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Multiracial Families on the Rise

Updated on September 3, 2019
PAINTDRIPS profile image

With 2 of her own, Denise remarried and brought 2 children from her husband together to explore what it means to be a blended family.

My collage called "Friends and Family"
My collage called "Friends and Family" | Source

21st Century Families

The further into the 21st century we go, the more I realize that there has been a gradual fade of the taboos of interracial marriages and multiracial families. Sure there are still plenty of racial slurs and persecution in the form of words more than rocks and burnt crosses, but it is there.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

— Leo Tolstoy
My collage called "Darling Angel Girl"
My collage called "Darling Angel Girl" | Source

What’s the Big Deal?

To begin I have to ask, what is the big deal with race anyway? Here in the US, unless you are indigenous Native American, you are not only an immigrant but also more than likely, mixed race. My ancestors came from Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, and one Native American Cherokee. That would make me one of the many typical mixed race mutts with a “white” face. Even that is a misnomer.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

— Charles Dickens

Paint Chips

One day my husband and I went to the paint store and for fun pulled out the paint chips that would match our skin tone. I’m not white but Toasted Bagel and my husband is not black but Chocolate Decadence.

Biracial Children

My step-son and step-daughter are “white and black” which is also a misnomer. Neither of them looks as dark and their father. I feel they are both mine since I raised them so I will call them both my son and my daughter from here on.

A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

— Tom Stoppard
Source

Check One Box Only

My son had some of the strangest experiences that just go to show how little we understand the “race” issue that so many Americans put such faith in. Once while filling out an employment application, he decided to check two boxes under “race,” both white and black. The girl and the front desk told him that he couldn’t do that. She said he was going to have to choose just one. He argued that the truth was that he was both. So she suggested he choose the “Hispanic” box since it was a combination of white and black. (insert face-palm here). She seems to be totally unaware that Hispanic does not mean a combination of white and black but people originally from a Spanish speaking country. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Hispanic as “a Spanish-speaking person living in the US, especially one of Latin American descent.”

Is our youth so uneducated in the meanings of things as this? Apparently so. I can see in the future there will have to be a box added to applications for biracial people.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

— Henry David Thoreau
Source

The Holy Land

On another occasion my son was invited by his university professor along with 10 other students, to go on a two week trip to Israel. My son was very excited and promised to take lots of photos. When going through customs in Israel he was singled out and searched. The customs agent did not believe he was a black American because his coloring “to them” appeared more Arab. After many hours of interrogation and promises from his professor, they finally believed he might indeed be American. After two weeks of wonderful exploration in the Holy Land, the group arrived back at the airport to fly home and my son was again singled out and searched because of his coloring.

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hiking friends
Hiking friends | Source

Statistics

Pew Research, between 2000 and 2010, the number of biracial (black and white) Americans more than doubled. This is the decade that the nation elected a biracial black and white president Barack Obama. The truth is that the research estimates that 6.9% of US adults could be considered multiracial, which is two or more races. I believe I should be considered one of those.

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

— Elon Musk
My children
My children | Source

Harmful?

My son and daughter have had their share of persecution and slurs but for the most part, they are not unhappy with who they are. The mostly identify with the black culture mostly because society won’t allow them to identify as white. Yet my daughter was often criticized for talking “white” instead of using a “ghetto dialect.” She became such a good actress at “putting on” a dialect when it suited her company just to keep the comments to a minimum. They both believe that their mixed background has made them more open to other cultures and less bigoted toward anyone. They are both proud of who they are and their biracial background. I think it makes them stronger and more secure adults.

Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.

— Publilius Syrus
Source

Adoption

Recently my son and his wife started the adoption process. My son believed that because of his biracial background and because he was married to a “white” woman that they would probably receive a mixed-race child. The statistics state that the mixed racial babies are harder to place among white families and this leads him to believe that he would be more likely to get a biracial baby. When the birth mother chose them among the many couples that she could have chosen, he was surprised to find that the baby is going to be 100% black. He said to me, “that means that for the baby, race will be an issue.” I hated to let him in on it but the truth is that in this country, race is ALWAYS an issue. Still, I believe they will make perfect parents for any child and no matter what the culture they embrace the baby will thrive.

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.

— Francis of Assisi
Source

Dark and Light

I hate the whole race issue. Too much has been made of it as if it were important. In reality, only the character and morals of a person are truly important. I’ve seen beautiful blond young women who open their mouths and such filthy language comes out that they suddenly look “dark.” I’ve also seen very dark-skinned women who open their mouths and such sweet loving kindness comes out of them they suddenly look “light.” When I was only 19 and needed an emergency appendectomy in the middle of the night, I vaguely remember a sweet black woman sitting by me and cleaning up my face as I came out of the ether. I spit up for a couple of hours and she sat by me cooing loving remarks and softly stroking my head. From the fog I was in, she was glowing and wore a halo. She wasn’t black. She was an angel of God’s light. I never found out who she was or was able to thank her, but I will never forget her.

A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.

— Joyce Brothers
Source

Final Thoughts

No matter what color or race you are, if you behave with kindness and compassion you will be light, and if you behave as a hateful bigoted black-hearted monster, you will be dark. Those are the facts.

