Mixed Race girls have issues – Part 1

On the one end it irks me when in my presence black folks suggest that black men marry white women solely for a permit to stay in the west. Rarely directed at me (who has a black father and a white mother), but to other black people who might be present, I take this as an insult towards both sides of my parentage.
Firstly because my dad proposed to my mum wanting to make her part of his family, not to take her to the immigration office.

Secondly, my dad would not live in Europe even if gold started falling from European skies. In fact, take him out of Nigeria for longer than a week and you have a restless soul (why do people assume that all Africans want to live in the west anyway?).
Although some mixed-race relationships might resemble orchestrated beneficiary funds, the majority are just as genuine (and problematic) as any other relationship.

On the other end it does not need to be explained why racial prejudice from white people is irksome.
However, instead of stating the obvious, I’m also bothered by racial ‘admiration’. When someone raises all black people to the skies and equates everything black with cool.
It’s one thing to be inspired and adopt aspects of the world’s different cultures; I certainly do. In fact, we live in a wonderful time in the sense that we can easily exchange cultural wisdom and customs. Don’t get me wrong, I think sharing our cultures enriches us as humans.
However, although there is a notable difference in placing black people on a pedestal rather than wanting to hang us off a branch, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable when on a one to one basis the emphasis nonetheless is on race, rather than character.
What do you think?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03793005651831550771 k_bloggers

    strongly agree with you emphasis should be on character not race. don't get why people are so bothered about race, ethnicity and all that. its all rubbish.. all this thing don't count but the love, be it with friends or partners. love is all that should count. nice article btw..xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10589711420411521622 Vickii

    Hmmm – so many things to address 😀 First of all, great post and I can't wait for the next in the series!
    In answer to your tweet about whether mixed race girls have issues/are confused – I'd say it's definitely not true for me! Well obviously I have issues but no more than anyone else and none of them are related to my sense of identity or my mixed heritage. I'm half Nigerian and half Greek, that's where I'm from, and it's never been an issue.

    I haven't really heard the insinuation that black men marry white women for visas but it's a pretty disgraceful insinuation. Just like all the others, e.g. that they marry white women because they think they are too good for their own kind etc.

    I think I'm quite tolerant of racial admiration -like you said, we live in a world where other cultures and ways of life are so easily accessible so I can see how someone might identify much more strongly with a culture that isn't theirs and be extremely enthusiastic about meeting people from that culture. And I think that that admiration is probably more about culture characteristics than race, it probably just comes across as a race thing because the colour of our skin is the easiest way to identify people from that culture which you so admire.

    Okay, I'll shut up now because I've written a lot. Really thought provoking post Minna!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16456916593005915089 MsAfropolitan

    K., thanks for the feedback. I totally agree and I'm glad you pointed out, love is the way forward.

    Vickii, great to hear your thoughts

    I hadn't heard the one about black men thinking they are too good for their own kind.There are so many prejudices on interracial marriages though that it doesn't surprise me. As a product of an interracial relationship, does it impact you when you hear these kind of statements? Well, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts throughout the series. :)

    I should perhaps have used another word instead of 'admiration', because I do agree with what you said about it being a positive rather than a negative that people admire and get excited about other people's cultures, I do too.
    I just think it's very important to differentiate between values and race.
    All black people don't have the same values someone might be inspired by, and assuming that you act/feel/think a certain way because you're black is to me still emphasizing race, and racial stereotypes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10589711420411521622 Vickii

    I'm really grateful to my mum because she dealt with a lot of hassle from her family for marrying my dad; she was disowned by half of them and dealt with a lot of racism because Greece isn't the most exposed country even now, talk less about 30 years ago.
    And from very young, I remember her telling us that people might say things about us (with reference to racism and just random insults)and that it was due to either one of two things. They were ignorant or they were insecure about themselves and neither of those was a reason to feel bad about ourselves or be angry with them, instead we should feel sorry for them. And it's stuck. Insults of any kind don't bother me, I recognise that they say more about the person saying it than it does about me 😀

    What about you? Does it bother you when you hear ignorant statements about interracial relationships etc?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16456916593005915089 MsAfropolitan

    Prejudice(guess it's always ignorant?) bothers me, but more in the context of how society is developing, than on an individual level if that makes sense

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01805564414982429331 [ ] dUke [ ]

    Inter racial relationship prejudices and racist attacks are not only directed toward black african in relationships with white. Asians also suffer a lot from these prejudices.

    Inter racial marriages by the way are more accepted over here in Ghana than in Europe or America. The thing is though, the white partner has to be wealthy in some way.Rich relatives, a large trust fund etc. In my experience Half cast ( I dont know the politically correct term, sorry) children have a hard life growing up if both parents aren't well off.

