Please can we stop talking about ‘mixed-race’ identity (on its own)?

Please can we stop talking about ‘mixed-race’ identity (on its own)?

Chantelle Lewis

In response to recent mainstream media outlets featuring and celebrating ‘mixed-race’ populations as a symptom of progress in our society, my concern is this simplistic analysis conceals the broader structural implications of mixedness.

Given the opportunity, we all like talking about how we feel about our identity. If, like me, you belong to a racialised group, we become particularly animated by these opportunities because whiteness permeates so much of public life. We want to think about our varying family histories and how we embody them (or not) within our appearance and how we live our lives.

More often than not, when there is a public discussion about racialised identities, ‘mixed-race’ people are given too much space to grapple with theirs without critically engaging with their own structural positionalities. My contention is that these discussions will often position identity in abstraction from discussions of place and space, class, gender, and wider structural issues.

Why are editors, commissioners, writers and even ‘mixed-race’ people themselves so reluctant to talk about the difficult stuff and their changeable (and sometimes negotiable) positions? Well firstly, because it is difficult. It’s difficult to come to terms with how our position in society might have been influenced by (or in some instances secured by) our proximity to both whiteness (for those with white parentage) or our proximity to another racially ambiguous – but often fetishised (and celebrated) – population (see Kim Kardashian). Whilst acknowledging these proximities, ‘mixed-race’ people (and particularly Black mixed-race people) must also navigate the inevitability of experiencing racism throughout their lives. It can be difficult to make sense of this lived juxtaposition… but this is not new information! How about we do some introspection and move the conversation on?

Whether it’s in books, articles, films, plays, documentaries, academic journals or even threads on Twitter, we are continuously reminded of the plight of ‘mixed-race’ people coming to terms with their divided identity. Most of these outlets will begin by discussing ‘mixed-race’ alongside population statistics revealing how this remains the ‘fastest growing population in the UK’. Why is it that if we’re talking about ‘mixed-race’ there is this need to alert the reader that this population is important because of its emerging size? Of course, not everyone who writes about ‘mixed-race’ and uses a similar introduction intends to contribute to problematic celebratory and progressive discourses on race. But intentions do not always translate as immunity.

There has and should continue to be space to discuss how mixedness is narrated and lived within families, places and institutions, but the conversation needs to broaden. We can talk about these complex issues whilst also addressing the privileges we are afforded which in turn are often determined by social networks but importantly, place and space (Campion, 2017).

My PhD research is a situated ethnography focused on the lived experiences of Black mixed-race families who have lived and brought up children (now adults) within a predominantly white town in the West Midlands. I am Black mixed-race myself and grew up in the town. I’ve conducted group interviews with Black mixed-race siblings and both Black and white parents. I’m concerned with the ways in which racialisation and racism is (or often isn’t) managed and negotiated within families and other social networks in this predominantly white town. My (not new) contention is that that characteristics of place and space dictate the ways in which Black mixed-race people are able to navigate their racialised realities.

By focussing on the unravelling of everyday life for these families I’m attempting to address the structural implications of mixedness but also look at the embedded nature or whiteness in the lives of participants. This has required difficult discussions that involve the roles of friends and family members in perpetuating and at times ignoring (even purposefully silencing) manifestations of racism that have occurred within their hometown, but also within their families.

In my research I intend to grapple with the difficulties of mixedness. Some examples of these include; people coming to terms with the fact that those closest to them can contribute to racialised oppression – even our mothers and fathers (Lewis, 2009)(!); how mixedness is negotiated within predominately white places; and also how proximities to privilege have impacted (or not) on our lived trajectories (spoiler alert for mixed-race people reading this- speaking about our privilege does not hurt us!). Through ongoing discussions about racism, class, patriarchy and colourism, I’m trying to show that it is possible to move on from identity!

‘Mixed-race’ individuals or the ‘mixed-race’ family should not be – but continues to be – positioned as an emblem of progress. These populations disrupt taken for granted notions of race, but that should not create the illusion that the only adequete way to discuss these lives is through a never ending discussion on identity.

