One of the landmark cases for civil rights was Loving vs. the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to this ruling by the Supreme Court in the 1967 interracial marriage was to be allowed. The decision was unanimous that it was not only against basic human rights but, it was also racist not to let two persons of different races marry. Since then, the number of interracial marriages has grown substantially. It would be fair to argue that the generation today hardly questions racial guidelines when choosing someone to date or marry. What about the children of these interracial marriages? Unfortunately, multiracial children face problems with forming their racial identity because of discrimination in the educational system.
Multiracial children are a fast growing minority. As of the 2000 census, 7 million Americans (2.4%) are more than one race. Census records show that compared to 1.9% of adults being multiracial, 4.2% of children under 18 are multiracial. The past 2000 census was the first to allow more than one box to be checked for race (Burrello). Exactly what is multiracial? That is hard to define. A multiracial person is more than two races, when different physiognomic traits are present. For example, a person of Irish and German descent is multiethnic not multiracial because Irish and German are both considered White. A multiracial person is, for example, Black and White or White and Asian because the difference in physiognomic traits.
For one to understand how a multiracial child is discriminated in school, one must understand how a multiracial child develops their identity. A multiracial child forms his or her identity in a similar manner to a monoracial child in the early years of development. Development branches off sometime between ages eight and ten years of age (Wright 95). Preschoolers, age three to five do not have any concept of race. Because they have no concept of race, they have no desire or interest in categorizing people into ethnic groups. They tend to categorize people into simplistic categories on how persons treat them. Most three to five year olds will say someone is good or bad, nice or mean (Wright 38). When asking a preschooler what color they are, they are likely to respond with an answer of blue, red, or green. Children at this age do not understand what color they are. These young children believe that they, their mom, or dad can change their skin color at will (Wright 19).
When multiracial children enter kindergarten their concept of color and race are still very hazy but, a few developments have arisen. These young children can now tell if someone has light or dark skin. One can also assume that now that a child understands the light skin or dark skin concept, the beginnings of stereotyping are arising. Wright a child psychologist states However, like the black child, she may pick up on feeling behind racial names she is called long before she understands what these terms really means(Wright...