Tag Archives: about race

“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

 

Race, Do you REALLY have a choice?

beautiful

 

Hello World Wide Web!  I want to share with you where my journey has recently taken me.  As my children continue to grow and become school aged, I’m really being placed into an atmosphere where I’m actually examining first hand the selection of race and ethnicity.  My daughter is now in kindergarten, and my three-year old has entered a pre-school program.   I know I’ve shared this but just for reference, my children are in my eyes, African-American & Latino.  I didn’t know until recently that a final determination of how our school systems view our children depends on their father’s race or ethnicity.  My children’s father is Latino.  When my daughter started pre-school, I entered her race on her school application as “Other” and proceeded to explain in the area beside that box, my race and her father’s ethnicity.  After reviewing her records, I found that her race was changed to Indian, and her ethnicity, Latino.  I thought, do we really have a choice?  Can we truly give an explanation of our children’s background?  Recently, entering my son into a pre-school program; I was advised of the same information.  That his race was determined in our school system by the race of his father.  In essence, now the system is telling me, as an African-American woman, that my children are now Latino/Hispanic.

I want my children to embrace all of their identity.  The fact that they aren’t allowed to and even forced into an institutional box for statistical purposes shows up on my radar with big alarms going off.   Now there are people who have a father that is African-American, and find being placed by their father is ok.  I think the choice should be a personal choice.  The problem is that it is not.

When I take my daughter to school daily, I watch a man enter with his three children.  He has two girls and one boy.  He is white and his children from their appearances seem to be what some would refer to as just “light-skinned” black.  As a white “man” I wonder how he feels that the rule does not apply to him. That the male race rule could never apply just because he is a white man.  I often want to stop and talk to him and just ask.  That’s a unique perspective that I have yet to gather.

We have a box on the US Census called “Other”, that generally Latino, biracial, and even people who fit comfortably with a race, but belong to an ethnicity other than the social norm like Italian, Jewish etc. check to show themselves uniquely.  I’ve even spoken to an African-American man who said he checks the box “OTHER.”  I met a woman who appeared to have African descent, and a man from Haiti, recently at dinner who informed me that they “do not” place themselves as African-American or Black, because they are not.  I find that most people self identify, but do we really have a choice of racial and ethnic identification?  Chime in & share your experiences & information below.

As always, thank you so much for visiting.  Please be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter @wecheckother

Until the next,

XOXOXO,

Others’ Mother