    So the fact is that most interracial couples here are well off which goes further to feed the stereotype of africans chasing rich women for their cash.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16456916593005915089 MsAfropolitan

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    I'm curious, why would a mixed race child have it any tougher growing up without material comfort than any other child?

    I hadn't heard the stereotype regarding African men going for non-african women for cash.
    I can't think of one interracial couple that I know, and I know many, where this has been true.

    I'm amused at times that people find it hard to believe that interracial relationships are devoid of underlying motives, other than two people liking being together, that is.

    Thanks for pointing out other groups. By mixed race, I don't only refer to white/black…just using my experience as an example

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08120597262773931614 Ibou

    Good post. I have the same experience here in Sweden.

  • http://www.kenemaco.com Tamu

    Love this series. As a Black mother or a mixed race child I get fed up of people both Black and White make comments about my daughter like she is better than others because she is fair skinned with curly hair (that is not as easy to manage as one would think). I don’t want my child growing up thinking that she is more or less because of the way she looks. Yes she is is pretty and that is obvious, what I would also like to be obvious is her intelligence, charisma, talent etc. She is mixed because I fell in love with a man that is handsome but also has an awesome personality and sense of humour which enabled us to connect. We are all human’s first…

    • MsAfropolitan

      Hi Tamu,
      That’s such an interesting angle too and one that at least I’ve barely heard speaking about. Why do people inflict their stereotypes already on little children. *sigh*
      One thing that I feel very blessed to have had is ‘both sides’, it keeps your feet on the ground because people have so many reactions towards you as a mixed race person.
      I’m sure your daughter will experience such blessings too with two parents who are keen to raise her with the right values.
      Thanks for sharing, and nope, if her hair is anything like mine it ain’t easy to manage.

  • Sabaz Tukaytri

    Gr8t post. I didn’t come across your posy by accident. In fact I was searching about weblogs about mixed race couples and children and their experiences. Truth is, I have been dating my girl friend – a lovely Greek girl, whom I met while studying for my MSc. Our relationship has blossomed, so much that I feel we have reached the point to pop the question. That said I am afraid for our future, reading the many stories and experience of mixed race children and inter racial marriages has made me a lil sceptical. I love her and will like to have her marry me, but my fears are proving a stumbling block.

  • mixedbarbie

    I hate that also. But especially when whites tend to put all black people in one bag and think it’s a compliment. Like when a black is on a magazine cover and you know you don’t look nothing like her or don’t even like her, they say oh she’s so pretty she looks like you. Stop doing this! There are 35 shades to the black race and like whites we don’t all look alike and we don’t all worship stars! I look like myself and love myself! We have so many mixtures and variations you might as well say Brazil is the composite of the black race!

    • LILIA

      I am surprised, you write as if you totally ignore that for many historical reasons Mixed race people feel superior than the Black ones. Until now, when media wants to show a Black woman/man they prefer choose a light skinned girl. Many studies says “mixed people” don’t meet racism as hard as it can be for Black people. You write as if you ignore some complex some black men or women have. You seriously should read Albert Memmi books. How could you ignore the fact that more a person is closer white beauty better his/her social position is and discrimations are lower? Now, maybe “mixed race people” feel comfortable with their “black blood” but in the past they did the contrary,please open some books. Now, mixed race girls play with the pride of their identity, but they are mixed and will always be.A mixed girl is not a Black girl in the eyes of the world. Make the experience! Try to ask yourself why so many REAL Black women are alone?

  • Penny

    What is a ‘race’?

    My children share a variation of skin tones and hair types between my partner and myself. Go back far enough and every one of us is out of Africa.

    It was fashionable years ago to divide homo sapiens into sub-groups and call them races according to visually distinguishable characteristics. It allowed domination, discrimination and even gassing to death.

    Why do people allow themselves to be led by the nose with stereotypes that are merely social constructs?

    My children are “children” that’s it! My girls stamped up stairs and slammed doors at 14yrs and my boys went mumbling to their rooms. That is the extent of the issues in my family.

    • MsAfropolitan

      “Why do people allow themselves to be led by the nose with stereotypes that are merely social constructs?”

      Social constructs are institutionalised and to disregard them is dangerous. I’ve seen many a parent lull their children to believing in a fantasy world where we are all equal. Whilst it is important to know that fact innately, to believe that our social institutions regards us all equally is not a utopia that I envy. And I’ve seen the psychosocial consequences when a child wakes up to that very sobering fact.

      Race has never been a question of “fashion” but of who is allowed to survive in this world. A present day reality and not a trend that passed away some “years ago”.