What is my own racial identity? I'm white so if your looking at my skin color that is what I am but I like to tell people that I am Italian American because that makes me feel like I have roots and traditions and something more then being white Being white = nothing there are no customs and practices that we all share and the ones that we celebrate as Americans like Thanksgiving are shameful and I am not proud of it and I personally do not celebrate it.
My life has not, by any stretch of the imagination, been easy at home. But despite that trauma of childhood I was met with much success as I interacted with the world at large. I applied to every college in both undergrad and grad school and got in. I've pretty much got every job I ever applied to, except recently which I don't think has anything to do with race but the state of the economy. However, though I didn't get these opportunities strictly because I have a white name and I look white I have noticed that because I chose a different life path--leaving the country to move to Africa and volunteer I am treated much differently. I am almost not considered "white" anymore and most white people who learn of my experience or hear my speak a different language look at me like an alien and ask the most inappropriate questions.
I re-entered society at a disadvantage. I no longer had good credit, I no longer had a legitimate work history for over two years, I couldn't get approved for a car or an apartment, I needed a cos-signer for everything. I also came back and realized that I disliked being an Italian "American" I had been watching from a distance and lived with poor Swazi's I got paid what they did, I lived in poverty and I looked very different and I was treated very differently. But I was given an African name and I was adopted into my family, initially that meant the 5 people who lived on my homestead but once I received my name as Nomsa Nxumalo I was adopted into the Nxumalo clan and my family grew from 5 to 30-40 people overnight. Instead of being treated differently in a bad way I was excepted because that is the right thing to do. And I did have strict rules to follow, like not being out past dark, because there are some that would harm me and the one time the bus was late, the entire soccer team- which was mostly my family-came down to the station and walked me home.
It angers me, now more then ever, because I was dropped in the middle of no-where and excepted. But black parents here in America still have to have the "talk" with there black male children. That they have to be terrified that there child may not come home from school. I've cried with my black friends when they have been so upset and terrified when there brother, partner, father didn't come home on time. It's infuriating that America is the only entity that has not released an official apology for the atrocities committed against black people and then again against Asian Americans after Pearl Harbor and now we repeat history by creating what closely resembles concentration camps at the boarder. I mean REALLY!?
I have been very blessed in life and I know some of that good fortune is because of my skin color and it makes me sad that it can't be like that for everyone. Just because we are trying to elevate non-white races to the status of whites doesn't mean whites are going to have less. I wish this concept would be stomped out. White people don't have to fear and hate, sharing American is not a bad thing, people who are different are lovely and can bring so much to the table just wish a seat would be offered.
Ask questions if you'd like this post is a bit all over the place but I'm angry.