What Are You?

Post navigation

I’m going to pull a Paperback Writer and do this for tomorrow now–then go to bed!

From Mixedwatch who got it from the Detriot Free Press:

The Detroit Free Press talks with a few people about their identity and how they navigate questions from strangers. Given the context and how people ask, it can be either a pleasant experience or a very frustrating one….But it becomes a burden when strangers broach the topic without knowing much more about her.

I’ve seriously paraphrased the above but you can click on the link to read the whole thing. I get this frequently and it’s usually interesting. The boys are still at an age where they think being 1/4 black is cool 🙂 and I’m glad for that. But the question still comes up, though more for me than them. I found out my son’s told their new friend (who’s black) after an interesting conversation I had with his mother about dating outside of your race, blah blah blah. I never disclosed that I’m mixed but my neighbor didn’t hesitate to tell me about her niece (who’s biracial) or her ex-husband’s two biracial children. In hindsight the whole conversation makes a LOT more sense, though I’m still not sure what her point was.

Coming from perfect strangers, it’s the equivalent of say someone touching your daughter’s hair for no reason (sorry Monica 🙂 )or asking questions about infertility or adoption that are none of their business when they see you have a child in tow who is OBVIOUSLY adopted (IE chinese or even a mixed child with a white couple).

I don’t know whether it happened to my own parents–though I do know the judge asked how their neighbors would react to them having a negro child. Considering I’d already lived with them for three months and the interracial couple across the street hadn’t shunned them, they figured it’d be alright.

I have enough identity problems, please don’t add to it.

*tweaked for fatigue induced grammar problems*

5 thoughts on “What Are You?

  1. Glad you enjoyed the link, Cece. I don’t know if my ds has been checking the site or not, but we talk quite a bit about race ‘in general’ and his various heritgages in particular. Ironically, he doesn’t get questioned–in our italian neighbourhood, he fits right in, and when they see me, it’s pretty clear he’s biracial. On the other hand, peeps are always asking about my background–Dominican, Somalian, Hatian are some of the guesses–and usually in some langauge I do not understand, like they’re testing me or something.

  2. I agree that it shouldn’t be an issue, but at the same time, I have to say that I get asked alot about my heritage to, and I am clearly white. People ask if I’m Lebanese, or Greek and occassionally get it half right and ask if I’m Italian.

    Once in ablue moon someone will ask if I have any Native Indian in my background, and I smile with pride and say “Yes, I do.” As my Canadian Grandfather that married my newly immigrant Irish Grandmother was in fact native.

    I know Nationality isn’t the same as race, but I try not to thinkin terms of any particualr race, myself. Basically, I just tell everyone I’m Canadian, and I think that should say it all. Hopefully, others will see it that way too.

  3. Jaq–I have to admit it’s your last name that threw me–obviously it doesn’t matter but I did find myself wondering name origins. Then again, names are a big deal to me. 😀

    Hollie–the mind boggles. I mean like you have RED hair.

    Sasha…even I get asked if I’m Italian LOL

    Raine–mixed or mixed up 😎