Why I hated this growing up. And still do.
You’re so exotic looking.
What are you.
Are you mixed?
I still distinctly remember this conversation as I was coming home from a studio recording session.
Well what are you? The driver asked.
At first I didn’t answer. I couldn’t believe a older person was so “curious.”
Why I personally don’t like the term “mixed”.
Why I don’t like the “what are you” question.
I don’t like the idea of putting someone in a category or putting someone in a box. Or making someone feel like they don’t belong.
We are human first.
Multiracial, biracial race people don’t necessarily look like what you might “assume.”
I’m white, black, and Native American (for starters). I don’t have to pick sides or choose one or the other if I don’t want to. I’m fully black, fully white and full native American. I’ve had my fair share of classmates say I’m not black enough (more on this below), no one can tell me I’m not black enough, white enough or native American enough.
Now, with that being said because I’m not “white passing". You can clearly tell I’m a light skin black with black features-although some of my friends debated this saying I can pass for white under the influence of Tequila, smoking and whiskey. Bahaha. Smdfh. I have bi-racial friends who have more white features than black and could pass for white. I’m not judging them. They got to make it in this world like everyone else.
When I think of mixed, I think of mixing food in a kitchen.
What each multi-racial/biracial/mixed person identify as is up to them and their own journey. If I suspect someone of being “bi-racial” I never ask them
WHAT ARE YOU?
Wwowow you’re so hot
Whoa you got blond hair and blue eyes.
Like they are some exotic species. Or something to be fetishized. And no, not every bi-racial person is going to have blonde hair, blue eyes and light skin.
Our identities are not curiosities, small talk, talking points, or tokens. You don’t know what our backgrounds mean to us.-Maya Gittelman
Don’t glance at what you don’t understand and reduce it to “cool.”Ask yourself why you’re curious about the racial background of mixed race people. We are not a curiosity.
One person told me he didn’t mean nothing by it, but I was so exotic looking that he had to know.
I was thinking.
WHY. Is he some sort of freak?
We really don’t talk anymore. I briefly told him that I don’t like the question, because you’re obsessing over the wrong thing. Something about that conversation made me see him differently and not want to work with him.
There’s a inner light switch that turns on when someone asks me “the mixed" question. It pisses me off.
Many inappropriate and harmful comments aren’t made by outright racists, but by people who call themselves your friends, family, and on your “team”. Some of the worst experiences growing up are from people who call themselves being my friends.
Mixed people with a Black parent are NOT “half-Black”. They are Black. Fully. Period. By that I only mean, you have just as much right to embrace 100% of every Black culture or white culture you spring from, just as much as someone of your culture who is not mixed. Just because you spring from more than one ancestry, doesn’t make you half off it, half-Black or a fraction White. If you are biracial you are NOT half & half. You are WHOLE & WHOLE. One spirit wrapped in human clothes. The color of a diamond’s wrapping or packaging does not define its worth. You are a diamond spirit.
Your melanin makes you Black but Black is NOT a race, it is a color & a culture-substitute when you don’t know the specific country in the motherland your ancestors came from. #EbrahimAseem Any one who has African blood in them is “Black” only because the first human on earth came from a Black woman’s womb. This is the origin gene.
You don’t have to say you’re full Black, nor pick sides or choose one race to identify. No. Embrace all of you. Every racial ingredient. You are white and black, and blended, and whole, and enough. Just innerstand you partake in a regal ancestry & nucleus all life springs from. Melanin.
Black is a culture-substitute. Nigerian, Jamacian, Ethiopean, etc. are races & ancestries. White is a culture-substitute. French, Italian, German, etc. are races & ancestries. Know your ancestry. Define yourself. Embrace 100% of your cultures with 100% of you, not half of you.-Ebrahim Aseem
I am simultaneity, I am the intertwining of two incredible, disparate cultures. Oceans have crossed within me, rhythmic island dialects and heady Canaanite rhythms live not quite at home together on my tongue. It took me 22 years to begin to see that though, and I’m still working on it — and it’s entirely mine.-Maya Gittelman
There’s no such thing as “half” of a person. Some of my friends was asked the crude and intruding question of “what are you” and they told me they say mixed instead of listing out every single race of people that runs through their veins.
