Con CL usion
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racisT Jokes and The
excepTional MulTiracial, or
whY Transcending Blackness
is a TerriBle proposiTion
A​year​and​a​half​after​Barack​Obama​was​elected​as​the​first​
mixed-​ race​African​American​president,​my​family​moved​to​
a​new,​close-​ knit​community​in​the​most​diverse,​and​most​
liberal,​part​of​Seattle.​Obama​bumper​stickers​decorated​the​
cars​that​lined​our​street​of​white,​Somali,​Eritrean,​African​
American,​and​Southeast​Asian​homeowners​and​renters.​We​
were​immediately​welcomed​not​only​with​smiles​and​waves​
but​also​with​genuine​inquiries​as​to​how​we​were​and​who​we​
were.​The​neighborhood​children​knocked​on​our​door​offer-
ing​sidewalk​chalk​to​share​while​grownup​neighbors​offered​
to​lend​parking​passes.​Quickly,​through​these​markedly​kind​
interactions,​we​became​a​part​of​the​neighborhood.​As​part​
of​our​welcome,​one​family​invited​us​over​for​a​salmon​bar-
becue​ with​ two​ other​ families.​ Our​ collective​ toddler-​ to-
early-​ elementary-​ school-​ age​children,​four​white,​two​African​
American,​and​two​multiracial​and​African​American,​glee-
fully​ ran​ through​ our​ neighbors’​ house​ and​ backyard​ in​ an​
endless​circuit.
As​I​relaxed​into​this​seemingly​perfect​multicultural​oasis,​
I​leaned​over​to​get​to​know​one​of​the​other​mothers.​I​had​
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