I recently watched a podcast that posed a question that I have been debating for awhile. The podcast asked, quite simply, if “more mixed people [would] mean the end of racism.” This is a topic that I have often wondered about myself. If everyone in the world were all mixed race, that is, everyone has parents and grandparents who are all different races, then would there still be racism? If everyone in the world were all racially ambiguous, then how would that be perceived by everyone? If everyone was the same, then wouldn’t there be less hate?
What is Racism?
Before tackling the questions above, I’d like to ask and answer this question: what is racism? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, racism is the “belief … that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” [source]. Racism is what happens when one particular ethnic or racial group deems itself better somehow than another group. We have seen examples of this many, many times throughout history.
One example that quickly come to mind is Hiter’s attempt to exterminate all of the Jews of Europe, because he deemed that a few ethnic groups in Europe were somehow less than than the Aryans, the Germans, the blond hair blue-eyed people. Why he chose this particular group of people to target dates back to history, as antisemitism was not new at the time. If anything, Hitler was the latest attempt at yet another attack against the Jewish people, but fueled ever heavily by the need to have a scapegoat to blame for all of Germany’s post war problems.
So, racism is essentially hate upon unimaginable and incomprehensible hate that has been passed down from generations to generations. It may not always be evident. Sometimes the hate may show in more subtle ways that even the user may not even be aware of. Yes, you might not even know that you are racist or exhibit certain racist behaviors. And yet, you might have seen your parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents treat a certain person some way because of the color of the skin, their perceived race, or their ethnic group. Over time, you start to believe that that is how you should treat them, that that is normal. Racism starts out as fear, ignorance, and hate, but ultimately becomes something that is deeply ingrained in society. This great divide that exists between all of the races, pitying one group supreme over the others, is all due to old habits and traditions that are never forgotten but somehow carried on through the ages.
[See also: What Does Racism Mean to Me?]
Deep Rooted Racism and Racial Hate Crimes
With that in mind, if racism is still around because of beliefs perpetrated and passed down (either consciously or subconsciously) from generation to generation, then is there a chance for racism to ever be demolished? Also, as the population of mixed race people grows, what happens next? As more and more people blur the racial lines, questioning the very foundation upon which the concept of race was even built, what happens to the future of America and ultimately the world?
Today, we are seeing that very same questioning asked by everyone. Particularly recently after incidents like George Floyd and the 2021 Atlanta Spa Shootings, people are asking themselves why. What caused that police officer to kneel on George Floyd’s back and neck for nearly ten minutes until he was no longer alive? Was that police officer driven by hate because of the color of Floyd’s skin? What made that police officer want to restrain Floyd in the worst way possible for nearly ten minutes?
And then, in more recent news in the 2021 Atlanta Spa Shootings, what caused that man to shoot and kill women at a spa? Was he motivated by hate due to the onset of the Coronavirus and making a particular ethnic group a scapegoat? What made him think that he was somehow better than the racial group that he was targeting to justify killing someone? In both cases, what made these white men lash out violently against people who did nothing significant to warrant such heinous treatment?
It must be a long held, deep rooted hate that is not always evident but rears its ugly head when something happens. When something bad happens to seemingly threaten people, then people will let this deep rooted hate get the best of them and they will attempt to get revenge. I suppose it is human instinct to want to defend themselves. But how did we get to the point that they acted without thinking, letting their emotions get the better of them?
Seeing these racial hate crimes happen seemingly randomly and without any form of logic is both terrifying and devastating. No one wants to live in a world in which people are continually not just attacking each other, but also attacking for something that they couldn’t help. No one wants to live in a world in which some people feel as if they have the right and even the privilege to do certain things against someone else because of race. No one chose to be born in the body that they were born in. Why must we make life harder for certain groups of people? Why must we let the beliefs of the past dictate how we treat people today? Why can’t we all turn over a new leaf and treat everyone the same regardless of skin color, ethnicity, or race?
