Effects of interracial marriages on children

Posted by Ria, 26 Jun 12

They are a growing demographic thanks to interracial relationships. There is more than 7 million of them in the U.S. alone (… and still counting of course). These are the Tiger Woods, Halle Berrys and the Obamas of the world... then there is Ria of course ;-) . Their success and great social adjustment has changed the society’s view on interracial children.

It is not uncommon for most people look at mixed race children and think wow! Now that is one beautiful offspring. My sister is one of the people that adore looking at interracial children. And I think it is a good thing to hail the beauty of interracial fusion that is brought about by mixed race individuals until in some blog, they gave a comeback to "Mixed babies are so cute" which was "Aren’t all babies?" Question is: Is there more than meets the eye? Do we think about what the experience of being raised in an interracial context might entail or does the thinking stop at "cute"?

Well besides people touching your fuzzy hair, and mothers asking how to take care of such hair, there are more serious effects of a child being interracial … the usual being categorization and racism. Which group does she belong to? Racial identity, a product of racial prejudice, is something these kids need to deal with. Apart from the usual name-calling (Oreo! Zebra! Mutt!) some of these kids themselves are never sure where they fit especially with black-white biracial kids - Blacks don't see you as Black enough; Whites call you black coz of fuzzy, unruly hair. Having come from more than two racial groups, I remember once, my Italian pal had a party which I never got invited to coz my skin was too dark. Might seem petty but for teenage kids, such things really affect them.

There are social and even psychological effects that can arise from not seeing yourself like a full member of any particular racial group… especially in areas where race still matters. There is nothing as bad as someone asking your parent if you were adopted! Look at president Obama for instance. People are going to the extent of politicizing his mixed-race upbringing; some calling it "an insufficiently integrated identity".

In the review of Janny Scott's 'A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother (2011)' dubbed: Transition - "Tense and Tender Ties" Cornel West thinks this of him:

"As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white... When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening ... Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable."

Looking back, most white women had to give up their mixed children for adoption because they had feared anticipated costs of raising biracial children and the diminished lives they had expected they and their kids would endure within a white community. Luckily, in the world we know today, mixed race kids can feel lucky they belong to more than one culture. They see it more as a heritage that makes them unique because kids of this generation rarely use skin and hair texture as the criteria to "belong". One Phoebe Hinton expresses this freedom to just be in the Yale University blog saying: "I am lucky enough to have an excuse flowing in my veins to do whatever … I want: there are some things white people do and … I'll do them. There are some things black people do, and … I'll do them. Pretty much the only thing people won't accept me doing is continuing to identify as neither black nor white, but an amalgam of the two."

But much as these kids don’t face discrimination in school, according to a study The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents by Harvard researchers on Black/White "mixed race adolescents engage in substantially more risky and anti-social behavior than either blacks or whites, especially outside of school" and "also fare somewhat worse on measures of psychological wellbeing." As per this research, its all because of "being held to tougher standards by both peer groups. That is they need to engage more in risky and anti-social behaviors to gain acceptance."

Besides the effects of prejudice, mixed race individuals have a hard time finding a match for blood cells. According to an article on TheProvince.com, their odds, one in a million, literally. "Simply put, as interracial marriages increase, the supply of mixed-race blood, which must be gathered from adult donors, is lagging far behind the demand from a growing pool of mixed-race children."

The thing is, in an era where interracial coupling is growing acceptance it's easy for an interracial couple not to think about the racial identity of their children or anticipate problems they might encounter because of the faith they may have in the fundamental change in society. But after years of her being raised in an environment in which race neither defined them or how they viewed others, on the eve of his graduation from Harvard Law School, Obama had "chosen to take on a really strongly identified black identity." And even today, more and more mixed race individuals (especially black/white) still follow the same trend.

Much as we'd all love to shove it under the carpet, race does matter to parents and children of mixed race children. That is why when a black mother with her white-looking kids is asked if she is baby sitting, she flips. That is why Ann Dunham was uncomfortable with Obama's choice to identify as black... she realized then that no matter all her efforts to move beyond racial reductionism, all along, race had mattered in his son's life.

Question is: When interracial parents refuse to consider racial identity of their offsprings, (even though well intentioned) are they in denial or naive to believe race wont matter? And even if they stop to think about it, do we expect them to sacrifice their love or not have kids? Do you think its selfish of interracial couples to have kids, knowing too well their kids might have to endure racial prejudice?

42 responses to "Effects of interracial marriages on children"

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  1.   heinz58 says:
    Posted: 09 Jul 12

    Born to a Caucasian mother and an Caribbean father my mother refuses to recognise me as "black". She is adamant that my sister and I are "mixed-race". My father however, agrees we are "black". They have been married for over 35 years...

