Award-Winning Playwright Thomas Bradshaw Announces Play on America’s First Mixed – Race Family

History, Theatre

Fearless American playwright, Thomas Bradshaw, has been commissioned by the Marin Theatre Company (MTC) in California for a play named Thomas and Sally.

This satiric comedy will explore the relationship between American founding father, Thomas Jefferson, and his mixed slave Sally Hemings (who was the half-sister of his deceased wife) and their children, in a time when interracial relationships were illegal.

The world-premiere of Thomas and Sally will confront histories of race relations during the pre-civil war era and how this had an influence on the way that Jefferson addressed race issues, which have an impact on what America has become today.

The relationship between Thomas and Sally has been widely publicised but never threatened his reputation as a founding father. Sally remained a slave under Jefferson until she died in 1835, yet their surviving four children were the only slaves that he ever freed.

 Thomas and Sally gives us a fly on the wall perspective behind the closed doors of one of American’s most notable figures, who’s famously known for saying ‘All men are created equal’, despite owning slaves throughout his lifetime.

Click here to find out more

Science and Race – A Terrible Concoction?

History, Science

Scientific fact is viewed as indisputable, if it’s backed up by professional research it must be true. The problem with this, is when science experiments are biased to ‘prove’ problematic ideas, it can be believed as the cold hard truth.

Although Hitler’s dabbling in eugenics is pretty well known, we don’t know much about other studies that have been carried on race with extremely questionable ethics.

Hundreds of years before Hitler even existed, eugenics was used by ‘scientists’ as a way to prove white superiority over other races and excuse slavery.

Between the 18th – 20th century, scientists and philosophers researched into the alleged differences of intelligence between races in contrast with the white European race.

In 1895 R. Meade Bache from the University of Pennsylvania published an article stating that reaction time increased with evolution.

The white people in his study had a slower reaction time which he put down to them having more ‘contemplative’ brains than Native Americans and African-Americans, meaning that they had evolved more.

English psychologist, Raymond Cattell said that black people were naturally inferior to white people, and argued against interracial relationships in the 1930’s. Raymond even praised Hitler on his policy of ‘racial improvement’.

“no mixture of bloods between racial groups…the resulting re-shuffling of impulses and psychic units throws together in each individual a number of forces which may be incompatible.” – Raymond Cattell

In post WWII Germany, the Eyferth study was carried by psychologist, Klaus Eyferth who compared the IQ’s of white children and mixed (black – white) children that had single mothers.

The results showed that white children had an IQ of 97.2 but the mixed children had an IQ of 96.5, with the boys in each group having a higher intelligence than the girls. However it was argued that the study was bias and unethical.

This fed into theories that white people were naturally more intelligent than non-white people. Yet, modern research has found that IQ isn’t a fixed value of intelligence and that it can be altered by social and environmental factors.

All of these pseudo-scientific studies contribute to the harmful racist stereotypes that are still prevalent today.

One of the most recent large-scale studies on mixed people was by Dr Michael Lewis at Cardiff University in 2010, where he collected a random sample of 1205 black, white, and mixed faces and asked people to rate their attractiveness.

Dr Lewis found that mixed people were rated the most attractive, stating that this shows that heterosis (Darwin’s theory that race mixing would lead to better offspring) is true.

“although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions like acting with Halle Berry, Formula 1 racing with Lewis Hamilton; and, of course, politics with Barack Obama.” – Dr Lewis

This study just led to more fascination of mixed race bodies and confirmation of the stereotype that all mixed people are good-looking. It also excluded anyone that identifies as mixed who isn’t black and white, which is a lot of people!

The psychologist clearly had a narrow idea of mixed people, as he told the Daily Mail that this was because of attractive mixed X factor contestants who were, ‘changing attitudes towards black people’.

Of course this resulted in uproar from others, calling it ‘reverse racism’ and the other old chestnut of ‘us all being one race, the human race’.

As much as the study could be seen as flattering for some, it is worryingly similar to dodgy previous studies about race. A whole race of people’s self worth should not be based on their perceived attractiveness, or their ‘super-powers’.

All this leads to is mixed people becoming even more of an exotic fetish.

Q&A With Creators of ‘Hotline’: A Performance of Mixed Race Scottish Experiences

Uncategorized

Mixed Scottish creatives, Cass and Siobhain are the minds behind ‘Hotline’, a thought-provoking performance that explores mixed race experiences and perceptions in Scotland.

