races. I have become well aware that being white means being privileged. I feel guilty […]
Sara Davis Philadelphia, PA I was one of a handful of white kids in a mostly black public school, where I felt different. When I went to a mostly white college, I still felt different. I also felt that I understood race and racism. I was wrong, because I didn’t know or think about white […]
Mary Ann Denning Corning, NY I grew up in a 100% white small city in Western NY. Although sheltered from race issues, from a young age I was aware that I was very fortunate to have been born white. Nearby Buffalo had it’s race difficulties and I was able to have an easier life by […]
Tracy Lanigan West Seneca, NY
Shawn Jackson Ann Arbor, MI Understanding race Project- University of Michigan Too many confuse class struggle with racial privilege and it causes them to deny and/or actively oppose the idea that they have any privilege at all. Just because some minorities can excel or some white people are poor in our capitalistic society doesn’t mean […]
Matt Spencer West Hollywood, CA I am well-aware of the privilege that I enjoy growing up white in America. Very rarely does my race cross my mind. My Caucasian race is not how people define or understand me. Men don’t cross the street when I approach them and women don’t clutch their purses. Nobody asks […]
Deb O, Shoreline, WA. I’m white. Finally I understand the concepts of privilege and immunity. It took me a while. I hope to prove myself an ally; I can no longer tolerate what I see and hear that hurts my family, friends and colleagues.
Jeremiah Harding Yucca Valley, CA As a straight white male, I am automatically viewed as the boogeyman in cultural issues. People who haven’t even stopped to talk to me will assume things about me. Things like “likely rapist,” “oppressive force,” “obviously he’s got it great… white ‘privilege’.”‘ All stemmed from the fact that white people […]
Scott Dillon Submitted via Twitter: @Scoddee @totn @michele_norris #TheRaceCardProject
Kristina K. Albuquerque, NM Perhaps it takes a directly personal experience to be willing to see white privilege. We are a mixed-race family. My husband and I are white and watching our adopted Chinese daughter understand what it means (to her; to the world around her) to be different–not white/euro/caucasian like her parents, like most […]
Laura Rogers Seattle, WA I know I have privilege in our country, as an upper-middle-class white woman. I don’t need to be told this again and again. Please don’t hold it against me. I’m an ally, if you would just get to know me.
Dina Stonberg Philadelphia, PA I have had the privilege to not have to think about race most of my life. Fell in love with a wonderful, kind, caring African American man – formed our family through adoption and now have the privilege of raising a beautiful, smart African American daughter. She is a joy every […]
Janet Newcity Chapel Hill, NC My son is the same age as Trayvon. I never am afraid that anyone will see him as a threat. This is what white privilege feels like.