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    • NOPLAYER says:
      Posted: 11 Jul 12

      @ heinz - my friend once told his German mother, "you're accepted as white with no problems while I'm not, so let me get in where I fit in and identify with those who identify with me!" In other worlds the reality that she wished for him was not the reality he lived and since he was embraced by blacks thats who he identifies with but for some reason his mom has issues with that. IMO, sometimes parents are more confused than the children because the children see it for what it is and not as they wish it were but often times its the parents that are living on Fantasy Island!

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    • Kelli_00 says:
      Posted: 22 Jul 12

      heinz, I am Hawaiian and white, add to that black for my children. I have always instilled in them that they are biracial... not one or the other. I also instilled in them, that the rest of the world may catagorize them in one way or another, but they are 100% of mixed races... by the Grace of God, both of my children have grown up to be confident, attractive and talented young adults both on athletic scholarships in college.... Not to mention...they both are beautiful.... but, I can definitely understand your mothers refusal.... because as mothers, we want our heritage, bloodline and DNA to be represented too! It is easy for me, as I have lived in metro areas that have always been diverse.... My children love being different, unique and special.... and they embrace being BiRacial.

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  2.   yaz90 says:
    Posted: 24 Jul 10

    its all mixed up folk. but here is reality, we are living in the 21st century, globalisation is moving faster than we can imagine and so will interracial and intercultural marriages... and nothing can change that. People should start looking at the futures of biracial kids as a future that will shape this world differently, heck maybe even make this world a better place. now i am going to have biracial kids some day God willing and i could not be happier, my husband and i will teach, love, care for, and be there for our kids. Its all in how they are raced and to be honest i think biracial kids are extremely lucky because they get to experience the best of both worlds. Maybe the key to making all the shit in this world disappear, diseases, war, poverty, corruption might just come from kids who have knowledge and experience on how different cultures interact and co-exist... some may say its not natural but i say, its happening and there aint one thing you can do to stop it.

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  3.   Serenade says:
    Posted: 25 Jun 10

    I believe skin color has nothing to do with it. I believe it is preception. Society shapes the way we think, regarding what we see as being right, wrong, just and normal. It has been proven in science that racism is not natural, and that it can only be taught from someone with preconcieved notions of discrimination. As humans, we will always find a way to segregate ourselves though. If we all had the same skin color, we would judge each other based on styles of clothes worn, temperments, attitudes, body types and social status.(As we currently do) This all revolves around the thought of what we see as being normal. This has nothing to do with our skin color...but it has everything to do with our minds. "Preception"

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  4.   Member says:
    Posted: 05 Jan 10

    My son is almost 7 years old. he is bi-racial, but looks distinctly asian. The first face he looked at when he was born was mine, and I have been very involved with him from the start. So he has been very comfortable in my presence, and in the presence of his paternal family. But recently, he has begun asking me some odd questions about his appearance. I remember when he was about 4 years old, he saw a commercial on TV involving an African girl. He turned to me and asked, "Daddy, how many people in the world are not like us?" I did not immediately connect his question with the commercial, so I asked in a puzzled way, "what do you mean?" He said, "How many people have dark skin, and how many people look like you and me?" I found this question so refreshingly innocent, but I knew that at some point the world will be telling my son that he and his daddy also look different. Well, that time has now come, and my challenge of course is to manage my son's questions thoughtfully and in a way that will hopefully put him in good stead to take advantage of all the good things that come with being a bi-racial and bi-cultural child.

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  5.   Vecino says:
    Posted: 07 Dec 09

    R and I met in NYC, lived together for two years, and got married after I joined the Army. She is caucasian -her father a Lithuanian, her mother a woman from CA, both are blond and blue-eyed; I, I am a Southamerican mestizo. While serving this Great Nation, we had two children who grew amidst continuos changes of station and unlimited affection at home. The only time one of my children, the oldest, experienced segregation was while we were stationed in Germany. Go figure. Like Bossy_Teacher, my Army Brats had a good open minded life in the DoD-run schools. They built a solid self esteem before I retired and never had identity problems nor the need to belong. My youngest finished HS two years after I retired. I do not know the statistical niche in which my family falls but I will always accept and respect the ethnic preference my children choose. I know they are beatiful humans. But yes, life outside the umbrella of the military is different to say the least. We live in South West Florida now. The flying of the Confederate and flag, the Arian Nation flag, and the displaying of other symbols like the swastica is common place. As long as you do not allow this to be an obstacle in your life, you will remember that American is a race as much as America is a country. The United States of America is an evolving Nation thanks to the diversity of its inhabitatns.

