Gina Vidal, Liberty, MO.
Gina Vidal, Liberty, MO.
Peter Smucz, USA. The concept of race is actually a manifestation of a very old and fundamental human process, that of ingroup and outgroup identification. It developed for a single purpose, to facilitate harm against the outgroup, in this case the race in question. But hatred doesn’t come out of nowhere, their needs to be […]
Stephanie, Charlotte, NC I’m Black and Korean. But to many others I’m Mexican. My skin tone, my hair texture, my facial features apparently aren’t Black enough. They’re not Korean enough either. So in order for people to make sense of my appearance, they tell me I’m Mexican. This has caused so much pain and confusion […]
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 […]
Gabriela Arce, El Paso, TX
Paulina Abigail Contreras, Terrell, TX Ethnicity or cultural background does not determine the level of American identity where I belong. school Terrell high school
Mikaela Vera, Greensboro, NC I have always struggled with the color of my skin and the fact that I am a mixed child with an immigrant father who I am proud of however I have to limit my voice sometimes due to also being white and not wanting to offend anyone for being the voice […]
Donato Rivera III, San Jose, CA I was born in raised in San Jose, Ca. My family is of Mexican descent. Although when people look at me they don’t see someone with that background. It doesn’t help that my family didn’t teach me or my siblings Spanish. People think I am Russian or German when […]
Mya Garcia, Lubbock, TX When I am asked if I am Mexican, I truly don’t know how to answer. No, none of my family is from Mexico, my great grandparents lived on Native American reservations. Yes, my family knows Spanish, but I was never taught. No, I have never been to Mexico, nor has any […]
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 […]
Jonathan, Redwood City, CA
Anonymous, NV As someone who is Mexican, I often get told that I’m not actually Mexican because of the color of my skin. I’m often told that I’m not REALLY Mexican because my skin is so pale. Why does my skin have to be Darker for you to believe me? And why do you have […]
Colin Morrill, Cypress, TX I’m Mexican, but nobody believes me. I grew up in a Mexican culture, and my mom is Mexican. I eat Mexican food, listen to Mexican music, and have Mexican family.
Karen Yanes, Garden Grove, CA Not that many people know that I’m Italian but I am. Even though I don’t live with any of my Italian family members. I try to learn the basics of Italian and teach my mom Italian at the same time.
Shubham Bhardwaj, Cypress, CA I am Indian. I am not Sikh or Muslim. I am Hindu. Having beard does not mean I am Sikh or Muslim. I study at Cypress College. I also speak Spanish but I am not Mexican. I want to become a registered nurse. My major is Cypress College is Nursing.
Jocelyn Hidalgo, Anaheim, CA Im Latina, I was practically raised in Central America… Guatemala if you couldn’t have guessed. I do have a warm skin tone and have a typical “Mexican” appearance… whatever that may mean to you. But when you hear me speak Spanish I tend to have people second guessing if I’m actually […]
Cristina Garcia, Cypress, TX People never guess that I’m Mexican, they say I look white a.k.a American. It’s shocking whenever I speak Spanish fluently as they had no idea I could speak it.
Geovanni Herrera, Dallas, TX p>I chose these six words after being extremely inspired by a Ted talk called “The dangers of a single story” years ago. Where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an African American born in Eastern Nigeria faced countless amounts of misinterpretations in her home town before realizing the truth about Americans and their norms. […]
Joan Socorro Sullivan, Minneapolis, MN. I’m a quarter Mexican and over half Irish, I don’t attend church and I don’t drink. My hair is dark brown, my eyes are blue, I freckle like no one’s business; there’s the black Irish. My hips and bosom refuse to fit in anything smaller than a medium since I […]
Anonymous, USA I was with my brother and sister in law and I´m white, my brother is half black and my sister in law is Mexican and I went to Costco with them and a white couple approached me and asked ¨Do you know them sweetheart?¨
Juan Dominguez, Sacramento, CA. Mexican people say I am a shame to our people with gauges in my ears, the clothes I am wearing, the fact I do not have an accent when I speak. It’s like I was raised in America but by Mexicans that eat tortillas with every meal celebrate mothers day the […]
Norma Torres Addis, Seattle, WA. The first time I heard this question, I thought it was funny. After hearing it a few times, it made me wonder. If my heritage is Mexican and I don’t know the first thing about making tortillas does that make me less of a Latina? So many times organizations I […]
Jaymi Serna, Aurora, CO Growing up in a primarily Mexican area, my family only spoke spanglish or slang not actually Spanish. It never used to bother me as kid because I knew who I was and who I came from despite not knowing Spanish. Being an hispanic women, I pass for a white individual because […]
Lauren C, TX I wish for my half white, half Mexican children to grow up knowing that perceived differences should be an opportunity to learn about another person or people, and how much they may truly have in common. An opportunity to embrace someone or their culture and traditions, and maybe learn something new about […]
Paul Avery, Chicago, IL. I am part Mexican and Black, live in Chicago, going to City Colleges, wish I could leave earth for a planet where gay men made up 80% of world population.
