Kofi is a fake white man!

fakeKofi M. G. W. Opantiri, Los Angeles, CA. I am the eldest child of two boys and a girl born to an American-African father and a French-Canadian (white) mother. Born in New York City in 1949, the “one-drop” rule informed me early on that I was Negro and colored. Like millions of American-Africans, I became […]

The only person in the room

Mia, CA Growing up in a mainly white neighborhood and going to a prominently white school was really hard being black. I never said anything about it to my family because I have never been good at expressing my feelings, but it would sometimes really bother me. In class when we talked about things dealing […]

Good hair is well maintained hair.

Jessica Elaine Burks, San Diego, CA. I am Black, Irish, and Native American. My paternal grandmother had straight long hair. My maternal grandmother had 4c textured hair. All my life I believed the myth that “good hair and long hair” do not belong to black women with 4C textured hair. My friends and even family […]

Uniquely Made, The American Girl Today

Christina Rains, Riverside, CA. French, Indian, Mexican, Dutch, but American? It is quite clear that you cannot judge individuals by their color. Race in reality just identifies where your family has lived and what part of the world you are from. Throughout my life, I have been called “white girl” but in reality, this categorization […]

I will never really ‘get it’.

Celia Beasley, Seattle, WA. Being an upper-middle class white woman, I know I will never truly understand what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Despite my attempts to be aware of racism in this county through conversations, news stories, interviews, books, this website, etc, I know that I will never […]

Always presumed mixed. Shocked genetically white.

Jeni Bate, Salton City, CA I have frizzy hair. I grew up in an all** white town and the only other people with hair like mine were my mother and grandmother, both of whom are/were racist. My mother always denied we have any black in our family, but I thought she was lying because she […]

Becoming American, it is not easy

Sandra Castañeda Anaheim, CA I have spent 42 of my 44 years in this country and it doesn’t make an ounce of difference, I’m still treated differently. My head says I’m American my heart says I’m Colombian, because that’s where I’m accepted.

My mixed-race son looks All-American.

Emma Alvarez Gibson, San Pedro, CA. My husband’s heritage is Japanese/Portuguese/French. Mine is Mexican/Irish/Scottish. Neither of us fit in anywhere while growing up; both sides of each of our families considered us oddities at best. People never knew what to make of us. I was too white for the Mexican kids and too uptight about […]

You’re foreign. Not American. No way.

Franke Santos, Los Angeles, CA. Despite being born in the U.S., speaking only English, and being given a white-sounding name, I am routinely asked “where are you from?” When I respond, “Los Angeles,” I get the follow-up “where are you really from?”

My tastebuds tell me I’m Japanese

Ka’Olu, Los Osos, CA I’m a “third culture kid” raised in Southern California by expat Japanese parents. We were repatriated when I was a teenager, then I moved back to California in my late 40’s. In Japan, I felt I was not really Japanese, but in the US, I don’t really feel American. Because I […]

Hi. You must be the nanny.

Mayra Cramer, Menlo Park, CA. I’m a brown typically Hispanic looking upper middle class woman living in an affluent suburb of San Francisco. I’ve allways had a hard time fitting in because I was raised in “white” neighborhoods and went to elite and desirable schools. My third child is fair and people in the street […]

The only white person here? (How does it feel)

Rebecca Zavala, Los Angeles, CA. Well, to start I’m not even white… I get this ALL THE TIME. People assume I’m white or Asian, or a mix of the both. It is not insulting to me now, but growing up it was a little irritating having to continually explain that I am Mexican American. At […]

You’re the blue-eyed guest of honor

Haley Cantin, Sanger, CA. I am white american female and I always get “because of your eyes”. When someone compliments me and says I’m pretty I often ask why.. and most responses I get are “because of your eyes”. But everyone has eyes? Am I not pretty becuase of anything else? Do my eyes define […]

Let me walk in your shoes

Renee Poselski, Riverside, CA. So Cal – Atlanta – Hawaii – Russia: No matter where I have lived, my heart yearns to connect and understand. Writing this, I am hesitating because I don’t want you to think that I can’t understand because I am white. My whiteness is a wall between you and me. I […]

I’m not proud of being a WASP.

Nancy MacLeod, Philo, CA. I have ancestors that came to America in 1630- among the 1st to take advantage of the indigenous people. What is to be proud of, is how your family lived, how you live. I can be proud of my family because they were hard working and honest- but were they compassionate […]

Speak Spanish Poorly? Then Don’t Speak.

Robb Pérez, San Clemente, CA. My mother didn’t speak Spanish to us when we were growing up in the Bronx, but I took enough Spanish in school to develop a decent accent. By now, however, I have what could be considered a six-year-old child’s vocabulary. Hence, it’s easier to tell people that I don’t speak […]

Officer why were we pulled over?

