A heritage that no one sees

Evangeline Brennan,

I chose the words, “A heritage that no one sees”, because, simply put, I am white (and, yes, I understand that it is a racial euphemism). My father’s family came to America sometime during the Irish Potato Famine. My mother, on the other hand, is Filipino, born in the Philippines and emigrated to America with her family when she was in the sixth grade.

I look like my father and so, for my entire life, any cursory look has labeled me simply as “white”. When with my mother, it’s been assumed I’m adopted or, when initially meeting someone, “a friend of the family” even at my own family reunions. No one really puts much thought into the idea that a white person can have a cultural history or be anything other than “white”. Probably because, historically, it has been an oppressive “race” focused on establishing a social hierarchy and disparaging the cultures of others.


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