The Minority: To Represent or Not?

Rehenuma Meadville, PA As an Asian American Muslim women, I have been asked many times to represent my “people.” As I have gotten older, I no longer feel eager to do so. I am now more sensitive to who benefits from this type of representation and the effect it has on my own psyche. Sometimes, […]

I’m biracial & multi-ethnic: I’m Human.

Nichole Pettit, Lake Como, NJ. Monmouth University I’m biracial. I’m not just African American, I’m also American, German, English and Irish! Many say “You’re black,” sure but I’m not just that. Do not reduce my race and ethnic background to a single word. I do not belong to a single group, I belong to many. […]

Who cares what white Americans think?

Tamara Oneida, KY I don’t think that white Americans should have to apologize for being in the majority in this particular country, nor should they feel bad for having their own unique culture. I think people should just live their lives and quit worrying about whether the majority approves.

Not African. Not American. Not Haitian.

Ahpaly Coradin, Pembroke Pines, FL. It is easy to forget that discrimination, ostracism and prejudice are not the exclusive currency of the white race. As much as I have been discriminated against by whites in America and abroad, I have suffered similarly from my own kind, in all my lands of origin.

Jubanamerican (Six syllables not six words)

Deborah Gonzalez Carmichael, CA My daughter identifies herself as a Jew + Cuban + American. Being a Jew is more than a religion; it is an ethnicity, and per Hitler, a race. And for some reason “Cuban” has its own box to check on the U.S. Census; not Latin American, Caribbean, Hispanic etc. I’m not […]

Non white American? Call me Cuban!

Heather Thompson, San Francisco, CA. While travelling to Mexico for one week, 5 separate people asked me if I was Cuban, 1 asked me if I was Portuguese (including one American!). I speak beginner-intermediate level spanish, but am Biracial (black, white, and a smidge of Native American). My white friend travelling with me was not […]

Irish, Alsatian-French, Trinidadian East-Indian

Peter M. Crowley, Martinez, USA. The son of a disabled, white American Anthropologist from Peoria, IL and a dark skinned Trinidadian East Indian Headmistress, I learned at an early age about race, ethnicity, and identity. It has always fascinated me that given the United States own identity as a melting pot, that so many Americans […]

I’m Proud To Be Irish/Italian American

Sean, CT. I’m not proud to be white, because there’s so many different kinds of white and I’m not proud of my skin color, I’m proud of my culture. Sunday dinners. Seafood. Irish bread. That’s what I identify with, not the color of my skin. And to call me racist for that is complete shi*.

“No offense, but you’re so pretty!”

K.E. Broadnax, Cleveland, OH. This was said to me while attending college. I am black, and went to a predominantly white, upper-class university (as many are, to be fair). His statement was prefaced by the question, “What nationality are you?” If I was me now, back then, I would’ve replied “American.” But I knew what […]

Race should not matter in America.

Jordan Hockett, Round Rock, TX. We are all Americans. Its the bottom line, and true. You cant judge someone by their skin color if their born or a citizen in our great country. That’s the diversity that keeps us, The Free People, separated from each other. We shouldn’t use race as tool to differentiate us […]

Government, media, businesses all perpetuate race.

Manu Jeffers, Atlanta, GA. AMERICA could effectively end racism easily but its a revenue based immorality. Basically when a group or person loses it becomes another person or groups gain. Marketing, sales, city developers all use those statistics and data samples to determine who and where these people are.

I am not WHITE…

Ryan Lewandowski, Tustin, CA. I may look white, but I am 1/4 Lebanese (Middle Eastern) and 3/4th European (Irish, Polish, and Finnish)… So I don’t eat traditional American foods and I don’t feel entitled because I look white… I am a third generation immigrant! CBU-HIS311

White minority does exist in America

Gregory, Philadelpha, PA. As a Polish immigrant in America I have been faced with many challenges, but one that has always seemed most challenging and bizarre was issue of being white and being treated by others as a minority. As long as people didn’t hear my accent I would fit in, but once my identity […]

Where are you from? No, really.

Sunil Yapa, New York, NY. I’m biracial and grew up in rural Pennsylvania. The question where are you from has always hounded and haunted me. I’m from the US. I’m from Sri Lanka. The only two places in the world where they are certain I don’t belong.

