In the last few years, I’ve seen countless examples of regression in social change and equality under the guise of progress. One that I saw this morning was so blatant that I needed to share it:
This article in the BBC News came up, and is a complete failure in my opinion. The answer to the question, and this entire article, should read as follows:
That’s it. End of conversation. But apparently not…
At the end of the article it talks about the cycle where a lack of mixed-race people at universities leads to the idea that mixed-race people won’t feel like they belong (which is true). It concludes with: “Is it right for me? I’ve got to decide by May.” Are you fucking kidding me? You have the privilege to go to Cambridge and represent mixed-race people across the world in an Ivy League university and you’re asking whether or not you fit in?? For all mixed-race people, to set an example, to reach your highest potential, and to prove equality between all people, yes you should go.
I’m not sure what the article was trying to prove or suggest, but apart from being topical in order to get clicks, I don’t think it realizes the incredible damage it can be doing to the progress we’ve been fighting for for the last 60 years. We’ve reached a point where a mixed-race person has the opportunity to go to Cambridge, and now we’re going to publicly, in the form of “news”, question whether they should use this progress and opportunity to make real change in the world?
Yes, it’s going to be harder for that person to fit in at Cambridge, harder than it would be for a white person. I can understand that at the individual level, there would be some hesitation or nerves about it, no one will condemn someone for that. But the next step is to push past that hesitation, be the change you want to see in the world, and make a difference for every other mixed-race child that thinks about Ivy League schools for the next hundred years. The hesitation that you have to overcome will simply not exist for the next generation of children who follow your example.
We need to encourage this progress by simply answering “YES” to that article. On top of that, we should explain the statistics (as they do in the article) and use that as fuel to powerfully, strongly and unapologetically encourage this positive change.