I am not the first to say that Black mixed-race people are positioned as the palatable version of Blackness, but why do we not see more discussions on this? Because it doesn’t fit the post-race narrative (Joseph-Salisbury, 2018). If you’re ‘mixed’ and reading this now and feel uncomfortable, I have achieved my goal! You’ve been sold a lie by white supremacy that the only way you can be authentic within public life is through discussions about your divided identity. It’s not true and it’s holding us all back from having conversations about the difficult stuff.

Society keeps telling us our ‘mixed-race’ families are progressive. We know this isn’t true. Taking my research as an example, most of the participants have never discussed some of their most horrific experiences of racism with their own parents! For many of us that have grown up and lived in ‘mixed-race’ families – like a lot of families – we know they have the capacity to contain some problematic viewpoints of society.

Overall, I understand the feeling of need to tell our own personalised story about our ‘mixed-race’ identity, but we need to be thinking a lot harder about how we communicate these issues and how they should be attentive to intersectional specificities as well entangled proximities to whiteness.

In the scramble to fight the ever evolving (and growing) far-right, it feels like when we speak about mixedness, we lean into these very old notions of ‘the melting pot’ and multi-racial Britain. If people think this is an adequate response, then I have some news – white supremacists can and do have relationships with Black people and people of colour; some of them even have kids!

References
Campion, K. (2017) Making Mixed Race: Time, Place and Identities in Birmingham. University of Manchester.
Joseph-Salisbury, R. (2018) Black Mixed-Race Men: Hybridity, Transatlanticity and “Post-Racial” Resilience. Leeds: Emerald Group.
Lewis, G. (2009) Birthing racial difference: conversations with my mother and others. Studies in the Maternal, 1(1), pp.1–21

Chantelle Lewis is a part-time PhD student in the Sociology department at Goldsmiths, UK. She is co-host of the sociological/political podcast Surviving Society, a research assistant on the ESRC funded project (UK in a Changing Europe), BrExpats and Programme Director of the Leading Routes campaign, #BlackinAcademia.

46 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    August 23, 2019

    I really want to read the PhD study and find out more about the author’s thoughts and her interviewees’ experiences.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    August 24, 2019

    Interesting article. I’ve asked the same question from my mixed-race niece and received similar responses related to identity,belongingness and space.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 19, 2020

      I have no idea, who, when, or why the term of mix ed Race came about…. Its synthetic n superficial . Personally I find it offensive… I’m of Dual Heritage n prefer therm Bi Racial….. Mixed reminds of Mixed Paint Mixed I cooking ingredients Mixed bunch of flowers Mixed Race Really…….

      Reply

      • Avatar
        August 16, 2020

        Bi racial excludes those of us who are more than two races.

        Reply

  3. Avatar
    August 24, 2019

    Great piece m, Chantelle. Some real food for thought here.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    August 25, 2019

    Ms. Lewis,

    This commentary is an excellent critical analysis of the portrayal of multiracialism within society!

    I hope to see your research as published book one day.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Riley

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    August 25, 2019

    No, we will NOT STOP talking about mixed-race identity. “Race” is a continuum. People have every reason to call themselves multiracial or mixed-race without any concern about what certain jealous people think of it. Blacks DO NOT OWN every one in the world who has partial black ancestry. We can also be WHITE and mixed-race at the same time because “white” is not a racially pure or mutually exclusive category.

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    • Avatar
      February 21, 2020

      Finallly! Someone with some sense!

      Reply

    • Avatar
      March 24, 2020

      Interesting that you position people who are “mixed race” against the supposedly “jealous” “Blacks.” You have provided a great example of some of the problematic components of the mythology of “mixed race” identity. Your obvious generalized hostility toward “Blacks” demonstrates that “multiracial” families are not necessarily progressive and many of the people raising “mixed race” children encourage their children to adopt racist views. It is clear that the myth of racial distinction means a lot to you. However, race is not a biological reality. No actual “black” or “white” people exist. Instead of being angry about where you think people place you in that construct (and the real culprit in that is whiteness, not blackness), maybe just let go of the construct. You’ll feel better.

