We Are Multinese

Of the early mixed race groups from the 17th-19th centuries, I would have been referred to as a melungeon, which was tri-racial European, Native American and African. (I'm 1/2 Italian, 1/4 Cherokee and 1/4 Black)

Other mixed race terms are creole, mestizo, metis and mulatto. 

In high school I got a poem from an secret admirer. It started,


'I'm in love with Mulatta Liz who don't know what a Mulatta is'. 


It's true. I'd never heard the term before.



The politically correct trend seems to be to gloss over multiracial tagging and encourage referring to ourselves as just humans. I'm not prepared for that until we have extraterrestrial species walking amongst us. Openly, that is.


I'm quite happy being mixed. I look like a local of nearly any region accept for Northern Europe and the Far East. It's good for traveling.

I don't stick out.


The US multiracial population dropped to 6.1 million in 2005 from 7.3 million in 2000. Either 1.2 million mixies were no longer willing to refer to themselves as multiracial or else a whole lot of people got deported.


Here are the census guidelines: If you are 75% one race, you are classified as single race.  If you have at least 25% of two racial group you are classified as multiracial. The racial groups are: Indigenous, Black, White, Asian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic and Pacific Islander.


I guess they think that if you are mixed with less than 25% of 3 or more races, you are diluted to the point that you should be classified only by nationality: American, Brazilian, British and so on?


By the way, if you have , for example, British, German, Swedish, Italian and French heritage, you're considered multicultural rather than multiracial because these all belong to the Caucasian race.


How about replacing cumbersome hyphenated tags? Example: Instead of referring to those with African heritage as African-American, Afro-British, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Cuban or Afro-Brazilian, we call ourselves Africanese.  As someone who is Africanese+ Italianese+ Indianese, I would then be a Multinese. That's easier to say than multiracial, isn't it? Kind of rolls off the tongue.


It's good to be Multinese whether you are multiracial or multicultural, in whatever country you live in. Our stories are unique. We've had the good fortune to experience at least two cultures in our lives.



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7 Responses Feb 17, 2009

No I'm an unrounded mono-linguist but we can communicate in English! My ancestors came to Australia from around the 1850s and the old culture survived reasonably well to my father's generation but he didn't pass it on. Not that he spoke Irish or Cornish but his family ways were quite Catholic Irish- Australian.

Lovely, I like Multinese people and you are in my age group. We should talk about our lives and how they compare and contrast. I'm multicultural in ancestral terms, Irish, Cornish, English, Scotish and Norse. But mono-national as I was born, grew up & live in Australia.

"Mulatto" came from people saying bi-racial (black/white) people were "mule-colored."

Not mistaken. There's just some discussion and uncertainty on what the actual origin is, like many things in life and language. One source is never the definitive answer - just ask any scientist or journalist.

Very inspiring.<br />
I think the poem is quite interesting too. haha<br />
My family is actually considered melungeon. They're mainly from Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virgina. We're African American, Cherokee, German, Irish, Scots-Irish, French, Welsh, Chickasaw and a bunch of other things. That's just what happened to come up from DNA testing. My mixed race descentants can be traced back to about the early 1600's to 1700's.<br />
Multinese sounds like a good term. I feel proud that I have a diverse background, as I'm sure you are. =)

One reason for the census drop in the multiracial classification might be economic. Someone that looks like Tiger Woods, for example, would find that in the event he lost his job, needed state aid, he would be able to tap into pools of money set aside for specific minorities vs. just listing himself as multiracial. Many do this to start businesses in the US, get special college grants set aside for Black Americans, etc. My lifelong buddy works for our state's department of social svcs., so I get a lot from her.

Yeah! Mulatto means small mule and a mule is a mix of a donkey and horse so it's<br />
not nice to call someone that.<br />
And hyphen names take too long to say.<br />
Multinese sounds very cool.

That's a very enlightening way to think about being mixed race. Especially to those who are ostracized because of it.