why i don't want
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people protest that a child is ‘biracial,’ not black,
not only are they denying the impact that being classified as
‘non-white’ has on the life of a child, but they
are also teaching that child to embrace ‘whiteness’
as an ideal.
a woman who is classified as ‘white’ I have been
told time and time again that it is "not my place"
to define the racial identity of a non-white person. So, I am
going to be stepping on a few toes with this article, but I
am not going to apologize. I am simply going to state my case
as to why I believe that the ‘biracial’ or ‘mixed’
label is detrimental.
back, I was made aware of a video entitled Biracial, not Black,
Damn It. I could not even bring myself to watch the documentary,
because I assumed it was a blatant rejection of the black collective,
and was, in fact, a tool of white supremacy. The more white
supremacists can convince non-white people to remain divided
the stronger the racists become.
one-drop rule was used as a method to keep people who had black
heritage down. Once an individual was identified as having black
heritage, it was easy for white people to dismiss and subjugate
them. But, today, in many cases, the one-drop rule is used instead
to convince black people who have a white parent that they,
in fact, are closer to ‘whiteness’ and should therefore
reject the notion of struggling to dismantle white supremacy.
is a dangerous situation. While some people claim that the term
biracial allows them to embrace the fullness of their heritage,
I think, unfortunately, that white people often use it to keep
black people, who could otherwise be working to end racism,
stratified. It creates a sort of ‘buffer’ zone between
white and black, which is used to convince people that racism/white
supremacy is no longer an issue.
it extremely disconcerting when I hear white people who have
children with a black partner insist that their child is not
black, but is, in fact biracial. Their insistence upon the use
of the term biracial indicates to me that they are not at all
allied with blacks in the struggle to replace white supremacy
with justice for all. The offhanded dismissal of the blackness
of their child leads their child to subconsciously identify
more strongly with whiteness, which, in a racist environment,
predicts an easier existence.
more white people can convince so called biracial people that
they have a vested interest in being part white the more they
can convince them to reject the cause of racial justice. It
teaches so called biracial children that it is in their interest
to elevate and embrace whiteness.
By doing so, it manufactures an existential crisis in that child
that prevents him/her from taking up the cause of justice. White
people do this in order to convince individuals who classify
themselves as biracial or mixed to reject the notion that whiteness
is a condition that must be annihilated in order for there to
be a more just world.
the white supremacists can convince a person that he is biracial
then it is only a short journey to the defense of whiteness.
After all, if you are half white, then you should be invested
in preserving the white race, right?
whenever I hear people protest that a child is biracial, not
black. Not only are they denying the impact that being classified
as nonwhite has on the life of a child, but they are also teaching
that child to embrace whiteness as an ideal. That is not what
I want for my children.
I have children, it is extremely likely that they will be black.
And yes, I said black, not biracial. Biracial is just an artificial
category devised by white supremacists to boost the number of
people who are white identified.
I hear "embracing both sides of your heritage" pushed
as the ultimate goal of using the biracial label, I immediately
recognize it for what it is -- an attempt to negate the evils
perpetrated by the white race over so many centuries.
seen many individuals who have a white parent fight for the
cause of justice and for the elevation of the black collective.
But I have never once heard any of them refer to themselves
as biracial. That term seems to be reserved for the confused,
for those longing to be white.
Misconceptions of Black Masculinity
and Visible Minorities
I disagree entirely with the premise of this article, which
seems to push for the outdated notion that 'if you're not white,
you're black.' If a child has one Greek parent and one Irish,
nobody is going to say, you're Greek or you're Irish. So why
should it be so easy to categorize somebody with one white parent
and one black?
When I refer to myself, or others refer to me as mixed race,
I'm not offend and I certainly don't think that means that I'm
aiming for 'whiteness,'-- just that the fact is, I'm not black.
It's not an issue, I'm not trying to be white, just like I'm
not trying to be black. And I think that one day, if you do
have black, biracial (or any other term you wish to apply) children,
you may realise that it's not so clear cut. Forcing someone
into a category he/she doesn't belong in only leads to an identity
It is, of course, 'not' white supremacy for a white
person to tell non-white people how to define themselves. No,
not in the least. As a biracial person, who proudly claims
that label, I will say (1) I don't long to be white (2) I do
embrace all sides of my heritage (3) I work at a historically
black institution and I spend my time emphasising non-white
and non-western history as the sources of identity. I'd say
the author was full of it.
To conclude that you know the content of a documentary and the
message without seeing it is a form of ignorance. Just like
thinking that you have the right to tell anyone else how to
identify. As a biracial woman I think that we are real clear
that we are people of color and yes, the only thing you got
right is we are proud of both of our parents.
who is biracial and someone who is studying race, I can respect
the sentiment the author has, but cannot agree.
It is entirely harmful to any individual to deny
any race or ethnicity they have, including being white. In the
struggle for real equality, white has no less meaning than black.
I think it's only fair to teach your child that they are of
both backgrounds - and what it means, not only to them, but
to other people within those groups, for good and bad. THAT
is the most important conversation that can be had, in my opinion.
Honestly you're going to teach that child to hate
their whiteness. This just adds to the internal conflict that
they'll feel. And mind you this is -their- existence you're
talking about, not your own. By teaching them to reject their
white identity you're not giving them a full life, pure and
simple. I implore you to reconsider.