Friday, May 18, 2007

Not Just A Tan

I love that Australians are completely unable to recognize the fact that I'm mixed. In the US this was never an issue, and most people would just ask me what mix I was. Here, people just think I'm a white dude with a tan.

Case in point -- yesterday I got into the elevator with a couple of my Melbourne colleagues, and one of them actually says to me "Zander, you're so brown!". I pointed out that I'm actually half black, and she was probably totally embarrassed because she hasn't looked at me since.

Last night was great, went to a couple of very funky Melbourne bars with coworkers, and then met up with Dean, who simply took me on a tour of bars in Melbourne I have no interest in visiting again.

After some McDonald's around 1am I got into a taxi, and the driver asked me where I was from, and eventually spat out this quote of the year:

"In America the black people can shoot anyone!"

AWESOME. Made my night.

In any case, I'll be on a plane back to Sydney soon, ensuring that I will be back there for after work drinks with the usual crowd. God willing, the cab drivers there will be just as racist and ignorant, because damn I find that funny.


Joe said... CAN shoot anyone, here...its true.

Freak Magnet said...

My girlfriend's brother-in-law found out his birth father was black and his birth mother white (You couldn't tell he was mixed at ALL). When his birth mother said, "Is your wife going to be okay with this?" he told her, "Lisa? *I* give HER shit because she used to date black guys."

I always found that comical.

Freak Magnet said...

I've been thinking about this, and I so totally wanted to email you about this. Since I can't, I'm curious to know why mixed people usually refer to themselves as black and not white, when they are, in fact, equal parts of both. It's like people in general feel a mixed child is tarnished because it's not 100% white and therefore disqualified from the 'white' race. It doesn't go the other way. It just piques my interest as to why that is.

Zander said...

Ooh, a deep question on a shallow blog. I love it.

Well, not to pretend I'm some social historian or anything but I'd guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that historically, if you were even just one-eighth black in the US, you were considered black by society as a whole and denied various rights. The black community has more of a history of including black people of various skin tones, while white people generally look(ed) at anyone who isn't 100% white as simply "not white".

I personally refer to myself as black as more of a joke than anything else, but if you're looking for a general answer about why that happens, that would probably be a big part of it.

Freak Magnet said...

Well, I don't think you're black or white. I think you're a gourmet blend.

Cristin said...

Since you're half black, does that mean you're entitled to shooting half the people in America? If so, I have a list of those I'd like you to take care of.

(Also, my word verification for this post is "ngryn," and I feel like that's some kind of racial slur.)