Chandra Campbell, Mountainview, CA WHY ARE POLICE CONTINUOUSLY pulling over persons of color, bullying them, ordering them out of the car and setting them on the ground handcuffed, and finally after humiliating them publicly letting them go!

Seasonal confusion; your problem not mine

Courters, Bay Area, CA. I grew up in a latin home, of a first generation born parent. By DNA–I am native-american sicilian. I was raised with latin catholic, tibetan, native american, and sicilian culture. As a child, in my desert neighborhood, I stayed dark and it was rarely noticed that I was not “technically” latin […]

The Oneness of Humanity is transformational.

Charles Fuller, Marina, CA I believe that “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” There is nothing more essential to human progress than embracing and celebrating humanity’s diversity. “Hidden Thoughts on Race in Six Words” in National Geographic emotionally moving.

Invisible Black woman, microscope on me

Devin Horton, Los Angeles, CA. My race card refers to conundrum of my experience and my physical self being essentially invisible but also having the world simultaneously watch and critique my every move with microscopic precision. It can cause serious anxiety.

Judge by character, not by color.

Helen Zhang, Camarillo, CA. When I was in middle school, I noticed that my classmates tended to form “cliques” with people of the same ethnicity. However, I preferred to learn about the values and traditions of other cultures. Speaking to people of different backgrounds continues to allow me to stay open-minded and gain new perspectives.

I was always different growing up

Julie Long, Pioneer, CA. When I was 8, we moved from a big city to a small country town, where there were, maybe two other families that weren’t white. I had no idea at 8 years old what race was. I never even differentiated a difference based on appearance, but I remember being suddenly shocked […]

Irish descent, why hate me blacks?

John Sutter, Porterville, CA My wife, who is white, was discriminated against when she was a restaurant manager at a national fast food restaurant in the South. Her crew was composed of black men, who made life hell for her. They would set off the burglar alarm during the middle of the night so she […]

Passed for White; woke to shame.

Beryle Fobes, Torrance, CA Born at end of WWII to res-born Native American hetero male who later remarried a Japanese war bride. White mother remarried racist. Children married Black and Native American; grandchildren more mixed than me. Always looked White though, as do progeny. International family at varying stages of race awareness.

Like you, gingers do have souls.

Katelyn Nicole Volz Hemet, CA “You know they say Gingers have no souls right?” “A Ginger gains a freckle every time they steal a soul.” “Do the carpets match the drapes?” Does ANYONE know how tired I am of hearing that? Yes, my hair is red, yes it’s natural, and yes I am Irish. Does […]

It’s who we are on Earth

Ruth A Kees, Oakland, CA We are a mixture of the changes in a very changing world. Tribes helped us survive and tribes have split us apart and every time it has happen we have to learn all over again we are better together.

Despite our “privilege”, we are killed.

Veronica Shao, CA Asian Americans are often seen as more White than we are POC. This view erases the majority of the Asian-American diaspora, especially non East-Asians. Despite our somewhat “White-adjacent” status, we still have to confront racism and discrimination in our daily lives: something that has only become heightened during the COVID-19 Pandemic

First Black Female Air Traffic Controller

Sandra Durbin, San Diego, CA. It was hard. I was smart, black and female, 18 years old in 1966. I joined the U S Navy, because they promised me college. I give the govenment 3 years, and they give me four years of college. It was horrible. I was given a Captain’s Mast, at 8:30 […]

You’re Indian; do you speak Hindu?

Poonam Dreyfus-Pai, Berkeley, CA. It wasn’t easy to choose just one sentence (6 words, no less) to summarize the constant negotiation between frustration and a sort of mirthless humor that I experience when dealing with questions about my race and ethnicity. On the most basic level, “Hindu” is a religious identity — not a race, […]

It’s less than meets the eye

Felipe Ricketts, San Diego, CA Each one of us is unique and a unique expression of humanity. Humanity is the language we all share. Humanity will save the day. We, all of us, are the solution. Let’s find our humanity and act accordingly.

“Appalachian” means “none of your business.”

Amy Tanisha, Petaluma, CA. When asked the infamous “what are you?” question, I define myself on my terms. Sure, its easy for someone to understand that my mom is white and my dad is black, but “white” or “black” is not the house I grew up in. I grew up in a house full of […]

Race is nothing. Family is everything.

Sheli Turner, Los Angeles, CA While I am now a biracial 62 year old woman, who bore living witness to the difficulties my parents had in this country due to their marriage, this means less and less to my sons who are now marrying, and will also have mixed-race children by default. What “race” will […]

I will believe Black people’s stories.

