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Mixed race relationships

(75 Posts)
Lauramay02 Tue 04-Nov-14 23:04:03

Hi,

I've been in a mixed race relationship for over three years and have decided to write a post on reactions to mixed race relationships in the uk as it's a subject I feel strongly about.

Has anyone that's in, or been in a mixed race relationship ever been met with negative or racist reactions?

In my case, a white woman with a black man, we actually do get quite alot of stares which I didn't think would happen, but only ever 1 racist comment in London. However when we went to St Ives it was much worse.

How about you guys? Do you find it a problem?

Rachelbluefoot Tue 04-Nov-14 23:15:15

I too am in a mixed race relationship. This is my first post...so hi everyone. I'm black and my partner is white. We live in the north and definitely understand where you are coming from!! We also have mixed race DCs, and I'm always being asked whether they are actually mine. When I had my youngest DD and was breastfeeding her in public, people would walk past and do a double take. To be honest none of that bothers me though. I love my DP and the feelings mutual. Nothing can change that. I actually think that through our children there will be change. A man once told me something I'll never forget...he said 'the future is coffee coloured'. I kind of like that sentiment!!

UterusUterusGhali Tue 04-Nov-14 23:26:11

I've only dated a few guys with a different ethnicity to me, but only one "incident" stood out, which was a checkout woman being really REALLY standoffish. Not looking at the chap when he handed her money. Rolling eyes. She did look at me but with daggers.

I could have been imagining it, but I was trying to make chit-chat at first and she had no reason to be so pissed off with us. confused

springydaffs Wed 05-Nov-14 00:42:31

Worse in London than when we moved out to a city in the west country. In London we were CONSTANTLY stopped by the police in our car (my - black - husband was dead posh, which had the police tugging their forelocks hmm ). Someone spat at the ground in front of us as we walked along! I thought it was a coincidence! But by far the worst overt racist hostility was from black women, sad to say. Towards me, not him.

S France was terrible - people staring agog. I thought our little group - white woman, black man, gorgeous brown kids - spoke for itself. But apparently not. A woman on the ferry asked me how long I'd had my kids. 'I gave birth to them' I said, witheringly.

I recently had a spot of bother with a successful white woman who is in a relationship with a black man. By then I was a single parent (sorry!) and she was being very off indeed with me. I wonder if she was racist and thought I was one of 'those' women who go with black men! Perhaps she wanted to make it clear she wasn't like me. AHAHAHA.

There have been a few more incidents but, all in, not many. I think it is much more acceptable now.

ThirdPoliceman Wed 05-Nov-14 00:44:20

My son was in a mixed race relationship for about three years. She was a black S African. When they were in S Africa on holiday, shopping in a supermarket an old white lady tutted at them. DS being DS challenged her for her behaviour. He told her she had appalling manners, unlike his girlfriend's mother.

springydaffs Wed 05-Nov-14 00:51:13

A young man recently asked me if my children have the same father shock

He regretted it.

BumpAndGrind Wed 05-Nov-14 00:51:29

I not in a mixed relationship but my great grandparents were. .. Back in the 30's. I would have loved to have known them and what their life was like. They were together until he died and had two children. One my granddad smile

Clobbered Wed 05-Nov-14 00:57:11

DH is Chinese, I'm Caucasian. I found other Chinese people used to stare at the kids quite a lot when they were tiny, not in a nasty way, but they were clearly quite fascinated by them. No negatives that I can recall.

Devora Wed 05-Nov-14 00:58:40

I am in a mixed relationship but we are both women and that tends to take precedence as an issue with strangers. I think it is harder for my children - one black, one white - who constantly have to explain themselves and their relationship.

But I live in London and mixed relationships are very, very common here. Bit different from when I was a child, when people used to talk seriously about how they weren't racist but it wasn't fair on the children, who wouldn't belong anywhere etc. My grandmother was in a mixed relationship for 50 years and had a grim time of it, I think.

pepperfrog Wed 05-Nov-14 01:15:29

I'm Chinese and DH is Caucasian. We live in London and I can't recall ever experiencing any racism. Our DS looks mostly Caucasian and sometimes when people meet me they seem surprised to realise that he is half Chinese, but more out of curiosity than racism.

