17 Oct

What It’s like to Be a Biracial Female Who Looks More White.

TDLR: I’m pretty tired of white girls asking me if I would ever have sex with a black guy.


Aside from my ethnicity identity issues, being biracial is hella interesting. It’s especially thought-provoking when the world decides to label you as one particular nationality based on the way you look to them. In my case, I’m what you might call “hapa.” Simply explained, the word is loosely translated from ‘ōlelo Hawai’i (the Hawaiian language), meaning “half.” It’s commonly used to refer to people who are part, or half Hawaiian (or Asian), with the other half or part usually being white. To be specific to my own case, the word “hapaha” would then mean one quarter, which makes me made up of 25% pure Hawaiian blood (yes, that’s a real race). I’ve also got some Chinese mixed in there, sure, but to the average person on the street: I’m just a white girl.

I’ll save you the story of my Polynesian upbringing in the minority-is-the-majority side of East San Diego and I’ll cryptically confess this: I don’t “feel” like your average white girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love them! I have white girl friends! But the reason I’m telling you this is because sometimes I feel like a fish out of water when surrounded by my caucasian people in unsettling conversations. (Note to my white folk: no need to be offended by the following recalls of my own experiences. I don’t hate white people. I have white grandparents! I love them! They’re awesome people!)

If you’re a person of color, do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a fly on the wall of a Starbucks with a room full of Beckys and Bens? I do. That shit is crazy, man. Although not every time, I have sometimes been subject to (or have eavesdropped) on conversations that made me uncomfortable. Would they be saying these things if a Hispanic, Black, Middle Eastern, or Asian person were around? But because no one assumes I’m anything but white, they feel comfortable enough to say these things (also, no white person should feel “safe” enough to make ignorant comments just because there are only white people are around. There are lots of caucasian people who would be offended as well).

Here are some examples of things said directly to me:

“Would you ever have sex with a black guy?”
– white women, white men

“You have had sex with a black guy? Do you ever worry that black women will be upset about it, like in ‘Save the Last Dance?’ ”
– white women

“I’m getting really tired of this new obsession with big butts.”
– white women

“I just don’t understand why people talk so stupid; there’s no ‘x’ in ‘ask!’ ”
– white women, white men

“Honestly, sometimes I feel like white girls have mixed babies because they know how cute they’re gonna be. It’s kind of selfish.”
– white women

“You have had sex with a black/hispanic/asian/middle eastern guy? I mean, do what you want, but I gotta ask: what’s wrong with us?”
– white men

“I’ve been listening to a lot of ghetto music.”
– white men, white women

“Hey, wanna hear a joke? Why do you go to a Mexican’s garage sale? ………………… to get your stuff back! …. Why are you so mad? OMG, CALM DOWN, IT’S JUST A JOKE!”
– white men

“Why do you talk like that? You know you’re white, right?”
– white women, white men

“The party? It was okay. I mean, it was just kind of, ya know — ghetto.”
– white women

“I could never bring home a brown guy. My family would freak out.”
– white women

“I’d love to hook up with a black/latina girl, but they’re crazy!”
– white men

“Everyone’s talking about racism, but no one’s talking about reverse racism. No one understands how hard it is to be white these days!”
– white men, white women and I  just can’t

(and much more)

 

Although these comments don’t necessarily represent a person as a pure racist, the goal of this post was to bring awareness to the fact there is still a ways to go when it comes to white-on-white race conversation (and yes, ethnicities other than white people count, too.)

This is a PSA to all of my caucasian people (and caucasian-looking mixed people) who may come across this kind of ignorance: please, make it your responsibility to say something when you hear something. Trust me, I know what the backlash will feel like – but the cycle has to end somewhere. And since it’s unlikely that they will make these comments in places that might make them uncomfortable,  that somewhere starts with you.