The Rise of “Mixed Race”

mixed-race-girlAs a dedicated numbers geek, I have a special love for statistics. Stats are what separate truth from myth, rumour and lies: in these interconnected times, it’s easy to spot a liar by their refusal to back “facts” with solid statistical evidence (or providing dead-end references to blogs that in turn don’t reference any verifiable evidence).

One of the highlights of the stats-geek’s calendar is the publication of census results. Censuses provide the biggest, most in-depth statistics, on a scale that only governments can afford to commission. The 2001 England & Wales census provided a fascinating insight into British life and culture; and having digested it, I spent much of the following decade waiting impatiently for the next chapter. The 2011 census results were finally published in late-2012, and made for fascinating reading.

There are two particularly interesting sections in the census results, covering religious belief and racial origin. On the religious front, this census showed what had long been suspected: a collapse in religious belief. Those declaring themselves to have no religion had leapt from 15% to 25% over the ten year period between censuses.

The headline figures on race were also interesting: the white population is now reported to be 86% across the country, and in London, 60%. 6.8% of the nation originates in the Indian subcontinent, and 3.4% identifies as black.

But the most significant change relates to the people declaring themselves as mixed race. This group has increased more than any other, almost doubling in the past decade to 2.2% – meaning that, for the first time, the mixed race population numbers over a million. The mixed race – or “none of the above” – population will continue to grow faster than any other, for simple mathematical reasons. Any person can (theoretically) produce a mixed-race child; and, as racial divides continue to weaken, many more people will.

Racial definition is in part a political decision: in Britain, a person with parents of different racial origins will probably self-describe as mixed-race. In the US, because of the legacy of racist slavery and segregation laws, many mixed-race people identify as black – witness the “black” President himself, the offspring of a European and an African, and Tiger Woods, the “black” golfer, who is in fact more Asian than he is African.

This “one-drop” definition of blackness was designed to hold back the black population; yet perversely, it is black Americans who now most fiercely cling to this racist definition of blackness.

In Britain, without a history of legal segregation to overcome, people are more free to choose a label that most fits their choice of identity, and the mixed race label is thus the fastest growing one of all.

But there are people who dislike the rise of “none of the above”; the far-right’s political pitch has always been based around the “they’re not like us” strategy. In the 1930s the Jews were too alien (they said) to fit in with “British culture”. Then, black West Indians were too different from us, and black immigration was prophesied to cause irreparable social harm in the 1970s. Then, Indians and Pakistanis were again too different; and then Poles and many other groups. Racists hate the rise of “none of the above”, because it proves them wrong. The existence of a growing mixed race population is testament to the fact that immigration doesn’t cause social meltdown (in fact, an analysis of crime figures in recent decades suggests that immigration has helped create a more, rather than less stable society).

Desperate to disrupt the rising racial integration, the most moronic sections of the far-right refer to the rise of racial mixing as “white genocide” (here’s a link to a far-right “white genocide” site – not for the faint-hearted). The idea that interracial coupling is “genocide” is, of course laughable. As globalisation proceeds, all people will become increasingly mixed; and in fact, we already are. DNA analysis demonstrates that the true mixed race population of the UK is far higher than 2.2%; it’s just that most mixed-race people are unaware of their origins.

But the most vocal opponents to black/white racial couplings aren’t only niche groups of far-right white nationalists, but also parts of the black population. I’ve often heard (and seen on Facebook) open discussions advocating against racial mixing, and calling on black men and women  to select black partners; such discussions, if conducted among white people, would be (rightly) described as racist. In my personal observation and experience, mixed couples in London are more likely to receive negative comments and attitudes from black people than from whites. Many black people – backed by middle-class whites with little direct experience of multiracial urban life – try to excuse such attitudes; but I see no difference between those morons fearing the dilution of “white identity” and those fearing the dilution of “black identity”. A bigot who has a problem with the racial blend of a couple he has never met is a bigot, whatever his race.

The recent biopic Marley outlined how Bob Marley, as a mixed race child in rural Jamaica, had to contend with teasing and prejudice from his peers (naturally, once he became a global “black” superstar, his black fans were quick to forget his mixed background – but Marley himself never did). Those who are fastest to identify racism in others are slowest to see it in themselves.

