Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Biracial Child

I've been using Google Reader a lot lately and in a lot of ways, I love it.  I can read almost all of my favourite blogs in one place, I can easily see when there's new posts and its convenient.  What I dislike is that I often read posts, have a moment of inspiration or an immediate response I'd like to share as a comment, but it doesn't always happen.  I might click the blog open and get distracted, or I might be having a quick read at work, which isn't conducive to opening blogs and commenting.  Either way, I'm not commenting as much as I'd like, though I am reading.

There was one post today however, that touched my heart and inspired me.

Today I read a post on Baby Makin(g) Machine, titled 'What Not to Call My Biracial Child' and I was filled with emotions.  You see I am a biracial woman, of a different ethnicity than her lil' J, but biracial nonetheless.

I was lucky, growing up my community was full of 'mixed' marriages and subsequently my classrooms were filled with 'half-breed' children.  To me, it was completely normal to have one Asian and one Caucasian parent.  To eat rice alongside your turkey dinner and use chopsticks on a regular basis.  I don't ever remember being teased for being biracial, but when I was in university, I participated in a sociology study and only then did I truly understand the negativity that some people have had to endure, simply due to their ancestry.

I'm sure The Mama would wince at my use of the term 'half-breed' in the paragraph above, but for me, as weird as it sounds, those words are filled with love and affection, they are happy words.  As children we would laugh and joke about being half-breeds, but I remember only smiles in those moments, never tears.

I forget that for most people the use of the term half-breed is laced with hatred and pain.  That being mixed or biracial can and is still perceived by far too many people as a negative thing, and its such a sad thing.  It's irrelevant to me, what race you are, or your parents were or your children are.  I see people, and I don't believe in the racist, ageist, sexist (or really any other 'ist') treatment of people and am quick to be offended and defend when such terms are used.  I simply wish people would think of others before they speak.

I apologize now if I have offended anyone, that is in no way my intent, I guess in my mind, in my neighbourhood, I feel like we took back the term 'half-breed' a long time ago.  But then again, like anything, I guess its one thing for me to say it and own it, but its a whole nother thing for someone to say it about me and I'm not so sure I would like it at all, if a stranger said it about my boy.

6 comments:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head saying it's one thing for you to say that but an entirely different thing for someone else to call your child that.

    It's interesting reading other opinions on the topic though. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Further to the above comment, it's not necessarily the words but the intent or the emotion behind them that can be so hurtful, in any situation.

    I'm happy to read that you have not had the negative experiences that some biracial children have had. This day and age, no one should but sadly, ignorance will always exist and when someone wants to find a reason or difference to put another person down, they will.

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  3. My son is a "halfer" as I like to call him. I sometimes with I was a "halfer". I think its cool, I think it makes him special and unique. I love it. Amber I never thought of you as different when we were growing up... I thought of you as Amber!... or Richard's daughter(ha ha his personality is larger than life... he kinda sticks out a little! ha ha!

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  4. even though we are sister, and grew up going to the same schools, and the same neighborhood i experienced much more teasing about being biracial. when i was in early high school i was teased by the Asian kids because i was Caucasian, and the Caucasian kids teased me because i was Asian, now granted not all of the kids in these races but a fair enough amount that i was upset.

    as I've grown (and i did in fact change highschool's) i have grown to love who i am and enjoy the fact that i come from a mixed family. it always makes me smile when people do not understand how we have blonde haired blue eyed first cousins :D

    Many people come here to Canada because their own biracial children will be considered "normal" or "average" and nothing special. think of how uncommon a half Caucasian is in china?

    i love this post it makes me smile.

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  5. Thanks for all your comments guys!! Its such an interesting topic and I love hearing everyone's perspective!
    Amber :)

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