Racism and Mixed Race People
As the number of mixed race people continue to increase, I have hope that we can finally relinquish this hold that the past seems to have on us. I have hope that as more and more people continue to blur the racial lines, questioning the very concept of what is race?, that eventually there will be no more racism in the world. I have hope that one day people won’t make other people into scapegoats, blaming them for a virus or some other situation out of their control. I also have hope that people won’t be under the premise that they are somehow better than someone simply because their skin color is lighter or a particular tone.
But, realistically, despite the rising number of mixed race people, I don’t think hatred will ever go away. Perhaps when the majority of people in America are, and identify as, mixed race, then maybe the concept of race might no longer exist. But at that point, I think that people will still strive to find things that set themselves apart from other people. They will continue to differentiate the color of the skin, the shape of the nose and eyes, and hair texture. Even if the concept of race is miraculously gone forever, this need to differentiate from their peers will still exist.
A few months ago, one of my readers asked an interesting question in the comment section. He drew upon a scenario in which we lived in a world in which everyone was the same: skin color, socioeconomic status, height, weight, etc. If everyone was the same with no differences to be seen with the naked eye, then would there still be hate? It is an interesting question and one that I still find myself deliberating upon to this day. And I think there would still be hate. If we all looked alike with identical DNA, then we would still find something to hate. Perhaps it would be a personality trait or the style of clothes that they wear. Whatever it is, even if it might not be immediately evident, humans will seek to find the divide. We just can’t stand being like everyone else after all.
And in a world in which everyone is mixed race, everyone would be the same but also different. Because every mixed race person, contrary to popular belief, does not look the same. Mixed race people all look different depending on the combination of genes that they happened to inherit, just like every other person who is not mixed race. Some multiracial people are lighter, and some are darker. Some have blond hair, and some have dark hair. They all have different color eyes, different personality traits, and different mannerisms.
So, in a world in which everyone is multiracial would be an interesting world to contemplate. As a biracial person myself, I used to feel that I would have had an easier time if there were more people like me, or if there were more people of my particular racial mix. I used to feel this way because I felt that they would better be able to understand what it is truly like to be racially mixed and ambiguous. While I do believe that multiracial people can feel more accepted when they live in a small community surrounded by other people who are also multiracial, but….
Once the multiracial population becomes the overwhelming majority, the racial lines might growing increasingly blurred, but at the cost of new racial or ethnic lines being drawn. To reiterate, it is human instinct to seek to find differences between people. So, even if the multiracial population is the dominant group in America, there will unfortunately still be hate and a new kind of racism. This thought is even scarier than the present climate simply because it is unknown.
How to Stop Racism
In order to stop that possibly reality from coming to pass, we must do all we can do now to create a world that is more tolerant and loving. The answer to eliminating all forms of racism is not simply growing the multiracial population. Instead, the answer is to continue to have conversations about race and educate ourselves on the history and cultural backgrounds of all racial, ethnic, and religious groups. We must also stop using people as a scapegoat, otherwise we may find ourselves in the middle of another world war. By being open about race and speaking up when somebody does something wrong against someone because of their race or ethnicity, we are paving the way to eventually eliminate hate against the current racial categories.
But in order to eliminate hate totally, we must strive to change the human mentality. The human instinct is to always differentiate. We must seek to not differentiate and ultimately hate based on qualities that we were born with or can’t help being. Instead, we must seek to be recognize that we are all the same biologically and therefore equal in status. We must also recognize that of course we are still very different. But instead of disliking those differences, we must embrace them. Only by truly embracing who we are, as well as who our fellow members of human society is, can we finally stop racism.
But the question is, do we as human beings have the capability to stop racism once and for all? Or are we doomed to always seek to conquer and divide no matter how alike we are?
Black Lives Matter — visit this link to learn how you can get involved
Let’s Fight Racism! — visit this link to learn what you can do to fight racism
Anti-Racism Toolkit — learn how you can talk about racism