      Reply

    • Avatar
      May 16, 2020

      I would have to disagree with this statement. Black people have never ‘owned’ mixed race people. The reason we fall into ‘mixed White and Black African (for me)/ Caribbean is due to the continuation of the one drop rule. We can not identify as English/ Irish/ Scottish etc as this identity is exclusively white and therefore excludes everyone else born in these geographical locations. This is the result of imperialism and colonialism not the fault of Black people. We are racially catogarised so that we can be socially stratified. As mixed race people we need to reflect on our privilege but never lose sight of the fact that it can, and will be, removed sooner or later (and not by Black people). We can experience racism within our homes, from our families. We are not monoracial and that may be hard for monoracial people to understand and accept. For that reason, I will always be content in identifying as mixed race and not affiliating with one race (but embracing aspects of both cultures) or playing into monoracialism.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        June 02, 2020

        I have felt so conflicted about myself as a mixed-race individual and this has made a lot of sense and has helped me understand myself. I am glad I am not alone.

        Reply

        • Avatar
          June 10, 2020

          I’m mixed race myself and 100 percent agree with this comment!! Hear hear!!!!!! Black people sometimes think they have the right to “own” us mixed race individuals. And it’s jist not right. I’m proud of my white AND black heritage and hate being called “black”

          Reply

          • Avatar
            July 02, 2020

            THANK YOU! Same here, my father is PROUD IRISHMAN and never let me forget we are Irish! My mother is a beautiful Puerto Rican and Black woman (not the SAME THING) and I will not be called “black” for another minute! I am MIXED, I will not stop talking about being MIXED. Furthermore, I have received generalized hostility for black americans for all of my life being called “camouflage” etc etc and the jealousy thing is NOT A STEREOTYPE. Good Day!

      • Avatar
        June 02, 2020

        I think it goes even deeper than that because not every black person is a descendant of slavery. I think it’s important to define historical roots better, where terms like ‘African American’, or Afro-Anglo American or Afro-Chinese Jamaican American or indigenous Nigerian etc. would make more sense to me. There are people who are mixed from their grandparents or somewhere further back and they are ‘black’. Also, racist cops don’t care if you’re mixed. I’m half European, blond ‘white’ and African dark-skinned ‘black’ but have darker skin and coarser hair than a lot of my ‘black’ Caribbean friends. The black community consists of loads of mixes. I don’t think just because mine is more immediate, makes me any less black. The idea of race as a colour is a social construct that not all of us agree on.

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      • Avatar
        August 16, 2020

        So well stated! I’m multiracial and identify as such. Always have and always will. I refuse to be placed in a single category as well as refuse to check one box!

        Reply

    • Avatar
      June 05, 2020

      There’s not a single person this earth that isn’t mixed race.. Race by far is arbitrary categorization. The only people that typically identify as mixed are those whom are also Black. For their innate need to make themselves seem exotic and to minimize how black they are. Seek help

      Reply

    • Avatar
      June 07, 2020

      Thank you. As a parent of a child who gets asked “what are are you?” Becsuse it’s not the obvious black white mix.

      Reply

  6. Avatar
    August 25, 2019

    I agree that the conversation on mixed race is very superficial and does not reflect the difficulties mixed race people face epically within their own families. I am black and white mixed race and grew up in a new town in the UK. As my environment was predominantly white I looked for my black identity amongst my black family and never felt accepted. Both my parents are in herently racist and have no concept of the insidious nature of their racism. I’m sure there are many mixed race people out there who have struggled within their own family with their identity as well as negotiating the outside world.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    August 25, 2019

    Well said. Fight the ideology and reality of white dominance. Don’t get distracted by “mixed race” solution to white supremacy; it reinforces Eurocentrism and white domination.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    November 15, 2019

    Ah, this was such a great article. I’m currently working on a research proposal that is aiming to discuss and explore exactly that: looking at characteristics of place and space how that dictates how we navigate racialised realities. Living as a black/white racially ambiguous (often misclassified as ethnically latin) person in a predominantly white city (Portland, Oregon), I’m really interested in how mixed-race (especially black and white mixed-race folk) navigate this increasing racial dichotomy that seems to be evolving due to this sociopolitical climate. I’ve more so noticed a heavily enforced racial binary (people of color or BIPOC individuals vs. white folk) in Portland– and maybe because it is a predominantly white city…would love to connect if you get my comment Griffin6@pdx.edu

