Fitting in

Growing up as a mixed race child was difficult to say the least when your childhood home is primarily in an all white community.  I say this only because I went to a Mexican supermarket today to gather some ingredients for making pastelles and a part of me felt out of place (will explain further later on).  Kids in school can be some of the cruelest creatures on earth. Once they find a weakness or something “different” about you they lay into it like a dog chewing on an old bone.

It was not always easy in rural America.  I sometimes wondered why God allowed this bullying.  Why teachers seemed to always look the other way.  And when my daughter attended kindergarten at the same grade school years later that racist mentality was still there…with 5 year olds.

It starts at home and any kind of cruelness against others should also stop there.  Children need to be taught that it’s not ok to pick on others. When my daughter was old enough to understand (and she is mixed also) I taught her to accept people as they are. White, black, Hispanic, gay or straight we all deserve to be treated with some dignity.

Now, when I was at the Mexican supermarket a part of me felt like I didn’t fit in.  It’s difficult (to put it mildly) when you are of mixed race because neither side fully accepts you as their own. So you are in a state of limbo and it’s up to you, relying on your own inner strength to move forward.  My Puerto Rican cousins would call me gringa and the kids in school would call me a wetback. Though, as I stated in a previous post that racist name is not what Puerto Ricans are known by.  Of course halfbreed was thrown in there.  It took years to recover from such immature and cruel teasing but it also made me a stronger person, accepting of others.

There are those at work who look at me and have stated I have NEVER faced racism. Saying this so matter of factly. I never thought Hispanics all had a “certain look” about them.  I have been mistaken for Italian, Asian, and yes white-which the latter IS part of my diverse heritage.

Trust me…I straighten her racist ass out.  Everyone has faced some type of discomfort growing up or even now as an adult in fitting in.  Sometimes though you just want to be left alone or simply be accepted as part of this human race, irregardless of what your bloodlines are.


2 thoughts on “Fitting in

  1. I had to leave a response about fitting in. I am so sorry that you ever had to be bullied. I am 49 years old now but still remember being bullied as a kid an as an adult. I recently came back to the United States after spending the last 15 years in Italy with my wife and children. I want to tell you I am a born and bread American citizen but I feel so out of place. Some people where I work think I am wierd because I have spent so much time overseas (22 years). I so wish we could get over the stupid thing about race, color, ethnicity etc. When USA are we going to get over it. Did we elect an African American President just to show the world we could do it? Our country has some really serious issues right now and we need to UNITE together to get them fixed! I don’t care what color a person is I want to see people step up who want to make a difference! So my friend make a difference!

  2. I can empahtized with you. When I was stationed in Korea for a year I felt out of place, however the nationals were nice to me and went out of their way to make me comfortable. When I visited the Middle East, the same however everyone was cordial and curious about this American. I feel that we need to embrace life–respect people and try to give back to our communities in some way. Simple right? Well, for some not so but am glad you took the time to read my post and to respond. 🙂

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