Derek Ziebarth, Oakland, CA We can unite to change the narratives pushed by puppets of Satan aka college schools and TV. Wake up and realize they don’t get to destroy what they did not build.
Daniel A. Rodriguez, Philadelphia, PA. Hello, my name is Daniel A. Rodriguez and I am 15 years old. I am of Mexican and White descent. My parents came from Mexico shortly before I was born here, in the United States. My father is a construction worker and my mother is a house cleaner, which many […]
Fred Rocha, Huntington Beach, CA Those are the words my parents were told by their counselors in Los Angeles high schools back in the 1940s. All they wanted to do was pursue their interest in Engineering. Instead they were told to go work in the fields. They took the anger they felt and made it […]
Christal L, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Instead of getting to know people, some find it easier to put people into boxes. Black = bad. White = good. Mexican = illegal, etc. It’s sad. Get to know people. Skin color gives a hint to who a persons ancestors could have been. It says nothing about the […]
Aaron, Spring, TX In many occasions I am asked, where I am from. This question could be asked in many ways, either with good intent or bad intent. It usually goes this way, “Hey you look like you’re from the middle east, are you?” I usually respond with, “no, I am actually from Mexico.” Then […]
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 […]
Martin Clarke, Atlanta, GA Sushi, fried-chicken and arroz con pollo. I’m African-American, Asian and Native American. My wife is Salvadoran, Mexican and Italian. When you look at the statistical “browning” of America, no one has really analyzed the great culinary benefits of all this mixing: great dinners. At my house, we have taken advantage of […]
Lauren Juanita Hines, Alexandria, VA. I am the American melting pot personified: born to a Mexican father and Caucasian (white, mostly Irish) mother, raised by a Lebanese mother and a German-Irish father. I remember weddings as a child where we all danced the Middle Easter dabke. Cousins on the other side of the family won […]
Marta Elena Muñoz, Austin, Tejas (TX) Go back to where you came from. Imagine telling an American citizen of Mexican heritage (indigenous and Spanish mix) to go back to where I came from. As if this isn’t my ancestral land. As if “manifest destiny” and slave ownership weren’t reasons my ancestral lands were taken away. […]
Berenice Folks, El Paso, TX It’s too weird how people who seem to be the same race as you (Mexican) behave in an aggressive way. I have gone to a same gas station a couple of times where a lady who looks Mexican and speaks Spanish works, she attends people with a bad face but […]
Jordan, American Canyon, CA.
Arely Cruz, Summerville, GA. A common “come-back” to be used always is “Why don’t you go back and jump the border.” Well, why don’t you get your facts straight, because I was born in America.
Abraham Sanchez, Palo Alto, CA. Just cause I don’t act the same as other Mexicans does not define my moral value. You don’t say that to someone who looks like you right?
Josie Villanueva Washington, DC “… pick our melons on my Daddy’s farm.” she said to me, with wide eyes, on one of the first days at Hoosier Girls State. I was one of the very few Latinas in the program, a delegate chosen for my academic excellence and leadership at my high school. I think […]
Hannah, St. Louis, MO. My mother is from Africa. She has dark skin. My father is Swedish. My mother used to get asked if she was my Mexican nanny. I was bullied as a kid because I look like no one in my family. No one understands I identify more as a minority but I […]
Lisa Page Rosenberg, South Pasadena, CA. Mexican-Spanish-Apache-Basque-Irish-Swedish American
Nicolas Ortega, Redwood City, CA My cultures are both Mexican and Sicilian. I have always been told I am not enough for both sides.
Jessica D, Chicago, IL People assume that because I don’t speak Spanish I’m not really a true Mexican but labeled as “white washed”.
Lemon Wilson, Beloit, WI My partner is Mexican and I am white, in this day and age people still ask if we are really dating.
Brian Parra, Oxnard, CA. Without fail, the first thing a person remarks on, upon seeing my kids, is that they are blonde and I am not. I’ve gotten used to odd looks and the consistent recitation of a poor understanding of genetics, “Mom must have some strong genes!” Some have literally questioned whether they are […]
Christopher A Hernández, Corpus Christi, TX. Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, you can always smell the sea; after all: it’s practically in your backyard. But there’s also something else that is constantly in the air that one may not be able to smell, but it’s just as pungent: Stereotypes. I come from […]
Sofia Guerrero, Orlando, FL Everyone always assumes I’m Mexican or, because of my fairer complexion, Spanish. Often, they don’t even know where Puerto Rico is…
Brianna Acosta, Leander, TX. All the U.S. is talking about is black and white, but what about the Mexican Americans? Discrimination against us has risen 50% in the last ten years while discrimination against most other races in the U.S. has gone down.
