My mother is black and father who I never knew was latino. When I was 3 my mother met and married a white man fresh off the boat from Europe. Together they had a daughter,my baby sister. I only ever knew this man as any sort of father figure and because I was so young when he came, called him Daddy (his name) or just plain dad, but he was far from an ideal father figure and gave me a hard lesson on race early on. Though my mother insisted that all of her children be treated exactly the same, we were not equal,because my stepfather clearly favored his own child over myself and my older brother, also half latino. I felt like a 2nd class citizen more and more as I got older,because my baby sister had so many things I didn’t. She had dual citizenship, got to visit overseas, my dad talked to her in a special language (his native tongue),and attended a private school.
He constantly compared his child to my older brother and me,calling her European and making her think she wasn’t black. He labelled my older brother and me as black b*a*****d*s and my mother a black w*h**e. He’d scream these things at her when he was mad ,telling her she was raising two juvenile delinquents and how black women made the worst mothers. When my mother was out of the house he would take his anger out on my older brother and me,NEVER his golden perfect European child, with physical abuse and berating us that we were worthless and only ever going to be gangbangers or streetwalkers,because everyone knew black kids were stupid and nobody cared about them. He told us we should be grateful our mother married him and he agreed to raise us, how lucky we were to have a father,because most worthless black kids don’t have a dad. He told me these things for my whole life and like any other child I believed him wholeheartedly…..until I left for college a few years ago and discovered that not only was it okay to be black, but was actually a celebrated thing. Slowly I began to lose my stepfather’s indoctrination of self-hatred.
Recently I went home for the holidays and and after getting drunk dared to ask him why he had treated me as he did and how could he possibly claim to be madly in love with a black woman,while having such animosity towards her black children? His answer stunned me, “You are not dead. You are not a prostitute. You are not in prison. I did not abuse you for being black. I saved you from being black!” This man,this pro-European white man, who was the only father I ever knew did not save me…..he destroyed me.