My Race Isn't Your Business

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic


Why I will no longer be answering the question, "what race are you?".

Submitted: March 23, 2018

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Submitted: March 23, 2018

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Yep, you heard me. Stop asking me what my ethnicity or race is because I will not be sharing that information. Your hand may be flying towards your heart in disbelief right now. Or, maybe you’re sneering at me and inwardly assuming that I’m a self-hating individual because I won’t “own up” to my racial roots. Think whatever you will but I’m standing firm and my lips are tightly sealed. I’m a woman of extremely mixed descent who, for the most part, is very racially ambiguous. So, believe me, I understand the curiosity of the strangers, colleagues, and acquaintances who speculatively enquire the makings of the exotic girl before them. Curiosity is understandable but the quenching of that desire is not obligatory. When I was younger the constant question was one I boldly answered and I loved hearing the responses varying from an “aha” to an “I would have never guessed”.

If we as a people weren’t so racially obsessed and color focused I wouldn’t mind continuing to share my ethnicity with others. But you know what? In an effort to be racially “tolerant” we’ve done the exact opposite of the influential man who fought racial prejudice with his every breath until he was ultimately silenced by the acts of a disturbed racist. In his own words Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". We may think as a nation and as a people that we have taken leaps and bounds into being racially sensitive but as I see it we have fallen off the deep end a** backwards.

All we see is color! In an attempt to be so careful to respect a person’s color first, even before the person’s personality or character have come into play, we have ushered back in the era of segregation. When we should be judging someone’s actions, character, and who they present themselves to be we wave it off as a cultural and racial thing. I’m sorry but I do NOT care what race you are; if you’re rude, you’re just rude. And if you’re kind then why does it matter what race you are? It doesn’t! It’s become allowed for people to blame their race for their behavior. They feel entitled to act any type of way because they get to play the race card. Or, on the flip side, they are automatically labeled as entitled simply because of the shade of their skin. Did you know that there are African American, Hispanic, and Asian “safe spaces” where other races are not permitted entrance in on college campuses all across America? What!? This is the DEFINITION of segregation. And jobs are being offered to individuals based on their skin tone above the quality of their own resume. That is the definition of RACISM!

You may be thinking, “okay but why does any of this make you not want to share your ethnicity?”. To put it simply I don’t want to be shoved into a box of what society deems as acceptable for my race. For example, if I said I was Hispanic or African American and I got upset over something people would say, “there goes that fiery Latina temper” or “there goes the Maury stereotypical Black woman”. Or if I said I was Arabic and followed that by saying I was late for church many people’s minds would wander to an image of me tying on a hajib on my way to mosque. Or if I said I was Asian and made a bad driving decision I’d probably get a response along the lines of “you’re such an Asian driver” or “how could you make such a dumb mistake aren’t you supposed to be smart?”.  And let’s say I said I was white you may begin to assume I’m a Starbucks drinking, yoga obsessed, and tanning bed addict that says “like” a lot.

I don’t want the negative stereotypes and I also do not want the societal benefits. I could reap the benefits much more from my multicultural background than I do but I don’t believe a society that rewards race over personal value is one that I want any kind of extra help from. Don’t think I don’t understand that stereotypes can definitely be true and on some occasions absolutely hilarious. But I’ve been told that I don’t fit into my racial stereotype or what my different races demands that I act like. And you know what? I DO NOT CARE HOW YOU BELIEVE I SHOULD BEHAVE. I have one person who dictates how I act and that is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I don’t have to be a cookie cutter. But it’s more toxic than that. I’ve been told the way I speak isn’t emanating my culture. I’ve been called a race hater for the way I vote on certain ballot issues. I’ve been told I’ve turned my back on the people of all sides of my racial background simply because I want to be the authentic version of myself that comes naturally.

If you believe I’m a race hater than so be it. But, I see a different side of this coin. By not telling people my race I am in fact advocating for every race out there. If you don’t know what race I am it forces you to treat me how I deserve to be treated based on the merit of my character. And if you don’t know what I am racially it forces you to be respectful of all races. You won’t know which race you have to be careful of not slandering or saying offensive things about. It forces others to see me for who I choose to be and not who society tells me I need to be. Don’t you see the beauty in this? Not everyone gets the opportunity to be a wild card such as I do. But even if you are clearly a certain race if someone wants you to elaborate on it, such as you’re Asian but they don’t know if you’re Korean or Vietnamese, simply ask them why they deem it as important. What does it really matter? If they’re your friend than by all means share whatever you want! I just fail to see how it’s the general public’s business. In a world where color doesn’t dictate how we’re treated is the world we’re supposed to be striving for and yet we are doing everything in our power to give us the opposite outcome. So, for anyone whose interested we can talk about anything. Let’s get into politics, religion, that new Netflix series, comic books, poetry…. but my race is off the table.


© Copyright 2018 BeautifullyBrokenAngel. All rights reserved.

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