Ryan Indianapolis, IN Submitted via Twitter: @Antisthanes
Jose “Jay” Zarate, Soquel, CA My skin is pale, my hair normally just light brown, yet in the summer you’re always eager to point out my streaks of red. It’s funny how you focus on that, how the contrast seems to shock you every time the sunlight reveals it or starts to make it apparent. […]
Sarah Elizabeth Rosen, Laguna Hills, CA. I did not choose to be Jewish. But, I have come to realize as I got older to appreciate who I am and how my religion is important to me. People think I am Mexican because I am tan, but really I am a Eastern European Jew. When I […]
Denise Shirley-Carter, Hudson, WI My father is white, Irish, Scottish, etc. My mother’s parents were from Mexico, Spain, then El Paso, TX. However, both my parents are light skinned, my mother very white, so I have a very pale complexion. I have always gotten “but you don’t look half Mexican” or “I don’t believe you” […]
Luis David Garcia Huntsville, TX I am Mexican, my wife is Pacific Islander and our girls were born in Virginia and Texas. My girls are the minority among minorities and yet are lumped together with the largest population in the planet (Asian/Pacific Islander). Now try to tell my Chamorro wife that she is Chinese and […]
Kathy Smith-Wenning, Highlands, NJ. My boxes check white, Anglo-Saxon but the ethnicity of my heart is Mexican. That is for all the good, the beauty, and the kindness afforded to me by the Mexican people here in NJ and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Tom Vásquez, Seattle, WA. I was in high school when this happened. I’m a son of a Mexican-American, so I’m 50% Mexican blood. 50% French-Canadian and English. When I was in high school, I was struggling to understand what it meant to be Mexican-American. The other Mexican kids in my school … well, the ones […]
Brian Federico, Nogales, AZ.
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 […]
Louisiana M., Wichita, KS I am Hispanic, my mothers mixed with Mexican and my grandmother is fully Mexican, but I speak no Spanish
Connie Mortara Tewksbury, MA Growing up I didn’t “know” I was Mexican American (we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us). It wasn’t until I moved east that I discovered that I am so very very Mexican. But its not my color that speaks to my background — it is so much deeper. Family, […]
Jessica Tolentino, Winchester, VA I chose those six words because I am considered too dark in America but too white in Mexico. In the United States, when white people see me, the first question they ask is, “Where are you from?” I respond, “I was born in Winchester, Virginia,” and the next thing that comes out […]
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 […]
Irlena A. Rodriguez, Tucson, AZ. Mexican is not a race, and not all Latinos are Mexicans. We have different cultures and ethnicity across Latin America. I am Latina and I am Colombian, Not Mexican. there’s a big difference.
Carlos Guerrero, Cumming, GA So I’m half Mexican and half American. I get the looks from my white mom which puts me in the middle of two vastly different cultures. I know I’m one of many White Latinos, just using my voice for my other hermanos.
Anna Murphy, MA My Mother is Mexican and Slovak. My father is Irish. Many applications and census options only give the option for “Hispanic,” or “White, not Hispanic.” I will never select either of these options. By my freckles, fair skin, and name alone, no one would ever think I had Hispanic blood, but my […]
Alexa Mendoza, Sun Valley, CA My American accent makes me insecure so I don’t like speaking Spanish to anyone other than my mom.
James Eliot Griffith Stillwater, OK It’s irritating how in this day and age if I just tell someone I’m Mexican (which is the side of my family I identify with a bit more since I grew up on the border in South Texas) everyone is perfectly fine and its all cool. But if I happen […]
Hana Peoples, Seattle, WA Being of Japanese and African American ethnicity has brought many interesting comments from people. Because I have an “ambiguous look,” I get many guesses from people about what I am. I have gotten Mexican, Filipino, Nepali, Chinese, but rarely can people guess that I am both African American and Japanese. When […]
Irvania López Toledo, Eugene, OR Growing up as a first-generation American in a white city was difficult for me, growing up. As early as four years old, I began feeling the pressure to assimilate. I refused to speak Spanish, I idolized straight blonde hair and blue eyes, and I desperately wanted to change my name. […]
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 […]
Jamila Wolters, Portland, OR I am a White-passing, Mexican woman with an Arabic name and have heard this statement from people of all races. The difference is the looks on the faces of the people who say this to me, their own race always and prejudice is always written right there. I am a proud […]
Anonymous, USA I’m Hispanic / Latino. it’s often a misconception that we’re all Mexican and that we are all illegal. I was born and raised in USA, and I hate the reputation we have.