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  6. Posted: 13 Nov 09

    i am black and i am white.. and im only 18.. nd no doubt do i love myself for what i am.. but growing up was hard on me.. i had my dad drilling in my head that i should identify with the black side since thats what society will focus on in professional situations.. my mom said just be mixed white kids dint want to kick it with me because i obviously wasnt white.. i look puertorican! nd the area i live in being hispanic wasnt necessarily good neither ( not in my opinion i love all people) but because of that black kids didnt wanna hang with me.. and alotta hispanics dint like me cuz i only looked like i fit in.. i couldnt speak the language or even act the way they did.. so for me growing up was straight hell.. its scientifically proven that people tend to be more comfortable with people of the same ethnicity, whicfh is probably the reason the 5 people i kick it with today are all mixed and have all been through similar things like me.. but i will tell you this never tell your kids to identify with one side..because no doubt that will make them lose who they really are and only adapt an ethnicity tell them they are mixed tell them they are beautiful tell them God loves them and let them know what truly makes a difference is the way they hold themselves respect themselves as well as others and WHO THEY really are not WHAT they are

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  7.   Ravi says:
    Posted: 03 Nov 09

    I am Indian man who marry white woman. We have 2 daughters that don't look Indian and they don't accept Indian culture. I am torn because I love my Indian culture but my daughters love only White culture.

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  8.   Bellara says:
    Posted: 16 Oct 09

    I pity the fool who tries to treat my kids (when I have them) in such manner. Talk all you want but then moment they lay their hands or an object on them? Good riddance, this world will be too small for all of us :)Parents need to hammer confidence and esteem into their kids starting from the very day they were born because it will benefit them till the very end.

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  9. Posted: 12 Aug 09

    Being bi racial myself, I never had a identity crises, not knowing where I fit in etc. My parents raised my siblings and I to be the best we cab be. I have dated BM,WM AND HM. If you love yourself for who you are, then other people will love you to,regardless of your ethniticity,as we are all one race THE HUMAN RACE

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  10.   Member says:
    Posted: 05 Aug 09

    From: Gene It has seemed that interracial marriage has hit a new low for me realizing over the many years that it was not love that brought my parents together but because my Mother considered the native population of her country has dark and ugly. Hence, she only married my Father because he was Blond haired, blue eyes with white skin and wanted a white baby. "Very Fake Love" she had. However, my Mother is not only one that has behaved this way, my Phillipino friend working in Myers knows a Chinese divorced women whom only married a Westerner for Citizenship and to have a white baby. Moving away from this point and back to my own family I have noticed over the many years, that my Mother expected me and my Father to behave like we were both the same culture/race that she was and when we didn't, she would became abusive and very nasty. Thus, my Mother forgot she was not in her own country anymore and we both were not the same race or culture has she. As a result at the end of the day it seemed that me and my Father had great respect for her race and culture, but she had very little time nor respect towards us both, or even our country we were born in. At present time it seems that we only stay together because of financial reasons plus my Father doesn't believe in divorce, so we just all feel tortured.

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  11.   Member says:
    Posted: 16 Jul 09

    I'm mixed race and I tell you what it has been totally hell! a life time of absolute misery for me, I wish my parents would of married someone close to their own culture/race/religion. I don't get any racial abuse on the outside, all the problems are within my family and it all directed towards biracial marriage which is to late to reverse and change. I've suffered so much becuase of being the ofspring of parents from different races/cultures/religions. Their has been mis-communication, displacement, intimidation, bullying, verbal abuse, physical assualt, frustration, depression, dissasociation and a lot of anger all directed at one area becuase of a biracial marriage. Hence, I've ended very anti-mix marriage and my Father is staing if he had of known what it would of been like, he would never have married a person of another race/culture. So you see Biracial marriages can be HELL as well.

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  12.   Member says:
    Posted: 26 Jun 09

    I'm early 20's half white-Filipino and came here coz I was upset with rejection. I like being who I am but I wish people weren't so racist about it. Positive racism in the Philippines and negative racism in America, it's all the same, it's racism and it sucks. Filipinos and Americans need to be more accepting of mixed race people, rejection is pathetic.

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  13. Posted: 06 Jun 09

    I live in Seattle and my husband (black) and I (white) have been married for over 15 years. Our children are 13 and 6 fit in just fine. They love that they are a butterscotch, that I am passion pink and daddy is chocalate. I think it gets back to how children are raised. I grew up in Chicago and my best friend in 1st grade was part bi-racial. My husband said the best part of growing up black was when he was in the military because no one see's color. My daughter's best friend is 1st grade is a girl who is part white and part japanese and everyone gets along just fine. My grandmother who is born in 1909 was thrown out of her house because she married a Irish Catholic in the early 1930's. My grandmother was Luthern and from Sweeden. What would have happened if they never married because her mother had issues?? I think I do live in a better, more accepting part of the country then some people,(Seattle) but it doesn't stop us from traveling and if someone has an issue with it. It's their problem not mine.

