I am a proudly mixed race kid. There are more than two cultures circulating around my home, too. I’m fairly racially ambiguous. What you’d expect. But mixed race families come in all shapes and sizes. The few mixed race families shown in TV are pretty generic. A black man, and a white woman with a few beautifully uniform children with big blue eyes and skin JUST dark enough to not be a white person. But that’s not representative of most mixed race families. At all.
Let’s be honest: most mixed families on TV are what I just described. *cough*bullsh*trepresentation*cough*. I have literally never seen a person who looked like me on TV. For two distinct reasons. One: racist people like being able to put people in boxes. And two: people think it’s somehow confusing.
Here we go.
Let’s tackle reason number one first. Racists love putting people in boxes. I have been called hispanic, Israeli, black, white, Native American, Pacific Islander, and more. Then I tell people, ‘I’m actually mixed.’ and they flip. “Really?! Which races? Who is which race? How did they meet? Are you sure? What are your grandparents?” It’s basically an interrogation. I’m always deemed too white to be mixed, because I have pale skin. It makes me really upset, and I mostly want to scream at the people claiming I am “faking”. If I’m not physically one race or the other, a human constructed concept, I’m not okay. And the insane variation within the ‘mixed’ category was far too much. If I’m not one race or the other, they don’t know what box to put me in. Which qualities to assign me, which precautions to take. This is the same with TV characters. So, it seems to be easier for other to not commit ‘sinful miscegenation’.
People think that mixed race couples are confusing. But how could a white man love a black woman? Or a white woman love a black man? Or a Korean woman love a Pacific Islander woman? It’s deeply rooted in racism. The idea that white people are a class above other races, or the idea that people need to stick together. It’s simply too confusing for minds as to how these people met, let alone feel in love. It sounds ridiculous that my mother, a white woman, would fall in love with my father, a darker man. People think that everyone holds the same racist beliefs they do. A racist white woman would never love a hispanic man. So she might assume all white women are better than all hispanic men. Of course, irresponsibly wrong. People can love whoever they want. Any way they want. People love people. Race, a human constructed concept, cannot constrict that.
Representation is crazy important. All types of representation. Mixed race, mixed ethnicities, mixed genders, mixed beliefs, mixed everything. People love people, no matter what group they’re from. I need to know that people that look like me can do anything. So does my brother. So does everyone. But little white girls and boys get that easily. Other races, a little different, a little harder, but sure. Mixed kids, too much variation. There’s only one way the media likes to represent us. I don’t have super pale skin, perfectly curled hair and big blue eyes. I think one in 1,000 mixed kids looked like that. Because there’s VARIETY in numbers.
I don’t really think I need a conclusion. I’ll sum up the main points. Representation is important. To know that people that look like you can do whatever anyone else can is important. It’s just old, racist beliefs that are holding us back.