One of the most common questions I get asked when I go out is “What are you?”, well why does it matter? People are so set with identifying you and putting you into a category. I always say “guess” to those people who follow me around cravingly concerned about where I come from. Well that really ruffles their feathers. To cut to the chase, I am stuck in the middle of White-American culture, and Black-American culture in this twisted world set on categorizing people by the color of their skin, texture of hair, and jaw structure. I am a “mixed chick”, an “oreo”, still struggling with my own identity when it comes to describing my chemical makeup on an application with only 5 boxes to choose from, only allowed to choose one. No, I am not just African American. No, I am not just Caucasian, No, I am not Asian. No I am not Indian. I am in the “Other” box. I always have been. My personality is too White for the Blacks and too Black to be accepted around Whites. My hair is too curly and my skin is too tan to be accepted in white society. My skin and my eyes are too light to be accepted by Blacks. Each racial group always has something to say about me no matter where I go, and I always get stares like I am some sort of illegal alien.
What does it mean to “talk like a white girl?” According to Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig in “Weighing the “Burden of ‘Acting White'”,
In the United States, acting white is a pejorative term, usually applied to African Americans, which refers to a person’s perceived betrayal of their culture by assuming the social expectations of white society. Success in education in particular (depending on one’s cultural background) can be seen as a form of “selling out” by being disloyal to one’s culture.
Why does something like that even exist, and why do people still keep those types of thoughts, and ideas alive? I can only assume it is to degrade anyone that is not fully White, but the sad part is….. the most people that tell me I talk like a “white girl”, are Black. Now excuse me for stepping into a stereotypical comment, but are Blacks offended by someone of color speaking politically correct? If so, why? And why are Whites so competitive and jealous when someone of color is highly educated, and has a higher standing in society than them? A small example, when entering the private high school I attended, I had to take a placement test that I took with several other students from my middle school. I made it in, and this one girl did not. Her mother proceeded to then ask mine in front of everyone else, “How come your child got accepted and mine didn’t?” My mother proceeded to say, “Because mine passed the test”. Why was my potential the only one questioned by that woman… and why did she use distancing language by saying your child instead of my name, which she knew very well? It was hard being the only “person of color” in my grade since pre-k. Constantly berated, and asked why I look the way I do. Maybe because God made me that way, but I should not have to fight for acceptance in this society by anyone. No one should have to. Yes, our country was founded on people sticking to their own ethnicities and races, but times are changing and there are people like myself stuck in the middle now. The Other box is real, and by 2018 we will make up approximately 68% of America, but those comments, stigmas and stereotypes will still exist. But we will prove you wrong. It is certainly possible for anyone regardless of their skin color to rise to the top, you have seen it yourself. Now remove the dirty looks, and the awful comments and accept that person for who they are.