Critique on: Absent Voices

Critique on: Absent Voices

The article ‘Absent Voices’ was written by Laura Smith for The Guardian and was published on Wednesday September 6, 2006. The article talks about the growth of the mixed race in the United Kingdom and refers to it as an ethnic group on its own. Smith also talks of the mixed race as an ethnic minority group adding that it is referred to by the media as ‘exotic’ and that it is the ‘acceptable face’ of diversity in the society today (Smith, 2006). She later on discusses and gives clear representations throughout the article that show how the real situation on the ground is to the contrary. The author talks a lot about ethnicity in addition to a person’s location in relation to his or her ethnicity. However, this should not be her focal point since the world today does not judge a person by the color of their skin or their accent.

The author being a writer at the Guardian, a renowned newspaper, appears to have quite high credentials. However, the subject that she writes on is quite a sensitive subject and she is quite concentrated on how prejudicial people are about race and ethnicity. Her audience is mainly observed to be the same mixed race that she talks about in the article. The writer creates a race that she calls the ‘mixed race’, clearly a wrong move since she creates a gap in the society where people who have parents who are not from the same race or ethnicity can be classified as belonging in the ‘mixed race’. The author also uses inappropriate vocabulary in her article. This is evident where she creates the race called ‘mixed’ and throughout her article, she uses language that is not targeted for general reading. The language in the article suggests that the article was strictly meant for adult readers.

The amount of support and evidence that the author shows in her article is fulfilling to the reader. For instance, she gives the statistics from the census that shows how well the research was carried out before she wrote the paper and the reliability of the information. For example, she indicates that the census in 2006 counted 680,000 people from the mixed race (Smith, 2006). She also gives census figures from previous years and states how many people from the mixed race were there then. Her use of outside research is correct and direct in the article. This is seen when she reviews the report showing how mixed race people have underachieved in education. She quotes from the report that states, “Their invisibility from policy makes it difficult for their underachievement to be challenged” (Smith, 2006).

Smith also handles biases and opposing opinions quite well since the whole paper is about her negating the opinion that the mixed race is viewed as the face of diversity in society. The purpose of the paper is to show how the mixed race is oppressed without the knowledge of the people and this happens in several different social centers. She also uses evidence to prove her case and express her point well enough to pass her argument to the reader. Logically, the argument of the author fits. Smith argues that the mixed race people are being oppressed while stereotypically being used as the symbols of the societal diversification in the world today. She also argues that not all mixed people face the same issues. Each mixed race person has individual and unique issues depending mostly on his mix. However, in all the cases, the mixed race person embodies an individual who the others either want or reject. The author has ideas that are shown to have been in existence for some time since she talks about the issue of race and specifically that of the mixed race. The issue of race has been present in the society since the time of the slave trade though soft-spoken ever since.

The issue of race that the writer talks about might sometimes be an advantage since a mixed race person may have it easy to blend in where there are white, black or multiracial people present. The society today however does not concentrate much on the color of a person. People all have equal chances, treatment and rights and this is what draws human beings together. Being of a mixed race should not be viewed as a curse, nor should being any other race be. People should view one another as brothers and sisters, and they should all get along regardless of one’s color, race or ethnicity.




Smith, L. (2006, September 6). Absent Voices. The Guardian. Retrieved from

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