Being Bi-Racial In A World Of Black And White
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Politics and Activism

Being Bi-Racial In A World Of Black And White

It hasn't been easy.

Being Bi-Racial In A World Of Black And White

From day one, I knew something was up with my family. When we'd go eat for "kids eat free night" (best night invented until you hit 12), we'd always get really really shitty service. It took a good year for someone to even bother coming to our table, after we waited 20 minutes prior just to be seated. and then while we waited on our shitty service to appear, the tables around us would glare. Not just you know make some awkward eye contact. I'm talking full on staring. I always used to wonder if maybe I just had a booger or if something was wrong with my usual over-alls and sneakers look at 6 years old.

I knew something was up with my family whenever it was bring your parents to breakfast week, and everyone seemed to look at us like we had horns growing out of our heads. I mean my daddy had on a Tennessee baseball hat just like all of the other dads there, but for some reason all the parents looked at him like he was of a different species.

I knew something was up with my family because whenever I'd go over to my friends houses their parents would act really odd and I didn't know what it was, but I just always felt a little bit out of place. I looked different...brown skin, brown hair and hazel eyes wasn't usually the combination they expected in my little town.

But I really knew something was up whenever I hit 5th grade and we went on a week long field trip. on our way back, this super cute bi-racial boy, asked my white best friend (since kindergarten) if she'd be his girlfriend. they'd been flirting the whole week, he really really had a crush on her. I mean it doesn't get much better than a 5th grade romance am I right or am I right? so, I was happily awaiting to celebrate with her for dating the like cutest boy ever, but instead she had a reaction to his question that kind of just turned my world upside down. instead of being happy the cutest most popular boy in 5th grade asked her out, she whispered to me and said that I had to be the one to tell him no, she couldn't date him. she wasn't ALLOWED to date him. I looked at her like "uh WTF you talkin' bout Willis?" she continued by telling me that her parents do not allow her to date black boys... Wait what?

By the time I left elementary school, I had come to the astounding realization that my family might be a tad bit different than all the other families in my small southern town. my mom is white, my dad is black and guess what?! They are married!my dad isn't a drug dealer, my mom isn't a trashy white girl with a tramp stamp, and a bad haircut with twenty kids that all have different "baby daddy's." Are you surprised yet? Most people are, because WE BROKE THE DAMN STEREOTYPE.

Being bi-racial in America is not easy. Ultimately, I am too black to be white and too white to be black but for some odd reason everyone expects me to identify with one or the other, I am expected to be this or be that, when in reality I don't even know who I am. I identify asBi-Racial. but to everyone else I am black, or sometimes hispanic, or mixed. and believe it or not one time i even get "mutt."

It is impossible to care are about both races that you are made up of without being questioned by every single person on the planet. If I say that I am concerned with black rights, I hear "well you aren't even really black so why do you care?" or "it shouldn't matter to you because you act so white". If i care about white issues then I hear, "Well since your skin is brown then you're like black." Lets get this straight right now, the color of my skin does not dictate which race I am. I am not one or the other. I am not just black nor am I just white I am bi-racial. I choose to identify with both races, therefore problems of each race are equally important to me.

Some say that racism is dead, but growing up as a bi-racial person in the south I can tell you that those people are dead wrong. being bi-racial hasn't been easy. I have experienced racism from both sides of the spectrum.

White parents always seemed to look at me like I was the trouble maker of my all white friend group in high school. When I was in elementary school some parents wouldn't even let their daughters come over to my house. I guess they thought my mom's decision to marry a black man was going to somehow rub off on their daughter. "Don't drink the water at the Dulaney house, susie. you'll start to like black boys."

Growing up I just never felt comfortable in my hometown being bi-racial. Even though i am half white, there have been many instances in my life when I haven't been lucky enough to have "White Privilege." When I started driving, my parents sat me down and had a talk with me about how to act if I ever got pulled over. They told me to keep my hands on the wheel, and to not be a smart*ss to the officer (I am the most sarcastic person ever). They warned me that if I was with my group of white friends and we were out at a party, if the police came I would more than likely be the one to get in trouble.

Being bi-racial becomes difficult when no one can relate to your obstacles. No one really gets what you have to go through except other bi-racial people, and even then we each go through so many different experiences. If you are lighter skinned, you get flack from your black side, and if you are darker, you get flack from your white side. When you try to explain these things to your parents, they simply cant understand because they've never been in the in-between. they are black or they are white. In all honesty, it is hard to explain the way it feels when a black girl doesn't like you automatically just because you are pale and you don't speak a certain way. In all honesty, it is hard to explain the way it feels when a white girl automatically just expects you to be a certain way simply because of the tone of your skin.

When you grow up bi-racial, things such as simple family gatherings become an annoyance. Going to eat and being asked if we are all on one check, or going to the store and thinking we aren't all checking out with the same items.

But really it is funny, because while I am trying to figure out how exactly to deal with being bi-racial there are black girls wanting to be paler, and white girls paying hundreds of dollars to get a fake tan. I hear all the time, "You are so lucky that you're mixed, because you are always tan." or "wow, you have really good hair, its not like too white or too black." My hair is a tangled curly mess, but it is not a place for you to put your unwashed hands or for you to comment on every time I do something different to it.

PSA: Stop touching my hair PLEASE.

Being bi-racial hasn't been easy and it isn't easy for anyone that goes through these annoying little things.

Real Talk... there isn't any one particular way to solve the problems bi-racial people go through, but there are two important things everyone can do to help make this easier on all of us struggling.

1. Be respectful. I know that you are going to have questions, I am an interesting looking girl, but please ask them in a respectful way. I know that my hair is very curly and thick, but please do not just run your unwashed fingers through it, when I don't even know who you are. Please be respectful of my family and who we are. we may not look like the ideal white Pickett fence version of the American Family, but we are still a damn good family, so the stares have got to stop.

2. Stop assuming. Please people, please please please stop assuming that I am one thing or the other. I am bi-racial. Bi, meaning two things, not just one. it really isn't rocket science, I promise. White People, please stop assuming that I am ghetto or thug or ratchet or speak in ebonics just because my dad is black. Black People, please stop assuming that I am this rich little privileged white girl, that has never experienced any struggle in her life, simply because my momma is white

I am black and I am white, and it hasn't been easy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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