Honest Hump Day | See I Don’t Know About You …

But My President Is NOT Black … Maybe Yours is … But Mine isn’t. That Is Because To Me … My President is Mixed.

I am the direct descendent of a Cambodian mother and a father who is mixed with Black and White. At first glance, many see me as Hispanic. Then when people look closer, they see Filipino. And when I finally get sick of the guessing game and tell them what my ethnic background really is, the usual response is usually a look of wonder… A look of wonder because surprisingly many people are still surprised to run into a tri-mixed person like me.
At a young age, I felt the responsibility to be an ambassador for mixed people. On the first day of class every year when everyone went around the room introducing ourselves and divulging a personal fact, I would always say “My name is Setarra and I am mixed with Black, White & Cambodian.” I was proud to be a mixed baby and carry the history of my parents and grandparents upon my shoulders. But in the 5th grade, on the first day of school, after this introduction game… A student came up to me and said “Wow. You’re super mixed…” He then went on to say, “That means … Not only are you a Cracker, but you’re also a Nigger and a Chink.” I was stunned… But there was a part of me that accepted his words as the truth because there had always been a part of me that never felt black enough, white enough, or asian enough to fully fit in with those communities at that young age. And with his words, I had met a person who accepted  and acknowledged me as a part of all of those communities … regardless of the intent behind his ignorant words.
In college, I went to one of the top diverse schools in the U.S. only to learn that it’s diversity also served as a platform for unintentional (or possibly intentional) segregation.  Ethnic and Social Cliques ruled the campus. Don’t get me wrong … Everyone at this school was proud of their heritage but their pride sometimes excluded those who did not fit into their genetic pool. And because of my diverse upbringing, I tried my hardest not to get sucked into those cliques and maintain a nomadic presence.  I felt that as a mixed person, I had the right to be racially ambiguous.
In 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States… And I was happy and upset all at the same time.
HAPPY because I had voted for him and believed in his ability to turn our country around. I truly felt (and still feel) that with his diverse upbringing, he has an
open mind and awareness about the various needs concerning the unique plethora of people that
define the melting pot called The United States of America.
UPSET because to me, Barack Obama is mixed … Not just Black or African American, whichever term you prefer. His mother is White-American and his father is African.  I was disappointed that the majority of the white and black community did not acknowledge his other half. On one hand, I understand that maybe this is the cultural community the president relates to most and that accepts him to be a representative for their population. But by doing so, I personally think we put him in a box… The same box mixed children are placed in every time they take a standardized test and are asked to fill in one circle that best describes their cultural background for demographic or scholarship purposes… (Although I have recently seen the choice for “multicultural” on some tests #progress)
You see there is a fine difference between knowing and acknowledging. Maybe you’ve seen or heard his interviews. Or you’ve read his book. So you may know he’s mixed. (or maybe you don’t … some people probably have no clue what I’m talking about.) Barack Obama has even addressed this “box” by saying that he is not the President of Black America but the President of the ENTIRE United States, which includes ALL populations of cultural communities, sexes and social classes. But the majority of people in the U.S. still to this day only acknowledge him solely as their black president. I’ve finally come to terms with this… I can’t
change how people address the president. And I know there will be people who
disagree with me and that’s fine. They have the right to disagree just as I have the
right to express how I feel about this subject …
Yea. I’ve heard it before … “Mixed People Problems”smh.
During the election of 2008, I can honestly admit that I was too insecure to voice my opinion among my friends about how I felt our president should be acknowledged. But that was four years ago and during those four years, I have grown soooo much into my own and have no qualms about speaking my mind. And so we fast forward to yesterday…
Yesterday, my vote went towards sustaining the right to govern my
own body and believing that my  family and friends should have the right
to marry and acknowledge their love for whoever they choose. #freelove
Barack Obama has been re-elected to serve another four years as the President of the United States. And that’s that. It’s Over … No more emails asking me to donate money to the campaign. No more crazy commercials. It’s Just Begun … We will have to keep faith that the officials elected into office will be able to work together for the greater good of our country, regardless of the political party divide.
Then there is me.  Just one person out of the estimated 313 million people who occupy this land.
These are my thoughts and beliefs… Not sure if this post makes any sense but these are moments in my life that have molded my views into what they are now. And it’s a perspective I simply felt the need to express. That’s All :)

Cheers and Have a Happy Honest Hump Day!
xo, Setarra
*** Honest Hump Day is a series that encompasses the personal views, experiences and opinions of me, myself and I. I have the right to say that this is what I think, feel and/or believe. As always, there will be others who differ. ***
  • Awesome post girl, I was nodding whilst I read the entire thing.
    I agree with you on all counts. I don't have the exotic, genetic 'mix' that you have but I am 'mixed' culturally so I understand where you're coming from to a certain extent. Being a white girl in the Caribbean has serious complications but I'll never let anyone tell me I'm any different. I tick 'Race: Caribbean Other' on those immigration forms with pride. People need to be more open to the fact that there are loads of 'mixed' people everywhere – culturally, ethnically, religiously – and it's this mix that's making the world a better place. We can discuss this more over a cocktail in Barbados :)