White And Black Perceptions Of Mixed Race

 White And Black Perceptions Of Mixed Race

 

(White And Black Perceptions Of The Mulatto)

 

Do blacks and whites secretively feel that there is something different about mixed race people (mulattoes) who are mixed with black and white or mixed with black and some other racial group? Could it be that when blacks look at mixed race people they se apart of themselves but at the same time resent the fact that they see white or some other ethnic admixture in the phenotype of the mixed race person?
 
Maybe deep down dark skin blacks wish they were as mixed as the mulattoes (mixed race). I am talking about having skin complexions the color of yellowish brown, yellowish red, yellow, beige, tan, or whitish or white skin tone. Some darker skin blacks have let it be known in America and the U.K. — that they feel that the lighter skin mixed race people have it a little more easier in society.
 
They feel that the lighter skin people also, are seen as more physically attractive and employers who are white prefer them. So with many darker blacks feeling this way this has created a lot of resentment on their part. But it is not the mixed race peoples’ fault that America is currently this way. In 1910 the state of Tennessee passed a law that said all people who have black ancestry (one drop of black blood) are to be considered black regardless of their physical appear

ance meaning even if they looked totally white in phenotype (physical appearance).

 
Soon many other states followed the state of Tennessee and their own one drop rule laws that said if you have black ancestry then you are black. And, by 1930 the majority if not all states had this one drop rule (ODR) on their law books. This sent and forced many mulattoes who could pass for white to choose either to pass for white or join the black race. Many joined the white race and many joined the black race. This caused many families to be torn apart because some passed for white and some refuse too pass.
 
The mulattoes who could not pass for white or pass for some other ethnic group were immediately forced into the black race. Many of the mulattoes were already well to do economically and therefore, they were more able to become the leaders of black Americans. Many mulattoes became the political leaders of black America.
 
The mulattoes contributed educationally, intellectually, politically, and economically to the cultural development of black Americans. Many darker skinned blacks resented the mulattoes. Observing the mulattoes blacks were reminded of whites because of the admixture that many mulattoes had in their genes. Certain blacks also resented the mulattoes who did not look white but obviously had lighter skin complexions.
 
When the mulattoes were forced into the black race they became known as the light skin blacks (LSB).
Possibly some of the resentment is the result of blacks feeling that their lighter mixed race brethren just have it better, better looking, more intelligent, favored, and often preferred. Blacks should not blame the mulattoes for trying to survive in this world and also, blacks should study history and learn that long ago before 1910 blacks and mulattoes were not considered the same by the majority of whites.
 
Even in the news papers before 1910 reporters and journalist often used the word mulatto to describe a person of mixed race ancestry. Not all blacks resent mixed race people; some blacks are nice and friendly towards mixed race people. Whites see mixed race people (mulattoes) and probably see something that is very similar to themselves — but yet someone very different. For instance when a white person sees a black person they may see their own unacknowledged dark side. All of the things and characteristics that many whites dislike about black people — the white person who beholds a black person in his visions may see that he has those same characteristics hidden in himself.
 
Now when whites see a mixed race person who has visible black ancestry or looks ambiguous then there is a problem with the perception. They see two, not one, and this creates a type of psychologically confusion for whites. Seeing the mixed race person creates an uneasy vision and inner conflict inside of many whites.
 
They are seeing apart of themselves yet someone who is mixed with another race. To put a stop to this confusion certain whites and blacks just say the mulatto is simply a light skin black person, a mono racial, and a type of black person only. By both blacks and whites labeling the mulatto black it is easier to deal with racial reality.
 
It is easy to deal with a black or white person but blacks and whites find reality more complicated when trying to deal with a phenotype (physical appearance) that is neither black nor white, nether black nor whatever other ethnicity the person is mixed with.
 
It is easy dealing with right and left but mentally and emotionally complicated dealing with the middle (mixed race). Therefore, race is primarily a discussion on psychological perceptions (ideas, opinions, culture attitudes about what a person who looks like this should be called or which racial group should they be considered apart of etc etc…).

