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AIBU to think although I was “ raised “ white I am not white

70 replies

Nohugstoday25 · 18/05/2021 14:24

This was a bizzare conversation and it’s left me not really understanding who I am a little bit. I have name changed because it’s very outing.

I am mix raced, biological parents were Jamaican and Scottish.
I have tanned skin, very curly sort of auburn/ red hair and dark freckles with hazel eyes.
I was adopted by my loving parents and 2 siblings who are also white.

Anyway we were discussing a documentary the other day ( member of little mix one ) I said to my friend I empathised with being to dark to be white and to light to be black and she was taken back a bit and said she didn’t understand the issues as I am clearly white .
She said I was raised white ? Can you be raised a colour 😐 she said she reckons I would offend the BAME community if I had spoken out about not having white privilege.
Which by the way I would never have done and I do know I am privileged.
Just for me thinking really AIBU to not class myself as white ?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Dizzywizz · 18/05/2021 14:27

Your friend is very strange…of course you’re not white. Why do you think they said that?


MrsTerryPratchett · 18/05/2021 14:28

Someone who has no experience isn't going to understand the complexities of being mixed heritage and adopted. And it's not your job to explain it. Your feelings are your feelings.

I grew up with lots of mixed heritage peers raised by white mums in South London. Of course it's more than, "raised white"!


Reinventinganna · 18/05/2021 14:29

‘ she reckons I would offend the BAME community’

Tell her SHE has (and get new friends).


Nohugstoday25 · 18/05/2021 14:29

@Dizzywizz I don’t know tbh I have always thought as myself as mix raced but I suppose many people on every day life would assume I’m white.
Maybe that’s what she means like I don’t face the same issues maybe ?

OP posts:

LordOfTheOnionRings · 18/05/2021 14:31

I think people are increasingly mixing up race and culture.

Of course you're not white, but might not have been raised being taught about your Jamaican/Scottish culture. That doesn't take anything from your ethnicity.


Nohugstoday25 · 18/05/2021 14:32

@LordOfTheOnionRings it does make me think that I wish my parents as much as I love them and am extremely thankful to them did teach me a bit about my own heritage.

OP posts:

OwlBeThere · 18/05/2021 14:34

I had a similar-ish thread on here where someone on tiktok decided I was ‘white-passing’ because I’m half Japanese and very pale skinned, so therefore I had no claim to be non-white.
It was weird.

You were raised by whirs people, that doesn’t make YOU a white person. Your friend is talking nonsense.
That said I’m sure there is a faction within the BAME community who would be offended by you claiming your heritage, the same faction who believe that my Japanese side is irrelevant because I might not look obviously Asian. Those people are ridiculous.


LordOfTheOnionRings · 18/05/2021 14:35

@Nohugstoday25 I can see why you'd feel that way. Never too late to learn though :) Do you have any friends with Jamaican/Scottish heritage you can reach out to?


LordOfTheOnionRings · 18/05/2021 14:35

Jamaican OR Scottish*


LordOfTheOnionRings · 18/05/2021 14:37

@OwlBeThere That's madness. Some people are very peculiar.


Branleuse · 18/05/2021 14:38

you are mixed race/heritage, although if you pass as white, then that will give you a very different experience to someone who is black.


MrsTerryPratchett · 18/05/2021 14:38

Maybe that’s what she means like I don’t face the same issues maybe ?

Class analysis isn't that everyone faces exactly the same issues. I mean living in Barnes in 2021 is different to living in apartheid South Africa, regardless of 'passing'.


Wannakisstheteacher · 18/05/2021 14:39

Of course you aren’t white - how ridiculous of her trying to tell you your own ethnicity!


chestnutshell · 18/05/2021 14:47

I’m mixed but can pass as white sometimes. I’m not white though. You are part of the BAME community. Being mixed is very complicated. I remember feeling that my full white friends or full Asian friends had a very uncomplicated relationship with their family backgrounds. And with you being adopted you have that extra layer.

Is your friend white?


Hadjab · 18/05/2021 14:49

@Nohugstoday25 as a black woman, I’m offended by your friend trying to minimise your life experiences! She doesn’t get to decide if we’d be offended. She doesn’t get to decide that you’re white because you look it. You weren’t “raised white” - your parents probably did the best they could, it would have been hard for them to teach you something they have no knowledge of, but it’s never too late too learn for yourself. Just bear in mind that all life experiences are different, even with the thread of commonality weaving through them.


Nohugstoday25 · 18/05/2021 14:53

@chestnutshell yes she is white.

OP posts:

Ladywinesalot · 18/05/2021 15:02

Maybe your friend meant you had more of a white culture upbringing then a black culture upbringing, if your parents are white and raised you since 2 then it makes sense.

And you would have lots of white privalidge too.
Your comprehension of Wnglish written and spoken is probably better then say someone who was raised by Black Jamaican immigrants.
This would have furthered you in school and in jobs.

That’s just one example.


Ladywinesalot · 18/05/2021 15:02

**English language


LordOfTheOnionRings · 18/05/2021 15:06

@Ladywinesalot ...race and culture isn't mutually exclusive. There is no such thing as 'white' culture.


whenthebellsring · 18/05/2021 15:07


It doesn't matter which side raised you, how you look or how you identify culturally, your genetic makeup doesn't change just because. So you're right that you're mixed race and it's its own full identity.

I'd not be too hard on your friend though, some people truly don't realise these things and think they're trying to help.


JackieTheFart · 18/05/2021 15:11

If you look white, then people you don’t know well are going to assume you’re white.

You’ll benefit from white privilege, and regardless of your ethnic make up, being raised in a white family will have made its mark.

That’s not to say you are white though. But clearly what we see is what we judge or make assumptions about.

Your friend clearly does know you well enough to know this, to give her the benefit of the doubt maybe she meant you’d have more explanations than a more obviously mixed race person?


DreamingNow · 18/05/2021 15:12

@Nohugstoday25, my cousins has been raised by my (white) aunt.
My cousin’s mum was white, her dad was black.

She is mixed race, so is her ds, despite the fact she was raised by a white person.
I mean it so happens that she became an orphan. But she could also have been only raised by her (white) mum. She still would have been mixed race!

I’m wondering if she would have said that if you had a really dark skin tone. I doubt it.
I think it’s more the sign of some sub conscious racism that conflates race with some cultural characteristics and then gives some values to said characteristics.


DreamingNow · 18/05/2021 15:14

@JackieTheFart, how white do you need to be to look white though? What about the shape of the nose/eyes?


Ladywinesalot · 18/05/2021 15:17

Perhaps Ops friend mentioned English culture, so in that respects the op would have been raised in the English culture and my pint still stands.


Ladywinesalot · 18/05/2021 15:17


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