- Gender and Relationships
What is the problem with bi-racial couples?
What is bi-racial?
Bi-racial implies that there is more than one race in a relationship and in the offspring that occur from that mixed relationship. What most people consider to be bi-racial is when a caucassion or white person carries on a relationship with an African American individual. When the two people decide to have a baby, the baby is considered to be bi-racial. However there is so much more to this than just the simplicity of this scenario.
More than just one
The problem with this whole thought is that people are assuming that people only have one race. That is simply not true. There are people who are mixed races like white with Scottish or white and irish. These people are mixed races. When they in turn have a relationship with another individual, that person is also a mixed race. There is no such thing as just a white person or just a black person. The problem is not that these relationships exist but the problem is that most people do not consider this when speaking of mixed relationships.
Problems with race
I come from a home where racism is quite common. My adopted mother was rascist against colored people no matter what they were. She didn't hate them or participate in hate against them but just thought that people should stick within their own color. I was raised to think the same thing but learned that this is not the case.
My biological mother is rascist against white people. It sounds funny that way but that's the truth. My mother is 1/2 white and 1/2 native American. She looks down on people who are white because she was raised on the reservation and raised by a native American father who taught her that white people stole his land.
I did not know my biological mother growing up and did not meet her until in my late teens. I met her and met my siblings, half brothers and sisters and step brothers and sisters. All of them are raised on the reservation and are considered to be Native American. When I got older and started to date, my adopted mother would not allow me to date men who were dark skinned and my biological mother- if she could have- would have told me no white men.
I did end up marrying someone who is as white as they possibly can get. His family comes from Canada and also has blood lines linked to the irish. My real mom did not meet him until many years later and looked down on him from the start. Never had anything to say good about him. It did not matter that he was providing a roof over my head and paying all the bills. It did not occur to her to be thankful to him for supporting me when she and my adopted mother no longer wanted to.
Babies, Babies and Babies
At some point my mother had to learn to accept him. Not so much as accept him for being white or not being Native but accept him as being in my life. We married and eventually ended up having three beautiful children. We moved to TN in 2004 and I did not return to NY until 2009. While on our way to NY I called my mother's shop to find out how many people were there and to make sure that my sister was at her shop. My mother was running a smoke shop on the reservation.
When I got my sister on the phone I had been informed that my step brother had passed in the middle of the night. I just so happened to be in town for the funeral. I introduced my son to his grandmother at the funeral however my mother was to strung out on medications handed to her to help with the anxiety and depression due to the incident that took my brothers life. I did not return until after my daughter was born and was going on 2.
At this point, I now had 3 children. I have 2 boys and a baby girl. All of my babies are half native American and half white. My mother loves them but not like she loves her grandbabies who are all native American. Now I know that she would do everything she could to help one of them and loves them. I have no doubt in mind about that. I just know that her love for them is different than her love of her other grandchildren.
When I moved to NY for a period of time, I had to enroll my children in the healthcare system of the Native Americans. For us, we have free health insurance or free health exams. We have our own medical centers and doctors who see all the Indians. They allow for us to have free medications and transportation and so on. I enrolled my children as it allowed for them to have access to healthcare that was not state funded. I had to have them looked at and to ensure that their heritage was enough to qualify them for the medical. They were found to be 1/2 white and 1/2 native American.
Looking at my kids, you would not know that they were half white and half native. I hear all the time that I must not be native because my skin tone is too light or because my hair is not black. This is not true. I am 3/4 native and 1/4 white. I do have black hair when I allow for the natural color to come out and I am dark skinned when I sit in the sun all the summer long. I will then keep some of that color throughout the year and winter months. My children do have a bit darker skin color than my own skin tone. Especially my daughter. She looks straight up native American. She has the skin tone color and the dark hair. When playing at the playground, if there are Mexicans in the area, she blends in with them. I am always told about how pretty she is and how beautiful her eyes are. I hear this all the time.
Now one of my boys is dark skin toned and has the darker hair color however the other child is as blonde as can be and is fair toned. He looks nothing like a Native American. He will tan during the summer and keep some of his color but for the most part looks nothing like an Indian.
Now when filling out forms for their race, I always mark American indian. Why, because they are half and half. What do they favor most, that is what I check on their forms. For my blonde haired child, I still mark American indian because he will get to the right color and the native American side is honored by the Indians. That is why it is so difficult when claiming their race. The majority of people will now ask that you mark all races that the person is. This is a big step in claiming your heritage.
The race of the individuals is always questioned when someone has curly hair or that looks a bit dark. If the person has slanted eyes, they must be Japanese or Chinese. There is always something being said about certain races and their distinguished traits.
The problem then becomes, what race is the children. For most, if you are half white and half black, the community does not accept you as one or the other. They view you as being mixed and therefore are not treated as being one or the other. Is this fair? No, not at all.
This is what society has led us to. This is what people have been trained to think or how to feel. If we can change our mindset and how we feel about the situation, we can help to change the way our children feel and their children and so on. That is why it is so important to take a stand against racism.