DH and I are around the same age though - when I was younger and used to date older men (10-20+ years older) I think people did get the impression that I was an 'imported Chinese girlfriend' (despite being British born and raised).

myfurbyisalive Wed 05-Nov-14 02:14:11

I am mix raced (mum white, dad black) and my mother has told me about how things were for her in Lancashire in the early 90's when I was little.

People spat at her, some family members disowned her. One time someone spat at me when I was in my pram. Lots of negative comments, she was called a n*gger lover, I was called a half breed (remember being called this on several occasions). If I am with my mum, even today, people will not make the link that she is my mother, when it would be assumed if I were white.

I suppose I am in a mixed relationship now as my partner is white. It only really occured to me when DP's friend commented that he 'always gos for coloured girls.' I suppose growing up in a 99.7% white community and not having any contact with my dads side of the family I 'feel white.' I have only ever dated white people.

myfurbyisalive Wed 05-Nov-14 02:16:55

Devora

My grandmother told my mum she was being incredibly unfair having children as we would be mocked and bullied for being mixed. She was a little right I suppose.

NeedABumChangeNotANameChange Wed 05-Nov-14 02:22:46

Every relationship I have been in has been mixed and I've never had a problem.

One ex saw lots of problems though he thought everyone was a racist and if anyone ever knocked into him it was because of his skin colour or because he was with me not just an accident. It was why I dumped him actually.

Tiptops Wed 05-Nov-14 02:54:28

Not in a relationship at the moment, but one of exes was mixed race, and the other black. Being stared at was common, comments also but less frequently. Most memorable experience was the police asking my (black) ex and I what we were doing waiting at the train station for a lift. I've never, ever been questioned on what I'm up to by the police when alone.

Charley50 Wed 05-Nov-14 05:09:14

In London I'm white he's black. Never had any negative comments or looks or been stopped by the police. Actually once in ten years, by a newly arrived to the UK foreign man in the corner shop.

yesohreally Wed 05-Nov-14 06:54:26

I am in a mixed race relationship and can honestly say (to date) weve had no negative reactions (from what we know!). I will say though that I did see a white woman and a black man walking along the street and theres something about the union, the stark difference in appearance that does make you stare (slightly). Because I did actually stare at them then I caught myself. I wasnt looking in a negative way I guess i was thinking oh thats what we look like and wow dont we stand out!!! i have always found london to be very multicultural and as a result always felt (perhaps naively) that my relationship would fare better (race wise) in that environment. This may sound controversial but up north is a different matter and it tends to come from, or be more immediately obvious, from the working classes. This is usually just pure ignorance because theyve had a very substandard education, they are not travelled and just mix with their own ilk. Thats how Ive always reasoned this issue in my mind. There are plenty of educated people in the UK who have good moral values that dont judge on skin colour. Keep smiling ladies. Its important any children produced from such a marriage have very high self esteem in all areas of their life. Ive been working on that since mine were born because Im mindful of this issue raising its ugly head at some point through their life. Every human being is beautiful in their own special way.

yesohreally Wed 05-Nov-14 06:57:18

can imagine that reaction above in South Africa - truly horrible country for race relations. The blacks are treated like dogs. This is a fact so any mixed race relationship may encounter negativity from locals. Smile and walk on, smile and walk on! Personally, I refuse to let bigotry enter the domain I call my life

Rachelbluefoot Wed 05-Nov-14 07:31:46

I have to say I am shocked by the descriptions of London. There seem to be a few positive ones, but the negative ones surprise me. Interestingly enough (coming from the north) I have never experienced anything overt. But as I says up thread I do get the 'is that baby yours?' I actually find that one funny. The one that kind of annoys me though is when women say to me 'I'd like a black baby....then I could do its hair'....really?? shock I guess if you were to ask my eldest DD though, she would have a different perspective. She has suffered some real overt racism in primary school. Children not being able to understand the fact that her dad is white and her mum is black....names like Malteser etc. we're banded about. I used to get upset because the schools take on it was to ignore and brush under the carpet. However since secondary school she has had no more issues. Anyone else's children suffer with these issues?

skrumle Wed 05-Nov-14 07:42:07

been together 17 years. two incidents - once in the streets of Reading a couple of black guys made negative comments about why my H would choose to be with a white woman, second time was in a local-ish pub where a white guy hassled my H and then me in a "friendly" way about our relationship.

considering how dark my H is, our kids are fairly light skinned and both do look quite a bit like me so i've never been aware of people questioning our "belonging together" but perhaps i have just been oblivious!