Sally Drummond, Pleasanton, CA I am a 71 yo white woman. I have lived in blue states and red states. I have witnessed blatant racism in and out of the US. What I have been most appalled throughout my life, and especially in 2020-2021, is the abject dismissal, denial and ridicule of people of color […]

Adobo Beef Stew Rice Potatoes: Dinner

James Estanislao Herr, Los Angeles, CA. Dad’s side came over in 1717–Swiss-German and Irish with some Danish and Greek thrown in. Mom came over in 1954. Filipino, Spanish and Chinese with I guess some Portuguese somewhere along the way given my middle name. Grew up in an all white community outside Philadelphia. Not sure who […]

Bohunks were not white in Nebraska.

John Rodney Davis, Carmichael, CA As a young child in Northern California, I never felt different in the overwhelmingly white world I was raised in. Occasionally a non-white person would enter the world I lived in —- the “cultural water I swam in. They were different. I was not. Wherever I went —- the store, […]

Watching White Southern Hate Devastated Me

Aviyah Farkas, Los Angeles, CA I am a 73 y.o. woman who grew up on the Lower East Side, Manhattan; a multi ethnic, multi colored place of acceptance. As a young girl watching white southern hate, Bull Connor, German shepherds, attacks against Black children, caused tremendous pain and devastation for me. My father was a […]

Why steal when you’re already looking.

Michael Swanegan, Chino Hilla, CA. Im a 22 year old African American male who lives in California. Whenever I enter a store, gas station, or even a movie theater. I feel an unwanted vibe as if I’m on the radar by all the managers and floor workers. A negative vibe as if I’m being looked […]

Still figuring out my six words.

Rob Moore, Oak Park, IL. I was raised in Southern California, born into a military family. I’ve lived most of my life in a white–or beige–bubble. Recently, because of an important and loving relationship, I’ve been thinking a lot more about race as it affects us today. Reading Claudia Rankine, Patricia Smith, many others who […]

Same DNA but born this way

Lily, Lake Forest, CA. Currently taking Biological Anthropology and am finding it both fascinating and eye-opening. My six words are an excerpt from Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way”. It probably looks corny or, perhaps, cliché but I did put some thought into it! When I had first heard those lyrics, I had to research […]

Pale freckled redhead burned by words

Marie Farrell, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in San Diego, California where the sun shines all the time. I was the kid that never tanned, just freckled and burned. I was also raised by an Irish mother so there was a lot less love than fights and tension. I recall a day when I bravely […]

I’m ashamed to be white.

Jason Zeller, San Diego, CA Even though my ancestors came to the United States after slavery was abolished and I am not aware of their involvement in any racist activities, as a white person in America I am ashamed of the vile history of racist violence and genocidal activities that white people in the U.S. […]

Grandma for grandkids of many colors

Emma Cate, San Jose, CA We have four grandsons who are half black, one adopted grandson who is brown, two great-grandkids who are half Chinese. In our extended family, we have people who speak the following languages fluently: German, French, Chinese, Haitian, and Spanish. I think in another generation there will be many families like […]

Armenian, Tagalog, Ilocano, no. Wolof, yes.

Anoosh Jorjorian, Santa Monica, CA. My paternal grandmother came to the U.S. to escape the Armenian Genocide. My maternal grandfather jumped aboard a U.S. submarine during World War II because the Japanese Army put a price on his head. When they raised my parents, they wanted more than anything for their children to assimilate into […]

Exotic for a black girl

Jasmin Fortune, Temecula, CA. I am a multiracial girl who has bullied for the way I looked from K-12. I have been hated because girls thought their boyfriends liked me. I would be threatened to get jumped because they thought I thought of myself as better than them. Black girls never liked me because I […]

Χιος to Hughes…we’re all immigrants

Patricia Hughes, Lake Arrowhead, CA. My father’s father took the long route of immigration from Greece during the political upheavals occurring in the early part of the 20th century, and later sent for his family. My father and some of his siblings were born in America. Growing up extremely poor in Denver, Colorado, my father […]

Chased and called Jap in Detroit.

Joyce Fidler, Toluca Lake, CA. In 1956 I was in first grade, my mother was Japanese-Hawaiian, and I knew nothing about WWII. I didn’t realize my mother was part Japanese, nor did I know why anyone should care. Years later in high school I failed to grasp why students on my Indianapolis school bus would […]

THE BORDER CROSSED ME: SOY CHICANA!

Leticia Hernandez, Lawndale, CA Chicanos, Mexican Americans, despised, ignored and looked upon as less. They are always surprised when we accomplish something. Or even when we open our mouths and use polysyllabic English words!

Taught that race: most important trait.

Marni Berendsen, Walnut Creek, CA I grew up in a town (and neighborhood) in CA that had a mixture of ethnicities. I didn’t know “color” was supposed to make a difference until I was about 12. I’m white. I’m 70. Over the years, it seemed that race become the most important trait that one was […]

Blackcican Spanish Speaker Didn’t Teach Kids.

