Saturday, May 28, 2011

Post 5-My story regarding race....

My name is Julita and this is my story.
To the public eye, I am what you might call an interracial child. Not by blood or immediate identity, though if you’re honest with yourself, all of mankind is interracial, at the least. No man of present is pure black, pure white, pure Asian, pure Indian, pure Hispanic, etc….But when you think about it, what does that even mean? To be pure of one “race”? I honestly haven’t done enough research to be considered a “credible” source but it would seem that the only “pure” blooded people existed back when the earth was created. But this is an entirely different topic, so let me continue on with my story…. 
I am “black”/brown….I am of French, Irish, Cherokee Indian, African, and who knows what else, decent.  Some members of my family came directly from France back in the 1700’s. But as I was so kindly informed by a college student, “black people do not come from France, Julita.” Really now? Were you alive in the 1700’s my friend?
I have had the privilege of growing up in two different worlds.  Yet at the same time this privilege is cause for much confusion. I used to have a difficult time answering the question, “where do I fit and where do I belong?  I grew up in a white community and didn’t have my first “black” set of friends (they were twins) until I was about 8. Why they decided to put up with me, I don’t know but I’m awful happy that they did. Besides them I didn’t have any “black” friends (that I could hang out with on a weekly or monthly basis) until I entered college. Why is this? Many saw me as odd and awkward. And I probably was to some extent but who really has everything together? I was homeschooled, dressed funny (to some), had short hair, braces, didn’t watch many movies, LOVED to read, played the piano, liked to ride my bike and listened to old style and contemporary Christian music (dare I mention that I would also listen to classical?). Oh! And don’t forget about this….my mother tried (I often times would rebel) to train me to walk straight, talk clearly, use proper English, and respect my elders). Because of this, I was seen as stuck up and snooty………by many in the “black” community.
One “Christian” black woman once asked me, “why in the world do you have white friends, don’t you know what they did to us?” First off, I am a Christian. We are supposed to “love one another as Christ has loved us.” There is NOTHING about race in that passage. Yes, there is a lot of deep rooted racism in the American society but that does not give me the right to go around hating everyone or anyone because of what ancestors have done. We are in the present, we cannot deny the past, but we must act on what is in front of us.  Secondly, you go where you are loved.  I am not going to force myself into a community where it is highly clear that I am not wanted, even if I do and can identify with the people of that community.
One lady once told me “you’re the whitest black person I know.” To those out there who have this mindset of individuals, please don’t stick them in a box and decide in your own mind what they ought to be like. Get to know them for who they are. And remember that within every race, within every community, within every culture, people come in different shapes, sizes, and forms.  Get to know the person, and then get to know how their culture plays a role in who they are. Don’t allow your mind to define how they should be based upon their perceived or known culture.
So at the end of the day, how do I answer the questions “where do I belong?” I answer it by saying, “I belong in the middle.” I love my “black” culture and I am proud that God birthed me into this world thru it. Yet I cannot ignore the rest of the people that live around me. Jesus gave his life for everyone. Who am I not to show love for those Jesus loved and does love, despite the past.  My name is Julita and this is my story. What is yours?

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