Eight years ago, I fell in love with a musician who had a great smile, strong convictions, and proved he was a kid at heart by climbing trees with me on our first date. We married in 2011, have two children, and are still best friends to this day. It just so happens that I’m Caucasian and my husband is Korean, African-American, and Cherokee. His skin is the color of dark caramel and his eyes do the coolest crinkly thing when he laughs. I, on the other hand, very closely resemble a peach Crayola crayon with brown, curly hair.
Needless to say, meeting our kids for the first time was AWESOME.
Of course, it would have been, no matter what we looked like. But one unique element about our family is that our son and daughter both represent four entirely different ethnicities from four different continents. History class will take on a whole new meaning for them.
Honestly, skin color doesn’t come up very often in our house, unless we’re having a specific discussion or teachable moment together. It simply isn’t a “thing.” But when I stop and see my life from the outside, I’m reminded that there really are differences in being a white mom with multiracial kids. Some of them are hilarious. Some of them are sobering. All of them are a privilege to experience if it means I get to spend one more day being my children’s mom.
You’re probably waiting for me to dish the dirt on all the terrible things strangers have hissed in my ear in the grocery aisle. We do live in a messed up world, but honestly, most people just stare.
Will my children face some of the persecutions their father faced as a child? Will they face things that their white classmates and cousins won’t understand, and, to a degree, I won’t fully understand? Yes. But every family faces challenges, no matter their skin color. Every family is made up of completely unique individuals. Every family has their “weird is the new normal” moments. Here are a few of ours.
1. Your kids may not look anything like you.
In my case, my kids look like their daddy. It’s just the nature of the dominant genes. That’s fine. I happen to think he’s adorable, so bring on the adorable descendants. We didn’t fall in love because of our skin color, or decide to have children because of that. The byproduct of our different races means that the kids simply don’t look like me very much.
Still, I see similarities flash by — like when my daughter speaks in a gentle voice to her stuffed animal when it’s “injured,” stroking its fur and giving it hugs. Or when I saw my 1-year-old son toddle out of his room recently. His eyes darted around as he tried so hard to hide the little quiver in his chin, and when his eyes locked on mine, his face wrinkled and his eyes welled with tears as he raced into my arms. It’s in those little moments that I see it. The gentle hand. The shape of the quivering chin. That’s when I see me.
2. People regularly ask, “Are your children adopted?”
My uterus gets a little angry every time someone asks me this question. I can’t fault them for their assumption, so I’m not offended, but the devil in me always wants to answer with something like, “No, after two pregnancies and 41 total hours of labor, I birthed both of these children straight from my Caucasian loins.”
3. People don’t know how to ask about your kids’ ethnicity.
I hear things like this a lot: “Aww ... these are your kids? Wow! So, what’s their … um … who … uh … ”
Meanwhile, their hands flail about, searching for the right words in mid-air.
It usually ends with a benign, “W-where is their dad from?”
So I answer honestly. “Virginia.”
“ … ”
“I’m just messing with you,” I say. “You’re really asking what his ethnicity is, right?”
A sigh of nervous relief tumbles out of the other person. “Yes, yes, that’s what I was asking.” ::vigorous head nodding::
The thing is, I totally get the curiosity. My husband has dealt with this his whole life — sometimes with far less polite inquiries and assumptions made of him. I’ve tried to reverse roles and picture someone doing that to me.
“So, you’re German and English right? Can you say any German phrases? Can you sound like My Fair Lady? Do you know any good sauerkraut recipes?”
(I don’t, by the way.)
According to my husband, this video accurately depicts the hilarity of what his whole life has been like:
4. Everyone in your family is tanner than you … dang it.
My daughter was born during a Midwestern winter when the light-skinned world is at its pastiest. My little newborn was like a sweet caramel candy in my arms.
Don’t even get me started on how long it takes them to tan each summer. When my husband and kids wear sunblock, they still come home three shades darker. It’s cool. I can be the pasty mom. It’s cool… ::sniff::
5. People might think your baby’s birthmark is a bruise.
I had no idea what a “Mongolian spot” was before I became a mom. When my daughter showed up on the scene with a birthmark that looked like an ink stain on her lower back, I immediately asked my husband about it. His reply was, “It’s an ‘Asian baby’ thing.” Turns out, more than 80% of babies from Asian descent are born with the bluish gray birthmark.