Marisha Vandenberg, Riverside, CA I was raised in a Mexican household with my mom and her entire family: Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, 2 Uncles & 3 Aunts. I’m also half Creole, so I was always darker and taller than my family and I had long curly hair. We went to church and I stood out like […]

With kids, I’m dad, alone….thug!

Marc A Quarles, Pacific Grove, CA. Pacific Grove, I’m African-American my wife is German we have two children a son 15 and a daughter 13. We live in a predominately white affluent area on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Every summer my wife and children go to Germany to visit her parents and other friends […]

That is just how it was

Katie Webb, Laguna Niguel, CA When asking people from that time period how they weren’t outraged about the events that were happening right in front of them. They will usually say “That’s just how it was”. The same people that taught me to not follow what everyone else is doing, also saying they just did […]

I want to be safe…again

Jun Hu, LA, CA As the anti-Asian hate incidents, reported and unreported, skyrocketing in the COVID-19 pandemic, I no longer feel comfortable to walk outside, or even run errands. I just want to be safe, want to have a normal life again.

Racial borders only hold us back

Ricky Verdugo, Irvine, CA For years, I have heard stories of racial injustice and discrimination and have even seen it happen right in front of me. For centuries, humans have insisted on dividing up populations by race, thinking that race decided one’s intelligence or even their level of superiority over others. It is time that […]

Well… All Asians look the same.

Mya Onishi, Laguna Hills, CA As a young Japanese American girl in elementary I did not like these 6 words. It usually followed a comment about me “speaking Chinese” or “visiting family in Korea.” I am not asking for everyone to be able to distinguish different Asian physical traits, but just to be more conscious […]

It’s Difficult For People Like You

Rosa Oropeza, Mission Viejo, CA As a Mexcian-America Woman who has aspirations of becoming a lawyer, I have been met with many people trying to force me into their stereotypes. However, I am dedicated to breaking these preconceived notions down for myself and others.

People of color–do I count?

Sarina Bhandari, Los Altos Hills, CA. My parents grew up in India and had an arranged marriage in 70’s. Shorty after, they moved to the United States. In 1992, they had me, a first-generation Indian-American. I grew up with a lot of privilege, and I’ve never felt silenced by dominant society. In fact, I’ve never […]

Judged for wanting to be different

Jared Baumer, Laguna Hills, CA. It can be hard to stand out and pursue a path of something different then what society and the world want you to do. People categorize you as weird or a loser if you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. If anyone struggled with this all I can say […]

I am mom, not the babysitter

Mikaela Rejbrand, San Francisco, CA. Being a person of mixed race, my biological mom is white and my biological father is black, and having married an Irish man, my children are much lighter skinned than I am and therefore am often mistaken for “the babysitter”. The constant theme since my children have been born is […]

Rice is my LIFE. Deal with it.

Emily, Perris, CA. I have NEVER been so proud to be a Filipino-American. My culture is my everything and I would not trade it for the world. Being the handful of Asians at my school makes me even more unique. I want to promote diversity, I want people to be okay with the color of […]

Black lesbian CPA, it’s really me.

Andrea Hyson, San Francisco, CA. About two months ago, I finally met a new employee in another department. This woman and I had numerous phone conversations but hadn’t yet met. I decided to stop by her office to introduce myself. Another employee was at her door as I approached. As I turned into her office, […]

Loving and Hating being Asian

Vivian Li San Jose, CA I deeply appreciate my heritage as a Chinese-American. It has taught me about a complex culture, thousands-of-years-old ideology, and a strong sense of identity. I am proud of the country my ancestors hail from and its incredibly rich and its understudied history. It has given me beautiful looks, and the […]

White, privellged, and aware of it.

Grant Peters, Orange, CA I come from a wealthy suburb of the Bay Area in CA. I grew up in a bubble of sorts that lacked much-needed diversity to open myself up to other viewpoints. It wasn’t until my parents got divorced, and my mother had to move to a much lower socio-economic area that […]

I don’t think I’m Mexican enough

Sam, Orange, CA Growing up as mixed race being both Mexican and white, I’ve struggled with my identity as a Mexican person feeling that I wasn’t “Mexican enough”. Even though it is the ethnicity I most identify with, I often feel that I do not do enough culturally for it to “count”.

“She’s so pretty for being Black”

Morgan Cooper, Stockton, CA. In 2007, when my ex husband and I were expecting our baby girl, we jokingly called her “Blackanese”, a term I still use endearingly. Most simply put, I am half Black and half White and my ex husband is half Japanese and half White. Never in our wildest dreams did we […]

Am I Asian enough for you?

