Biracial and Multiracial black people: Are those considered a race?

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The White Man...
"If I have a cup of coffee that is too strong for me because it is too black, I weaken it by pouring cream into it. I integrate it with cream. If I keep pouring enough cream in the coffee, pretty soon the entire flavor of the coffee is changed; the very nature of the coffee is changed. If enough cream is poured in, eventually you don't even know that I had coffee in this cup. This is what happened with the March on Washington. The whites didn't integrate it; they infiltrated it. Whites joined it; they engulfed it; they became so much a part of it, it lost its original flavor. It ceased to be a black march; it ceased to be militant; it ceased to be angry; it ceased to be impatient. In fact, it ceased to be a march."

"hated every drop of that white rapist's blood that is in me."
Originally Posted by Malcolm X
That first quote is a little close to talking about micegenation, I wouldn't be surprised if that's how he felt about Blacks mixing with Whites through intercourse (and not just meeting in public places) at that time in his life. He also often made sweeping negative generalizations of White people (devils, uncaring, etc) and that has to have some mental impact on you being part White. So it's then not surprising to hear at some point he hated his White blood (not saying rapist blood isn't going to cause some inner turmoil but at some point that turmoil is only going to hurt you since it's inside you). So yeah he did some great things for the Black community (we will have to agree to disagree that it was necessary he think or present himself as completely Black in order to do this, I fail to see how one has anything to do with the other) but at what cost to HIS mental health?

And that is the crux of the difference of where we are coming from XYZ. You see what Malcolm did for Blacks, I see Malcolm. And if X is your ideal view of what Mixed people should be, I can see we are clearly on opposite sides in this. No thank you, he was definitely nobody Biracial and recently mixed people should be looking up to for inspiration on being Mixed in my opinion.
He was very unhealthy man in that respect.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
Fascinating and helpful quotation, KinkyKeeper.

There's been a very long standing debate over integration and segregation, and whether it helps a numerically small/minority community more to do one over the other. I have always been in favor of integration, with retained cultural/ethnic pride. In other words, for me, the goal is not that every numerically small/minority/non-white group assimilate to be "white-washed and american." But it is a goal for minority groups to be in close proximity with each other and also with the majority as well. To me, this breaks down barriers and boundaries and real relationships form and progress is made (NC.com is potentially one example of this, in a cyber setting). And, yes, sometimes miscegenation and intermarriage is going to occur when everyone gets to be near each other in schools, neighborhoods, church etc.. instead of all living in different parts of town, across from train tracks etc...

To use a couple of more famous examples of mixed race pairings and their offspring, I think that President Obama's parents met in a university setting, although is father was a bit scandalously older than his mother. And the Lovings in Virginia who were subject of a notorious and important Supreme Court decision also had a scandalous age difference and came together, wanting to marry and having children together, from being in close quarters. Those kinds of relationships were VOLUNTARY AND NOT CO-ERCED, and therefore are free of the kind of taint that Malcolm X apparently felt about his own non-black ancestry (in his case, white, but many of us do not have a white parent, so this black/white dichotomy is not our life and not on our backs like it is for some others, and we face different, yet related, issues). I can't personally relate to the rage and hostility that X felt towards his non-black half because my parent who was and is non-black entered into a mutual and loving decision to marry my black parent and raise children together and was always there for me/us (siblings). They raised us together, and like in any other family, the way you were raised is going to shape you. The way I was raised and how I grew up (factored into how I look and different life experiences and opportunities) definitely influences my position on this issues.

So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history. And his choice is as valid as someone who makes a different choice. And the person who makes a different choice should not be lambasted.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
Curltopia, I agree with everything you wrote above - very beautiful post (except I'm not sure how much Obama's father "loved" his mother.)

As to what KK said about multiracial/biracial people being below Black people in socioeconomic status, etc. - I very much doubt that, especially if biracial includes people of white ancestry and that of a so-called "model minority" who are starting out way ahead, but I'm also not sure how you would measure that, since so many people who are considered Black also are considered and consider themselves to be biracial and multiracial... which was my point in the first place. How would you separate out the hypothetical non-mixed Blacks from the mixed ones?

I believe Freakonomics is quite racist - I don't really take what it has to say on race too seriously.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











And having dated whites and Asians whose families were horrified at them being with a Black woman (and believe me, they saw me as Black and not part Asian or part white) ..., I find it hard to believe that those communities so magically accept all mixed people as one of their own so much more than Blacks and are so much less racist so that it is so much more comfortable to live there.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I've kind of skimmed this thread, so forgive me if I'm retreading old ground, but I wanted to add to this. I definitely agree.

Hypothetical situation: let's say you are a biracial white and black woman dating a biracial white and Asian man. Your biracial identity is hardly a guarantee that your boyfriend's Asian mom will welcome you with open arms because you are biracial like her son. That to me suggests that the idea of a "biracial community" is not realistic.

Also, I don't intend to negate anyone's experiences but the word "unique" has come up a few times. Why is the experience of a biracial person unique? Unique to that person, or peculiar to biracial people in general? Why would you know what my experience as a (100%) black woman is? Calling a biracial experience unique suggests that all (other) black people have identical paths in life. There are many different black experiences. Dare I say, unique?
Originally Posted by ursula

Well I don't think I have ever used the word unique in this thread, or hopefully didn't intimate ALL Biracial people are going to have the same experiences. Like all the other differences within the Biracial community, something as simple as which parent is which race can influence experiences within experiences. And yes there are many "unique" Black experiences and communities within ALL Black people so don't see why it's a reason (as some have suggested) to deny a an overall Multiracial category becuase there will so many different experiences within that one category.

