I wish we were all creamy-brown.

Tony Cunningham, St. Cloud, MN. I was going to say “blue,” but that would be a big adjustment. If we were all one race, we’d divide ourselves in other ways, but still, I’d like to make it a little harder to do so.

“Fair you entered before my son?”

Heidi Adelsman, Minneapolis, MN. Working for 12 years as a Pipefitter in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota, I saw few to no people of color or women working in the construction trades unless a large contract required “minorities” to get the contract. One father of a Dunwoody trade school classmate asked if I thought it […]

You’re Indian? With Dot or Feather?

Sam, Morris, MN. I have a grandfather that is fully Native American, from the White Earth Tribe. So my mother is ¼ Native American, and I am less than ¼. My father is mostly German. So I have fairly light skin, and my hair is light brown. In most situations I consider myself Caucasian and […]

Ex-military, don’t understand my country’s culture.

Alan Hill Minneapolis, MN Why don’t veterans speak of their experience? Because of the culture barriers to understanding. Military veterans don’t yet understand (as a population) that they have a different culture than their country, a separate, distinct, yet invisible, identity. The worst part is they are disconnected from it and therefore unable to express […]

“Stick out on both sides….safe?”

Belinda, USA The reason I chose the first 6 words “Stick out on both sides…safe?” I have family in Minnesota, where my sisters and I stick out by being brown. My family in Minnesota are all white in small towns. I have been looked at differently: one time on a trip with my grandma from […]

Difference between Phillando and me? Nothing.

Barry, MN. As a black man, who – though I hate the phrase, acts very “white”, I feel as though you have act a certain way to fit into society and get less harassed. I don’t act white on purpose, it’s just who I am; how I was raised. Nonetheless, this “act” shouldn’t have to […]

White Male Teacher Looking to Help

Newo Zoils, Minneapolis, MN. I understand that as a white male in America I have in many unconscious ways perpetuated racism. I and my family have also benefited from over hundreds of years of white privilege. This is a systemic problem in America that continues to be unresolved. I am a teacher and one can […]

As Mutt as a Mutt Gets

Christi Perkinson, Red Wing, MN. My mom is full blooded German so I’ve always known that I was half German, but the other half was a mystery. My dad’s side is quite the mystery. His Father was born in the south while his Mother was born in Canada. Both sides came over to the U.S. […]

You can raise your daughter white

Nicole Minneapolis, MN As a descendant of Germans and Scandinavians, I am termed WHITE. My daughter is is a strawberry blonde with creamy white skin and blue eyes. Again and again I have been asked how it was possible when her father is an African American. I have heard, “he can’t actually be her father” […]

Hated sunburns, wished I was black.

Donna Cook, Roseville, MN. I have very fair skin, Fitzpatrick Scale I, and growing up in Los Angeles meant lots of unintended, fairly serious, and wretchedly painful sunburns. I was also a bit of a tomboy wild child who would refuse to let my mother brush my hair, hair she intentionally left long as a […]

Thank You Seretse and Ruth Khama

Charles Jensvold, Detroit Lakes, MN. Thanks Seretse and Ruth; Thanks Richard and Mildred Loving and all who preceded us and did the heavy lifting. “When will that great day come, when everyone is one, and there will be no more misery and God tells man he’s really free, R E A L L Y F […]

Neither Puerto Rican or Mexican enough

Nayseth Carranza, Rochester, MN I’m mixed with Mexican, and Puerto Rican and many times I hear I’m not Puerto Rican enough or Mexican enough which is extremely annoying. I was born and raised in America my parents both moved to the United States at a really young age so they too grew up ” Americanized […]

Privilege means responsibility to be better.

Morgan Lavandowska Minneapolis, MN As a 21 year old white woman, I have the privilege of being white that gives me power to do what others can’t. Instead of abusing that power, I prefer to try to help bring positive change to the world and, hopefully, help bring equality for all.

I got all the white genes.

Cayla Olson, Duluth, MN. I have always felt that I had to qualify my racial identity with those six words. I am part native, my mother being Ojibwe and French, and my father being Oneida and Irish. We lived on my mom’s home reservation, and it was never any mystery to me as to what […]

Family matters; race, not at all.

