I usually check this box when some random form asks about race.


It’s not a very good box.  It’s not a nice box.  It’s not inclusive.

It would be easier to check caucasian. or white.  or black. or hispanic.

It would be easiest to leave it blank.

Which I do sometimes.

And sometimes I check all the boxes.  In a rampage against “other”.

My children will most likely check caucasian.

My son was born blonde and blue-eyed.  And he is pale.  pale.

My daughter has eyes so dark they were once described as espresso beans and she is brunette.  And her skin is olive.

I have been asked “what is she?”  twice now.  She is six.

I am sure she will be unable to count the number of times she is asked that question by the time she is in her teens.

My niece and nephew are bi-racial.  Like me.

They are mixed, blended, bi-racial, half n half. 

They are the color of well creamed coffee.  One a little heavier on the cream than the other.

And they both have blond curly hair.

Which is funny since both of their parents are brunette.

They will most likely get the question too. 

I have said before that my knee jerk answer to the question was always “bi”.

And it was fun to watch the asker tryto figure out if I answered the question they asked or if I was giving them insight into my sexual preferences.

But it wasn’t funny.  Not really.

Because I figured out in my teens that all they were trying to do was check that little box.


Folks worked hard to see if I was them.

But they didn’t seem to be trying to make me like them, they were trying to make me “other”.

And I have never understood it.

My brother has a real problem with the term bi-racial. 

I told him he needed to come up with another word then, because his kids will need an answer.

The what are you question will be part of their world.

I personally like blended.  Makes me think of a sweet ice cream concoction.

But being a part of two races makes you fully apart.  Other.

And the weirdly tragic part of this is that we are all mutts, mixed breeds, blurred.

Thankfully, Hitler failed.  There is no “master race” of pure-blooded Arians.

Almost everyone I know is compiled of lots of different races, ethnicities, religions.  Lots of parts building to one wonderful whole.

My favorite question was asked of me recently by a cab driver.

“what are you” he asked my reflection in his rear view mirror.

I answered, “I am a terrific mixture of a lot of wonderful things”.

He looked puzzled.

And then asked me again.

“But what are you?”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

But it wasn’t funny.


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