You’re Not Black, You’re Too White

KayKay Mara,
Lancaster, CA.

I have spent my whole life being judged by my skin color.

It was never a big deal to me since I was always warned that life was going to be this way no matter how hard I tried to fix it. People don’t see that sometimes the little things they say are offensive, and after a while I stopped noticing as well. I went from being a little girl offended by the racial slurs and jokes of the world, to a person who has practically made them a thing in my everyday life. I get told everyday that I’m too white to be black, and that I’m too black to be white. I mean I understand why, but it just bugs me I guess. Sometimes I don’t even know where I stand with certain people, ya’ know?
Why does it matter what race I am?
Why does it matter if I look different from others?
Why do people care if I embrace one side of myself more than the others?
I am not my ethnicity, or my religion, or what color my skin is—I am me.
I’m not “too white” to embrace my African American heritage and I am not “too black” to embrace that I am part white. Why can’t people—why can’t my own family—understand that? I am a living and breathing organism trying to make it through life without crashing and burning just like any other person. Why does it matter if I look like one race more than the other?

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