Phyllis Kedl, Little Canada, MN. Ours is a multi-ethnic family. We have fourteen grandkids, only five of whom are ethnically related to us. The rest? Two African American, three Hispanic and four Chinese. We are anything but vanilla, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your project, Michele, may offer our country’s first — […]

WHITE: Not Allowed 2 Be Proud

Jason McLevis, Duluth, MN. Growing up in a multi racial neighborhood I am well cultured. It was not until Junior High that I became aware I was supposed to be ashamed to be “White”. I am not allowed to be proud of any of my heritage. I must stand aside in shame while any other […]

He brought something for his worker.

Erbayne W. Jarvis, Cottage Grove, MN. My six words came out of an experience I had when I went to a government agency deliver some document as part of my work on behalf of a client. I needed help in finding the person to whom I was to deliver the documents. One of the employees […]

Jewish white woman wanting different perspective

Natalie Sabes, Minneapolis, MN I chose to include three words about my identity (Jewish, white, woman) because they affect every action I take and every thought people have about me whether I acknowledge it or not. My next three words demonstrate how I tend to think that I am not directly affected by extreme racism, […]

Race is created by society’s prejudice

Keegan James, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN Although in the literal sense race is a real thing, the stigmas that come with are completely made up by society. The idea of race has been used to ostracize certain groups while it has also been used to justify egregious acts. I believe that whereas race has […]

I am a proud to be Jewish

Mason I Schribman-Charney, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN< p>Being Jewish has always been a major part of my life and identity. When I was younger, I hid my Jewish identity from my friends, but as I’ve grown older I can say that I am proud to say that I am Jewish. I know that there […]

We should not ignore white privilege

Nate Gullickson, The Blake School, Edina, MN I think that people too often dismiss the idea that they have certain are given certain priveledges simply because they are white. When people do this it makes it harder for society as a whole to make progress and change toward creating a world where one’s race does […]

Sports need to be equally accessible

Chaucer Countryman, The Blake School, Deephaven, MN I chose these 6 words because I feel like everyone no matter their race should be able to try multiple sports. I have been one of the lucky ones who have had many opportunities with many different sports. It makes sad when I realize that some people aren’t […]

Skin color does not determine worth

Kyra Reese, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN I chose these six words because I feel like this idea gets lost in our society these days. With all of the current events surrounding race such as police brutality, treatment in prisons, and much more that can create this feeling in society that your skin color determines […]

I’m a Jewish courageous white male.

Jake Shapiro, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN I chose these words, because it shows my identity, and portrays a characteristic I see in myself. I was born 100% Jewish, and it is something I hold on to every day. I put courageous as one of my words because I am always wondering something and questioning […]

I’m not that A+ Aisan student.

Yia Yang, Saint Paul, MN. I’m a student, just any regular student who listen and do their work. I don’t always get good grade or the grade everyone expect me to have. I’m Asian but it doesn’t mean I’ll be a A+ student because of all these rumors or post on social media saying “Asian […]

“I suppose they’ll all want dignity.”

Anonymous, St. Paul, MN. “O’Hare had a little notebook with him, and printed in the back of it were postal rates and airline distances and the altitudes of famous mountains and other key facts about the world. He was looking up the population of Dresden, which wasn’t in the notebook, when he came across this […]

Privileged White Girl, Am I Really?

Tina Myrum, Alexandria, MN. Growing up in a small town, there was not a lot of racially diversity. However, I listened to the news, read papers, and learned as much as I could about other races. I learned that we were not that different. Most people looking at me would assume that I have had […]

“You are too good for him”

Brita, Minneapolis, MN I was out to eat with a black friend of mine, at one point during the meal I got up to grab him a fork and this old white lady approached me. She went out of her way to point at my friend and told me that I was too good for […]

Punished for what my ancestors did

Hayden T. Cameron, Minneapolis, MN Just because my ancestors might have been racist or owned slaves doesn’t mean that is what I believe. I shouldn’t be judged because I look like the people that did these bad things. Just because I’m some “white boy” it doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to have an opinion and […]

Your German parents started the war

Janice Cooper, MN. My newly married parents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany via Ellis Island during the mid 50’s to follow the American Dream. Growing up in small town Michigan and attending Catholic school, my younger brother and I were constantly accused of being Nazis during our grade school years. Even though my parents […]

Educating Myself on My Own Privilege

Rhiannon Emma Farr, Minneapolis, MN I haven’t lived a great life, nor a terrible one. I suffer depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses and physical ones too that make everyday living extremely difficult. Though my life has been tough, I acknowledge that my race or gender has nothing to do with the pain I […]

Well, why NOT talk about race?