Hotline was performed on stage at Glasgow’s Centre of Contemporary Arts and transmitted live on air  in September 2016, but you can watch it here.

We interviewed the  cutting – edge collective to find out more about their inspiration for their performance and what their next moves will be.

What inspired you to create Hotline?

C: Hotline was inspired by a few different things, I think primarily it was a positive way of channeling our frustrations at the ignorance we come up against on a regular basis.

At the time I had been reading a book of African Renaissance poetry and  was also  really inspired by Wole Soyinka’s poem ‘ Telephone Conversation’ in which a landlord tries to decipher whether he is ‘very light or very dark’, ultimately determining whether or not  he would be afforded a room.

That got me to reflecting on phone conversations I’ve had where my ethnicity has been assumed because of my accent. That’s  something that comes up a lot for me.

People seem surprised by how Scottish I sound yet look so ‘ un-scottish’ so it was a response to those people. Scottish doesn’t look or sound like one thing.

Siobhain and I have been friends since we were about fourteen and we’ve always talked a lot about the things we’re passionate about, this subject in particular, so it was great to be able to work together and make something more meaningful than us complaining to one another!

S: One of the first things I remember saying to Cass is that often I don’t feel ‘enough’ of something; I don’t feel Scottish enough or I don’t feel Chinese enough.

We talked about how growing up mixed race you’re constantly trying to reconcile these different parts of your identity whilst at the same time being constantly questioned about them.

It can be really confusing. I was reading a collection of poems by Sarah Howe called Loop of Jade while we were making Hotline, her mother is from Hong Kong and her father is British.

I’ve found that it’s quite rare for me to find work by people, especially women, who have the same background as me, especially as a teenager in Glasgow. We felt we owed it to ourselves and other young people to explore all of the difficulties and joys of being mixed race in a city like Glasgow.

 

How have your experiences of being mixed race in Scotland been played out in Hotline?

C: I think Hotline brought together both of our experiences as well as my friends; Khadija, Natalya Sally and Eva (whose interviews form a large section of the piece).

We all have different stories and experiences but the thread throughout is the frustration and a sense of looking for answers-that’s what I took from it-we’re all connected through it. It was important for us that we never spoke about anything we didn’t want to but without trying to sugar coat things.

I like the fact it’s honest and there’s some real funny moments despite it being a difficult subject, that’s thanks to all of us being vibrant  young women with a bright outlook, you have to have that when dealing with these things.

S: For me, it was a way of exploring external experiences, the kinds of comments I get from strangers, and internal experiences, like how I form my own identity as a mixed race woman.

I felt such a range of emotions about being mixed race when I was growing up; joy, sadness, anger, pride, shame, so it was about trying to show that spectrum.

What kind of comments and reception did you get from the audience?

C: On the night I was disappointed that immediately after we performed the piece someone put their hands in my hair. It was a real slap in the face, especially when the piece deals with the subject of hair.

It turns out the guy  wasn’t in the audience that night, so I advised him to have a listen and learn a few things. I was also a little disappointed that the audience was completely white but that’s more testament to the fact that we were in the Centre of Contemporary Arts than anything else.

I’d be interested to see how it would be received elsewhere. I think we’d do more work to promote it next time as well. We are rookies to the project so we learned a lot along the way.

Later I was really touched  by the positive response we received.  I think even though the piece deals with a very specific subject, it seems to have spoken to an array of people from different backgrounds and disciplines.

It means a lot to us that people have gotten in touch and were interested or  inspired by it in some way. I never expected that so it’s really spurred us on to keep it going.

S: What I found really interesting was the amount of my white friends who came up to my afterwards and said “I’ve said those things before, I’ve asked people ‘where are you from?’”

I was glad that they were able to recognise that these things can be offensive, you’re immediately othering someone by questioning their identity.

During the writing process I would sometimes worry that people would feel uncomfortable or offended.

Then I reminded myself that mixed race people deal with this kind of stuff on a daily basis, so what if our white middle class audience feel uncomfortable?

Did you find it difficult to confront some of the comments in the soundbites that are part of Hotline?

C: That was very difficult at points, there’s some heart-breaking things in there but ultimately we need to share these stories to try and make some kind of difference for ourselves.

