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“What are YOU?” Black, White, Other?

By Sevgi Fernandez 

 

“What are you?”

The question that’s been on repeat since I burst into this world

A little caramel girl who would grow up with the weight of two worlds

“What are you?”

I’m LOST between two worlds at war with one another

I’m lost between two worlds that made me, yet neither will claim me

 If I listen to you………

I’m too light, 

like I’ve blinded u with my high yellow ass

I’m too dark, 

like the pit of your soul

I must be uneducated, unemployed, and unloved

I must be stuck up, a sell out and all the above

If I listen to you I,”talk like a white girl”
Yet my “white girl speech” doesn’t erase the melanin in my skin 

What are u?

Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian?

I must be black….no I must be white….no no that’s right,

I’m other.

I’m so tired of the labels

I’m so tired of you trying to find out what I am so you can decide whether I’m worth your respect

What am I?

I’m a mother…a daughter… .a sister….

What am I? 

I am done with the labels, the stereotypes, the games

No longer will my self worth be determined by your shame 

I am the bridge between two worlds 

Not black….white…..other

But

Black….White……Together 

I am Found, no longer bound by the fear and ignorance that surrounds 

No longer will I take the bait to hate myself because u fear what I am and what I will become

I am found

I am found



Image source 

http://www.kennyonline.net


Racist’s Fear

The Importance of Continuing Racial Dialogue

One dimensional discussions about race at Fordham continue to spread the belief that “racism does not exist anymore.”

http://fordhamram.com/2015/09/23/the-importance-of-continuing-racial-dialogue/

Workshop: Unite Against Racism

  
Unite Against Racism

Breaking Down Walls and Building Community

It Begins and Ends With Us!!

Join me for the first in a 3 part documentary/discussion series examining and dismantling Racism. Whites and People of Color see race from radically different perspectives. We will explore our individual biases and how they impact our choices and impact our community. Through individual, group and interactive exercises we will increase understanding transforming fear into knowledge and that knowledge into the power we need to eradicate racism and oppression. It’s imperative that all People of Color come together as ONE community to challenge the system of racism and oppression that this country has been built upon. It’s also crucial that our white allies join in this movement. These seminars are meant for everyone, regardless of your racial, socio/economic, religious or political background. You don’t even have to agree with the movement. What’s essential is that we dialogue face to face in a respectful environment where we can build understanding.

Saturday, Nov. 7th, 2:30-5:30pm

2930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 300 Berkeley

AGENDA

  • Welcome
  • Documentary: The Conversation 
  • White People on Race
  • My Black Son
  • Growing up Black
  • Individual and Group Exercises
  • Discussion: We will analyze the polarization between blacks and whites in the U.S., with an in depth look at the raw realities on both sides. 

Diverse World Coaching
Facebook @SevgiCoach

El Cerrito, CA, United States 

diversewc@gmail.com 

1(628)333-9830

diverseworldcoaching.wordpress.com

RSVP

Space is Limited! It is essential you RSVP by phone or by sending me an email. Please leave Name/Email and the number of people you would like to bring.

Thank You!!!!!

  

The White Man’s Fear

This is dedicated to those that live and spread hate. 

  

 By Sevgi Fernandez 

Fear
Do u even see it?

That black cloud that is us creeping ever so slowly over the whiteness that is your palace of hate

Fear

It makes you close your eyes, cover your ears and shout “Animals!” as we wait at the gate, our truth in the words we shout at your deaf, dumb ears

Your self appointed pedestal of white domination is dripping red with the blood of our brothers and sisters

Your hatred weeps like blisters, the salve our tears, our pain

Who are the savage beasts?  The monsters with their trigger happy fingers pointed straight at our sons, our brothers, our fathers!

You reap what you sow….

Fear

Your fear of a multi hued world pressing in, taking over as your Tea Party, KKK club smolders

Your venom poisoning you from the inside

Go ahead and take that slippery ride of hate; far be it for me to berate 

You, massa, sir, whitey, cracker, human who bleeds just like me, don’t you see!