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  14. Posted: 07 Apr 09

    It's hard being a kid, period. I was in bi-racial heaven when my black father and white mother were in the military and we lived on bases on three continents from my birth until age 14. Kids of every possible mix were a common sight and base life overseas was the last time I lived in a place where you couldn't guess with any accuracy a kid's GPA just by looking at him/her. Black kids excelled, white kids excelled, bi-racial kids excelled, Asian kids...yadda, yadda. (FYI, this is still the case with DoD schools today. Check it out. They have almost no achievement gap between ethnic groups!) That all changed when my father retired from the Air Force in sunny northern California and I went to public (off base)high school. It was here that I heard my first racist remark from a white person (of two to my face in my life, I'm 46), and came under a constant barrage of prejudiced comments from black girls who would have been my friends just a few months earlier back on base in England. I was stunned that so few people of color were in the advanced classes. This was completely different from the amazing Dept. of Defense schools I had been fortunate (didn't know it at the time) enough to have been attending since kinder. I guess what I'm saying is that growing up is tough no matter who you are. Circumstances kids find themselves in have far more of an effect on how a kid feels about himself than ethnicity. As someone who has been overweight for years, I KNOW that that has had much more of an effect on my self-esteem and feelings of acceptance than being bi-racial has. Any other military brats out there?

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  15.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 13 Mar 09

    Children born without having to Live with all the Bad times in our History of Ignorant ways of Greedy people that for so long had Plagued many people / for no real reason . Shall in Future times finally Make Americans come together in a far Better Lifestyle . While watching an old black and white [ before color episodes ] DVD of the Beverly Hillbillies this morning . Jed Clampet said " The good Lord God , made us all , if we were good enough for him / why can't we be good enough for each other ? "

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  16.   Luci says:
    Posted: 13 Mar 09

    I am black and puerto rican and my children are black/puerto rican and white (of eurpoean decent) and I think mixed children are just beautiful because, well because they are human. All children are beautiful---shouldnt matter that they are mixed or not. My children do not experience any racism, like what has been said before--the younger generation is more accepting. I mean to them---it dont matter. I think one day it is going to be a minor thing. People are people and it should not be thought of as cruel to have mixed children.

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  17. Posted: 25 Feb 09

    I am white, my fiance is black, we plan to have children, and no I don't think it's selfish. I've had many a racist people in my life tell me they're ok with interracial relationships but just think we shouldn't have kids because it's not fair to the kids...to that I respond as many people on here have: the color of your skin does not matter, it's the environment you make for your child, the lessons you teach them, the support you give them, the love, and having an open relationship. I personally feel it will be good for them to have and be a part of two cultures. While I understand there will be obstacles, I am confident that life can be easier if you raise your children to understand where they come from. MIMI--specifically to you I'd like to say, as a white person I do prefer that Obama identify as mixed, but definitely not for any of the reasons you have said. Because as a white woman, and future mother of a biracial child, I think it's important to recognize all aspects of a child's culture and can't help but feel like it's a slap in the face to one parent or the other when only one background is recognized. You can call me selfish for that reason I guess, but your reasons are all wrong. It's not about dissing the black background, it's about equally acknowleding all backgrounds. My hope for the future is that as our culture becomes more accepting, choosing won't be necessary anyway.

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  18.   mimi says:
    Posted: 17 Dec 08

    he's black. that whole long response thing is because white people see how he's seen as something great in something other than sports. see how he's admired, and would rather not he be black, they just want to take away his blackness, to reclaim whiteness in the white house. When people saw him, they saw black, that's how he's grown up, as a black person. black is more than skin, it's an experience that can't be taken away, and once you've lived that, it's wrong for someone to try to take that away. This is coming from a mixed person like obama, who just like obama, is proud to be black. I'm tired of white people doing stuff like this, I really am. You deny us identity with you, no half white person who looks anything like black is considered white. we're not seen as equal, and I'd rather not even be associated with you either way. we're black, and im happy to be associated with that than closeminded supremacist ideals.. unlike people like Ria, and people that are ashamed to be half black, i'm happy to be it regardless and I would never trade it.

