Mixed Race and Social Stigma Research Paper

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 9
  • Subject: Race
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #26982792

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Mixed race means that a person belongs to different races. Their ancestry, which means where they come from, has the presence of multiple races that could mean that either their parents or their grandparents belong to two different races (Abraham, 2005). There has been discussion on how the children 'label' themselves around people. (Tizard & Phoenix, 93) Labeling: Allotting something a name. However, in this instance labeling is referred to how the kids label themselves.

Black-white, white-black, or mix? If the children think they are white, that's a problem. Also, they cannot even think of themselves as completely black either. The stigma that arises here is psychological damage and a loss of identity in the long run. (Tizard & Phoenix, 93) Some people can totally combat this quest of identities; others are at a loss of attaining a true identity due to mixed race.

The mixed racism often comes out forward when the person goes to a different country; however, the dual racism is present at all times (MacShane, Plaut & Ward, 1984). When Anna Lisa Raya came to America, she found out that she was actually bi racial. When a person lives in a place where no one questions their race or their background, they stay somewhat oblivious to the entire situation. For instance, Raya did not wonder about who she was or where she belonged to when she lived in Mexico. Even though, she did not look anything close to a Latin; she did not regret looking white over there. In a diverse social environment, like America, Raya has to be a know-it-all Latina who knows everything about her culture. (Raya, 102) This brings out the social stigma in correlation with stereotyping. A person, who is not native, belonging to a different culture, should know about: music, arts and politics of his or her own country. For instance, Raya did not know Spanish well and being Latina; Raya was expected to be very fluent in the language. (Raya, 102) These stereotypes put pressure on an individual and make them confused about where to go. If they go in a new environment, they might want to learn new things or try to be someone else rather than stick to their cultural norms all the time. A black hole is basically where nothing is clear and the person is lost. Even though used in correlation with space studies, Raya's black hole is the identity crisis she is trapped in (Raya, 103). She is confused about who she is and where she is going.

Thesis

Mixed race: a stimulation for nationalism or a cause for social stigma? This question still needs to be answered. People whose parents are from two different identities or people who have two different home countries are likely to face some psychological issues as they grow up in a country where races matter. This is especially true of teenager students - just like Raya. As she describes herself in the poem, she refers to herself as being a Latina and depicts some anti-American feelings (Raya, 1010-1011). This when we realize that sometimes when people are from two different races, they accept both the races equally; however, sometimes some of these people tend to be very dedicated towards one race and develop negative feelings about the other one -- this is when the social stigma arises.

The concept of mixed race is illustrated in the House behind the cedars where the John and Rena present themselves as white just because they are light skinned. The two siblings change their name and take advantage of the fact that they are light skinned. Even though they are safe from the discrimination that the blacks got that day, in the story; their mother is the one who is left alone. Only because she is black, or of African - American descent, she cannot go and live with John. With Rena going away to take care of John's son, the mother fears that she will be left alone and as they both enjoy lives without discrimination. (Chestnut, 262) Even though by being white, John had achieved to have a good career he missed his childhood and his mother. The stigma for this character: back then was that even though he could live a life without discrimination; he had to be away from his mother. A white back then could not even mingle with African-Americans let alone go in their house. That is the reason he had to carry out his actions when no one could see him. (Chestnut, 265) He was living a life full of lies and confusion; he could not leave his mother and could not be with her at the same time.

Often younger kids opt for silence instead of talking when they find them in a cultural situation where they are lost (Kingston 105). The silence in this situation would be not because they're mute and cannot talk; it would be because they do not really know what to talk about. For instance, a child would not say anything because he cannot speak up the language and he isn't used to talking in English. (Kingston, 105) Being in kindergarten, it is surely easy to go about and mind you own business. The real problem starts when people go out to work and when they have to interact with others. Children who have not opened up, or who shy away because they are not confident and certain about their identity tend to face some problems in the future as they grow up and when they have to attend university and start working. These are the places where these people have to suffer from discrimination. Even if they are not discriminated, they do not mingle with others because they are not sure about their acceptance: acceptance of a mixed race in a white or black society.

Another social stigma that is cause of mixed races is the one that is related to religion. Sometimes when Muslim men marry women of other religion, their children have to face a lot of trouble as they grow up in search of their identity. The social stigma here is that they end up following no religion as such because they are confused what to do. On the other hand, sometimes what happens is that they want to follow a religion that is discriminated. That is when they hide their faith - just keep it to them. Such a situation has been discussed in a book when there is an argument as to what Amjad should name his daughter. When the name 'Marium' is suggested, the others have their reservations. Even though the person after whom this name is kept is common to three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism; Mary is the name that is chosen for the girl because of the place where they live (Naqvi, 112).

Another social stigma of mixed races: slavery. People who are of a race that is considered to be inferior over another were made slaves in the past; a practice that has not fully eradicated but the incidence has declined. This issue was addressed in much detail by Abraham Lincoln in his speech. Slavery -- the practice of the superior races should be suppressed so that the people who cannot succeed because of discrimination can come to the surface and make a name for them. All the authors and scholars who have supported slavery should change their mindset (Lincoln, 1858).

Even though the use of the word race holds much controversy -- its use cannot be totally abandoned because this is how people can be categorized. Many consensuses are held worldwide to get an idea of the people who are bi or multi-racial. As for the year 2010, it was found out that the number of American people who checked themselves as both "white" and "black" had increased by 134%; in comparison with the statistics of last year (Cohn, 2011).

America: an interesting place to study social stigma pertaining to multi-racial issues. In the United States; social discrimination was prevalent. The situation changed after the Presidential elections. American President: a man of mixed origin. His mother was a European-American woman; meanwhile his father was an African. The election of President Obama is indeed a sign of progress that the American people are learning to put aside the discrimination pertaining to race and color. This is definitely going to have a positive effect on the social 'stigma', the one that results from multi-racial issues.

Conclusion

There are many dimensions to the social stigma that emerges as a resulted of people who are multi-racial. Multi-racial: a very vast topic to discuss has many aspects to it. One of these can be considered color; the others include religion, ethnicity and language. Places where tolerance to other races is less, multi-racial people have to face a lot of trouble. We can find a lot of examples- from real life as well as from the stories told by some great authors -- the…

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