Mariah Carey is comfortable with her biracial background, says Elizabeth Day in the London Observer, but the world often isn’t. The 39-year-old singer’s father was a black man of Venezuelan descent, and her mother was Irish-American. She grew up in Long Island, N.Y., where, she says, racist neighbors poisoned the family’s dog and set fire to their car. But she only realized she was different when she took her white best friend to see her father. “She got out of the car and went up the stairs to his house and he was over 6 feet tall and very handsome, but to her he must have really been scary because I don’t know that she’d ever seen a black man before. And she looked at him, her mouth went open, and she started screaming and crying. He was trying to calm her down, but it didn’t work.‘‘ Because Carey is light-complexioned, people still don’t know how to classify her. She’s been asked numerous times why she always has black people in her videos. “I’m like: ‘How many times do I have to tell you—my father was black. My mother’s white. In this country that makes you black, do you understand?’ I know I’m very light-skinned, but stop doing that! It’s one of those things the world doesn’t quite understand.”
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