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  19.   Nashida says:
    Posted: 16 Dec 08

    "A perplexing new chapter is unfolding in Barack Obama's racial saga: Many people insist that "the first black president" is actually not black. Debate over whether to call this son of a white Kansan and a black Kenyan biracial, African-American, mixed-race, half-and-half, multiracial or, in Obama's own words, a "mutt" has reached a crescendo since Obama's election shattered assumptions about race. Obama has said, "I identify as African-American that's how I'm treated and that's how I'm viewed. I'm proud of it." In other words, the world gave Obama no choice but to be black, and he was happy to oblige. But the world has changed since the young Obama found his place in it. Intermarriage and the decline of racism are dissolving ancient definitions. The candidate Obama, in achieving what many thought impossible, was treated differently from previous black generations. And many white and mixed-race people now view President-elect Obama as something other than black. So what now for racial categories born of a time when those from far-off lands were property rather than people, or enemy instead of family? "They're falling apart," said Marty Favor, a Dartmouth professor of African and African-American studies and author of the book "Authentic Blackness." "In 1903, W.E.B. DuBois said the question of the 20th century is the question of the color line, which is a simplistic black-white thing," said Favor, who is biracial. "This is the moment in the 21st century when we're stepping across that." Rebecca Walker, a 38-year-old writer with light brown skin who is of Russian, African, Irish, Scottish and Native American descent, said she used to identify herself as "human," which upset people of all backgrounds. So she went back to multiracial or biracial, "but only because there has yet to be a way of breaking through the need to racially identify and be identified by the culture at large." "Of course Obama is black. And he's not black, too," Walker said. "He's white, and he's not white, too. Obama is whatever people project onto him ... he's a lot of things, and neither of them necessarily exclude the other." But U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield, a black man who by all appearances is white, feels differently. Butterfield, 61, grew up in a prominent black family in Wilson, N.C. Both of his parents had white forebears, "and those genes came together to produce me." He grew up on the black side of town, led civil rights marches as a young man, and to this day goes out of his way to inform people that he is certainly not white. Butterfield has made his choice; he says let Obama do the same. "Obama has chosen the heritage he feels comfortable with," he said. "His physical appearance is black. I don't know how he could have chosen to be any other race. Let's just say he decided to be white people would have laughed at him." "You are a product of your experience. I'm a U.S. congressman, and I feel some degree of discomfort when I'm in an all-white group. We don't have the same view of the world, our experiences have been different." The entire issue balances precariously on the "one-drop" rule, which sprang from the slaveowner habit of dropping by the slave quarters and producing brown babies. One drop of black blood meant that person, and his or her descendants, could never be a full citizen. Today, the spectrum of skin tones among African-Americans even those with two black parents is evidence of widespread white ancestry. Also, since blacks were often light enough to pass for white, unknown numbers of white Americans today have blacks hidden in their family trees. One book, "Black People and their Place in World History," by Dr. Leroy Vaughn, even claims that five past presidents Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge had black ancestors, which would make Obama the sixth of his kind. Mix in a few centuries' worth of Central, South and Native Americans, plus Asians, and untold millions of today's U.S. citizens need a DNA test to decipher their true colors. The melting pot is working. Yet the world has never been confronted with such powerful evidence as Obama. So as soon as he was elected, the seeds of confusion began putting down roots. "Let's not forget that he is not only the first African-American president, but the first biracial candidate. He was raised by a single white mother," a Fox News commentator said seven minutes after Obama was declared the winner. "We do not have our first black president," the author Christopher Hitchens said on the BBC program "Newsnight." "He is not black. He is as black as he is white." A Doonesbury comic strip that ran the day after the election showed several soldiers celebrating. "He's half-white, you know," says a white soldier. "You must be so proud," responds another. Pride is the center of racial identity, and some white people seem insulted by a perception that Obama is rejecting his white mother (even though her family was a centerpiece of his campaign image-making) or baffled by the notion that someone would choose to be black instead of half-white. "He can't be African-American. With race, white claims 50 percent of him and black 50 percent of him. Half a loaf is better than no loaf at all," Ron Wilson of Plantation, Fla., wrote in a letter to the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. Attempts to whiten Obama leave a bitter taste for many African-Americans, who feel that at their moment of triumph, the rules are being changed to steal what once was deemed worthless blackness itself. "For some people it's honestly confusion," said Favor, the Dartmouth professor. "For others it's a ploy to sort of reclaim the presidency for whiteness, as though Obama's blackness is somehow mitigated by being biracial." Then there are the questions remaining from Obama's entry into national politics, when some blacks were leery of this Hawaiian-born newcomer who did not share their history. Linda Bob, a black schoolteacher from Eustis, Fla., said that calling Obama black when he was raised in a white family and none of his ancestors experienced slavery could cause some to ignore or forget the history of racial injustice. "It just seems unfair to totally label him African-American without acknowledging that he was born to a white mother," she said. "It makes you feel like he doesn't have a class, a group." There is at least one group eagerly waiting for Obama to embrace them. "To me, as to increasing numbers of mixed-race people, Barack Obama is not our first black president. He is our first biracial, bicultural president ... a bridge between races, a living symbol of tolerance, a signal that strict racial categories must go," Marie Arana wrote in the Washington Post. He's a bridge between eras as well. The multiracial category "wasn't there when I was growing up," said John McWhorter, a 43-year-old fellow at the Manhattan Institute's Center for Race and Ethnicity, who is black. "In the '70s and the '80s, if somebody had one white parent and one black parent, the idea was they were black and had better get used to it and develop this black identity. That's now changing." Latinos, whom the census identifies as an ethnic group and not a race, were not counted separately by the government until the 1970s. After the 1990 census, many people complained that the four racial categories white, black, Asian, and American Indian/Alaska native did not fit them. The government then allowed people to check more than one box. (It also added a fifth category, for Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.) Six million people, or 2 percent of the population, now say they belong to more than one race, according to the most recent census figures. Another 19 million people, or 6 percent of the population, identify themselves as "some other race" than the five available choices. The White House Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the census, specifically decided not to add a "multiracial" category, deeming it not a race in and of itself. "We are in a transitional period" regarding these labels, McWhorter said. "I think that in only 20 years, the notion that there are white people and there are black people and anyone in between has some explaining to do and an identity to come up with, that will all seem very old-fashioned." The debate over Obama's identity is just the latest step in a journey he unflinchingly chronicled in his memoir, "Dreams from My Father." As a teenager, grappling with the social separation of his white classmates, "I had no idea who my own self was," Obama wrote. In college in the 1970s, like millions of other dark-skinned Americans searching for self respect in a discriminatory nation, Obama found refuge in blackness. Classmates who sidestepped the label "black" in favor of "multiracial" chafed at Obama's newfound pride: "They avoided black people," he wrote. "It wasn't a matter of conscious choice, necessarily, just a matter of gravitational pull, the way integration always worked, a one-way street. The minority assimilated into the dominant culture, not the other way around." Fast-forward 30 years, to the early stages of Obama's presidential campaign. Minorities are on track to outnumber whites, to redefine the dominant American culture. And the black political establishment, firmly rooted in the civil rights movement, questioned whether the outsider Obama was "black enough." Then came the primary and general elections, when white voters were essential for victory. "Now I'm too black," Obama joked in July before an audience of minority journalists. "There is this sense of going back and forth depending on the time of day in terms of making assessments about my candidacy." Today, it seems no single definition does justice to Obama or to a nation where the revelation that Obama's eighth cousin is Dick Cheney, the white vice president from Wyoming, caused barely a ripple in the campaign. In his memoir, Obama says he was deeply affected by reading that Malcolm X, the black nationalist-turned-humanist, once wished his white blood could be expunged. "Traveling down the road to self-respect my own white blood would never recede into mere abstraction," Obama wrote. "I was left to wonder what else I would be severing if I left my mother and my grandparents at some uncharted border." Obama's true colors: Black, white ... or neither? ___

