Category Archives: Multiethnic

Black Love Shaming

Greetings World Wide Web,

Have you walked in a public place and seen two people walking together  from 2 different races and just stared? Is it your curiosity or just your bias steering the wheel? What’s your for or against argument among the people whom you’re comfortable enough to let it all hang out? I’m talking about those conversations with parents, siblings and besties.  If you want true feelings about race relations and/or how someone really feels, you’re probably going to have to be a fly on the wall during those times. Other than that, you’re likely getting the PG-13 version. Shaming is deeper. It’s when someone is calling you out because of your choice of a mate. It can be subtle or blatant, but it’s certainly meant to call out your choice of a different race as not the thing to do.

I don’t think we need to come to that level of candor to make progress. People should be entitled to their opinions as long as those opinions don’t physically or emotionally harm another person directly.

This piece just crossed my mind because I was recently in a forum.  I was looking at the timeline and there were these celebrations of “black love.”  My perspective on it was totally different. The timeline was showing “TI & Tiny” “Beyonce & Jay-Z” “Mariah & Nick” and plenty of others. I thought, Tiny is biracial, Beyonce is tri-racial and so is Mariah. How is that “black love?” I guess what makes them “black” is how they’ve chosen to live their lives? Wouldn’t that then make “black love” essentially include mixed couples? I’m not petitioning an endorsement. I’m ultimately just addressing the current logic behind today’s realities and inconsistencies. More often than not when we see the more obvious mixtures where a black person and a white person or a black person and some other very obvious different race or ethnicity are in a relationship there’s chatter. Y’all know the chatter.  I’m not saying it’s everyone, but it’s some. With a history deeply rooted in 1 drop  that would make a “black” person’s offspring “black” or at least a consideration in the conversation of “diaspora” when there’s at least 1 parent who is black,  it’s hard to believe there is any level of shaming that takes place, but it does.  Mercy forgive if the 2 people who are in their interracial or multi-ethnic relationship has a child & that child doesn’t hold tight to their “black” heritage.  They will quickly be classified as racially confused.  Don’t let them say it on Twitter… There is an individual engine called ‘black Twitter” that will educate them quickly or make them wish that they never even spoke in the 1st place.

In other race and ethnicity around the world, children with 1 black parent aren’t allowed to classify as just that ethnicity or race solely in many cases including being mixed black and white American.  Ex: half Asian/black children aren’t often moving to Asia with the sole classification of being just Asian. Largely they are now mixed race. They can comfortably be embraced like Kimora Lee or Karreuche among “black” people. The kicker is that when their parents are in the interracial relationship, they’re often not accepted by either Asian or black Americans communities comfortably in many cases.

As I take a look at “black” celebrities there is a high biracial identity span with even Latinas who are biracial and tri-racial playing black women parts in movies and etc.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “black” American women playing a Latina part to date or anything thereof.

This  is stretching the rabbit hole of colorism (darkskin & lightskinned) black people far beyond reach because “some black” is “black” but interracial couples are still shamed. The media is making “biracial” the new face of beauty everywhere you look and the India Aries & Lupita Nyongos are “cute for dark women” You’d think with all the shaming that would be all you see on posters instead of lengthening techniques to “mix look” Z and tight S-shaped curls because the “nappy hair” is truly not in, but we’ve silently made it movement. Just walk down the aisle at your local beauty supply store. The faces on the products all look biracial. This is another blog worth pages so I continue along to the point.

Why then would there be “black love” shaming?  I think more than ever it’s time to embrace the rich diversity of the “black” community. It’s also time to have a coming to Savior meeting about realities long ignored and how to sweep up at our own back door. There’s a unique heart for love, acceptance and long-suffering where some practices are outdated and it’s time to ultimately embrace a seemingly evolving reality. You  don’t have to eyeball the white woman walking down the street holding hands with her black man. Trust me, she’s facing her own set of unique circumstances from people who look like her just for standing by who she loves. She probably needs a sistah’s help when she gives birth to a child that has curls and she needs to learn a moisture regimen just to keep the hair from breaking. She’ll also need help with fully understanding what the black experience is and how to effectively introduce her “black” child to society. Whether she/he thought of that or not before she fell in love is not relevant. In the black community we marvel over the mixtures at how “cute” mixed children are, but shame the couples who make them in some cases. There’s also the added part that if the couple bares a child based on a current census of understanding, the child will return right back to identifying as “black” but “yella, or light-skinned or red bone” or something like that. There’s a whole heap of “good hair” sayings where biracial people blend quietly into “black” culture with the “black folk” with Indian in their blood.

