Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why Mixed with White isn't White

(1942) Japanese American children pledge allegiance [image source]

by Sharon H Chang
for Hyphen Magazine ~ www.hyphenmagazine.com
July 22, 2014

When I wrote my first post for Hyphen, Talking Mixed-Race Identity with Young Children, I was deliberately blunt about race. I talked about how I don’t tell my multiracial son, who presents as a racial minority, that he’s white -- but I do tell him he’s Asian. While the essay resonated with many people, others made comments like this:

“Your child is as white as he is Asian…Why embrace one label and not the other?”

“Why is he Asian but not white? He has white ancestors as much as Asian ones. So if it's OK to call him Asian, it's OK to call him white. Or, if it's not OK to call him white (because he's not completely white) then it's not OK to call him Asian, because he's not completely Asian either.” 

“Your child is neither white nor Asian. I once heard this description: When you have a glass of milk and add chocolate to it, you no longer have just a glass of milk and you no longer just have chocolate because you have created something completely different. A bi-racial or multi-racial child is not either/or.”