2009-01-21

My Problem With The Biracial/Multiracial Movement

"If I'm outside your building trying to catch a cab," he told Charlie Rose, "they're not saying, 'Oh, there's a mixed race guy."

-Barack Obama





This man is my problem with the biracial/multiracial movement. I have said this before, I will say it again. MOST BLACKS IN AMERICA are multi-racial. Most of us with slave ancestry are mixed. Since I have gone natural, people often ask me what I mixed with due to my "multi-racial" hair texture, and I simply say black and black. There is no need to go back and claim the Native American and European American ancestry that does not claim me. Obama identifies a black man in America. I realize he has a white mother and African father, but he HIMSELF identifies with being black. So why is the multiracial/biracial movement upset at what Barack chooses to identify as? White people and biracial/multiracial people have been trying to point out what is obvious, he is biracial, but they seem hush hush on the fact that he identifies as black. It is just a way for some white people to justify how a black man managed to get into the white house, and for the biracial/multiracial movement people to claim a man who really doesn't want to be claimed.

Now being a black woman who is currently pregnant with my white husband's baby, I can't understand how anyone would be offended if someone assumed my child was black, or if my child was white. Obviously the baby with be both, but dang, why would that be offensive? If I know what my child is, why should I care what others think about my baby? I don't give a damn what others think about my relationship with my husband, if I did, I would be in trouble.

I hate the assumption that being mixed race is a recent thing and didn't occur until black men and white women got together. Since the inception of this country, white men and black women have been making babies. The early miscegenation laws were targeted to prevent white men from sexing black women, not black men towards white women. Back in the days of segregation mixed race folks sat on the back of the bus with black folks, so it didn't really matter, to many white people which parent was white, you were black in their eyes. In fact, many white people regardless of the belief, still hold on to that mindset. The racist jokes and comments made about Obama were not about his whiteness, but his blackness.

I think another issue I have with the biracial multiracial movement is this, there is much venom towards the black community, but never the same venom shared with the white people, as if these people's goal is to distance themselves from being black and assimilate into whiteness. I get tired of hearing how evil black people are, and how badly people treated them. Growing up in predominantly white areas, I can say not all white people are pleasant and loving. Some are intentionally mean, others are just ignorant and offensive. Not all whites are that way, but I would hate to think all blacks are like the blacks I ran into during my summers at the YWCA, where my mother tried to have me exposed to more black people, or to the black kids in middle school who taunted me, or even some of the crazy black folks in college. Maybe it is because I have learned to surround myself with black people who tend to be a bit more like me, or ones that are accepting of diversity of the black race and don't fall into the stereotypes of black people all being poor and from the ghetto, speaking ebonics. I got treated badly by both blacks and whites. I have experienced racism from asians and hispanics. So why would I assimilate to any of those cultures or embrace the stereotypes, if I don't want to be stereotyped myself?