White colleagues discuss racism without us.

Michelle, Rochester, NY. My liberal white colleagues have long conversations about the problems with racism in American. They have interesting ideas about solutions to the problem, but they rarely listen to the brown people in the room. Is this a white savior problem?

No, sorry I don’t speak Spanish

Maria (Victoria) Lopez, Moreno Valley, CA. I am a student at Cal Baptist University and am in the class History of Minorities. My professor had us look into this web site for an assignment but to talk about our own race card. My race topic is, “No, sorry I don’t speak Spanish” This has been […]

I think of you as American

Lulu Rice, Tucson, AZ. My sister-in-law and I were having a discussion about the word “Hispanic”. I told her I didn’t like the term because it’s too vague. I’m proud of my Mexican heritage. She said “I think of you as American”. I found I like that. I especially like the idea that I have […]

White, Black, Brown! Just an American

James Edward White, Indianapolis, IN. You look at me and you see a white man with blue eye. But on my mom’s side my great granddad was born a slave in Tennessee (mom house slave, dad was the master) left at 14 and ended up in north Dakota, Married a Blackfoot Indiana woman. I am […]

Im just white on the outside.

George Nalbandian, San Francisco, CA. I look like a typical white boy, but my culture and family traditions are nothing like that of a white male/ or an American. My ethnicity is Armenian, and my skin tone is pale, but there are a lot of darker skinned Armenians too. A lot of us look Middle […]

Hispanic or Latino? I feel American

Hector Vargas, Grand Rapids, MI. I grew up on the east coast. The high school I attended was primarily populated by minorities. My mother is Mexican and my biological father is Brazilian. My mother remarried and i was raised with Mexican customs. On the East cost I was considered Latino, in the mid west I […]

Not Latino enough, Not American enough

Maria Lopez, Baltimore, MD. I remember one time I was really sick and was rushed to the ER, while registering the nurse told me “you have very good English,” which I responded as “probably because I was born here.” I may have been 13 or 14. In high school, one of the lunch ladies who […]

I’m Black, not African American

Trish, Houston, TX. I’m Black. I’m American. Black is my race. American is my nationality. One has nothing to do with the other. How can all Black people be African American? It’s impossible for a Black person who was born in the UK, to be an African American. Black Americans are not “special” kind of […]

“No, where are you REALLY from?”

Sabreena M., MA. My parents are from China. I was born here. The fact that I look like a Chinese person shouldn’t override the fact that I’m American. I always get this question (from strangers who just come up to me) whenever I tell them that I was born here.

Get out of my country!

John Wong, San Francisco, CA. I’m an American Born Chinese and am in my early 20’s, while riding the train, this was said to me by a Hispanic gentleman. He said it to me in broken English, which took me aback. I questioned his audacity for saying this to me & proceeded to go into […]

Ethnically Chinese. As American as you.

Lily Yan, Scottsdale, AZ. Last year, my Australian cousin told me that despite the fact that Sydney has a significant Asian population, she still encounters the ignorance of those who assume she is not truly an Aussie. I could relate, as I still encounter many who ask where I am from and are not satisfied […]

Too hard for US to handle

Todd Schoepflin Buffalo, NY Racial inequality, racism, race relations…it’s all so hard for Americans (us, the U.S.) to handle. Some try, some try harder than others, some work so hard against racism and do the vital work of raising awareness and making change. But it feels like an overwhelming challenge sometimes, and I am saddened […]

First generation American, no root anywhere

Crissie Acosta Miami, FL Born of Cuban immigrants there is a sense of loss of my heritage, culture and traditions. My parents came to this country when they were children themselves carrying little to nothing but the clothes on their backs and even less of their culture and traditions. They were raised in an era […]

As American as rice and beans

Jorge Valladares Orlando, FL My parents came to this country as undocumented immigrants from Honduras, Central America. Their three children provide public service of some kind – I work with students with disabilities at a public college; my sister is a high school Spanish teacher and my brother is a former post-9/11 US Marine and […]

