I am Not Bi-Racial, I am a Human Being
At the end of my first semester at the University, I had the experience of filling out forms to rate the professor of each course that I was enrolled in at the time. Each standard evaluation given by the University was alike in almost all respects. I have been taking standardized tests as early as second grade, and it seemed quite familiar to fill in the informational circles with a number two pencil. The informational circles were nothing new to me: full name, sex, social security number, and race, yet each time I reach the section of race, I am unable to come up with a good solution to a problem that exists. Biologically, I am half African-American and half Caucasian. My appearance tells me that I should choose one answer and my life experience tells me that I should choose another answer to the race question. This usually puts me in the category of "other." I don’t want to be known as "other." I don’t want to be known as black or white or pink or blue or green, for that matter. I want to be known as Karin Brown, a human being without classification.
In her essay, "Fifty Years in America: Through Back Doors," Elena Caceres uses the idea of "Americanness"(90) as a philosophical aspect of one’s life; one that will fulfill dreams and promises if perfected. It appears that the "Americanness" that each person experiences varies on many levels. In Caceres’ case, it began as something to be thought of in highest respects, but the feelings that people go through regarding acceptance can extend to extreme positions. How can a country founded on the ideas of freedom and individuality promote acceptance to all degrees and at the same time make classification a normal part of everyday life, as in the example concerning standardized forms and tests?
Classification is all too often a factor in someone’s life. My unique experiences have contributed to my strong belief in the idea that there is no correct standard as to the way in which one should live his or her life. When people talk about their families, they explain how many sisters and brothers they have and where they are in the lineup. Anyone can do that; I am the youngest of five children. I have two older brothers and two older sisters. This is easy for most people to understand, but with a twist of words people view my life as completely different. As earlier stated, I am half African-American and half Caucasian. I have been adopted into a family with two white parents, three white siblings who are the biological children of my parents, and a biracial brother who was also adopted as an infant. It sounds like the second description of my family is the best indicator of my life, but this is not the way it is, nor is that the way it should be. I still have two older brothers and two older sisters, and I am still the youngest of five. That is my family as I know it, and that is the family that others should see.
Growing up, and still to this day, I...