| The TragiComic Mulatto|
by Emily Raboteau
emptyThe security personnel of El Al Airlines descended upon me at Newark International Airport like a flock of vultures. There were five of them, in uniform, blockading the check-in counter. They looked old enough to have finished their obligatory service in the Israeli Defense Forces but not old enough to have finished college, which put them beneath me in age. I was prepared for their initial question, "What are you?", which I've been asked my entire life. Really, there is no satisfactory word for what I am. "Mulatto" is now considered taboo since at its root is the four-legged beast that results from the union of a horse and a donkey (though I am told mules are smarter than both of those breeds). "Mixed" is a more proper adjective for a cocktail. "Interracial" is too vague, and "bi-racial" is similarly unspecific. Though it chafed me, I knew the canned answer that would satisfy: "I look the way I do because my mother is white and my father is black." This time the usual reply wasn't good enough. This time the interrogation was tribal.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
"I have never felt more black in my life than I did when I was mistaken for an Arab."
Imagine..................................And note, this did NOT occur in Israel, this occurred at NEWARK International Airport. (And that is also NOT to say such an occurrence should happen in Israel either!)