Emily P, Long Beach, CA I am an Asian American that fell along the lines of a “model minority.” I was a straight-A student in high school and was in the orchestra for 8 years. Though people still assumed I was “whitewashed” or too “American.” I always thought about what it was that made me […]

Breaking news: I am not rich

Brooke Evans, Santa Barbara, CA I am white with blonde hair and blue eyes and I grew up in Santa Barbara, which is a fairly wealthy town. Because of how I look and where I am from, people assume I am very wealthy, which is not the case. My family has always struggled with money […]

Latine is Geography, Hispanic is Language

Itzel Moncayo, CA I am Mexican-American which means my ethnic identity lies in being both Latine and Hispanic. My physical appearance resembles the stereotypical appearance of someone of this nationality, regardless, I often get asked where I am from. Where I’m ~really~ from. This question does get frustrating but so do the misconceptions within my […]

Engish only, you’re not really Mexican.

Matthew Montoya, Orange, CA I understand Spanish but I can speak fluently. I get embarrassed because fluent Spanish speakers are no help to teach, they laugh if I mispronounce a word. My experience trying to learn was not good and made me shut down from ever trying to. This made those who are fluent speakers […]

I’m A Human, Not A Fruit

Gabrielle Guzman San Diego, CA Yes, I am Mexican. Yes, I know I apparently hold the same facial features as someone who would be considered Asian. No, I did not just cross the border. No, I do not speak Spanish, although I can understand it fluently and am taking classes to learn it. I am […]

Two languages, Three dialects, Three cultures

Vincent Lei, San Ramon, CA. Grew up in Macau, China. Mainly speak Cantonese there. Moved to America four years ago and started to speak English and Mandarin. I made some friends from mainland China and also some American friends. I learnt about the difference between Mainland China and Macau. School system were different. Most mainland […]

Me llamo Lora y hablo español.

Lora McManus, Altadena, CA. Being transracially adopted (by Caucasian parents) comes with a plethora of advantages and challenges. One of the most common misconceptions that I face on a daily basis is the assumption that I was raised in an Chinese family and speak Mandarin, when actually neither of those are true. Stereotypes are one […]

Image portrayed, impression made. It DOES matter.

P. Contreras, Benicia, CA. How you choose to dress gives an impression about you. Whether that impression is accurate or not no one will know unless they get to know you. But, they won’t get to know you if your image repels them. Example. Teenage Boy (black, Hispanic, Asian, white) in your neighborhood in jeans […]

Asians challenge the Black-White racial binary.

Jason Fong, Los Angeles, CA. Asian Americans have been in the U.S. for hundreds of years and yet we are routinely excluded from discussions about race relations in America. I’m in the 11th grade and I learn nothing about Asian Americans and our long history in America in my U.S. history class. I don’t think […]

You’re not Mexican, You’re Mexican-American

Vanessa Ayala, Fountain Valley, CA. I was 17 when I first realized how important it was for others for me to be politically correct about my race. I was at work one day and an older gentleman stopped me to “compliment” me, he said I looked like a beautiful Aztec princess I just smiled and […]

I will never be black enough.

Janeen Irving, San Leandro, CA. For the first 12 years of my life I was clueless to my own color (or lack thereof) growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the next 20 years I tried to prove I was black. To no avail. Now I’ve come to the conclusion I’m an amazing […]

It’s more about class, than race

Craig Woolmington-Smith, Orinda, CA. I was raised in a military family where discrimination was everywhere and a highly respected way of life, but the discrimination was based on one’s rank and nothing else. This was true up and down the ladder from Privates to Generals and was my first introduction to meritocracy, although we didn’t […]

The model minority myth blinds Asians

Dylan Ha, Milpitas, CA The model minority myth is the idea that Asians are the “perfect” minority. They don’t retaliate against the majority, conform to societal standards, and assimilate into American culture. This myth is used to create a divide between the minorities in America. The myth blinds Asians into thinking that they are not […]

Too brown for the fancy restaurant.

Jane Medina Orange, CA My daughter Annie had just turned 21. So she, my husband, my son, and I put on our cocktail party clothes and went to the fanciest restaurant in Orange, California to buy Annie her first drink. As our car climbed the steep hill where the restaurant sat like a crown above […]

Linda Ronstadt, I have missed you!

Christine Bunker, Riverside, CA. It is almost that time of year when the weather changes and the tamale pot gets taken out of storage. It is the one time of year when the sound of Linda singing, “Canciones De Mi Padre,” fills our home and our hearts. We feel close to her because she sings […]

Summer protests. Fall reading. Winter white-silence.

Leila Chabane, Palo Alto, CA I’d say that other than not doing enough about my white privilege, I’m also still learning about my ethnic and cultural identity since I’m Swedish and French-Algerian. If my sentence could be 12 words, I’d also add “Swedish and French-Algerian. Muslim. Confused.”

