When I said mildly obsessed I wasn’t exaggerating. I find these Race Cards to be moving and powerful and unsettling and inspiring. Michael Bolton (not that Michael Bolton) and Bill Rowe, you really got to me. What a genius project. It is a brilliant way of taking the racial temperature of an America with a huge population of “Millennials” who think in 160 character blurbs and who we hope are the “raceless” generation. Of course we Gen X-ers and the Boomers, and even the Builders have Millennial tendencies, so no one should feel excluded from this. This isn’t for Generation Y, but when you’re taking the racial pulse at The University of Michigan, you will get a sense of how to close to “raceless” our youngest adults are.
Click HERE to submit your own Race Card. I’d love to hear which 6 words you chose, so please leave it in the comment section below if you feel inclined to share. I’m crafting one myself. Right now I’ve got:
- Believing in race ensures potential’s waste
- Race is a mask, lie, excuse
- Race brings judgement made in haste
- Race causes unnecessary confusion of spirit
I think I like the last one best. I think the ones the rhyme are cheesy. I think the word race probably doesn’t have to be in it, so I need to start thinking outside of the box I’m currently stuck in on this one.
Here are a few of the ones that intrigued me most. Of course, I was drawn to the “interracial” ones for obvi reasons. There are so many intriguing entries to dig through on the Race Card Project website.
We are treated how we look.
I am bi-racial and have been raised in a white family inside Detroit. I have suffered many racially motivated injustices in my travels and it makes me angry when people pretend race doesn’t matter. It matters when you are the one being discriminated against.
Yes, they are my REAL kids
Paul David Binkley
My wife of twenty two years and I are interracially married, she black and myself white.
Over our years together we have dealt with countless thoughtless comments and questions.
Here is one such event recalled here to explain my six word story.
A few years back, when our youngest still fit in a grocery cart, I was shopping alone with the three of them, engrossed in a price comparison, when an older woman approached and asked bluntly, “are those your kids?”
Wincing, I glanced over at them. My oldest daughter was tracing the colorful letters of a cereal box with her finger. My son was standing with his binkly in his mouth and fingers of one hand gripping the cart. And my baby girl was just sitting there quiet, not even remotely misbehaving.
Reconsidering her question. “Are those your kids,” I realized its true nature. Thinking myself clever, I answered, “Would I bring them to the grocery store if they weren’t?”
To which she humorlessly rejoindered, “No. I mean are they your REAL kids?”
Too desensitized to be deeply offended, I gritted my teeth and answered plainly, “Yes, they are my REAL kids.”
How to protect my black son?
Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Dad Caucasian. lived life in black neighborhood mostly. studied black history–college+leisure. love black culture esp music, classic jazz. slave narratives. am black myself but cannot pass as such. other dad, my partner, black, died. am now single dad, not planned. bringing up son in white priviledged neighborhood. not me, not him, we’re poor, but we’re here. avoiding ‘young black males’=main cause of death for ‘young black males’. life so cheap for ‘young black males’. not *my* son. i miss diversity.
With blacks come crime and decay.
Called my friend nigger. Ashamed forever.
Bucks County, PA
It was 1971 and I was ashamed the moment I said it. Jeff was a friend and to impress the wrong person I said something terrible. What impresses me to this day is the way that he responded. He just said “you don’t mean that” and never said another word. If I read the situation correctly, Jeff forgave the unforgivable. I have never been able to forgive my behavior and I am ashamed to this day of what I did. I moved to another school the following year and we lost contact. I never apologized and wish that I could.
Jeff, wherever you are, I have two 6 word sentences for you. You are the epitome of grace. I’m sorry beyond power of words.