Here’s a shocker. I’m White. I’m so white, I don’t even know my ethnicity beyond being vaguely Welsh and that my grandma moved to California from Oklahoma during the dust bowl. My wife is Filipino but this gives me like zero credibility to talk about race, as if I know by association the daily experience of being a minority. However, being the father of two young multiracial children does inform my thinking about the impact of race in my own life, and how it will affect my children and their developing sense of selves within our current American culture.
The really good part is that acceptance of inter-ethnic marriage in America has changed dramatically over the past 50 years (since Virginia vs Loving made it legal) . According to the Pew Research Center the number of people who have inter-married has increased from 3% in 1967, to 17% in 2015 (that’s 1 in 6, more than a 500% increase!).
I hold great hope for America, and its promise of freedom for all, but lately one can’t help but worry about what powers are coming about to break that promise.
All that being said, there’s a group of people (uh, some white people) out there who think they are superior to others simply as a matter of birth, as a matter of their genetic inheritance, and would wish harm upon my wife and children, if given the chance. This is insulting at the least, and at the worst, a reason to be frightened for my family’s security. This may seem like hyperbole, but I’ve looked at the forums for some of these alt-right groups, and the intent to harm is there. But don’t get me wrong, I hold great hope for America, and its promise of freedom for all, but lately one can’t help but worry about what powers are coming about to break that promise.
Questions for the White Supremacists
I do not personally know anyone that believes in white ethno-superiority, but if I did, I’d have a few questions for them:
- What is the basis for your belief in white superiority?
- What is the evidence that the color of your skin gives you the right to this country? This country that is all colors, all genders, all nationalities?
- If America became a true “White” nation, what would become of my family, and what would become of me?
- Who gets to be white?
My kids were born with blonde hair and very fair skin. No one ever questions whether I’m their father, but when my kids are with my wife, she gets side glances, or even hesitant questions like “are you the mother?” Look at their faces and profiles and see my wife’s features there. The eyes are hers, the mouths, and noses (the attitudes). But the skin is mine (at least until they turn a golden tan in the summer and I just get splotchy pink). Some only look at the contrast in skin and wonder.
We don’t have it that bad. I know white women whose children have black fathers, and I can hardly fathom what they must go through in silence. The private judgments that play out in strangers’ eyes.
An Uncomfortable Truth – Are They Really Multiracial?
There are certain things I can’t comfortably say, because, like I said… White. I can’t say that we are all one race, that centuries of culture and migration have made us into different ethnic groups. That we are all human, and that race is a social construct. But as white supremacy rears up, odious and farcical, threatening in its emboldened state, I take refuge in an idea. It may be cliche, but I think cliches are usually true. We all came from some place long long ago. The Bible says this. Science reaffirms it. What if our changes in pigment and culture are a byproduct of geography, weather, epigenetics, nutrition, and yes, centuries of reinforced hatred, violence, and extremism? If it took this long to become different races, how long will it take to become just one?
But I’m not some starry eyed optimist. I know that the current state of our nation and of the whole world won’t change over night. The world is facing an identity crisis on more fronts than can be imagined by this one person. It’s easy to think that we can just go back, that maybe we can beat the world into what it seemed to be, before terror brought the pain of the world to our shores. But we’ll never go back, we can only hope to go forward.