Nowadays, I make it a point to say why? I’m human. If I want someone to know, I’ll tell them. When someone wants to share that information with me, they will on their own time. I will never ask someone what are they “mixed” with.
I got to be honest and say anyone who’s asked me that question I see them a little bit differently, like I said above.
The 411 (just In case you missed the memo above)
I’m white, black, and Native American (for starters). My parents are light-skinned. I’m not directly bi-racial (ie. one parent is white or asian, and the other is black). But my grandparents and great grands are white, native American and so on on different sides of the family (stay tuned, I’m finding out a lot on Ancestry and 23 & me).
All points aside, I have light light skin so I get asked the mixed question a lot.
Most of my family identify as black. A lot of my 1st cousins are bi-racial.
Growing up, I was told that I was ahead of my time. I was just cut from a different cloth.
I went to an all white Catholic grade school and high school. My black classmates and I didn’t get along too well.
The jealousy, cut throating, and gossiping in grade school was unreal. It was also made clear that I was the light skin girl in the class, and they had darker skin tones.
Because I spoke/speak proper English, they said I was white . There’s no such thing as “talking a race." It’s call speaking proper English.
I didn’t act black the way they acted black. I wasn’t chasing boys. I played video games and sports. Placed first place in several video game tournaments (RIP Game Crazy). I had bigger goals that was beyond their basic level of understanding (not trying to be cocky, stick with me, if you been reading my past articles you may understand my perspective, maybe not). I was always told that I was years ahead of my time in terms of mindset and ways of thinking. I’ve always told people this doesn’t mean I was always right-I just always wanted to blaze my own trail and leave a path. I watched Dragon Ball Z. I got into martial arts. I played basketball. I had an early interest in entrepreneurship, creating my first business at 12-pet sitting. Even back then I was trying to find ways to earn money while I was sleeping. I didn’t think gossiping and bringing people down was the way, which resulted in me not fitting in with gossiping peers.
To this day, I love animals, and have 10 squirrels, 2 outdoor cats, 1 dog and a big-o family of birds I feed. I’m still into entrepreneurship, entertainment, dragon ball, videos games and then some. I love to eat. If asked, I would consider being a voice-actor for video games or being on an e-sports team.
And some even say that being “light skinned” allows you to fit in better, that we are seen as good, and less threatening because of our “hues”. No amount of assimilation will shield you from the racism in the United States. And no matter how light you are, to the world you are still a black person, and they throw the black stuff on you, then you catch it from within the black community, because they think that you think you’re “cute and or whiter than they are”.
The police brutalize multiracial, light skin, “mixed,” Black men and women (cis or trans), and gender non-conforming folk just like the chocolate skin or dark tone ones. Mixed Black folk are singled out for disparate and cruel treatment too. Calling someone mixed does not protect them from racism- No, My Children Are Not Mixed — The Good Men Project
And I also caught it from some of the white people, because they made it clear that you wasn’t white either.
I’ve been followed by a black security guard or two in the store and profiled at the Hyatt but racist incidents in my experience alone? It’s far, few and inbtwn. When I left my school life, 99.9999 of the racist incidents stopped.
Many of my black classmates wasn’t nice, and some of my white teachers wasn’t either. There’s times where no one is on your side, and you got to keep going until you find your true friends.
In high school, I started hanging around more white folks. I had more in common with the white people than the black people I went to grade school with (and shit they weren’t so jealous acting either my God). At my high school reunion, I will not lie to you. I talked with more of my white friends/classmates. We keep in touch more also.
Full disclosure moment: I have friends of many different races, and I never pick friends based on skin color. If we click, we click. People from my grade school was just rotten to the core, and not good people to hang with, period. I repeat this several times in my articles. I go into detail here and here about what happened.
Why I Thought About Leaving The Church And Not Come Back.
Some of the worst people I met in my life were the self-proclaimed God’s children on a pew on a Saturday or Sunday.
I’m Still Not Convinced My Black Life Matters To Some Of My White Friends
We love America, but America doesn’t love us back.
Why Is It So Difficult To Talk About Racism?
Friendly reminder: I also don’t speak for all black people. Or other groups. Everyone has their own opinion and can…
I notice when I hang around my white/Asian/Indian/Hispanic/group of friends I do notice some black people acting funny and giving me that look.
Some of my black family members are uncomfortable hanging around non-black spaces too.