“You Speak English So Well!” -People

Anonymous, USA. The worst thing about people on the street commenting on how good my English is, is that the only language I’m really good at is English, and I can’t speak my own language. Whenever I try, I just fail, and life seems so pointless. It’s so much easier to speak English: the default. […]

Being biracial and adopted is complicated

Lauren Juanita Hines, Alexandria, VA. I am the American melting pot personified: born to a Mexican father and Caucasian (white, mostly Irish) mother, raised by a Lebanese mother and a German-Irish father. I remember weddings as a child where we all danced the Middle Easter dabke. Cousins on the other side of the family won […]

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 […]

I am Mexican, I am American

Ricky Quezada, Sanger, CA. I don’t really embrace beng Mexican. I don’t speak Spanish. English is my only Language, but my father was born in Mexico so I know I am Mexican, but he was raised in America so Mexican traditions aren’t really pushed upon me and my family. We are more American than anything, […]

I’m just American, not African American.

Lottie MSF, St. Louis, MO. Born in LA, raised in Compton, became an adult in Bay Area, relocated to MO. Loved by entrepreneur/homemaker grandparents. Raised by entrepreneur, GED, get the job done, courageous, make it happen parents with 50+ years of marriage. I’m a well balanced contributing, career woman, parent, wife, aunt & daughter. My […]

Tired of being guilty for being white

Brian Wackerly, Andover, KS. Black, white, blue, green, or yellow. It’s 2015 folks- why can’t we just all be Americans? The LEFT wants to label everyone as African American- why am I not labeled as Scottish American or Irish American or Czech American? Exactly. The people who demand to be called African American are no […]

I am American, not just Brown

Francisco Lemus, Sanger, CA. These six words signify that I am more than just brown. People tend to categorize others based on how they look, and using that to clump them in a certain group with preconceptions about their ways of life. I have had moments where I was not seen as American because of […]

One drop rule says I’m black.

Gerald D. Franks, Town Creek, AL. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at me. I’m the typical American mixture of various European ethnicities (aka white), and I have Cherokee lineages as well (documented, not just family lore). While doing some genealogical work I decided to have my genome fully sequenced in case there were […]

Mexican. Culture. Identify. American. Human.

Lorna Seidel-Owen, Outside USA. My mother is from Mexico. She married my father in 1959 and came to live in the United States. The plan was for my dad to eventually work and live in Mexico. She never planned on staying here for the rest of her life. Although she never planned on staying here, […]

I’m American – where’s my checkbox?

Blair White Haddad, Los Angeles, CA. Being the child of an adopted mother, for a long time I only knew half of my genetic make up. After being reunited with my bio grandmother we discovered our Native American/ French background. My whole life I’ve been asked the question- what are you? Instead of identifying myself […]

What are you? The ubiquitous question.

Laura Mariko Cheifetz Atlanta, GA I call myself hapa yonsei. I’m biracial white Jewish and Japanese American, fourth generation on both sides. However, there are two assumptions that I run into all the time. First, “what are you?” People want to know my ethnic background (not racial… that doesn’t satisfy their intrusive curiosity), but they […]

You’re not American, are you?

Salah M. Abed, Moses Lake, WA. I grew up in small towns in the Pacific Northwest; I quickly got used to being the only Arab-American. Every day somebody would ask me, “Where are you from” or “What are you?” This variant came from one of the first people I met when I moved to the […]

I am neither Mexican nor American.

Lucie C., San Antonio, TX. I was born in Texas just this side of the river. I’ve lived in Texas all my life although I’ve traveled a lot. One day while traveling through the Texas Hill Country, a gentleman, perhaps Pakistani perhaps Indian (I know NOT to call person either because I might be off […]

You just assume that I’m American.

Sophie Kershaw, Knoxville, TN. I was born in England, lived in Denmark for a few years, and my family settled in the US. I speak American to Americans and British to my family. Most people assume I’m American, and people often make me uncomfortable by talking about “people from over there” and debating immigration reform […]

“You’re Brazilian? You don’t look it!”

Daphne de Souza Lima Sorensen, Oneonta, NY. I’m a white woman with a perfect American accent. I have a university degree, a husband and a 3 year old daughter. By all accounts, I am a “typical” middle-class woman. Except that I am not American and even though I have lived in the USA on and […]

“Excuse Me But What Are You?”