And I am not really sure I understand the point of the "meeting a new in law" analogy. There's no guarantee any in law with a Black son is going to embrace her son's Black girlfriend on the basis of being Black, doesn't stop people from calling themselves Black and there being a Black category. Not all Black people feel connected to some sort of "Black community" and like people based on them being Black and once again I must point out having a community is no requirement to being considered a race/category. All there need be is a simple definition.

AND who is to say that once a Biracial identity becomes more accepted in society that mother won't feel that connection. Yes CURRENTLY it's unlikely she but as I have said before it's a bit of a cycle. People flattening other identtities so of course they have no chance to create a community about it.

But if anybody is interested there actually is quite a budding Biracial/Multiracial community out there already so it's not as impossible as some are suggesting for people to feel connection based on being racially Mixed:

Both the postive resource page and debate forum covers real life issues
http://mulatto.org

Dedicated to the struggle for and preservation of civil rights for multiracial individuals and interracial couples/families. It includes lots of links to multiracial magazines and sites.
http://www.multiracial.com/site/

A clearinghouse of information relevant to the lives of people who are multiracial, multiethnic, transracially adopted, or otherwise affected by the intersection of race and culture.
http://www.mixedheritagecenter.org/

Hosted by Heidi Durrow and Fanshen Cox, this weekly podcast has interviews with many fascinating people active in the mixed community.
http://mixedchickschat.com/

A youtube channel devoted entirely to mulatto (African/European mixed) issues:
http://www.youtube.com/user/tiffdjones

The nation's leading organization that builds healthy communities that celebrate and empower mixed-heritage people and families.
http://www.mavinfoundation.org/

Two other good sites
http://mixedfolks.com

http://mixedasians.com/

Association of Multiethnic Americans
http://www.ameasite.org/


Also this is a support group/club for girls who are mixed Black (Black/Asian, Black/White, etc). I believe it's mostly online but they get together whenever possible.
http://www.thetopazclub.com/



Curltopia, I agree with everything you wrote above - very beautiful post (except I'm not sure how much Obama's father "loved" his mother.)

As to what KK said about multiracial/biracial people being below Black people in socioeconomic status, etc. - I very much doubt that, especially if biracial includes people of white ancestry and that of a so-called "model minority" who are starting out way ahead, but I'm also not sure how you would measure that, since so many people who are considered Black also are considered and consider themselves to be biracial and multiracial... which was my point in the first place. How would you separate out the hypothetical non-mixed Blacks from the mixed ones?

I believe Freakonomics is quite racist - I don't really take what it has to say on race too seriously.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Well I didn't even necessarily mean socioeconomically (though like I said, it's hard to prove with a dearth of information) but there are other ways to be struggling, mentally, socially, physically, and many of them are connected.

And I'm not sure what is seen as so complicated about "seperating" out Biracials/Multiracials and Blacks. How is the race of anyone proven in any given country? Take that model and extend it to Biracials. I agree part Black Multiracials MIGHT get complicated in some countries seeing as how some Black people are also multiracial through slavery. BUT I'm sure that will work itself out seeing as how I doubt Black people are going to surge forward if and when Multiracial becomes a category to claim long ago admixture. They will still see themselves as Black. And any who do want to claim it, we can climb that mountain when we come to it. Once again all of this will be volutary. As for Biracial I vote for a simple easily proven definition like "has parents who identify of seperate races".

Simple. Or as simple as race can ever be. What we have to understand is wherever we are trying to define race there is going to be complications becuase basically what we are trying to do is define something that doesn't even exist and is ever changing. I highly recommend the book "The Pigment of Your Imagination"

It's a book where Joy Zarembka (who is first generation Black/White mixed) travels to several countries and notes how her race changes in each country. And it starts off that at birth on her birth certificate she was labeled Black and her brother (same parents) as White. You can't tell me that (siblings being written down as different races, I was written down as Black in the hospital based on my mother's physical appearance and nothing else, what if she had been dark skinned Indian? and the many other instances of such chaos) is any less complicated than just creating a Multiracial/Biracial category.

So yes it might be complicated but what's important is that as long as society GIVES importance and meaning to something as made up as race, there needs to be categories (socially if not legally) where everyone feels they their self identity has been acknowledged. And especially when there is a growing movement, at some point it can't be ignored there are enough people who FEEL multiracial and/or experience life primarily through a Multiracial's eyes to warrant a category (also socially if not legally).


My Fotki

Last edited by KinkyKeeper; 08-08-2009 at 05:13 PM.
We are not talking about how people see themselves though (I am) We are talking about how people label themselves to the world outside.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
This is probably where we are disagreeing then. I thought the whole point of the thread was stepping out of yourself and looking at an issue that is bigger than you and I. This is the same thing we were going over in "Intimidating Black People" thread. Many white people cited instances that were particular to their view of black people. Fortunately and unfortunately, we are talking about stepping outside of our limited experiences and looking at the bigger picture - black and mixed people as a whole.

