Multicultural Folks Are Pointing Out The Things They Absolutely Hate Hearing, So Everyone Should Listen Up
"It’s really exhausting and sad that people think we’re all supposed to fit into certain boxes."
It's no secret that multiracial folks put up with A LOT of nonsense. People are always asking stupid questions or saying offensive things to us.
1. "Where are you FROM?"
"I’m from London. Ask me what my heritage is, and you’re more likely to get the answer you’re actually looking for."
"Got to the point where I just cut to the chase by saying my paternal family are of Japanese heritage. Usually after, they asked where I was born. I don't know why they won't ask what they really want to know."
"I had a white guy in Ohio ask where I was from while waiting for coffee. I said Texas. He was like, 'No, where are you FROM.' I said, 'TEXAS.' He squinted and said, 'You were born there?' I eventually told him I was mixed Hispanic, and he had this 'I knew it' scowl. I just hate how people let a person's race or mixture of race define how they treat others. It sucks."
2. "Oh, so you're half-caste."
"It makes me feel like somehow, I am not seen as a whole person."
3. "OMG, your mixed kids are going to be so cute!"
"I know sometimes it's meant in a nice way, but it just seems weird to me."
4. "You don't look (insert non-presenting race here)."
"'You don't LOOK Hawaiian.' My dad's complexion and eyes dominated overall. I'm fairly white a good portion of the year, but can tan like crazy, and my eyes are blue. My mom is very dark with brown eyes. I hate telling people because they never believe me and think I'm making it up."
"I’m Japanese and Irish, but I look VERY Irish. So typically when I mention my Japanese family, I get a look of disbelief. And there have been many times that I’ve had to show my driver's license because my Japanese name is usually the only way that people believe me. It’s really exhausting and sad that people think we’re all supposed to fit into certain boxes."
5. "I got a tan, and now I’m darker than you!"
"I don’t care, and we don’t need to put our arms next to each other to compare."
6. "Where do you get your hair from?" and "Is it all yours?"
"I'm Black, Italian, and Ashkenazi Jewish with very curly hair. I moved to Indiana for college and have had ridiculous conversations with hairstylists every single time I've gotten a haircut. My favorite was a woman who just sighed heavily when I took down my bun and said, 'I know you said it was curly, but I didn't think you meant like that.' I've realized that the more questions they ask, the worse the cut is going to be."
7. "Is that really your dad?"
"My mom is Black, and my dad is white. When I mention he is my dad, people often ask, 'Really?'"
"I get the exact same thing, but with my mom. People would ask her which country she adopted me from. She’d get pissed and let them know that, in case they didn’t know, a Black man and a white woman can have a child."
"When I was a kid, people would always ask my mum if she was the nanny."
8. "You must be Hispanic."
"People always ask if I am of Hispanic descent, just assume it, or even begin speaking in Spanish to me. I have to let them know that I am part Black, and I wish that I could speak Spanish."
9. "You act so white."
"I'm Black and white, with a little Hispanic background. People have told me that I 'act white,' whatever the hell that means."
10. "You can't be Black."
"My dad is Black, my mom is half Japanese and half European. But I'm tan, and I get mistaken for being Puerto Rican or Mexican. But I've been told I can't be Black because I'm half, and it's by a lot of my dad's family. I'm ethnically ambiguous, but man, when people find out what I am, it's like all hell breaks loose."
14. "Let me see that booty!"
"My mom is Brazilian (and as mixed as they come), and my dad is German. I happen to be white with blue eyes. Yes, that does come with a lot of privileges, but it is beyond pathetic how strangers, especially foreigners, feel like they have a right to ask me to prove my nationality to them. Also, it's bizarre to see how easily the switch flips, and they instantly start objectifying and fetishizing my body after learning where I’m from."
15. "You're too white to be Asian."
"I’m constantly told by other Asians that I look white, but that doesn’t make me white enough for the white people."
18. And finally, "You’re not really (insert ethnicity here) if you can’t speak the language."
"I am half Polynesian, half white. It’s super annoying when people say this when they first meet me. It’s like they’re trying to gatekeep my own cultural background from me. News flash: Many children of immigrants don’t speak their parents’ languages fluently. It doesn’t change their heritage."
Mixed folks, what are you tired of hearing? LMK in the comments below!
Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.