Courtney Kashima and her husband, Hide, are raising two multicultural kids in Chicago, Ill. She identifies as a "European mutt" and was born and raised in Illinois, while her husband is a first-generation Japanese-American who grew up in Guam. (Annie Grossinger/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Judd: Will multicultural children in America end racism?

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Racism exists in so many forms. It’s only a dream to think someday it will be gone.

Constance Judd

constance-judd@uiowa.edu

In 1993, Time released a special issue depicting a racially ambiguous woman with the caption “The New Face of America: How Immigrants Are Shaping the World’s First Cultural Society.” Which ultimately provided the notion that in the years to come, the majority of — if not all — Americans will be of mixed race. However, what the magazine failed to acknowledge is that multicultural individuals are not the answer to eradicating racism in the United States.

At a first glance, the answer would seem obvious that a country mainly comprising individuals with mixed backgrounds, racism would cease to exist. This, however, is only a dream that will never come into existence. Instead, what is often failed to be acknowledged is that not only does racism exist between individuals of mixed backgrounds, but many fetishize ethnicities themselves.

Throughout my short 21 years on this Earth, I have been the recipient of many compliments that mainly pertain to my physical characteristics, such as, but not limited to, my dark curly hair, caramel skin tone, and my brown eyes. It was not until I had a personal — and offensive — encounter with a stranger who began to fetishize my characteristics in wanting to possess the same characteristics that I realized racism will never cease to exist in the United States.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It may seem odd that I came to this conclusion from that sole encounter; however, that is not that case. Throughout the years — and even till today — I have seen a plethora of articles being published on the Internet, alongside conversations being held in academic settings — that discuss how multicultural children will end racism. More often than not, in these articles and conversations, the overall theme that emerges is that everyone will look the same. Thus, racism will cease to exist.

As I said before, what they fail to consider is that racism exists even between individuals of mixed backgrounds.

For instance, throughout history, there has always been a phenomenon in which Eurocentric traits are held to be superior to others by society. Meaning that in the event in which an individual fails to possess that said characteristic, instances of prejudice can begin to form and dominate cultural understandings and acceptances. Which ultimately becomes a societal norm. In a sense, idealizing European characteristics like this — especially on people of mixed race who look “whiter” — can and always will prevent racism from being eradicated not only in the United States but in other countries as well.

Therefore, when I witness interactions in which people proclaim that multicultural children will end racism in the United States, I can’t help but acknowledge that they will not because racism exists in all forms and fashion, even if it is rarely talked about. I, for one, can lay claim to this because I have been the recipient of many interactions such as this.

All in all, the answer is simple: No, multicultural children will not end racism within the United States.

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