I know very passionate people who didn’t choose to fall in love with someone who is racially or ethnically different from them. This doesn’t change their black experience. It also won’t change their children’s experience either. I’ve found it to be a bridge over troubled waters in some cases.  It surely hasn’t changed mine. Contrarily I’ve been invited behind closed doors and even invited to conversations from people who look at my world from the outside. It increased my awareness and even made me more passionate about my identity. It didn’t happen before making me feel horrible for years. I’ve had several coming to Savior meetings with myself over the years. I’ve heard hard truths, mean opinions, been wounded and stopped in my tracks with wanting to be around anyone who doesn’t look like me. I lived to love again. Every single new experience with an awesome person built me back up so I could jump back into this wonderful diverse world of people with so much I can learn from.

I purposefully don’t stare at people who are brave in their life choices. That takes courage. LGBT, mixed couples and so many other people who aren’t what our society places it’s “normal” stamp of approval on.  When they walk into the world elated with the love being offered to them by another human they should be embraced. If I make eye contact, which I normally try to do, I smile at all the beautiful brave souls I see because I know what they feel. I also want to send them love and light.

Contrarily, for the people who openly intend to shame with their words, I feel sorry for them. They’re missing out on realities that whether they’re comfortable with them or not, are moving forward and growing stronger.

Until the Next,

XOXO,

MarjorieIam

 

 

Afro-Latino or African American & Latino

Good Morning World Wide Web,

The other day I was speaking to a young man. He actually reminded me of my son. He was raised by an African-American mother, and his father who was not a part of his life is Latino. He doesn’t speak Spanish or understand Latin culture much at all and it made me wonder about there being a distinction.  If you’re African-American and Latino mixture, does that just make you Afro-Latino? Are you African-American & Latino?  Comparably, I have a friend who is Latina, that would racially be considered white after she selected her ethnicity of Latina, then her race next.  Her husband is also Latino. If he selected race he could consider himself black by his skin tone and obvious mixed hair texture. Although multiracial and similar to how a child of black and white American heritage would just be considered black or African-American, the off-springs of the couple that are both Latino could be considered “black” and could pass for “black or African-American” The difference is the child of the Latino couple would more than likely speak Spanish, celebrate and understand the Heritage and be able to speak to what would make him or her Afro-Latino. What about the mixed African-American and Latino, raised by the African-American mother without having been introduced to Latin culture? Is he Afro-Latino also? It makes me wonder what truly classifies a person. Is it skin color or culture? Is it skin color & culture? Does it have to be both? What does that do for the person from a two parent household of Latino parents but doesn’t speak Spanish? Could he/she still pass somewhere else outside of their Latin heritage not having a connection to it, with the same measure that someone else could be accepted into the same culture without having a direct connection to it?

My questions just started to stack up once I noticed this. This is the main reason I started this project. As an African-American woman with children from a Latino father, I wanted them to celebrate me as well as their father. Somehow if I just throw them into the box of “Afro-Latino” there are several open-ended questions of racial classifications that would leave my children’s identity up to another person’s experience and perception.  This is also why I chose “other” so many times and then decided to start a conversation for the infinite questions there are about “other.” Who checks this race box and why? If you’d like to chime in with an answer or opinion type away.  You can also email me at info@wecheckother.com.  I always love to hear for you.

XOXO,

MarjorieIam

“The Race Representative”

Greetings World Wide Web!