Speaking about it is just the first step. It was important to include those difficult soundbites.Everyone involved found the interviews cathartic in some way.

It was definitely a cathartic process for Siobhain and I, but yes the overriding feeling was that this is really sad that we’ve all had to deal with this, and its ongoing.

S: The saddest thing for me is that we’ve all had to deal with this stuff. On the flip side, I definitely found it comforting to know that I wasn’t alone.

What have your personal experiences been of growing up being mixed in Scotland?

C: I think I found it quite a lonely and confusing experience. I was always a bit angsty about it as a teenager but always proud none the less- proud but confused! However sometimes I think that pride came from an insecurity of not understanding, now I’m more content.

I think the thing that I struggled with the most was not seeing any reflections of myself in the city, that gave me quite a deep sense that there was something wrong with me. I never had any mixed race or black friends at the time so I never had anyone to talk to about it who would understand.

I also never had any family that looked like me either so I think I was constantly looking for answers and piecing things together.

Glasgow is a very  ethnically homogenous city. As much as it has become slightly more multicultural in very recent years, that doesn’t take away from a lifetime of only seeing white faces. It still very much feels like I stand out but that’s something I try and embrace now.

S: I was lucky that growing up I went to a multicultural school in the centre of Glasgow but I was still bullied for being half Chinese, even though there were other kids in my school who had two Chinese parents.

There’s quite a big Chinese population in Glasgow but I didn’t know any other mixed Chinese kids.  All of the Chinese side of my family live in Hong Kong, and even though growing up my mum always made an effort to expose me to that side of my heritage, I never really felt Chinese until I became a teenager.

That’s also when I started noticing microaggressions with people questioning my Scottishness. All of these things made me want to explore the Chinese side of myself more.

To say to myself and others that you can be both, you don’t have to choose to identify as one thing if you don’t want to.

Have you noticed any differences between the way that mixed people are treated/seen in Scotland and England?

C: I can only speak for my experiences of living in Glasgow and London, I haven’t spent an extensive period of time in other parts of Scotland or England. It’s quite a loaded and complex thing.

I think what I love about London is that you can just be yourself, there are so many mixed race people, so much of every kind of person and everyone seems to just go about their business. On public transport for example, I’m just another person on the tube. I don’t feel that there’s anything to answer for.

Glasgow feels different because there’s not a massive population of mixed race people, or black people, there is always something to answer for. I will always be asked ‘but where are you really from?’.

There’s very much a feeling of being looked at or questioned, having to explain yourself.  I’ve found it challenging to just ‘be’ without having to explain myself in some way, the piece was really made so that we didn’t have to explain anymore.

Conversely, from having conversations with mixed race friends in London and elsewhere I think universally there exists this sort of fascination with mixed race people more generally.

A stereotype that came up again and again in London was that mixed race girls (and guys) are very permiscous, hyper sexual and definitely exotic. It important to remember that ignorance and racism is everywhere.

Whilst it’s been tough at times in Glasgow, for very specific reasons, I acknowledge that we’ve all had the challenges that come with being mixed race and non white (which is another subject) no matter what corner of the world we’re in.

The  media has a lot to answer for in that regard but it’s also part of a bigger historical conversation…for another time?

S: Like Cass, I’ve only ever lived in Glasgow and London and I experienced ignorance and racism in both places.

I guess the difference for me is that in Glasgow people will compliment me on my “good English” whereas in London that never happened, I never felt “foreign”.

One time when we were living in South East London, Cass and I were going to the shop and a guy yelled at me “you must be called Kim because all Koreans are called Kim”. Our white housemate was really shocked.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

C: Yes! We have a lot in the pipeline which we’re  both very excited about. The next step is a printed publication and later on we’ll be working towards a exhibition and I’m going to work on a piece specifically dedicated to hair.

S: We really want to grow the collective to try and get other people involved, I think in Glasgow it’s really important to have like-minded people working together.

Something I’ve been thinking about for a while is creating a piece about rice. Cass and I often talk about the importance of food and how it’s such a good way of feeling connected to your culture, it would be nice to explore that more.

6 Reasons Why Sexism Is Ruining Clubbing

Dating & Relationships, Female Empowerment, Gender Equality, Opinion

Clubbing is meant to be the staple of entertainment in your youth, getting wasted, dancing with friends and having a good time right?!