It’s not even just Asians, though. According to the US National Library of Medicine, “Mongolian blue spots are common among persons who are of Asian, Native American, Hispanic, East Indian, and African descent.” Less than 10% of Caucasian babies have it.
So basically, this is a completely normal birthmark for nearly everyone except white people.
When my son was born, his Mongolian blue spot looked like a splotchy map of North and South America stretched across his lower back, right hip, and buttocks. I totally bragged about it to my family ALL the time. “Look at my baby’s cool birthmark.” (Sorry, son. I stopped, I promise.)
That was until the day we were told that an incident report was filed while he was in a child care facility. One of the attendants changed his diaper and noticed the bluish marks, completely unaware of its origin. Out of concern and to make sure proper paperwork was filed to prove that he wasn’t injured while in their care, the attendant filed a report about the mark and gave it to the director … who showed it to me.
The whole matter was cleared up because we’d been friends with this director and many of the people on his team for years. They knew we would never abuse our children. Still, the danger of other caregivers mistaking our son’s large birthmark for injuries and calling CPS unnerved us. We decided to photograph the birthmark and file a signed statement from his pediatrician that it was, in fact, a birthmark (which led to the most embarrassing trip to the Walgreens photo lab I’ve ever taken).
6. Every day with your partner would have been illegal not that long ago.
My husband’s entire existence represents his parents’ interracial union and the progress this world has made. Our union is one step even further down that path. Things weren’t so rosy in the United States 50 years ago, however. Interracial marriage wasn’t even legalized until 1967.
I’m so grateful to live in a world that doesn’t hate my family or hunt us down or persecute us. Again, I’m not saying these things won’t ever happen, because people are people, but I’ll take every good day as a gift. Our ancestors made their choices. Now it’s up to us to make ours.
7. Your kids will ask you some day, “Mommy, why doesn’t your skin look like mine?”
I think about that one quite a lot. Everything I read and watch and listen to makes me think about my children and the world in which they’re growing up. I’m sure that’s the same for all parents. I cannot do anything about other people’s prejudices or misguided beliefs on race. What I can do is show acceptance in my own home.
My children will know that I love them. They’ll know that I love their father. They’ll know that we accept each other’s families.
My husband and I talk openly about racial issues with each other, gaining a better understanding each time. We’ll watch a movie and discuss why a person of a certain race was cast in a certain role. We’ll reflect on our childhood and compare the moments when we felt like outsiders, often for very different reasons.
I don’t think we meant to do this, but all these conversations are preparing us for the day when our children ask us that one question, “Why doesn’t my skin look like yours?” “It’s actually a beautiful story,” I’ll tell them. “Your own little history.”
Until that day, I will patiently wait, pray, and prepare for my babies to ask their questions and find their voices in this world.
Actor and singer Taye Diggs might be black, but he wants folks to understand that his son, Walker, isn’t — at least not entirely. That’s the message he’s been shopping around as part of a tour to promote his new children’s book, “Mixed Me.”
The tome is both inspired by and intended for kids like 6-year-old Walker, whose mother — Diggs’ former wife, Idina Menzel — is Caucasian. As Diggs sees it, Walker isn’t black, he’s biracial. And both whites and blacks seem equally invested in denying it.
A similar situation befell President Obama — whose mother was white and who decided early in his career to opt in to blackness at the expense of his white half.
Diggs’ decision to embrace his son’s biracial identity is brave — particularly for an African-American. For while America’s “one-drop” rule may have been established by white segregationists, it’s often been embraced by blacks themselves.
Stung by racism and seeking political potency (and safety) in numbers, blacks want to keep as many folks in their fold as possible — all black, half-black or whatever. How else to explain why black leaders were some of the most vocal opponents of the introduction of a “multi-racial” category in the 2000 US Census?
