Check! There goes my identity

Sophia Rubenstein

Alyssa Williams, Reporter

Feeling like I’m denying half of myself is a struggle I face every day as a biracial person. From waking up in the morning to DMV visits, I constantly have to choose a side: black or white, which one am I going to be today?

This belief of choosing what race to represent is deeply rooted in stereotypes, and causes an identity crisis.

For example, when I was getting my learners permit, I was forced to pick a race. I could only choose one.

Since I grew up in a Caucasian family, I naturally chose white. However, that wasn’t the only reason I chose white. I knew if I ever was unlucky enough to be stopped by the police it might save my life to identify more with white than black.

That isn’t the only time where I had to go to war with myself over which half of me was going to outshine the other.

Being fetishized as a biracial adolescent isn’t exactly uncommon and it happens more than one might think. It’s hidden in comments such as, “I want to marry someone of the opposite race so I can have a mixed baby.” or “your hair is so nice. I wish mine was mixed like that.”

While these statements might normally seem like compliments, they are moderately back-handed once you understand the dark truth.

Another common issue I run into is the fetishization of my lighter skin versus darker skinned African Americans. My skin color is NOT an excuse to shame, put down or bully individuals with skin more melanated than my mine.

I stand with others who experience my struggles, not against them.

Being able to use my race as a crutch is also a crucial point to mention. One huge selling point for colleges is having a diverse student body. Knowing that I could get admitted to a university over a Caucasian student simply because of the color of my skin is completely mind boggling.

I want my acceptance letters to come in the mail because of my accomplishments and excellence in school-related activities, not because I’m being used as a racial crutch for schools who failed to pique the interest of minority students.

My fellow biracial babies and I are ignored. Our identity issues are glossed over, even being completely ignored on official forms. The rest of the humanity looks at us with rose colored glasses.

Though being biracial may seem like the best of both worlds, I can assure you, it is not as glamorous as it appears to be.

The solution is easy. Stop forcing me to choose my “dominant race.” See me for who I am, all of me, both the black and the white. In 2000, the U.S. Census allowed people to check more than one box. If the U.S. Census can do it, why can’t the DMV?

The other issues at hand are easy to resolve. Stop making suggestive comments. Mixed people don’t want to hear about their hair texture, and they definitely don’t want to hear about how someone wants to reproduce with a person of a different race to make babies like us.