Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bi-racial - Born Into - or Choice?

I don't watch the news so I imagine you've all already heard all about this but it's new news to me and I'm FREAKED OUT about it for some reason and I've got to share.

President Obama declined to check the box for "white" on his census form and instead ONLY checked the box for black.
What? Whaaatt?

He's bi-racial, did he forget that or something?

Didn't his black father abandon him and wasn't he raised by a SINGLE WHITE MOTHER of whom he shares half his genes? What the HELL Obama? I get that in appearance he looks completely black, you'd never guess that he's half white, and I imagine that in a large way he's come to identify himself because of the way he was treated by society - as black - but REALLY??? How would that make his Mother feel do you think? That he can deni her half of his existence even though she raised him all by herself? I'm so PISSED at him!

My baby Daisy looks absolutely nothing like me, she's not even light brown - she's BROWN - and neither did she inherit my green eye's, light hair or... anything from me but the fact is she's still half mine. She's half white and I can only imagine how I would feel if when she grows up she decides to ignore half of her lineage.

Is race a choice? When it comes right down to it it's genes and blood and you can't DENY it no matter how dark or light or Asian you look, you are what you ARE and that goes for bi-racial people as well. You don't get to CHOOSE what your genes are damn it!

I don't CARE if he's been treated black his whole life because that's how he looks - that's created feelings, and a way that he identifies with the world but it doesn't CHANGE his heritage.

Maybe when the next census rolls around I'll be feeling particularly Mexican because I live in Mexico now and I'll just go ahead and click that box. Or maybe I'll have been eating Chinese for a couple of weeks and be feeling rather sushi and decide that I'm FREAKING CHINESE.


I don't LIKE talking about race stuff or politics and in large I don't care much for any of it - Chino and I are a happy bi-racial couple but we sure as hell never THINK of ourselves that way. We think of ourselves as a COUPLE. A married couple, not a bi-racial couple. Living in Mexico I sometimes forget that I look so extremely different than everyone around me, I feel like I fit right in because the people here are polite enough to treat me like a person - not a WHITE person. So it's a shocker to me that I'm so upset by this whole Obama thing.

We cant choose our basic DNA. You don't get a choice in it, you are what you are damn it - why not just check the box and go on with your life?
(no offense to any transgenders out there - this isn't aimed at you, that's a whole other basket of eggs and you all just keep on keepin' on)

Daisy isn't going to have this problem because we're going to TALK about things. A LOT. Plus, though she lives in the Land Of Taco her Gringa Mommy is gonna bust out the Macaroni and Cheese and Spagetti and a damn Penut Butter and Jelly Sandwhich once in a while. There will be no confusion - only fusion!

AAAAND to lighten the mood - I found this video while searching "White People Food" because I can no longer remember what I used to eat before Chino and foud this clip. Oh dear GAWD he's funny!! :D


Sparx said...

Hey - I'm with you on this but being white and married white and with a white child I can't really enter into the debate... I do think it's odd that he made that choice though, why give up so publically the opportunity to promote racial equality?

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Sparx - RIGHT??? And you DO have a seat on my debate team any time you like! - cuz yer cool. And omg can we please not say "debate" anymore? Debates freak me out and I'll scrap this whole post if that's what it turns in to! :D LOL I much prefer for people just to agree with me. :P

Krissie said...

Wentworth Miller, on the other hand, said he cant say he's white, nor can he say he's black, for this exact reason.

Same situation, different takes. Go figure.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Krissie - He's mixed? Lol who knew? :D And you know? I'm - English, Irish, Scotish, Dutch, Polish and Native American and you don't see ME having an identity crisis. But I'm from MICHIGAN, and that's good enough for me.

Ritamg said...

Yeah to all of us Heinz-57, All-American breeds. We´re more mutt than Obama and Mexicans.

Sgt said...

Maybe he just didn't read that you can choose more than one. Maybe it was filled out by someone else for him. Maybe he hates the fact he's part white.

