This essay discusses the effects of internalized racism on multiracial people, specifically those who claim a mix of white and non-white. The paper first establishes the opposing representations of whiteness and racialized groups as well as the historic and modern disenfranchisement of racialized people in Canada. I argue that cognitive dissonance, the unpleasant mental state that occurs in people when conflicting thoughts and feelings are present, is triggered by belonging to different racial groups when structural hegemony and socialized whiteness require race to remain immutable. The cognitive dissonance propagates internalized racism as the mixed-race person attempts to rid themselves of these conflicting feelings. The paper draws on Edward Said’s Orientalism and Franz Fanon’s concept of the inferiority complex. While also acknowledging that nonmixed racialized groups are impacted by internalized racism due to the disenfranchisement and marginalization of their groups as a whole, Said and Fanon’s theories are applied to half-white mixed-race people in this essay to further analyze the form that internalized racism takes and how it impacts the way in which they identify.
"Cognitive Dissonance in the Self-Identifying Processes of Multiracial People,"
CTSJ: Journal of Undergraduate Research:
Available at: http://scholar.oxy.edu/ctsj/vol7/iss1/4