« on: December 27, 2013, 07:32:01 am »
So here is a crazy super-undeveloped realization that I had on my way to the store for a beer tonight. It has to do with being mixed-race.
Out of the blue, I kind of went oh. OH. I was born in 1971. My mom, a blond blue-eyed white woman, was all up in the equal rights movement. For me, a kid, it happened a long time ago. So long ago, before I was even born. Right? No. For my mom, it was happening while she was fucking a black guy, my dad. I mean, the difference between 1968 and her getting her ass knocked up in 1970? That ain't shit. She was a white girl choosing to fuck a black guy. Never mind he's 3/4 Native American, 1970 don't give a fuck about that. That is, unbelievably, even more complicated.
So I grew up. And rarely, I would see little mixed kids, and I would always be happy when I did. INCREDIBLY rarely, in the Pacific NW, I would see a mixed-race adult, and I always thought they were so so amazing. In my era, the talk shows often featured mixed-race families, with the kids who could never fit into black or white communities. The outcasts, the kids with no identity.
And I got older. And would see more and more mixed-race kids, and they would stare at me. Especially in my late 20's, early 30's, they would stare at me and I would smile at them and their mamas and papas, to say, yes, yes, you are doing something right. But I still didn't get it. And into my late 30's, encountering more mixed-race adults, having that excited conversation with the clerk at the grocery store, somehow it took me until now to realize;
There aren't actually that many of us from my generation. I came into existence on the very tail end of segregation. When I was born racist lending laws were still in place in my hometown, it was still illegal for a human being to be black after 4 pm in a nearby burg. That was happening. That happened. I used to blow my own mind at the idea that when my dad was growing up, he could not drink from white water fountains, use white bathrooms, or eat in white restaurants. Now, I am astonishing myself at the racism that I myself grew up with, and wonder, truly, at what my own children will find astonishing when they turn 42.