And that's IF the big picture is that Blacks are at the bottom. Without research and acknowledgement of Mixed people who is to say they aren't at the bottom and Black people shoud be calling themselves Mixed to help them?
No socially blacks are at the bottom financially and socially. There are more black people in jail (percentage-wise) than other races. If there were more "I must be identified as multi-racial" people lacking necessities or suffering in incarceration, then politically it would become an issue in the press about and message boards you frequent for multi-racials would bring this up at least once. If their multiracial status was causing them to be unfairly jailed, I would say the public should look into why that is happening. But it's not happening, so it's a moot point.

I can tell you this, I wrote an article about the new racial categories for test scoring of multi-racial students in something like 23 states across America. Students were asked to check multiple boxes for as many races as they felt applied to them. Then their grade level was tested and African American children who only checked one box still remained at the bottom although multiracial children also did not score very high. If I get a chance I will post the source article I wrote from.

With that in mind who is to say I am not reaching up from the bottom by calling myself Multiracial and dedicating myself to Multiracial issues?
This would be your charge to prove. Since you haven't said anything about it until now and haven't stated how multi-racial labeling also helps so-called unmixed black people, I'm not sure how you're lifting blacks who are discriminated against for their lack of fitting in with the white majority.

That first quote is a little close to talking about micegenation, I wouldn't be surprised if that's how he (Malcolm X) felt about Blacks mixing with Whites, through intercourse and not just integration in public places, at that time in his life.
You're reaching. Malcolm X died trying to fight for equal rights for all people. He knew you couldn't do that unless you gave pride and dignity to the lowest people of society's rung. To turn his whole entire crusade into a debate about whether he was mentally disturbed because of the idea of blacks and whites in intercourse is beneath us.

I think it's like this. We talked in the "Intimidating black people" thread about how people on a higher rung of a social hierarchy only see their own plight because they are socialized to believe that seeing their plight is normal. Things that fall outside of their norm do not occur to them. This is true of multi-racials as well. I see many multiracials rant about how other races made fun of their hair, or the way they spoke, or how they dressed and it wasn't fair because they as multi-racials were being discriminated against. But just like with white people, multiracial people do have opportunities to look at ancestry and see their lineage and feel some pride about their history if they have a parent who is not black. Until people higher up on the social chain put themselves in the shoes of people of the lowest social rung they will never be aware of ALL the plights and discrimination that is experienced by the truly marginalized. And unless you are fighting for the truly marginalized, the most vulnerable victims of oppression will still suffer under the most dire circumstances. So excuse me if I'm not overwrought by the injustices perpetrated on quote/unquote multiracial people who have to suffer the horror of being called "acting like they are white" when black people are dying in prison or the untouchables have to bathe in sewer water, or ethnic muslims are being imprisoned as suspected terrorist because of the color of their skin. To me, it's all about picking my battles. And falling in with the lowest rung - the black race and those like them- and saying to the world, this is what black looks like! All of us! Makes it a whole lot harder for the majority to pick us out and discriminate against us.
KinkyKeeper, the problem is writing race on a birth certificate in the first place. How is adding more options to write in solving that basic problem?

I think the point of the in law analogy was not to say that all Blacks accept all other Blacks as their in-laws, but to say that there is little chance of having community and unity between people just because they claim they are multiracial. SOME may, but for some, the differences will be just as great as with others of "one race" regardless of whether or not society accepts people labelling as mixed-race.

I think there is no such thing as a "simple, proven definition" and even "has parents of different races" gets muddy very quickly.

I find many of the websites you listed to be either offensive or living in fantasy land or both.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
You do understand that if people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had centered their message more on, "Well, I'm not really black, but stop treating black people so bad, mkay" we would not have the rights we have now.

The strength of the Civil Rights movement and then the Black Power movement after it was that people became PROUD to be black - white society had succeeding in shaming black americans into thinking their was something wrong with blackness. When all kinds of people, white, black, yellow, and brown stood up to say, "I'm black and I'm proud" things changed because blackness was less stigmatized.

You can't have "partially" black people claim they would like to move away from being called black because it doesn't define them and still convince society that there is nothing wrong with being black. It just doesn't work that way. People will look at your actions and not the protestations of "But I love my black side too though" that is half-heartedly coming out of your mouth.

This does not negate anyone's right to say and label as they feel though. I feel very strongly that if the black community can't embrace all people of it's own race first, there's no way we will ever filter cohesively into societies' majority.
So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
You do understand that if people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had centered their message more on, "Well, I'm not really black, but stop treating black people so bad, mkay" we would not have the rights we have now.

The strength of the Civil Rights movement and then the Black Power movement after it was that people became PROUD to be black - white society had succeeding in shaming black americans into thinking their was something wrong with blackness. When all kinds of people, white, black, yellow, and brown stood up to say, "I'm black and I'm proud" things changed because blackness was less stigmatized.

You can't have "partially" black people claim they would like to move away from being called black because it doesn't define them and still convince society that there is nothing wrong with being black. It just doesn't work that way. People will look at your actions and not the protestations of "But I love my black side too though" that is half-heartedly coming out of your mouth.

This does not negate anyone's right to say and label as they feel though. I feel very strongly that if the black community can't embrace all people of it's own race first, there's no way we will ever filter cohesively into societies' majority.
Originally Posted by Xyz
Exactly. Most of what has been said about the reasons for identifying as biracial or multiracial is about the personal and people wanting to show love for their family, etc. No one is saying not to do that. But when it comes to politics, why do your personal feelings about your roots prevent you from standing up as a Black person for Black people to honour that part of yourself that is Black?