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”.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Roberto Contreras. Mexico. I’m a redheaded Mexican-american. I self identify as Mexican, having grown up in Mexico, but whenever I say my heritage is Mexican the next question is always “Are you sure you are not half-spanish or something?”. No, parents are Mexican, grandparents are Mexican, so it’s interesting to see specific heritage being such […]
Violet, Houston, TX p>As an Eastern European I am asked this question quite frequently.
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 […]
Eric Flores, Lubbock, TX. I am a Mexican-American or simply put American. I was born and raised in a conservative town. I was too Mexican for the Whites and too White for the Mexicans. I was stuck in the middle. I always wanted to be white but now I am glad that I am Mexican. […]
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 […]
Perla Villegas, Wichita, KS Growing up going back and forth with parents was confusing especially being as young as I was. I was moving from a household full of fluent Spanish speakers who only spoke Spanish, from a home where we spoke nothing but English. I grew up to only understand the Spanish language, yet […]
Clari Gonzalez, Auburn, WA
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 […]
Cecilia Torres, Sparta, NC I am a full Mexican, but I was not born in Mexico. I grew up in a Mexican household following my Mexican culture. People believe that just because I was not born in Mexico I do not experience racism and I don’t get stared at in certain places because of the […]
Nikkishah, Manchester, NH A am half Mexican and half Puerto Rican. Throughout my life others have commented on my name referring to it as “black” and that I “Don’t look like my name”. Who’s to say what race the name Nikkishah is and what that person is supposed to look like? In fact, the origin […]
Anonymous, USA I was raised as a part of a mixed family, both of my parents were half-Mexican, and so am I. But no one in my family speaks Spanish. Even though, we still celebrate and do many of the same traditions. I’m still Mexican, I still am a part of that culture. I just […]
Lisa Craig Washington, DC It’s a bit complicated. My father’s family consists of Scottish, Swedish, French, German, English, Mexican, and two different Native American tribes. My mother’s family consists of French-Canadian, English, Inquit (Alaskan Native Americans), and some other ethnicities that I am not aware of (I am not close to them). All of my […]
Verenize Arellano, Chicago, IL
Lois Ann Knezek, Sanger, TX. I was born and raised in Hawai’i to a Hawai’i born Japanese woman and an Irish Bostonian. Luckily, in Hawai’i, everyone is mixed so I didn’t feel any different. Then I married a haole from Texas and moved to a culture where people didn’t know what I was. I wasn’t […]
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 […]
MaryLou Santiago, Kent, WA
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 […]
Jessica Soriano, Fontana, CA. My race does not define me, and it will not have any impact on the goals that I have set for myself. I am reaching for the stars and will settle for nothing but the best.
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 […]
Sarah Naomi Burnett, Norristown, PA. Being a ‘white’ girl raised on the border of Mexico the ‘race-card’ issue was raised daily. I always felt that if I was a color, and they were a nationality, those two identifiers didn’t quantify either of us equally. I had a culture at home that was Irish/Italian but where […]
Ninfa Pena-Purcell, College Station, TX. This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve […]
Laura Pierson, Los Angeles, CA. I am Native American, Mexican, Spanish, English, Germany, and Irish. I was raised by a single mom that is Native American, English, German, and Irish. I didn’t know what being a Mexican meant or was like and I’m still trying to figure it out. As a child, I told people […]
Kasey Nichols, Clemmons, NC. I’ve known I’ve been adopted since I can remember and never questioned my ethnicity until I reached middle school age because we had to fill out cards with “check yes if Latino, African American, white or other.” Biologically I’m Mexican and Italian, but I was raised white with my dad being […]
Jade Weber, Holland, MI. When my grandparents come up to visit, and we go out people always ask if my grandfather is related to us. My whole family is white, but my grandfather is Mexican. My grandmother married him so, he is part of my family. Sometimes when people ask we can tell they are […]
Paul Audette , Submitted via Twitter: @wisereturn5m.
Mark Cooper Lafayette, IN In elementary school, my best friend turned to me and said, “Mark, I don’t even think of you as asian anymore!” I knew he meant that our friendship had stepped beyond perceived race, but the phrasing could not be anymore alienating. I have family that trace back to the Mayflower, to […]
Victoria Chapperon, Anaheim, CA. When people look at me they think I’m white. Once I start speaking perfect Spanish, they freak out and ask me either where I’ve learned it, or if I am from Mexico. Even, when I tell them that I am from Argentina, they automatically think that just my parents are. Just […]
Nayeli G. Velez Los Angeles, CA I didn’t understand how to take this comment growing up. Now, I cringe when people say it. I see now it’s a comment on my race and culture. A racist comment disguised as a complement.
