Mixed Emotions? Not Quite

“Are you black or white?”

“Are you Hispanic?”

“So is this your ‘white side’ or ‘black side’?”

A new exhibit at the Japanese-American National Museum focuses on multiracial children. Perhaps more accurately, it focuses on children who happen to be multiracial.

The fact is that for these children, their heritage is not solely what defines them. They are just like any other child. They have similar interests. In life, I have found that other people seem much more intrigued by my heritage than I.

Sometimes people make it seem as though there are two cultures fighting for dominance inside me. I think I am just being myself. My behavior cannot be singled out as a “side”.

I do realize that people are curious. When they ask “What are you?”, I always want to answer “Human”. But I know this is not the answer they were seeking.

Once I tell you that I am part black, part white, that should settle the question. I do not need my behavior interpreted under two different umbrellas. To me, there is only one umbrella.

In middle and high school, my background did bother me. Sometimes I wished I was one or the other just so people would stop asking me what I was or why I was “acting white” or “acting black”. As I’ve grown older, I have embraced what I am–a person, just like anyone else.

I’m not Hispanic. I’m not black. I’m not white. I’m Christine. And you are?…

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