IF I saw all these people so busy with their multiracial blogs and surveys and history months doing that, I might buy that it was just about self-identification.

Also, for those who say it's a "unique" experience to have parents of two races: couldn't you say that it would be a similar experience to have, say, a Black Muslim father born in Nigeria and a Black Catholic mother born in Guyana? Or a white Protestant mother born in Ireland and a white Jewish father born in Israel? You might as well go and build community with them, too.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
You do understand that if people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had centered their message more on, "Well, I'm not really black, but stop treating black people so bad, mkay" we would not have the rights we have now.

The strength of the Civil Rights movement and then the Black Power movement after it was that people became PROUD to be black - white society had succeeding in shaming black americans into thinking their was something wrong with blackness. When all kinds of people, white, black, yellow, and brown stood up to say, "I'm black and I'm proud" things changed because blackness was less stigmatized.

You can't have "partially" black people claim they would like to move away from being called black because it doesn't define them and still convince society that there is nothing wrong with being black. It just doesn't work that way. People will look at your actions and not the protestations of "But I love my black side too though" that is half-heartedly coming out of your mouth.

This does not negate anyone's right to say and label as they feel though. I feel very strongly that if the black community can't embrace all people of it's own race first, there's no way we will ever filter cohesively into societies' majority.
Originally Posted by Xyz
AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Thank you! I know we've said it here before, but if you couldn't sit at a regular diner counter 50 years ago because you would have been considered black/negro whatever, then maybe you should consider calling yourself black. If you couldn't sit on the front of the bus until Rosa Parks, another mixed race woman who stood up for black people, took a stand on a bus, maybe you should consider calling yourself black. This is what black means to me - all those people who fought for my rights. I really don't care what they were mixed with and thank goodness neither did they.
Sort of skimmed through since the posts in this thread are super long. How I see it in America (as well as a movement in my own country and several other Latin American countries), black is a political word that any person of African ancestry can use. So I can understand how someone can say she is black and "multiracial." Just like someone can be European and French.

Personally, I do not like labels. I do not identify with a race (do id with both of my parent's culture as well as the culture of the country in which I was raised. All helped shape my first perceptions of the world). I do not like the term biracial or multiracial since they are arbitrary and the word racial bugs me (My opinion). The closer we get to using less labels the better.

When asked by strangers I usually only say I am human or alien if I am feeling cheeky. None of their business.

My close friends know my heritage. Random strangers, who cares. I refuse to let their hang-ups pigeon hole me into choosing a label. Honestly, I cannot understand why there is so much discussion and angst over this issue.
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

We are not talking about how people see themselves though (I am) We are talking about how people label themselves to the world outside.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
This is probably where we are disagreeing then. I thought the whole point of the thread was stepping out of yourself and looking at an issue that is bigger than you and I. This is the same thing we were going over in "Intimidating Black People" thread. Many white people cited instances that were particular to their view of black people. Fortunately and unfortunately, we are talking about stepping outside of our limited experiences and looking at the bigger picture - black and mixed people as a whole.

And that's IF the big picture is that Blacks are at the bottom. Without research and acknowledgement of Mixed people who is to say they aren't at the bottom and Black people shoud be calling themselves Mixed to help them?
No socially blacks are at the bottom financially and socially. There are more black people in jail (percentage-wise) than other races. If there were more "I must be identified as multi-racial" people lacking necessities or suffering in incarceration, then politically it would become an issue in the press about and message boards you frequent for multi-racials would bring this up at least once. If their multiracial status was causing them to be unfairly jailed, I would say the public should look into why that is happening. But it's not happening, so it's a moot point.

I can tell you this, I wrote an article about the new racial categories for test scoring of multi-racial students in something like 23 states across America. Students were asked to check multiple boxes for as many races as they felt applied to them. Then their grade level was tested and African American children who only checked one box still remained at the bottom although multiracial children also did not score very high. If I get a chance I will post the source article I wrote from.

We will have to agree to disagree that if Mixed people are really suffering/in jail more than Blacks (proportions wise) it would be in the news or talked about. How can it when they themselves, on average, believe themselves to be Black and anything they may be going through is just the symptom of being Black or even seperate prejudice becuase of being Mixed is still just the suffering of a "a light skinned Black person"? There are no statistics becuase there is no category so there is no way to prove Black people are below Mixed Black people. It's a roundabout. And even if they are personally interviewed they would list their race as Black.

And if I am correct in thinking the Multiracial people who think of themselves as Black are the ones who have the most troubles then even a Multiracial person who self identifies as Black reading such an article wouldn't comment to say "Yeah, it does suck to be multiracial." Becuase I know from personal experience when you truly believe yourself to be one category it doesn't even ocurr to you to connect the suffering of another category to what you are going through. If someone had been talking about things Mixed people go through when I still thought of myself as only Black, as strange as it sounds it wouldn't have occured to me to link it to myself. Which brings me back to what I was saying. There needs to be acknowledgement of Multiracial identity in order to bring most issues to light. I firmly believe it's a chicken and egg thing. So we will have to agree to disagree.

And actually there has been a lot of suffering exclusive or common to Mixed people. Wherever it can be found, what little can be documented, we DO talk about on the forums I belong.