Like most people in their early twenties, I enjoy a good night out to let my hair down and throw some serious dance moves. But there are a lot of  disturbing things about clubbing that put me off more and more each time.

  1.The idea that you have to go clubbing on the mission to get with someone

Even if you’re in a relationship, you’re still expected to be willing to hook up with a               guy who demands to see your boyfriend or asks where they are. I’ve got it all ,’so? where’s your boyfriend now?’, ‘call his number and I’ll talk to him’, ‘let me see a picture’. It’s pretty disgusting that we’re even asked to prove ourselves.

If we wanted to cheat with you would we bother saying we weren’t single?

If we made up that we had a boyfriend, does that mean that we want to be with you?

Single women get the same nonsense with constant hassling even when they say that they’re not interested, or the guy ringing the number that you’ve given them to check that it’s not a fake one used to get rid of them.

2. Drink Prostitution 

So you get talking to a guy and they offer to buy you a drink and you happily accept the offer, naively thinking oh what a nice person…aaand that’s when they try it on with you or expect you to be tied to them for the entire night.

Apparently accepting a drink = agreeing to marry them and have their babies.

But seriously, buying us a drink isn’t a ticket into our pants. It’s got to a point where it’s just common knowledge now that if you accept a drink from a guy you’re  basically giving consent.

Where do some men get this sense of entitlement from?

3. Unwanted Physical Contact 

I couldn’t even count on both hands the amount of times a random man has inappropriately touched me without permission in a club. I don’t care how drunk they are, it’s sexual assault.

People like to make fun of the way women hold hands and stick together in clubs, but it’s for good reason. We’re prey to men who think that we’re fair game  to do anything they like with, without any consequences.

 4. Fetishization 

Please for the love of God do not tell me that you love my tan, that you’ve always wanted to get with a ‘lighty’, that I’m so ‘exotic’, or ask me to twerk. Yes I have actually got all of these before, and if anyone repeats these I will not be responsible for my actions.

Fetishization of POC women unfortunately happens all the time, but it seems to be heightened in a nightclub environment.

 5. Men assuming we’re dancing for them 

My favourite thing about clubbing is dancing to great music with my friends, but this is ruined by men sneaking up behind us and trying to force us to dance with them.

It’s hard to understand the thought process of, ‘oh these girls look like they’re having a good time, let me foist myself upon them’.

Just let us dance in peace, if you want to dance why don’t you try asking first?

 6. Creepy Taxi Drivers 

The majority of taxi drivers are fine, but there are always a few that are a bit dodgy. I’ve had taxi drivers ask for my number, ask me which flat I live in, and be generally leery by talking about my looks or my figure.

This is far from ideal when you’re on your own at 4 in the morning, at the hands of the taxi driver to get you home safely.

 

‘Our Skin Colour Was Beaten into us as Nothing but Pure Evil’- The Abused Mixed Children of 1950’s Ireland

History

In the 1950’s it was common for ‘illegitimate’ children to be born into mother and baby homes which admitted the child into care soon after they were born. Unmarried mothers were the biggest taboo.

In Ireland, Catholic nuns and priests were given complete control over care homes, hospitals and schools by the state. Mixed race children who were admitted were rarely put up for adoption and placed into Industrial Schools.

‘These mixed race children were not considered by the church and the state to be appropriate candidates for adoption, their stories of racial discrimination, physical abuse, and mental abuse are truly shocking’ – Anne Ferris, Former Irish MP

Rosemary Adaser was admitted into a mother and baby home as a baby. She was born to a white Irish mother and a black Ghanaian father, with her notes describing her as ‘illegitimate and coloured’.

In a short film about Ireland’s forgotten mixed-race child abuse victims, Rosemary says that the Industrial Schools ‘were like workhouses…the last thing they had in these schools was love, care, attention or the welfare of a child’.

Rosemary, who is now 60 years old, revisits the industrial school and tells her story of growing up there. She shudders,’memories of this place just make me feel dead inside’.

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Rosemary’s childhood was brutally taken away from her by the nuns who constantly racially abused her, and turned a blind eye to older girls sexually abusing her. She was called ‘n*****’ and ‘savage’ so often that she thought that they were her pet names.

Their skin colour was treated as something that was dirty and to be ashamed of, with the nuns calling their fathers cannibals. Joyously, Rosemary found that her father was a practicing GP, but it was bittersweet. The records of her father had been kept away from her for so long that he had already passed away.

