Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finally we are talking

Finally we are talking about race in this country. And we aren't just talking about black and white or brown. We are talking about what it is to be multiracial in America. MSN/ MSNBC has a great piece on their website.

This is something that I have been talking about for a long time, because it is my life. It took a multiracial ( who identifies as Black as is his choice) presidential candidate to get us having these conversations. We are starting to have really conversation, to ask honest questions, to ask hard questions, some that may even be offensive, we are finally doing it. It has been a long time coming. I think growing up in America in this day in age is a hard thing for a child of any race or any combination of races. We are a culture that has very strong stereo types and expectations of how you should act based on race and gender. I appear to be white upper middle class so I should act a certain way, my cousins appear to be black upper middle class so they need to act a certain way. I can't tell you the number of looks I get when I with my cousins. If I am with my younger cousins some people assume I am a single mother, because obviously if they were my children no blackman plays a father role ( i am being very sarcastic there!) If I am with my older cousin I get stares from both white and blacks because they assume we are dating. It insane.

The situation is worsened by the fact that we make assumptions about who people are and what they should be. We need to stop. Schools, churches, businesses, etc need to stop asking their employees to do demographics. Please do not ask me or a school teacher, or a manager, etc to do demographics of race. I can not stand in front of my church assume the race of the members. I would bet my life that 8 out of 10 people maybe even 9.5 out 10 people would assume I am white .... WRONG... I do not want to deny part of myself because of the way I look.

I hope these discussion continue and maybe we really will make some lasting progress when it comes to race in this country.

ETA: There is also a great article on religion and race here

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