Lucy Pipkin, Minneapolis, MN. My own white discomfort is much less painful than continuous microaggressions and real racism faced by my fellow undergrad students who are POC. Let’s talk, and not stop until they feel safe again. We’re all different but need to come together in our communities, as shown by my photo of this […]

I don’t care if I’m good

Ricky Vang, Saint Paul, MN. Being Asian, you were never really praised by others in sports unless you’re really good at it. It just sucked growing up nobody to help keep you motivated because everyone always bashed on “Asians can’t ball” but now its okay. I got to a point where I don’t care, I […]

Many mistakes from people my race

Cole, St Paul, MN. My people have believed they are superior for as long as I’ve known. Not only is it frustrating that my race fails to see others as equal but the fact that even after all my people have done they still can’t see how they’ve impacted the lives of other races. Seeing […]

Sorry, I Just Have to Ask

Dominic, Minneapolis, MN. As the saying goes, if I have a quarter for every time… In my case, if I had a quarter for every time an adult said to me, “I’m sorry, I just have to ask–your daughter–what is she?” I know what response each of these inquisitions intends. With quizzical eyes trained on […]

Who’s that person at your house?

Ismail A., Minneapolis, MN. My name is Ismail and I live in Minneapolis. I am Somali and I live with my family in an apartment building. A lot of different people live in my building, Latinos, Asians, Africans, African Americans and white people. The manager of the building is mean to the Somali people. She […]

Mexican Irish Girl: agnostic and dry

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 […]

She gave the eraser back.

Harry Ford, Minneapolis, MN. Race is a difficult subject given the large amount of pain many people of color have experienced related to race within this American landscape. We are people in pain hoping that our contributions will be seen by the others.

OSMONDS BETTER THAN JACKSON 5, WHY?

Juleah Richards, Chippewa Falls, WI. BORN IN 1960; ST.PAUL MINN. LIVED IN WONDERFULLY MIXED NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS UNTIL I WAS 10YRS OLD. MY MOM MARRIED A FARMER FROM RED RIVER VALLEY. WE MOVED TO SPOT 10 MILES FROM NORTH DAKOTA AND 90MI FROM CANADA. THERE WERE ONLY SCANDINAVIANS AND FRENCH FOLKS. NONE OF MY […]

I’m his mother, not the nanny.

Toya Dragseth, Saint Paul, MN. My youngest son is biracial. Has his Fathers genes, very light-skinned, brownish blonde hair and when he is with just me, people look as if he is not my child but a child I may be babysitting. When he’s with his dad they look very natural together.

Spoke about King, classmates shunned me.

Kit Arnquist Longville, MN In 1968 I was a senior in high school. The day after Dr. King was assassinated, the principal asked if anyone would like to speak about him over the intercom. I did. My friends would not sit with me on the bus that afternoon.

White. Live on Indian Reservation. Blessed!

Terry Larson, Cass Lake, MN. I have lived my whole life with Ojibwe people, am a fishing & canoe guide at the beginning of the Mississippi River. My life is filled with their customs, hunting and gathering for my table. We spend the winters on the border of Mexico, now, and they are much like […]

No thanks; I am with him.

Yuko Taniguchi, Rochester, MN When I am in a line with my white husband at the grocery store, hotel check-in, or flight check-in, etc, I am approached by a staff with “Can I help you?” “No thanks, I’m with him,” I say. My husband also gets approached when I go through the line first. He […]

Be the change (and) ignite the possibilities!

Betruth, St.Paul, MN. We need to have so much hope for those who choose to see the love and peace in the world. While also seeing all the perspectives and opinions of others. Our cultural differences can lead us a stray from all the facts. I will not be burdened by the pigmentation of my […]

Enough to make you look pretty

Adrienne Zimiga, Minneapolis, MN. I was born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation my first 12 years. Upon moving from Batesland, SD to Castlewood, SD my caucasian grandmother was concerned that my brothers, sister, and I could face social problems being part Native American (iyeska: mixed blood/race) in an all white community. She told […]

Race brings pride, but also shame.