We meet your fear with strength 

Your hate with love

Your ignorance with knowledge 

We will march until the sound of our footsteps haunt every dream you dare to have

We will fight each day with every breath until our peace is had

Until Our justice is equal to your justice

Our pain equal to yours

Through the demise of your humanity we shall rise 

We meet your fear unabashed

With nothing to lose

And everything to gain


Stereotypes and Biases – Cultural Weapons for Domination

  

By Dr. John P Fernandez 
Although a person’s biases and stereotypes depend on their own unique experiences, at ARMC Global we define concepts like racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, and homophobia as cultural ideologies that characterize the dominant group as being inherently superior to non-dominant groups. People in dominant or in-power groups, through societal institutions, develop, spread, and enforce the myths and stereotypes that are the foundation for their dominant social, economic, and political position. These views become ingrained in the minds not only of the oppressors but also of the oppressed.

Concepts like racism and sexism are cultural. For example, males from certain cultures are more likely than males from other cultures to consider themselves superior to women. However, we can find examples of stereotyped or biased thought in nearly every culture, in all parts of the world: many Japanese citizens perceive Koreans as inferior to them; some light-skinned people from countries such as Brazil, India, and China believe they are superior to the darker skinned people; in Northern Ireland there are still great divides between those of different religions; many men in Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia believe women to be inferior and in a surprising number of societies this inferiority is still formalized by the legal system; and black males in the United States are still perceived as dangerous by the mainstream, predominantly white society, and even by some blacks, as the Trayvon Martin case illustrated. If stereotypes are not challenged, they can quickly become widespread beliefs, eventually turning into society’s norms.

Another unfortunate trend found throughout the world is that the people who believe and adhere to these types of thoughts are often in positions of power and are thus able to develop and enforce the stereotypes that serve as the foundation for their positions of authority in the first place. Often these negativities are not necessarily a matter of personal beliefs or attitudes, but rather accessory expressions of institutionalized patterns within social, economic, religious, and political systems. Whether personal or not, these beliefs have been used to maintain and justify the elite’s social, economic, and political positions, which have also become rooted deeply in the structure and fabric of our societies.

The power struggle between dominant groups who seek to maintain their positions and the outside groups who seek to change the status quo stands at the center of the problems we face today. The fear of losing dominance drives these groups, whether consciously or unconsciously, to nurture myths and stereotypes about the outside groups. When looked at carefully, displays of bias are simply defense mechanisms most often used by the dominant to deal with their own insecurities. These mindsets can be changed, but if they are not, the oppressed groups also start to believe these stereotypes, which compound their psychological stresses. By accepting and internalizing racist, sexist, religious, fascist, homophobic, and ethnocentric assumptions, the oppressed groups can explain and justify their subordinate societal position, making it even harder for them to break through these constructed barriers. This dynamic plays out in much of the world today.

​While racism, sexism, extreme ethnocentrism, homophobia, and religious intolerance fragment groups within a nation, xenophobia can bind a country’s major ethnic groups together through fear and hatred of all things foreign. Many people do not view our current political leanings toward xenophobia as negative. For example, some consider the American Tea Party a valid and important political organization, but further examination reveals it should be more accurately classified as a xenophobic movement in the United States. It seems to have an insidious implicit bias against non-whites, immigrants, non-Christians, LGBT individuals, and anyone they perceive as “un-American.” These kinds of ideologies are not exclusive to the United States. In Moscow, young Russian males have taken to attacking people who look physically non-Russian in attempts to “preserve” their country. Additionally, the Chinese minority population of Malaysia, many of whom are often financially successful, is often scapegoated for their country’s difficult economic situations, and at times even brutally attacked. Finally, even Israel, surrounded by enemies and characterized by centuries of oppression, can turn on those who are considered different, as the recent attacks on dark-skinned and immigrant Jews attest.  