  1. Randi

    “Maybe deep down dark skin blacks wish they were as mixed as the mulattoes (mixed race).”

    I saw a comment on mediatakeout that dark mulattos feel “left out” because no one recognizes or defers to them as for have recent white admixture. I’m wondering if that’s Chance’s problem too. I know a man with mixed daughters that have dark skin and he said they gave him quite an education even though they live in a totally white area in Wisconsin. His 5 yr old told him he was black, she was brown and mommy is white…which she wants to be when she grows up. This made me sure that black men are in for a very rude awakening from their own spawn. Good!

  2. Renee

    Hi Randi!

    Re:

    “Maybe deep down dark skin blacks wish they were as mixed as the mulattoes (mixed race).”

    For those (African Americans) with that same “mind-set” as Steve Harvey, I feel the above quote hits the nail on the head. I also feel that this same group will be among those fighing the hardest to prevent the re-instatement of that third race category for mixed/biracial people. Out of spite, due to them feeling as mentioned in the quote, they’re going to do as much as they can to prevent/block/delay the return of that category.

    Now thinking about this on a deeper level, I wonder how are these same African Americans who have those feelings are going to react to any LSBs they personally know, that decide to leave the Black race category and ID as Mixed race ???

  3. Melody

    Renee, plenty of us are working beside you to ensure this separate category comes to fruition. I haven’t always felt this way about mulattos and never gave much thought to the one drop rule until I tapped into your network. Now, I want you gone…like yesterday. You serve no purpose to the black race as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Jen

    Poor Melody. Poor clingy Melody. She’s so hurt that Mulatto people want to identify with all of their heritage.

    Sorry Mel, but we will not ignore, deny or pretend that we don’t have a white parent or grandparent. Now I know you want us to identify as black only, but we can’t. It would be foolish (and disrespectful) for us to do so.

    Melody, perhaps some therapy would help you with your obsession with Mulatto people.

    Please. Get some help. You need it.

  5. Melody

    Bullshyt, Jen. There’s no way I want you to identify as black knowing what burns in your heart. Don’t forget this ODR was FORCED on black people and you should know who invented it. We had no choice but to accept you but it’s time to part company asap. Every mulatto I know who was taken in when they were at their lowest always received help from someone black. Plenty of us make it our business to study you like lab rats because initially we found it hard to believe have cunnying you were and had to learn for ourselves. I pity those blacks who have accepted you into their families though because plenty of them don’t want to wrap their minds around what they created. Identifying with blacks is NOT the issue. You’ve built your movement around despising blacks solely hoping you’ll fit in better with whites. Well I’ve got news for you!

  6. Renee

    Hi Melody!

    First I want to apologize for any anger/hurt my comment my have caused you to experience…that was NOT my attention.

    Like yourself, I too am an African American. And, even though I am I bear no ill-will or anger against those considered FGMs or MGMs who are pushing to get their category re-instated. I honestly hope they’re successful. Plus, most importantly to me, in my heart I feel/know I’m not the only African American that feels this way.

    Getting to my comment, it was directed towards those African Americans who feel opposite as I do…ones who have that resentful, hateful almost “jealous” mindset as Steve Harvey when it comes to biracial/mixed-raced individuals and their current movement to have their category re-instated. I feel these are the ones that will be trying their best to prevent re-instatement of the mixed category AND in some cases going so far as to “harrass” (verbally and possibly physically) FGMs & MGMs they personally know that do realign themselves beneath the mixed race category.

    So, again sorry for the pain…didn’t mean it. Because I really feel there are those of “us”, African Americans, that hope (with no hard feelings in our hearts) this movement works out for those LSBs that are technically “mixed” race individuals.

    …later!

  7. Joseph

    Melody,

    “Don’t forget this ODR was FORCED on black people and you should know who invented it.”

    I disagree. Black people were already black, it was forced on Mulattoes because they were part black. It don’t make sense to force a black person to say they are black, or to lump a black person together with other black people (though there are various cultures among black people as there are among white people).

