From Wikipedia: A métis is a person born to parents who belong to different groups defined by visible physical differences, regarded as racial, or the descendant of such persons. The term is of French origin, and also is a cognate of mestizo in Spanish, mestiço in Portuguese, and mestee in English.  In the Western Hemisphere, this term usually is used to describe someone born or descended from the union of a European and an Amerindian.  However, the term was used by other groups around the world, mostly in countries which were under French influence, such as Vietnam. It is still commonly used by Francophones today for any multiracial person…

Comments by Steven F. Riley:

Scholar Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe, had used the term métis and/or métisse instead of ‘mixed-race’ in her early works as a way of focusing away from ‘race’ as a form of identity.  Her desire was to create a common non-racist, non-sexist term that ‘mixed-race’ individuals could claim as one of their own.  But later she states in Mixed Race Studes: A Reader

“…Using a French-African term in an English context, even if simply for discursive analyses, could be percieved as potentially exoticizing and further marginalizing ‘mixed-race’ subjectivities…”

She goes on to state…

“…Furthermore, one could argue that partially deflecting the attention away from what I call the popular folk concept of ‘race’ to other forms of identification and stratification diminishes the significant and potent function institutionalized racism plays in the maintenance of privilege and power for some and disadvantage and discrimination for others.  Finally, in attempting to construct a new lexicon, I am perpetuating a fictional history which ignores the ways in which the social processes of ‘racial’ mixing are themselves old.”

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