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    November 28, 2019

    I was very interested/impressed with everything I have just read. I am a white (very white) female. Both my parents had red hair, myself and my three siblings all had red hair!! My mother’s best friends, Bet & her husband where mixed race (we only learned this many, many years later)! They had two sons, Charlie & Steven. They and their boys were our neighbours & friends and we loved them all and we never, ever knew they had a different TAG to any of us!
    I was always quite jealous of their lovely honey complexion! I believed God really wanted us to mix and enjoy the benefits of our differences.

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    February 07, 2020

    I have spent many years thinking about being mixed-race as I was bought up in the countryside in the 1970s with an Anglo Indian dad. I came out mostly white, but my sister came out looking Indian. Dad was the only Indian looking man in the village and so we were called the Pakis up the road. We soon got over this pretty quickly when people got to know us, as it’s just ignorance in people after all. I was always told by my parents that medically we are far more advanced, and protected from viruses than someone of purer blood. I actually think that being mixed race is progressive, especially medically. (See https://aeon.co/essays/the-future-is-mixed-race-and-thats-a-good-thing-for-humanity).I still grappled with this as I got older as I had no proper identity as my parent’s heritage come from so many different countries, making me feel that I have no roots, and so now at the grand old age of 50 I have come to realise that my roots are where my family are, not my bloodline. Now I live in London I have met many people the same as me and this is where I don’t agree with the article. I do agree that society in families can cause racism. Being Anglo Indian, my father is racist in a class way, this stems from the whole Indian class system about colour and position. I don’t see enough on mainstream media about mixed-race heritage and where we are in this world. I have friends whose son’s are being bullied at school by the black kids for being mixed race, yet this isn’t being addressed in the media or schools. Maybe if schools, colleges and the media talked more about the benefits of being mixed race then this article wouldn’t need to be written.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 02, 2020

      you raise some very salient points that the author somewhat ignores. Im mixed race and was indeed bullied in school by children of colour. My father also deemed me to white and my grandfather would often call me a ‘high yellow man’ much of the racism i initially experienced as a child came from my father and his family. I feel that this does need more attention and this wrongheaded notion that being of mixed heritage is potentially advantageous from a social perspective is a fallacy. I believe that often we are in a double negative, shunned by both heritage and confusing to society.

      Reply

  11. Avatar
    February 21, 2020

    There’s no such thing as black mixed race people. Mixed already implies that someone may have black in them.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 30, 2020

      Mixed race is a mixture of races. It doesn’t always mean mixed with black. My friend is Chinese, Scottish and Italian, he’s mixed race but not mixed with black but his children are half Jamaican thus why the term black mixed race was used as they are yes also mixed race but with black.

      Reply

    • Avatar
      April 07, 2020

      The first sentence is a failure that does you no credit whatsoever. The second has a qualifier which undermines the categorical assertion of the previous sentence. Not at all sure how you have managed to do this.

      Reply

  12. Avatar
    May 30, 2020

    the real experience of being mixed race is that no one accepts you.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      July 29, 2020

      I think coming from mixed race parents is even more damaging on your identity and sense of where you belong. They themselves are going through an identity crisis. I struggle to answer the question, “Where are you from ?” It can never be a word or 2 it’s a story I have to explain every time. If I say I am from Yemen, then it’s like oh i didn’t know There’s black people in Yemen and if I say I am African it’s you don’t look like your African. I don’t feel like I have a back home, home is wherever me and my family live at that point of time. And when we move I feel no whatsoever attachment to that previous city or country.