With that in mind who is to say I am not reaching up from the bottom by calling myself Multiracial and dedicating myself to Multiracial issues?
This would be your charge to prove. Since you haven't said anything about it until now and haven't stated how multi-racial labeling also helps so-called unmixed black people, I'm not sure how you're lifting blacks who are discriminated against for their lack of fitting in with the white majority.

Actually I believe I have with this quote:
But who is to say I can't be of more help to "the Black community" when I see myself and my place in it more clearly?
Which I meant to mean a lot of things bad can come from attempting to fit into only one community, when you know in some part of you you belong to many communities. I can't think of anything specific but then again as I have stated before it doesn't really matter becuase if calling myself Multiracial manages to help non-mixed Black people more that will just be a nice bonus. Becuase I understand while you see this from the perspective of the Black community I see it from the perspective of the Multiracial community and me personally.

That first quote is a little close to talking about micegenation, I wouldn't be surprised if that's how he (Malcolm X) felt about Blacks mixing with Whites, through intercourse and not just integration in public places, at that time in his life.
You're reaching. Malcolm X died trying to fight for equal rights for all people. He knew you couldn't do that unless you gave pride and dignity to the lowest people of society's rung. To turn his whole entire crusade into a debate about whether he was mentally disturbed because of the idea of blacks and whites in intercourse is beneath us.

I think it's like this. We talked in the "Intimidating black people" thread about how people on a higher rung of a social hierarchy only see their own plight because they are socialized to believe that seeing their plight is normal. Things that fall outside of their norm do not occur to them. This is true of multi-racials as well. I see many multiracials rant about how other races made fun of their hair, or the way they spoke, or how they dressed and it wasn't fair because they as multi-racials were being discriminated against. But just like with white people, multiracial people do have opportunities to look at ancestry and see their lineage and feel some pride about their history if they have a parent who is not black. Until people higher up on the social chain put themselves in the shoes of people of the lowest social rung they will never be aware of ALL the plights and discrimination that is experienced by the truly marginalized. And unless you are fighting for the truly marginalized, the most vulnerable victims of oppression will still suffer under the most dire circumstances. So excuse me if I'm not overwrought by the injustices perpetrated on quote/unquote multiracial people who have to suffer the horror of being called "acting like they are white" when black people are dying in prison or the untouchables have to bathe in sewer water, or ethnic muslims are being imprisoned as suspected terrorist because of the color of their skin. To me, it's all about picking my battles. And falling in with the lowest rung - the black race and those like them- and saying to the world, this is what black looks like! All of us! Makes it a whole lot harder for the majority to pick us out and discriminate against us.
Originally Posted by Xyz
I will give you I was reaching with the first quote of Malcolm X, I admitted that in my original post that I was reading into what I personally saw based on others things he has said. I was a part of the intimidating Black people thread as well and while I told White people they need to look outside themselves to see the problems of another community I didn't tell them they had to BECOME Black in order to do so. And yes I know there are ethnic groups suffering everywhere but this is no excuse to compare it to that of Mixed people o use it as a reason we shouldn't call ourselves Non-Black. Maybe some Mixed people aren't lying in sewage but neither are all Black people. And personally I find you diminishing any suffering Multiracial people are going through to "someone made fun of me for being White" extremely offensive when if you really have done research on Mixed people's individual experiences you might find as I have it goes way deeper and worse than that. I know Mixed people who live out of their cars becuase none of their family member's accept them becuase they are Mixed. People who have been disowned by their family becuase they married out and their children suffered. I know of people aborting and putting children up for adoption becuase they can't face the shame of having a Mixed baby. I recently checked the adoption lists of my state and the connected pictures and though almost all are listed under Black there are plenty you can tell are part White. Read Sandra Laing's life story which she only went through becuase she born Mixed into an otherwise White family in South Africa. It's heart wrenching. I know of Mixed people right now waiting for a bone marrow donor who matches them becuase there are so few Mixed people on the donor list. People who passed into the priveleged group (now and in the past, it's still going on) and had to leave all their Black family members behind with all the mental stress that entails. I know a girl who got beat up for having "good hair" by a group of jealous Black girls. If it was just hair as someone has suggested, none of us would be here on this website. The list of physical torment goes on and that doesn't even take into account any mental stress they go through by not having a forum where they can talk about issues specific to multiracial people.

And I would be interested in the link to that study you did but I would not be interested in anymore diminishing of the Multiracial experience. So if that's going to continue, there is no need to respond.


My Fotki

Last edited by KinkyKeeper; 08-08-2009 at 06:07 PM.
KinkyKeeper, most of what you talked about has to do with white superiority and the relatively inferior position of Blacks, not a specific racial conspiracy against the multiracial. If people are disowned by their family for being in an interraical relationship, the issue is their family's racism towards the race of their partner, or their family's reaction towards internalized racism, or some other issue stemming from white supremacy and what it does to people. People abort or disown mixed race kids not because they are mixed per se but because they come from a person of a race they or their families do not accept. And Black people are also taunted for their hair and their looks and beat up for having "good" hair. And passing is an issue because of the way Black people are treated. If those issues concern you, the only way to solve them is to raise the status of Black people... not to try to make them "mixed" issues, form an exclusive "mixed" group and concentrate only on it.

