Invisibility of Racial Identity by Garrett O’Leary

Have you ever felt invisible with your true race identity? As a “white individual” with a multiracial background, my interpretation by other individuals with similar backgrounds is very “invisible.” I personally have a multiracial background that is “invisible” to a majority of my friends; however, my family is the source of racial background interpretation. This is specified as an argument towards my school peers who do not understand my family’s racial background.
My mom’s family is the reason for my mixed race identity. My grandfather is African American and my grandmother is white Hispanic. My mom, however, is “lighter skinned” than my uncle. My dad is “full white” yet does not, however, have a racial background unlike my mom. Unfortunately, in the United States, racial identity is identified by skin color, not ancestral background. My skin is a similar tone to my dad’s, not my mom’s. This additionally is similar to my younger sister. My mom and uncle both carry an external racial identity. Unfortunately, my sister and I carry an internal identity. In my personal opinion, we as a nation should reveal our authentic ancestral backgrounds.
Having a blood multiracial relationship is, however, beneficial. Studies reveal that children with multiracial backgrounds carry positive outcomes. It is said that children should be raised with complete understanding of backgrounds from both sides of their families. I have understood the background of my mom’s family better than my dad’s. However, my great uncle from the O’Leary side of my dad’s family carried a dislike for anyone who was black in his younger days. His daughter was in Jamaica, and she fell in love with a man who originated from there. My great uncle was highly ashamed, disappointed, and refused to speak to her. However, she and the man had a son. My great uncle denied that was his grandson, though it was. My dad’s family is not multiracial, but I personally have disappointment towards specific family members.
My school peers and friends at Los Osos High School do not understand my racial background. However my close friends understand my family background. The reason being is they have seen my family. According to my school peers, I am a white eighteen-year-old externally. I personally have revealed my internal identity despite that they preferred to externally identify me as “only white.” I consistently sense that they internally have an unknown racial background. Most individuals are known to have unknown backgrounds of their ancestry, and they may or may not prefer to reveal it. In my sophomore year at Los Osos, I have conversed with peer. The topic was our racial backgrounds. I thoroughly explained whom I was related to and how. Unfortunately, no one believed that I was related to my African American grandfather and Hispanic grandmother.
In my personal opinion, I believe if someone was to explain their personal racial backgrounds, there should be no denial. Denial leads to a frustrating argument of explanation and support. My school peer was denying I was personally “blood related” to an African American individual. I have two close friends who have discovered my Black and Hispanic family relationship.
I believe any person could have an undiscovered family background. When I see a person of any race, I visualize and question if they have an undiscovered racial background. I ask in my mind “Are they white, Black, Hispanic, Asian?” There is a specific background in anybody. I may look white; however, my background is uncommonly clear. It is not clear to others due only to denial and disbelief. I do not ask this question aloud, but if I were to build a specific relationship, I would discover more about the person by discussing or learning their family’s background.

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