Then there’s the common black contention that all African-Americans are of “mixed” ancestry as a result of miscegenation during slavery. That might be true, but Diggs is speaking of his son being “biracial” — not “multi-racial”; his book focuses on kids whose parents are of two entirely different races, not mixes of many.
For whites, meanwhile, “one drop” helps them do what they’ve always done best — protect their privilege by any means necessary. To them, it’s not so much about who is Caucasian, but rather making it clear who isn’t. This is where “one-drop” comes in — to shut their biracial brethren out of the cultural, historical and economic benefits of whiteness.
Diggs is challenging both of these sentiments and should be applauded for doing so — particularly with nearly 7 percent of Americans describing themselves as mixed-race, according to a June Pew Research study.
No one is suggesting children like Walker should be described as white. But Diggs rightly demands that it’s time folks stop denying that his son is, ultimately, as much white as he is black.
Or, perhaps, even more so — I know from personal experience.
For the first four decades of my life I assumed my genes were equally derived from my white Jewish mother and African-American dad. Sure, like most black families, we knew history had “whitened” my father’s blood line. A great-great-grandfather, for instance, was an Irishman who had almost certainly married his slave (my great-great-grandmother) in antebellum Texas. But it wasn’t until I took the simple genetic test from 23andme that I found out just how whitened our family had become.
The test’s results ranged from the obvious — a predisposition for myopia and overeating — to the startling. For it turns out that genetically, at least, I’m actually 50 percent “more” white than black — 39.1 percent “Sub-Saharan African,” to be precise, compared to 59.1 percent “European.” My mom’s line, as expected, is pretty pure — virtually 100 percent Ashkenazi Jewish. But along with bits of Native American, my father was nearly 20 percent white — far more than we’d ever imagined.
Of course all of this data was just that — numbers and graphs and charts. As cases like Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin illustrate, my 23andme test isn’t going to protect me from racist vigilantes or shield me from bigoted cops. Nor might my newfound “whiteness” exempt me from the history of injustice and inequality that continues to define much of the contemporary African-American experience.
But the results did upend many of the racial preconceptions that had guided my life, causing me — like Diggs — to further question the very notion of racial categorization itself.
Critics of Diggs have dismissed the actor as attempting to “deny” his sons’ blackness, which is both simplistic and untrue. Diggs hasn’t “invented” a white identity for Walker — he hasn’t had to, the kid’s mom is white. Rather, he’s demanding his boy be allowed to claim what is merely a biological fact.
Progressives of all colors insist they respect the right to ethnic self-determination — but that respect seems to wane when it comes to being biracial. In Obama’s case, “choosing” blackness probably helped simplify what was already a complicated and combative political journey. Saying he was “black” — no matter the half-truth — made it easier for Americans of all colors to contend with his historic candidacy. And with (sadly) none of his white family at his side to muddle the message, Obama’s “all-black” narrative was easy to maintain.
Two generations later, Diggs seeks to spare his son from a similarly small-minded fate. America may not yet be truly “post-racial.” But perhaps, as Diggs discusses, the country can begin to accept that biracials are here to stay.
ANN ARBOR—For black-white multiracial children, how others perceive them may be inconsistent with how they perceive themselves.
This includes perceptions by children and adults, according to a new University of Michigan study.
The researchers examined how 387 Midwest children (4-13 years) and adults categorized multiracial children as black, white or as not wholly black or wholly white.
Multiracial children were shown either with their parents—one black parent and one white parent—or without them.
When it was clear that multiracial children had one black parent and one white parent, older children and adults categorized them as not wholly black or wholly white, said Steven Roberts, a U-M doctoral student in psychology and the study’s lead author.
However, white and black adults still considered multiracial children as black more often than as white, showing that white adults excluded multiracial children from their racial in-group. Meanwhile, black adults included multiracial children within their racial in-group.
Child participants showed a different pattern. When multiracial children were shown with their parents, children did not see them as more black or more white. However, when multiracial children were shown without their parents, white children perceived them as more black, whereas black children again did not see them as more black or more white.
“Importantly, white children from predominantly white contexts were especially likely to categorize multiracial children as black, whereas black children from predominantly white contexts were especially likely to categorize multiracial children as white,” Roberts said.