I’m going to hang out with whomever I want, and I encourage them to get to know people outside your culture instead of looking at me weird. These are people that I click with, and we get each other.
And I have to be straightforward honest. Full-disclosure moment 2: There’s times when I’m the only black in the arena. I do not see many black people attending Gen Con or Comic Con. I do not see a lot of black people in entrepreneur, entertainment or real estate circles I run in. When I attend dinner parties where tickets are $500 or more, I may see 1 other black, but usually I’m the only one. And it doesn’t bother me one bit. I can hold my own. I’ve build genuine connections with the people that’s there in those spaces beyond race. Also, people also shouldn’t assume that we are going to automatically be friends because we are both black.
The one thing I despised in college is them labeling me and wanting me to play victim. Or assuming that I spoke for all black people in my majors. I don’t and never will. Every race of people can speak for themselves and don’t need me to speak for them.
Just off record: I do not refer to my friends as my “Indian” or “Asian friends. For the purposes of this article, I had to explain myself. They are my friends, we like Tequila. I do not like it when my white friends say I’m their black friend.
Speaking of this: News Bulletin
Not Every Light-Skinned/Mixed/Biracial Person will have the same experience.
If you are not white passing, you will still experience some racism, even if you are light.
Let me repeat.
If you are not white passing, you will still experience some racism, even if you are light.
We should not try to pretend that all “mixed” people experience the world the same way. A “mixed” kid who presents as White (or mostly White) is going to experience the world differently than a mixed kid that doesn’t present as White (or mostly White).-
I’ve had friends who are biracial (one parent white another parent black) that looked more white and they passed for white.
Hey I’m not judging them at all. It is what it is and they were honest: They told me they felt like if they would have claimed black, they would be treated differently. It’s sad that we can’t be truly treated equally. And some feel like have to hide parts of their identity to make it through this world.
Then, I had one friend who called themselves black, and she looked white.
Not every biracial/mixed/multiracial person will look the same.
If you think that light skin, blue eyes, yellow crinkly hair is the standard for biracial and light skin people. Antttttt. Wrong.
A guy that I know that’s a couple years younger than me has chocolate skin tone and he’s biracial. But in high school, they assumed that he was black and had no white in him. His mother showed up and boy people were surprised. He literally looked like his white mother, but darker skin tone.
Or do you find that people are more interested in what your kids going to look like because you’re different races or one of you is biracial? A person is a person, no matter what the view is like.
How about trying to have a conversation despite the view? Who knows, you might enjoy the conversation so much that the view DOESN’T MATTER.
I personally do not like when some guys come to me and think that “our” imaginary kids are gonna look like me. Or worst, when family members do it. It’s wild. Lighter skin doesn’t necessarily mean getting a pass, avoiding racism, or getting better treatment (please read what I said above).
We have to get rid of European standards of beauty. Easier said than done I know.
You can call yourself mixed if you want to. How you identify yourself is up to you.
It’s important to let them explore all aspects of their identities.
Mixed children are not like Build-A-Bears. You can’t just decide that you want your child to look, act, or identify a certain way just because you want them too.
Multiracial people are not objects; we’re our own people with different relationships to cultural backgrounds and labels., 4 Ways Parents Can Support Their Mixed Race Children — Everyday Feminism
It’s important for people to let multi-racial people explore all their identities and not make a judgement pass or call. And yes, drop the labels too. And let them identify themselves how they want to identify.
“You’re just Black, because that’s what your mother is.”
“You’re mixed. You can’t identify as Black because that’s dishonest.”
“Why are you saying you’re mixed? Girl, you’re Black.”
“If you’re only half white, you’re not really white.”
If you are only half Puerto Rican, that’s not enough.
It’s very invalidating to personal experiences, it makes someone feel like they don’t belong and it’s very harmful.
I personally can’t stand the term mixed. But if it floats your boat go for it.
Why I'm Territorial
I really don't have to re-invent the wheel here because there's so many great stories here.
There’s so many great articles out there with different perspectives, that discovering them all would be an article in itself.
If you like what you’ve read, please recommend it so others can read it as well. Please tell me what you want me to write about here!
Interested in what I done? Check out my LinkedIn profile I barely use lol. I’ll update it to add the new current businesses I’m working on one of these days.