Who invented the “race card” anyway?

Kathryn Terry, Katy, TX. I hate the term “race card” because when I hear it, it tells me that the person using it doesn’t have any desire to listen to or understand anything about the experiences of racism that people of color face. If you think there’s a “race card”, who do you think put […]

Bicultural and Bilingual should be enough.

Megan Medrano, Houston, TX. Growing up Latina in south Texas, I have always been surrounded with rich culture. My home was filled with both the English and Spanish language and I was encouraged to live both my Mexican and U.S. Latina identities. I did not realize how important an ethnic identity was until I came […]

I’m not allowed to be country.

Rhonda Gilbert, Crowley, TX. I’m black and grew up in the rural south. My experience was very much small town, and I interacted primarily with other blacks until college. Although a large part of my perspective is influenced by my country upbringing, I don’t feel welcome in that “country” space.

Honey, you must come from money.

Christine Faris Lufkin, TX Actually, no. Yes, I was blessed to come from a middle class family. And yes, I’ve been blessed to travel the world. Wanna know how? I worked my ass off. Blew out a knee, graduated high school early, started college at 16, took summer school, worked multiple jobs, all so I could […]

I’m genuinely sorry about my family.

Katy Wilkerson, Houston, TX. In the deep South, in my experience, racism is pervasive, especially when you talk about poorer and poorer white people (not just men). There truly does still exist a level of social acceptability that is just not OK. I’ve always been extremely disgusted by it, despite being white and having these […]

By protecting her, I’m oppressing her.

Adrienne Kern, Keller, TX. My daughter was two weeks from turning one on September 11, 2001. She is one of them. An Arab (pronounced with a Texas drawl: A-Rab). A camel jockey. A rag head. She is Turkish and Saudi and Egyptian. She is not white like me, her mother, who is also mixed race. […]

When people ask… What are you?

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 […]

There are good ones out there

Jeremy J., Denton, TX. I hate when people are talking crap about a race or group of people and they feel like they have to mention “there are good ones out there.” Who do you think you are.

We’re Here Walking Each Other Home

R. Flowers Rivera, McKinney, TX. The most aware I’ve ever been of race was when my family moved from Gulfport, Mississippi, to New Fairfield, Connecticut, during the 1980s. At that time, New Fairfield was a town with a population of about 10,000 in which there were three Black children, all of whom were in my […]

The Human Race; The Forgotten Race.

Elyzabeth Inez Smith, Granbury, TX. No matter what history has come to discover. No matter what the future has to uncover. No matter what excuses people can come up with in order to justify the racial lines man has created. In the end we ALL are the same race. The only race. The ever colorful […]

What You See Is Not Complete

Erica Flores, Dallas, TX. I am often mistaken for something I am not. Most times I am unable to offer clarity on my behalf and am left with the, often wrong, label I was given. My ethnicity, race, education and social status are most often incorrectly judged by others; usually not in my favor.

Wow, you are the melting pot.

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 […]

How soft black hair is. . . surpise

Charlotte, Houston, TX. I grew up close to African Americans. They were guests in our home and people on the bus with us. I never noticed how taboo touching was between us until I was 30 and a neighbor girl came over to play with my kids. She skinned her knee and as I hugged […]

View perceived differences as valuable opportunity.

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 […]

I’m more than what you see.

Christina Cobos, Amarillo, TX. It is your soul, your heart, your empathy, and the way you choose to handle every moment of life that makes you who you are. You choose your impact. The odds were against me from the start. I had every excuse to surrender to failure. I broke the cycle, I rose […]

Two white children in Halloween photo

Dave Parnell, Carrollton, TX. Our kindergarten daughter wanted to go to her friend’s Halloween party. I saw that the address and the protective father in me did not feel safe letting her go. But I called and the black man I spoke to certainly heard the fearful white father on the other end of the […]

You can sit in the bar

Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]

Your son looks nothing like you!