Those who feel a gut dislike at the sight of a black man with a white woman, or a white man with a black woman, are racists – whether or not they choose to accept or admit this. Certainly, the afro-centric tradition has become more adept at masking racist ideology behind intellectual-sounding justifications than their white racist cousins. It’s easier for many to mock British and American fascists than it is to criticise black people who oppose racial mixing – but strip away the differences in presentation, and there is no underlying difference in ideology – the dislike of mixing comes from the gut, not from the mind.

The rise of the mixed race is unstoppable; it began with the great Persian, Greek and Roman empires, and went into overdrive when the European empires began their global rise and fall. It will accelerate until the time when we have forgotten what “race” once meant. Some people – white, black, Asian – feel uncomfortable about this. That’s their problem.

21 thoughts on “The Rise of “Mixed Race”

  1. This is bullshit. There will be a backlash and people will cling to their own. You hardly see Arabs Indians or oriental mix with blacks like the fetish brainwashed white womanly is.

    • nay i respectfully say you have never been to the Caribbean.
      the amount of Indian and Chinese people mixed with black is vast . travel alittle, you will see how wrong you are are.

      • Travel only broadens the mind if you let it.

        The article is spot on. In a 18+ year black/white mixed relationship, the only noticeable racism I encountered was from black people.

    • People actually don’t ‘cling to their own’; that’s a fairly new phenomenon that came along with the invention of European colonialism and the idea of white ‘superiority’. While living in Germany I saw a Chinese-African couple and their children, and now that China is making inroads into Africa there’s going to be a Chinese-African population emerging within the next 50 years or so. Also, Arab isn’t an ethnic group, it’s a nationality. You’ve obviously never met or heard of black Arabs like the Tuareg. And what about the Caribbean Indians who have both black and Indian relatives/ancestors?

      The only person who’s mentioned fetishes is you, which leads me to believe that you have a filthy mind that sees black people, and black men especially, only in terms of their sexuality, and white women only as brainwashed automatons incapable of making choices. The fact that your comment consists of flawed argument, grammatical error and misspelling suggests you haven’t taken advantage of the education previously offered you. I suggest you remedy this, sooner rather than later, otherwise nobody will ever take you or your ill-conceived views seriously.

      • Even though “nay” is clearly looking from a racist standpoint, Sexuality is clearly the driver of racial mixing – you don’t get mixed-race babies without mixed-race sex! :)

        It is sexual attraction that makes people cross divides that otherwise they wouldn’t cross. This is why the racists will always lose – people don’t mix because of ideology, but because they fancy each other. You can’t stop that happening.

  2. I think the issue of racial identity has been going on from ancient times (it doesn’t have to be black or white, as the current furore over Eastern Europeans demonstrates). I’d suggest it’s tribal in origin (indeed, the first “ethnic conflict” may have been homo sapiens exterminating the neanderthals).

    Similarly, countries like to have an “enemy of the week”. For the UK it used to be Russia and the communist system, now it’s Arabs and Iranians (or Muslims generally).

    I can’t and won’t disagree with your personal observations (although I’d point out that you don’t provide verifiable sources to back them up!). The other area that might be worth exploring at some point is those elements of the (mainly white) left who regard “black culture” as “superior” to white (whilst not necessarily having a clue what they’re talking about!), and are keen to see racism in everything.

    • Homo sapiens didn’t exterminate the Neanderthals. They married them. However since there were more Homo sapiens than Neanderthals, their physical traits–overhanging brows, stout, muscular physique and greater physical strength–eventually bred out. However many Europeans still carry Neanderthal genes.

      A tribe is more about culture and familial ties than race, otherwise every African would belong to the same tribe, and we don’t. Take also the German tribes of Palatine and Swaebish–same colour, different cultures. Humans have always interbred with those outside their culture,nationality, race or even religion. This is how the human race has survived as long as it has, by embracing and integrating the ‘other’. I think people decrying ‘racial mixing’ today forget that some nationalities–the Spanish, for instance–are a direct result of interracial mixing, because it happened so long ago.

      Personally, I have never met any white person who regarded any black culture as ‘superior’. Some people may regard some aspects of black culture as superior, but they usually have a pretty narrow idea of what constitutes ‘black culture’ in the first place. And speaking from my own perspective, if you live as a black person in Britain, then racism actually is pretty much in everything.

      • Yep, mixing has been happening forever – it’s just accelerated as humans have travelled more widely. I read some time back (memory is a bit rusty) that the Eritrean people descend from black Africans and a Semitic tribe who completely assimilated with each other around 1500 years ago.

