Views From Racially Mixed Students

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Being ethnically mixed can be both a blessing and a curse. For some students it makes them feel out of place and awkward, but for others it can help make them feel like they fit in more because they can relate to many different cultures.

Pew Research Center finds that 60 percent of multiracial people are proud of their mixed-race background and 59 percent feel their racial heritage has made them more open to other cultures.

At the same time, 55 percent say they have been subjected to racial slurs or jokes, and about one-in-four have felt annoyed because people have made assumptions about their racial background.

Some mixed students have a problem fitting in because they don’t totally fit with one culture group. They have a mixture of different cultures in their life and don’t completely relate to just one.

Here’s a look on life from a group of mixed kids at Norrix.   

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Sophomore Paula Zuniga, Caucasian and Latino

What is the most annoying question people ask you about being mixed?

“‘Do you speak ‘Mexican’? Mexican isn’t even a language. People speak Spanish.”

How has being mixed benefited you?

“I know more than one language fluently, and I get to experience different foods from both cultures.”  

What’s the worst thing that has happened to you because you’re mixed?

“People would make fun of me and my mom because they assumed we were dumb and couldn’t  speak English. It was really irritating.”

Being mixed, do you feel like you fit in?

“Yes, most times I do feel like I fit in, but sometimes I feel like I’m out of place because I’m not like everyone else.  Many people look at me weird, like I’m not supposed to be there.”

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Sophomore Kaneka Cole, African American, Caucasian, and Puerto Rican

What is the most annoying question people ask you about being mixed?

“‘What are you mixed with?’”

How has being mixed benefited you?

One benefit is that I can fit and blend in with pretty much any race group, which is pretty cool because everybody is so different.  I get to see and experience different things.”

What’s the worst thing that has happened to you because you’re mixed?

“I’ve been turned away because people feel that I’m too ghetto or too ‘white’ acting.  I’m really just trying to be myself. I don’t think what I look like should determine how people think I will act.”

Being mixed, do you feel like you fit in?

“Yes. It’s not just my skin that determines where or if I fit in, it’s my personality.”

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Freshman Felice-Marie Stegall, German and African American  

What is the most annoying question people ask you about being mixed?

“If I’m mixed with Indian and Hispanic. Almost nobody can guess my actual race and I think that’s really annoying.”

How has being mixed benefited you?

“I think the best thing is that I can speak German.  I don’t have to take a class to learn it, and I can teach others how to speak it.”  

What’s the worst thing that has happened to you because you’re mixed?

“Gladly, nothing has really happened so far. There’s only been little annoying conversations that get on my nerves. Nothing that really happened to me. ”

Being mixed, do you feel like you fit in?

“Yes. I feel like I fit in with other mixed people. That’s cool because at least I have a group of people who I can get along with.”

 

Yes being multiracial can get very annoying, but overall mixed people embrace the fact that they are mixed and are very proud of representing multiple cultures. Pew Research Center found that about one-in-five say being multiracial has been an advantage, and 76 percent say it has made no difference.  

“Even with all the minor problems that being mixed can create I love my mix of cultures and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Paula Zuniga

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