Hello, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you today. I’m Robert, I’m 54 and I live in
Denver with my wife and kids. I’m African American and European America and my wife is
Native American, Chinese, and European American. And, of course, our kids are Multiracial.
There is a singular moment in the lives of many Multiracial people in America. So often it’s the
moment when we’re first told by the society we live in that we don’t fit into any of the officially
recognized racial categories of that society. Whether it was a school admittance form or any
one of the many other situations where race is recorded, it’s a moment you never forget.
Particularly when chances are that won’t be the only time something like that will happen. Just
recently, I was forced to choose “Other” in the race portion of an online survey I was taking.
Basically, since I refused to choose one part of my Multiracial heritage over another I was
told, yet again, that I did not fit in.
Moments like that can shape not only a Multiracial person’s racial identity, but their
relationship with their community and their country, as well. Every time a Multiracial person
who embraces all their racial heritages is told, or forced, to choose between them, they’re
being told to choose between parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Whether
it happens to a child or an adult, there’s no other way to describe it but cruel.
Still besides all those moments, I’ve never doubted the potential of America to be a truly
multicultural society. I’ve also never doubted that we can live up to the promise of what’s
known as the “American melting pot.”
Apparently, the term came into use at the turn of the 20 th century, during a time of an influx of
immigrants into the US. For me, the idea of America as a melting pot means people from
different countries, from different racial backgrounds, putting aside the differences that they
can’t celebrate, to create something truly amazing: America.
Well, that’s multiracial heritage, isn’t it? Two people from different racial backgrounds, often
overcoming significant cultural obstacles, coming together and creating something amazing: a
beautiful Multiracial child. In a lot of ways, that child is the fulfillment of the promise of a truly
So, the Multiracial population boom the US Census Bureau has been tracking for the past 20
years is revealing, as much as anything, the future of America. The US Census has predicted
that the Multiracial population is going to triple by 2060. That means 33-34 million people,
now, becoming 100 million people later.
Maybe that’s why the official Twitter account for the US Census tweeted, in June of this year,
in honor of Multiracial Heritage Week, that “2020Census data show the US population is
much more #multiracial and more diverse than what we measured in the past.” This was the
third year the US Census has made an announcement in support of Multiracial Heritage
Week. They’re seeing the future taking shape.
So the question at hand, it seems to me, is whether the 10s of millions of Multiracial children
on the way over the next 40 years, will also be confronted with that cruel moment. The
moment when they’re told that they are “Other” simply because of who they are.
Or for that matter, are they going to live their lives as “Americans – who chose two or more
races on the US Census?”
Or are those kids going to know, from day one, that they are Multiracial Americans, with a
capital “M”. On top of the crucial governmental, medical, and psychological implications of
what that means for them, and for all of us, there is no underestimating what that means for
the promise of America.
Thank you for your time.