      Reply

  13. Avatar
    May 30, 2020

    There is only one race – the human race. The idea of colour as a race is ridiculous. It is a social construct generalising attributes that go far beyond skin colour (hair, nose, even how you carry yourself & lingo). Being ‘black’ or ‘white’ is a class issue — tied up in socio-economical divisions bred by slavery. Once you really get this, a lot of confusion will dissipate. It’s not serving us. It never did. It’s shallow and inhibiting. It’s time we use more enriching words for identity. We can be a lot more knowledgeable about our neighbours and peers. If everyone were more cultured, we could move on to connecting with communities based on deeper commonalities (beliefs, interests, day-to-day culture etc.). We need to start navigating through this world enriching ourselves rather than feeling more-than or less-than, scared or whatever.

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    May 31, 2020

    For a few years I’ve been writing about challenges of growing up mixed (blakv and white)in America. Please take some time to read, offer your opinions.

    Growingupmixed.wordpress.com

    https://growingupmixed.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/rise-of-the-mixed-girl/

    https://growingupmixed.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/which-do-i-identify-as-black-or-white/

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    May 31, 2020

    For a few years I’ve been writing about challenges of growing up mixed (black and white)in America. Please take some time to read, offer your opinions.

    Growingupmixed.wordpress.com

    https://growingupmixed.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/rise-of-the-mixed-girl/

    https://growingupmixed.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/which-do-i-identify-as-black-or-white/

    Reply

  16. Avatar
    June 02, 2020

    I’m not 100 percent sure what the authors doctorate is on, im assuming sociology, but it seems, just by reading this article, that there may be an apparent confirmation bias in the resulting research. It is a well reasoned article, but I feel there is an element of the dialogue that has been missed. Im ‘mixed’, ‘black’ father and ‘white’ mother and I too grew up in the late 80s and early 90s in a town in the west midlands. Whilst the author is correct that the media holds those of mixed heritage up as a symbol of improved ‘race’ relations in our society, it seems, to me at least, that she has addressed only half the issue (no pun intended). As a child the majority of racism I experienced was from my father and his family members, I was ‘too light’ according to him, or a ‘high yellow man’ according to my grandfather. Family members did not wish to take me places due to my complexion. My father distrusted white men and would often exclaim that they were trying to ‘steal all the black women’ he eventually left the picture when I was 10 after he and my mother divorced, never to return, leaving my mother to raise 3 children alone. I have now not seen him for 30 years. In school I was not ‘black’ enough for the ‘black’ children and ‘black’ to the white children. I have never seen my heritage as beneficial in any way for i have always felt its the worst of both worlds from a sociological perspective. I posit that we are not in a position of relative privilege but between a double negative.
    Having said that I have another issue with the notion of race as a whole. I have a PhD in microbiology (genetics), I probably took this path because I felt that I would better understand who I am, and in some ways I have. Race does not exist from a scientific perspective, as a species we are genetically homogeneous, with only 0.1% genetic variance between geographical groups. You could statistically have more in common from a genotypical perspective with someone of a different ‘race’ than you do with a person of the same ‘race’ (familial links excluded) .Race is purely a social construct used to categorise and divide groups of people, partly due evolutionary traits relating to the formation of groups and competition for resource and partly due to the desire to create identification easier in our environment. There is a push to eliminate the concept in parts of the scientific community because its a fallacy that has persisted even though scientific research has shown it to be as much. We are basing our perception of the world on phenotypic expression! That would be akin to classifying a chocolate labrador a different breed to a yellow labrador based on the colour of its coat. I am very much an advocate of dropping racial classifications as a whole. Let me just finish this rambling by saying in no way am I suggesting that the authors studies are not a worthwhile pursuit, im positing an ideal world, and until it is a reality research must be conducted to identify the mechanisms of racial prejudice.

    Reply

  17. Avatar
    June 15, 2020

    I struggle with the term ‘mixed race’ – for me, although people seem to use it as a positive self-identity – it reinforces the totally unscientific concept of ‘race’? People aren’t ‘black’ or ‘white’ races or other colour races, so why persist in this white supremacis-originated terminology/taxonomy?