These types of xenophobia contribute to nationalism and isolationism. The ideas inspire and justify bloody ethnic and religious struggles, as well as unfair immigration laws. The degree and extent of xenophobia in a country often parallels its economic and social status. As economies slow down, as traditional social networks break down, and as the nature of cultures change as a result of ongoing and rapid globalization, xenophobia increases. Instead of accepting and adapting to these changes and challenges, many cultures look for a scapegoat, and they find one in “the other.” A society often convinces itself that minorities, foreigners, nonbelievers, and “alien” cultures are destroying the old order, ruining the economy, or compromising the traditional way of life. While it is true that many oppressed groups internalize and believe in these negative impressions, we can also see that some respond with hatred and violence.

​While hatred and violence should never be tolerated, it is possible to trace the reasoning behind this reaction, and the ultimate cycle of stereotyping that it creates. In the face of a dominant majority, those who are oppressed and excluded often feel powerless; despite attempts at contributing to or uniting with society, they are often deemed unfit. Their social status is threatened and their innate sense of competition reminds them of the potential effects of such threats: isolation and estrangement. With few alternatives, violence becomes a subjectively expressive means (or even an end in itself), for it creates clarity in unclear situations.

Further compounding this dynamic is the disconnected nature of modern life and the breaking down of family structures and kin groups. Opportunistic, morally bankrupt politicians, religious leaders, and business leaders have fanned the latent fires of xenophobia throughout the world. Many countries are increasingly susceptible to these trends because of increases in freedom and mobility and a weakening of family ties. And so, while entire groups of people are programmed to distrust or exclude other groups of people, it is the individual alone who must bear the risks of failure. When we analyze this information it becomes clear how the cycles of hatred, violence, and discrimination are perpetuated.

For more information on Dr. John P Fernandez and ARMC Global and publications call (215) 439-2150 Or visit the Services and About Us pages on this site.

Mixed Race/Which Race? A Historical and Personal Perspective 

  
By Sevgi Fernandez

How do mixed race people, particularly those who are black/white embrace each side in a psychologically heathy manner.  I realize this is likely a touchy subject, but I’m ok with things being a bit uncomfortable if the end result is contemplation and awareness.  

If I’m being honest, I often struggle with the questions: 

“How can I embrace my White-side knowing the history of oppression towards my Black side?”

“How do I have pride in my white heritage when I feel such rage and shame over what was and is being done to blacks each day? “

“How can I fully embrace the white side of me when I’ve never been fully embraced by them?”

When we look at history, it’s not hard to see why mixed people tend to struggle with finding their place in the world at times.  In the year 2000, the U.S. Census finally gave people of mixed race the option to self-identify without having to check that dreaded “other” box; you’re either black, white or other.  Not only did society want to label us, the government did too. 

We have historically been boxed in and categorized in unique ways. Multiracial people can be chastised for trying to “pass” and be called a nigger over the “one drop rule”, all in the same day. Historically we haven’t been accepted. So in order to examine the realities for black/white mixed people in the U.S., we need to go back through time. 

We live in a country where it was illegal for blacks and whites to marry.  Let’s look at the historical facts around interracial marriage and miscegenation for a moment shall we?

In 1664, Maryland passed the first law banning interracial marriage. They went so far as to order the enslavement of any white women who married black men. In 1691, Virginia followed suit but rather than enslave whites who married blacks they exiled them. By the 1960’s, at least 41 states had anti miscegenation laws at some point.

Although the bans on interracial marriage went state by state, there were 3 serious attempts throughout the years to make it nationwide in 1871, 1912 and again in 1928. 

Not until 1967 in Loving vs Virginia, did the Supreme Court declare laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. In fact Alabama was the last state to rid itself of this discriminatory legislature in 2000.  Sad, but telling, the vote was 51/48.