Sara Dawit, Lake Mary, FL. I am bombarded with questions on my racial and ethnic ambiguity almost everyday of my life. Thankfully, I’m able to simplify my ethnicity to East African and Turkish so I’m not stuck repeatedly listing all those East African countries (unless I’m asked to of course, but that, in my experience, […]

You’re not from here, are you?

Rachel Butler, Japan. I’m from Virginia, from a primarily white town. I went to a pretty white high school, but had a mixed group of friends all the same. I went to the University of Nebraska, which isn’t known for any great ethnic diversity, but it was welcoming to all. I was a collegiate track […]

I am a proud Asian American

Jake, USA. Empowerment and civil rights for African Americans has not always translated into equality for those with Asian backgrounds. We may be viewed as model minorities but often we face discrimination and racism, especially from the African American community. One would think given the civil right movement, they would have understood what it meant […]

You have a black girl’s hair

Lauren, Fairpoint, NY. I was required to do this for a MSW course on ethnic diversity. As a white, Italian-American woman, it was very difficult for me to think of an example of a racial micro-aggression that I have experienced. I have coarse, curly black hair. The statement was meant to be an insult.

I am German, not a Nazi

Peter Alison, Richmond, VA. I come from an Austrian mother and an American father, so when people ask me about my ethnic background I tell them I’m half-Austrian. Throughout middle and high-school this elicited responses asking me if I hated Jewish people, or if I praised Hitler. It was annoying at first, but later it […]

America is not for black people!

Taylor Valdosta, GA Systematic racism exits and is targeted towards blacks. It’s in the government and in schools, Its always and will always continue to be that way in this country. American is not for blacks! Whites don’t want us here but we are here and we have put more work into building the country […]

I’ll Call Myself Whatever I Want

Samantha Lauren New York, NY Hate when people have the audacity to say to ANYONE that they ought to “just call themselves American” instead of Afro-American, Asian-American, Polish-American, or whatever. I am an American and as an American it’s my RIGHT to identify however I choose; I am an American of African descent, therefore I’m […]

I’m Mexican-American, heritage comes first

Bessie King Boston, MA I don’t think I have been offended by being asked “Where are you from?” before. I was raised to know that I am a Mexican with an American passport in a country where everyone is from somewhere. Until the USA truly embraces diversity and it’s own history, there will be no […]

I AM A BROWN SKIN AMERICAN

Annie Chicago, IL I AM NOT AFRICAN, NEVER BEEN THERE AND DON’ CARE TO GO. I WAS BORN ON AMERICA SOIL. DON’T CALL/LABEL ME ONETHING SO ONE RACE CAN FEEL SUPERIOR OR LESS DOMINANT. I HAVE YET TO SEE A BLACK PERSON OR A WHITE PERSON. WHERE ARE THEY?

Does Race Matter???

Mari Bailey Temecula, CA I am Japanese. I married to American man. However, when I tell people that Im married, people ask if Im married to Japanese guy. I answer, ‘no Im married to American guy.” well….that is not enough for some people. Those people have to know which Ethnicity he is, DOES IT MATTER? […]

Not Mexican enough, Not white enough

Tricia Redlands, CA I am a Mexican American that grew up in a home that did not speak Spanish. Both my mother and father were Mexican Americans born in California and their parents didn’t speak Spanish in the home as well. One time I asked my grandfather why he didn’t teach his children Spanish. His […]

Don’t tell me what I am.

Nicole “Nico” Cisneros USA I know what I am! I’m Cuban-Filipino-American; first-generation Filipino on my mom’s side and second-generation Cuban on my dad’s side. I love celebrating my heritage, but what really puts a pause in my delight– and what sometimes feels like a gut-check– is when others respond with something like, “…but you’re not […]

Race: a conceit. Racism: a scourge.

Stella Katz New York City, NY I’m Hungarian/American, raised working-class in New York City. I believe that race is a conceit (created to justify the exploitation of one group by another) and racism is the practice of that conceit, robbing us of our shared humanity by creating a hierarchy of false distinctions.