Comments

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      John Ward,

      You must have instilled a real sense of sameness in your girls. Good job. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 

      4 weeks ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      Denise. I have never, to my Memory, Believed race to be anything other than an accident of Birth. I have from a very early age had friends of differing races. I served with them and always found the same level and strength of Backbone in all groups. We all bleed the same colour and die as easily or hard. No difference. I have two Daughters married to Filipinos. One married to a Croatian Native Indigenous Man.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Bill Holland,

      Thanks. We have gotten too touchy about race and color, haven't we? You'll have to try the paint chip test yourself. By the way, I enjoyed your homey chat YouTube videos. You've got to do more of those! Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      The paint chips section had me howling with laughter.

      I have a black step-daughter....I only say black for the purpose of this comment...otherwise I just say I have a step-daughter. It's that paint chip thing all over again. :)

      Blessings my friend

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Eric Dierker,

      You are so right. Race is totally made up. It is a social construct giving people the right to put labels on others as if that means anything. We all bleed the same color. We all hurt and love and weep the same. There is no difference under it all. I love that you grew up with the freedom to see everyone for who they are instead of what color skin they wear. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise we do the Bi-racial thing around here. My oh my is my youngest beautiful. He is half Asian and we were laughing that this big old white guy had "squintier" eyes. Go figure. I am adopted only knowing that both my birth parents were immigrants, first gen. I grew up with, Basque, Mexican natives, Hopi and Navajo and whites and a bunch of African Americans.

      Oh we grew up knowing race. How wonderful to get into a fight because of race.

      I cannot remember one that I was not friends with. We just did fighting. So many now on Facebook.

      My son's school has more mixed race than white.

      Can you even an Ethiopian married to an Asian? hihihi

      I have researched the area intensively and "race" is totally made up. If you come from a certain area you look one way and from another another way. Climate and habitat make that true. It would be funny for a 6 foot 8 inch dark colored man to come from Alaska. And vice a versa.

      Our Arab buddies are so cool. They immigrated and are so happy for it.

      Oh well I will go back to what my daughter through DNA testing decided I am nothing.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Lum,

      You know, my husband and I often say the same thing, that we should be beyond all that by now. {Heavy sigh} I'm so glad I gave you a laugh. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Mary Norton,

      I know exactly what you are talking about. I think that my family didn't expect the marriage to last and were ready to say "I told you so" but now after 34 years, they have come to think of my husband as one of the WASP family. It took a long time to get here and I know they would be supportive of him if anything ever happened to me. Perhaps your husbands family felt the same way. I'm so happy they have turned the corner and are supportive of you now. Thanks for sharing that.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh Denise, wouldn't you think by now this would be a non-issue? It hurts my heart. Underneath we all have the same blood and we all have the same God who loves us. I recently read Michele Obama's bibliography "Becoming" and she describes how, as a child, she was ridiculed by the neighborhood kids for "talking like a white person." {{sigh}}.

      One of my nephews and his wife adopted an infant who's mom was Caucasian and dad as African-American. It has been such a joy to watch him growing up and my sister (his grandma) couldn't love him more if he was her own flesh and blood. In her heart he is.

      Blessings to you and your family.

      BTW, I laughed at your descriptions of each other (from the paint chips) as toasted bagel and chocolate decadence.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sometimes, the chip is also on our shoulder. I am the only Asian in my husband's thoroughly WASP family that I feel awkward many times being with them and thought that the love may not be real until my husband died and they are there for me even stronger. I regretted those years when I suspected this. The first time I came to our summer place, I was the only Asian. These days, there is already a great mix. It is so common now to see interracial marriages. Great article.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Cynthia,

      It is interesting about the cultures that somehow get lost after a few generations here in North America. Yet I believe we are richer for the close connection with people from other cultures. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 

      5 weeks ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      I love this article! My parents gave me to believe i was of Northern European ancestry: Germanic, English-Irish-Scottish, but 5th generation Canadian-North American (two grandparents were born in the US) and therefore, with no strong ethnic connections. No cousins in Europe.

      Our son married a Filippina and we have two precious bi-racial granddaughters. I feel that i have a responsibilty to to follow their mother's lead to encourage them to be proud of their rich cultural heritage and of their own individual identities.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Dana Tate,

      Thank you for that. I think God is the ultimate Artist in His many creations of diverse color and texture, hair, etc. I love thinking He put some of that in me. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      5 weeks ago from LOS ANGELES

      I have many relatives with bi-racial children. Black/white, Hispanic,/black, creole, Indian, Asian, we are a beautiful mixed bunch. I love to see all the beautiful shades of color.

      I've had many blessings but the healthiest blessing was color and race never tainted our household. Naturally, I've experienced it outside of the family but the family unit is so strong others opinion's never carried any weight.

      We have been taught that we're all creation's of an Intelligent Creator and our skin tones, hair textures and everything about us was genetically designed according to His desire.

      Denise, we understand that everyone does not agree with that, however, it took our minds off of the opinion's of people and we were able to view ourselves and others through the eyes of an Artist.

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