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Multiracial Famiky Seeking Advice

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DenverFamily
1/8/2019 20:38 EST

Hello. Our family of four is considering a move to Spain in the next year. I am in the process of learning about the important logistical considerations, but have a critical question about culture and racism. We are a multiracial family...I am white, my husband is black, our two young children are beautiful brown. I’d love to here from other multiracial families and people of color about the inclusion and acceptance of families like ours. I’m also curious about the treatment of black and mixed people. Are there regions or cities that are more or less racist? My impression from watching European football is that the racism may be more overt than in the US, but I have a very limited lens. Appreciate your help!

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dawnstarr
1/9/2019 15:27 EST

You can google Spanish blogs by black people. I have subscribed or read quite a few. People's experiences vary based on where they are living and how much they are affected by curiosity by some Spanish folks to people who are different. There are quite a few black teachers who have come to Spain and written about it. There is a black women's group who can probably give you some mixed perspectives on their experience: https://www.lasmorenasdeespana.com/

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dawnstarr
1/9/2019 15:30 EST

maybe the link I posted does not work: the group is Las Morenas de Espana. They have info on moving to Spain and lots of other useful info.

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sisepuede
1/9/2019 17:05 EST

I've been studying the question of Spanish tolerance towards diversity from a distance, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

There is a lot of migrant labor from Africa in Andalucia. Sadly, there seems to be racism to go with it. Google the racial violence that occurred in Poniente Almeriense in Almeria in 2000. Almeria was also the site of a 2008 race riot between the Senegalese and Roma.

The most liberal parts of Spain seem to be Madrid, Valencia, and Catalonia. At least that seems to be true with respect to tolerance for LGBT people (my demographic).

The Roma (we know the term "gypsies," which is a disrespectful term) face discrimination in Spain and elsewhere. There may be studies comparing their treatment in different regions of Spain. You may be able to extrapolate from tolerance towards Roma to tolerance towards interracial couples.

Obviously, as with anywhere, city folks will probably more tolerant than country folks.

Finally, I don't know that I would agree racism is less prevalent in Spain than in the US. Of course it would depend on region in both countries. I, too, come from a mixed-race marriage (white, asian-Indian). Although my ex and I have largely not experienced racist sentiment, our children have. Sadly, my older son receives special attention (intense TSA screening, admonitions to "go back to your country," anti-Muslim epithets) because he appears Middle Eastern. The same would likely be true throughout Europe because of the Syrian refugee crisis. Unfortunately we have not traveled together in Spain, so I cannot offer you any guidance as to how well we were received there.

Good luck!

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sdamazo
1/9/2019 17:23 EST

A good general description of the situation except for Catalonia that has a lot social and political issues. It is not a safe place to live.

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gvb
1/10/2019 01:33 EST

I think this is a gross generalization and totally wrong. My husband and I (both US) have lived in Girona since July. We have traveled a lot to Barcelona and other towns on the coast near us and to other areas in Catalunya. We have never felt unsafe. There are political protests in our city often but they are peaceful. I feel much safer in Girona than I would in most places in the US. We have found the people to be friendly and patient. We are not minorities, so I can’t speak to discrimination (although there is a very mixed population here and I haven’t seen any) but as to safety, I don’t think Catalunya is unsafe at all.

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sdamazo
1/10/2019 09:54 EST

My information is based on daily follow-up of what is going on with local government since I work with research. I have been doing it for several years to understand what and who are behind the independence parties/stakeholders.
Extremist groups are controlling the government, education, healthcare, etc. and it is a very bad thing.

Apart from that, I am a native and not a tourist.

I will not engage in hate speech, since it is not the place/it is an absolute waste of time, nor will I use uppercase letter and state Right or Wrong freely because it is a good thing to discuss a subject without using these resources.

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jorniv123
1/10/2019 23:08 EST

Well, I'm the result of multiracial family and when I visited Spain and I felt like I was not welcomed! Never mind that I speak fluent Spanish and I see myself as a cool guy. As far as I know, there many people in Spain who are openly racist and they have a particular dislike for people from Dominican Republic who are mostly black and many of them are involved in drugs and prostitution. I believe that part of the problem with many Spaniards is due to the VERY difficult economic circumstances they are going through at this time. Spanish people are very closed to foreigners and only become friendly to you after a long while but once they become friends with you, you got friends for a lifetime. I wish luck to you and your family especially your husband.
PS: driving in Spain's town and cities SUCKS!

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jorniv123
1/10/2019 23:08 EST

Well, I'm the result of multiracial family and when I visited Spain and I felt like I was not welcomed! Never mind that I speak fluent Spanish and I see myself as a cool guy. As far as I know, there many people in Spain who are openly racist and they have a particular dislike for people from Dominican Republic who are mostly black and many of them are involved in drugs and prostitution. I believe that part of the problem with many Spaniards is due to the VERY difficult economic circumstances they are going through at this time. Spanish people are very closed to foreigners and only become friendly to you after a long while but once they become friends with you, you got friends for a lifetime. I wish luck to you and your family especially your husband.
PS: driving in Spain's town and cities SUCKS!

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Unica1952
1/11/2019 06:24 EST

I have visited Spain many times and have found the people to be pleasant and helpful. I specially saw this in the northern part of Spain which encompasses Villanova de Arousa, Vigo, Acoruña, and Santiago de Compostela. In my case I am a very light complexion Hispanic and my husband is of a dark complexion and we did not feel any type of discomfort due to discrimination. Yet this past summer I visited Torremolinos and found that for the most part people were very pleasant, accommodating and helpful but there were times when we would have people stare at us. For the most part I would say Spain seems to be a great country to live in.

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ProfSheetz
11/20/2019 01:12 EST

Hi!
No where in the world is even close to alright - not for our children’s sake (I had my fair share of uncomfortable experiences as a mixed couple at UNC - Chapel Hill).

But Spain is a whole other level.
I encountered all kinds of extreme of attitudes in Spain - from magical to so inhuman I had to vomit - but too often just sad, nihilistic, hedonistic Europeans - their culture gives the only real purpose to their lives.

I worked as a consultant in Barcelona and was paid dreadfully though there were always additional - ‘gratuities’ -even with surgical procedures. (None of the physicians I met had heard of Duke Medical School, were I studied - Tar Heel forever - it was understandable in that few of the surgeons spoke English.)

I hope everything works out and that you’re taking care of yourself- you sound very American - and you don’t sound like you realize all what you’re getting into. (I was sent abroad as a high schooler to live with a family in South America for over a year - After that experience, I was surprised how much Spain shocked me (-especially after I became fluent in Catalan)

Best of luck!

I am a nursing professor now, living in Boston, Massachusetts.
I found your contact via a last-minute search for ‘Americans in Barcelona’.

I am trying to find someone to deliver a birthday message to an 11 year old family member living in Maresme.
I don’t have an address.
Do you have any suggestions?
Jonathan Sheetz, MD

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ProfSheetz
11/20/2019 01:37 EST

I believe the slang term they use for Dominicans translates as “Dirty Armpits”, but sounds almost exactly like saying “South American”...

That pretty much sums the Spanish mainstream up...

(If you’re looking for the real authentic immersive experience - one That forces you to see the world through Spanish eyes - you have to stream the greatest Spanish movie of all time...

Torrente

and the 5 sequels

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