These call-in cards provide the opportunity for a silent interpersonal exchange in situations where an individual may not be able to verbally engage with a person. They also help lift the burden of repeated verbal explanations in response to the “what are you?” question from strangers.
Multiracial people are often discussed and presented in a way that highlights their inability to fit into contemporary systems, ways of thinking. These pins are a subtle way to give individuals agency to center their racial identity in a holistic way. Although some might say these are insignificant moments of advocacy, nonetheless these pins provide an opportunity for self advocacy within a structure. Each phrase is a positive affirmation that was created with multiracial individuals in response to negative racialized moments.
There is a level of inherent privilege that comes with being able to wear a statement on a shirt in the first place. Wearing a political or personal statement means you must be able to wear it without fear of physical violence, and be prepared to deal with the moment of someone asking you about the content. However, wearing a t-shirt can sparks a moment of being able to have an important conversation that a person may not have otherwise. To see people wearing a shirt that says this can let us know, “I think that more visibility and engagement on these topics is important” If anything, it gets people to to make people stop and think for a moment before asking “What are you?”