Dr. J., Irving, TX. It’s true, everyone tries to find similarities between babies and their parents. But the search ends when people see my son’s curly golden hair, blue eyes, and light complexion. Someone once asked me, “are you sure you want to name him Diego?” (when he was 9 months old). I’ll admit it, […]

____ Students’ Association! Fill the blank.

KM, Austin, TX. I am current in college at one of the largest public universities. Not a week goes by where I don’t see a group of students sitting at a table and asking passerby’s to join their organization. One of the most numerous types would be the such&such Students’ Association. I am of mixed […]

Messianic Jew Yogi? Pick one fool!

Signe Wendt, Austin, TX. Jewish by heritage when I began to worship Jesus I was told I was no longer Jewish and I had to pick one.Now I try to connect Christians to their faith as a yoga teacher and I am not sure who is more uncomfortable with that. Yogis (at least in Austin) […]

What’s it like never being responsible?

Lou Bates, TX. Controversial? Sure. Racist? To many, sure. However, we are all hypocrites when it comes to race, and sadly many of us are misinformed. I am a history teacher in an inner city. I have sat through training, after training to get me to be more culturally adept and I am probably one […]

Articulate, responsible; then color doesn’t matter

John H McKinney, TX King’s speech referred to the time when a man (actually he referred to his children) would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I think there are many, many who,lack character and use the color of their skin as an excuse. There […]

Yo soy Tejano, not “White Washed”

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 […]

60 years old, have become prejudice.

Judith Hickey Austin, TX Since I became disabled and had to live with and among blacks, I have become very prejudice. I am fed up with their whining and always using their race for every darn excuse. All of our ancestors were slaves when they first came to America. My kin, the Osage Indians, were […]

Borderlands born. Always illegal. Always home.

Chuy Benitez, Houston, TX. When you grow up at the collision of two countries, of two cultures, of two identities, you learn very quickly the different nuances between the two cultures and you adapt to appease whichever culture you have to encounter. It makes you more observant, but of course it doesn’t occur without making […]

How’d your baby get RED hair?

Ahtum, San Antonio, TX. I often get asked what are you but when I had a baby with red hair, the question became how did you get a baby with red hair. I always start off with, “well, my mom IS white” then lead into “but my husbands grandmother had red hair” I often want […]

We were people, before the chains!

Gwen Montgomery, Dallas, TX. This country took a race of people and turned them into second class citizen. Many of our problems are a result of the oppression we went thru for hundreds of years. I’m afraid that the results of those actions may never be changed. We have been fighting every since we got […]

Proud to be an African American

Brandon Watkins, Clarksville, TX. I am an African American from North Texas. I have lived here all my life. I have never been one to see color nor have I ever been one to judge or stereotype anyone. I love all, and raise my children to love all. Some of the things I see in […]

Lights flipped, pulled over, relax brother

JC Ousley Houston, TX In 1998 I bought a new red corvette despite my mother’s plea, she said the car was trouble for a black man. On the day the car was delivered, I was driving to my parent’s home to show off my new vette when I was pulled over by three Chicago police […]

Not white enough and too white.

Maritza Aviles de Garcia, Dallas, TX. My entire life has been spent walking between two worlds, the predominantly white world outside of my home, and the watered-down Puerto Rican culture of my home. Growing in Central Texas, there were three Puerto Rican families. We were one of them. I translated for my parents whether they […]

White girl black school sixties: scared

Tamie Odom Sherman, TX I was only five at the time. Me and my 2 sisters were going to an all black school in Newburg, NY. The race riots were happening and lots of tension was in the city. Black kids hated me because I was white. I had no idea what I had done […]

My Not So White Life

Joye Beard, Corpus Christi, TX. In the 23 years that my husband and I have been married I’ve noticed some disconcerting things about being in a mixed race marriage. First, I’m not comfortable around other white people at all. If they’re open minded it’s not so bad. But most are not, and once they learn […]

Thanksgiving: Called out my racist brother

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 […]

Half Japanese Half Irish Hapa? Whateva

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 […]

All-American Girl: Minority at Work

Stefanie Bernosky, Houston, TX. I was raised as an All-American girl to an All-American family in an All-American town. I even looked “All-American”, proudly featuring my braces and American Flag sweater in this dated family photo (circa 1994). We can trace my family (both sides) to the United States prior to the United States Revolution. […]

I’m white, but I dream, too.