With such history, it’s understandable that some of us would struggle with feeling whole and finding our place.  As I wrangle with my racial identity and learned of the history between whites and blacks specifically here in the U.S. and Cabo Verde (my African ancestry), I began to identify less and less with my “white” side. How can one read of the atrocities associated with slavery and feel anything but shame and pain? How can one look at the systematic oppression of blacks in the U.S. without being outraged? How can one live in a country that runs on institutionalized racism towards people of color without wanting and needing to distance themselves from that? 

Yes, I’m aware not all whites are racist, not all whites support this system of oppression; however don’t they by default benefit from it simply because they’re white?

So in my never ending mission to challenge racism, racial bias and exclusion, I find I need to examine the part of myself that embraces that exclusion of my white half. There’s so much healing that needs to occur within my heart and my family and within our society as a whole. 

Myself, like many mixed folks of black/white heritage, have experienced racism from both sides. Interestingly though, I’ve only experienced judgement specifically due to my race within my white family’s structure.   I certainly don’t feel division with everyone, but there are definitely some unspoken issues between myself and some on my white side. I wonder often if it’s just a complete lack of understanding for who I am and where I’m coming from or a sense of “being better than” that they are not aware of, maybe even a fear of what I stand for. Regardless, there is love, but not necessarily respect.

Although there are issues with some on my mom’s side, there are also some of the most incredible, compassionate and loving people I’ve ever met. My cousin for example, has always been one to stand up for what’s right. She doesn’t just talk the talk either.

I think it’s pertinent to state here that not only am I mixed, but I’m also part of a blended family of which I am the only person of color on my mom’s side. My father’s side is blended as well, but all of us are mixed so there’s a sense of understanding and togetherness that doesn’t exist within my mom’s side.

The black side of my family has never excluded me; in fact it’s always been quite the opposite. However, this isn’t always the case in the black community. I’ve often experienced exclusion and judgement because of my light skin and the texture of my hair. 

I know that although I’m “light skinned”, I don’t walk through this world being seen as a white person. I’m a person of color. I often get the proverbial “what are you” question, but no one asks that with the assumption I’m white. Puerto Rican maybe, mullatto maybe, Hawaiian even, but never white. 

It’s a unique challenge being mixed and trying to find your place in the world. I identify more with the black side probably for several reasons I’m aware of and some I’m likely still to discover. 

I’m writing about this partly to talk about another issue around race that seems taboo in a sense, and partly because I’d like to examine my personal hang ups in the hope that I might replace some of the division and discomfort with inclusion and understanding.  I find that confronting people with issues around race is fairly easy for me, except when it comes to the white side of my family. I think a part of me wants to avoid it just as much as they do. 

I’m part of several mixed race groups and have found that many of those I’ve spoken to have had similar struggles. They’ve struggled with exclusion and racism within their families, particularly the white side; they’ve also wrestled with embracing that half because of it.

Through my trials and tribulations as a mixed person growing up in the US, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s made me who I am today. It’s taught me introspection, it’s givin me strength and its provided me with the tools I need to raise multiracial boys who have a strong sense of self. It’s giving me the fire and the passion to tirelessly work against the oppression towards people of color that exists not only in this country but across the world.  So again I’m brought back to the original reason I decided to start blogging; dialogue and examination. I welcome your thoughts, suggestions and experiences; please share. 
Sources:

2000 U.S. Census 

Tom Head, Civil Liberties Expert, NAACP. A Timeline History. civilliberty.about.com

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_mar14.htm

Ethnicity vs Race

I often have people tell me that I should use the term ethnicity rather than race because “there is only one race, the human race”.

I decided to post this in response. This is an article I found that covers the subject well in my opinion.  It discusses each term and also their subjectivity. Enjoy

Ethnicity vs. Race

(these are excerpts from the article not the entire thing)

The traditional definition of race and ethnicity is related to biological and sociological factors respectively. Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. Ethnicity, however, refers to cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language. An example of race is brown, white, or black skin (all from various parts of the world), while an example of ethnicity is German or Spanish ancestry (regardless of race).

Definition

An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population group whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality or shared cultural traditions. The term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics (which usually result from genetic ancestry).