The blog part of this project had grown cobwebs.  I’m wiping them away and picking my pen up again.  It’s not without some hesitation.  If you are a dreamer and doer, I think you can attest to the fact that when you give birth to an idea so many things, people and circumstances present themselves to, I assume make sure that you’re serious about the journey.  Today I want to talk about a detriment to the world of peace; the pest to the conversation of diversity and inclusion.  The race representative!  We’ve all met them.  The person who takes it upon themselves to speak for their entire racial, cultural or ethnic classification.  They act as though they are the gatekeepers of what is, what’s accepted and even if you are accepted by their entire classification.  The racial representative is a self-proclaimed job!  You’re not voted in, you just appoint yourself.  When the race representative speaks, they assume the place for all of us, we, them, they, nosotros, vosotros……you catch my drift.  What’s worse is that the majority of the people with this position that I’ve met are extremists.  Their individual representation leaves no room for individualism.  I’d almost given up my dreams over “race representatives”  When I began my journey of discovery; actually trying to experience people of different races & cultures, I was met by many representatives.  I was even confronted by race representatives of my race.  I’ve been told that, “I’m not “black enough” or I was lost or somehow confused about the entire world now because I don’t see things as they do.   Some of the race representatives were amazingly open and welcoming and others were guards with a keep out sign.  I guess you can say I was naïve about what it actually takes to mingle between races and cultures.  My being in an interracial, multicultural relationship carry the worse scars of all, but they made me want to stand up and find solutions.  Had I let some unfavorable experiences be even how I receive or understand an entire classification of people, I probably wouldn’t have acted.   After regaining my courage, and having some rock star experiences with other people of the same racial and ethnic classifications, I realized that I had only met someone who felt in their heart that truly their thoughts, experiences and opinions represented the collective.  This is so far from the truth in EVERY race, culture and ethnic people.  Recognizing that in many countries, especially ones like the US, where there is just a melting pot of people, and so much depends on what group you belong to foster this type of behavior.  You truly HAVE TO pick a side.  As the world is becoming increasingly more and more diverse, in growing numbers you’re finding people wanting to express their individuality.  People want a voice, and they don’t want to be forced or told what to think by the main stream.  What do you do when you have a child that is now both of their very different parents?  History in many countries have made people pick sides, like the One Drop Rule in the US and so many others around the world that are similar.   In my case, I checked the box “Other” on everything that I could find for my children.  I wanted to express and go deeper into who they are.   My journey has introduced me to countless, very diverse people who select the same classification for many reasons.  I listen attentively as they tell me stories about “race representatives” who particularly unfavorable ones, have discouraged them to discover diverse worlds and people.  To the colorful seeker and diverse person, I say, you now have a name for this person.  The next time you meet a “race representative” just smile and know that this too shall pass, and rocking awesome people await!

XOXO,

Others’Mother aka MarjorieIam

“Por UNO Pagan Todos”

Hello WWW,

So the title!?   I know that it may look foreign to some people.  You may wonder if you clicked on the wrong page.  I’ll make sure to explain it.  Have you ever walked into any setting and been the only person in the room that looks like you, or representative of your race, culture or ethnicity?  In a world that is at least leaning towards now giving lip service to the concept of diversity, singular situations are becoming more common.  I’ve been in this spot a few times.  At times its been purposeful.  Partly because of the explorer inside of me, and because I’m interested in things (music, food, locations, etc) that are outside of the limits of what stereotype and mainstream dictate.  This can happen to anyone.  There’s not a race, culture or ethnic prerequisite.  As a member of an interracial family, I have to tell you the first few years of interactions with my in-laws were BRUTAL!  I made it to a point where hatred was being born in my heart I promise.  This is not an easy place.  I’m going to paint a quick picture for those unfamiliar.

You are a black (woman/man) walking into a room with only caucasian (or other different) people.  Someone walks up to you and begins to start one of two conversations; one that involves Barack Obama or fried chicken.  Every question is asked with the expectation that you can answer for THE ENTIRE BLACK RACE and all it’s participants good and bad.  You begin to attempt to explain by gently opening the door to a world that is just as diverse as the birds in the trees with its individual sets of opportunity and obstacles.  You realize you’re talking to someone who doesn’t have an earthly concept of what you’re mentioning.  Instead they address you with a demeaning behavior and make it brutally clear that they believe you should act and react the way that media has told them you should.  They start neck popping, quite horribly, speaking slang, and talking about “black people” as if it were a meat label.  If you get upset because of “their” ignorance then you’re an angry black woman, further feeding the furry of ignorance.   Ignorance is not derogatory here, it’s truly not knowing.  This can also happen if a person had ONE bad experience with someone who represents your racial classification.  You must pay!  You are them, and you have the same ideas, and are a replica.

