Dear White and Black People

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

First things first, if you haven’t watched Netflix’s new series Dear White People please find the time to do so. If you have watched it, then you are aware of how the context of this post is going to go. So let’s get this thing started.

Dear White People, I am biracial, I am American, I am human. Please stop acting like I’m an exotic species.

Dear Black People, I am biracial, I am American, I am human. Please stop making me feel as though I’m less than any of those things.

Dear White People, for the love of all things holy please stop telling me how bad you want to have a baby with a black guy just so you can have a “cute mixed baby.” Mixed people aren’t some special breed you can just pick. If you want to adopt, adopt because you want to give a child a loving, safe, happy home. Do no adopt because you just want to have a mixed baby, we are not dogs.

Dear Black People, I am very much aware of my light-skin privilege. I know how colorism works in society and the black community. Do not assume that I think I’m better than others, get to know me first before you make rash judgments.

Dear White People, I wake up and wash my hair. That’s how I get these curls. That’s all.

Dear White and Black People, stop trying to put me in a box. I am biracial. Being biracial is a thing, do not make me discredit half of who I am just so you feel comfortable.

Dear White People, stop telling me I can’t get offended when you make a racist comment “because I’m not really black.” And to piggy-back off that, I have the right to take offense to any prejudice or racism I see, half of who I am is black and if you feel that way about black people, you feel that way about me. There is no “oh no I don’t think of you that way because you aren’t really black.” Yes, I am. So just think of that next time.

Dear Black People, I know I will never understand the full extent of your struggle, but just remember that there are people in the world who think I am you and treat me the same. Just because I’m half white doesn’t mean I’m protected from the racism and ignorance of some people.

Dear Black People, you can be racist too. Racism is not just limited to white people. By assuming that all white people are racist and out to steal from the black community, you are conforming to the same mindset of those white people who assume all black people are illiterate thugs.

Dear Entire World, until we can all realize that no one is their stereotype, there will continue to be racism and hatred in the world. Until we can all accept each other for our differences there will be no peace. I understand that there is deep rooted institutionalized racism in our world and that may never go away. But we can not continue to turn a blind eye when we see someone become another victim of an unjust society.

Dr. King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman, they did not sit quietly and wait for someone else to do something, They got up and fought for what they believed in. They didn’t just sit around and complain about how unfair the world was, they got up and fought to make it a little more fair. We have come a long way from then, but there is still much more to be done.

Dear White and Black People, will you stand with me? Can we put aside our differences and accept that God made us all different for a reason. Can we work on respecting each other’s culture and not appropriating it for fame? Can we learn from each other?

Sincerely,
A biracial millennial trying to find her voice

El Fin *deep sigh*

My Journey

Guys. I did it. I survived my third year in college. There were times where it seemed like I wasn’t going to make it to this point. This has by far been my most challenging semester, but knowing that I only have one year left is such a satisfying feeling.

So much has happened in such a short time and I honestly feel like I have grown so much. Over the course of this school year, I battled with getting over my first heartbreak, seeking help for my anxiety, gaining and losing friends, balancing a full class load and working all week. Needless to say, I’ve been pretty busy, but I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for all the money in the world. I can tell that I have honestly gotten closer with myself and have learned that it’s ok and really important to create alone time.

I wouldn’t have made it to the end if it wasn’t for my wonderful roommate Skylar. We have had so many crazy adventures this year; from random late night talks to comforting each other when boys do stupid things, to late night food runs, to playing rock, paper, scissors over who went to talk to the RA, she’s been there for it all. She’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly (seriously she has some good blackmail on me lol.) We pushed each other to finish strong, and here we are. We survived.

If there is one thing I have learned this year, it’s that I am 100000% in the right major. I have been working as an afternoon teacher at a daycare this year and man oh man, those kids are crazy. I have a whole new level of respect for teachers everywhere. It truly takes a special person to work in education, no matter the age.

But I love my job, I work with the best group of people and even though there are days when my kids make me want to pull my hair out, I have grown to love them all so much. If anything, they’ve taught me the true meaning of patience. My class ranges in age from 18 months to 2 years and most of my day is spent saying “get off the shelf” “We don’t sit on our friend’s head” “no don’t eat that!”

Ahhh my internship this summer is going to be such a refreshing break, but I know I’m going to miss those crazy kids. I could go on and on about stories from the daycare, but I’ll save those for another day.

As I look back on this year it all seems like such a blur, it seems like life keeps moving faster and faster and I’m just trying to slow it down before the real adulting begins.

The Revolution Will Not be Televised. The Revolution Will be Live.

Race

I have thought long and hard about whether or not I should post what I am about to say. At the end of the day though this blog is supposed to be a reflection of who I am, and that includes my thoughts and opinions.

Since the beginning of American history people of color have been oppressed decade after decade. Although slavery and segregation have been abolished, the lingering effects of racism and discrimination are still present in today’s society.

As someone who is biracial talking about this kind of stuff can be challenging because in no way am I anti-white, but I do consider myself to be pro-black. What’s taking place in our country right now shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone, no matter their race.