Significance

Ethnicity connotes shared cultural traits and a shared group history. Some ethnic groups also share linguistic or religious traits, while others share a common group history but not a common language or religion. Race presumes shared biological or genetic traits, whether actual or asserted. In the early 19th century, racial differences were ascribed significance in areas of intelligence, health, and personality. There is no evidence validating these ideas.

Genealogy

Ethnicity is defined in terms of shared genealogy, whether actual or presumed. Typically, if people believe they descend from a particular group, and they want to be associated with that group, then they are in fact members of that group. Racial categories result from a shared genealogy due to geographical isolation. In the modern world this isolation has been broken down and racial groups have mixed.

Distinguishing Factors

Ethnic groups distinguish themselves differently from one time period to another. They typically seek to define themselves but also are defined by the stereotypes of dominant groups. Races are assumed to be distinguished by skin color, facial type, etc. However, the scientific basis of racial distinctions is very weak. Scientific studies show that racial genetic differences are weak except in skin color.

Nationalism

In 19th century, there was development of the political ideology of ethnic nationalism — creating nations based on a presumed shared ethnic origins (e.g. Germany, Italy, Sweden…) In 19th century, the concept of nationalism was often used to justify the domination of one race over another within a specific nation.

Legal System

In the last decades of the 20th century, in the U.S. and in most nations, the legal system as well as the official ideology prohibited ethnic-based discrimination. In the last decades of the 20th century, the legal system as well as the official ideology emphasized racial equality.

Conflicts

Often brutal conflicts between ethnic groups have existed throughout history and across the world. But most ethnic groups in fact get along peacefully within one another in most nations most of the time. Racial prejudice remains a continuing problem throughout the world. However, there are fewer race-based conflicts in the 21st century than in the past. (Not in agreement here)

Examples of conflict

Conflict between Tamil and Sinhalese populations in Sri Lanka. Conflict between white and African-American people in the U.S., especially during the civil rights movement.(I’d venture to say the conflict between whites and African-Americans in the US has consistently been an issue. I wouldn’t say it never went away; the only variance has been how much the media has covered in my opinion)

What is ethnicity?

Ethnicity is state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.[1] This is, by definition, a fluid concept; ethnic groups can be broadly or narrowly construed. For example, they can be as broad as “Native American” or as narrow as “Cherokee”. Another example is the Indian subcontinent — Indians may be considered one ethnic group but there are actually dozens of cultural traditions and subgroups like Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, and Tamil that are also bona fide ethnic groups. Yet another example is people in Great Britain — they may be considered British, or more precisely English, Scottish or Welsh.

What is race?
A race is a group of people with a common physical feature or features. While there are hundreds — if not thousands — of ethnicities, the number of races is far fewer.

Difference Between Race and Ethnicity

Take the Caucasian (a.k.a., Caucasoid) race. The physical characteristics of Caucasians were described by M. A. MacConaill, an Irish anatomy professor, as including “light skin and eyes, narrow noses, and thin lips. Their hair is usually straight or wavy.” Caucasians are said to have the lowest degree of projection in their alveolar bones that contain the teeth, a notable size prominence of the cranium and forehead region, and a projection of the midfacial region. A person whose appearance matches these characteristics is said to be a Caucasian.

Caucasians are found in many countries around the world. So while a Caucasian person in the United States may share certain racial characteristics with a Caucasian person from France, the two people have different ethnic backgrounds — one American, the other French. They will likely speak different languages most of the time, have different traditions, and may even have different beliefs that have been heavily influenced by their local cultures.

Multiracial vs. Multicultural

In most cases, race is unitary — i.e., a person belongs to one race — but may claim ethnic membership in multiple groups. For example, Barack Obama is racially black in spite of his mother being caucasian. On the other hand, a person can self-identify ethnically as Scottish and German if she has indeed lived in both ethic groups.
Self-identification and Choice

Another difference between race and ethnicity is related to the ability to self-identify. A person does not choose her race; it is assigned by society based upon her physical features. However, ethnicity is self-identified. An individual can learn a language, social norms and customs, and assimilate into a culture to belong to an ethnic group.