I am not white; I’m American

Brandon Peplau Grand Rapids, MI I am not white; I am American! I have Chippewa, Syrian, German, and Austrian blood in my veins. The only members of my family living in America during slavery were natives here. If you have a problem with white people, leave me out of it.

Looking Muslim is NOT a crime…

Talha Baqar San Francisco, CA Being a Pakistani-American, you feel neither here nor there. Here you are a terrorist hell bent on destroying the country, and there you are some American traitor that is basically destined for hell.

I’m not Japanese-American. I’m just Japanese.

Katie Hana Kuyama Northridge, CA I’ve always thought it weird to add “American” to my identity when my ethnicity is indeed Japanese. I’m a second generation Japanese living in America, but people always emphasize that because I live in America, I MUST add “American” to my identity. Not necessarily. In paperwork or community involvement, I […]

Anti racist just means anti white.

Reich Krieger Germany Americans: “There are indigenous people that were here first.” Asians: “There are indigenous people that were here first.” Africa: “There are indigenous people that were here first.” Europe: “Race is a social construct, everyone is the same.” Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white.

White doesn’t define me, I’m American

RaSean Tisinger, Waleska, GA It always bothers me that we refer to ourselves as African American, Jewish American, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, European, ect. We are AMERICANS. We all share a common space built on equality, freedom, and respect. No one should be seen as black, white, yellow, purple or blue. We are all humans, no […]

Lonely white ex-pat sees: Another AMERICAN!!!

E. L. Walsh Martinez, CA I never had a black social friend till I lived in Asia. I was so glad to see her walking down my street! As a white female of vaguely Southern background, I often feel more comfortable with some black women than with some fellow white Californians. Class (as a system […]

American Polish Filipina living in Spain

Ali Berlinski Spain “Being a biracial kid can be hard, especially when you have a white name and face that screams I give pedicures.” – a beautiful mess. Typically, I use humor to talk about my very eclectic upbringing. My family could very well be the United Nations. Navigating through so many cultures can get […]

“What are YOU doing here?”

Glenn Dixon Ft. Worth, TX Those were the words that opened my eyes to the state of racism in America. At the time, I was sitting in the back seat of a police car next to another guy, both of us in handcuffs. The question came from a Fort Worth police officer who was curious, […]

White americans assume their cultural exceptionalism.

Rob Walbridge Ivory Coast I am a white American who has lived overseas (in Africa) for 40 years. Married to an African woman for 35 years. This assumption of cultural exceptionalism has caused conflict not only between white and black America, but increasingly between America and the rest of the world, most of which is […]

Zimmerman verdict made me “the other.”

Christina Wong Seattle, WA I’m a second generation Asian American woman who married into a Caucasian family. I have always felt Americanized and never really identified with being Chinese while growing up, except for those occasions of childhood taunts that I must be smart because I’m Chinese or when I experienced the exceedingly rare occurrences […]

Assimilation; there is no such thing.

Abel TX Speak English only they say. America is a melting pot; think American, be American. If you assimilate you will fit in and be treated equally! But when you assimilate, all that you gain is the loss of your cultural roots and your ethnic identity. Because, there is always someone around the corner to […]

Why the hyphen? American not enough?

Nick Keim Ellicott City, MD My original thoughts when hearing about the race card project are the six words written above. Then I started to worry about putting my name on the site and what people I know might think of me. I thought about changing my six words to “Afraid to speak; am I […]

I’m an American not Afro-American

Kelvin Scruggs Gulfport, MS Is the United States of America the only nation that classifies people by race at birth? At one time it was important classify people by race. The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population […]

“Go back where you came from”

Richard Perez Bay Shore, NY I was born in North Kingstown RI and raised in Queens NY. Somehow, because I am Latino I am often not considered “American”. When I was a teen in the 80’s, I was actually told “Go back where you came from” by an Italian about my age at the time. […]

Born American, never accepted as American

Ramon Fontaine Pittsburgh, PA Since 1917, and before Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Ricans have been US citizens. We have fought in every US war since WWI and have lost thousands of lives defending the US Constitution. But for some reason, Puerto Ricans are not often seen as citizens and lumped into the same category as […]

African and American, not African-American.

