Mixed race and mixed reactions

 Interracial relationships and biracial children are not anything new. Many of my friends and family members are in interracial relationships, are mixed race or have biracial kids. However, it seems that our society is still having a conversation about "mixed" people as if this is a new phenomenon. Our society and culture seems to have a paradoxical reaction to "mixed" race people. As a mother of a biracial child I have experienced these reactions first hand. On the one hand people are obsessed with "mixed race" children. Before I was ever pregnant, people would say "You are going to have the cutest kids!"  I can understand this reaction because often people with great variance in physical traits often produce adorable looking children. On the other hand, American society also is confused as all hell as how to categorize mixed race individuals. The actor Taye Diggs recently came out with a children's book called "Mixed Me" in part for his son who is mixed race. Some people have criticized Taye for saying that he wants his son to acknowledge both his white and black sides. Americans seem to hate the ambiguity of "mixed people" and almost demand that they choose one race or another. The comedian Trevor Noah touches about the ambiguity of being biracial in his standup. He tells a story about when filling out an application for a bank account he was asked to check a box for his race. When he finally chose the "white" box the clerk was so confused, she did not know how to react.  My son has more fair skin and light straight hair and many people who do not know my son is biracial until they see my husband with him. Some people's reactions to my son's looks range from sweet to humorous, to downright rude. People have their assumptions about how people of one race should look or act. I believe unfortunately in this country racism is still alive and well. When the lines of race are blurred it is harder for people to discriminate against one another, and thus this may explain the need for society to classify mixed race people as one or another. Yes, there are fundamental cultural differences that exist between races, however is so hard to understand that these cultures can intermingle? American people have had a long history of intermixing and the backgrounds of most American includes a mix of more than one race or nationality, so why are people still so confused about "mixed" people?
Post Comment
Post a Comment