Navigating race as a Bi-racial person...
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Whew, race... the word puts a lot of people on edge these days. Don't worry I am hear to ease that feeling and hopefully help you see race in a new light. SO far 2020 has sucked. Kobe & Gi Gi passed away in January, a pandemic rocked our world & Black People & people of color are still getting murdered by Police Officers. SIGHHHHHH
Yes, it is a race thing. Don't worry I'll say it for you because I am not afraid to. It's okay, I wasn't always great with all this either. I am just a tiny bit unusual you can say because I am bi-racial. I grew up in a home with a White Mom & a Black Dad. Whew Chile. Controversial for those of you who know all about Loving vs. Virginia (1967). So I grew up thinking Black & White people were supposed to get along. I mean how couldn't I, I walked down stairs every morning to two loving parents cooking breakfast and coexisting in so much harmony. Blessing.
Growing up Bi-racial got a little confusing when I got to school & I faced the question, " Yo what you mixed with? ". #Awkward Because you can imagine knock-kneed me with frizzy (somewhat tamed in a tight pony tail) hair; looking so confused. What do you mean? I am bi-racial and I thought it was just what is was. HA HA. Jokes Faith...
That is when Race changed for me. I was different and I saw race clear as day. I loved it. The ways people on this planet can be so different & have so much history radiating off the color of their skin or the texture of their hair. Beauty. I see Race because that is who someone is and its amazing.
Growing up knowing I was a product of two specific races that have been at odds for my lifetime, my parent's lifetime, my grandparents lifetime ect. ect. You get the idea. Different. I constantly got swept up in the topic of, choosing your ONE race. Because according to the One Drop Rule, I am supposed to be black. But...what about my white mom and white grandmother who I built memories with? (My White Mom who passed away to be exact. So, obviously holding on to that memory a little tighter than most) I am supposed to choose. I was lost and annoyed. WHY DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE TO MAKE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE? Because race is confusing and people need things to be clear, black and white. Eh Screw em' I am bi-racial because my two races ARE AMAZING. I am so lucky! How I self identify is my choice not yours and that is perfectly OK! But here is a thought for you before I move on, Why would a nation need/yearn for me to choose a side so bad if race is truly equal? HMMM...( I'll answer for you because I love rhetorical questions) Because one of them is oppressed and one isn't...DUH read the damn room people.
It's 2020-Join a side ?
Ugh well recently as we all can see the country/world is at war. Against a system that has caused so much pain for people of color. Black People especially. Social Media is exploding, people are not holding back anymore. The country burns at night and attempts to peaceful protest during the day. America oh where are we now?
Bi-racial people stand in the middle seeing a clear oppression of half of who they are. But for me I realized something KEY. It is not black vs. white... it's right vs. wrong. Racism is wrong. Having your knee on a black man's neck who clearly is not resisting for NINE MINUTES long seems a tiny bit extensive don't you think? There is something wrong. We witnessed a man's murder and it is wrong. At the end of the day you can't say it wasn't about race in this moment and all other moments similar to this.
I do not feel pressure to choose a side anymore because my black brothers and sisters are dying. My bi-racial brother and my black father. How does society see them? Threatened? My Yale bound brother? Is that enough to rescue him from a society that hates his entire being?
There is a problem with our system. Not enough people in power who are of color. Race is different and diversity is needed to make decisions for EVERYONE in our nation. Think about it this way, when you're picking a team for a scavenger hunt, You don't pick all people who are great at the same thing. You choose people with different skills and roles. Because it makes you more well rounded. AHA light bulb moment 'ding'. Diversity is beautiful & helpful.
Lastly, recognize your own privilege. I as a bi-racial women have privilege. My lighter skin and my white background. I had to realize at a point, I am luckier than some or most of my peers. While I have faced my own form of discrimination, I rarely had to fear for my life when pulled over by a cop. I needed to educate myself and use my platform to shine light on the issues that go on every day in America. My voice matters. My silence is worse. Use your platform and privilege to help those who are not as lucky as you! You can make a difference because Lord knows we need it.
I hope you realize I am trying. I am not 100% right and I am always open to learn. But I believe in the beauty of our racial differences.
Book Suggestion: Everybody Always by Bob Goff