    Reply

  18. Avatar
    June 16, 2020

    I agree with Chris Marco Most of us presume that there is such as thing as distinct races in a biological sense, there isn’t. Race is a cultural invention from our colonial past – a way of justifying enslavement and exploitation. The thing I disagree with is the almost forced racialisation of mixed race people. Mixed race people aren’t made up of two distinct halves any more than “racially pure” people are (newsflash: no racially pure population exists). And thus, mixed race people shouldn’t feel obliged to pick a racial identity or somehow “come to terms” with their racial in order to achieve completeness as human beings. Just because we live in a racialised world doesn’t mean that race is a big part of everyone’s identity. Not everyone “feels” a racial identity.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 20, 2020

      That concept already existed before Western colonialism. It was in the Middle East and particularly East Asia too. It continues to persist today. China for example continues to flout the concept of Chinese supremacy.

      People will always divide each other unfortunately over things like appearance and naturally race, or rather ethnicity, plays a part in that.

      It’ll be a long time before ethnicity and skin colour become something little different to eye colour or hair colour and while jipes or comments might be made about these things, division doesn’t exist because of them the same way division exists over race.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        November 05, 2020

        Exactly. It’s a part of human tendency for tribalism. And it is still really evident in Asian families in the U.S. My friend who is Hmong was told to break up with her Malaysian boyfriend because he wasn’t Hmong. And a different Hmong girl I knew had an arranged marriage to a guy 4 years older than her when she was a sophomore in high school. My Punjabi friend also had a similar problem with dating because her parents preferred for her to marry another Indo-Arynian guy.

        Reply

  19. Avatar
    June 29, 2020

    Your article sounds interesting, but I don’t agree with the idea that mixed-race people should stop trying to understand our identities.

    I get that it’s important to step away from that introspection and to think about the relationship with white privilege, but I also grew up in an environment where I never really got much of a chance to understand my racial identity. It simply wasn’t talked about except for those little glimpses that you wonder about–my white mother saying when I was born she was scared I would be covered in dark hair like an ape because I had such thick black hair that went down my forehead. White people talking to me about “colored people” as if I was supposed to automatically identify with whiteness, when I was uncomfortably aware that the people they were talking about were my own family and myself if my skin had been the shade of my brother’s.

    Idk what you are talking about with “too much attention” on the mixed race identity–growing up I didn’t hear anything at all about it. You make it sound like mixed race people wake up in some world where their racial and ethnic identity is mirrored everywhere around them, and that’s simply not the way it is.

    So again–I agree with a lot of what you have to say, but mixed race is a really broad category that can mean so many things, and I think it’s a bit of an overgeneralization to say that there is somehow too much discussion on mixed race identities.

    But I also agree with you that we need to acknowledge and address what we can do in systemic racism, and how to approach and use white privilege in order to fight for people who have less of it, even if we aren’t considered fully white and no–white supremacists do not think of us as white even if we think of ourselves as having white privilege.

    I often take the opportunity to talk about my own white privilege to people, to try to get other (mostly white) people comfortable with the idea that you can acknowledge white privilege without…feeling attacked or whatever.

    And I am fully aware that it is easier to discuss racial issues with confidence with white privilege, because almost always when I try to address it from the perspective of a non-white person, I get shut down and called racist against whites.

    So I generally try to approach it from the white perspective, in which I get called a bleeding heart white liberal, but that’s easier to shake off than the digs at my ancestry and the rage towards me as if I am some invader bringing on the white genocide. (This is regarding online interactions.)

    Reply

  20. Avatar
    August 16, 2020

    You are erasing some mixed race people in this article. Not all mixed race people have lighter skin and proximity to whiteness. I think you need to broaden your ideas of who is included in this category.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      November 05, 2020

      I feel the same. I’m white and asian but grew up in a community that was predominantly Black and Hispanic. So, the authors view doesn’t relate to me at all. And this article really doesn’t address why mixed race people share their stories. Nor does it address the growing discussion on mixed race people internationally either.

      People aren’t sharing their stories to prove progressivism; the fact that they can share their stories is proof of progressivism. And the stories some mixed race people and mixed race couples share can open the eyes on some bigger issues.

