Twenty-one years ago, a baby girl was born to a young couple. The father of the newborn was Hispanic, and the mother was Caucasian. Many people felt that this baby would have trouble being accepted by some of the family members on the mother's side. These people were wrong. What many people didn't expect was for the child to have a difficult time being accepted by other Hispanics.
I was born twenty-one years ago to an inter-ethnic couple. I have had very little trouble being accepted by people on my mother's side of the family, but the trouble I have experienced has been being accepted for what I am. I consider myself to be Hispanic. The prejudice that I have felt while growing up is not what many people would expect, unless they looked at me to see how light my skin is. I am not accepted by many Hispanics because of the lack of color in my skin.
There are many other children who are born to inter-ethnic couples who have exactly the opposite experience that I do. My mother has told me that I should be thankful that I don't have dark skin. She has told me I won't have to deal with the prejudice that is often experienced by minorities. I don't agree with my mother.
My father comes from a large family. He has ten brothers and six sisters. All of his brothers and sisters have had children. In all, I have over 100 cousins. I am the lightest. In my mind, this shouldn't matter one bit, but it does. I have been treated differently by some members of my father's side of the family, not badly, just differently.
When my parents were divorced, I had to live with my mother. She didn't let me speak Spanish in the home because she didn't understand it, and she said she felt as if I were cursing at her when I spoke Spanish. I didn't understand why my mother wouldn't want me to learn about my father's heritage. To me, it seemed like an opportunity that many people don't get.
Now that I am older, I still don't understand why people feel so differently towards people because of the color (or lack of color) of their skin. My life has taught me a valuable lesson. I have learned that all people are important and special, and what makes them important or special is not the color of their skin. It is what is inside which is really important.
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