Mogli the Iceburg Shows How Flawed Racial Stereotypes Can Be With His Mixed Racial Identity
Mogli’s family tree consists of Mexican and White. Because of his mixed heritage, Mogli has had his racial identity misinterpreted several times throughout his life. Particularly, he has been mistaken for being Middle Eastern. “You Can’t Hold Me Down” from his album Tumultu encapsulates his life experience with racial identity. (Read our interview with him about this song here.)
“There’s a whole little micro tribe of people who DM me about that song and still do every now and then. ‘Yo it’s so crazy. I’m Columbian and German’ or ‘I’m Nicaraguan and Norweigan, and everyone thinks I’m Arab’ and ‘I’ve never heard someone articulate this type of feeling. I thought I was the only one’.”
This example of mixed race is one example of how flawed racial boxes and stereotypes are. Another example Mogli used is Latinos. Generally, someone who is Latino in the United States is a mixture of Native American, African, and several European races.
“Just the existence of Latinos kind of shatters a lot of these super racialized world views and identities that have – to me I think is very unfortunate – become more prevalent as we have gotten older and more prevalent in this day in age.”
Mogli has experienced what he likes to call, “elastic ethnicity.” Basically, people perceive him differently based on how he dresses and situates his hair. He’s been mistaken from being Italian to South African.
“To me, it’s always been like ‘ah man, look how futile, look how poor masters these identities are’.”