So, a recent study by Dr Michael Lewis at Cardiff university has apparently shown that mixed-race children are biologically stronger and deemed by their peers to be cleverer, more successful and more beautiful than those of ‘pure’ blood (ooh, is that the sound of Adolf Hitler spinning in his grave?)
As you may well have gathered by now, our kids fall into the mixed category and were both delighted with the news of their supposed superiority. TD’s reaction was to thank me sweetly for getting together with the Shah. TS, on the other hand, received the news with an exclamation of “sick!” Then as he brushed past me, “out of my way, honky.”
It’s extraordinary how times have changed so quickly. When the Shah and I were first an item (yikes, all of 22 years ago!) mixed-race couples were still an oddity to many people. Strangely enough, we experienced most disapproval from elderly Asians who would stare and mutter under their breath as we passed them. Mind you, white people were no better. We were told (by both sides) that any children we had would be ‘social outcasts’ and wouldn’t know which “side” they belonged to. This makes me laugh even today. As I type, my daughter is sitting at the dining room table with 4 friends, supposedly doing some homework, but actually just nattering the way that teenage girls do, hooting with laughter intermittently. There is TD (half Indian), her friend S (half Swedish), C (half Chinese) and I (half Irish). Amongst her and her brother’s other friends are Italians, Pakistanis, Argentinians, Russians and Portuguese – and that’s just the ones who spring easily to mind – there are no doubt others that I have forgotten to include. And anyway, our kids are admired by white people for being brown and admired by Indians for being pale – it’s win-win for them. If you don’t believe me, look at Aishwarya Rai, Indian megastar with her milky complexion and golden highlighted hair...
It’s extraordinary how, in the space of a few years, attitudes have swung 180° By the time we had our second child (TD) and had moved into our first proper house, we found that we had neighbours of our age who mirrored us; Indian wife and English husband. Unfortunately, TD developed the habit of shouting “Daddy!” at any of the wife’s brothers who happened to be visiting but it kept the street entertained. We have now moved towns and, today, the couple at the back of us are Indian and English, as are next-door-but-one and two more couples further down the road....it looks as though we might be taking over the world!
It may sound facile, but the rise of the mixed-race could easily be helped by shows such as the X Factor and Britain’s’ Got Talent as such a large number of the hopefuls performing are clearly ‘half and half’ – think Leona Lewis,
JLS, Diversity (there’s a clue in the name...) all of which helps mixed race people become more the norm. Who knows, it may even help our country cousins accept people of colour – they seem to struggle in some areas. In fact, the worst racism we have ever encountered was in a Welsh pub. We had booked to eat there (by phone, so they hadn’t seen us). When we arrived – the four of us plus Irish Granny – our booking had been mysteriously cancelled (scratched out of the book so hard with a biro that it had made a hole in the page) and, although we stood patiently at the bar for some time, we had suddenly become invisible. Eventually, we just left. There seemed little point in trying to reason with such ignorance.
The irony of the whole event was that we had gone there to sample their curry night, but they didn't seem to get it. Pillocks.