The mistreatment of mixed children at these schools has never been acknowledged by the Irish state, even though Rosemary’s story is just one of many.

Today Rosemary and other Irish mixed children of the time have set up the Association of Mixed Race Irish (AMRI) to seek recognition and justice.

Finding Love as a Multiracial Woman of South Asian Heritage

Dating & Relationships, Family, Opinion

There is this popular belief that multiracial households have moved past racism, and while that may be true to some extent, from my experience it doesn’t always wash when trying to find a life partner.

What often happens instead, is that one side of the family pushes much harder than the other for a partner of their background.

In my case it was my mom pushing for a blonde strapping Swedish log-thrower, and as most of my dad’s family is either dead or on the other side of the planet, I had nobody to request otherwise.

As a kid, whenever I talked about love to my mom, she assumed that any boy I fancied was white until I told her otherwise. She would get defensive if I mentioned a boy who wasn’t Christian.

“as much as people talk about the beauty of mixed race girls, it’s just left me feeling unloveable”

Trying to find a lover of any race was complicated, though for very different reasons.

I never had a lot of success dating white men. Their racism, both intentional and unintentional, was impossible to stomach. When I got offended by their jokes, they were quick to point out that I’m half white so I should be laughing with them.

Culturally insensitive questions like “so do you speak Indian?” really ran rampant with white college boys I’ve encountered.

They had this talent of reducing me down to my appearance with false compliments like ‘exotic’ and the ever present conflation of so-called ‘hotness’ with being mixed.

Even the ones who had good intentions were completely intolerable and I have come from the experience with nothing but the title of ‘dishonour to my family’.

Dating south asian men however, hasn’t been much better. On one hand, white guys tend to want me for the fact that I’m mixed. On the other hand, brown guys usually leave me alone immediately when they find out that I’m mixed.

On the rare occasion that they do want a mixed girlfriend, it’s because they think that girls from their country are too dark or too ugly for them, and want a white looking wife who knows their culture like a brown girl does.

 

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Not to mention, it’s all about what I can do, not who I am. Can I cook? Does my chai come out properly every time? Is my roti round? Can I sew? Can I clean? Can I be a proper respectful housewife?

Love in India is all about practicality, and even when it comes to love marriages, family is everything. Sometimes it’s not even the guy’s fault, some desi parents don’t even want their kids dating outside their caste let alone their race.

It’s really hard to make the components for a happy relationship add up.

Of course this isn’t everyone out there, but my final feeling for a while about love was hopelessness. So few people, regardless of where I looked, would treat me like I amounted to anything beyond my looks, let alone see me as someone worth loving.

I fell for plenty of boys who had to walk away because their parents wouldn’t approve of a multiracial partner for their child. And as much as people talk about the beauty of mixed race girls, it’s just left me feeling unloveable.

That said, don’t get discouraged. After years of feeling terrible about the situation, I’ve found the love of my life, and celebrated the wedding of a friend who went through a similar ordeal.

I encourage every mixed woman going through the same thing to try to find love anyway. Being mixed can feel like one big battle, but you’ll one day find a partner worth fighting for.

Article and Images by Rina Mariam, a Russian –  Jewish & South Asian Digital Mehndi Artist

 

The Differences Between Mixed Females vs Mixed Males

Opinion

Let’s talk stereotypes; looking at the way mixed girls differ from mixed boys, for the sake of letting issues be known and putting aside differences. As a mixed girl, I’ve noticed different treatment between me and my brothers out there, and this treatment all has one root; beauty.

For one, mixed race men aren’t held to the same standard as mixed race women.

It’s not expected for multiracial boys to be attractive the same way multiracial girls are. Of course the standard exists, but not to the same extent.

Most representation of mixed race girls come from models and actresses like Halle Berry, Rashida Jones, Kimora Lee Simmons and others, professions where these women are judged on their appearances.

There is the expectation of mixed being synonymous with beautiful, and if you’re not attractive by society’s standards, you must be faking your heritage. It’s common for women, yet I don’t see anyone yelling at Barack Obama that he’s not pretty enough to be mixed.

It’s led to plenty of multiracial females I know being self-conscious of their appearance, on an amplified magnitude.

If you’re a multiracial guy, and not conventionally attractive, very few people will care. As someone who has been friends with multiple multiracial guys, I’ve asked them if they feel self-conscious about whether or not they’re attractive due to the fact that they’re mixed.