I'm having a REALLY hard time taking it seriously that there is this supposed underclass of multiracial and biracial people, worse off than Blacks or anyone else, mistreated by society to great degrees, that I apparently must belong to but never been aware of the great oppression I was facing due to my multiracial heritage.... and that there would be no task forces, no committees, no protest marches... and that this struggle has been so invisible... and that we aren't seeing identifiable crime rates, educational evidence, etc. etc. etc. to prove this social inequity.

If this were really true, wouldn't most Blacks be busy claiming they are only Black and not talking about their one drops of other ancestry, since by doing that they'd be outing themselves as multiracial and lowering their status?
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali












Last edited by Amneris; 08-08-2009 at 06:18 PM.
AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Thank you! I know we've said it here before, but if you couldn't sit at a regular diner counter 50 years ago because you would have been considered black/negro whatever, then maybe you should consider calling yourself black. If you couldn't sit on the front of the bus until Rosa Parks, another mixed race woman who stood up for black people, took a stand on a bus, maybe you should consider calling yourself black. This is what black means to me - all those people who fought for my rights. I really don't care what they were mixed with and thank goodness neither did they.
Originally Posted by Xyz

And how I see this is there are a lot of things Black and part Black people couldn't do 50 years ago, and we have moved past most of them. So I find it so bewildering how now that we can have the opportunity to accept our non-Black heritages (something they were told they couldn't just as much as they were told they couldn't sit at that counter) it is seen as a betrayal or something to the people who fought for our rights (which to me seems obvious one of which was the right to consider yourself Non-Black if you want) when almost nothing is. Are you still picking cotton, sitting on the back of the bus, coming in through the back of buildings? Unless you are still doing things, how is it more honoring to those heros to accept some of the rights they fought for and not others?


My Fotki
AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Thank you! I know we've said it here before, but if you couldn't sit at a regular diner counter 50 years ago because you would have been considered black/negro whatever, then maybe you should consider calling yourself black. If you couldn't sit on the front of the bus until Rosa Parks, another mixed race woman who stood up for black people, took a stand on a bus, maybe you should consider calling yourself black. This is what black means to me - all those people who fought for my rights. I really don't care what they were mixed with and thank goodness neither did they.
Originally Posted by Xyz

And how I see this is there are a lot of things Black and part Black people couldn't do 50 years ago, and we have moved past most of them. So I find it so bewildering how now that we can have the opportunity to accept our non-Black heritages (something they were told they couldn't just as much as they were told they couldn't sit at that counter) it is seen as a betrayal or something to the people who fought for our rights (which to me seems obvious one of which was the right to consider yourself Non-Black if you want) when almost nothing is. Are you still picking cotton, sitting on the back of the bus, coming in through the back of buildings? Unless you are still doing things, how is it more honoring to those heros to accept some of the rights they fought for and not others?
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
The point is that people like Malcolm X, MLK, Rosa Parks and many, many others fought for the rights of people denied their rights who were under the umbrella of "Negro" or "Black" - including many, many "mixed" people - and many of those fighters were "mixed" themselves - yet there is no evidence that they talked about it in any way to suggest that it was a separate or worse social problem unconnected to the plight of Blacks. And the only reason that we today have the right to mix with and marry other races and have enough standing to have the luxury to navel-gaze and debate about what to call ourselves or our kids, is that THEY fought for it for US. We're talking about honouring people... well that to me is something that should be honoured. As has been stated earlier, "Black" is a political label which reflects that struggle and reflects the issues you mentioned - that some still do not accept children or marriages from the races perceived to be "lower" and so on. I have yet to hear of any major social rights activist who had on their platform all these horrible things happening specifically to "biracial" people so I'm not sure how you can claim they fought for those rights specifically.

I get that this is an issue of self-identification, self-acceptance and family for some people, and I can understand and respect that, but to try and make it into this is really mind-boggling to me.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











KinkyKeeper, most of what you talked about has to do with white superiority and the relatively inferior position of Blacks, not a specific racial conspiracy against the multiracial. If people are disowned by their family for being in an interraical relationship, the issue is their family's racism towards the race of their partner, or their family's reaction towards internalized racism, or some other issue stemming from white supremacy and what it does to people. People abort or disown mixed race kids not because they are mixed per se but because they come from a person of a race they or their families do not accept. And Black people are also taunted for their hair and their looks and beat up for having "good" hair. And passing is an issue because of the way Black people are treated. If those issues concern you, the only way to solve them is to raise the status of Black people... not to try to make them "mixed" issues, form an exclusive "mixed" group and concentrate only on it.

I'm having a REALLY hard time taking it seriously that there is this supposed underclass of multiracial and biracial people, worse off than Blacks or anyone else, mistreated by society to great degrees, that I apparently must belong to but never been aware of the great oppression I was facing due to my multiracial heritage.... and that there would be no task forces, no committees, no protest marches... and that this struggle has been so invisible... and that we aren't seeing identifiable crime rates, educational evidence, etc. etc. etc. to prove this social inequity.

