Anonymous, Madison, WI. To Fred down the street I’m half-Asian; to Nick the bus driver I’m from southern France; Veronica thinks I’m obviously Native; McKayla says I’m White; to Esme I look like one of those pochos who thinks he’s too good to be associated with “them.” Sometimes it’s okay for me to talk about […]
Luis Toro, Denver, CO. They try to tell us Hispanics are either white or black but my family’s ancestry is definitely Native American, we even know what tribes.
Andrew Ward, Chambesburg, PA. I am white by birth, but I feel like I am a completely different nationality/race on the inside. Like I was supposed to be a different race.
J.P, Tampa, FL Growing up in a largely latin community of Florida, I’ve always struggled to fit in. My mother is of Spanish heritage with family coming from Spain as well as Cuba, however, my father is from eastern Europe, thus I have a non-spanish last name. This has troubled me forever because everyone looks […]
Heleen Moyer, Troy, PA Growing up, being a mixed girl, -also with a Hispanic father that was never around- , I never felt like I fit into a group. I was always too dark skinned to feel like I related to my white friends. But, I was too light skinned to feel like I fit […]
Josue Roberto Rodriguez, Denver, CO. A question that most of the Hispanic youth gets. They are many stereotypical questions and jokes for Hispanics. These are just some of the more common ones I receive. It is a stereotype for Hispanics to not have their green card. Also for Hispanics to be construction workers.
Leslya Chavez, Houston, TX Born and raised on the East coast of Virginia, though was raised in a Hispanic household. Grew up only Spanish till I was placed in Kindergarten and had to teach myself English. Coming from a Hispanic background where Spanish is your main language at home and then your second language is […]
Belsy Montufar, Lake Forest, CA As a Hispanic myself, there have been multiple instances in which I have felt too white to be Hispanic, and too Hispanic to be white. Finding your bicultural identity when you feel this way is extremely hard. One day my classmates are pointing out that my English is “too perfect” […]
Aixa Rojas, El Paso, TX I am told by a blonde girl from the opposite team while we leave the locker room at the State competition. I was only 16 and it was my second year in the United States; I was still so ignorant of the prejudices held against me and my culture. I […]
Ruby Marlowe, Brooklyn, NY. Italian-Irish mom, Puerto Rican-Mestizo dad, never met dad’s family as his side was pretty bad along with dad who was never around. Me and my little brother look and act “Caucasian” (laughing at the now PC whites who treated us like crap in the 80s and now identify us with people […]
Maria Sefchick, Seattle, WA My father is American, my mother Mexican. I was born in the US, went to live in Mexico when I was 8 and returned to the US when I was 39. My kids were born in Mexico, first language Spanish. First time I heard Hispanic as an ethnic label I was […]
Belen Martinez, Richmond, VA Being a Hispanic born in the United States can be very hard. Many times I’ve felt like I don’t belong here or there.
Leilany Lechuga, El Paso, TX I was born in the United States and my ethnicity is Hispanic I find it weird that some people think that their ethnicity is superior to ours. It’s not our fault that we were born to different places and from other ethnicities, we are all humans. Sometimes when I go […]
Andrea Lopez, Sacramento, CA. When confronted with the question of whether or not I’ve experienced racism in my life, I always remember the first time I felt discriminated against. I was about twelve years old and I was meeting my best friend’s father for the first time. She moved to California from Georgia with her […]
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 […]
Veronica Herrera Nacogdoches, TX My daughter currently only 2 months was conceived through a donor who is African American. My wife is Caucasian and I am Mexican/Cuban American. When my wife and I spoke about having kids she wanted to carry the child first because she is older than me. We wanted our child to […]
Nobody, Nowhere I’m Hispanic but I get confused as Asian quite often and it annoys me. There’s nothing wrong with being or looking Asian but the majority of the people in my school are either black or Hispanic and there awfully racist to any other race and it annoys me because I’m getting called “Chinese”/”Chinita”. […]
Angelina A., Allentown, PA. I myself always get asked about questions about my racial and ethnic background and it never has bothered me. I usually always say I am half Dominican and half Chilean, then I go on to explaining that my dad is from Chile and my mom is from The Dominican Republic. Although […]
Hillary Buren, Kansas City, MO. As a biracial women growing up in am almost entirely white community I have adapted to addressing my racial ambiguity (I am most commonly mistaken as Hispanic but even have been confused for as Indian) and usually I resort to humor when it comes to this topic. However it never […]
King I Allah Lowell, MA This question is at work and on the streets (I’m a so-called Hispanic teacher in a predominantly white teaching force in a predominantly immigrant city). What they mean to say is, “You know what I’m talking about, right? You are like them. So, you must know. Right?” No, just because […]
Alfredo Holguin Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Shorty Summary: I decided to choose these 6 words as my race card because this is something that I have heard A LOT since living in the US for the last 10 years of my life. Every time that I tell people that I […]
Lourdes, Atlanta, GA Being born and raised in the South in predominantly white areas being a hispanic was a lot. It was hard to make friends and it was hard to be seen. As a kid I neglected my culture and tried to assimilate to my white friends and peers just so I could feel […]
Louisiana M., Wichita, KS I am Hispanic, my mothers mixed with Mexican and my grandmother is fully Mexican, but I speak no Spanish
Danielle Silver Forest Park, OH A white guy I liked told me this. I am white( German, Irish, Penn. Dutch), Hispanic, Native American. I used to get asked where I was from in school. I said, “I’m an American.” My ancestors have been here for generations. My full brother has never been asked where he […]
Eliana Rodriguez, Winston Salem, NC. I hate the feeling of rejection from the Caucasians I grew up with and the Hispanics that come from my culture. Ive always felt alienated from the white students in my schools but it hurt even more to find out that people from my own culture didn’t accept me cause […]
Julie Murphy, Plainfield, NJ. I wrote this in response to the excellent article in Nat Geo. White people talk about feeling outnumbered by other races. How do they think people of color have felt for hundreds of years? 30 years ago I moved to a town that was predominantly black and sent my daughter to […]
Josie Westmiller, Corning, NY Hello! My name is Josie and I am a student at Corning Community College. I chose these six words for my race card because these are words that have been said to me many times throughout my life, especially when I was in high school due to the fact that my […]
Joshua, Warrenton, VA My mom lived in Columbian until she was adopted at 9 y/o by a white midwestern family who doesn’t speak Spanish. My dad is an average white male from the midwest who also doesn’t speak Spanish. Because of the way I look and y skin color people assume I speak Spanish all […]
Nina, Marina, CA I’m light skinned, half white, but I don’t feel white. My other half is Hispanic. I ever know what race to put down, so I always pick “other.”