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  20.   noonecares says:
    Posted: 16 Dec 08

    uhmm, I am doing a paper on this topic for school and i would just like to say how pissed I am for picking such a terrible topic to wrtie a paper about. people get made fun of, IT HAPPENS to everyone like it or not so who cares really?

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  21.   lala2qz says:
    Posted: 09 Dec 08

    are people who have mixed raced kids selfish?!? what kind of question is that? Ria, YOU are beyond a doubt extremely selfish. FROM EXPERIENCE,Only considerable problem is identity crisis, but if parents would teach their child that we are all one people and that you dont need to fit a category, it'd be fine. SOO many people experience racism who ARENT mixed, so what is your point? That is like saying that black people shouldnt have babies because of how bad things can be growing up black. from both sides? thats not even something that's isolated to mixed people. growing up can be hard if you're hispanic, white, black, no matter what color(s) you are. Seriously, I really dont think you should be posting anything regarding ethnicity or color, because you are so negatively biased in nearly everything you write. Thing is, this is life, it comes with challenges. You apparently havent risen above anything. You take all the bad like its ingrained in you and let it overshadow the good. You act like being mixed is a curse, its not. You need to recognize the real problems.

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  22.   sun says:
    Posted: 19 Nov 08

    I need advice. I have 4 yr old daughter half black and half korea. she is a beautiful little girl. I don't forget the day she showed me her palm and said I like this color then flipped her hand and said I don't like brown color. It broke my heart and I was not ready for this kind of situation. Within my beleif all I could said was God made everyone special and the color you have is beautiful and you are special. but it didn't make her feel differnt. what can I do to make her feel good about herself and being thankful for the way she look?