These findings suggest that by adulthood, people think of multiracial children as black because of their black parentage, whereas during childhood, people do so because of physical appearances and experiences with group contact. That is, adults believe that parentage determines identity, whereas children believe that physical appearance and contexts do.
“These developmental differences are important for parents to know—especially parents of multiracial children,” said Roberts, who authored the study with Susan Gelman, a professor of psychology and linguistics.
“They show that how multiracial children are perceived depends on where they are, who they interact with and what they look like. Helping children understand this will help them understand why others may not see them the way they see themselves.”
When multiracial children are misidentified—or placed in an incorrect category—it can affect their self-esteem, motivation and ability to form quality social relationships, Roberts said.
“For these reasons, self-identified multiracial people appreciate when others see them as multiracial, rather than as black or as white,” he said.
Hi! My name is Tristian Turkey and I am honored to be invited to share my story with all of you at Project RACE for this week’s Famous Friday. I live on a beautiful farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts where my ancestors have lived since the 1600s. My great great great great grandmother came from England with the Plymouth colonists and my great great great great grandfather was raised by a Wampanoag Indian chief. They met in 1621 when the colonists invited the Wampanoag to share an autumn harvest feast. My great great great great grandparents went to the celebration, which is known as the first Thanksgiving. It was there, under the table, eating the crumbs of lobster, seal, swans, venison and berries that they met. It was love at first sight. She thought that he was strong, honest and funny. He thought she was beautiful, kind and smart. No one cared that she was an English Turkey and he was a Wampanoag Turkey, because everyone understood the obvious, turkeys are turkeys no matter what their heritage. My grandparents married and had 14 children. Every year, all my ancestors went along to enjoy the big Thanksgiving feast. It became the Turkey Family Reunion for over 200 years. But then everything changed!
An American writer named Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, started a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She also published recipes for pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and … TURKEY!! TURKEY! Can you believe it? Yes, we always came to the Thanksgiving feast, but we came to celebrate our family history. We came to celebrate how our ancestors from two different backgrounds came together and became one awesome turkey family. We did NOT come to be cooked and eaten!!
So now, as the final Thursday in November nears, you will not find my family and me celebrating. No, we hide in November, but we thankfully celebrate our rich and wonderful heritage the other 11 months of the year!
Approximately seven years ago, I was engaged in, what I thought was a friendly conversation with a group of ladies at my work. As mothers, we often talked about daily activities our children were engaged in. Our conversations were personal, easy stress relievers, and generally ended with much laughter among the group.
When I ended my “story for the day” on the subject of my daughter’s latest activity, one of the ladies turned and said, “Well, she’s going to have psychological problems anyway.”
I looked at her, startled, and asked what she meant by that. “Well, she’s biracial,” she continued,” and all biracial children end up with psychological problems.”
This woman was the first person who’d ever made such an asinine statement to me, but unfortunately not the last. What she claimed never crossed my mind. Why would it?
My daughter is a charming, well-rounded, culturally balanced, beautiful biracial girl who excels academically, and–I might add she’s one very fine pianist. She has friends of all races and heritages, and she loves people. In fact, whenever someone refers to my daughter as one ethnic group over another, she’ll quickly inform she’s neither one over the other, but both (African-American and Hispanic), thus bi-racial. She loves all of who she is, and is very proud of both her heritages.
I must admit, I have heard of and read stories about biracial children and adults alleging they’ve encountered problems fitting into groups, but I truly hadn’t spent any time at all pondering over this subject where my own child is concerned. Don’t get me wrong, I did my homework as a parent; I made sure to do my part to balance knowledge of both heritages and pointedly built her character, self-esteem and self-worth. This is mainly because self-esteem challenges, good or bad, have to do with any parenting and environmental situations, and not based on one’s racial make-up.
Because I happen to be an African-American mother of a biracial child whose father is Hispanic, I felt if there are those who declare just because a child is biracial they will automatically have psychological problems; I needed to set a platform about diversity and bullying in motion.
The truth of the matter is, children have it hard these days no matter what their ethnic background. Psychological problems stem from a child’s own lack of self-worth, not from the color of the child’s skin. If anything, the problem stems from adults’ bigotry and small-mindedness. In twenty-first century America, there is no room for biases and division.
