Everyone in the world looks for a place they belong. It could be through religion, sports or music. However, people commonly find a sense of community within their own race and family. Finding that in your own race is not so easy when you belong to more than one race.
I am half Mexican and half Caucasian. I know, that doesn’t sound too different. Hell, it’s downright common here in California.
Being so common, it is still a new concept for most of America. The term “two or more races” was only added to U.S. census forms in 2000. In that year, 6,826,228 people were estimated to be of “two or more races.” By 2010, that number jumped to 9,009,073. That is only counting the people who “associate” themselves with more than one race rather than actually being one or more race. There are still plenty of racial purists in this country. For me, I come into contact with such people on a regular basis.
I don’t have darker skin, I’m six feet tall and I simply just don’t look like a stereotypical Mexican person. I have had people tell me that they don’t believe me when I say I’m half Mexican. It’s one thing for random people and acquaintances to tell me that they don’t accept my race for what it truly is. It’s another when family tells you that you don’t belong in with them.
My Caucasian family has never said anything about my race. It’s my extended Mexican family that likes to point out that my blood is “impure.” It is not as prevalent anymore, but at family events it was not uncommon to be told that I wasn’t one of them, that my brothers and I were different. These comments were intended to be jokes and my brothers seemed to have taken them more that way, but I must be more sensitive.
Joking is common, but as the old adage goes, “there’s truth behind every joke.” I used to resent my Mexican family for telling me that I didn’t belong, and that my brothers and I were the only ones who aren’t entirely Mexican. It just made me feel isolated.
But I have matured. I have come to let all of that go. However, evidence shows that I am not the only one that has felt this at some point. I guess, knowing that, those that are “two or more races” have somewhere else to look for a community.