Pidgin-holed, do we have to choose between race and upbringing?

While searching the web to see what other people were saying about Suzanne Berghaus I came across the The Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus blog. The site’s focus is on Korean Adoption and Pan-Asian identity issues it also looked at other adoptee related news. The goal of the site is to “empower transracial adoptees to speak out and speak with each other.”

kadnexus makes a an excellent point in his post about the story.

Once again I find myself coming back to this idea of identity where transracial adoptees exist within their own space of identity. Just as many are torn between the duality of American/White culture (that they were raised on) and their birth country’s culture, it seems that trying to classify the nuanced situations ofadoptees as either immigrant or refugee is too complex.

We are still considered Asian by appearance, conform to various stereotypes of the already pervasive and systemic virus of over-achievement, yet we also have been raised within middle to affluent White Christian America-raised on many of the same values and logic that most Whites use to manipulate programs such as affirmative action, andracialize people of color. We are inherently taught how to socialize with mainstream white society, communicate with impeccable English, and are given the resources needed to survive. I realize that quite a few of us turned out “ok” but I think it was an interesting analysis that really considers the privileged status from which we come from as Asian Americanadoptees.

I think he makes a great point. Where do transracial adoptees fit in? While many of of benefit from our up brings at the same time it alienates us from our own people. My comment to him was that to white people I am Hispanic and to Hispanics I’m a gringo/white. Where does that leave me? With out a defined culture perhaps.

His response was that “America is all about pidgeon-holing people into picking sides (similarly for biracial people) we are made to feel as though we HAVE to choose sides to be legimitate individuals” I completely agree with this. Growing up I remember one of my friends of a mix racial background “picked” a side that people thought was wrong. She was given a lot of crap for not acknowledging her “black” heritage.

I guess why question is: Isn’t this what America is all about? What makes America great is that it has become this melting pot of culture. That we have all these different points of view and life experiences. Why should we be made to feel like this is a bad thing?

Kadnexus’ goal is to “empower adoptees to feel this space as their own-I think that our identity is unique.” I think is a great goal since a big part of being a transracial adoptee or biracial individual is picking sides.

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