My mixed-race son looks All-American.

5239689201_67269866eb_bEmma Alvarez Gibson,
San Pedro, CA.

My husband’s heritage is Japanese/Portuguese/French. Mine is Mexican/Irish/Scottish. Neither of us fit in anywhere while growing up; both sides of each of our families considered us oddities at best. People never knew what to make of us. I was too white for the Mexican kids and too uptight about racist comments for the white kids. Our son is fair and blond and looks about as All-American (a term that’s always made me queasy) as it gets. He will never struggle the way we did — for which we’re grateful; no parent wants their child to struggle. But the irony isn’t lost on either of us.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • History

    Wow, that’s crazy but you parent feel that you didn’t fit anywhere. In my AA History class I have learned about a man that’s both White and black. This event was in the 1900’s, and he was confuse. It’s amazing for me when someone is mix, Awesome.

  • [insert clever pun here]

    i believe you son looks american because he is a mix of all those races that is really all being american is. its being a mixture of all kinds of races

    • barry irving

      …in theory…but in reality?

  • barry irving

    ..White is an acquired general ethnicity. It is also a color caste term…not a Race.
    …it seems that you are satisfied that you son looks European…in actually, he is of mixed heritage like you. All American is definitely a “White” and exclusionary term. You never hear of African Americans or Asians or Hispanics being All American!

    • Maurin Quina

      This is an excellent point: I had never really thought about the racial undertones in the phrase ‘All American’ (although granted, I don’t often use that phrase either), but they’re so obvious now that you point it out. It’s a good example of how language subtly reinforces ideas of ‘normalcy’ and ‘other’.

 

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