Sebastian Portillo, Fort Myers, FL These 6 words are just a personal meeting to interactions I’ve had in the past with people against my race. I am of hispanic parents/ An older male told me once I did not belong in the country, and he was from Florida. What seemed funny to me was that […]
Isabel Walkup, Waleska, GA Being a light-skinned Puerto Rican obviously has its perks! I can easily get jobs, I rarely experience racism or discrimination. However, when it comes to fitting in, that is something that doesn’t come easy. I’m too culturally different from my whites friends and I’m not Latina enough for my Hispanic friends. […]
Simon, Wynnewood, PA I’m Indian. But I’m not Hindu or Tamil. I’m Malayali (also known as Keralite). I’m an ethnicity so unknown that every website that I ever typed my ethnicity into has insisted that I spelled it wrong or said a made-up word. And nobody, NOBODY, ever knows I’m Malayali unless I tell them. […]
Gigi Fierro, Menlo Park, CA Being mixed doesn’t mean I’m not more of one culture than the other, nor does it mean that I’m not Hispanic or European enough to be accepted into either community.
Martín De Greiff, Winchester, MA. Just because I am hispanic, does not mean I should be working on your lawn… I was walking one day early in the morning after a run and I noticed some hispanic guys working on a lawn on a house with an odd machine. So I stopped and asked what […]
Anonymous, Miami, FL. Though I was born and Raised in a suburb a few miles south of Miami, Florida. My mom and dad are from Ethiopia and Sudan respectively. As a child, I’d say about 99% of the community were “white”. During middle and high school it shifted to about 49% “white”, 49% Hispanic and […]
Raysa Rivera, Worcester, MA. I have struggled with my inability to fit in within the Hispanic culture. I cannot speak the language without having trouble with grammar and sounding like a “white girl.” I’ve gotten mocked because of it all the time. My family has also decided to leave some of the cultural traditions back […]
Rewan, New York, NY. I’m 15 years old, and I live in New York. My parents were both born and raised in Egypt and moved here in the ’80s. Let me cut to the chase- I’ve been called white, Hispanic, “light skin,” but I consider my self Arabic, because Egyptians speak Arabic and is located […]
Cesar Bazo, Auburn, AL. I know deep inside myself that I belong to a minority group here in the United States. I am a Peruvian living in Alabama. However, the fact that I belong to a minority group does not make me feel inferior or less likely to succeed. On the contrary, I believe this […]
Mathew Rayne, Houston, TX. Once in awhile you go for a drive and see the people around you enjoying what there doing. Everyone is their own person! Sometimes your expected to do something that… you just rather not do? It’s my family line? In my blood? Just because I’m Hispanic doesn’t mean i wanted to […]
Ian Diaz, Norfolk, VA Intersectionality exists. Too long have I been told that I’m not Hispanic enough, not white enough, and not black enough to exist in certain spaces. But I am enough. Others cannot dictate my existence. I am who I am and I am a proud, mixed gay man.
John Lombaida, West Hempstead, NY I am a Hispanic male. I attend Nassau community college and these things make me the guy who I am. Being Hispanic, I am cultured both in the American and Hispanic culture and I am also bilingual due to the fact that I am a Spanish speaker. I am also […]
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 […]
Catherine Kehl, Cleveland Heights, OH. When we divide ourselves into “us” and “other” we don’t only lose the other, we lose ourselves. I was twenty-seven before I realized that my mother sometimes spoke to me in Spanish not because she’d picked some up in college before travelling in South America in her twenties, but because […]
Adrianna, Yarmouth, IA I have been privileged with white skin and what would be considered mundane ‘caucasian features’. For this I never had to experience racism, I only ever had to learn about it. It hurts me to think that my family members who display more Hispanic features than I do are often targets of […]
Sofia Cuenca Rojas, Acworth, GA I am Hispanic and due in great part to my parents, who I am thankful for, I have been protected from racism for the majority of my life. And yet when someone makes what they would consider a harmless joke, safely from the other side of a wall they use […]
Alyssa Herrera, Dallas, TX So my birth certificate says my race is white or Caucasian,and my ethnicity is Hispanic/Latino. Yet when some people meet me they automatically assume I’m Mexican because in their minds they believe,” they all look alike.” Or, her last name is Herrera she can be our translator. I can not count […]
A., USA. I work in an area with a lot of Hispanic or Latino immigrants from different places. I have not had many good experiences with them. For awhile I just tried to excuse their behavior as not knowing or understanding the cultural differences but it’s getting harder. Before I continue, yes I know there […]
Christian Diego Cintron, El Paso, TX. Culture and race should be celebrated. Growing up in a border town taught me people are different and we should all be understanding. I am Hispanic and I love my culture and the way it blends with all the other cultures.
