Multiracial Families on the Rise
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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.