Does an increasingly mixed race Britain mean that British society is postracial?


I have a post at Black Feminists UK today,

Results of the 2011 census were published in the UK this week revealing that the number of mixed-race people in Britain has almost doubled in ten years. As a result, several journalists distributed what I’d call “unwarranted postracialism”, suggesting, for instance, that thanks to people like Jessica Ennis perceptions of race are hardly an issue any longer, and according to Sarah Mulley in The Guardian, the diversity in the census data “doesn’t contain much that would surprise most people in the UK – these changes happen all around us, all the time, and most people are just getting on with their lives.”


The fact remains that prejudice has not fallen sufficiently at all, and sadly the increase of mixed race people in Britain does not in itself rectify its stubborn persistence.

In September 2012, a first ever UK analysis of its kind revealed the broad impact that racial prejudice has on the health and well being of non-Anglophone children. Other recent studies show that racism and the belief that hereditary factors endows some races with an intrinsic superiority has increased in the past years.

However, there is a cause to celebrate that mixed race Britain has almost doubled in ten years, and that is that the more people that identify as mixed race, the more likely the flaws of the race-as-hereditary-biological factor will continue to be exposed.

Read the full article here 




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  • Nana Darkoa

    Why is the media so quick to jump to a post [insert racist, feminist] world…will check out your post Minna. No doubt it will be another stimulating one.

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  • Rebekah

    I generally believe that there is a problem with the term ‘mixed race’ in this particular question and agree that the increase in the mixed race population does not mean that there is more harmony between society racially. My father is Jamaican and my mother is English. Many of my friends have Indian/Chinese/Middle Eastern with White European parentage however, they often admit that publicly, they are not treated as ‘other’ in terms of skin colour or ‘race’. Statistics do not reveal the reality of how people are perceived *publicly* (perception is key here). Both me and my friends would describe our heritage in the census as ‘mixed race’ yet we would be treated very differently in public simply because I look more non-European thus have experienced more direct racism and prejudice. Using the category of ‘mixed race’ as a tool to analyse changes in ‘race’ relations within any country is not useful in this sense. It is too broad and clumps everyone together as the same and further promotes the treatment of people based upon race as a defining character. HOWEVER, in future generations it may help to challenge peoples ideas and thoughts towards categorizing people based upon their ethnicity and help to breakdown the perceived ideas of race superiority.

  • jeanettesdaughter

    the thing missing from most discussion about mixed race people is what it means to have “black looks.” in racist societies, you are treated or mistreated based on whether or not you look like the ideal human being, and everyone knows that this ideal is not black, not african. when have you seen a representation of an ideal human being as a person from sub-saharan “black” africa? i love to be wrong from time to time. please send me this image! in the usa, mixed race people have existed since the very first generation of africans were transported as slaves to the americas. black african women were immediately and 100% accessible sexually to any white male, and in fact this was often encouraged to keep the men off each other and white women (if any were around) ‘pure’ and undefiled by sexual contact with any male. certainly england is getting some of these mixed races back from the former colonies in the west indies who may simply appear to be black. as for those who appear to be mixed race or other — ms. rosa parks certainly had the appearance of a mixed race person when she kept her seat on that infamous bus in montgomery, alabama. her colored or mixed race looks did nothing to prevent her arrest for breaking laws enacted to keep all nonwhites in an inferior status vis a vis all whites in montgomery, alabama. what do you think the phenomenon of passant blanc in the french colonies of nouveausx orleans and haiti was based on? ones success pulling it off depended entirely on ones white looks despite one’s black heritage. a woman (or less frequently, a man) could lose her life and her property if unmasked. the rush to post racial judgement as a result of the currently popular ‘recognition’ of mixed race peoples is a rush back to the river of denial about the real harm and encumbrance of race in white supremacist societies. how do i define white supremacist societies? any society in which not even mixed race will afford you the respect and privileges of people clearly descended allegedly un-mixed from europeans and not showing too much ‘other’ in their faces. if this sounds simplistic and horrible that is because it is. there is absolutely nothing defensible or other than horrible about a racist heirarchy of human beings. hiding behind acceptance of mixed race is useless when what is needed is acceptance of the black looks as fully and beautifully human. i don’t expect to live to see it, but i would be convinced of the existence of a post racial society when nasa sends my face or a face very much like mine into space as a message of peace from earth!

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  • unracial

    It there is nothing like a race between human beings, should we still call ourself “mixed”?

    “There is no evidence for the existence of so-called “pure races” and no scientific justification exists for discouraging reproduction between persons of different races.