Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I See Mixed People

My oldest daughter is light-skinned, with dark hair and eyes. She is one of those mixed kids who gets lumped into the white people category by most people who don't know her, until they find out her mixed race heritage. Then a very interesting thing happens. I swear I can actually see the needle in their mind move from 'white' and slide all the way over to 'black.' It rarely ever stops in the middle. Like some kind of magic trick, she goes from being a white girl to being a black girl right in front of their eyes. I think that she has grown sensitive to this as well, and as a result of years of this, she has developed super powers.

She swears that she can identify a mixed person on sight. It's not as impressive as say, telekinesis, or flight, but she thinks that she has a talent there. You could call it bi-radar, something like a mixth sense, but she truly believes that she can just take one look at someone and tell whether they are mixed or not.

For instance, she saw a girl waiting outside her new school and immediately called it. The girl was kind of tall, pretty, with light skin and long, very straight brown hair. From the back seat of the car, my daughter said, "Oh, she's definitely mixed. I can always tell." Not that anyone was asking.

I'm trying to put together a proper test of her powers, kind of a danger room for her mutant ability, but I'm not sure exactly how that would work. My best idea so far is to create a slide show of celebrities that she probably wouldn't know too much about and quiz her on which ones are mixed and which ones aren't.

But then the problem with that is determining the parameters of the trial. Most importantly, what qualifies as "mixed"? Her mother has two Black parents, but also has one Cuban grandparent and an Irish great-grandparent. Does that count as mixed? Are we only counting people mixed who have a mixture of Black and Caucasian in their immediate family history? If we expand the definition wider than that, at what point would we have to concede that almost anyone could be considered "mixed" in some way?

I suspect that her so-called superpower is hit and miss anyway. In the same confirmation where she outed the sidewalk girl, she admitted that she watched The Office for two or three years before she realized that Rashida Jones was mixed, and I seem to recall being the one that told her so. Point is, how did that one slip under the bi-radar? Maybe her powers require a live presence, or maybe they develop with puberty (God help me) like in X-Men.

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