Mental Health

The problem with national pride when you are mixed heritage. | by Dan Jackson | Nov, 2021

Dan Jackson

The Alsatian does not judge and belittle the Labrador. The trout does not consider himself above the cod.

I don’t have any sense of national pride. People often find this strange and are sometimes angry towards me about this but I can explain my stance on this. As I have previously stated, I feel that the idea of racism is ridiculous if only due to the lack of genetic factors that make up the colour of a persons skin as well as the relative recentness of everyone sharing a common ancestor. My lack of national pride is on a more personal level though. How so? I was born in England. Right in the middle of rural white England. I grew up in a small village in the heart of Oxfordshire. I am mixed race. My Fathers side of the family are predominantly white (British and Australian) and my Mothers side are from India by way of Portugal and Egypt. I was one of only 4 non white people in a school of over a thousand pupils. If you are going to label me from a geographical standpoint then I am British. No doubt. However, from the age of 5 I experienced racism from both children and adults. Racism that was based entirely on the colour of my skin and not from my geographical birth place or any knowledge of my family background. So, more often than not it was inaccurate racism such as being called Paki when I have no traceable ancestry from Pakistan. This racism always came from people who identify as and would be described as being white British. This racism is still happening to me to some degree now I am in my 40’s and it begs the question as to how anyone could think I can feel any sense of pride in a country whose people deliberately and hurtfully try to insult, ostracise, intimidate and belittle me based on my skin tone.

I have cannot have pride in my country, I simply have pride in myself. I do not think it should be a cause of outrage when I say that I am not proud to be British, when some of my fellow countrymen see fit to treat me as an outsider. Equally and fairly, I have no sense of pride in the Indian, Australian, Portuguese or Egyptian parts of my heritage. I have never lived in these places and would be an outsider if I visited them. More so, this heritage means very little to me because first and foremost I believe we are all simply human. It has taken me many years to reconcile and figure out my relationship with my ethnic background. It can be difficult, particularly when you are young, to make sense and understand the feelings around not really fitting in with any single group of people. I eventually reconciled this when I realised that, despite what the bullies and xenophobes may tell you, no one person is better or of more value than another based on their geography or the colour of their skin. The idea of national pride brings only segregation and war. It simply isn’t for me.

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