Catherine Moses, Port Arthur, TX. Let it be known for posterity’s sake that I am white, but I want equality, too. We’re on the same side. Why don’t we use that instead of talking about how I can’t possibly understand? You’re right, I can’t understand. I’m sorry. Let’s move beyond that and work together for […]

Cold Stares Warm Smiles Evens Out

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. […]

I think DIFFERENT should be Celebrated

Dhani Slater, Houston, TX. Great expression idea (the Race Card). I believe our differences should draw us together out of a healthy curiosity, and a thirst for learning about the diversities of humanity & nature that make things special.

Ni de aqui, ni de aya!

Yesenia Chavez, Houston, TX. I’m a first generation Mexican- American, born and raised in Houston, Texas. Sometimes it feels like I’m too in between both identities to really feel like I’m either. My Spanish isn’t perfect and sometimes I forget words in English.

“American” is the most accurate label

Anonymous, San Antonio, TX. Look, I’ll keep it real simple. My family is from Texas. Now we’ve had a French Texas, a Spanish Texas, a Mexican Texas, a Republic of Texas, a Confederate Texas, and finally Texas, USA. Am I Mexican? Hell no. I’m from Texas, and this is the United States of America. My […]

My name tells a great story.

Lise (rhymes with ‘please’), Austin, TX. My 6-word essay was originally “What kind of name is that?”– a question (both the polite and impolite versions) I’m regularly asked. My answer is something like this: “Well, my last name is Indian (yes, like from India)–sort of. My father’s family is from India, but the name changed […]

The Racist Salesman

Sam Smith, Stafford, TX. Ya I figured that would catch people off guard. I’ve been a salesperson now for about 10 years in Houston. Love the city and the culture, made a pretty good career out of it too. I’ve sold cars and motorcycles for a living. One thing I will readily acknowledge is I’m […]

Hated for being a white cop.

Brett Maisel Nacogdoches, TX As a young, naive police officer I mistakenly thought most people would appreciate my sincere desire to help and protect the citizens of my community. I was shocked to find out that some people (who didn’t even know my name, background or what was in my heart) hated the very sight […]

I’m one of the rare ones.

Nabeste, Chicago, IL. I’m a Mexican-American. I hate white people. I have grown to hate them. They came to America to steal the land and kill the Native American Indians. They brought the slaves here. They brought with them diseases that are here now. They went and took Texas and all the states that belonged […]

Strength in pedigree proud of race

Tory Robinson, Omaha, NE. I refuse to be fearful growing up in Texas, I learned fear is an obstacle. I now live in Nebraska a state that hides its racism but I won’t be broken because of the strength in my pedigree.

Black Girls Play Video Games Too

Chelsea L. Harris, Fort Worth, TX. I’m a gamer, and I don’t mean the occasional “Angry-Flappy Bird” app gamer, or “Just Dance” gamer. I’m a “Own Every Console, Collect Every Series Title, No-Life” gamer. My two brothers and I have been gamers since the days of NES, before I even quit wearing Pull-Ups. Gaming was […]

I am scared for my children

Jamie, Wylie, TX. I live in a society that I am afraid of the world that my kids will have to be adults in. We are going backwards instead of forwards. We are losing our view of everyone is the same, no matter how different we might look. I am having to have HARD conversations […]

You’re Probably Not Racist, You’re Classist.

Melanie Moctezuma, Dallas, TX. There is a difference between racism and classism. Being racist is hating a race, you already know what the definition is. Being classist on the other hand, is being discriminatory towards a specific economic class. You may think that you’re racist because, though I hate to admit it, as a person […]

Yes, those boys are my brothers.

Julia Guerra, Austin, TX. My brothers are very important figures in my life. They were born to a white mom and a white dad. They are blonde and red-haired, with blue and green eyes. When they were little babies, my white mom married my Mexican dad and he adopted both of them as his own. […]

Don’t Bring Home No White Girls

Anonymous, TX. Said a well travelled Black American female veteran to her biracial, trilingual, and dual citizen son. Behind her, in full agreement, stood her Eastern European Jewish husband. As madly in love as was at first sight, their relationship was taboo, condemned by family and friends alike. Now years later they faced their resultant […]

The difference between realism and racism.