If this were really true, wouldn't most Blacks be busy claiming they are only Black and not talking about their one drops of other ancestry, since by doing that they'd be outing themselves as multiracial and lowering their status?
Originally Posted by Amneris
Who said conspiracy? And yes most of the bad things IME that happen to Mixed people is becuase of being part Black (though there are plenty of prejudice I have heard of that happened from Blacks becuase of being part White or being specifically Mixed) and on a higher than average coming up against Whites BUT regardless of why specifically the prejudice is ocurring it becomes specifically a Mixed Race issue when they are mixed and for whatever reason people have a problem with them. Yes a White mother (I'm using White hypothetically, it could just as easily be a Black mother) might abort a Mixed baby becuase that mixed baby is part BLACK and not becuase they are specifically Mixed and she can't handle the social pressures of having a part BLACK baby becuase it is still about that baby being Mixed becuase they are part White AND Black. They wouldn't have been aborted if they hadn't been in a White womb. Nixon believed Mulatto (or Black/White if you prefer) babies should be aborted

Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster "permissiveness," and said that "it breaks the family." But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases, such as interracial pregnancies.
"There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white," he told an aide, before adding: "Or a rape.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_219746.html
Yes this belief might have come from his belief that Black people are inferior (we will never know) but it's just as likely he thought it because he believed MIXTURE was wrong. And either way, it's the AND that makes it a Mixed issue as well as a Black issue. Whether he believed mixed babies should be terminated becuase of their Blackness or their duality it doesn't matter becuase he didn't say Black babies should be aborted. He said Black AND White babies.

And in the end, to this discussion (should Black/White mixed people call themselves Black or Mixed) it's not really pertinent how much suffering we suffer and why we suffer, becuase all that is required for a racial dentity, as I have pointed out before, is a definition. There need for no long list of woes and trials and community (no other race has to do this) to make it so, though some people see it differently clearly.

If someone's family throws them out because they are Part Black not becuase they are Mixed it's still a Mixed person suffering.

And yes there are issues out there that indicate people have a problem with duality of races and not becuase the person is part Black. People hate gray area. I have had people treat me bettter and heard of people treating Mixed people better once they could "pin them down" and call them something, even if if that something is Black.
It could be a Black issue but it's also a Mixed issue.


Well you are certainly entitled Amneris to have a hard time believing anything you want. But in this specific instance, as I have said before, it's hard to prove or disprove whether Mixed people have it tougher than Black people without acknowledgment that Mixed people are real. It's hard to prove the suffering of "a fake category" as you would say. And not that it's pertinent to this conversation but I do know several Black and Biracial people who would deny White admixture (even when obvious) or pass as Black to their last breathe. And no it would be nowhere near universal that Blacks would be embarrased to have one drop of White blood becuase nobody said being part White doesn't afford some advantages but that doesn't negate personal suffering becuase of being MIXED, not becuase of being part White.


My Fotki
So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
You do understand that if people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had centered their message more on, "Well, I'm not really black, but stop treating black people so bad, mkay" we would not have the rights we have now.

The strength of the Civil Rights movement and then the Black Power movement after it was that people became PROUD to be black - white society had succeeding in shaming black americans into thinking their was something wrong with blackness. When all kinds of people, white, black, yellow, and brown stood up to say, "I'm black and I'm proud" things changed because blackness was less stigmatized.

You can't have "partially" black people claim they would like to move away from being called black because it doesn't define them and still convince society that there is nothing wrong with being black. It just doesn't work that way. People will look at your actions and not the protestations of "But I love my black side too though" that is half-heartedly coming out of your mouth.

This does not negate anyone's right to say and label as they feel though. I feel very strongly that if the black community can't embrace all people of it's own race first, there's no way we will ever filter cohesively into societies' majority.
Originally Posted by Xyz
AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Yes, I recognize all of that because I know american history including the abolitionist and civil rights movements. I am also aware of the importance of sufragettes and people who fought against anti-asian property laws in CA, biased immigration policy, operation wet.back, internment of the japanese, etc.. The more that all of us acknowledge and know this history, the better. Howard Zinn is an excellent place to start.

But, we are no longer being snuck through the underground railroad or conducting major protest marches. Even black people with two african-american or two west-indian or two african parents are not doing this. So, why is the burden and expectation placed on the mixed, part or half black person to hail back to the olden days and old methods when the rest of the community is hardly doing the same. Is it because it doesn't seem fair that some of us have a non-black heritage and culture and mixed or blended/ambiguous appearance? Is it because of a fear or resentment that we will be or are treated better than other black people without the mixed parentage (not great great great grand relatives, but a biological parent who raised you and stamped you). If those are the concerns, then you (gy) need to get over it. The reality reflects a post-slavery, post-civil rights movement and more liberated era. We could all stand to adjust to this new era instead of imposing tactics and expectactions (selectively) that no longer fit our culture and society, not to mention the diversity within and among the diaspora of african-descended people.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
Curltopia, I agree with everything you wrote above - very beautiful post (except I'm not sure how much Obama's father "loved" his mother.)
Originally Posted by Amneris
Thanks, Amneris. Not everyone knows or even remembers all of my many name changes. But its nice of you to remember curltopia (one of my favorite NC screen names) and for your kind words.

Even though we are disagreeing on this thread, I do see us as having a substantial amount of common ground and shared interests and values.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
You do understand that if people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had centered their message more on, "Well, I'm not really black, but stop treating black people so bad, mkay" we would not have the rights we have now.

The strength of the Civil Rights movement and then the Black Power movement after it was that people became PROUD to be black - white society had succeeding in shaming black americans into thinking their was something wrong with blackness. When all kinds of people, white, black, yellow, and brown stood up to say, "I'm black and I'm proud" things changed because blackness was less stigmatized.

