on being brown

A summary of racial related conversations in the last month:

1. “oh… you are Eliacin, I’ve been meaning to meet you. You are latino right? From Mexico!

– No, in spite of your idea of all latino’s on this side of the country being mexicans, I am Puerto Rican.

2. ” I don’t see your color. You are just a person to me. (Later in the same conversation) I love your bronze skin, your kids are so beautiful because they are mix-race.

3. (In reference to a brown skin, brown eyes, brown hair boy) Eliacin, your son is over protecting the dessert.

– Ladie, he is not my son. We might have brown skin, brown eyes and brown hair but we are not related.

2 thoughts on “on being brown

  1. it’s good to know these comments happen across the board. i get similar ones on being yellow. here are a few:

    1. origins
    them: so, where are you from?
    me: i’m from seattle
    them: no, really- where were you born?
    me: detroit
    them: no, i don’t think you understand- where are you REALLY from- like your ancestors
    me: my great-grandparents immigrated from china…
    (apparently i don’t look “american”)

    2. english
    them: wow, you speak english so well!
    me: thanks, so do you.
    them: (confused) well of course it is!
    me: …

    3. questions
    them: are you good at math? do you know kung-fu? do you eat a lot of rice?
    me: somewhat, no, and yes.

    4. ichiro
    them: you look just like ichiro! i think it’s your eyes.
    me: …

    welcome to america, brother!

  2. Believe it or not these comments are not restricted to those of you who are brown or yellow. As an Australian when I first came to the US I also had people say :How amazing you speak such beautiful English.” I was also asked “Do you have kangaroos in the streets?” and the worst of all “Australia: Is that overseas?”

    I think that part of the problem is that many Americans have very little idea of geography or of culture. They don’t mean to be offensive. They are just ignorant

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