Good post CocoaCoily.I don't know if you are referring to me, but since I am a parent who wishes her child to identify as what she is (biracial/African Polish-American/Black and Polish), rather than what someone wants her to be (Black or by some slim chance, White), you may be referring to me. In which case...It seems that SOME people who like using the biracial or multiracial label or want their kids to use it say that they are using it to get away from racial thinking or to honour their parentage... but how so? How is it getting away from racial thinking to further break down or analyze who is half this or a quarter that? (and of course those who are considered "full Black", whatever that is, is on the bottom.) I don't like the "half and half" thinking because it implies that the "two halves" were pure to begin with, which they likely were not.
I've stated that I do not mind race in and of itself. It's is very obvious that there are is something different about me and my husband, besides our genders. It's when people place some value on it, as you seem to be doing, that causes the problem. I certainly do not put myself at the bottom of the race totem pole. But then, I do not think of it as a totem pole. To me, it's more of a rainbow or a spectrum. (And that's not meant to sound all kumbaya.) There is no better or worse, as they are all on the same plane, as far as I'm concerned.
Regarding purity, and this is not meant to be taken as a sign of some sort of superiority... As far as I know, the three to four generations above me are all Black. My husband's are all Polish. That makes us pretty close to "pure," and I'm sure there are lots of other folks who can claim the same, and maybe trace further. That doesn't make us any better or worse than my daughter, you, Tiger Woods, Barack Obama, or any other person. I'm sorry, but if I have a great great great great grand parent who is white, I'm not claiming biracial. That is just a bit too far removed.
I don't really buy into this idea that everyone is multiracial. It seems almost as bad as those who hold tight and fast to their purity as though it is some sort of badge of honor. Not only does it buy into the one drop rule, it sounds to me like a desperate attempt to make us all the "same," and simultaneously make some "not different." But, I am one of those people who celebrates our diversity. I love that there are different types of people in this world. I do not want a world where everyone is the same!
Also very good.The experience of your younger siblings rings true for me and other bi and multi-cultural/racial people I know. The honoring part is in recognizing 2 parents who contributed to your genetics and raised you, in a world that can be very hostile towards miscegenation and interracial marriage. I, for one, am not going to give up claiming the identities of both parents just because of what may make others more comfortable or happy in their own skin and narrow world views. I am most concerned with how I live, my choices and their consequences.
I have some evidence of how that framework has played out in the examples of my three youngest siblings. They are Black and Italian, and they identify as such (sometimes biracial, sometimes African Italian-American). If someone tries to call them either one or the other, they correct them. They see it the way I do. And it's quite simple. Mom's black, dad's Italian. So they are Black Italians. If both parents were Italians, that's what they would be. If both were Black, that's what they would be. It's not really something that you can choose. You can deny, but that would not change what you really are. And, of course, it doesn't make for who you are.
I will acknowledge that one's appearance and how one is raced by others can have a very big impact on self-identification and maintaining a comfort zone with self-identification.
Exactly.I don't think she should be called just white or black because she isn't just white or black. It took 2 of us to make her.