The Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People
I remember Euphoni did her group project on this particular subject. She went around the Claremont Colleges and asked mixed race individuals to read one of the lines from the Bill of rights. This was an effective, yet simple way for the mixed race community to stand together and let the world know that they too are people even if “they do not neatly fit into the observer’s schema of reality.” Yes, multiracial people blur lines which adds to the notion that many people still have limited understanding of a racially mixed person’s place in society. I think it is okay to be curious of a person’s race. My goodness it is a great thing to learn about a friend or peer’s experiences as a mixed race person, but it is those people that instantly make negative remarks about a person’s sometimes ambiguous race that rubs me the wrong way.
One of the assertions from the Bill of Rights that spoke to me is “I have the right to keep the races separate within me.” Racial classification has always been a topic of interest and discussion in the United States. We must fill out our race(s) on the census, we have policies like affirmative action, and societal constructs can be very race-based. Let me explain. Maria P.P. Root articulated that many people believe race dictates differences in human needs and problem solving, that racial differences are irreconcilable. This is quite absurd to me. I can relate this to a video that I bookmarked earlier in this school year:
I watched this video about a black and Asian girl who was born and raised in China to a single mother. She became a sensation because she appeared on reality tv, but many people gave her a lot of crap because of her race. She doesn’t even really consider herself black because all she has known is her Chinese culture. She doesn’t have to straddle the line between “black culture” and “Chinese culture” because she does not identify with her black “side.” Honestly, people will not stop giving her crap because of her skin color.
It made news headlines and appeared on CNN. It was a huge development for awhile, even in Thailand. But I think it is hard for a homogeneous country to truly grasp the concept of racism. Racism occurs, from my point of view, in a more heterogeneous society where people of different races and ethnicities can clash.