This I Believe

Leanna - Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Entered on March 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: race

I believe in interracial marriage and interracial families. I believe in both because I think that they will bring an end to racism. When we all blend together and can’t place an individual in a category based on their skin pigmentation, we will no longer be able to have cause for prejudice based on race.

I believe, and science confirms, that race is just an illusion. Racism is a disease. The only way we will ever be able to beat this disease is if humanity comes to the conclusion that there can only be one race: the human race.

I believe in the strength and beauty of interracial children. I believe this with all my heart because I am biracial and belong to an interracial family. I’ve grown up my in a world that wants to put me in a box. I have to be black. I have to be white. I’ve been told that I have to choose. I’ve never felt like either.

What is it about my skin that makes me one or the other? What is it to be black or white? The way I talk and present myself shows I am educated; not that I’m white. My ability to dance shows that I have talent and a love for the arts; not that I’m black. I’ve always been told that I am just like my mother, who is white, but this contradicts the category I’m supposed to be in.

My entire life, I’ve felt confusion and guilt when it came time to fill out the race section on a test. I have always related more to being white, but my skin is black. I have many other friends that have the same problem. When interracial marriage is a common occurrence, we won’t have to worry which group we are going to put people like my sister-in-law into. She is part Armenian and Persian, but grew up in New Zealand and France.

I have always heard people say how terrible interracial marriage is because it causes too much confusion for the children, but I believe we are only confused because of everyone else’s need to put us in a box. Our uniqueness scares people. It’s like being seen as foreign, even though you’ve been raised in the same country your whole life. People have never been able to understand how my two (adopted) white parents could have two black children and one white child. They always get a little uncomfortable and have a look of confusion on their faces when they see my family together. I believe that we are part of the solution to un-categorizing humanity.

My freshman year in college was the first time I realized that I didn’t have to belong to the group that society wanted to put me in. It was the first time I identified myself as biracial. It was empowering! I was introduced to people like me, that didn’t fit into a box. I believe that biracial/human/multicultural should be an option; I believe one day it will be the only box to check.