Kristiane Valenza, Vicksburg, MS. After moving to rural Mississippi from New York to teach Spanish at the high school level, I’m frequently met with confusion as to how I have an “ethnic” name and can teach Spanish, but I have fair skin and European features. When people ask me, “Are you from Vicksburg?” they really […]
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 […]
Michelle Tovar, Houston, TX.
Mike McNamara Chicago, IL Especially in the non-winter months because he gets so dark. Growing up in Tucson, he was sometimes mistaken for Mexican, which makes sense when you look at him from afar. But only recently has he felt uncomfortable going home to visit his family based on that same mistake that people have […]
Tom Lewis, Phoenix, AZ. Most “white” people in the USA are descended from people who were considered “other” and often not even white when these ancestors arrived. All of these groups changed and improved America. Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, and Jews were as unwelcome as Mexicans, Dominicans, Africans and Muslims are now. I am white […]
Naomi, Grand Rapids, MI. I am an American, of Mexican decent… No, I don’t speak Spanish, no I don’t know where my family is from in Mexico… My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were born in Texas… I grew up in Gary, IN around mostly Black people… people don’t know what box to put me in. How […]
Jessica Laursen San Diego, CA to New Orleans, LA When moving from San Diego to New Orleans as a teenager I realized the jobs held predominantly by Mexican-Americans in Southern California were performed by African-Americans in the south. Jobs such as janitor, yard maintenance, cook. I began to realize how incredibly complex social “status” is. […]
Valerie Grajeda Rountree, San Jose, CA. I grew up not speaking Spanish in a very Mexican neighborhood. My mother sent me to schools out of my area to prevent me getting involved with the local gang population. I grew up with other nationalities and met my future husband in high school. He is white. Our […]
Krystal Lopez, San Jose, CA. Being Mexican that’s all I tried to be growing up, but the truth is there is a black hole that I have made with being Native American. Growing up I never knew the man I would call my “Dad”. It was always just me and my Mexican & German mother. […]
Priscilla Esparza, Riverside, CA. Living life as a Mexican American is best described by Abraham Quintanilla,”Being Mexican American is tough. Anglos jump all over you if you don’t speak English Perfectly, Mexicans jump all over you if you don’t speak Spanish perfectly.” “we got to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are and we […]
Felicia Oakmon, Autin, TX. This statement is a repeat offender. I am half black and half Mexican, but I wasn’t aware that ALL “black girls”,or ALL people are exactly the same. Instead of judging people by media, social networks,and what you have heard… take the time to have a conversation, take the time to listen […]
Saif Ashfak, Wayne State, Warren, MI Are you an arabic or Mexican ? Lot of people can easily confuse me because of my lighter skin and fairer complex, but what I truly am is a Bengali.
All my life, people have mistaken me for “races” that I am not: Mexican, Hawaiian, Filipino, Indian, Brazilian. I was always flattered because I thought this meant I looked exotic and “different,” I wanted to look different. I didn’t want to look “haole,” our stolen Hawaiian word for “white.” That’s when I uncovered the implicit […]
Arely Herrera, Memphis, TN One of my professors of the “(De)constructing Race in America” course I am currently taken has embedded the importance of having your own “narrative” in my mind. Now, for me, it is always important to look at the history and re-write what my race means to me. “Mexican” doesn’t completely describe […]
Ninasophia Stowe, Riverside, CA I am mixed with Black, German and Mexican. Growing up I was very confused about what it meant to be mixed. I didn’t feel fully accepted by the Black community because I didn’t have enough black features, was called the “black friend” around white people and didn’t speak Spanish so felt […]
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. […]
Ty Martinez, Oak Lawn, IL. Black Mexican Korean Italian – sharing the best of each other with each other through similar yet very different cultural experiences. We amplify our togetherness by honoring our own mixed uniqueness.
Rusty Shackleford, Sacramento, CA. I’ve always been surrounded by diversity and never had any issues with it, or even noticed it. Growing up in a diverse area my best friends were Sikhs, Mexicans, Chinese, etc. As I became older and more aware of the world at large, I knew what diversity was, but it felt […]
Michelle Y. Bess, Chicago, IL. My mom is from California, my dad is from NYC. They raised my 4 siblings and me in Washington State. We grew up identifying as black. Recently, on a trip home, my mom learned that our family moved from Mexico to California on a covered wagon to begin a new […]
Yadhira, 8th Grade Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI. My friends and cousins tell me that I need to have a Quinceañera and I tell them I don’t want a big party with everyone dancing, Some of my family members say I should have my quinceanera at Mexico, but I don’t want one I […]
Alex Weitz, Lakeland, FL. It is because I play soccer (that’s also six words)
Brandon, Lancaster, CA.
