The Disappointment of Being Biracial
A mother and daughter reflection by Nola Gregory and Rashaan Briggs, Geraldton, WA
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"I was walking to class when I stopped and caught a glimpse of my reflection. For one moment that felt like forever I stood there, thinking about who I am.
As the only Aboriginal person in my school it’s really hard trying to stay positive yet being surrounded by all of the stereotypes of how I should be. I try my best to prove them wrong but it gets hard when the only thing that you can hear is the hatred that you drown in.
I got home later that day and Mum was sitting on the couch. I didn’t dare look her in the eyes in fear of seeing the person people at school made her out to be.
So I went to have a shower. I turned on the shower and stood looking in the mirror once more before finally stepping in. The only reason I looked in that mirror was to memorise the colour of my skin in the hopes that it would be lighter afterwards. Nothing ever changed though, it stayed the same.
A couple of months ago I had tried to convince myself that this was all a terrible dream and that I wasn’t black, that one day I wake up and see that the black had rubbed off during the night and all that was left were my dead insecurities.
Each morning I woke up to the same thing... my Aboriginal Mother and White Australian Father. I love them both with all of the broken pieces of my heart but there’s never been enough room to fit in the disappointment that came along with being biracial."
Rashaan is a 15-year-old student.
"So yesterday after work I was sitting listening to my daughter read out a prose that she had written with big tears in my eyes. Just WOW, my heart hurts inside me for her and others like her.
With an Aboriginal and a non-Aboriginal parent, I can only try to understand what she goes through on a day by day basis. Having to live in two worlds, sticking up for her Aboriginal heritage whilst living in her Fathers world. She is proud of both her two worlds but is constantly having to put her peers in their place because of their ignorant, racist and bigoted talk.
Tell me, have you ever lived with, talked to, mixed with, visited or have an Aboriginal person as a friend? Does your opinion come from first-hand knowledge?
If it does not, then just try to understand the world that my daughter and others like her have to live in. Have a heart, young people out there, and think before you open your mouth because what you say has a very deep and lasting effect on the people you are constantly putting down with racist comments.
I have taught my daughter, like my mother before me, that everyone is the same and should be treated so, and to never judge a book by its cover. Unless you have lived in the same shoes as the person you are so quick to judge because of their colour, then you do not have a right to put her down just because she is both Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal. Let's stop the racism now."