29 October 2006

Mixed Race Footballers

The Observer has an interesting story today on racism and mixed race footballers in Britain:

You have only to look at England's World Cup squad this summer. Six out of seven of the players described as 'black' were mixed race, but this was not mentioned on TV or in the written press. Theirs is the fastest growing ethnic minority in the country and yet 'mixed race' was included in the UK census for the first time only in 2001. The very different stories of the six World Cup players gives an indication of how diverse that term can be - from David James's and Theo Walcott's experiences of growing up in predominantly white rural areas, to Rio Ferdinand's and Ashley Cole's urban experience of multi-ethnic London estates.

Cole is a good example. He isn't offended by being described as black. 'But,' he says firmly, 'I call myself mixed race.' Cole was raised by his mother in east London. 'It was a predominantly white home environment. I didn't really see my black family. At home we ate English food; when we went to parties we didn't listen to soca or reggae, it would be English music. But in football you're just seen as black or white; I don't think people realise the difference.'


Anonymous said...

As a "mixed race" female, I’m often bemused by this obsession of social categorization and so called 'political correctness' gone mad, and yet what is it for?

We seemed to have become a nation obsessed with names.

I am a black Briton. That is all.

I've found myself scratching my head at times as to whether these names that have been given to me because of my colour, are there to give me identity or to clarify my identity to others. I have one white parent and one black. I sit back and grin to myself as I watch this nation obsess.
When I look in the mirror I see only myself. I do not see colour, just me. People can see my colour it is quite obvious but why must it be pigeon holed? I have a strong sense of British identity but yet for the third time my portrayed identity of "mixed race" had now been updated to the new P.C term of 'Duel Heritage'. Is this supposed to keep me happy?

Have you ever filled out an application form, got to the bottom of the page and found yourself having to 'tick one the following as we are an equal opportunity employer:'

White (including Irish)
Black (African)
Black (Caribbean)

I've often found from personal discussion that it is the Caucasian population that find comfort in adopting a category ie "mixed race". I believe that there is a blur between self identity and perceived identity. How is it that only ethnic people are categorised? I understand that these new terminology’s are linked to a new and modern way of thinking to reflect a diverse and modern Britain but that diversity also includes Caucasian’s from the EU. Should they have a box to tick that says White(polish), White (German) White(French) White(Lithuania). As you can see it becomes quite silly as there is no offence in their absence.

These refined terminologies just, in my opinion lead to confusion and unnecessary frustration between the user of the P.C name and the person the P.C name is aimed at. It appears that both parties have now become fearful of offending. Is the term 'black' or 'coloured'? 'Half cast' or 'mixed race'? 'Mixed race' or 'duel heritage'? As long as the person whether they be black, white or green is acknowledged for their skill sets, abilities and positive attributes as a human being, honestly, who cares what colour they are?

Anonymous said...

Oh so it always 'doesn't matter' when it comes to anything about mixed race issues or mixed race people complaining about something. Let's all dismiss their POV and carry on as though a big deal's being made out of nothing...

I'm sick of this. Thankfully someone has taken note of this issue in football, why cant people just have some respect for our identity, its nothing about Political flipping correctness! Millions of us identify as mixed, why the hell isn't this recognised, because of the racist one-drop rule concept etc etc, So yes it DOES matter!

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