Multicultural education is the key to diversity and an important factor for decreasing bullying behaviors. We need to stop making assumptions about children based on what they look like and allow them the chance they deserve to grow into healthy, well-adjusted individuals.
Cherrye S. Vasquez, Ph.D. is the owner of Books That Sow: Strength, Character & Diversity, DBA. Her collection of books builds character, self-worth, and empowers all children, whether monoculture, biracial of multiracial. Visit her website for more information: http://www.BooksThatSow.com. We are proud to have her on Project RACE’s Advisory Board.
A few weeks ago, I got this question from my four-year-old. Technically he is “biracial”—but that label does him a severe representative injustice, because his bloodline is actually Japanese, Taiwanese, Slovakian, German, French Canadian, British, and Welsh. He also does not possess a parent of one race and a parent of another race as “biracial” is usually assumed—both my husband and I are mixed-race Asian/white too. To that end, I much prefer to describe us, and him, as multiracial.
I write about and research race, families, and children with an especial focus on multiraciality and the intersection of mixed-race ID/Asian. I don’t believe in avoiding race talk with my child, though I do discuss it in age-appropriate ways. I’ve tried to stand by my conviction that it’s better he learn how to think and talk about these issues within the family first, rather than have normative ideals force-fed down his throat by everyone else when he walks out the door.
That said, I wasn’t fully prepared when he turned to me and asked, “Mom, am I white?” When I told him no, he immediately followed up with, “Am I Black?” Then when told he wasn’t that either, he started crying and plaintively turned downtrodden eyes to me, “But I want a color too.”
I know something about battling with the obscurity of race-labels, as I have never fit neatly into boxes myself. But I really didn’t expect to have a discussion like this with my son until he was older.
As I sat there, stumbling over describing “Black” and “white” to him in the context of skin tone, I could see profound confusion cross his face. And then I stopped talking, because he was totally right, of course. As I’ve written before and as we all know on some level, nobody really has “black” or “white” skin. Nothing better unveils the ridiculous, arbitrary, and shallow nature of the supposed race divisions than trying to explain race-labels to a still pretty literal preschooler. We’re all various shades of brown, almond, caramel, tan, pink, peach – there are a million more accurate colors for skin pigment. In the end he and I got to talking about brown and color mixing, and he finally decided he was “a mix-up of brown and white.”
At the same time, I know that race is very real, and that it needs to be constantly and critically addressed. I realize that my son, though he might not have the words or cognizance to tell me so yet, already knows a great deal about the racial hierarchy – including that he most certainly does not sit at the top of it (http://multiasianfamilies.blogspot.com/2013/05/mirror-mirror.html) (http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/africology/faculty/upload/children_colorblind…). And when I tell him he’s not white, I also know I’m telling him that some things will always be harder for him than for his white friends, and that people will sometimes treat him in ways his white friends will never have to endure. As a parent of color whose soul will be forever connected to the wellbeing of her child, it hurts that I have to be the bearer of this bad news – especially because I worry that my son already feels “less” because of his race.
In our family, we have the additional complexity of overlaying all these tough conversations with being “mixed” — not only existing somewhere in between our nation’s incredibly polarized white-constructed racial extremes, but then also falling uncomfortably off the whole spectrum entirely fogged in some sort of ambiguous racial ether. I imagine the conversation unfolding like this over the years:
Yes, honey, separating people into races is illogical, but racial categories do exist and they are nasty. No, you’re not white. Well, yes, your paternal grandpa and maternal grandmother are white – but you’re still not white. No, you’re not Black, either — or Latino/a or Native. You’re Asian, but other Asians might not accept you on that count, so be prepared. Then again, if non-Asians see you as Asian, that might have repercussions for you too (http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/asian-american/bul…). But what race are you and how should you prepare? I’m sorry, honey. I should know, being mixed-race myself, but I think I really might have no idea.