You can't have "partially" black people claim they would like to move away from being called black because it doesn't define them and still convince society that there is nothing wrong with being black. It just doesn't work that way. People will look at your actions and not the protestations of "But I love my black side too though" that is half-heartedly coming out of your mouth.

This does not negate anyone's right to say and label as they feel though. I feel very strongly that if the black community can't embrace all people of it's own race first, there's no way we will ever filter cohesively into societies' majority.
Originally Posted by Xyz
AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Yes, I recognize all of that because I know american history including the abolitionist and civil rights movements. I am also aware of the importance of sufragettes and people who fought against anti-asian property laws in CA, biased immigration policy, operation wet.back, internment of the japanese, etc.. The more that all of us acknowledge and know this history, the better. Howard Zinn is an excellent place to start.

But, we are no longer being snuck through the underground railroad or conducting major protest marches. Even black people with two african-american or two west-indian or two african parents are not doing this. So, why is the burden and expectation placed on the mixed, part or half black person to hail back to the olden days and old methods when the rest of the community is hardly doing the same. Is it because it doesn't seem fair that some of us have a non-black heritage and culture and mixed or blended/ambiguous appearance? Is it because of a fear or resentment that we will be or are treated better than other black people without the mixed parentage (not great great great grand relatives, but a biological parent who raised you and stamped you). If those are the concerns, then you (gy) need to get over it. The reality reflects a post-slavery, post-civil rights movement and more liberated era. We could all stand to adjust to this new era instead of imposing tactics and expectactions (selectively) that no longer fit our culture and society, not to mention the diversity within and among the diaspora of african-descended people.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
Nope, I think all Black people, and in fact all people of colour (the Chicano rights movement came out of civil rights) and really, all people who appreciate living in a more diverse and harmonious society, should be honouring the struggle - definitely more Black people in general should. It's not an expectation only upon multiracial people. I also think more women (and men) should honour the women's lib movement.

I really don't believe us yet to be in a liberated era, either...

sorry about calling you curltopia - I guess that's how I always think of you - it wasn't intentional!
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











And how I see this is there are a lot of things Black and part Black people couldn't do 50 years ago, and we have moved past most of them. So I find it so bewildering how now that we can have the opportunity to accept our non-Black heritages (something they were told they couldn't just as much as they were told they couldn't sit at that counter) it is seen as a betrayal or something to the people who fought for our rights (which to me seems obvious one of which was the right to consider yourself Non-Black if you want) when almost nothing is. Are you still picking cotton, sitting on the back of the bus, coming in through the back of buildings? Unless you are still doing things, how is it more honoring to those heros to accept some of the rights they fought for and not others?
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
I understand that because of their struggle, I have more liberties to call myself whatever I want. But it is because of their struggle that I use that right to call myself black. They set an example for me that progress is made by facing the things that people tell you are ugly about you and embracing them. That stereotypically black female image that people have in their mind, I love when people destroy that image by looking every which way a human being can possibly look. Because "black" comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and I want the world to recognize that so that they can get that the concept of race is outdated and nonsensical, not just the labeling.

Just like in the "Intimidating black people" thread, some people will accept the concept of white privilege and some people will insist that because a black man banged on their car window and scared them, there is significant racist against white people and white privilege can't be their main focus. In a similar way in this thread, even if we talk until we are blue in the face about the plight of black people and how disunity amongst the race hurts our attempts to lessen our plight, individuals are still going to insist on their own individual problems or the problems of a smaller group. It is of course, everyone's right to see the world how they want, I just think if we spend a little more time looking at who really suffers in the world, it's usually the poorest, darkest, most marginalized and to pretend that we don't see that shows a lack of social awareness.
And how I see this is there are a lot of things Black and part Black people couldn't do 50 years ago, and we have moved past most of them. So I find it so bewildering how now that we can have the opportunity to accept our non-Black heritages (something they were told they couldn't just as much as they were told they couldn't sit at that counter) it is seen as a betrayal or something to the people who fought for our rights (which to me seems obvious one of which was the right to consider yourself Non-Black if you want) when almost nothing is. Are you still picking cotton, sitting on the back of the bus, coming in through the back of buildings? Unless you are still doing things, how is it more honoring to those heros to accept some of the rights they fought for and not others?
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
I understand that because of their struggle, I have more liberties to call myself whatever I want. But it is because of their struggle that I use that right to call myself black. They set an example for me that progress is made by facing the things that people tell you are ugly about you and embracing them. That stereotypically black female image that people have in their mind, I love when people destroy that image by looking every which way a human being can possibly look. Because "black" comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and I want the world to recognize that so that they can get that the concept of race is outdated and nonsensical, not just the labeling.

Just like in the "Intimidating black people" thread, some people will accept the concept of white privilege and some people will insist that because a black man banged on their car window and scared them, there is significant racist against white people and white privilege can't be their main focus. In a similar way in this thread, even if we talk until we are blue in the face about the plight of black people and how disunity amongst the race hurts our attempts to lessen our plight, individuals are still going to insist on their own individual problems or the problems of a smaller group. It is of course, everyone's right to see the world how they want, I just think if we spend a little more time looking at who really suffers in the world, it's usually the poorest, darkest, most marginalized and to pretend that we don't see that shows a lack of social awareness.
Originally Posted by Xyz
exactly... and that's why the label is not the issue, because you can call the people suffering the most whatever you want, and you can call yourself or others whatever you want, but it doesn't change the reality of how you and they live.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











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