Rare twins, viewed as different races, battle bias, embrace diff - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Rare twins, viewed as different races, battle bias, embrace differences

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Erica Atkinson, left, and Erin Atkinson. (FOX5) Erica Atkinson, left, and Erin Atkinson. (FOX5)
The Atkinson twins at a younger age. (FOX5) The Atkinson twins at a younger age. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Two Las Vegas twins shared a womb, but don't share the same skin tone.

The Atkinson twins are each viewed as belonging to a different race, which lead to some challenges throughout their lives.

Erin Atkinson has a fair complexion, born with blonde hair, now dyed a vibrant red and striking blue eyes. Her sister Erica is much taller, with a dark complexion and brown eyes.

"(When I was born,) they pulled me out, then Erica and then [the doctor] said 'You have some explaining to do,'" Erin said jokingly. 

Erin and Erica are fraternal twins, but there were vast differences between them before they were even born. 

"We didn't get along in my mom's stomach," Erin joked. "We would fight all the time. When we were born, my sister kicked me out."

"I kicked her in the face," Erica said.

"I came out with a black eye," Erin said. 

They entered the world together, but their life experiences were vastly different.

"I was automatically accepted because I looked white, and she wasn't because she was dark. It made us fight," Erin said. 

Growing up, the Atkinson Twins said they knew they looked different, but they never really cared. It was other people who continuously pointed it out to them.

"One time we went to our friends house and her dad came home and told [our friend] my sister had to leave, but I could stay because of my (white skin) color," Erin said.

"I don't think I understood what was happening," Erica said. 

Erica and Erin believe the challenges they've faced have made them more accepting and understanding of people and their differences. They said they hope their story teaches people it's not on the outside, but on the inside that matters most.

"Everything we've been through over the years, it's just taught us to love yourself, and respect, just have respect no matter your differences. Just treat everyone with respect," Erica said.

The twins said despite their differences, they still have a lot of the traits other twins do, being able to feel when something is wrong with the other, and feeling homesick when they are apart for too long. 

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