OPINION: Where Are You From?
Biracial Children Struggle with Identity
Today the world has people meeting people of many races, religions, and ethnicities. People share cultures and come together, some even fall in love. When a child is born from two people of different races they are considered biracial. This is a good thing as it illustrates how the world is becoming more accepting of mixing cultures and people of different backgrounds, but there are some difficulties that children will have to grow up with.
Where are you from? The United States.
No, where are you really from? My mom is from Asia.
Are you sure you’re Asian? You don’t act like it. Yes, I am sure.
Children all over the world are experiencing similar situations to this. Constantly being asked questions on where they belong and why they “look Asian” but not “full Asian”. In an article from New York Times, Professor Gibbs states “these labels are important and our society is one where ethnicity is a very important part of someone’s identity”, and he is correct. Today, having a label is so important because it is what society deems necessary. And being biracial makes it so much more difficult to find a label or where you should belong. On documents, do I put white or Asian or both? And if I put both, will I be judged since I do not look white enough or Asian enough? These are thoughts constantly running through the minds of mixed race children, and not only when filling out documents but in everyday life. If you’re Asian and go visit your parent’s home country and try to speak in their language, you run the risk of being made fun of for your poor attempt at learning “their” language. It is not your language as you were not raised in that culture.
It is mentioned from an article from parents.com that many people grow up thinking there is something wrong with them as they do not really fit in anywhere. Constantly jumping between two races depending on who you are with. With your mom’s family, you’re white but with your dad’s family, you’re Asian. Even then you’re not really white or really Asian, you’re half of each. This makes you not fully a part of society.
Eventually, many biracial children feel as if they have to choose between one race and the other. Which do you want to identify as? Being a child of mixed race should not be something that poses a lifelong question to a child starting the day they go to school and get asked that one dreaded question:
Where are you from?