Feminism, anti LGBTQ+ discrimination, racism, black lives matter, equality- we’ve all heard of them, but have you ever heard of bi-racial discrimination?
I’m supposing many people’s answers will be no, and that is why I have decided to write this blog.
Some people may wonder, “If bi-racial discrimination is a problem, I would have already heard of it,” and I’d like to point out why that isn’t necessarily true. As people, we like being able to organise and categorise things- you can look at a person and know that they are white, that they are black or that they’re Asian etc. But when you look at a biracial person, whom you cannot categorise in such a way, people tend to become confused and turn away from the matter.
In short, because we can’t be categorised as x or y, people find it difficult to discuss us.
Being bi-racial in today’s society comes packaged with anxieties and problems that we deal with every day. From people referring to us as “Half-caste,” to others refusing to recognise the ethnicities that make us up because we may look more like one that the other. Although the problems of a bi-racial person may seem like “teenagers finding something new to whine about,” (as I have heard many say before) these problems are real, and are something I, and many other bi-racial people face in our day to day lives.
Being bi-racial, we’re often too dark skinned or light skinned for people to acknowledge and respect our dual heritage. I’ve been told my skin is “too white” for me to understand the issues poc (People of colour) have, but of course, my sister who is from the same house as me, same parents as me, same culture as me and same background as me can since she has curly hair and dark skin. And the difference in the appearance of bi-racial people can really throw others off, especially when siblings have different skin colours, much like me and my own brother and sister.
I have people stare at my family as we walk down the street because my mum’s white and my dad’s Asian and they’ve had kids who are both. A question I asked myself a lot was, “why?” Why were people looking at us? Why did the security guard in the airport ask if my father really was my father? The answer is simple: It’s ignorance- and not always intended ignorance.
I blame a huge portion of this on representation and acknowledgement of bi-racial people within the media. Media representation is crucial when it comes to society accepting and having knowledge of things not too obvious.
I grew up surrounded by wonderful movies to spend hours marvelling at- Disney movies most definitely being my favourite. However, unlike all the other mono-racial children, what I lacked was a character through which I could see myself, someone who I felt was just like me, someone who I could look at and see my own family reflected in theirs, and if I couldn’t see myself neither could anybody else.
I gladly admit we have taken steps forward with Bi-racial children and interracial families being in the recent hit Disney film ‘Big Hero 6’ and extremely popular series ‘The Walking Dead’ with Glenn and Maggie’s relationship, and I can only hope that such characters continue to be actively represented.
I hope the media will erase the invisibility of bi-racial people, clear the confusion and show that we are not x or y, we are simply x and y.