        • Which is why I’m always saddened when Jews are racist towards black people, and vice versa, because there is so much African blood in the Jewish population, especially when you’re talking about the region around Ethiopia/Eritrea where kings Solomon and David came from. It’s a pity we can’t have classes in school about patterns of migration and who integrated with who, we’d all benefit from it.

      • The reality of tribal history is that some tribes assimilated each other, others conquered each other, and others annihilated each other. We’ll never know the stories of the tribes and races that didn’t make it into the modern era.

        • The last point is not entirely true, since archaeology can give us some insights. For exmaple, I recall seeing a TV programme which suggested that David’s Kingdom was rather smaller than that described in the bible, with another being rather more important (sorry, can’t remember which). Far be it from me to suggest that the old testament might be a political tract designed to emphasise the Jewish nation at the expense of others (how that has dragged itself into the current day).

          It can certainly give us insights into belief systems that have not survived (an obvious example is ancient Egypt).

          On a slightly related topic, can I nominate Tony Blair for Pope? His levels of delusion appear now to be adequate for the job.

  3. FFS. I do wish people would study a bit before they comment. It is scientifically proven that we all descend from “black Africans”, to put it in its crudest sense. And before that, we came from bacteria. And yes, we shagged/killed neanderthals in Europe when some of us left Africa. Am I the only person who can’t understand racism? In the whole scheme of things, and taking into account our tiny amount of time on this planet historically, it’s a bit like hating your maternal uncle for not being related to your dad. Bloody nonsense and the ignorance of it boils my blood.

    • The way I look at is: we’re only apes with the curse of self-awareness. It’s not our fault we’re stupid – in fact we’re a lot better behaved than most other species. Give it another 1000 years, we’ll have it sorted.

      • Regrettably, in 1000 years the planet will have evicted us for being undesirable tenants. But that’s a whole different discussion.

  4. Many of the right wing trash rags (eg Mail, Express) have a mixed race person (“national treasure” Jessica Ennis getting a CBE) on their front page today. As the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant, I’m not sure how she’d feel about sharing that front page with headlines trumpeting falls in net migration.

    Not sure why that other “national treasure” (and son of Muslim Somali asylum seekers) Mohammed (Mo) Farah wasn’t there.

  5. When I worked in the UK in the 1990s I had a friend who proudly described herself as ‘mixed race’. I finally asked her about this and she utterly seriously totally straight-faced told me her father was Welsh and her mother English. Was thoroughly bemused by this one.

  6. I have a white mum (her mum and dad white) I have a mixed race dad (black mum, white dad) further back I have not bothered to trace roots further back. Some of my relatives seem to be pre-occupied with that pastime. Good luck to them, having to define themselves by how much black or white they are. Life is too short to be worrying about that, having to choose sides etc.

    I just try and enjoy the good things each ethnic type has achieved, and hope that any bad traits get left behind for good. I feel for the indigenous people of the UK who seem to be marginalised by our governments while they try to appeal to the emerging ethnic and religious groups.

    Even our local white Councillors are now helping to spread rumors about the EDL and label the white and proud lot as “Nazis”. Crazy that white people in the UK are now automatically seen as racists regardless if they are or not.

    My Union Jack egg cosies were met with suspicion by my black guest, I found myself having to justify why I have them in my kitchen. I happen to be patriotic to the UK while also appreciating other cultures. Again in the UK it seems that a white person will be left to justify why they are proud of their heritage, have to convince everyone else that they are not Nazis and have to list off all the non-white friends they have to be accepted in the country they were born in.

    I think the biggest issue is not how many people are of mixed ethnic blood, but the CULTURAL differences and RELIGIOUS extremism, particularly when people are so easily offended that you have to hope you are not seen as racist and are not going to be blown up or beheaded because you are a non-believer.

  7. The thing is, of course, that it is only white people who have large numbers of other people in their countries, by choice. Miscegenation is only happening in Europe and the US. Africa remains as African, India as indian, China as Chinese. Europe will simply be swept away in a tide of Africans and Asians desperate to escape their own countries. But that is the choice of the Europeans, of course. It is neither good nor bad, but simply what they choose to do. In two hundred years, there will be black Africa, Arab Africa, Chinese China, Indian India, and mixed-race Europe and USA.

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