Not all racial mixes are equal

George Alagiah wrote an interesting article on the BBC News site about the increased racial mix in the UK and, specifically, the increase of interracial relationships and the offspring thereof.

I have two issues with the article:

First, George uses the adjective “mixed-race” in reference to both relationships and people. In reference to people, that’s fine. It means people whose parents’ races are different from one another.

In reference to relationships, it’s not. He means interracial relationships. The term mixed-race relationship conjures up thoughts of a relationship between two mixed-race people, as opposed to a relationship between people of differing race.

But there is a much more important issue with the article. Below is an extract from the article that encapsulates the issue fully.

Mixed-race children make up one of the fastest growing ethnic minorities in the UK

Mixed-race people are not a race in themselves. They make up a multitude of races. A black–white mixed-race child has nothing in common racially with a Chinese–Indian child. Yet the article lumps them together as members of the same race.

I find this insulting. Instead of enhancing their sense of identity, my view is that it dilutes it. Your thoughts?


One Response to “Not all racial mixes are equal”

  1. Peter on October 2nd, 2011 23:28

    Don’t find too much insulting – many of the world’s problems are due to oversensitivity (Political Correctness) and/or people trying to milk an ill-thought phrase etc., in which no harm was meant.
    Nevertheless I agree that you can’t group mixed-race children as a single ethnic group. It’s like a ‘catch all’ group for people who don’t fit easily into other categories.
    It is a shame that mobility of people is likely to lead to the demise of regional identities within the UK. You suspect the traditional dialects will ultimately disappear as a result.
    Daniel’s written language appears to have been globalized, for example.
    That is a shame, because it’s so much harder to represent two distinct cultural origins than one.
    Won’t help much to object though – this is fact of modern life.
    Find it quite interesting, though, that children in my daughter’s nursery group are required to attend an additional (spoken) language class if one of their parents is an immigrant.
    So why doesn’t our daughter have to go? Because we’re properly integrated?

Leave a Reply