Will Mortenson, Minneapolis, MN. I am proud of my roots and my family, but I often feel shame when I think about the wrongs that so many white men have committed. There are too many white men who have thought and still think in such derogatory and discriminatory ways that I simply don’t agree with. […]

Family talks, and I get mad

Tasha Thompson, Coon Rapids, MN. I’m a 19 year old white female, and my grandma was born in the 40s. She is very old fashioned and when she talks about my mom’s work in a majority black community where the accept EBT, she starts to sneer and act like it’s the worse thing that could […]

Discuss race fearlessly to unite people

Susana Gluck, Minneapolis, MN. There has to be open and sincere talk about race, our perceptions and preconceptions. Each group has to be able to hear the goods and bads we perceive about each other to find common and higher ground and an acceptance of our shared humanity. We can be critical but also loving.

Relax, we’re on same team now!

Michael Gauer, Egan, MN. I’m a white man who had a black roommate and believe the color of skin it totally irrelevant. White Americans have learned this, so we must all move forward with confidence that the bad racial past is behind us.

Am I too White to Help?

Olivia Loesch, SHAKOPEE, MN. I always feel bad when I am trying to work at Target and go through my day when I see someone being racial to a guest. I try to step in but typically the white person makes me help them instead. I want to help all of those around me in […]

Touched. Terrified, Empathetic. Praying for change.

Leanne Gutierrez, Eden Prairie, MN. Growing up white and privileged in a midwestern college town, I later lived in a Central American country for several years, married a man from that country and now have been raising a beautiful multi-culture/multi-colored family in various states in the midwest. Seeing racism, watching my family process it and […]

The young are not naturally prejudiced.

Adam Jones, Chaska, MN. I am a para in a special education class, and the high school in which I work is very diverse. The longer I work in this field, the more I have come to see that kids are kids. People are people. I am frustrated, elated, encouraged, concerned, and inspired by all […]

Be Humble, Give back, Don’t judge.

Mariah Frisk, Morris, MN. Being from a small town in northern Minnesota, I haven’t been exposed to much culture in my day. My sophomore year of high school, I took a trip to New Orleans with my church for the 2012 National Youth Gathering. We were there to help the community recover from Hurricane Katrina. […]

White privileged with a blended family

Anonymous, Saint Paul, MN. I grew up northern CA in a very middle class well to do with family that was racially homogeneous with a strong catholic upbringing. Some years after my dad passed away, my mom remarried to an Asian American man who had three children of his own- our families merged – my […]

My abuse was invisible because I’m white

Jack, Saint Paul, MN. My mom is an expert in manipulation and fake kindness, always sounding kind to hurt and control and shame. Because of rampant child discrimination across cultures, it was not hard for my mother to convince others that she was right, or to uphold the illusion of a happy “white suburban family”. […]

Race isn’t real …

Kaitlyn Cook, Fairmont, MN. When I was little I lived in an apartment building in a small town. I grew up roaming the halls and making friends with anyone and everyone. The Asian-American women on the first floor who let me help water her plants, the Native-American elderly couple on the second floor who loved […]

I’m not guilty, Family from Norway.

Michael J, Rochester, MN. I just feel I am a little tired of feeling guilty about being a white male. My family came from Norway and Sweden, we never owned slaves, and moving to Southern Minnesota, didn’t even have a plantation. Nevertheless it seems that this issue is somehow my fault as well.

A mixture that is still white

Sydney Skroch, Minneapolis, MN. I have lived in Minnesota my whole life and my world has opened up extremely slowly to diversity and different cultures. However, learning about the world through the eyes of others has always been super interesting to me, and with every new experience, I feel myself shaping. I am part Italian, […]

I flourish farming ancient tribal lands

Ed Kaufman, Morris, MN. Another Six words: My grandfather stood witness at Mankato. I enjoyed seeing you at UM Morris a while back (when this would have been timely given the 150th anniversary of the Mankato Debacle) Read More about this post: http://www.nickcolemanmn.com/?p=3124 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/26/minnesota-works-forgiving-not-forgetting-its-native-history-146502 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/22/watch-dakota-38-documentary-remember-those-lost-150-years-ago-146499 http://highwayhighlights.com/2013/04/reconciliation-park-mankato-mn/