Jameson Magdaleno Sacramento, CA This is my personal observation as a Mexican American regarding the plight of families with illegal immigrant parents who have children born in the U.S. today and their struggle to stay united. – Jameson Magdaleno
Rocio Tapia, Forest Park, GA. Being from Mexico, I do not have any sense of race. I know what I am and do not identify with any of the categories listed when I am asked about my race or ethnicity, so I often leave it blank or choose “Other” if I am pressed to select […]
Claudia Vero Beach, FL Scary but enlightening’s
Amanda Baran, Arlington, VA. “No, I’m not Mexican. Nope, not Latino. I’m an American who’s half Syrian and half Indian. Well actually, my father’s former nationality was Syrian. His parents were refugees from Turkey who were expelled during the Armenian genocide. No, they weren’t Armenian, they were Christians who were forced out and into Syria […]
Rachel Gonzales Pottstown, PA I’m the whitest woman who ever lived (except in the summer, when I’m the sunburniest woman who ever lived). He’s half-Mexican by way of California and half-German by way of WWII. Our adopted daughter is part African American, part Italian, part “Caucasian mix” (that’s what it ACTUALLY SAYS in her medical […]
Brisa Gardiner, Canada I am very confused about my identity and what parts of my background are “mine to use”. I was born in Mexico and lived there for my toddler years but I am only 25% Latin, with the rest being Scottish and Swiss. My mother, who is half Guatemalan, grew up in Guatemala, […]
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.
Jeannine Chavez, Huntington Park, CA. As a United States citizen who lives in Los Angeles as a gay Mexican female, it has limited my privileges. Being a different race, sex, and having a different sexuality than others have all caused me to be oppressed and quite often hear remarks about these three social identities that […]
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 […]
Yvonne Rosenberg, Sioux Falls, SD. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Tx. Raised by Mexican American Grandparents who grew up in a generation where Spanish was not spoken outside the home because of white America. In raising me, they refused to speak Spanish in the home. I was referred as a “coconut” by those of […]
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… […]
Lucas Lopez, Seattle, WA. I’m Mexican and Guatemalan.
Cristal Alanis, Greensboro, NC. Based on the color of our skin does not determine our background. Central and South America have other countries too, not just Mexico.
John Heath Olguin, West Orange, NJ. Before you get all worked up about my 6 words. Let me explain. I watched a little boy of Mexican-American decent sing our national anthem and thought nothing of it. The next day I read about all the negative comments that came about of his performance (see link) and […]
Justin Banks, Mission Viejo, CA. It’s weird how simple hair and skin color can categorize humans into different ethnicities and cultural origins that might not define that person at all.
Jacquelin Rojas, 8th Grade Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI. Whenever someone asks me if I Like spicy food like pepper, Takis, Hot Cheetos, or Hot Fires, I say I don’t like anything spicy, they look at me in a weird way and tell me your not Mexican because you don’t like any spicy […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer I never really have thought through what my grandma was saying. I was only just a little girl. I still am but after all these years, I have decoded her. She never thought she was being controlling. She never knew how meaningful all those sentences, […]
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?
Amy Hueitt, Gastonia, NC. I am a single mother of two children, one who is 8 with Autism, ADHD, and developmental delays. My daughter is almost 6 and typical. My son is black, white, and Mexican. He appears to be just Mexican. My daughter is black and white, she looks white. I am black and […]
Anaisa Sanchez, Riverside, CA. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom made sure I knew about all the Mexican Traditions within our culture. Of course growing up Mexican you always listen to everything your respectful elders comment on. However, as I’ve gotten older, I question everything that crosses my path. For example, there […]
Patricia Louise Batugo Panahon, Porter Ranch, CA.
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 […]
SLTR Seattle, WA I was raised in a white protestant homogenous family. From the time I was young, my curiosity led me to friends of other colors, races, personalities…anything new. In my 40’s I find myself with a Mexican husband, in a profession where I constantly learn and teach in a petri dish of races, […]
Toby Johnston USA. I grew up in Los Angeles the 80’s, rabid fan of all things rap. I am white and for many of my friends (Mexican, black, white, lower/middle/upper class, whatever) rap was the music of rebellion. I got called ‘wigger’ by my white(r) friends and heard a lot of hate spewed. And yet […]
Chuck Lehneis San Diego, CA Born here in San Diego, I find I fit in best. Yet, I don’t identify totally with the culture, by and large. Most of the surfers are white, most of the tourists are white, most of the people who are out and about on a Saturday night too. I see […]
Steven Jacob Alvarez, Orange, CA. I’m about 85% Mexican, and 15% Irish. Throughout my early life, I always considered myself purely Mexican. It wasn’t until after finding out my Great Grandma was from Ireland that i began to think differently. Now I understood why I was lighter skinned, and why I had to rebuff claims […]
Veronica, Woodland, CA. Don’t look down on me because I don’t speak Spanish. I would love to learn but you shaming me makes me nervous to even try, should I make a mistake. You think I spit on “my language”? Well, you spit on me, your Mexican sister.
