I knew this, like on the inside of me, however reading it was profoundly gratifying. Of course we are most likely to suffer…from many things. You see, we’re not just invisible in the realm of public services and policy, but one could argue that we’re invisible everywhere we go. Even at home to a certain extent. Depending on circumstances of course. And not only can we be misunderstood by teachers and health care professionals, we may very well be misunderstood by our parent(s), friends, and extended family. Seeing as the truth of our experience has been ignored and denied, we’re also invisible in history. Seeing yourself reflected back to you in a way that is congruent with your self-image is a “luxury” we are not often afforded. And though there is no written rule on the subject, the feeling that our story is not valid and our voice is not wanted unless we surrender to societal expectations is palpable.
How about everybody just let us be and take us for who we say and show that we are? Which means acknowledging, listening, hearing and imagining into some level of empathy. Doesn’t seem like many people are interested in doing that. Perhaps because if they did, the entire illusion would crumble. Lots of identities are tightly wound in that illusion. So, then who would you all be? You’d be like me. Untethered from out-dated classifications and free to be whoever your heart tells you you are. My heart has never mentioned race to me. Has yours (to you)?
Mixed-race children ‘are being failed’ in treatment of mental health problems
The fastest growing ethnic group in Britain is still being treated as if it is only integrated into black culture, says report
- The Observer, Saturday 22 February 2014
Children of mixed race are at greater risk of suffering from mental health problems and are not getting the support they need, says a report.
Despite mixed-race children belonging to the fastest-growing ethnic group, the research, backed by the National Children’s Bureau, found that they faced “unrealistic” expectations from teachers and other adults who did not understand their backgrounds.
While mixed-race young people are over represented in the care, youth justice and child protection systems, the authors said they were “invisible” in public service practice and policy.
The report – Mixed Experiences – growing up mixed race: mental health and wellbeing – drew on several studies and interviews with 21 people about their experiences as children.
Co-author Dinah Morley was concerned at the lack of understanding over what it meant to be mixed race, a group most likely to suffer racism. “I was surprised at how much racism, from black and white people, had come their way,” she said. “A lot of children were seen as black when they might be being raised by a white single parent and had no understanding of the black culture. The default position for a child of mixed race is that they are black.”
The report found that those with mixed-race backgrounds were more at risk of mental health issues because of their struggle to develop an identity. Morley said the strongest common experience was the “too white to be black, too black to be white”.
The 2011 census showed that the mixed-race population was the fastest growing ethnic group in Britain, amounting to 2.2% of the population of England and Wales.
In 2012, research by the thinktank British Future found that prejudice towards mixed-race relationships was fading. The report, The Melting Pot Generation – How Britain Became More Relaxed About Race, talked about the “Jessica Ennis generation”, crediting the London Olympics 2012 athlete with changing attitudes towards mixed race. “That positive role model is also seen as something very important,” said Morley.
That guardian article says “…mixed race, a group most likely to suffer racism”.
Are they trying to say that mixed people suffer more racism than Black people?
Sometime’s mixed race people don’t even look mixed. Sometimes they look Italian, or Hispanic, or Indian, etc.
It would have been nice if the gaurdian would have mentioned what specific mental health diagnoses were prevalent.
Hey just discovered your blog via ‘mixedracefamilies’ – great points, intriguing. So yes mixed race people will suffer racism from both sides but I don’t know if it is simple enough to restrict it to this simple term. Shadeism comes into it too – as a black (light skinned) mum of 3 mixed heritage children, I have been referred to as mixed race (from white and black) and asked if my middle daughter (very fair skimmed) is even mine. There are changing views about mixed heritage people from the younger generations. It is imperative that these children know about all of their backgrounds because very soon, we will not be able to label all the ‘races’ in a person’s mix.
I just came across this trailer Tiffany http://youtu.be/XwJhmqLU0so It’s a movie called “Dear White People”.
@Glenn…I don’t think they were saying that mixed people suffer more racism than Black people, but they were acknowledging that we DO suffer from it.
Some folks believe that mixed people don’t experience racism and that simply isn’t true. The point of the article was to bring awareness about challenges faced by biracial and multiracial people, and how it affects mental health.
As to mixed people who look “Italian/Hispanic/Indian”…you could say I’m one of those people. My life has been very complicated by it. I’ve had many Black people reject me and some of them have been hateful to me based on my appearance.
On the other hand, some white people (and other races) feel comfortable with making racist comments around me because they wouldn’t dare say those things to a person darker than me. Even within my own family, I’ve been made to feel ashamed of who I am.
I appreciate Tiffany’s blog because I find there aren’t enough resources for people of mixed race to talk about issues like mental health, depression, self-esteem, identity, etc.
We are often told by society to choose a fixed racial identity and to deny parts of ourselves to fit in with others.
So it’s not about comparing whether mixed people have suffered more racism than Black people. It’s more about looking at the unique challenges of being mixed, having one’s identity questioned, being mistreated by both sides of one’s heritage.
Black people undoubtedly suffer terrible racism but at least they (generally speaking) can find other Black people to share their feelings with, who understand what they are going through. There is a sense of community that keeps them afloat.
Most of the time it seems like with mixed people, we stand alone because it’s rare to meet somebody who can relate to our feelings and experiences.
People who can understand what it’s like to feel like an outsider in almost every situation. That definitely affects a person’s self-esteem, to be constantly hurt and rejected and no one cares because you’re neither white enough or black enough.
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