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  23.   jahag says:
    Posted: 18 Nov 08

    I have 2 Biracial Grandsons that I love and spoil. I feel they have the best of both worlds Black and White Grandparents that they are learning from. The problem I have with people is that they always put them in Black Race regardless of being half White. Since their Mother is White, I believe in the old saying, "Mama's baby..Daddy's maybe". I personally think it's nice for them to have 2 cultures and ethnic backgrounds,in fact I'm learning more about the White culture that I never knew. So in my own opinion I think it's great.

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  24.   vt says:
    Posted: 15 Oct 08

    shut up

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  25.   Sundae713 says:
    Posted: 01 Sep 08

    I've had two best friends who are biracial and one is pretty comfortable. The other identifies as black but is faced with the same discrimination mentioned in your article. I personally think it depends on where you grow up. There are some communities that don't make a big deal out of it. I've lived in a town like that before. It seemed like everybody was biracial, lol but I was a kid. Where I currently reside, however there's the constant label of "redbone" and "yellow." I think it depends on how diverse that particular community is to begin with. If there are more races than black and white around than nobody is paying attention to those labels. You might be mistaken for Hispanic, lol.

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  26.   nashida says:
    Posted: 18 Jul 08

    Slave masters had a field day with the African females and the native females of the first people by raping them and impregnating them, therefore spreading their genetics through out the Americas and around the world. The so-called creo, colored people, and mixed heritage, bi-racial, light skinned, multi-cultural and etc. are the titles that were given to the children after the fact. Neither of these names truly identifies the whole person. And yet, it doesnt even surprise me that we are even having a discussion about the genetics of our children. The white couple that produced the brown skinned child whom its mother does not know her father is a prime example of this. The masters children that were shipped around like parcel packages did not know their fathers either they just knew that if they were light skinned Africans that they were the product of a rape and that they could be related to any number of white folks in this country. People please lets not forget the history of this country, we are all sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles and grandparents to one another, whether we are called creo, colored people, and mixed heritage, bi-racial, light skinned or multi-cultural, white or black.

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  27.   Kespat says:
    Posted: 29 Apr 08

    Well since I have a biracial child I clearly don't have an issue with biracial individuals. There are definitely issues that can arise from being biracial (particularly identification issues). However, depending on how the parents address these issues with their children, I don't see that there has to be any reason for biracial children to suffer from teasing any more than other children. I myself was teased about my "big" lips and "being white" because of how I speak and the kind of music I listened to. Luckily, I had a ton of love, acceptance and support growing up so that although being teased was by no means fun, I was secure enough in myself to not allow it to have permanent effects on my self-esteem.

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  28.   Member says:
    Posted: 28 Apr 08

    I have never dated a white man and never will i have 4 biracial children who are beautiful and if we would all grow up and stop worrying about race and what everyone else is doing this would be such a better world we are all people we are all beautiful Let us teach our children not to see color but the good and beauty in every person

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  29. Posted: 21 Mar 08

    Finally the voice of reason...thank you nightnurse!

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  30. Posted: 12 Mar 08

    if you look at the younger generation you will see that many of the kids are mixed - whether they be black and white, asian and white, asian and black, hispanic and black, hispanic and white, black and american indian, and anything else you want to throw in the mix. kids today do not see the racial aspect as much as older generations do, and those that do need to be educated about the one-ness of the human race, not the division of the race based on color. we all bleed, we all breathe, and we all grieve. we all also celebrate. when we accept ourselves as equal, then so will our children and grandchildren. kids learn what they see. it's up to us to teach them.

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  31. Posted: 06 Jan 08

    I completely agree with acuteblkguy. No matter what you are, people (being the simple human beings that we all are) will make fun of, critique, and even harass ANYTHING that is different from ourselves. And yes, Josey is correct as well. Some people set a bad example, being bi-racial themselves and acting high and mighty about it.

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  32.   josey says:
    Posted: 12 Dec 07

    The sad part about some bi-racial people aka Tiger..."some" people have that I am better than you attitude just because they are bi-racial. In reality we all come from the same beginning.

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  33.   mossimo says:
    Posted: 08 Dec 07

    Great comments all....my kids are mixed too, but am not sure how much teasing happens in the lower grade levels. They have not told me of a single incident though.

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  34.   Rome11 says:
    Posted: 07 Dec 07

    true you must judge a persons for what he or she is worth not what they look like we are all indeviduals and that is what makes all this shit worth getting down for,forreal.