Sarah Sanchez, Midvale, UT. I am Hispanic, black and European but you couldn’t tell by looking at me and I am okay with that. I believe that there may always be a larger number of a particular race through out America but that does not make them the majority nor minority. I I feel that […]
Odali Ayon Rodriguez, Tucson, AZ. Just a quick message: In our society of modern day times I am immensely judged for being Hispanic and a women. As children we are always encouraged to dream big and live towards those big dreams. However, as I grew older there were a lot of individuals (teachers, friends, family […]
Daisy Carranza, Sparta, NC The question of belonging is something I have always struggled with. I am a hispanic who was born in the U.S. However, people like me are stuck between being American or Mexican (or wherever their parent’s origin is). I am too Mexican to fit into the American category and I am […]
Martyna, Manassas, VA When I started working in the local pizza place one of the Hispanic girls said to me: “First time I met you I thought you’re only a basic white girl but then I heard you talking and I realized you’re European so that’s kinda interesting.” Every day someone asks me where I’m […]
Olivia Paez, Destrehan, LA. My mom is white, and my dad is Cuban. I was told a lot of times I am to white to be Hispanic, but I know my blood.
Olivia Rose Castillo, Sanger, CA. I am constantly asked if I’m sure of the racial group I belong to because the color of my skin. I am light complected, I’m a lot lighter then most. Doesn’t mean I should be defined by my skin color. All of my are similar in our faces but all […]
Varun Vajpeyi Iowa City, IA I’m part white part south Asian Indian. I have been confused with other ethnic groups, most of the time its by a white people and most of the time people of other groups will say no you are not Indian, Arab, Hispanic etc. I feel i really don’t belong to […]
Yira Pineda, Anaheim, CA I am told that it is surprising that at my age, gender and Hispanic culture I do not have any children yet. I hear that by the age of 15 it is common for Hispanic girls to become pregnant and quit school but that was not my stereotypical. I am 27 […]
Marlo Torres, Riverside, CA. I am Puerto Rican and I have always grown up with the question of; You’re Hispanic, why don’t you speak Spanish? At first it was always something that I just laughed off and my usual response was I don’t know or my parents never taught me. As I grew older and […]
Joshua Ruiz, DENVER, CO. No, I am not a gangster or some stereotypical Chicano, Mexican, or any Hispanic. I was born in New York City in a Jewish hospital to Nicaraguan parents who lived on 120th and Lexington in some studio room or something like that. Until 2 months later we moved to an open […]
Kaniela Kelekolio, Captain Cook, HI. The legacy of slavery and, for much of history, the demographics of the USA have led to ‘white vs black’ being the central racial discussion. But as America grows more diverse and East and South Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic communities and white and black ethnic subgroups flourish, they challenge a […]
Rebeca Cruz-Esteves, Philadelphia, PA. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in both the U.S. Although my first language is Spanish it’s hard to tell since I have no accent. Growing up it was hard to immediately blend in as I spent my childhood in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood. As a teenager my family […]
John Michael Rendon Nicholson, San Antonio, TX. Growing up around Latinos and Caucasians, I was either “too White for Latinos” or “Too Latino for Whites”. Very few people saw me as “one of them”, even to this day. Of course, this didn’t stop me from indulging in my culture. I learned Spanish; and I even […]
Gilberto Tapia Jr, Salinas, CA. I grew up within a mostly Hispanic/Latino community. I remember growing up, others would keep their distance because of my skin color as if it automatically made me some type of criminal. The media portrays beauty as being light skinned with blue eyes, but I would not change my skin […]
Carissa Renee Chacon, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Born with the curliest, thickest dark brown hair (well now it’s auburn). Hazel eyes that have green and specks of gold. Skin white as snow. There’s always been a push and pull situation regarding my ethnicity. Most people don’t believe me when I say I speak Spanish fluently. […]
Mary Spain I’m married to a dark haired dark eyed white skinned Spanish speaking man of pure European descent. He is Spanish. We live in Spain! When many of my American friends comment on our biracial marriage or our children being mixed I want to correct them but feel that by doing so i’ll come […]
Anonymous, Houston, TX. It’s hard being a young “smart” black man, especially in the military. If to good at my job it’s because “we helped you out more because we don’t want you to think we where racists” then if I’m not good at my job its. “Well you know black people are lazy…” Plus […]
Ethan Flechner, Milwaukee, WI I’m a white man and I act very differently then most white people I see in stories and on the news. I act differently then most people I see. My race doesn’t automatically mean that I’m going to be formal or what white people are generically showed as. Throughout your life […]
Matthew Spiroff, San Antonio, TX. I moved from a predominately white town Hamburg New York to San Antonio Texas. I am white [English and Bulgarian and I cannot go to certain parts of town without being pulled over and asked what is a white boy doing here or go to certain businesses and get service […]
Jonathan Rivera, NY. It may not all be sunshine and rainbows when you are in the minority group, but it has its benefits for sure. I am a Hispanic young male and let me tell you, I have been exposed to many new and different experiences because I am within a minority group. I am […]
Charuta Apte, Sammamish, WA. I am an Indian, and teach in a under-served community in a school which is equally white, black and hispanic. In the beginning, it was a recipe for disaster. Now, it feels empowering. Just last week, I had a few student accuse me of going easy on a girl who they […]
Matt JP J, Tewksbury, MA. My grandmother’s father was from Puerto Rico and she never knew him very well. She grew up as Irish with her Irish half siblings. My grandmother likes to view herself as Italian and Irish, rather than sharing her Hispanic heritage with her children. This is due to feelings of abandonment. […]
Irmie S. Bristol, CT I grew up in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Both of my parents were from Puerto Rico but were of Spanish ancestry, which caused my fair, freckle-prone skin. I looked so different from so many of my caramel-skinned classmates. So, in Junior High School, when one Puerto Rican boy began teasing all […]
Patricia Linderman, Mexico. I’m the spouse of a US diplomat, and we have lived in four Latin American countries for a total of 11 years. We have sometimes seen strong discrimination and heard ugly remarks against people in these societies with darker skin color. It is definitely not just a U.S. and European problem. Besides […]
Ernesto C., Riverside, CA. Living in Southern California, I’ve noticed that many people don’t seem to know that there are other cultures besides Mexican. This happens because most people act like there are only Mexican people living in California when there are obviously so many more cultures.