All of them answered no. Boys care as well about their appearance of course, the fear of of being judged for being mixed is universal. But they don’t care about if they’re hot enough to land over a hundred likes on Instagram.

girls vs boys artwork

Meanwhile, if you’re a multiracial female, everyone and their grandmother will assume it must mean you are unbelievably gorgeous- and if you’re not, something’s wrong with you.

Girls who are mixed race and not conventionally attractive are usually judged even more harshly for their -perceived- lack of beauty than their monoracial counterparts.

Even if a multiracial woman is beautiful, beauty is all she ever amounts to. Not her career, not her success, just her beauty. It’s the ever-present struggle of the dehumanization of women, only heightened by the race factor.

Dehumanization seems to happen so much more to multiracial women. From a romantic perspective, plenty of men will date women simply because they’re mixed, like a trophy, a bucket list check.

Girls however, don’t really go on a mission date mixed race boys in the same way. It may happen, that a woman may be interested in a man for the sole reason that he’s mixed, but it happens far more the other way around.

I don’t have any experience in non-heterosexual and or gender neutral relationships, so I can’t speak for them, but to have someone be interested in you only for your appearance and background is demeaning at its best.

This is not to say that mixed race men don’t experience marginalization or harassment, it’s more to say that mixed women face issues specifically for being female rather than just generally being mixed.

At the end of the day we’ll all still face the prying ‘where are you from?’. The unsolicited guessing game of trying to figure out our backgrounds, placing us in boxes, and telling us what we can and can’t be.

We need to be sensitive to gendered issues on top of the mixed factor which can help us all understand each other better and  fix these problems.

We’re all worth more than our looks.

Article and Artwork by Rina Mariam, a Russian –  Jewish & South Asian Digital Mehndi Artist

Toys aRen’t Us

Childhood, Diversity

Sick and tired of having to search high and low for a doll that looked like her five year old mixed race daughter, London-based mother, Phy McCarthy has started a campaign for Toys R Us to diversify their toy range in the UK.

Phy has started a petition for the toy retailer to ‘stock at least 14% of their doll range with ethnic dolls by 2020’ to give a fair reflection of their ethnically diverse customers. Phy says that when they go shopping her daughter asks her,”why isn’t there a doll like me?”.

In London alone, only 50.79% of people are of a white ethnicity (according to the 2011 census) which shows that there is a huge number of BAME children that are being forgotten. Nationally, around 8 million out of the  64.1 million population belong to non-white ethnicity groups, with mixed people making up 1.2 million of them.

“For many children, dolls and action-figures are a big part of their childhood play. Toys help a child to build memories and teach emotional skills. Dolls can play a crucial role in developing a child’s aspirations – and children often emulate these through role play and then later on in the real-world. Not being able to see themselves in these dolls will have a negative impact on their self-worth and ultimately their aspirations.” – Phy McCarthy

The erasure of ethnic dolls and toys makes ethnic minorities seem invisible, like we don’t exist. Just a quick look at the doll range on Toys R Us’s online shop reveals that just 5 out of 96 of their dolls were not white, with the majority of these being Moana dolls.

This isn’t the first time that Toys R Us has been criticised for its diversity issue. Last July it was found that black baby dolls were being sold for a cheaper price than the exact same white baby doll in Canada.

toys-r-us-says-price-difference-between-black-and-white-dolls-had-nothing-to-do-with-race-body-image-1469215609

In 2015 Toys R Us UK were selling the ethnic version of their wooden families for a cheaper price than the white version, suggesting that they’re worth less.

The availability of ethnic toys is not just important for non-white children to have a sense of belonging and identity, but also for white children to learn about other races and diversity.

Sheine Peart, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, said that “it almost creates a colonial environment and that effectively says, ‘there’s no place for me’.”

It’s 2017 and something needs to be done about this. All children deserve to have toys that they can relate to. From the beginning, equality should be taught so that we know that we’re all worth the same amount, it is not just white and ‘other’.

You can visit Phy’s petition here to sign it, she needs 1,587 more signatures to reach the Head of Buying at Toys R Us!

We Need To Talk About These Memes

Uncategorized

Memes. Love them or hate them, they’re great for tagging friends in for a good laugh or just cheering yourself up when you’re having a rough day.

