Contemporary Racial Issues: How Do You Really Know What Race You Are?

This editorial or opinion article is based on my own life experiences of being a multiracial North American. I do not understand why many people continue to self identify and identify others by only one race when it is self reported that most of us are of mixed race. It seems to be that the hidden agendas of passing for one or another race left our minds and behavior when slavery was outlawed. However, in the news, during conversations, political news, debates, sports and daily living consists of references to self and other as being one race. Why on earth would any of us only pick one race when we know in our hearts, minds, and family ancestry that we are multiracial.Why would anyone deny their heritage of race and cultural of a parent, grandparent, or great grandparent in preference of the other. I for one absolutely refuse to disgrace my ancestors by saying I am just “White” because my skin is light or to only identify with being “Hispanic” because one of my grandparents was of Hispanic heritage. I am disgusted that when I identify as multiracial or mixed race the world around me wants me to pick one race; that is absolutely outrageous.

One example on the news the other day was Barrack Obama being questioned about being “Black” and Mrs. Obama stated that many say he is not black enough or white enough. ” I screamed at the TV; Hello world slavery is over! We do not judge another by the color of a paper bag anymore; its called racism. If Mr. Obama wants to only identify as Black; then that is his right but for others to demand explanations of why he isnt black or white enough should be discrimination enacted as a prejudicial commentary which incites hate crimes and eats away at the heart of human and civil rights. I also noticed on the news that they discussed,”Skin Heads” as being separate parts of a former hate crime group that now has opposing views. How does one determine that they are white or black or hispanic or native Americans ? is it the color of their skin ? Is it the shape of their face? How is it that people with black eyes, olive skin, and dark hair only claim being “white”? Why is it that “light skin people have to debate their racial heritage to be identified as black?

Who has perpetuated this underlying continuation of racial discrimination and passing for another race? And Why? We are a proud country; born free in North America and yet in the year 2008 we discriminate against people of color and people of non color by denying our own racial ancestry. One example is very personal for me but I will share it so that others may understand the harm of any form of separate by skin color. I am an amateur genealogist and have been during family research as a hobby for over 20 years. Thus I have identified by my DNA and through research of census, slave schedules, freedman bank, native American rolls that I am multiracial; Scottish; white, German/Swedish; white, French/Spanish:Basque, Native American tribes; Choctaw, Catawba, Cherokee, Mingo; Portuguese, and my DNA final reports state that my first female ancestor thousands of years ago was an African American woman who mixed with an Asian male whose mutations were Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. I identify as a Melungeon because I am multiracial and respect all my blood and racial ancestors. My Mother and Father had dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin and I have white skin, hazel eyes and reddish dark brown hair and my siblings and my children and grandchildren are a beautiful rainbow of different complexions, eyes, and hair because all of my ancestors are of different races and mixed.