Vanessa Guzman, Corona, CA. I am a Mexican women who has brown skin and all my life I was always self conscious about it because people would always point it out to me even those who were also Hispanic but they were lighter skinned. Even my family would. And I always took it as negative […]
Celestina Garcia, Bloomington, IN. Cripplingly aware of my Hispanic heritage, yet I feel that it doesn’t belong to me. I have my mother’s Anglo nose, and my fathers Mexican brows. I wade through a sea of whiteness wishing to connect yet when I find a Chicana we find that we aren’t on the same page… […]
Jonathan Pineda, San Francisco, CA. I’ve been living in the Mission District all of my life, due to the gentrification going on and many natives being pushed out and tech workers moving in, police presence has increased dramatically. Also due to the gang injunction which has done nothing except give police officers an excuse to […]
Natalie Mariam Pattillo Alpine, TX It always seems that my ethnic background becomes a guessing game at dinner parties. Even strangers will come up to me and ask me “what are you..wait, let me guess…egyptian, hispanic, black.,? Usually, I want to say “I’m a human” but I allow the guessing game to continue until they’ve […]
Carolina, Powder Springs, GA. As a Hispanic person, being called Mexican can be seen as an insult, but what is worst; the fact that I feel offended or the fact that it can be offensive?
Lauren Jewert, Colorado Springs, CO. Anthropology Class 101, Dr. Sandi Harvey
Hilary Salazar, McAllen, TX. I attended a middle school with only seven Hispanics/Latinos. One day during 2nd period, the librarian called all seven of us over the intercom to come to the library. I had no idea why, but everyone laughed as I walked out of class. I got to the library along with the […]
Ruth Santiago, Rochester, NY. A very close long time friend said this to me. I was totally taken off-guard. I asked for an explanation. She stated, “the fact that I came from a home with both parents, parents who loved us, encouraged education, and values”. It actually made me angry to realize that this is […]
My 6 word memoir is about my family because I am Mexican, but my cousins are black and Mexican. Most of my family is Mexican because my mom’s side is all Mexican and so is my dad’s side. But on my mom’s side I have black cousins. Some experiences I’ve had with racism is when […]
Hilary Forrest, Pasadena, CA. Every single time a person meets me, they’ll assume my race is “white.” That’s where you’re wrong. My nationality is American; my ethnicities are Hispanic as well as Icelandic. But no, of course because of the paleness of my skin or the freckles adorning my cheeks, I always get a, “No […]
Tomas Sanchez, Forth Worth, TX. It’s so easy to choose any single part of you to define your identity. When you have more than one, they all become just details.
Rachel Masilamani, Pittsburgh, PA. I was eating lunch alone in the break room on my first day at an office job when 3 of my new co-workers peeked in. “Are you Hispanic, or just Italian?” one of them blurted out. Neither, actually. This lady just laid down her line for White and Not White and […]
Anthony Caraballo, Philadelphia, PA. Technically, American who is ethnicity is Latino. My family is from Puerto Rico.
Kassandra Lynn Pasquale, Bonner Springs, KS. I never really liked how people automatically assume that I’m white just because I always really pale. Just because Hispanics usually have a tan complexity doesn’t mean that you can’t be pale. Whenever I told people I’m actually hispanic they got really surprised and didn’t believe me so they […]
Katia Pérez Amaya, Charlotte, NC. Everyone that is not open minded see ALL Hispanic/Latinos that they are from Mexico and well of course that is not true because I am a Latina but from El Salvador.
Susie Gonzalez, San Antonio, TX. I had just gotten married and opted to add my husband’s last name to my byline as a newspaper reporter. When I called someone to seek information for a news story, the person wasn’t available. When I gave my name to leave a message, the person’s assistant said, “You don’t […]
Victor Jimenez, Philadelphia, PA. After Donald Trump being election, I feel as if the word Hispanic has changed drastically. I am not Illegal, a rapist, or a thief.
Juan Oquendo, Lakeland, FL.
