Daughter of a Multiracial Nation
As Barack Obama once said, “My family is like a mini United Nations.” I am the youngest of eight children born into a multiracial marriage during the generation X era. I have seen the benefits, experienced the trials, and witnessed the growth that being multiracial/multicultural entails.
Two completely colorblind families loved me. I didn’t really see the difference until later in my life. As a little girl, my family traveled to Vermont twice a year. Of the eight kids, only three had white complexions. The rest of us favored our Mexican side. In Vermont, our relatives were all blonde and blue or green eyed with fair skin. Even then, I never actually saw a difference. We spent a month every summer working with our cousins on my grandparent’s dairy farm and then in December we would go back for our traditional “White” Christmas. By “white” I mean snow. We were a family and it’s all I knew, at least until I got a little older.
I am the daughter of a 6’1” tall, white father from Vermont and a short, brown Mexican mother of Spanish and Indian heritage. As my children love to tell me, I “speak country.” Growing up between Texas and Vermont, I was raised both Mexican and White. I could adapt in either place. My accent switched with no conscious thought. This was pointed out to me when I got older. I started to sound more “country” when I came home to Texas. Still, being a mix was never an issue to me. My friends accepted me no matter what. It wasn’t until I began to apply
for jobs when I was sixteen that I was faced with the uncertainty of what I was. The United States practices strictly defined racial slotting. You are either white/nonHispanic or Hispanic/of Mexican Descent. I asked my English III teacher about this, and she said, “You take the race of your father.” I found that odd because I looked Mexican. While I found this confusing, the challenges my parents faced before me, are unimaginable.
It’s crazy to...