Yah. . . It’s a thing!
We still refer to other human beings by the way light reflects off their skin. And whether we like it or not, it has very real and dire consequences. Since I’m addressing those of us on the "lighter" end of this bogus way of categorizing humans, you’re statistically not a victim of this discrimination.
Now before you say, "Hey, wait a minute-" just hear me out: First, you’re probably concerned about “Reverse Racism.” “Reverse Racism” is a phrase used to describe the feeling amongst White People who feel offended when people who aren’t "white" talk about them in a racial context. White people can’t dance is a classic example of a phrase that might elicit this response. You may think that this is related to Racism and perhaps is even a mirror of it. . . But here’s the thing.
While the actual term “Racism” is widely said to be first adopted in anthropological studies, the xenophobic behavior that Racism reflects dates way, way back. It’s a vicious system cultivated by the actions and choices by people who wanted to separate “lesser” humans from “elite” humans (see slavery). The long-lasting effects, both seemingly inconspicuous and blatantly obvious, are called Institutional Racism. Scientific Racism was a horrible offspring that often served to justify Institutional Racism.
That is a very crude understanding of how this idea of race (as we know it today) was introduced to humanity. So where does the idea of "Reverse Racism" fit into this history? It doesn’t–not in America. In America, because of our history of slavery and killing of Indigenous Americans, our system of Racism was made by “white” people to work against “not white” people. And that’s what is so important to understand!
In the Nation we live in, this system has never worked the other way around. If our system of racial castes in America was a Top 10 List, “white” would be #1 and “not white” would be #2 - #10. To complicate matters further, there are sub-categories on our imaginary Top 10 List that complicate our divisiveness: class categories. (Rich “whites” would be #1a and Poor “whites” might be #1b or even #1c!)
Why am I saying all this? I’m saying it because we all need to have a better understanding of what racism is and how it affects people. Historically, humans have always had a feeling of fear towards the unknown, towards “other.” The importance of acknowledging this fear and the hateful systems we’ve created to manage it is why I’m working on Mixed-Race Mixtape.
Mixed-Race Mixtape (MRMT) is, in many ways, about the pressures our society puts on people who are placed in the “not white” or “other” category. MRMT explores what it can feel like to be on the receiving end of this xenophobic behavior. The term "Mixed-Race" at its essence is a categorization expressing the uncertainty of what its meant to be categorizing! How does someone feel when their identity is classified literally as “other” aka “not normal”?!
Now, what’s your role in all of this? It’s very simple. Engage with these issues and help others engage with these issues. Mixed-Race Mixtape needs your financial support so we can involve as many people as possible with these questions. And we’re doing it through music and theatre, two avenues that feel accessible to almost anyone.
As someone who has the advantage and opportunity to help change how we, as a nation, think about each other, giving to this production is a exciting way for you to spread the message and have some fun while doing it. Developing your understanding of the effects racism has on our country is an absolute necessity for our society to move forward and improve. As a “white” person in America, supporting Mixed-Race Mixtape is an immediate way to start, continue, and further your individual understanding of the current racial caste system in our society. Please give your tax-deductible gift today at IGG.ME/AT/MRMT