This drives me crazy. I've noticed this a popular trend in Hollywood, sports and politics where a mixed-race individual chooses to identify solely with the black aspect of their racial makeup. All parts of one's racial makeup should be equally important. Race is not a matter of personal preference it is genetics! If your biological mother is white and your biological father is black you are NOT white, you are NOT black, you are bi-racial or mixed. It is actually a type of reverse racism at work. As if the black part of their race trumps the white part and is somehow more important. Obama clearly wanted to pander to the black vote so he stressed, "I am a black man." That is not correct, he is a mixed-race man. Why can't he be equally proud of his white heritage? The actress Halle Berry said in an interview, relating to a custody dispute, something like, "My child is black!" This is absurd, to begin with Halle is of mixed race so her child cannot be pure black, but further the biological father of her child is white! So her child is at best 25% black. So she ignores the 75% which is white? Why? This is totally racist. Also there is a huge double standard when it comes to terminology. Blacks are encouraged to identify themselves as African Americans, but you never see whites identifying themselves as European Americans. We should just refer to ourselves as Americans and note what our particular ancestral history is. There are lots of organizations, such as the NAACP, that explicitly promote being black, there are many awards and events which being black as central, yet if a white analog existed it would be denounced as racist. This is a huge double standard. If it's acceptable to promote and celebrate being black why can't we celebrate being white? I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that to truly move beyond race, we need to stop focusing on it and using it as a political tool. Another unfair practice I've noticed is in comedy. Black comics, on popular venues such as BET, Def Comedy Jam, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, routinely refer to whites in their comedy routines using racial pejoratives such as "cracker", "whitey", "honkey". Yet, if a white comic did the same thing to blacks they would be universally excoriated and denounced as racist. The media also reinforces this double standard and has allowed it to permeate popular culture. I think one can do racial comedy that is non-offensive, but it most certainly should not include such disgusting hateful terms.
I agree with you but people will often cite the "one drop rule" as a reason why they identify as "black" when they are bi-racial.ReplyDelete
Then there's the argument that race is a social construct and therefore whatever race a bi-racial person socially identifies with more will be the one that they claim.
Bi-racial people in which one half is black often tend to socialize more with black people and are often thought of as black by both black and non-black people.
People even sometimes assume that I'm "black" in the US, and I'm of South Asian descent.