Unfortunately, they’re not always used for good *sigh* there’s always that one group of people that takes it to a whole new level. Why ruin something that brings so much fun and entertainment?

Just a quick google search of ‘mixed memes’ and you will be faced with images that use racist stereotypes and sexism in a poor attempt at making a joke. Well we’re not laughing.

Surprisingly no one has addressed this problem that is rife on the internet. Other memes which are masked as advocating for mixed people promote very problematic ideas that need to be stopped.

Let’s take a look at the damage shall we?

 

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This is sexualising children and turning an entire race of people into a fetish. It’s also making silly assumptions that every mixed child looks like this, that apparently we all have light eyes, a light brown skin tone and curly hair. The worst thing of all is that it is validating our existence by our beauty, suggesting that if we don’t fit into this beauty ideal we aren’t worth anything.

 

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Good one, because you can’t trust black people? This is perpetuating the deeply ingrained racist stereotype that black men are dangerous and aggressive. It’s also trying to say that mixed white and black people are ashamed of their blackness, as we have to calm people down to say that ‘we’re only half so it’s alright’. Not cool.

 

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Everything about this is awful. The meme is suggesting that dark skinned black women are unattractive – which could not be further from the truth! It’s also trying to say that they’re not proud of their ethnicity and that they try to use the notion of being mixed as a way of excusing it. Whoever made this meme has the idea that all mixed women are beautiful and have light skin tones, and that dark skinned women can’t be mixed or beautiful. Absolute nonsense!

To our disgust, there are many variations of these type of memes circulating around the internet. For some ignorant people they could be ‘light-hearted jokes’, but it’s not a joke when you have to live with the serious implications of the  harmful ideas that they’re feeding to people.

All of the memes that were found were relating to mixed white and black people. This diminishes the many different ethnic variations of people who identify as being mixed and just shows that these people have no idea what they’re on about!

The big question is: why are social media sites allowing images like this to be shared when you can get banned for having your nip out in a photo?!

 

 

What I’ve Learnt From Dating a Mixed Woman as a White Guy

Dating & Relationships

Before I begin, I know that I am the  polar opposite of the  The Mix-Up‘s usual audience. I’m a hairy arsed white guy from deepest darkest Saaf’ London (South London if you don’t know the lingo). However I feel that I can offer an insight from the other side of the coin to being in an interracial relationship.

Just over 7 months ago I started dating a woman who I am very lucky and blessed to have in my life. She is mixed race with British and Jamaican roots which was apparent at first sight in her complexion and bundles of curly hair.

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Before now, I had never dated someone who was mixed race. When we started dating I didn’t really take it into account, I couldn’t care less if she was blue! I was smitten.

When we officially became a couple, I spoke about her and showed what she looked like to close friends. On most occasions I’d hear the question, “Where is she from?” or the obvious statement “She’s black”.

Addressing the first question my reply would be her hometown in the UK, then the follow up question of “Where is she from originally?” would be snapped back at me.

I’d reply she’s ‘half Jamaican’ and nothing more would be said. This is something that always perplexes me…perhaps because I’ve never had this asked of me before. My pasty white complexion and Danny Dyer accent, being the obvious giveaways.

To have your identity challenged all of the time must be nothing short of infuriating and to have where you are from doubted is something I’ve taken for granted before now.

As for the second statement, “she’s black”, my hometown is in rural Somerset so I guessed that this was something that people round there weren’t used to. But to state the obvious seemed bizarre to me. To make a point of it didn’t sit right with me, but yet again this is something I’ve taken for granted before now.

Also, on more than one occasion I’ve been told of racist abuse my girlfriend has received since we’ve been together. Notably not one instance when with me. It’s disgusting. To have someone you love to be abused simply because of the colour of their skin, brings an anger and emotion I’ve never felt before.

I was aware that things like this happened, but  I was shocked to how often and aggressive the manner of it has been to my partner. All of this to a woman just minding her own business by herself is worrying for me.

Getting away from the negative and addressing the title I’d say it’s like any other relationship anyone has. We both come from very different backgrounds and have different interests which in turn allow us to experience everything from fantastic Jamaican food to cold rainy days watching Crystal Palace (The best team in South London).

I’ll never know what it is like to be a mixed race woman, but with one playing such an important role in my life it has opened my eyes to a whole different perspective.

– Chris Bell