As a white Irish woman I never had to explain to anyone where I was from, the pale skin and accent just gave it away. In today’s society it has changed dramatically. I watched a video on YouTube called what does “Irishness” look like? How would you feel if you looked differently to someone and they asked you “where you were from?” and then they add “no where are you originally from” I think it’s highly disrespectful as many today are born in Ireland but because of this certain question that they get asked on a daily basis, they tell them where their parents are originally from instead.
Before I met my fiance Pedro, who is originally from Angola. I was never aware of the extreme racism in Ireland. I suppose being with him I got to see the other side, what someone of a different background has to go through daily. Shocking and disgusting comments, intolerable behaviour or even how people would stare. Still happens most days.
Now I’m a mother of two beautiful mixed race children but I don’t see them like that. They have such a glow to their skin, their eyelashes are amazing, they have the perfect lips, completely different hair and a smile that would brighten a room. My partner worries about them growing up here and what they might face in the future which I can completely understand, I worry every day about them. Children reflect their parents attitude and personalities, as I say we need to just try to raise them as knowledgeable and educated as best we can. If they ever have to encounter problems or difficulties they will be prepared.
Here are a few comments we have encountered, Might give you a giggle.
- Where were you on holidays? the kids got such a good tan!
- Where is the dad from?
- Is their dad still around?
- When you conceived did you know what colour they would be?
- You need to brush your daughters hair it’s very knotty.
- Don’t make her hair wet, it doesn’t look nice.
- Why does she have an afro?
- They are absolutely gorgeous, are they adopted?
- Are they twins? Oh you were quick to have another one.
- Are you their mother?
- Why are they so light? (from a black person)
- Why are they so dark (from a white person)
We can’t please everyone, ignorance and slightly innocent people will always ask these questions because it’s unknown to them. It used to bother and offend me so much that I slightly may just expect it now. Pedro on the other hand says he doesn’t even listen, deep down I think it annoys him more than he let’s on.
When we are all together as a family, I don’t see colour or race, I see my loving partner and father to our two most precious beings, they are my world and my family. I am Irish because I look Irish but my partner and children are too, don’t forget that.
So next time you want to ask someone where they are from, maybe a polite way would be to ask where they are living? You will be surprised how Ireland has grown. Below I will leave the statistics of Irelands rapid change in ethnicity and hope you get a good outlook from this post.
Thanks for reading,