Being half-white in a society in which even the smallest remnants of racism lurks behind the intrusive stares and questions often puts me in an uncomfortable position. As someone who is part of both a minority race and the white race, there is a wide chasm that exists, always apart and separate. That chasm is never bridged, but always there keeping these two races apart, as society is so intent on emphasizing the differences between what makes up each of these races. After all, in America, society is so bent on keeping all minority races separate from that of the so-called main race. (Witness the term person of color and how it is used as an umbrella term to refer to all minorities, even though technically everyone is a person of color). This is why I believe that it is harder to be half-white than anything else. In this article, I am going to give you the five most annoying things about being half-white.
Society doesn’t think you belong
When you are half-white, then society tends to gloss over that side. They tend to just mainly see your non-white side. Of course, it is obvious that many people just let only one physical attribute define whether someone is white or not. They just look at your skin color. If your coloring is not “white enough,” then to society you are not white. With the exception of your family and close friends, society won’t fully accept you, as well as half of your white ancestry. They just look at your coloring and identify you as someone who is foreign, exotic, a minority, or a person of color.
Promoting the white side can be misconstrued
Another thing that has always annoyed me about being half-white, particularly now, is that promoting that side can often be misconstrued. By saying that I am half white, I feel as if people may label me as someone who is racist or a white supremacist. By saying that I am half white, I feel as if people will assume that I am a perpetrator of cultural appropriation. And yet, when I say that I am half Asian, people won’t label me as someone who is racist. I feel as if when you are half white, then society just won’t let you be half white. When you are half-white, then society won’t let you just embrace all of your races. Society won’t let you just be yourself.
It’s boring to be half-white
When I was younger, I used to wish that I wasn’t half white. I used to think that it was pretty boring to be half white. Being half Korean, I grew up eating certain food on holidays, abiding by certain customs, and being weary of certain superstitions. But as someone who has a father who is as American as possibly can be with only very distant British/German ancestors, I didn’t get to experience that part of my heritage. Because of that, I used to associate being white as kind of boring and mundane, just your typical run-of-the-mill American.
Many people still go by the one drop rule
Another thing that annoys me about being half white is how people still go by the one drop rule. The one drop rule states that even if you are 99% white and 1% non-white, then you are still not white. The fact that many people still go by that rule as a way to classify people means that they are disregarding the feelings of mixed race Americans. By using that rule, they are saying that mixed race Americans can only be the race of the minority parent. And by continuing to abide by that rule, they are reinforcing systematic racism, holding up the invisible and yet prominent barrier that still exist between whites and nonwhites.
There is no European heritage month
Ever since I was younger, I used to wonder why there wasn’t a European Heritage Month. There is a Black History Month, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Native American Month, and a Latino/a Heritage Month, and yet there is no month celebrating the European heritage. Of course, I understand why, particularly now. If someone were to suggest that, then they would be labeled as a white supremacist. But isn’t it better to recognize the contributions of everyone equally? Shouldn’t we recognize all of the immigrants (of all races and ethnicities) who have built this country together? And by having a European Heritage Month, it is not an opportunity to proclaim that the white race is better than the other, but simply an opportunity to recognize European immigrants, many of whom have also faced prosecution in this country simply because of their ethnicity, though perhaps not on the same scale as the Japanese Americans or Black Americans.
[See also: 5 Reasons Why We Need a Multiracial Month]