Identity Check

Since, I too, have a complex, multi-ethnic identity and background, I can definitely relate to this article.

Depending on whether I have a tan, on my hair length, if I have facial hair, and so on, I've looked Mexican, Indian, Spanish, Filipino, Asian (too many variations to name here), etc.

It seems like Barack Obama's recent speech on race is forcing a lot of people in America to give themselves a long overdue identity check.

From The Boston Globe:

ONE NIGHT SOME years ago, I tried to explain to my husband why it was that our future kids would be black kids. No matter how light or dark their skin turned out, no matter how coarse or cooperative their hair, chances were they would be black in the eyes of this racialized world, and I needed him to be prepared for that. So that they could be prepared for it.

He looked at me like I was crazy. Then he shot back, "They're going to be half-white too, you know." And as occasionally happens in our mixed-race marriage, I saw the canyon of America's race divide open up between us, right there on the sofa. "There is no such thing as half-white," I said, and I suddenly felt exhausted.

Now, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that color labels are fast losing their usefulness. Our kids have Haitian, French, German, and Irish blood running through their veins. In any given season, our 3-year-old can look Mayan or Polynesian or Native-American or Alaskan. Or he could look like a white kid with Mediterranean parents who tans well. If the early years are any indication, our kids are going to grow up eating Haitian plantain and meat pies and singing the French songs that have been passed down in my family, and building the punishing work ethic and thick skin that are legendary in my husband's family.

More here.

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