Tennerican Asian passes on only Asian

Rosita Gonzalez, Madison, WI. I am not who I seem. Roads converged to make me a person of three races, of which only one sticks. My children only identify with the one that sticks. But I cannot tell them much about that race that defines them. I blog about it to examine and heal both […]

You’re the doctor?! Not a nurse?!!

Nima Scott, Madison, WI. I’m a Black, dreadlocked woman who works in a psychiatric facility. My first week on my unit a Black patient incredulously yelled that he had NEVER seen a Black doctor in the hospital in all of the years that he lived there. Apparently, neither had my peers whose sole framework for […]


Amendment becomes law Crenchaw ascends Denali

James Edward Mills, Madison, WI. On this date 51 years ago the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (enacted July 2, 1964) was signed into law. In a White House ceremony in the presence of Martin Luther King Jr and other dignitaries President Lyndon Johnson administered the passage of legislation that ended legal discrimination in the […]


I’m white and pay the price

Jim Zeirke, Sussex, WI. I’ve faced more overt racism than most blacks. While much of black racism is discreet, I’ve been told to my face that I’m not getting opportunities because I’m white. In the mid-1970’s I applied for a job and when went to the job interview a guy came out and told all […]

Tired of feeling white guilt

Ben Capaul, WI. My ancestors were Swiss immigrants to Wisconsin in the 1920’s. I’m as white as you can get. My 80 year old grandparents love my black girlfriend. But I get dirty looks and hushed whispers at her all black family gatherings. I always worry that black people will somehow see me as a […]

red is the new black

Red is NOT ‘the new black’

Joni Graves, Spring Green, WI. I made this mash-up design for a t-shirt after an unfortunate coincidence in my email inbox. Prior to today’s announcement by the DA in the shooting of Tony Robinson, and two minutes after the UW-Madison Chancellor’s email “Campus resources for the Tony Robinson decision”, I received a “Badger Voice” newsletter […]

What does an American Look Like

Carlos, Beloit, WI. What does an American Look Like? The real question is, “what was the intentional look of an American.” America is a history of exclusion and Labor needs. Immigration laws were molded in exclusion, but the need of minority work has changed what an Americans looks like. For they were part of responsibility […]

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Misreading slavery due to modern morals.

Rikki Clark, Milwaukee, WI. I teach African-American literature and folklore at the university level. Often white students will say in class how they would have never owned slaves. But there is a fundamental problem when we view history through a twenty-first-century lens. Our modern morals and values are out of context. I would hope, if […]


Lincoln Hills Harlem Renaissance Resort Restored

James Edward Mills. Madison, WI. Often the guidance we need to create a brighter future can be seen through the fading images of the not-so-distant past. And by coming to a better understanding of where we have been we can set a path toward where we most want to go. Less than an hour’s drive […]


We’re black We love the outdoors

James Edward Mills, Madison, WI. On June 24,2013 Adina Scott made a satellite phone dispatch from 17,200 feet on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park. As part of the climbing team Expedition Denali, she and the 18 others had already spent a total of 16 days on the mountain and nearly a week camped at […]


I have no culture I’m white

Erin Miller, New Berlin, WI. No one has ever asked what country I’m from. It’s assumed I belong in the United States. Although I have various European countries in my background, Germany, Sweden, Norway, I have never had to be aware of them anymore than I have had to be aware of the air I […]

Willing to LISTEN, not only hear.

Rochelle Fritsch WI The country’s history and current tension around race and ethnicity create a pull in which some of us need to talk about it, while others of us are so afraid, ashamed and uncomfortable that we only HEAR the concerns of others rather than listening, reflecting and perhaps even learning from them. Some […]


“What are you? Let me guess.”

