I wanted to write something that is free flowing and from my heart about this. And as such, this will not be a "normal" type of informative blog post. Instead I just wanted to explore and unpack some understanding on what it means to be a mixed race person.
Disclaimer: The reason why I am speaking out about this is because I have been seeing a lot of social media posts about understanding "colourism" in regards to having "lighter skin privilege".
There are many amazing examples of mixed race babies out there, such as Tiger Woods, Lenny Kravitz, Devon + Steve Aoki, etc. Commonly, people think of being mixed as consisting of perhaps 1 white parent and then 1 minority... so does that mean you earn more "lighter skin privilege" based on how light you are?
The pain in my heart is this, is that I do not belong enough to any particular group to lay claim to it. I have learned to move past this, to truly embrace being a citizen of the earth herself and not to classify myself ... because quite honestly, most people usually think I am some form of Asian - not knowing that my father is South African. Do I not lay claim to the anguish of prejudice and a system that is not my favor because I am simply not dark enough; or I do not look like I belong to specific cultural group?
I joke with my sister about how we are the only two of our kind in the world... whom else has a Filipina mother and a father who is both black and white from South Africa?
I think what this comes down to it attractiveness. If you are an attractive person, no matter what race you are, you get the benefits of being attractive. (There are also stereotypes perpetuated by this.) "Whiteness" is commonly seen as attractive... it is why you see so many bleaching and whitening products in South Asian Countries.
However, there are many examples of very dark skinned beautiful female models and men who have likely had a bit of a leg up because they are so beautiful and exotic. We could have the argument that the association between being white and attractive is wrong, but who is to judge that? Is this even a moral question?
As I mentioned when in my last vlog, there are all of these so-called "tags" that make us who we are. And due to human nature, when we first meet people, we apply these easy to use tags upon them. No one is above doing this, it is a part of the way that our minds work.
What we can do, is to really take into consideration other factors that make a person a person - such as strength of character, loyalty, truthfulness, joy to be around. All of these other factors take time to understand and get to know, which is why dialogue and discussion is so important.
So when being a Mixed Race Person, it is really not about choosing to take on another tag such as #mixedrace . It's more about refusing tags at all and living as an individual person... with hopes, beliefs and the right to choose a path.