Liberals can easily be racist, too

Vincent Zaal, Minneapolis, MN. We come from a very liberal area and are staunch liberals ourselves and yet in people’s attempts to “not be racist” they’re being extremely racist. Humans are different, get over it! Try thinking about “race” in the French adjective placement: “that human is black” rather “than that is a black human.” […]

I am cautious about who I date

Anna, MN. I am not attracted to black guys. Even if I was it’s hard. Any person can be my friend but I don’t want family friends to get pissed off at me. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take. Especially in the Trump era. For me personally,I have to be very strategic in […]

I will not be another statistic.

Caitlin Defoe, RedLake, MN. I want to be one of the few that leave the reservation and get an education and make a life for myself. Most of the kids I went to elementary and most of middle school with are still living on the reservation but with kids that they weren’t ready for with […]

Hmong American muaj lub siab tawv

Janes Lee, Minneapolis, MN. I am a Hmong American male, residing in the most Hmong populated state though we are still very unseen. The service our people provided during the Vietnam War, known to the Hmong people as the Secret War, has been invisible to the public eye. How fitting of it for the invisible […]

Can we talk about white culture?

Jennifer Campbell, Chaska, MN. Growing up in suburban Minneapolis I never had to talk about my skin color or rarely meet others of a different color. As an adult I am a special education teacher who works in a suburban school. I’ve been on a journey trying to be more aware of diversity. I joined […]

We never saw you as Asian.

Lor Lee Albertville, MN I grew up in Minneapolis, MN and when I moved out to a small rural school district many of my friends suggested that I was just one of the guys. By not seeing my “Asian-ness” were they not validating that part of who I am? I have now worked in the […]

Being white shouldn’t mean being clueless.

Andrew Butz Minneapolis, MN I am white, and grew up not thinking or having to think much about race at all. Made a lot of non-white friends at college and learned a lot about race and privilege, including the reality of thinking about race everyday because you have to. White people are the only group […]

THE COLOR OF MY SKIN ~PRICELESS~

Tricia Stewart, Minneapolis, MN. I am bi-racial and I’ve experienced racism from both sides(black and white). You don’t always realize in the moment whether something has an impact on you, whether it be negative or positive; eventually in some form you will feel it. Only you can determine if you’re going to allow it to […]

Can we talk about white culture?

Jennifer Campbell, Chaska, MN. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in suburban Minneapolis I did not have many opportunities to meet people from another culture or race from my own. I continue to work in a suburban school district as a special education teacher. Again, the dominant race and culture is white. Students of […]

I’m A Black Mother Not Monster

Anonymous, Eden Praire, MN. Prejudice robbed me of my child. 15 years ago my only living child was stolen from me by her white daddy and took overseas when she was 6 because I didn’t live up to his standards of what he thought was a good mother. To keep her away from me he […]

Awareness: ONLY the FIRST BIG step

Yzolde Chepokas, Eden Prairie, MN. Going through this process of learning about race, racism, culture, multiculturalism, diversity, and so on, I have come to the conclusion that being aware of the world outside of my own world is only the beginning of this journey of supporting social justice. As this change occurs within myself it […]

Son can’t speak. May be shot.

Lynnisha Grigsby, Minneapolis, MN. My son has a rare form of Down syndrome. Mosaic Translocation Down syndrome. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was 2 because his overall features are very ‘mild’. It was I, not a Dr., that proposed that he be tested. He’s 8 yrs old right now. He is in a mainstream classroom […]

So where do you come from?

