Is identifying as the minority group an ethical obligation for the mixed race?

Posted by James, 06 Apr 12

mixed race individualsBecause of the rise in mixed race individuals, the government has allowed us to indicate if we are of two or more races. So why do mixed race individuals still feel morally obliged to identify themselves by the “one drop of black blood rule” of the yester years?

We are lucky to be in a society where you can date who you want and marry who you want as opposed to what our parents had live with: hiding their interracial relationships. But even with such progress, it seems like couples in interracial marriages – especially in black and white – feel like they have an ethical obligation to incorporate more of the black culture and black racial identity in their kids lives no matter how white they may look. And because of this, the mixed race kids grow up identifying with the dominant culture they grew up in – black.

I know how important culture is. And I know how important it is to incorporate both cultures in their lives. But for some reason, we tend to ignore the fact that they come from two different cultures when it comes to racial identity.

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Look at our president. He is half white. So why is it that the American public and mainstream media have failed to acknowledge his true heritage as mixed race and identify him as black? Why did many question his intelligence and ability to lead the nation just because he has some black blood in his white blood that we so choose ignore? Do we feel that the value and purity of his whiteness is contaminated by that drop of blackness in him? Look at the number of mixed race celebrities who are automatically blackanized by the media… better yet, blackanize themselves… Halle, Ice T, Tiger, Kimora… I could do this all day.

This is not what the activists who fought against racial oppression intended to achieve. And as Randall Kennedy puts it, they are "…people who are not content to accept the categories of communal affiliation they have inherited but instead insist upon bringing into being new and better forms of communal affiliation, ones in which love and loyalty are unbounded by race." So why do we keep accepting such categorizations we have inherited as opposed to living as the new us – products of interracial love?

Does this mean we are far from being post-racial much as we like to believe we are? Is racial identity a matter of individual will or an obligation we feel we need to fulfill because America expects us to do so?

2 responses to "Is identifying as the minority group an ethical obligation for the mixed race?"

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  1.   reese says:
    Posted: 09 Apr 12

    Society also sees him as a black man., I think because there are full black people who are lighter than he is look at Beyounce and her mother. There are alot of black people who are a lighter hue than him. And no way he could say he is white. He says he is black and also talks about his birarcial heritage.

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  2.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 09 Apr 12

    One of the most powerful things we can do as people is define ourselves and identify with the culture of our choice without having society do this for us. If a bi-racial person decides to identify themselves as black thats their choice and they shouldnt have to explain their decision to nobody. White values, culture and views are stuffed down the throats of non-white people 24/7/365 in this country, almost to the point that non-white people almost have to make a conscious and concerted effort to remain grounded in themselves. If white society had been respectful and welcoming of cultures other than their own, non-white people in IR relationships wouldnt have to make the extra effort to ground their mixed children into their Black, Latin, African or Asian culture, this comes as a result of the the wider society excluding and not being receptive of other peoples and their cultures. Theres no threat of mixed children not being exposed to the white side of their culture because if they look at tv, go to the movies, read magazines, or visit a shopping mall trust me theyre being baptized in white culture, so thats not a problem.If white society had been respectful and welcoming of cultures other than their own, non-white people in IR relationships wouldnt have to make the extra effort to ground their mixed children into their Black, Latin, African or Asian culture as a result of the the wider society excluding and not being receptive of other peoples cultures. President Obama identified himself as a black man and as a result he took away the power of society to define him and he proclaimed before the world who and what he is. The other stars and athletes you mention also indentified themselves as black so no one blackanized them as you put it. IMO some mixed people don't have a problem with identifying themselves as black but it seems that society and some other mixed people have a problem with them identifying themselves as black. so maybe the conflict and the confusion lies with the society and other mixed people that have an issues with racial identity. Why wouldnt a mixed person identify and embrace the people and the culture that embraces them. In a world as unjust and hateful as this one, racial identity is not a matter obligation or free will, its common sense. Im not saying that all blacks embrace IR relationships or the children that come as a result, just as all whites dont oppose them but if you know anything of the racial history in America you know where and with whom the drama started so in other words, go where you KNOW youre welcomed and not where you WISH you were welcome. In closing, this one is for these delusional "lets all be multi-cultural" clowns, the greatest pathology is to believe in something just because you wish it were so!

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