Marta Silva-Serrano Lenexa, KS Sad statement by an immigration officer when I had to fill in my request for a Social Security Number in order to work as a doctoral student in a Kansas University. I am from Spain and I had never been asked about my race before.
Alfida Cruse, St. Louis, MO. Growing up half Dominican and half Missouri German (white) constantly left me feeling not white enough for the white kids and not Dominican enough for the Hispanic kids. I have been called out and subsequently shunned when my mother picked me up from school in Arlington, VA (“you’re WHITE?!”) and […]
Eric Vazquez, Baltimore, MD. When I meet new people I’m always asked where I’m from. I get asked if I was born in Mexico, I get asked if I eat tacos and such. Not every Hispanic is from Mexico. At this point I’m fine with it but it still irritates me a little. I have […]
Paul Meyer, Chicago, IL. I am a bigot toward bigots. My so-called best friend in third grade gives me, a Jew, a Nazi ring saying, “my father wants you to have this.” My fiancé when I’m 33 hurls slurs toward hispanics. Others throughout my life condemn my race or other peoples’ races. I just disown […]
Cole, Nashville, TN. A lot of my family comes from Spain and Latin America. And I take pride in that. Every once in a while there is one person that is stuck with stereotypes of what Latinos should look like. I’m part Hispanic, the person said to me “You don’t look Latino, your not dark” […]
Angelica, Philadelphia, PA.
Jorge Grand Rapids, MI I am Hispanic and proud to be so. Growing up I realized that my skin was darker than my brothers’ and many others in the family and from very early on (growing up in El Salvador, my beloved but racist little country) I was aware that the color of one’s skin […]
Marco Perez, Oakland, CA. I choose these six words because this is how I feel about the relationship between me and my race. I believe that race shouldn’t even be a thing because we are all humans no matter what. The tone of our skin should not define who we are or who we will […]
Victor Santana-Melgoza, El Paso, TX. For most of my life I have been rejected by many people in the Hispanic/Chican@/Latin@ community for not learning and practicing Spanish (as well as not following other cultural cues). I was raised in a household where English was the main language spoken. I am 4th generation American, raised by […]
Tracy, Pittsburgh, PA. During the summer I’m darker so I’m African American, during the winter I’m lighter so I’m other. My family comes from a mix of dark and light skinned Spaniards, French and Jews. We are Dominican. I am American.
Nate Pickett Kensington, CT If I see a group of rowdy teens in large fitted hats, Ed Hardy sweatshirts, and baggy jeans, I get a little uncomfortable, regardless if they are black, white, Hispanic, etc. If I see a group of well groomed men and women in suits carrying briefcases/laptop bags, again, regardless of race, […]
Diana Martinez, Chicago, IL. I’m both Hispanic and Middle Eastern, but I guess my skin tone never did quite match up to people’s expectations.
Elizabeth Swenson, Hacienda Heights, CA. I went to school in NC were it was predominately black & white in2006. My husband and the majority of my friends are Hispanic or Spanish descent. I never really though racism exist coming from LA, CA were its divers. But here I saw people say nasty things, dirty looks, […]
Desiree Carlson, Elmhurst, IL. Both my mother and I grew up in white culture even though we are both from ‘Hispanic’ descent. But because we do not look white, we weren’t accepted into that culture even though we were raised in it. The same vice versa. We were born Latina, but we weren’t raised in […]
Courtney Martin, Moreno Valley, CA. My grandfather was pure Hispanic. He passed away before my first birthday. I moved to Hawaii when I was 6 months old. When I was 26 I moved to California with my husband and our 2 kids. I have never been called Hispanic or even been thought to have been […]
Laurie Mitchell Dunn Taos, NM In my northern NM community, Native Americans have been here for over 1,000 years and Hispanics for 400 years. Anglos are both minorities and relative newcomers (first arriving about 150 years ago). Even native born Anglos aren’t really accepted as “locals”. The Hispanics here have a saying: “Just because your […]
John Coffman, Rocklin, CA. I used to believe that we all were heading somewhere. As a kid I loved Star Trek: The Next Generation, a TV show about a future where humanity had progressed to a point where all cultural/religious/racial/political/financial/identity barriers had been dissolved and everyone (except for those less “evolved” alien races) was able […]
Danya Granado Aurora, CO If you must place me in a racial category, then call me black. And no, I’m not offended when you say it. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in England. I have a Hispanic last name. I get a lot of questions. Culturally, I feel as though […]
Bridget, Washington, DC. As a child growing up in the Texas Hill Country I was often told to go back to Mexico. I didn’t speak Spanish, and I’m half white. German, Irish, and Finnish to be exact. My dark, curly, frizzy hair and olive skin won me no favors. Years later I live in DC. […]
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 […]
Ian M., Orange County, CA. My mom is an immigrant from the Middle East, my dad was born in Texas, yet my brother and I look as white as you can get. Every time I’ve filled out college apps for state or private schools, the US census, standardized tests like AP, SAT, and GRE, race […]
Amanda Perez, Washington, DC. This was said to me when I arrived for a job interview and they were meeting for the first time.
Kristy, San Luis, AZ. The older I get the less fun it is for me to go places. Constantly getting judged for being Hispanic and worst of all assuming of what I can and cannot do, getting spoken in Spanish by non-Spanish speaking people is what’s worse. Why assume that I cannot speak English? Give […]
Danielle Perea, Denver, CO. I’m a light-skinned, freckled Hispanic woman just trying to deal.