Source: Diffen.com

References
Ethnicity – Wiktionary.org

Racial – Wiktionary.org

A Mixed Girl’s Take 

  

By: Sevgi Fernandez

My mother is white, my father is black, and I’m right there in the middle. My parents divorced when I was 2 so I didn’t grow up with equal representation of both sides of my heritage. This would prove to be a catalyst for the years of racial identity confusion yet to come.

My father grew up very poor in Massachusetts.  To this day, he’s the only one on that side of my family to get his PhD. In fact, he graduated Magna Cum Laude at Harvard and went on to get his doctorate at UC Berkeley where he would meet my mother.  My father was a part of the Black Panther Party and has spent his life writing books and consulting on issues surrounding racism and sexism.

My mother is from an upper middle-class Quaker family. Her father Clark Kerr, was the President of the University of California from 1958-67. Her mother a Stanford graduate who was an amazing environmental activist.  My mom experienced what I think many white women who marry black men do, a lot of disapproval and hatred.  I’d venture to say she got it from both sides, black and white.

 I lived my first 14 years with mother and grandparents, only seeing may father 2-3 times a year. My Birth name, Sevgi, which means love in Turkish, was given to me by my father. Unfortunately, when my parents separated, my mother and her family changed my name to Carrie. (Not legally) So when I was with my mom I was “Carrie” for all intents and purposes a white girl, with caramel skin mind you.

When I would see my father, I was Sevgi, and identified as black. You can see how this might be confusing for a child. The result was that I was never comfortable in my skin and I never felt I belonged in either place completely.

It wasn’t until I was 18 or 19 that I began to go by the name Sevgi wherever I was. It was about that time being “mixed” became “in”.  Prior to that I was either to light or too dark; translation, never good enough.  I finally found myself and my place in this world in college. I discovered my anger and through that, I discovered my passion. bell hooks helped with both.  

I recently posted a link to my blog on an anti racism group’s site. The following was my introduction: 

My name is Sevgi Fernandez, I’m a biracial woman and have spent the better part of the last two decades working as a Coach and Consultant specializing in cross-cultural/interracial families, blended families and Corporate/Executive diversity training. I’d appreciate your adding your voices to the discussions on my new blog. I’m hoping to create a forum where everyone can speak on the issues of racism and racial bias. I hope to challenge people of ALL races, not only to examine the issues we are facing but also to examine themselves and what they individually are bringing to the table. Below is a link to my website and one of our first blogs/discussions. Please read and participate in the dialogue. Blessings

Now I’ll share the responses I received from two men who we will call WHITE HATER,(WH) and BLACK HATER,(BH) for lack of anything better, or maybe just because I choose to….

WH:

What the hell is “biracial”? Do u vacillate between different races? One day black. … the next white? This description of a persons skin colour or ethnicity is both ridiculous and funny at the same time. God in heaven. Political correctness gone crazy.You are a woman. Skin colour irrelevant. Ethnicity irrelevant.

Me:

It’s actually very relevant to me and many others who identify as biracial. Instead of judging and attacking maybe you could ask questions. You have not lived my experience so why choose to judge me and patronize me?

Moderator’s response:

Sevgi Fernandez,we understand what you are saying.Please proceed and know that the group in general respect your ideas,although there might be exceptions.

Me:

Thank you ! I think that for people of color, we don’t have the “choice” to not see COLOR. Unfortunately we don’t live in a colorblind world. For biracial and multiracial people, we often experience not fitting in anywhere. For example, I was often too white or too black, never having a place in a group. I think people often take racial identity for granted. There is a huge biracial community and being able to have just that, a community is important to us. We are no longer “other”. I’m keenly aware of the effects of racism from both sides. I hope that many of you participate in the discussions on my blogs. My hope is to challenge everyone to not only look within themselves but also to understand the experience of others. Through knowledge and compassion we can make a difference

WH:

Because you perpetuate racial stereotyping. Your first affirmation is that you are biracial. As if that alone defines you. My challenge to you is to be beyond any kind of profiling of yourself. Your comments perpetuate racial stereotyping

Moderator:

Tx Sevgi!I hope you find your place in the sun with us also.You already made an impact here,and we will be following your posts etc. with interest and expectation!