Over the past five years, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has taken off as a response to the countless acts of police brutality on African Americans. There have been marches, boycotts, peaceful protests, protests that turned violent, basically everything we were taught about the Civil Rights Era during school, is happening now.

Many celebrities have used their platforms to speak out on these issues, but in my opinion, no one has taken quite a stand as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Now unless you have been living under a rock these past few weeks, you should know that Kaepernick has chosen to sit/kneel during the National Anthem before the start of his football games.

The criticism and praise he has received from this simple action have been insane. Not only did his jersey shoot to #1 in sales but, he is also the reason behind #boycottNFL.

Personally, I think there are many other reasons to boycott the NFL, for instance, domestic abuse, substance abuse, concussions…and so on. But people have decided that someone kneeling for a few minutes during the opening ceremony is worse than the previously mentioned items.

With all the fuss over his actions, the message Kaepernick is trying to share has been lost. He is trying to shine a light on the injustice and inequality that is still very much real and alive in America. 

What he is doing is not intended to discredit the brave men and women who have, and continue to fight and defend our country and our freedoms. He is trying to bring awareness to a subject that has been swept under the rug decade after decade.

He is also not making this an anti-white issue. I mean honestly, he is biracial and was adopted and raised by white parents. As someone who is also biracial, and was raised by her white mom in a predominantly white town, in the south, I can only imagine the stress and confliction he must have felt, and still probably feels about his decision.

It is hard being a biracial individual who feels strongly about the injustices half of our culture endures. It can feel like you’re trapped because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but at the same time, as you get older you get tired of never voicing your opinion.

That’s about the point I am at now, and that seems to be where Colin Kaepernick is as well.

I understand why people are upset by what he is doing, and they have a right to feel that way. But Kaepernick has that same right as well.

Another point that I feel keeps getting forgotten or looked over by the media is that he is not just kneeling. He is actually making a change within his community.

In a recent interview, Kaepernick pledged to donate the first $1 million he earned to organizations that work in communities to better the relationships between the people of the community and the law enforcement. He made the same promise with the money he will receive from his recent increase in jersey sales.

Kaepernick has started a movement. Across the country, thousands of people are joining him in kneeling during the National Anthem. Not only are other NFL players taking a knee, but many African-American high school athletes are too.

 

I give a special shout-out to all of the young African American men and women who are brave enough to take a stand in front of their peers. It’s hard enough to not give into peer pressure, but to take a knee in front of not only their peers, but their administrators and parents take a whole lot of courage. I’m not sure I had that courage when I was in high school.

I kneel with Kaepernick. He is not backing down from what he believes in. Hopefully, his actions will start conversations within communities about the injustice that still lives in our country.

I kneel with Kaepernick because he is inspiring a younger generation to have a reason to have passion and a fire within themselves to stand up for what they believe in.

I kneel with Kaepernick because as a young biracial woman he has inspired me to not be afraid to stand up for what I feel and believe is right. He has shown me that it is ok to defend and take a public stand for my black side, while still loving and appreciating everything about my white side.

With the donations he is making into the community, as well as police officers like Officer Norman from North Little Rock, AR, I believe that we will begin to see a change. 

This isn’t going to happen overnight, it might not even happen in the next five years. All that matters is that conversations are being started, policies are being reevaluated and all parties are held equally accountable for their actions.

I have felt passionately about this topic for many years, I just haven’t had a platform, or the courage to properly share my voice. 

Black or White?

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

In one of the many amazing Michael Jackson songs, he talks about how it shouldn’t matter if you are black or white when it comes to certain things. That statement couldn’t be any more relevant to my life than it already is.

Curious about what I mean? Let me explain it to you real quick.

Growing up kids used to make fun of me because of the way I talked. You would think since I was born and raised in Arkansas it would be for my southern accent, but no, it was for something even more ignorant. They would say that I talked “white.” I would get super defensive and try to fight back but there was just no changing their minds. They would tell me that I wasn’t a real black person just because of how I talked.

I remember going home and occasionally crying and telling my mom everything that the kids would say to me. She would give me a hug and then tell me that those kids were not very smart and that no one can talk “black” or “white.” She would tell me, and I still remember and live by this today, that people can either talk educated or uneducated.

To this day people still tell me that I sound white and what’s crazy it’s not just from one group of people. Black people will tell me that, white people will tell me, really anybody will tell me. But the thing I have noticed through all of the encounters are, that the people telling me this are usually not well educated and are using it as a defense mechanism.

I am not saying that this only happens to biracial people, it happens to anyone. I have friends, who are black, that get told the exact same thing.

Society painted a picture thousands of years ago that black people were uneducated, ignorant, and oblivious to everything. Sadly some people still only see that picture, so whenever they encounter a person of color (POC) who is well spoken and knows a little something about current events their response is to strip away their culture and say that they’re acting white.

This doesn’t just end with the way a person talks, I’ve been called white for the music I listen to, the shoes I wear, the hobbies I enjoy, even the movies I have seen. But guess what. The jokes on them because I am white. I am also black. Being biracial shouldn’t matter, though, people, myself included, should be able to enjoy the things they love without having to be categorized by race.

Continue to follow my journey, and be on the lookout next Monday when I highlight my favorite Mixed-Girl. Can you guess who it is?