Joy Schmidt Waxhaw, NC I was born in West Africa and adopted by Caucasian parents. But since my parents are missionaries we also live for most of my childhood in Cameroon. When we moved to the U.S. permanently I was starting 9th grade, and one of the most frustrating things that I am met with […]

My Foreign Land, My Children’s Homeland.

Robert Fang Plano, TX I am a Chinese. I came to US in 1977 when I was 27, full grown. My children were all born in US and raised in Texas. When my first son was 5 years old, I asked him casually, in Chinese, “Are you a little Chinese or a little American.? (你是小中國人還是小美國人?” […]

Inescapable mulatto nature of American culture

Submitted via Twitter: @zerode San Francisco, CA A quote from jazz critic Albert Murray. More about Albert Murray: Taken from http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/murray-albert-1916 Albert Murray, an African American novelist, jazz critic, professor, and essayist, was born in Nokomis, Alabama on May 12, 1916. His birth parents were Sudie Graham and John Young but he was adopted by […]

Number one bullied race in America

Hannah Lucky Tran Philadelphia, PA As an Asian American educator, I have personally experience and witnessed countless acts of bullying based on Asian identity and/or labeling. Society tends to disregard the Asian American experience, sugarcoating it with ‘model minority’ rhetoric. I hope to open up dialogue on the daily struggles of Asian Americans–beginning with the […]

Why African-American? Why not just American?

Manuel Lluberas Jacksonville, FL Africa is not a country or a culture. It is a continent with almost fifty countries, several hundred tribes and as many languages; and that is only the “black part”. North of the Sahara, Africa is Arab. South of the Calahari is Africaner. Other “identity-labeled groups” use Italian-American, Irish-American, etc., even […]

Korean, Norwegian, American-Confusing? Yes, son.

Aaron Sorensen Oneonta, NY I was adopted from Korea when I was 2 years old. Raised in a family of European descent. Who am I? More confusing, what do I tell my boys? How do I handle racist comments especially when I don’t feel a part of that group? So many questions awaiting answers.

Aggressive homogeneity hurts white folks too.

Erika Chester South Korea I’m an American living in South Korea, married to an American soldier stationed here. I grew up in what I recently articulated as aggressively homogeneous culture in the Midwest. Fortuitously, I became friends with one of the very, very few students of color in my high school. Her friendship has done […]

Acknowledging my privilege in American society.

Danielle Morency Ann Arbor, MI I grew up in an upper-middle class suburban town composed of 93.4 percent white people. You could say that I had limited exposure to people of other races. While being a white person in society did provide me with certain advantages throughout my life, these were not things I was […]

Not the same, also not different

Bryan Ren Ann Arbor, MI Being an Asian American in the United States has created a dilemma. I find it hard to relate to being strictly American, but I also discover difficulties while trying to hold on to my Chinese roots. As a result of my race in this country, I feel a disconnection between […]

How do you know my race?

Dominique Brager Mount Hermon, MA I’m white but I’m half European. My father is American and my mother is Belgian and they are totally different cultures. People look at me, hear my accent and assume that I’m all American and I don’t like the ideas the come with that. Americans have somehow managed to get […]

Nobody’s a racist, but racism persists.

Molly Bozeman, MT It’s clear from many academic studies that significant racism still exists in the United States. On the other hand, almost every American will vehemently deny being a racist. Often racism seems like a kind of disembodied force, a cultural ghost that we still can’t exorcise. It’s no wonder that some of the […]

American should be our new Race

Matthew Heuser Painesville, OH If your an American, then we are all the same Red, White, and Blue. Color shouldn’t matter anymore. People try too hard to define race and color when we are all the same, AMERICAN.

I’m not African American but still black.

Khemani G Orange, NJ It bothers me sometimes when I am filling something out and the race box says only African American when I am actually Afro-Caribbean. Although there is a difference between the two culturally I feel they are both united by the concept of blackness. Something that was once frowned upon but now […]

Single most destructive construct ever created.

Jessica Womack Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation As a white American woman with an African American husband and a mixed race ten month old son, I witness daily the effects racism on my husband, on myself, and I worry about how I will be able to protect my son from it as he […]