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  35.   acuteblkguy says:
    Posted: 06 Dec 07

    what kid doesnt grow up with identity issues, blk wht or whatever, and what kid doesnt get made fun of, i look at it this way, if i were fat, i'd be made fun of, if i'm too skinny, i'm made fun of, if i had a different accent i'd be made fun of, if i were really short or really tall, or if i were poor or (rich and Boogey) see we all get it , no matter what you do or how confident u are with yourself, there is always someone out there to tell you who they think u are and should be...SO to wrap this up i dont think that it has any more affect on how u fit in as any of the above mentioned things do. I'm mixed jamaican and indian (india) and people tell me i'm black or they assume i'm african american because of the way i look, so i dont buy into it, cause inside i know i'm much more complex, beauty in complex!! I personally consider myself black cause of my skin tone. and those lucky enough to get to know me find out more than just my skin tone.

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  36.   fala says:
    Posted: 26 Nov 07

    Very good points Xeltron and Coco. Kids raised in good, loving, supporting families can over come anything.

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  37.   cocokisses says:
    Posted: 25 Nov 07

    I agree with the comments above. I live in Ohio, and at least a quarter of the kids in my daughter's school are bi-racial. I just happen to live in an area where it is extremely common. I asked my daughter if she has ever had a problem since she has been in school, and she told me no. I agree that kids tease each other, no matter what the race. It's how we raise our kids to deal with the teasing that matters most.

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  38.   xeltron says:
    Posted: 25 Nov 07

    It's not easy being a kid regardless of color. If you raise your children correctly and show them the proper love, everything will be fine. My daughters are proud of their black and white heritages and take no lip from anyone. They are strong because that's the way they have been raised.

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  39.   fala says:
    Posted: 24 Nov 07

    It's not easy being a biracial kid, but it's not easy being a kid. Kids always pick on each other - that's part of being a kid. Being called an Oreo and told I'm not black enough just taught me to not worry about what other people think and just be myself. I wouldn't change any of my experiences growing up for anything.

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    • nika23 says:
      Posted: 14 Jun 12

      I only see it as a problem in the US. My dad is biracial and said he never had a problem (nor did any of his 7 siblings). He grew up with African, Indian, Spanish, Asian and mixed kids as this is the population of Trinidad. He identifies as black, but it's obvious that he is part Asian. He has pale skin and slanted eyes and I think his curly hair is the only giveaway that he's not fully Chinese. My dad's father is Chinese and his mother is black, but he never had any issues of what he was. He says black, some may say mixed, but it's never been a big deal to him. It's not anything he thinks abot and I never heard him mention it until my cousin and his girlfriend from London were talking about mixed race kids. They asked my mom if my dad acted like he was better because he was mixed and she said no. I've heard that in England mixed race people are considered better looking than whites (who are seen as the ideal beauty in the US) so that could explain their question. I think parents teaching their kids about racisim, which is something minority families in the US do anyway, would be beneficial. If possible, living in an area with a variety of racial groups or interracial houehilds would be a smart move. I think mixed race kids living in an environment with people of only one race are the ones likely to be teased about being mixed. As a person of color, racisim is nothing new to me and it happens within the black community too. Darker skinned black people are often ridiculed and treated as less than because of their skin color and lighter skinned blacks are teased because other black people feel they don't face racisim because they look "less black". Also darker skinned Indians and Asians are also treated badly and as less than, so it's not only a Afric. Amer. issue. Dark skin is viewed negatively by many cultures so it's more about people of all races teaching their children to value and judge people by their character and not their color. I don't know when this will happen, but acceptance of other races should not even be a discussion. When I was old enough to understand the depth of racisim and recognized mixed race couples, I was happy because I felt this would end racisim. As I got older I realized seeing a mixed race couple could also mean that one group is ashamed of their race and will pass over quality people in their race for any type of person from a different race. I'm still hopeful that more mixed kids will mean less racisim, but I doubt it will be in my lifetime. There are so many people on planet earth and in the case of of black people, it's usually only negative images of us shown worldwide, so people who do not know us believe what they see. Also, since Bollywood became a sensation in the US, they stopped using darker skinned women in their movies. Seeing these movies you would assume Indians are only light skinned when you have Indians that are darker than some Africans. It's sad to me that as the world is becoming one "global nation" due to the internet and other technology, instead of tolerance and acceptance of all groups, darker skinned people of all races are being seen as a dirty secret to hide away from the rest of the world. Hmmmmm, I just wish people would stop hating each other regardless of color, race, nationality, religion and the list goes on. I like people who are good people and even better if they are good to me and I dislike people who are bad people (murderers, rapists etc.). What can't people judge others by that instead of features. This world needs so much healing.

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