Mutts like me
This post introduces Contributor Miss Lori to WeAreTheRealDeal, we are thrilled to have such an inspiring mom, musician and multi-talented individual join us! Read more about Miss Lori here
It is time to have this conversation, and it is not going to be a quick one, or an easy one either. Last year in regards to his family’s search for a new dog, the then President elect proclaimed himself a mutt on National TV. I too am a mutt…or as I have been called over the years, even by strangers; oreo, reverse-oreo, zebra, mixed, mulatto, half breed, high yella. And let’s not forget that very special box on government forms and the like…”Other”.
You know why we call animals a mutt, it’s because they have a mixture of breeds that prevent them from being specifically designated one breed over another. Funny, with people, particularly people with African American Ancestry, we still hold true to the vestiges of segregation: if 1/32nd of your blood is black in heritage then you are BLACK. Case in point, though President Barack Obama’s heritage is made up equally of Caucasian and African ancestry the World designate’s him Black. Think about it. However, in Hawaii, where President Obama was raised, things are different. When I visited the islands 9 years ago I was so touched by how the children I encountered proudly celebrated all of their heritage. They would excitedly tell me, to the fraction, what cultures were represented within them. I was very jealous that I didn’t possess the same knowledge to the tenth about myself as I am adopted and only know part of my story.
I have spent most of my life facing a somewhat caustic question from people of all races “What are you?” My answer has always been, “Human”. When I say that Black people claim I am “tryin’ to be white”, White people give me a dismissive smirk, and Latina people start chastising me in Spanish. I don’t feel that embracing all of my heritage in any way shows that I am negating one culture or another. I could no more choose one of my children over another, they are all a part of me and share equally in my love.
It felt to me that on the campaign trail that question, “What are you?” was hanging in the air, unsaid. But equally unsaid, in my opinion, was President Obama’s answer in the form of his actions, “I am Human”. But now, now he is silent no more. His off-hand remark last year tells a deeper story. President Barack Obama designates himself as a mut. The way I look at it, we can all claim him as family, he is a part of us all. And that gives THIS mutt hope.
Come Unite Together in COMMUNITY!