Black grandma, White grandpa. That’s weird!

Val’Dionna P., San Francisco, CA. Throughout the years it has been a bit difficult to understand the many emotions and stereotypes being of color and mixed. It is important to understand that how one is raised growing up in a complex world that continues to critique someone on the features or melancholy of their skin […]

My DNA can’t recall my RACE!?

Mckenzie C, Sacramento, CA. Science tells us that race cannot be found in our DNA. There is not one person that could find out about an individuals race based solely on DNA, because it is simply not there. The cool thing about this; DNA is the one and only thing that contains our whole genetic […]

Love my DST HowardU Blackity Blackness

Regina Stroud, Oakland, CA The words of Ijeoma Oluo resonate with me when she says, when you have a nation that was founded upon the genocide of a race of people and built with the chattel enslavement of another, it will always be about race as long as this nation exists. That is why I […]

BREAKING NEWS: Jews experience prejudice AND white privilege

Osher Fein, Cupertino, CA This took me an embarrassingly long time to realize, but there’s this weird thing that white Jews experience called “conditional white privilege”. As long as my Jewishness isn’t obvious or doesn’t “offend” anyone, I experience the same privilege every other white person does. But, it was the moments of overt antisemitism […]

Being Mexican doesn’t mean I’m illegal

Karla Zambrano, Los Banos, CA Many people assume that if you’re Mexican, then you’re most likely illegal. “Go back to where you came from” is something that’s said a lot to Mexicans. Many Mexicans, like myself, are born in the U.S. and others earn their place here by working hard and getting their citizenship. So […]

Biker gangs have love for me

Richard Haynie, Oakland, CA. I walked into a roadside tavern near Allentown PA that had several motorcycles parked outside. Loving bikes, I thought nothing of it. Inside, a motorcycle “club” were the only patrons on that Sunday morning. I ordered some food and, despite a warning from the proprietor, decided to stay and eat there. […]

Veteran Patriot Still White Washed Wetback

Michael Morentin, Los Angeles, CA. Growing up a third generation Mexican-American I find myself walking America as a 30 year old Marine Corps veteran and recent college graduate whom is too brown for those around me who are white, and not brown enough for those around me of hispanic heritage. Being third generation Mexican-American the […]

“Good Morning!” But there’s no response.

Clyde Jasper Oakland, CA I’m a tall black man with dreadlocks. I’m a husband and a father. I’m a property owner, and a taxpayer. I’m a veteran. I vote. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from a world class university in Berkeley, CA. In passing, I many times acknowledge a white persons presence and humanity with […]

After all, we all bleed red.

Moon Young Jin, San Jose, CA I am Korean. Husband is Filipino Indian American. We have Filipino, Korean, Chinese, White, and Mexican family members who all either share blood or love of marriage. It is beautiful and I am loved and I love them all so much.

We are all one race, human!

AC Hutchinson, San Francisco, CA Race, as we use it today, is a cultural construct as we are all learning. We are all spiritual beings and the more we learn to love and treat each other as we would want to be treated, the better we are. We are all human, and our love and […]

Small white girl, watching heroes march

Susan Thackston, Agoura, CA. I was listening to an NPR story resently on Morning Edition. The program talked about “The Race Card Project” and that it was collecting peoples experiences during the 1960’s period of the civil rights movement, distilled into 6 words only. George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, was only three years older […]

Black boys once cost fifty dollars

Ayanna Bennett, Oakland, CA I work in equity so I think and talk about racism a lot. It’s easy to get discouraged when I don’t remember the enormity of the wound that we are trying to heal. Huge parts of our country were developed around forced labor camps and governed by human traffickers. That’s a […]

Stop asking to touch his hair

Jeanine Flier, Tujunga, CA. I am a mother of 3 multiracial children. They all have different types of hair. My oldest son has a very curly large beautiful Afro . My middle child as wavy thick hair similar to mine. My youngest child has large black curls. My oldest child is the ONLY ONE WHO […]

You’re pretty for a black girl.

Deja, Moreno Valley, CA. This statement literally kills me . “Pretty for a black girl” I didn’t know “pretty” depended on your skill color . Goes to show how some look at “black girls” like their not good enough to be pretty.

When Skin Color Fades Away

Leonard Rios, Imperial Beach, CA. I am an American Indian on tribal roles and racism has followed my people childhood to present. I am a traditionalist and live an old school life style founded on respect and the spirit of taking only what we need and giving when all possible. I moved to Imperial Beach […]

Indian dad, European mom, identified Latina.