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 […]
Natalia Z., USA. I’ve had people ask me if I was Mexican. When I said no they asked if I was Indian. I’m half Hispanic and European and I have tan skin. But I’m not Mexican I’m Peruvian. Some people always assume just because I have tan skin means I’m Mexican.
Steven N. Pembroke Pines, FL I am Hispanic, born and raised in New York. I served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and was stationed in Jacksonville, NC. I was on my way to Fayetteville to visit some friends and got lost on the way. I stopped at some convenience store to ask […]
Mina, Riverside, CA. CBU HIS 311
Emily, San Francisco, CA. I love how there are so many different cultures, and I want for people to keep celebrating their cultures. However, when it comes to deciding who has it harder or who is to blame for present issues, I think that we should focus not on how we differ, but how we […]
Arleigh Worstell, Ceres, CA. I come from a long line of hispanic women who married white men (myself included). Through the generations, even while some of us get lighter, we haven’t lost the culture we were raised with.
Fiona Hinkulow, Renton, WA. and I’m not adopted!!!
Jennnifer, Fresno, CA. No matter where I am, people will come up to me and start speaking Spanish. I assume it’s because they assume that im fully Mexican. but little do many know, I’m mayority Native American with a small amount of Hispanic in me. Because people asssume that I’m Mexican, they assume my first […]
Kathryn Yurcak, Riverside, CA. Yes, I’m Native American. No my great grandmother was not an Indian princess. No I’m not going to do “the rain dance” and please stop doing that Indian chant at me that you’ve seen in movies. I know I look like I speak Spanish and you’re getting angry at me because […]
Pablo Chauvin, Portland, OR. My name is Pablo and I’M WHITE. I grew up in a small town in Southern Oregon on a 40 acre commune. My parents are college educated and my Dad was a philosophy major with a never ending thurst for knowledge. So why the name Pablo? Growing up in a small […]
Valerie Guerrero, Mission, TX. All my life I’ve grown up around my Hispanic family. It’s unusual for me to ever say something in English in front of them out of respect because they don’t really understand the language. The few times that I accidentally say something in English I get the old “no eres gringa, […]
Jay Marie Fernandez, Bridgeport, CT. With white skin, being of Hispanic origin, in a household that did not speak Spanish, in a predominantly Spanish speaking neighborhood, this sentiment taught me being Hispanic or Latina was something to be hidden. The kids hated me because I thought I was better than them, proudly pri-claiming “I’m white”…now […]
Adriana M., Canada. How about being the only-child black sheep of a Colombian mother and Irish/Ukrainian father? My mom could pass for Italian, but her Hispanic legacy is strongly expressed in me, all wrapped up in an Irish surname. I grew up without much diversity and didn’t even realise I looked different from everyone else […]
Emily Alfonso, Summerville, GA. Everyone thinks because of my last name, that I am hispanic. But I’m not, I am Italian, Irish, and French.
T.W., Baltimore, MD. I am White, non-Hispanic, but I go to Mexico on a regular basis so I have worked really hard to speak decent Spanish. I’m not fluent, but I can get around, and I have a believable accent. So back in the U.S., there are times when knowing Spanish comes in handy. I […]
Christina Aviles, Bethesda, MD. “You don’t talk like most Hispanic girls do, you don’t wear your hair like them, you don’t listen to the same music as them, you’re just not, well you’re not like super Hispanic”. This is what my white college roommate said to me during our first semester of freshman year when […]
Lucia Flores Medford, MA My parents raised us to be proud of our Dominican heritage, and at the same time went to great lengths to ensure that we had the cultural/intellectual capital to succeed in a white-dominant society. As a result, I am an active participant in American culture as well as Dominican/Hispanic culture in […]
Annette Maldonado, Rochester, NY. Hispanics are invisible a lot of the times. We are seen as not really white, but not quite Black either.
Araceli Ruiz, Jurupa Valley, CA.
Marcella Gucho, Sacramento, CA. I’m half Hispanic and half Irish, and it’s put me a few interesting positions with other groups of people. For instance, some assume that Mexican stereotypes can’t bother me because “I’m White passing.” Some more extreme people I’ve encountered as a child think I’m a mistake because of my parentage (i.e., […]
Amaia Diaz, Chesapeake, VA.
Anna Hill, Dallas, TX. I assist Hispanic school children with their homework after school. They bring their issues to me and the majority are black educators making differences between black children and Mexican children.
Janice Mendoza, East Lansing, MI. I moved to Michigan from Southern California in middle school. I was very shocked to find out that there were not many Latinos in my new area. I felt very out of place. I am current student at Michigan State. I loved the idea of diversity when I got accepted […]
Alix Sotomayor, Boone, NC. I have always felt suspended between two worlds, since my ethnicity is widely varied (like that of most Americans). I am mostly (~70%) white, of Scots-Irish and English descent, but also have a chunk (25%) of Puerto Rican heritage (the missing ~5% comes from smidges of Native American and German ancestry). […]
Annie Woodbridgem VA In high school, a white male classmate once said this to me. I am a half-Korean, half-Dominican woman. I had no idea how to respond. The context I perceived was that he meant that I spoke very clear, unaccented English, ate American-typical food staples for lunch, got excellent grades, and was in […]
Nicole Bodenstein Milwaukee, WI I’m allowed to have a German last name.
