Biracial appearance – the bullying

 
“I wish I could have chosen my parents, maybe they will be your parents- if that makes you happy now.”  Words coming out of Martin (12 years old), in a heated and furious argument with his classmate – Fredrik who had just coded the N-word by calling him “sunshine”, Fokumlah Nchungong writes
 
They were teenagers all standing at the bus stop after school waiting to go home.
 
I admired the resilience in Martin’s character.  He must have been taught on how to maintain his composure when faced with taunting racial attacks.  He was noticeably outstanding in the crowd because of his huge Afro hairstyle.  I watched from a distance contemplating whether or not to intervene in the verbal assaults. It was evident that this wasn’t the first time he had been mocked. The frail manner in which he defended himself sadly portrayed a boy who had learned how to cope in a hostile environment in regard to his appearance. I came to learn that his father was an African and his mother was Swedish.
 
School bullying which has had alarmingly disastrous psychological effects on students is being addressed worldwide with intensity.  Unfortunately, due to political correctness on racial imbalances, addressing the “Biracial Appearance Bullying” is considered provocative and distortive with the norms in our society.
 
Martin’s case is not isolated. Hundreds, possibly thousands of biracial children here are faced with this” silent bullying”. From the bus stop experience of Martin, the bullying appeared to be hilarious to other kids present.  This is not a joke! These teenagers can’t actually figure out the mental damage being inflicted on Martin. I can say they are ignorant, but ignorance in committing a hate crime is still punishable.
 
Do we blame the parents of the predators or has the society been collectively dormant about addressing this malaise?
 
In the Kindergarten when these kids are 0-5 years old, they intermingle, interact and love without condemnatory thoughts because humanity which is oneness is still instinctive.  What subsequently happens after the ages of 5 is quite disturbing.  Why?  Information transfer from home in particular and the surrounding in general starts feeding their virgin brains with pieces of information they would use for the rest of their lives. The mixed child from a Caucasian/Afro parent is generally considered black.  
 
How does the Biracial Appearance Bullying begin?
 
-The de-characterization of the colored family is still a common reality. 
– Kindergarten playful songs and most books are still exclusively colored unfriendly. 
-Parental views on ideologically debated topics in religion, politics and social preferences are consciously/unconsciously transferred to kids.
– The stereotypical criminalization of immigrants.
-The absence of blacks in high-profile role modeling jobs.
-Assumptious prejudices of colored people to be intellectually inferior.
-The trendy negative representation of Africa.
-Jealousy due to an outstanding physical appearance.
 
Martin was evidently raised in a structured family where both parents were conscious of the challenges he might encounter.  His manner in addressing the bullies was exemplary. –  but our mental resiliencies are different.  Some kids could be traumatized for life- even if they were morally fortified at home.
 
Now, let’s face the saga- the majority of mixed kids here live in a single parental structural plan.  This can be a one-week single parental guidance, two weeks, extended months and worst still, the absence of one parent in the upbringing of the mixed child.
 
In this scenario which is sadly common, the kids are already hurting due to the dis-functionality of the family. One parent, cannot fully fortify the child with a high-minded boost they will need in navigating the “appearance bullying” attacks in school.
 
An outburst of frustration, anger, depression, hatred, resentment and multiple violent tendencies can be silently or expressively visible. It affects everybody.   From home, in school, at work, relationships… and the future.
 
Fixing this pre-programmed condemnation and bullying has to be on a priority chart in schools because that’s mostly where the damage is being orchestrated.
 
-The student counselor has the ethical obligation to lead group discussions on human equality.
-The parents/teachers meetings should promote an incentive for racial differences and acceptance. 
-Moral and civic education on love and unity should be introduced in the school curriculum.
-Inclusive dialogues on appearances should be normalized. 
-Zero tolerance in segregative identification should be written and placed on school notice boards. 
 
Our kids are our pride. We can’t do less than protect them. Just like Martin was trying to explain, our presence on earth is just pure probability. Nobody can choose where, how and when they will be born. No one has the capacity to choose mama. 
 
Love is the only character we are born with.
 
(NB! Just an incident portrayed by a teenager in distress. Might not apply to all)
 
Nchungong is a Cameroonian-born writer residing in Sweden.  He is the author of a trilogy of e-books that discusses bi-racial relationship in Sweden 
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