Monday, March 5, 2012

All Mixed Up



There was a rule, well, more of a standard that became accepted years ago during the Civil Rights movement. The rule was dubbed the 'one drop rule', and it meant that any individual with one drop of African-American blood was considered a full-blooded African-American. Until the 20th century, this was considered a law. Of course this is not totally true, and it just shows the racial climate during these times.
"It should now be apparent that the definition of a black person as one with any trace at all of black African ancestry is inextricably woven into the history of the United States. It incorporates beliefs once used to justify slavery and later used to buttress the castelike Jim Crow system of segregation. Developed in the South, the definition of "Negro" (now black) spread and became the nation's social and legal definition. Because blacks are defined according to the one-drop rule, they are a socially constructed category in which there is wide variation in racial traits and therefore not a race group in the scientific sense. However, because that category has a definite status position in the society it has become a self-conscious social group with an ethnic identity."

 Interestingly, I've noticed that the new generations have reversed this rule, and ascribed it to any and every ethnicity they wish to be a part of. If your African American great, great, great grandmother lived in Italy you are NOT Italian. It seems that some just do not want to be considered black...

There's a friend of mine. He's mixed with the primary colors black and white, an African American mother, and an Irish father. Raised in a suburban town with a tense racial climate, he has is some ways decided that white is right. He makes racial jokes against black people, he refers to himself as only white, and he wants his lover to be a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty.

Every time or anytime anything comes out of his mouth about black people it's either a stereotype or something crass. Yes, it was funny the first three times, but since then, I've become depleted of my tough outer layer, and I want nothing more than to slap the black back into him. I would never have anything to say to him, if he didn't so obviously reject the other side of himself.

I asked him, "When people ask you about your ethnicity, do you tell them that you are mixed?" To which he responded with all of the many drops of different blood than course through his veins, and leaving black for last. Though they say we should save the 'best' for last, I'm not sure that saying goes for someone such as him.


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While studying Spike Lee film in my final semester of undergrad, we watched the classic film Jungle Fever. In the film, the black male protagonist has an affair with his Italian assistant. They try to make it work, but it seems that Lee positions the couple for failure, and the protagonist utters a quote that is unforgettable to me while speaking to his assistant. "No. A lot of times the mixed kids they come out all mixed-up,
a bunch of mixed nuts."

I wouldn't call my friend a mixed nut because of his bloodline, but he is definitely a nut for choosing to disown an entire portion of himself.






I will be saying this forever,  BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL.

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