Column: Being mixed during the whole rise of BLM

Before continuing let me briefly inform you about being mixed.

During the slavery black women were often rapped by their white ‘master’. Once they were pregnant, they got sent away and abandoned, if not murdered, from any relatives living on the same farm. Having a mixed child, even though it was rape, was a sin. The black women with mixed children were treated as they tricked a white male into loving her.

Once a mixed child was born, it was often way of upbringing with a lot of guilt shaming and dislike by a victim of rape. A mixed child was the product of a rape by their master and will continue to relive this traumatic moment for the rest of their lives. If you’ve seen ‘Selfmade Woman’ on Netflix, you will see a passage on this.

In the modern times we’ve become a glorified ‘must-have’ and a product of white savior complex a lot of women travel far to get a mixed baby. And some of us are actual products of love. Because from one point of view, we have the best of both worlds. Blessed with an exotic black skin, that glorified voluptuous body and inheriting white privilege and native language.

At least that’s what people expect when they see us.

Don’t call us mulattoes

Before diving into our personal experience, stop calling us ‘mulattoes’, it’s not as heavily weighted as the n-word but still. We’re all just people for crying out loud.

Here is the definition of the word: a person of mixed white and black ancestry, especially a person with one white and one black parent.

In the late 16th century, the word came from the Spanish mulato: ‘young mule or mulatto’, which was formed irregularly from mulo ‘mule’.

How white people are seeing us

And it’s not only what we get on a regular base from white people. For example: ‘But I don’t see you as being black’ – why not? Because we live in the same suburban area? Because we went to the same school? Tell me why you don’t see my color which is obviously there? It’s probably my white privilege that got me there. 

While applying for a job a mixed person we too get less chances that white people, we too get that annoying question about ‘where we’re from’. We too have to prove ourselves because in the eyes of white people, we’re black.

But the hate from black people is also real.

‘You can’t fight our fight’, ‘You’re not black’, ‘You don’t know what being black is all about’, ‘You don’t speak the language of our ancestors’ ‘You don’t embrace your cultural inheritance’.

Sometimes it’s true, myself for example, was raised in an all-white household after my father passed away. My relatives live all over the world and my closest family lives in London, while I myself live in Antwerp. I can’t cook any traditional Caribbean cuisine, I do speak, write and read fluent English which is the native language on the Virgin Islands where my father was from. But other that the color and the language I barely have any cultural inheritance.

But we experience racism from both sides. We weren’t invited either to the birthday parties. Also do we get all those questions on ‘where are you from?’. We are also approached loud and clear just in case we don’t understand their language. We too are feeling unwelcome and unwanted. And yes they still want to touch our hair.

We’re too white for black people, yet too black for white people

Being mixed is having amazing heritages in your background. Being mixed is owning 10 shades of foundation to deal with your constantly changing skin tone. We’re mixed. And united we too have a voice that is allowed to be heard. Because that tiny part of white privilege we can use that for the great and good.

This column has been written by @CHARMAINE JACKY

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