Reem Totonchi, Madison, WI. The guesses are almost never correct, unless they come from a fellow Middle-Easterner. “Where are you from?” they ask, eyes smiling and already knowing. “I’m half-Iraqi and half-Irish,” I say with a smile back. I never mind the question when it’s like this; less accusatory and exotifying than usual. In a […]

I can’t be a police anymore

Anonymous, Madison, WI. I’m from Madison, WI, where Tony Robinson was killed by police. I’ve been studying at UW Madison in the Legal Study field and I planned to join MPD after college. This was before the big spike in Black Lives Matter protests. Everyday this weekend I see calls to counter the police, and […]


We all have a cross to bear.

Anonymous, Milwaukee, WI. After writing/blogging about race for over 15 years at there is only 1 thing I’ve learned. We all want and fear the same things, hurt to us and those we love and also failure.

I look white; perception is reality.

Mary Halling, Milwaukee, WI. Moving from New York to Ohio to Milwaukee in my 25 years on this Earth, I’ve encountered race in so many different ways. From celebrating and learning about all the different ethnicities in my classroom in elementary school, being bullied for being white in my urban middle school, to being incorrectly […]


I (don’t) fit. Don’t look closely.

Emery Boyle-Scott, Milwaukee, WI. I want to belong in a group, and it’s nice to belong until someone looks closely. My whiteness is always sidelined when people learn about my lesbian moms. Don’t look closely and I have all the privilege. But, then it disappears and I’m not allowed, I’m questioned on everything. There’s no […]


Cautious eye-holding while saying hello.

Mark Loup, Williams Bay, IL. This is one of the reasons I’m glad I left Chicago, one of the most segregated big cities in America. The tension just seems to overwhelm intentions. I live near the resort city of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, and while I’m sure there’s plenty of racism here, there’s less tension. […]

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t white.

Darcia Schweitzer, Columbus, WI. When I feel guilt related to the white privilege I experience, I sometimes wonder if the only way to truly eliminate that guilt would be to have a different racial identity other than white.


Crenchaw climbs Denali realizes King’s dream

James Edward Mills, Madison, WI. Fifty years ago this summer in 1964 Charles Madison Crenchaw became the first African-American to climb to the summit of Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. Also known as Denali this peak represents the highest physical point that anyone can achieve in this country. And as metaphor of […]

Nice small town has race issues.

Sara Przybylski Stevens Point, WI People think this is a great place to live, work, and raise kids… and it is. Just under the surface, though, there’s a little more going on. I grew up here. I saw my first African American person at the grocery store at the age of four-ish and loudly complimented […]

I’m afraid of most black men.

Maureen C. Kenosha, WI I work in a library with a lot of African American patrons, and I tense up when black men come in, especially if there is a group of them together. I saw my father work harmoniously with his African American colleagues, have had many black friends, and still feel anxious when […]

Why is Obama black, not white?

Ed Morganroth, Jr. Plover, WI I have wondered since Mr. Obama broke onto the national scene why both he and the media have always characterized him racially as black and not as biracial or white. Why did he decide to pick one race – he is indisputably half black and half white? I would think […]

Working hard as a white woman

Lindsey Halsey River Falls, WI Sometimes I feel that racism is taken to such extremes that we forget how much everyone struggles and is judged through life. I’m a young, white, middle-class college student who struggles with school, an income, and creating a future. We all struggle throughout life, racism isn’t completely to blame.

Well, you weren’t a slave so…

Brendon Milwaukee, WI I’ve heard this used in conversations and discussions around race and it is embarrassing. It completely discounts the persons position as if to say “you’re free now or I never owned a slave, why are you complaining?”.

I saw the hate, it hurt

Christine Marriott River Falls, WI I lived in the south, born in 1956. I saw awful things as a little white girl from a racist dysfunctional family. They taught me how not to be. Maybe it was because they treated me like they treated black people. My school was segregated early. I got in so […]

Less about me, more about race.

Kristen Milwaukee, WI As a white, middle-class lesbian, I often focus conversations regarding diversity around how I am a part of the subordinate identity. I talk about the struggles that I have had and how I have worked to be proud of my identity. But, because of that, race is largely missing from my discussions […]

Do I get to throw pineapples?