Michael Chan, Maplewood, MN. I am half Chinese and half Caucasian, but my German and Hebrew language skills are much stronger than my Cantonese skills (my family’s language). So when I get the question, “Where do you come from?,” I laugh internally and typically spend a few seconds trying to figure out what exactly I’m […]

Welfare: Black faces televised White missing

Mary Lou Henneman St. Paul, MN Black faces continue to be portrayed as the face of Welfare for televised commentaries and Black voices for radio broadcasts about the welfare system. Although, according to the KSTP.com website where I live, “Forty percent of MFIP-eligible caregivers are white, 37 percent are black, 9 percent are American Indian, […]

White Majority? Maybe Numbers, Not Favored

Kai Braun, Fridley, MN. White people may make up most of the population in america and other places but are not favored or even looked upon as something unique. If you are anything but white you can be considered special + Different in the sense of having flavor. A white person if its applying for […]

Missed the day racism was taught

Erin, MN. Racism isn’t in our curriculum, it’s not a lesson taught by chalkboards and worksheets. However it is learned. Yes, in school but also at home. It is taught through culture, through actions. This problem cannot be solved by a student’s eraser or a teacher’s pen.

Don’t let it get to you.

Brandon Yang, St.Paul, MN. I use to have friends that were nice to me for one reason. Homework. Even though I knew that they were still good friends to just talk with. But one day they copied off my test and the next day we got them back, we all had bad scores. And so […]

I’m mad that I’m reflexively racist.

Jordan Weil, Minneapolis, MN. I’m really angry that my first reaction to a young black man is to start checking my surroundings and wondering if I’m safe. I don’t do this with white guys, or Asians, or Latinos. I feel like I’ve been conditioned by the media that I consumed as a kid and a […]

Loving me = easier to love you

Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, Minnepolis, MN. “The balance in trying to give your children an open road to follow their dreams and making sure they recognize the dangers signs is HARD. It is a complex conversation already then add the dynamics of faith! I see progress and hope beyond my understanding AND I see the reinforcement institutionalized […]

I teach. I build relationships with students.

Sarah Brookner Minneapolis, MN I am a white female. I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis. My students are mostly Somali, African American and Mexican American. They all have different needs. I care deeply about all of them. Some days are hard for me to connect and relate to their experiences, which are […]

Why is the pool filled up?

Alonzo Peeke, Morris, MN. When I was in 4th grade we moved from Overland Park, KS to Lynchburg, VA. My dad and I would shoot hoops and talk walks at Riverside Park, a beautiful forested park right off the James river. We were walking home and we came across a strange structure like ruined monument, […]

Actions speak louder than skin color.

Jack McNiff, Canyon Lake, CA. I was raised in rural Minnesota prior to sixth grade and by then had moved to Minneapolis. My first exposure to differences in “”Race”” was in High School and I never had any real understanding of why there were any significant tensions about who was what color. I felt very […]

Don’t speak Spanish to white relatives.

Max Lazzara, Minneapolis, MN. Bilingual when I learned to talk, raised among my father’s Floridian family of Spaniards, Italians, and Cubans, I was just as Hispanic as I was white; but moved by divorce, I joined my mother’s German-Polish Minnesotan family. The message quickly became clear: don’t speak Spanish to white relatives. In a fully […]

Not White! I will choose Purple!

Jeanne L, Little Falls, MN. I don’t care if you are white, black, brown, yellow, red, purple or green we all bleed the same color, we all breath the same air, we all look up at the same sky. So why must we focus so much on our differences instead of focusing on our similarities.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb blonde.

Heather Saskia Nichols, Maple Grove, MN. I do not bleach my hair. I do not color my hair. I do not highlight my hair. I do not think about my hair. I do not think with my hair. Why am I called dumb because of my hair? In 7th grade, I stopped talking in class. […]

Little brown man in white class.

Student Century College, MN As an English language learner, sometimes I feel bad, shy, and ashamed.  I still struggle as everybody moves on.  Every day I am waiting to understand what everybody understands.  By that time I am going to feel I am a big man. See more from the Century Race Card Project conversation: […]

Too Easy Pretending Race Doesn’t Matter

M. M. S., Morris, MN. Growing up white means that you never have to notice that you are represented in the media more than any other race is, even in situations where that should not be the case (-Exodus: Gods and Kings- I’m looking at you). It means that it’s so easy to turn away […]

Standing on border of Mexican and White.

