One’s racial identity is massively important to their experience of life within our complex, often biased society.
At their deepest, most essential core, each person carries the combined histories of their mother and father.
Two long lines of cultural viewpoints developed over generations collide, mix, and create.
All the struggles, maneuvers, and achievements of each parent—and the long line of ancestors even before them—led to this one manifestation: a complete, complex human being.
And so it is no light affair when that defining identity is judged, attacked, or scrutinized.
A young Redditor—she goes by xJaneDoe on the site—recently faced some difficulties in that regard.
She reached out to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit to help navigate her peculiar conflict:
“AITA for calling myself mixed race?”
She began the post by outlining her ancestry.
“I got in an argument last night with some people about this which prompted my posting here.”
“A little background, my dad is a Black Cuban and my mom is a White Ukrainian so I’ve always considered myself to be mixed race despite, as my parents have said, ‘looking like both my parents are white’.”
As a teenager, she faced an unexpected obstacle.
“In high school, when I went to apply to the minority scholarships at the prompting of my father, my guidance counselor and teachers wouldn’t give me the resources or help to do so because they said I didn’t look ‘mixed’ enough and that it was disrespectful of me to consider myself as such.”
More recently, skepticism from others resurfaced again.
“When I started applying to jobs, I would mark myself down as mixed race when they would ask for it. Some of my friends found out I was doing this and told me that it’s not fair to do that and that I’m lying by saying that I’m mixed race.”
“One of them actually went to my employer and said that I lied on my application and that I’m not actually mixed race.”
“When I tried to argue that I am, my friend said that because I don’t look mixed race I don’t deserve to refer to myself as mixed race.”
Thus, she consulted strangers of the internet.
“So, AITA for calling myself mixed race?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
A hefty majority of Redditors had her back completely. They expressed outrage that others doubted her identity.
Some offered some skepticism about her support system.
“Wow, you’re friends suck. Being mixed race isn’t about how you look. NTA” — Teacherofnothing
“NTA, your friend is trash and racist.” — blacklydiadeetz
“You are most definitely mixed race. Your ‘friends’ are being ridiculous and honestly bigoted. Get better friends. NTA.” — foibleShmoible
“NTA. Just because you’re white-passing to a bunch of people doesn’t make you white. Tell your ‘friend’ that they’re a di**head and it’s not their job to police your race.” — Ardeeke
“I certainly hope this ‘friend’ is no longer in your life. If they are, cut that toxicity out asap.”
“That’s absolutely disrespectful and anyone who would go that far is not a friend by any stretch of the imagination.” — Cipher_3
Some Redditors dropped some knowledge.
“Your ‘friends’ are idiots”
“mixed-race : denoting or relating to a person whose parents belong to different racial or ethnic groups.”
“You are the literal definition of mixed race, and NTA” — rphzl
“NTA. Colorism (or shadeism) is a version of racism that discriminates BIPOC by the shade of someone’s skin.”
“It affects people in a myriad of ways and it sounds like your friends are essentially telling you that you’re not Black. You are mixed and have the right to represent yourself as such.
“Colorism (n): Prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin.” — OutrageouslyStitious
And others shared their similar experiences.
“I’m a white passing mixed race woman. I struggle with this all the time. Don’t let others define or erase your identity”– Elfprincess
“As a fellow white passing mixed race human.. f*** them! those aren’t friends!”
“I can’t imagine the level of entitlement and ignorance to go tell your employer that your a liar when you are entirely truthful!!!!” — Ok_Kaleidoscope1799
“NTA. I feel your pain, my mother is African and my father is Irish.”
“I look like your average white person and am in fact paler than a few of my friends, with blue eyes to boot, my African side of the family marvel over the fact I have blue eyes as I am the only one and now my daughters with their blonde hair as well.”
“Even mariah carey is mixed race! You can never tell purely by looks what someone’s heritage is!” — Significant-Menu7412
It’s good to know that if someone is unfairly forced to staunchly defend their claimed racial identity, a fair sized corner of the internet has their back.