Sort of sad it even makes the news considering its suppose to be confidential.

The whole what race are you is sort of foolish anyway. They try to tell you it helps with law making and other nonsense, but if that were true why do I not get to specify what type of white race I am? Hispanic/Latino/Spanish get to. Asians get to.

I think its time that us German-Americans get some representation! Who's with me? Come on.. put your hand up.... OK. Never mind. Bad idea.


Anonymous said...

My sister is half black and half white and when filling out her forms for school and for her state testing she was instructed to choose "black." My friend is hispanic and white and the same for her, she chooses "hispanic."

Alice said...

maybe he put that so he could officially be our first black president and not our first half-black president. :)

Larry Prater said...

Lindy, you and Chino are NOT a bi-racial couple. You are both of the same race, Caucasian.

Vadose said...

Hey, it's his box.

You know, we've got a LONG history of anyone being "mixed" being labeled by their non-white side. That's the hole "one drop" rule (basically, if you have any African ancestry at all, you're black, not white. Even if you "look white" or "act white", or "feel white".) And we have the same tradition for all "mixes". Now, that's obviously whack, but it's pretty embedded in American culture, so I'm not at all surprised that Obama checked "black". I mean, up until now, no one has been trying to call him, "our half white president". In the minds of most Americans, he's black. Now, that shouldn't really matter anyway, because, as far as I'm concerned, he can check whatever box he wants, because it's HIS identity (even if that choice has political consequences.) I AM surprised that this is news, since the census is supposed to be confidential.

As for Daisy, you get to raise her in a whole new situation, and I'm sure the cutie-pie is gunna have both her parents' traditions, and she'll be lucky for it.

Also, sorry, but sushi is Japanese, not Chinese, girl. Even though you can sometimes get it at Chinese or Korean restaurants. Totally Japanese, though.

And if you want to worry about what people are putting down on the census, you can read this:

And to make up for the long comment, I will end by saying this. Gringa, you are always right about everything. :)

Nikki said...

Wow you really made me think, I NEVER EVER thought of myself as in a biracial relationship but I guess I am ;) I just always thought of myself as married to Jose.
As far as Enrique some day denying his american half that would hurt me but I have a feeling that he and Daisy will have a lot in common as far as how they will be raised "fusion not confusion" ;)

I LOVED the clip at the end, my husband enjoys his grape drink and his citrus drink!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this!

I feel more Mexican than American now, and when I go to the States I feel so out of place that for some reason I feel like white people stare at me. Paranoid? A bit.

I also like to make fun of the crazy white people that come to Cancun on vacation haha. Crazy gringos.

and I get excited whenever I see a black person in Cancun!! Only happens about once every 2 months.

Still, every so often I'm reminded that I'm white. (mostly when dancing is involved) I'm also very proud to be an American. :) I would never deny that heritage

Jorge and I also don't feel much like a biracial couple... we've had no issues with it whatsoever.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Rita - lol right? And I'm not confused.

Anon - interesting! They must get more money for minorities.

Alice - lol laaame :D

Sgt. - lol you're as always funny - hand in the air - lol

Larry - Lol have you SEEN him?? ;D

Vadose- feelin preachy today? And yes I KNOW that sushi is Jap. that was sort of a silly point I was trying to make in my own sly way - the confusion that we can get into when it comes to being a CHOICE and not a fact.

Nikki - right? You just love him and don't think about it right? I think that's kind of wonderful - that we're not so concerned about it like we might have been 20 years ago. :)

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Gringa - you get it too! - The couple stuff and how you forget when you're here - it's neat right? And lol "dancing" true dat. :)

Lauren said...

My kid is bi-racial, too, and I don't even think about it until someone says "she looks like a Mexican version of you," or if people go up to her and, even though she is a 16-month-old in her white mother's arms, start speaking Spanish to her like she sprung from my loins with comprehensive knowledge of ANY language, let alone Spanish.