Eric-,let us give Sevgi a fair chance to express exactly what she want to communicate.Maybe we all learn something new!!?She is in an unique position to tell us how she is effected by diversity and I do not want to miss it!!!!

Me:

I appreciate that . Eric, why is it that my being biracial is all you got out of my post? I also listed what I’ve been working on for the past 20 years. Owning my racial identity does NOT perpetuate racism; I would venture to say that refusing to acknowledge race might…….

WH:

I own my Caucasianness too. Along with undoubted infusions in my ancestry of black, possibly Asian and any other mix you care to mention. I have the typical racial attributes of a white person but cannot possibly be classified as pure white. My family has been in africa for 300 plus years. Its inevitable I have the blood of other races in my veins. But I don’t preface any posts by clarifying my race. My race does not define who i am. Others may assume my being white must necessarily translate into some stereotype, which is usually informed by their upbringing and outlook on life. That’s their issue. So all I am saying is that prefacing your comment by racial classification to me only serves to perpetuate myths. Im on your side. I dont care if you are biracial. ..ghastly as that sounds… or white or asian or whatever.
BH:

For me it’s really hard to understand what Sevgi Fernandez wants reading from her comments. She appears like she’s saying please recognise us,divide your minds and hearts to identify my race so that I, as a coloured may ,benefit or be privileged from my race status or category. I’m black and still suffers from racism and this group is about eradication of racism. If we can fight racism based on privileging people based on their skin colour, where would that end. As a black person I don’t want to be recognised as black or as white but as a human being. That’s what the racial war is all about. It’s about Human beings being equal without stereotyping and demanding yo be what you are based on colour but based in the fact that you are human. Crying victim because no one wants to recognise you colour to me it’s shallow. If we would say you want to be recognised as one who was underprivileged during the time of apartheid and now you’re deprived or not benefiting where the race that was underprivileged then benefits now,then I may understand that. But still that may need to be dealt with in Court. We can have that anomalous act highlighted or help with our lawyer friends who may wish to challenge the government on those bases. However, the truth is we’re all human and can not want for anything more than being recognised as such.

Me:

First I don’t believe I was “crying victim” I was simply sharing my experience. Secondly, I don’t believe that owning my racial identity in any way perpetuates stereotypes. It is possible for us to recognize our differences Without negative connotations and stereotypes. Regardless of how I feel about your responses, I’m glad that a dialogue is coming out of this. I believe this offers us each a chance to try to understand the others point of view so, thank you for sharing.
As I’ve come to expect, there’s always a mixed bag of feelings and ideologies when it comes to race.  I’m so blessed to be a part of several social and politically active groups comprised entirely of mixed people. For most of us, being mixed had a special set of struggles that others don’t experience. Many people take their racial identity for granted. They take for granted always having a place they fit in. 

I get that many wonder why I would want to classify myself as mixed or biracial given I’m so against racial stereotyping and division. To this I say, I believe there’s a huge difference between owning one’s racial heritage and segregating one’s self because of it.  I’m grateful that my multiracial sons are growing up with a community, one they belong in, one that’s accepting them as they are.

So please, don’t assume without walking in my shoes. 
Poetry 

By: Mark Johnson

Blended-

Blended in a society, that doesn’t even say hi to me. 

Trying constantly to keep my eyes wide open you see.

Sometimes talking too white, can turn into a fight. 

Acting too black is almost never allowed to be right.

So, I’ll just try to fit in, and not please anyone else but me.

No more feeling as if I’m too nice or too light. 

Looks like society is rapidly changing it’s complexion, yeah you damn right. 

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