Nisha Balaram, Oakland, CA. My dad would joke around, saying that my mom couldn’t help but fall in love with him when she first saw him. My mom was usually busy in the kitchen at the time, and would smile and roll her eyes in response to his comment; when the pungent scent of lentils […]

Being Asian, my Authenticity is Questioned

Colette, Sacramento, CA. “I love Asian girls” “I love Japanese people” “Konnichiwa” “Ni hao” “Sayonara” “Kamsammida” ‘Your a bad Japanese. You don’t know Japanese.’ “Are you Chinese?” “I don’t think people in Osaka speak Kansaiben” “I know Chinese” “You look the most Japanese” “You could be an other Asian too” One Caucasian man approached my […]

Living liberal in a conservative home.

Quinn, Lake Elsinore, CA Both my parents are very conservative when it comes to politics and everything. I grew up learning from them, but once I hit college, my views started to change. Both my parents have Masters degrees and were principals for most of their careers. They were born in the 50’s and I […]

I’m A Black Conservative (We Exist)

Mekela J Tyler, Indio, CA. Whenever someone learns that about me, they look at me as though I have three heads. It’s funny that the political party that wants to break racial barriers continues to pigeonhole me into a category based on my race. Talk about a double standard. I’ll tell you why I’m not […]

The Pinoy Debate: Asian? Pacific Islander?

Vince Domingo, Fresno, CA. I’m proud to be Filipino. And I’m also proud to be an Asian Filipino. No, not a “Pacific Islander Filipino”, whenever you see them, avoid them as much as you can, they’re terrible people. They hate puppies. Okay, okay, I jest. They are just misunderstood. This is not even a geographical […]

What can we do to heal?

Stacy Cole, Los Angeles, CA I used to live in St. Louis, Missouri. That was where I first experienced a taste of being “the other”. I worked at a restaurant where almost all servers and customers were black (I’m white). I had some close black friends before that, so I didn’t think anything of it. […]

I have been alone among many

Gordon Lee Pattison, Los Angeles, CA. In 1959, when I was 14 years old, I moved from Los Angeles to Honolulu. I had just started taking French as a foreign language at my junior high school in Los Angeles and wanted to continue. However, there was only one junior high school in Honolulu at that […]

Guide To Your Privilege Right

Z Frohna, Los Angeles, CA. So. I’m a white woman who lives in L.A. But I’m also disabled, and a part of the LGBT+ community. Am I privileged? Yes. If someone has privilege, whether it is the dreaded white privilege or economically fueled privilege, it doesn’t mean, “they are a terrible person,” or, “their life […]

“Beauty Inside Shines through the Outside”

Matthew Powers, Riverside, CA. “Growing up Irish and being raised by a single mom in the 50’s and 60’s in Omaha I saw racial tension and acts all around the city, but I can’t say I understood anything about it until my younger sister and I were transferred to a different school because mom couldn’t […]

Chicana Falsa I Am Not!

Amber Nicole Gutierrez, Hemet, CA. Everyone grew up with a different life-style, just because I look of Mexican decent does not mean I am the same as every Mexican stereotype. I am an American and have grew up in the middle of both worlds of “American” and “Mexican”. I understand Spanish and speak some. I […]

Race was constructed by white men

Robert Symens Bucher, Oakland, CA. Aspen X I am a white man, and I realize that the concept of race was created by people like myself a long time ago. The purpose of race was to create a tiered society in which white people had superiority to the other races. It is important for all […]

Discussing racism makes me feel uncomfortable

Charles Stremel, Mission Viejo, CA To preface, I am white, I’ve grown up well-off and never really had to worry too much about things. My parents divorced around my birth, but I was too young to even remember, so I wouldn’t even call that a hardship. My views on the current topics that discuss commonly […]

We Do Not Look The Same

Le Hoang Nhat Vy, Huntington Beach, CA As an Asian American growing up, I have been continuously been called the looking same as my other Asian friends even though we are two completely different people regardless of what any people say. It really irritates me when that happens. I grew up in Vietnam for my […]

Not white, but my kids are?

Rob Silva Oakland, CA First generation with Indo-Dutch/ El Salvadoran heritage. Family has seemingly always been the non-white in the group, especially when listening to the my parents’ stories of assimilation. So strange then when my son was bullied at his new school in Berkeley for being the white kid.

We are all humans doing life

Jolynne, Chino, CA. If someone makes me nervous it’s usually because they’re different to me. Different than what I’ve been exposed to. It’s hard to emotionally stay with the difference regardless of what that difference is. The brave ones of us stay.

Indian, European, past enemies collide kindly.

Harleen Thind, American Canyon, CA. The reason why I chose these six words are because my mother and father are of different races, my father is European and my mother is Indian. Indians and Europeans were enemies in the past, they despised each other in the worst of ways. My father decided not to care […]

I am not one for boxes.

Denise Duvernay, Cupertino, CA. People are always trying to figure out exactly, what I am. But does learning my nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual background, or any other particular thing tell you anything about WHO I AM? So often, I feel like people are just looking for any excuse to dismiss you, or box you into […]

Not a tool against Black Women.

