Bre, my seventeen year old daughter, has just informed me that I am a racist. Trust me dear readers when I tell you, this is virtually impossible. You see, my fraternal grandparents were biracial. When they married they had various shades of offspring in the form of eight girls and two boys. One of those boys grew up to be my father.
My father, for all practical purposes, is black. My mother is white. This leaves me somewhere in the middle of two races.
Want a visual? Think Wentworth Miller or Carol Channing. Yes, I’m THAT white. Yet, based on the one-drop rule, we are all Black.
This being said I am making the announcement official:
I have never, in 38 years, dated a white man.
Hence, my oldest informing me of her recent discovery of my racism.
It’s not an intentional choice; I have not ever gone out with someone based on their race alone. It just kind of happened that way. When I grew up white males were not an option for me. Bre has no concept of this. Most everyone in Bre’s world, outside of our family, is white.
Anyone who knows Bre is fully aware that she is going to date and marry a white man, and not just any white man. He will have on cowboy boots, the hat, and even a shiny new belt buckle. He will be whiter than white. This got me to thinking. What race will Carmen date as she gets older?
Within the family we joke and say she is our little BMW (Black, Mexican, and White). Her father is Mexican, her mother and sister is biracial, her grandmother is white, and her grandfather is black. Carmen looks Hispanic. Her father is gone. She has no one to relate to, yet she is, back to the one drop rule, black.
Will Latin men be interested in dating a half Latina who has no idea about part of her culture? Will the fact that she is part black be a problem? Will white men turn away from her because she is too exotic? Will black men be attracted in her at all?
I find it sad that I come from a multiracial background, have multi-ethnic children and still have to worry if I have somehow cast a shadow upon them.
I was never raised to be ashamed of who I was or where I came from. I have even argued with people about the fact that I am black; it’s what my birth certificate says.
I love my daughters and think they are both beautiful individuals. I am not ashamed of them and I know that in the future they will find themselves and where they belong in the world. Until then, I wish society would be more open to accepting a person’s invisible blackness and let them be who they are…part black and proud.