Thread: Are you mixed?
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #210
curlyhoneyb
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Korkscrew View Post
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Originally Posted by curlyhoneyb View Post
[B][SIZE=3][FONT=Georgia]Yes, girl, I can definitely relate to this! I live in South Florida which has a big Hispanic/Latino population and people speak Spanish to me all the time. I'm very fair-skinned but with very dark hair and dark eyes, so perhaps that explains why people often think I'm Cuban or Dominican or anything but what I really am...black and white, ...
Don't know if this helps clarify your experience, but sounds to me like they probably CAN tell you are "black and white" Many or most Latino, Cuban and Dominican people are a mix of African and Caucasian ... and often more. If they think you're Puerto Rican or Brazilian, same thing. Heck, same if they say you look like an Arab - all those groups are very racially mixed. Many North Africans (leaving out most Sudanese, Somalians, Eritreans and Ethiopians) can blend right in with Saudi Arabians.

People guess I'm Greek, Spanish or Italian (or just think I'm straight up "Jewish"/Israeli). ... But in no way do I take that to mean they think I "just look white", even when they ignorantly say they think that. No. I trust they're seeing someone "mixed" with black/white because the Greeks, Italians and Spanish are located just above North Africa and many of them have Moorish ancestry and you can look at them and see they aren't just white. And there are Jewish and Israeli people that look "mixed" and there are many tribes/ethnicities it comprises (though I happen to be an Ashkenazi Jew).

So yeah, I think people usually DO know what time it is with many of us mixed folks. I think they unconsciously know we're mixed when they "mistake" us for the endless list of ethnic groups that just happen to be as mixed as we actually are

This also tells me we're probably not as "special"/rare as we're portrayed to be. I mean, sure, some of our experiences are special in that we often have to bridge more than one culture, but there are whole countries whose people reflect the genetic diversity we call "mixed".
I understand, but what I mean is that I don't come from the ethnic groups mentioned (Cuban, Dominican, etc). I know that they are also diverse in phenotype because of racial admixture. That's pretty obvious with many Dominicans, too, with a variety of complexions and hair types.

I'm what I would consider to be a non-Hispanic mixed person, if that makes sense. Kind of like Lonette McKee (actress) or heck, even Derek Jeter and Wentworth Miller. Or Halle Berry and Barack Obama. Some people would think Lonette McKee is Hispanic, which isn't a race, but you get where I'm going. But she is just a woman from Detroit with a Swedish mother and a Black American father. I guess there is no difference to some folks but to me, there is...because I'm not part of any Latin culture and I didn't grow up in a Spanish-speaking home or anything. Neither of my parents or grandparents are Latino. That's what I mean. Culture is part of what defines a person, not just what they appear to be. To my knowledge, I have no Latin/Hispanic or Asian ancestry, but I frequently get mistaken for being part of those groups depending on who looks at me. I think it's my coloring and the shape of my eyes.

I'm not saying it's bad, that's just the way it is. And I don't think that biracial/multiracial people as a whole see ourselves as special or rare, but you're right...sometimes there are experiences that aren't always understood by people who aren't mixed. And I do agree that there are similarities at times between "mixed" people and other groups in terms of physical features. Halle Berry, for instance, reminds me of some women in Trinidad and Jamaica that we call "douglas" because she looks like a mix of Black/Indian. The Caribbean and West Indies has a lot of admixture too.

I also had some experiences when I was younger where people would insist that I had to be Cuban or Colombian or "some type of Spanish" and that I was obviously lying about my background. Now that is somewhat upsetting, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with being Latino/Hispanic, but it bothers me to hear ignorant comments like that. I guess it's the fact that an assumption is being made and the assumption is false. This one guy went around telling people about the "Colombian girl" (me) when it wasn't true. And I'm like a deer in headlights when people speak to me in rapid-fire Spanish, because I don't understand most of what is being said. The times I can understand is when racist comments are being made, unfortunately. Like the woman who referred to my hair as "feo y sucio" (ugly and dirty).


I see myself as both black AND mixed, although my skin is white. But I respect everyone's right to identify as they see fit.

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