Betty Rosenda Green, Chino Hills, CA. With the recent controversies of Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in blackface and Zendaya Coleman having been cast originally to play Aaliyah, I believe it is important to see how deep mainstream media like Hollywood work to erase Black Women, particularly with darker complexions specifically in this case, by […]

You talk well for being black!

Darius Alexander, Laguna Hills, CA I hate when I meet some white people and after having a deep conversation with me, they say, “Wow you talk extremely well for a black guy no offense.” Stop doing that. It’s like you’re saying that blacks aren’t supposed to speak with good grammar.

Mexican Born achieving my American dream

Jesus Castro Menifee, CA California Baptist University CBU HIS311 I was born in Mexico and am the first person in my family to have a career with retirement benefits. Proud to be in this country and served in the Military. I now have a family and I am teaching my 2 year old son the […]

Blacks Would Go Extinct Without Whites

Miranda Metto, Richmond, CA. Very tired demands from racist aggressive, rude, uncivilized ignorant black people and their white fan club to pity and apologize to people who aren’t contributing anything equal or better than anyone and to be expecting all white people to dumb ourselves down so they can keep up.

We are all brothers and sisters

Christina Williams, Aliso Viejo, CA. Race is such as small idea in comparison to bigger ideas like love, togetherness, family, connection and happiness. I wish to raise my children in a world where people are celebrated for ideas and compassion and not for superficial ideas such as skin color and ethnicity. Race is outside of […]

I get sunburned in ten minutes.

Christine Leach, San Francisco, CA. If the sun is intense enough, I can and have gotten sunburned in ten minutes, literally. I joke with my friend in Nigeria that I can’t visit him because it’d be too painful, physically. It’s a silly point, but one I’ve joked with friends about, who are black, hispanic, or […]

Military families: ahead of the curve.

Monique Hollis-Perry Alpine, CA Military bases overseas were homes to many biracial families like mine, and my sister and I went to school with classmates who looked like us. It was many years and thousands of miles from being sent to Fort Gordon, GA as a test case in the 1960s to see how (or […]

Sir, it’s just a random search.

Naim A., San Francisco, CA. These are the words I hear every time I go to the airport. Being Arab-American, I always face discrimination whether it’s from peers or random people on the street or social media but never let it get to me. The airport is the one place that always seems to get […]

Hockey is not a white sport.

Robin Perez, San Francisco, CA As a young kid, I never thought of getting into hockey as I had always known it to be a so-called “white sport” that disinterested people of color. I would later find this to be more of an oppressive statement than I would realize, as it is used to exclude […]

Led me to pursue more opportunities.

Alondra, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Coming from a family of immigrants I saw how much they sacrificed and how they struggled in the pursuit of the American dream. My father was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and when he moved to the U.S he had to give up his education in order to help his family. […]

How do you pronounce your name?

G, Mission Viejo, CA My whole life has been slightly more challenging due to the fact that I am a first-generation American whose name is different than the traditional “Michael” or “Jake”. Growing up, the first day of school was always a bit of a struggle. I always knew when a teacher reached my name […]

Born Wright, I’m a bridge builder

David B. Wright, San Diego, CA I believe my parents raised me to believe that there was only one race and we all belonged to it. I have striven to live up to that and still need to improve. I am a Wright which means Builder and I am constantly trying to build the bridges […]

My “green” > Macy’s + Barney’s fiscal year $

Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA This is a reaction to the recent news stories of the African-American film actor who was unlawfully detained by NYPD and Macy’s after purchasing a pair of sunglasses from a Sunglass Hut at Macy’s. He was asked to show his ID and told he couldn’t afford the item, though he has […]

Whites can’t distinguish Harvard from Hoodlum.

Alisa Dennis Los Angeles, CA Many white people do not personally know any blacks, or very few. As a result, their only reference point for black culture is drawn from stereotyped, caricatured images from T.V. news, sitcoms, Hollywood movies, or quickly driving through the outskirts of economically marginalized black neighborhoods where they are likely to […]

I was American, now just white

Charles, San Francisco, CA, New Rochelle, NY, Worldwide Essayist Richard Rodriguez, said it best back in 1997, what can be the American inability to not conflate race with culture and class. I quote: “Essayist Richard Rodriguez of the Pacific News Service talks about race and class on the PBS News Hour October 31, 1997. RICHARD […]

The “Non-Aztec” Looking Mexican

Claire Rainey, Los Alamitos, CA. I have a friend from Spain who I adore. He is gay, I am a Christian. One day we were road tripping with our mutual friend from France. She was telling us about her new found “love” Fernando who happens to be 100% Mexican. My Spanish friend condemned her for […]