Gina Collignon Madison, WI This came to me in exasperation after the last person called me “exotic.” “What,” I thought, “like a pineapple?” I’m mixed white and Filipina from San Francisco, living in the midwest. I never had to think much about race growing up–in my family and group of friends I was considered white […]

My ancestor might have owned yours.

Kathy Miner Madison, WI My father’s mother’s family proudly claims an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. At some point, as an adult, I realized that since he was from Virginia, he must have owned slaves. I have since confirmed that fact. I try not to let it interfere in my friendships with black […]

He Called Her: Saddle Tan Female

Lenore J. Domers Appleton, WI I read this “name” in a book entitled Colonel Carter’s Christmas, by F. Hopkinson Smith, published in 1903. It is disturbing to me for the lack of respect for the dignity of a human person.

Mixed Family all about love, always

Jeffery Sweet Kenosha, WI I am white and my wife is black. We have a son who is the most beautiful person in this world. I hope he grows up to understand that race isn’t an issue, just a fact of life and a reason to try harder to show people that look, I am […]

They didn’t call my great-grandparents white.

Eitan Greenholtz Madison, WI I am an Ashkenazi Jew; my great-grandparents came to the US from the Russian Empire, where they, as Jews, were not considered white, even though their skin was the same color as the tsar’s. I have inherited their skin color and their ethnicity (if not their religion)

When Color Becomes Excuse for Character

Scott Gomer Madison, WI No matter which color our skin, certain perceptions seep into our common consciousness. Why do some people live up (or down) to their stereotypes? How can we all celebrate our differences in positive ways?

Everyone’s too afraid to discuss race

John Swissler Jr. Madison, WI It is usually said that the two topics you never raise in polite conversation are religion and politics. But my experience is that most people can have a far more useful conversation about either of those than they can about issues surrounding race. Gunnar Myrdal is still right: it remains […]

Why try, if won’t go far?

Liliana Loera Madison, WI Being an undocumented Latina for about 17 years many “friends”, teachers and other people have told me why and I even trying hard if no colleges would accept me because I’m not from here or even get a job. But now I’m a senior; going to graduate this Friday and this […]

“Bias Incident Report” training — sadly, welcome

Carol Pope Madison, WI The UW-Madison has set up a way for students, staff and community members who see, hear, witness or are victims of bias to report the experience to UW Administration, so it can collect and investigate these occurrences. It is a good step, it will gather useful information and hopefully be a […]

Black, not White, not Biracial!

Pamela Marshall Milwaukee, WI Life long experiences in dealing with racial ignorance is taking its toll. Being light enough that whites assume you are one of them has allowed me to hear racist comments that would have not been spoken, had they known they were in the presence of a black woman. Then my struggle […]

Why do I cross the street?

Genevieve Foskett Deerfield, WI Liberal, well-educated 48 year old female, deeply embarrassed by knee-jerk reaction to walking along a street alone and seeing a group of African-American or Hispanic people.

Black out side. Mixed in Side.

Eddy Bowen Madison, WI I chose these words because It’s my cultural anthropology. most people when they “see” me they just see a normal black guy but little do they know I’m Puerto Rican and Native American. I don’t think its right to judge me based off of how I look on the outside that’s […]

White mom, colorful kids, heart ripped.

Tanya Haney Middleton, WI I am a white mother and school employee; my kids are white, Asian and I have been a foster parent to an African-American child. I have been struggling and driven to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of institutional racism, but I struggle daily. People look […]

Will there be seven more generations?

Dawn Walschinski Green Bay, WI I am a citizen of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. As part of the Iroquois Confederacy, one of our philosophies is to plan seven generations ahead. Right now we are facing a potential enrollment crisis where we won’t have Oneidas with at least 1/4 blood quantum to qualify […]

Determined by our genetics or ourselves?

Jane Hortelano Pewaukee, WI This is a question that first occurred to me years ago when I met a friend’s future husband and sister-in-law. The children of a white mother and African-American father, it seemed to me that these sibling differed in their self-perception: I believe that he saw himself as mixed race, while she […]