      Reply

  21. Avatar
    September 24, 2020

    I wish you knew what it was like to grow up in a society (British Guiana) where Mixed Race was merely a category without the need for endless analytical theses. We were just another group in a society of six different source groups. Our mixed heritage from any and all of the source groups was taken in stride over time. Of course there was a historical phase of the preference for lighter skins tones (color and class went together in a colonial outpost). But overtime, the sky didn’t fall, the sun still rose and the rain still poured. I wish we could stop positioning our discourse in relation to white people and the sense of “othering”..my phrase. We’re merely all human beings, same species, different breeds, some mutts. Relax..and just enjoy the surprising twists of the genetic game. Chill out. Gee…my mixed race heritage went back to the mid-nineteenth century. No one died from shock. Our family has links to every continent now.

    Reply

  22. Avatar
    October 21, 2020

    I am mixed-race and want to call myself mixed-race. Because I differ from people with white skin, simple as that.

    It is my right. No one can speak for me.

    Concept of race is not unrealistic, that is also left-wing propaganda by hysteria social justice whites. Whites fear discussion, because they are called racist. As a mixed-race child I was bullied by white german teachers, who aggressively insisted there is no race and I am classified „white“. So they dare to define my heritage.
    Interestingly, I still was bullied by white classmates.
    So if there‘s no race and I am white, why is that?

    Reply

  23. Avatar
    November 05, 2020

    I don’t really understand the message in this article. Is this about people who are mixed and can’t relate because they still have “white privilege” or is it about those who are mixed not being able to discuss experiences with racism. Is the author trying to encourage or discourage people from talking about their mixed race experiences and problems with identity. I feel like the writer is merely venting about someone who is mixed “Black and White” in the U.S. But the discussion on mixed race is much broader than that.

    Almost every mixed race person will at some point encounter a situation where they question their identity. It is inevitable because race is intertwined with a person’s identity in the world. And unfortunately many will at some point feel the need to deny one part of their heritage because the community they live doesn’t fully embrace the other part of their background. I know that feeling well. But this is why it’s so important for people to share their stories. The good and the bad. Because, the more people speak about their experiences, the more others might understand what it truly means to be accepting.

    It’s also becoming increasingly more common to see people of mixed race in other countries as well. This is amazing because there are still many countries that see anyone of a different skin tone as foreigners. Hearing stories from mixed race people in places like Russia or Japan is a real eye opener.

    I have my own share of problems being mixed race. I grew up in a predominantly Black and Hispanic community while being White and Asian. I have a very easy time discussing the times I have felt out of place because I didn’t really have privilege in anything. My tastes and habits mirrored the people around me so when I would see family on both sides I would feel alienated. Then in school people would attempt to bully me by saying “ching chong ching”, despite knowing I am not Chinese. There was also the racial tensions between “Black and White” and I started to feel that being part white was wrong. I couldn’t be either race comfortably. This is also different from just being someone of one race in a community that was different from them because I didn’t have a family to fall back on and feel solidarity with.

    However, it’s not like my “identity crisis” defined me. I still got along well with my friends and family. I just had trouble relating to others sometimes. And if I ever hear a particularly offensive remarks regarding my race, I’m resilient.

    Reply

  24. Avatar
    November 15, 2020

    I’m mixed Irish-Trinidadian (Chinese/English)and grew up in Ireland never meeting mixed people like me. I look ‘Irish’, whatever that means, but as soon as I identify myself as mixed the micro aggressions and full on racism come pouring out. Irish people suddenly become experts on what a mixed person should look like.
    I’m not Asian enough for some Asians and Irish I meet and then I’m not Irish enough for some Irish.
    I agree with “ Society keeps telling us our ‘mixed-race’ families are progressive. We know this isn’t true.” It has been a very lonely place being mixed in Ireland and only with migration in the late 1990s when I started to meet ethnic Chinese from SE Asia and spend time with newly found friends did I fully understand my other missing part. It is wonderful to see culturally diverse people appearing in media, sports, and culture but it’s taken far too long for mainstream Irish culture to acknowledge we exist.
    I don’t agree with the author’s suggestion that we stop talking about mixed race. I’ve never had a discussion with most Irish people due to the aforementioned experiences. Nor did I grow up with other kids of a similar background in school, I never learned about global histories or cultures in school nor have I had mentors/teachers of a mixed background. The more we describe our lived experiences the better.

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