Catherine Marden El Cerrito, CA My mother is from El Salvador. My father is from Kentucky. I grew up in rural Oregon. I didn’t know I was half-hispanic until I realized checking the hispanic box on college applications might help me get accepted. To this day I struggle with my Salvadoran ancestry. I am white. […]
Frank Benson Knoxville, TN I am native american from Alaska. I have been mistaken for hispanic, asian, hawaiian. it’s difficult not to see someones color, but to make assumptions about who someone based on skin tone before meeting the person limits us all.
Sabrina Vargas Albuquerque, NM Being Spanish I have light skin. Many people in Spain have blue eyes, green eyes, red hair. Just because I have red hair, and lighter skin than most Hispanics doesn’t mean I’m white.
Lauren Rodriguez Indianapolis, IN … But I’m Hispanic. People always want to categorize me into one or the other “category of people” just because I don’t hangout with a lot of Hispanics but I’m proud of my roots. Just because I listen to a certain genre of music, or I am part of a nationally […]
Dean Lincoln, NE I never know what to put down for my ethnicity when filling out official forms. I used to put down whatever I thought would be most helpful given the situation… padding the numbers for one racial group or whatever gave the best possibilities for scholarships on a different form. I used to […]
Will Chiang New York City, NY Brooklyn
Jayda Medina New York City, NY Brooklyn When I was about five year olds, a Dominican hair dresser cut about seven inches of my hair. When ever I tell someone, I get a racist remark about hispanic people and scissors.
Cleo Bedford, NY Yes, I am white and Colombian.
Elena Rodrigues Houghton, MA Living in a small town in the UP of Michigan and having a fairly Hispanic name can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Sometimes it shows how some people view a person from a different background in a negative way and other times it can be positive. I have been […]
Katrina V. Cromwell, Pearl Harbor, HI. My father is Hispanic and White and my mother is Black. They met in high school and they have been married for 28 years. I knew nothing about racism until my father sat me down as a kid and told me about things that my parents went through in […]
Maria Smith San Jose, CA It’s a bizarre little problem to have. Especially in California.
Rebecca Rodriguez Baltimore, MD This is a picture of my brother and I. Constantly he gets accused of being Arab, Mexican or Italian from Caucasians, “White guy” from African Americans, and Persian from Iranians. My story falls somewhere along the same line. We both grew up Latino (Guatemalan to be specific), and even then – […]
Sonia Boston, MA When people look at me, I clearly look Hispanic. So much so that many are surprised to hear that I speak perfect English, with no accent at all. Once I was told, “Wow, you speak so well!” I was born in Boston, educated in Boston, worked in broadcasting and took voice an […]
Alex Pozo St. Louis, MO Just because people are of Latino descent, does not mean that people can assume they are Mexican.
Katya Abazajian Houston, TX The government’s method of collecting data on ethnicity/race through the Census reflects the confusion and incorrectness in today’s label-obsessed culture. Our government is not on the forefront of the necessary social change.
Alex Johnson Bentonville, AR My father is Caucasian, born and raised in Arkansas. My mother is Hispanic, born and raised in the Dominican Republic, despite her time living in both New York and Arkansas. I’ve seen myself as biracial since I found out my mother was from outside the states but, every time I fill […]
Erica Shofner Eugene, OR Explore Identity Being mixed race is a blessing and a curse. I don’t have to deal with the unfortunate social stigma that comes with being Hispanic in America because of my light complexion, but I’m deprived of acceptance by the Hispanic community for the same reason. I thirst to experience that […]
Peter Kim Los Angeles, CA Heard the phrase “majority minority” on the radio the other day. I know exactly what they meant and I have heard it many times before, but it irked me. Used to express when an ethnic minority is greater than 50% or outnumber the “majority.” The implications are that the majority […]
Elvira Randall Lakeland, FL
Christine Ortega Gaurkee Saint Petersburg, FL Being Hispanic in this country sometimes puts you into many different worlds without even realizing it.
Jennifer Lopez Salt Lake City, UT Don’t match your assumptions, that is. It certainly doesn’t help to have the same name as a famous Latina, either. I’m a pale freckled gal from the south, and for a while, south Texas, which was interesting. My dad is from Cuba and my mom is from East Texas. […]
Ethan Pickering Washington, DC …a drink. Because he stumbled into the bar hammered. But he was Salvadoran and I am white. Nevermind that I was speaking to him in Spanish (NOT my first language). Nevermind that I was conversing with other Spanish speakers who were drinking–some who were drunk–at the bar. Nevermind that nobody else […]
Joel Wasinger Wylie, TX By all appearances, I’m “white” and I was raised in white middle class America. My biological father was Hispanic (my relatives on that side are mostly pale, like me). My dad, the man who raised me, is part Native American. My wife’s son–now my son–is black, technically mixed race. And there’s […]
Kenna Hensen Philadelphia, PA I’m so ashamed to say I have racist thoughts. I grew up in a small suburban town believing that no matter your ethnicity, racist remarks where never appropriate. I moved into a large urban city 5 years ago and found my thoughts and feelings on racism being altered by my experience […]
Nancy Sheperd Sacramento, CA As a mixed-race woman, I’m often struck by others’, and especially strangers’, need to put me into a box. It isn’t only white people, though they are the only ones who use the phrase “What ARE you?” as if I am something other than human. Those who ask are always surprised, […]
James Meyer Salisbury, CT I was adopted and became an artist, all of my paintings portray white children when my wife asked me why, I realized I never saw anyone that looked like me growing up.
