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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 30, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Mixed races

Who am I?

I am not mixed race in the usual sense, because I am one of those who do not know my race [“This is who I am,” page one, Sept. 28].

I was adopted at birth and raised in a white family setting. I look white and am taken as being white, and yet, since I do not know for sure what race I am, I can only guess at my race. There is no space or box listed on forms that indicate “unknown,” so I fill in what I feel is best. I once asked the human resources department what I should put when I am asked for information about my race on company forms, and they told me “Anything you’d like.”

It seems strange to me that I can be anything that I like to be, except what I really am. It seems that having five parents makes me qualified to fill out any form the way I want to, and makes me mixed race and confused. Five parents is a joke in the adoption world, and yet is true: I have two biological parents, two adoptive parents and the state as the fifth parent, which won’t let me look for my biological parents to find out who I really am.

— David Wing, Roy

We’re making progress

At age 51, being half black and half Japanese, I was glad to see “This is who I am” on the front page of The Times. It’s a long way from checking the box “other.”

But, still, to this day, people try to tell us what we are. As a teenager, I liked The Beatles. Black people would say, “You’re not supposed to like them.” White people would say, “You’re not supposed to like them.”

Well, I liked them because of their music. I started to go my own way because, like your newspaper said, this is who I am.

— Mike McCray, Seattle

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