Deborah Torres, Saint Paul, MN. This has two meanings for me. First, I honor both my paternal (Mexican) and maternal (English, French & more) heritage. Second, because race is a socially constructed concept, the idea of whether or not Mexican is White evolved throughout the 20th Century. For example, on my paternal Grandfather Bedardo Torres’ […]

You didn’t tell me he’s black

Katherine F., Minneapolis, MN. I met a woman through professional circles when I was recruiting for a volunteer project. As it happens, she lived near me. We formed committees for this initiative and began talking more socially on the phone. I went over to her house a few times for coffee. One weekend she invited […]

Read Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis

Marsha Surkin, White Bear Lake, MN. I am a white woman, 72 yrs old. When I was 11 I disobeyed my mom and read Kingsblood Royal. This was the first time I was aware of racial diveristy. In the book a man finds out he has a black grandfather and is run out of town. […]

Not ‘Illegal’ – Human and Deserving Compassion

Tracy Loynachan, Minneapolis, MN. To me, the terms ‘illegal immigrant’ and ‘illegal alien’ are demeaning. These terms are used too frequently, especially when talking about Latinos. Immigration status is not part of the criminal justice system – it’s a separate legal system. While people may be undocumented, they are still people and deserving of compassion. […]

I’m sorry but it wasn’t me.

Margaret Hayes, Hopkins, MN. I went to a school that had a large minority student population. I always loved and was proud of my district because of it’s diversity, but for many years I was personally victimized and frequently bullied because of my “white-ness”. When many students saw my skin color they personally blamed me […]

It’s been centuries; get over it.

Tiffany Barta, Bemidji, MN. I’m honestly tired of indigenous people always saying, “YOU took OUR land!” Oh, really? I took your land? I personally had nothing to do with that. You must be referring to my ancestors, who weren’t even in this country at the time. Who’s ignorant now?

White is not absent of colour

Elijah Chapple, Morris, MN. For the explanation of this I will use a poem written by a child from Africa: Colour When I was born, I black; When I grow up I black; When I go in sun I black; When I scared, I black; When I sick, I black; And when I die; I […]

Why was I taught we’re superior?

Molly Kampa, Hastings, MN. I identify as a white individual. Throughout my schooling I feel that I was inherently taught that white is the superior race. We were taught that black people went through slavery and that they were, and still are, discriminated against but that is primarily where there story ends in the classroom. […]

You don’t look Native you’re white

Kaylin Jorgensen, St.Paul, MN. I chose these words on more of a personal level but, a lot of people do not believe me when I tell them I am Native American. People assume that the color tone of your skin defines you. When in reality you are who you are no matter what your skin […]

I smile at young black men.

Nena Clark Rochester, MN I am an old, white woman. I work in the govt center and I see all kinds of folks there who probably aren’t having their best day. I try to be pleasant to everyone, but I make a point of being friendly toward young black men. I know that in my […]

Mugged by black teens, trust destroyed.

Alison Blomster Minneapolis, MN I think there are some healthy reasons why stereotypes of black male teens exist. After being mugged by 5 black teenage boys wearing hooded parkas, I can understand the fear that any other person, of any skin color could feel when confronted by a black male teen whose eyes cannot be […]

Why cant I enjoy my heritage?

Jennifer Kerkow Chaska, MN I’m mostly Scottish and German but Im around 1/4 Indian. I feel like I cant fully embrace it and claim it because it isnt the majority of my heritage, although its a part of me that I love. When my great grandparents came to America (from Poland) they didn’t take the […]

SPJ honors Norris for exceptional service to journalism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/23/2014 Contacts: Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, chosier@spj.org Taylor Carlier, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, tcarlier@spj.org INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Michele Norris as a Fellow of the Society. It is the highest honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contribution […]

No white dolls for my daughters!

Achilles C., Saint Paul, MN. I am a young African American single father, working hard to make sure my two daughters understand and value their own beauty, in the face of constant imagery and media messages that would suggest otherwise – my oldest was 3 the first time she wanted her hair straight like some […]

African-American, no. American whose’s black, yes!

Vanessa Minneapolis, MN I HATE the term African-American. I don’t hold citizenship to any country on the African continent so why do people feel the need to call me that. I’m the descendent of people who were forcible sold and brought to the country, raped, beaten, and denied personhood and their rights. They slaved and […]

“We don’t do ethnic hair here”

Sahra Hassan Minneapolis, MN This was said to me by a hair stylist the minute I walked into a salon. Ironically, my hair was cover so she couldn’t tell what my hair type was but she assumed this based on my skin color. Unconscious actions like these can lead to structural racism in our society.