Mina Perez Holland, MI A lot of people think that “soccer” is just for Mexicans. But in reality soccer is for anyone to play, it doesn’t matter what color of your skin you are. People shouldn’t get judged because of their skin, because anyone who’s any color can play soccer. People don’t understand the fact […]
Annabel Knight, Austin, TX. We were talking about SS Disability, and he said “No, it’s not hard at all to get on disability–all you have to do is be a fat Mexican.” So wrong, I just couldn’t be silent. My husband backed me up, most of the rest of the table squirmed uncomfortably. Why is […]
Jessica, Seattle, WA. I moved to a nice, peacefully safe area. First there was just a few illegal Mexicans but it’s changed. We made it easy for them by giving them free money, food, schooling. I hate them. I don’t like the Mexican culture, mannerisms,beliefs,..everything….is it so wrong to prefer not to like them. Why […]
Blake Coffey, Van Nuys, CA. In a world where being mixed is supposed to be looked at as beautiful, it’s not as easy when you are. People automatically assume that all mixed people are supposed to look mixed just like they assume all Mexicans are brown. I’m born to a mixed black/white father who looks […]
Monique Martinez, Riverside, CA. I am half Mexican and half Filipino but everyone always thinks I am full Mexican. When they find out I am mixed, half the time they don’t believe me. Then when they find out I don’t speak Spanish, I get comments like “how do you not know Spanish, you not a […]
Janine D Herrera, Rancho Cucamonga, CA. When beginning this exercise, I almost regressed back to my old thinking habits. I came up with the six-word phrase, ‘English language no Spanish still Mexican.’ However, I realized I was going back to what I was delivered from. I used to struggle with my identity. I am Mexican […]
Sofia Camarena, Austin, TX. Being born in Oaxaca, and still having people question how “Mexican I am” is frustrating.
Isabella, Memphis, TN. I am half white, half Mexican. I’m not more white than I am Mexican. I’m not more Mexican than I am white.
Anne Bressler, Redmond, OR.
Sierra McGeoghegan, Weymouth, MA. Growing up and even now I am always denied my Mexican heritage by lots of people of all races. I am Irish + Mexican and a few other races. My family treated my Hispanic blood as a taboo, the Latinos I knew as a child rejected me once I shared I […]
Wherever I may go, my sister and I are always questioned about our ethnicity, we apparently look Native or Brazilian or Indian. I don’t know if I should be offended or flattered. I hate when people think of all maids as Mexican or Latina, it’s just rude. No one should be put under a generalization […]
When I was younger, I always thought that race was real, I was surprised to find that it is not biologically real. Now that I know this I realized that some stereotypes I made about people are not true. I had always thought that if you looked one way then you were from a certain […]
Some experiences I heard about racism is that Donald Trump said that he was going to build a wall between California and Mexico to avoid all Mexican people because they are all illegal. When he said that it made me feel uncomfortable because I am a Mexican boy and too me it makes me think […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer I have watched movies and shows where actors make fun of Mexicans. This really doesn’t bother me because I learned not to let it. Negative comments towards me used to bother me in the past where I would get to the point where I would […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Both my parents grew up in Mexico. When people see me they think they have to translate in Spanish for me. It seems everyone always asked “Do you know English?” When I was only six, the stereotypes I was exposed to were “You look Mexican, […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts 7th Grade Trailblazer I used to think that I was not any other type of race than Mexican because I grew up around Mexican food and my nana used to speak Spanish a lot. Then one day my dad was talking about race and he told me I […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Why people often think that they can only be one thing for their entire life is one of my greatest curiosities. One of our greatest powers is the ability to change, to be something different. Choosing to have just one label for the rest of […]
Kitt Smith, USA. I have white skin, green eyes and brown hair. I appear every bit a homogeneous American white. I am not. I am a first generation American born to a Mexican illegal and a Irish immigrant. My family has no history here and no part in the oppression of black people. Both sides […]
Kris, Redwood City, CA.
Raquel Villalobos, Sacramento, CA. Most assume that all Mexicans are in the U.S. illegally and that is simply not true. We are in the 21st century, it is time to bring racism and stereotypes to an end.
Daniela Rubio, Downey, CA. Just because their are a lot of Hispanics/Latinos in southern California, specifically to Los Angeles, it doesn’t mean we are all the same. We are all not illegal immigrants, we don’t eat beans and rice everyday. It does not give anyone the right to judge us or lump us all together.