Briana Ciccarino Baltimore, MD “Are you Latina/Hispanic?” this is the question I often get when meeting new people. I appreciate the compliment and wish I was Latina, but I’m white. How can a white girl look Latina? Not sure. Like so many others, I am a mix of many heritages: I am Italian, Polish, German, […]
Andrea M. Newton, MA I grew up not really ever thinking about my race until my college applications asked me to literally box myself into one race. I always thought I was “white” with my Irish last name, Swedish grandmother, and my other American family. I just also had a mother who took us to […]
Elizabeth Norris Taylor Fernandina Beach, FL I have lived my entire life with people coming up to me and asking, “what are you?” For a while in college, I had some very clever comebacks… now days I simply shrug and say, “American, and you?” I have had people come up to me and speak Spanish […]
Isaiah Santiago Philadelphia, PA My names Isaiah Santiago and I am Puerto Rican. Being Puerto Rican and being different is always something that I’ve dealt with in my life. I’ve always been called things like gringo(white boy) or just a fake Puerto Rican. All of this comes back to me not speaking Spanish. Everyone always […]
Riley W. Marshalltown, IA I’m ethnically European and Turkish, but raised in a town with influential Hispanic and Burmese influences. I find myself thinking that culture isn’t about where you came from, but instead a blending of the different ways of being an American.
Joe DiPietro Oakland, CA As a short, dark white guy who’s been called “kike,” “spic,” and “raghead” by white guys, “gringo” or “anglo” by Hispancis, “dago” and “WOP” by blacks, I’ve learned what voice I have in the discussion about race and ethnicity. None. Yeah, I know–I haven’t lived the oppression. I’ll be a good […]
Lauren Mooney Elk Grove, CA As children, my mother always referred to us as Lebanese Leprechauns. She was first generation American, of hard-working Lebanese immigrants. My father was of Scots-Irish decent; his family having immigrated several generations earlier. American first and foremost, both parents also made sure we knew about the cultures of our ancestors. […]
Jose Caceres San Antonio, TX I am from Peru, living in Texas for the last 9 years. It is quite common around here to call Hispanics “Mexican”. Even though it might sound silly or irrelevant, to some of us it DOES matter. It hurts.
Claudia Noronha Madrigal Mankato, MN These words are one of my earliest memories of living in the U.S. I can’t remember for sure where I was, but I think I was submitting my driver’s license application at the DMV. I don’t remember the woman’s face or her voice. I do remember the tone, dripping with […]
Maite Knorr-Evans Outside USA Ethnically I am Hispanic racially I am White. When I am with my friends they walk faster around those with darker skin color and baggier cloths, forgetting that standing right next to them coated in pale white skin is the same thing but only on the inside.
Lisa Aragon Duque San Diego, CA Growing up Hispanic from New Mexico, in Hawaii, mistaken for a white girl. I was neither accepted nor rejected. I felt stuck in the middle. I felt wholly Hispanic in a white world and no one ever questioned me because of my fair skin. Hispanics of all cultures still […]
James E. Cooper III El Paso, TX
Yvonne Ramirez Dodge City, KS There are times where I have walked up to the register and and the cashier assumes I don’t speak English and they speak to me in Spanish. I don’t take offensive because the city I’m from is very diverse so I took it as them being helpful. It does make […]
Miguel G. Hays, KS I always meet a ton of people that get very surprised that I’m Hispanic since I’m not short or dark-skinned . I’ve also surprised plenty of people at work the moment I ‘d speak Spanish over the phone with my parents. I’m very well immersed in my Hispanic culture and am […]
Alejandro L. Zúñiga Sacks Ann Arbor, MI
Felina M. Gentile Colorado Springs, CO Both my sisters look Hispanic, like our mom. But I’m the only one to look my dad, who’s German. Some people wouldn’t believe me that I was Hispanic till they saw the rest of my family. So yes, sometimes I get mad/upset when people say I’m just some white […]
Angelica Ortiz Colorado Springs, CO I am a child of a full Hispanic father and half white and Japanese mother. My skin is quite fair, my checks are naturally a shade of pink and I do have slanted eyes. As a child I grew up around my Hispanic family, where everyone around me was darker […]
Alejandro L. Zúñiga Sacks Ann Arbor, MI
Mark Wood-Caballero Tempe, AZ I can’t fully determine what races I have in my heritage. My father, born in Baltimore, was a white anglo-saxon. My mother was born in Peru of Spanish and Incan descent, but with German and English ancestors. I grew up in Mexico as a US Citizen and now live in the […]
Gaby Gonzalez Mineola, NY People tend to immediately decide I’m not educated simply because I’m Hispanic. Race does not equal ignorance nor does it equal intelligence. Your intelligence is based on so many things, the color of your skin has nothing to do with it.
Kara Frederick, MD This sentiment comes from living in Laredo, TX, where the town is 95% ethnically Mexican and very racist against anybody who is not Hispanic, and especially “white”. Laredoans use the word Anglo in the way that “spic” has been used.
Matthew B. Leon El Paso, TX I was born and raised in the boarder city of El Paso, Texas. I would say 80% of the population is hispanic. People here expect me to know Spanish because of where I live, my skin tone and because of my last name. The fact is that I don’t […]
Ashley Pettiford, Cincinnati, OH. I am black white, and Hispanic. I’ve had some mishaps from being what I am and it’s kind of ridiculous. People need to stop worrying about me being three different races and instead putting more energy into something that could be more beneficial! Boom Suckka!