Danny Denzler, Wichita Falls, TX. There’s a difference between being realistic and being racist. Police profiling isn’t racist. Look at the facts. Who commits the most crime even while being less than a 1/4 of the population? Personally, I know that not all blacks are bad, just like all whites aren’t good. I will say […]

My Looks Don’t Define My Bloodline

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 […]

God knew what he was doing

Malley Morales, Dallas, TX. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “and then Jesus whipped his slaves, who were inadequate because of their skin color.” We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all equal.

Black girls can rock bold lipstick!

Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. Often black women are told that we shouldn’t pull any more attention to our lips because they are sooooooo big! We have to stop feeding into the Eurocentric ideas of what is beautiful!

United yet unique, diverse yet connected.

Dana, San Antonio, TX. Around the world, my white skin and my blonde hair make me easily identifiable as an American. This superficial categorization has lead me to wish that people took the chance to get to now me for who I am, rather than making assumptions about my character. In return, I challenge myself […]

Justice for all requires White awakening.

Albert Marten, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit how unaware I was as a white person about the hate, the daily indignities, and in many cases, the physical terror suffered by my fellow citizens because of the color of their skin. The failure of my country to live up to […]

We are people, not your mascots.

Jacob K Tingle, San Antonio, TX. As the grandson of an Oklahoma Choctaw, I am deeply sensitive to the negative impact of stereotypes. Though no one looks at me and says, “He’s Native,” I try to use my multiple privileges to push back against the use of racists sport mascots and logos. We must understand […]

I’m white but I still have a culture (Welsh and proud)

Katherine Davies, Houston, TX. I understand that racial inequality is a huge problem, has been for centuries and hopefully, will not exist centuries from now, but judging someone because of their race, their culture, whether they are black, white, hispanic, asian or anything in between. I get told all the time that white people don’t […]

“You can only check one box…”

I got my driver’s application returned the first time because I chose boxes that aligned with both of my racial identities. The woman gave me one look and sort of laughed a bit, then pushed the clipboard back to meet my hands. I sort of looked over to my mom and erased the two boxes […]

From Unawareness to Critically Examining Whiteness

In my world, white was normal. I believed that race was something other than whiteness. The normalcy of whiteness meant I did not have to think about what it meant to be white. I grew up in a predominantly white suburb, which meant most of my friends were white and most of my schoolmates were […]

No apologies for who I am

Stanton Lawrence, San Antonio, TX. Throughout my professional life, I have experienced efforts to devalue or negatively assess the contributions of blacks in the work place. These efforts are greatly elevated when the individual is strong and confident. It takes me back to the era when we had to “be put in our places” because […]

Damn, did you see that White girl?

Lisa Jasinsk, Trinity University In 2007, I spent a year working at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. One day on my way into the office, I slipped on an icy sidewalk on 125th Street, and in a comic prat fall, landed on my bottom in a filthy puddle. A group of guys gathered outside […]

Benefit and burden with being biracial

Ryann Williams, Trinity University In a lot of ways, having two parents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds allows a unique insight into both cultures. It can be extremely enlightening to see how both sides can be so different and yet so similar at the exact same time. However, there is always this feeling as if I […]

Turban, Assumptions, Fear, Perpetually Foreign, Inferiority

Simran Jeet Singh, New York, NY. Trinity University My visible Sikh and South Asian identity have shaped my experiences with racial and cultural identities. Upon seeing me, people mark me as different and make various assumptions about me. Associations assume (but are not limited to): foreign, violent, conservative, uneducated, terrorist, victim, uncivilized, and dogmatic.

Segregation and inequity; the struggle continues

Dr. Deneese L. Jones, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University Race still matters! Even after sixty years past the Brown v. Board decision where the courts mandated: “With all deliberate speed.”,race is still a significant factor in our educational institutions, the criminal justice system, and employment. There are real differences in how different races and ethnicities […]