Cierra Huerta, Eaton Rapids, MI.
Robert De Dios, Sanger, CA. I am a high school student who use to get the ” oh you were born here in America?” Back when I was in middle school I often got this question simply because I was intelligent and these group of people never really heard about a Mexican or Latino being […]
Alexandra Degortari, Highland, CA. My whole life I have always be questioned or even tested to make sure I am not lying about being Mexican. Everyone would say “you’re not Mexican, you’re white!”, or “well if you’re Mexican then prove it! Say something in Spanish.” Had I been born with tan skin I would never […]
USA. I am an artist I am a reader I am a writer I am a friend I am a sister I am a daughter I am more than my race.
Gabriella, Delaware, OH. Just because my skin is naturally olive, everyone thinks im foreign, I have gotten many different ethnicity such as, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Moroccan, Brazilian, and Latino, and Hispanic. But I’m white.
Joanna Pedraza, 8th Grade Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI. There are a lot of people who ask me if I play soccer, and I do. But when I say I don’t play soccer they usually say “But you’re Mexican you have to play soccer” and I don’t like that, just because i’m Mexican […]
Erica Hernandez, Upland, CA. I was born and raised in the United States. I don’t know anything else. I speak Spanish and come from Mexican parents but I’m an American. So, why is it that when i’m in Orange County, California, for example, I feel inadequate? I get weird looks and immediately feel completely intimidated. […]
Montserrat, La Grange, IL.
Linde Sifuentes Rochester, MN
Cynthia Moreno, San Jose, CA. Since my daughter’s birth I have been asked why she has blue eyes! I was constantly asked if I was her nanny until she was able to say “mommy”. The most common question, “But how did she get blue eyes?” Do I really need to explain my genetic background to […]
Briana B., Sacramento, CA. I am a Mexican American woman and I so happen to be bilingual. A lot of times at work people will ask me if I speak spanish or will make hand signals to me and mouth really slow that they need a to-go box. It gets under my skin because in […]
Manuel Holguin, Phoenix, AZ. I don’t really get being proud of your race to any extreme. I suppose my argument is that you as a person has nothing to do with your race or color of skin. It was decided for you! No one ever says “I’ve worked hard my whole life to be white!” […]
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 […]
Angela Paola Martinez, Pomona, CA.
Vanessa Molina, Montebello, CA.
Natilee Pinedo, Chino, CA. Whenever I tell someone that I am a hundred percent Mexican, I always get a look as if I am telling a joke. Just because I have light skin, green eyes and light colored hair people automatically assume I am some type of European. Someone’s race should not be determined solemnly […]
Finn Hurtado, Eugene, OR. I am biracial, half Mexican and half white. I don’t have a racial group I identify with or feel proud to be a part of. However I do feel a sense of community with the local car scene. I own my dream car, it is my prize possession. Thus these six […]
Mike R. CA. Just some shower thoughts. It occurred to me that while I am fully aware that most people really DGAF, the mass proliferation of anti-white sentiments online bonded with the few personal experiences I’ve had. I now nearly suffer anxiety attacks when I have to deal with large numbers of “non-whites”, not because […]
Ileana Serrano, Sacramento, CA. Whenever people try and guess my “race”, I usually get different responses, but they’re always followed by “mixed with white”. My skin tone might be a bit more fair than what people may think Mexicans are supposed to look like, but that doesn’t make me any less Mexican. I’m not mixed […]
Jorge Alvarez, Salt Lake City, UT. One of the things that I find very annoying is when people say “Hola” right off the bat, “Si” or “Por favor, this”. Yeah I look like any other Mexican out there but I know English as well. Ditch the hola to not come off as patronizing and say […]
Alexandra Garcia, Long Island, NY. My father emigrated from Spain in 1974, and we have been raised to be proud of our Spanish heritage and culture. In school, whenever I told people I was Spanish, they assumed I meant Mexican or Colombian or Puerto Rican. I’ve always been annoyed by that, because no one knows […]
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 […]
Carolyn Andrade, Garden Grove, CA.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez, Los Angeles, CA. I am a native of Los Angeles, California and the proud son of an African American father and a first-generation Mexican immigrant mother.
James K., Riverside, CA. I’m a white male and my wife is half Mexican and half white, but her sister is half Thai because they have different fathers. Any time we get to have our nephew come visit, we try to do as much as possible with him like going to the aquarium or disneyland, […]
Mark Sundermann Holt, MI This morning’s story about Mixed Heritage gave me hope. How does one pick from the following? German, Mexican, Dutch, Zapotec, Irish and (possibly) Menomini? I’m a MUTT.