I really really really do wish that, at some point, race will stop being an issue. If it does, it'll be years after I'm gone. I wish I could just be Lauren, not "guerita, Cracker, white girl, honky," etc etc. And Audrey could just be wonderful Audrey, and not the focus of mostly unwanted attention because the color of her skin in contrast to mine just cannot go unnoticed.

belsmommy said...

Thank God I'm not the only one that thinks this way. A few months ago someone told me that being 'colorblind' was bad because you wouldn't be giving people 'credit' for their heritage or some shit like that. Okay, what about my baby? I'm white, my fiance is Mexican. Are people going to look at my baby and only take into consideration her Mexican heritage? Cause if some dumb ass teacher some day tells her to only check the Hispanic box on her test and not the caucasian box, she's gonna have one pissed off Mom on her hands. My baby is both, and I think that both sides of her heritage need to be embraced and considered in all things.

Burro Hall said...

Not to get too pedantic about it, but are you allowed to check more than one box on the census form?

PuertoVallartaGirl said...

On forms I always make a big deal to check all the boxes that apply even if it says pick one. the other day I was sitting on the train next to a lady and we got talking about the census and I said something about how the Hispanic category is separate and she said she worked for the census and that it is because Mexican is not a race. What ever, tell a mexican that. anyway, obviously I don't really know how that all works but they are saying that you are either indian or of hispanic decent. that sort of bugs me...for some weird reason because after living in Mexico I am proud of my mexican connection. Just like most mexicans are proud to be mexican.

Replying to the lady that is excited when she sees a black person in cancun. Oh my god I totally was like that in PUerto Vallarta. And double excited when I saw an asian person. That was the thing, down there there is hardly any diversity at all. I love it here in Portland, you see every type of people here.

Lastly I wanted to say how I too think if they are going to call black people african americans, then their are mexican americans, and asian americans, we need to start saying dutch americans (me) and german americans or at the very least european americans. right?

PS I agree he should have put both, I don't care if it says chose one or not.. for my kids I always do.

Leslie Limon said...

How's this for fusion (and confusion)? I'm 1/4 Mexican, 1/4 Irish and 1/2 white mutt! :) No matter how many times I try to explain that I am Mexican, no one wants to believe that a light-skinned, light-haired and blue-eyed girl is Mexican.

As far as Obama is concerned, I don't think he is denying his mother's whiteness. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a lot of people are only see him as being half-black.

On Mexican Time said...

Gringa - I hate the terms too!!! I have to agree with Larry, Caucasion is the term that should be used for us "white ppl" , and that would include our hubbies!! I get why they want to distinguish, but I dont' get it at the same time.... You keep walking around with those pretty green eyes, and cook Daisy some FUSION!! All of a sudden I have a craving for mac and cheese!!

Oh and one time I was on a flight to Mexico and the couple next to me were filling in their forms. What nationality are you? They wrote WHITE!! Not Canadian!! WTF ppl!!!

Anonymous said...

I used to fret that hispanics inadvertetly made an issue of what is really a non-issue (after all, there are red, yellow, black and white hispanics). You are much younger than I, and I deeply regret that this kind of ignorance is more divisive now than it was even a few years ago. "Mestizo", to me, is accurate, if a description is needed, and it sometimes is: I've blue eyes, a fair complection and English/American-indian descent My better half has brown eyes, a fair complection and Spanish/American-indian descent. We are reasonably nice-looking, university-educated, and so are our kids. We are grateful that we are free to live as we choose. We are of the opinion, however, that it is irresponsible for people to have biracial children with one black parent. The many reasons for this are given, and not the least is exemplified by the conflict Barack "Barry" Obama as president of the United States of America,
demonstrated in the census you reference in this blog post. Perhaps it's not his fault, but Obama is obviously conflicted and he invariably demonstrates the conflict, and by deliberately identifying as black, he made a pathetic attempt to appeal to a voting bloc that has less love for him now than than any other.