Mixed Privilege

I come from a multi-cultural background– with a Puerto Rican mother and a bi-racial father…so interactions between my family and community  were seen from a somewhat unique perspective, in that nothing has ever been absolute in terms of race acceptance and understanding.  A few months ago, I was at a comedy show and this black chick went up there and started ragging on mixed people (kind of unique comedic topic in my opinion).  I thought it was funny until she said something that I still tread on daily – Mixed people need to recognize their privilege too.  This was one of the first times I heard this idea outside of my own head, because I have always had a vague understanding of where I fall on the “black struggle” spectrum.  My natural hair is constantly showered with compliments from almost every race, where black women often feel that their natural hair is not beautiful – nor so readily accepted.  Just because my curls can be a lot of work (it requires 12 bottles of weekly conditioning and daily foot massages), it doesn’t mean I should cry louder than the women who have an almost subconscious belief via our cultural norms that their natural coils are “ugly”.  I think people want so badly to be a part of things they aren’t really a part of a little too often.  I mean, I get it- adversity breeds admirable characters with strength and wisdom, so we want people to hear about what we have “been through” and then correlate those experiences to issues that just aren’t quite in our bucket.  I try my best to recognize my privilege, for being mixed and also a U.S. citizen.  Without undermining the issue, I want to focus more on how my life has been favored and fortunate despite my perceived battles in the world.  I am grateful for a place in society where I can only empathize deeply with those who struggle in ways I do not.  I believe it is gratitude, not adversity or “struggle points” that turns what we have into enough after all.

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