All this complexity and insufficient language leaves me with the million-dollar mixed-race parenting question: How do you prepare your multiracial child to exist in a society that persists in being racially divided, when he’s one of the many stuck straddling the divide? How do you give him a straight answer to a question to which you don’t even have the answer? How do you foster a meaningful discussion on a topic most adults typically avoid talking about because it’s so overwhelming confusing and painful –before your son even starts kindergarten?
Sharon H. Chang writes about these questions and much more in her forthcoming book on multiracial Asian children. She has an M.A. in Human Development with an Early Childhood Specialization, writes for ParentMap Magazine and Racism Review, and maintains the blog Multiracial Asian Families. Sharon currently lives in Seattle, WA with her 100% mixed-race husband and mixed-race son.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is one of the premier supplier of data on children. They consistently forget multiracial children in their demographics.
U.S. Must Improve Outcomes for Minority Youth as Demographics Shift, Report Says
As children from minority populations gradually become the majority in the United States, the country must address unequal outcomes and opportunities between racial and ethnic groups to ensure a prosperous future, a report released April 1 said.
In “Race for Results,” the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation created a new index that uses 12 educational, health, and economic factors to rank how children from major racial and ethnic groups fare in every state.
“It is clear that children of color—especially African-Americans, American Indians, and Latinos—are in serious trouble in numerous issue areas and in nearly every region of the country,” the report says. “Our nation cannot afford to leave this talent behind in hopes that these problems will remedy themselves.”
The report points to unequal access to community resources, good schools, and safe neighborhoods as contributing factors to persistent achievement gaps and health disparities. Many of those problems are rooted in intentional policies from the past, such as Jim Crow laws, that take focused and intentional efforts to undo, the report says.
And the stakes are high for everyone, the authors wrote. If the United States had closed the academic achievement gap between African-American and Latino students and their white peers by 1998, the country’s gross domestic product in 2008 would have been up to $525 billion higher, according to a 2009 estimate by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company that is cited in the Annie E. Casey report.
The state-by-state rankings are similar to the foundation’s popular Kids Count Data Book, but the Race for Results report disaggregates the data by race, presenting interesting state snapshots that could help inform policy discussions. Factors included in the index include low-birthweight births, preschool enrollment, 4th grade reading proficiency, the amount of children who live in areas where the poverty rate is less than 20 percent, and on-time high school graduation rates. Here’s how the report explains the methodology behind the new index:
“Though a bit more complicated than using simple percentages, our index does standardize scores across 12 indicators that have different scales and distributions. We think that this is the best way to make accurate comparisons. These scores were then put on a scale of 0 to 1,000. Index values are presented for all states and racial groups for which there were enough children so that valid estimates were available. The higher the score, the greater the likelihood that children in that group are meeting milestones associated with success.”
Nationally, Asian and Pacific Islander children fared the best under the index, followed closely by white children. African-American children fared the worst, slightly behind American Indian children. Here’s a chart pulled from the report.
Under the index, Hawaii scored highest in terms of its outcomes for African-American children, Texas for American Indian children, Delaware for Asian and Pacific Islander children, Alaska for Latino children. White children, who did pretty well everywhere, fared the best in Massachusetts.
American Indian children in South Dakota had the lowest index score of any group in any state—185 out of a possible score of 1,000, the report says.
The chapters also break down intragroup differences, showing, for example, that Japanese, Asian Indian, and Filipino children are the most likely within the Asian and Pacific Islander group to live in families with incomes at or above 200 percent of poverty. Children from southeast Asian ethnic groups—Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese‐ are on the other end of the spectrum, the report says.
The foundation recommends that policymakers use disaggregated data to best target limited resources toward programs that will “yield the greatest impact for children of color.”
‘Pay up,’ multi-racial families tell Dem who bet $100K that whites won’t adopt blacks
Alabama Rep. Alvin Holmes is suffering from foot-in-mouth disease, after publicly placing a $100,000 bet he couldn’t win.
After proclaiming on the Alabama House floor last month that pro-life GOP lawmakers would support abortion if their daughters were impregnated by black men, the Democrat offered $100,000 cash to anyone who could prove to him that “a whole bunch of whites” in Alabama had adopted black children, according to the Birmingham TV station, ABC 33/40.
