What are you?
Labels are great. I loved the moment when I discovered that I could self-identify as a Hapa. I am not just white. I am not just Asian. I am Hapa. I am a mix of both worlds and cultures. I am of two races, but at the same time, I belong to a race that is separate from the white and the Asian worlds.
But, in my experience, whenever I’ve told people that I am Hapa, people often look at me with a confused expression. What is that?
What follows next is a short explanation of what a Hapa is. It’s just not as mainstream as the racial terms black or white or Hispanic or Asian. But that’s OK. I like it. I like calling myself Hapa.
Being Hapa — having a label that perfectly fits me — gives me a great sense of joy and pride. This is who I am. I am part of an amazing community of Hapas. I am part of a community of people who have faced similar experiences, both positive and negative.
This is why the #BlackLivesMatterMovement and any other civil rights movement is so important. It is important that people need to have a voice. People need to join together and fight for what they think is right. People need to treat everyone the same, no matter the color of their skin. Also, people should stop making judgments on someone just based on the color of their skin.
The color of a person’s skin is probably the least important thing about a person. It is one thing that we have no control over. No one chose to be white or black or Asian. But we can all choose to give each other respect and love.
If we stop judging people based on the color of a person’s skin and if we stop putting people in these racial categories, then maybe the world might just be a better place.