The title is ‘por uno pagan todos”  It is a phrase in Spanish used quite often that says, “Everyone pays for one.”  Does everyone carry the weight of an entire racial/ethnic classification on their backs?  It’s amazing that one bad interaction; the person who cut you off in traffic or was mean to you in high school, can dictate how someone receives and entire group of people.  This also happens when someone has never had an interaction and only knows what they’ve been told by people and media outlets.   There are many rhetorical theory that say in bulk that we even gather & congregate with people who see interactions through the same lens.  The only way to break down walls is to trust that one person can NEVER carry the weight of their race of their backs.  I want to encourage everyone reading this to give a new person another chance.  This time leave the rhetoric and bias at the door.  I promise you can have a different, and even life changing experience.

Until the Next,

Others’Mother /  @MarjorieIam

 

Are You Mexican?

modern-family-1

 

 

Good Mornoonevening World Wide Web!  Each Tuesday Evening at 9 pm EST we hold a chat on Twitter picking a unique, question, answer or topic as it relates to the people, family, friends and children who are biracial, multicultural, or multiethnic.  The topics can be anything.  I welcome you to even submit your topics at info@wecheckother.com  to open up the discussion lines.  We have a full hour on Twitter where your opinion, laughs and at times facts are welcome.  Tonight the question that will be discussed is, ” Are you Mexican?”  Join in the discussion @wecheckother on Facebook & Twitter

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Culture + Culture or Ethnic + Ethnic= Multicultural or Multiethnic

2ndAsiaMap

 

Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  Yes that’s a map.  A really big one.  I’m a visual learner so I like to see  what someone is explaining to me.  It helps for a bit better understanding.  Today we’re going on a virtual voyage.  I’ll be your tour guide Others’Mother and I will offer some perspective for the conversation.  I picked this map because it will help to better understand some points.  Most of us can easily find possible issues between two races coming together in a relationship.  Once they have a child; the child is then bi-racial according to how they look physically.  What happens when two ethnic people have a relationship?  I’ve seen tendencies to assume that someone  who “looks” Asian is “Chinese” or someone who “looks” Latino is “Mexican” where in fact they may not be either.  Of course China, and Mexico are the largest countries in their regions, but their sizes is not what I would say is the reason for the lack of understanding.  Asia is huge and so it Latin America.  One part I’d like to offer & what I’ve seen in my journey is that people in Latin America, speak “Spanish” but feel very connected to the countries they are from.  Each country has their own way of using and saying words in Spanish, different preparations for food, and many more items that make them feel in fact very different and not a collective of “Hispanic” or “Latino” people.  You couple this with race and well, I couldn’t type it all in a few pages.  For simplicity, I won’t go into racial differences; I will just keep it uniform and leave that for the comments.  I just want to stick with ethnic and cultural difference.  In Asia, unlike Latin America, the languages are different even in neighboring countries, along with their food etc.  So let’s just say that someone’s mother is from Columbia, and their father is from Mexico.  They grow in a household with two parents who listen to two different types of music, prepare food differently, and so much more.  It’s the same in Asia, the middle east, Africa etc.  You can have people who have similar features on the outside, born in the same region, yet their countries are different in many ways.   A person could be Cambodian and Laotian or Japanese and Korean.  They grow up with multiple cultures, languages, & cuisine in one home yet seem to someone with just a gauge for race as just that; one race.  In fact they may have a rich heritage of multiple ethnicity or culture to share.  My rule of thumb; I ask.  Even when the carnal part of me wants to think a certain way, I force my self to ask even if I feel sure to gain clarity.  You never know; you may learn something new!  Maps ROCK!

As always, Thank you for visiting We Check Other!  I love to spark great conversation.  The comments are open to great minds to finish the conversation below!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

*Bonus (Map of Latin America)

latin_america