Mixed-race families showed up at the state capital in droves on Wednesday, demanding, “Pay up, Alvin!” But Holmes was nowhere to be found.
“I would like for him to man up,” said Beverly Owings, an adoptive mother of a 13-year-old bi-racial daughter. “He’s made the statement. He needs to put his money where his mouth is.”
The local TV station reported:
Owings, a supporter of trans racial adoptions in Alabama, is part of a movement called Faces of Families in Alabama.
Supporters of trans racial adoptions rallied this afternoon to show that families shouldn’t be defined by race.
“After we work on it and work on it to have an elected official that can come in and make those comments and tear down everything that we’ve worked hard for,” said Owing’s husband, Jeromy. “It puts a question in their minds of ‘Do I belong?’ ‘Where do I belong?’”
This isn’t Holmes’ first foray into race-baiting. When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said two months ago that America was becoming too color-conscious, the lawmaker criticized Thomas’ interracial marriage and called him an “Uncle Tom.”
Holmes eventually back-pedaled on knocking Thomas’ marriage, but he doubled-down on the “Uncle Tom” remark.
Holmes did not respond to requests for comment from the local ABC station as to whether he would honor his bet. Now he refuses to talk. That’s what he should have done last month.
Jessica Ennis is a positive role model for people of mixed race
Children of mixed race are at greater risk of suffering from mental health problems and are not getting the support they need, says a report.
Despite mixed-race children belonging to the fastest-growing ethnic group, the research, backed by the National Children’s Bureau, found that they faced “unrealistic” expectations from teachers and other adults who did not understand their backgrounds.
While mixed-race young people are over represented in the care, youth justice and child protection systems, the authors said they were “invisible” in public service practice and policy.
The report – Mixed Experiences – growing up mixed race: mental health and wellbeing – drew on several studies and interviews with 21 people about their experiences as children.
Co-author Dinah Morley was concerned at the lack of understanding over what it meant to be mixed race, a group most likely to suffer racism. “I was surprised at how much racism, from black and white people, had come their way,” she said. “A lot of children were seen as black when they might be being raised by a white single parent and had no understanding of the black culture. The default position for a child of mixed race is that they are black.”
The report found that those with mixed-race backgrounds were more at risk of mental health issues because of their struggle to develop an identity. Morley said the strongest common experience was the “too white to be black, too black to be white”.
The 2011 census showed that the mixed-race population was the fastest growing ethnic group in Britain, amounting to 2.2% of the population of England and Wales.
In 2012, research by the thinktank British Future found that prejudice towards mixed-race relationships was fading. The report, The Melting Pot Generation – How Britain Became More Relaxed About Race, talked about the “Jessica Ennis generation”, crediting the London Olympics 2012 athlete with changing attitudes towards mixed race. “That positive role model is also seen as something very important,” said Morley.
We doubt they even thought to include multiracial children. -Susan
Black Children Twice As Likely to Develop Food Allergies
Research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says that food allergy has nearly doubled over the past 23 years in black children.
Food allergy puts children at risk of anaphylaxis, which is an allergic reaction that leads to swelling and breathing difficulties.
The data gathered from 452,237 children between 1988 and 2011 showed that food allergy increased among black children by 2.1% per decade, in Hispanic children by 1.2% and in white children by 1%.
Dr. Corinne Keet, lead study author and professor of paediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, said: “Although African Americans generally have higher levels of IgE, the antibody the immune system creates more of when one has an allergy, it is only recently that they have reported food allergy more frequently than white children.” She also added that “Whether the observed increase is due to better recognition of food allergy or is related to environmental changes remains an open question.”
However, food allergies are serious not only because of anaphylaxis. If not correctly diagnosed with an allergy, patients may unnecessarily exclude certain foods from their diet, leading to malnourishment.
Allergist Dr. Wesley Burks, a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) said that individuals allergic to milk, egg, soy and wheat “are more likely to tolerate these allergens over time, than those allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.”
Dr. Marshall Gailen, allergist and editor cautions that patients with symptoms of a food allergy should consult the allergist, and never try self-treatment or introducing an allergenic food back into their diet.