Lauramay02 Wed 05-Nov-14 09:18:05

Interesting experiences ladies, as I mentioned before, we do get stares in London, but I think that's more people being intrigued than anything else. The only one comment we ever had was from an old lady who looked at us and snarled, muttering "Isn't that lovely" very sarcastically, when we were holding hands.

When we were in St Ives for holiday, there were hardly any black people so the staring was ridiculous.

I find reactions to be more 'joke' or ignorant orientated like "oh she only dates black people now" or "is it true what they say about black men" or I don't usually find black men attractive, but he's good looking.

Also, although it's not a big thing, I know his parents would like it if he was with a black girl, but it doesn't affect the way they treat me.

Namechangex Wed 05-Nov-14 09:37:42

I've named changed for this. I wanted to give you a different perspective on the question from another angle.

I am the child of a mixed race relationship. Visually, I look Caucasian. My family name indicates my true ethnic origin.

Based on my experiences, I would never have a child in a mixed race relationship because I felt that I never belonged to either community.

Whites would be racist and make jokes about the other half of my ethnic origin. Mildly at school - I'm trying to think of a comparison - say like calling french people frogs And more vicious and nasty when I was older in broader communities.

I never felt part of the other ethnic community because I didn't look like I belonged. I also did not speak that language.

My whole life I felt an outsider. I always knew that what I wanted for my children was not this. So I decided I would marry someone who was not mixed race - so my children would not feel excluded from their racial community.

This probably sounds ridiculous as I am mixed race. But my children have a white father, look white and have a British surname. I changed my surname so they shouldn't really be subject to the issues I have had. Looking at us, we look like a Caucasian family.

So to answer your question - I haven't been in a mixed race relationship but as a product of one, hell yeah I've experienced racism.

I dislike the fact I feel like this and I wish I could be proud of my ethnic heritage but I'm not because of the racism I experienced.

Tollygunge Wed 05-Nov-14 09:55:36

I'm really really shocked at these descriptions of London as I don't recognise them at all and have lived here my whole life. Vast majority of my friends, and me, are in mixed race relationships of some description and our kids heritage is from all over. I LOVE it- having grown up in a very white British family I loved having a more 'exotic' branch of the family and all that entails. Yes, people do sometimes ask questions about dp and dc's heritage but so what? It's nice that they're interested and we are super proud of it. Spain a bit more interesting- people much more direct about asking, but surely it's so commonplace nowadays in london it doesn't raise an eyebrow does it??!

Tollygunge Wed 05-Nov-14 09:56:48

Not trying to diminish anyone's experiences, just surprised. I do live in my own bubble much of the time though! X

ShortandSweeter Wed 05-Nov-14 12:50:11

Suffered some obscured comments and looks when I went into a pub with a mixed race/different gender work colleague in Sheffield but wasn't sure if it was because we were 'southern'- although we hadn't talked at that point, maybe we looked 'southern'- it was clearly some local men's drinking establishment. Dunno if that made any difference

Rumplestrumpet Wed 05-Nov-14 12:54:22

About a year into my our marriage I turned to my (Arab) husband and said "I've just realised, we're gonna have mixed race kids!" We both chuckled that it had never even occured to us, and certainly wasn't a problem. That probably comes from growing up in a part of London where mixed-race relationships were as common as any other type of relationship, so not an issue. Our families have both been loving and welcoming, too.

That said, while we've never suffered racism as a mixed race couple, being married to him has given me insight into the racism HE suffers. Like a PP mentioned about getting hassle from the police when with a black boyfriend. I have seen first hand the discrimination he experiences in his every day life, and it saddens me. It often turns into assumptions geared towards me - when people ask me if my husband "allows" me to do things, whether he "approves" of the way I dress, or assume if I don't want a glass of wine it must be because of his influence... It has even gone as far as to assume he might be violent towards me which, for those who know my DH, know nothing could be further from the truth. None of my friends married to white men come across these same assumptions... (although one of my friends dating a black man was asked, half jokingly, how many baby-mothers he had shock )

I'm sorry to hear Namechange had such difficult experiences, and I'm glad to hear you've found peace with a family of your own now. I know that we will have to make a concerted effort to help our children to understand and feel comfortable in their mixed heritage but clearly it's not straightforward.

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