"Mixed Kids"

My wife and I often hear compliments about our multiracial daughter and her looks. As nice as compliments can be, some compliments are far too problematic. For example, these are "compliments" I have actually received during my lifetime.

"You are attractive for a black guy." "You speak so well for a black man." "You're not an angry black man."

The people who shared these comments were certainly well intentioned. However, these are not really compliments. These types of statements are just not positive. In fact, they perpetuate some of the worst racial stereotypes that exist in our society. Although these compliments are often unknowingly ignorant, people should still be reminded of the harm they can cause.

Which brings me to another example of the well meaning, but problematic compliment: the mixed child compliment. Usually it sounds or looks like the following statement. "Mixed kids are so beautiful." I have yet to come across parents of a biracial or multiracial child that embrace this type of comment. I am not a fan of this type of statement (or even the term "mixed" as it makes it seem like my daughter is a result of a recipe). Most of these reasons can be found in the article below that touches on this very subject. It is a thoughtful and thorough discussion of this type of compliment.

Race Manners

Posted on July 8, 2014 .