  8. A new global "mixed-race movement" has begun

    Stanford profs examine mixed race in U.S. society
    By Victoria Boggiano, The Dartmouth Staff
    Published on Friday, April 18, 2008

    In 2000, the U.S. Census gave Americans the chance to identify themselves by more than one race for the first time. Almost seven million people — over 80 percent of whom were under 25 — checked more than one box, Stanford University professors Harry and Michele Elam told a crowded auditorium in Haldeman Hall on Thursday. A new global “mixed-race movement” has begun, they said in their lecture, titled “The High Stakes of Mixed Race: Post-Race, Post-Apartheid Performances in the U.S. and South Africa.”

    The couple’s research stems from studies they have conducted to analyze theatrical performances in the United States and South Africa. Claiming that performance is a “transformative force for institutional and social change,” the Elams examined a variety of plays from these two countries. The research provided the couple with insight into the effect of the worldwide “mixed-race movement” on race politics and cultural identities, Harry said.

    “We’re arguing that analyzing mixed race as a type of social performance can help us make sense of some of these new cultural dynamics,” he said.

    The Elams’ work — much of which is derived from a book Michele wrote last year titled “Mixed Race in the New Millennium” — asks what causes people to classify themselves as “black,” and examines the potential for intra- and interracial social mobilization.

    A particular focus of their work was the play “Combination Skin” by Lisa Jones. Jones’ performance focuses on the question surrounding the authenticity of being mixed-race and emphasizes that identifying as mixed-race is about theatricality, Michele said.

    “[Jones’ work] is calling to the constructed nature of the mixed-race category,” Ivy Schweitzer, an English professor at Dartmouth who attended the lecture, said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

    The connection between race on stage and race in society is strengthened by the idea that identity is a continual performance, Schweitzer explained.

    “There’s a continuity between the performativity of race in our daily lives and the performativity of race on stage,” Schweitzer said. “The stage is a space where we get to see that [mixed-race identity] performance happening.”

    In the United States, the “mixed-race movement” is comprised of an uneasy coalition of “interracial couples, transracial adoptees and a new generation of mixed-race-identified youth,” the Elams said.

    The mixed-race movement gained considerable national attention after the census, which gave it both cultural leverage and a profound impact on race politics in the United States, Harry said. He added that the movement has since become a fad associated with a “new frontier” that some claim will guide the country in the post-Civil Rights era.

    “In the last decade, a myriad of often well-funded organizations, web sites, affinity clubs, student groups, college curricula, media watches, journals, plays and performances have emerged, all focused on the ‘mixed-race experience,’” Harry said.

    Much of the recent rhetoric on mixed race, specifically regarding presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who has a black father and a white mother, has emphasized that being mixed-race allows individuals to transcend racial histories, Soyica Colbert, a Dartmouth English professor who introduced the lecturers, said. The Elams argue that being mixed race is a deep part of history, she said. They are interested in learning how that history is expressed in popular culture, she explained.

    “In what ways does [mixed race] get deployed and why does it become a touch point in certain moments?” Colbert said. “And why is it so in vogue right now?”

    FROM: http://thedartmouth.com/2008/04/18/news/race

  9. A new global "mixed-race movement" has begun

    Stanford profs examine mixed race in U.S. society
    By Victoria Boggiano, The Dartmouth Staff
    Published on Friday, April 18, 2008

    In 2000, the U.S. Census gave Americans the chance to identify themselves by more than one race for the first time. Almost seven million people — over 80 percent of whom were under 25 — checked more than one box, Stanford University professors Harry and Michele Elam told a crowded auditorium in Haldeman Hall on Thursday. A new global “mixed-race movement” has begun, they said in their lecture, titled “The High Stakes of Mixed Race: Post-Race, Post-Apartheid Performances in the U.S. and South Africa.”

    The couple’s research stems from studies they have conducted to analyze theatrical performances in the United States and South Africa. Claiming that performance is a “transformative force for institutional and social change,” the Elams examined a variety of plays from these two countries. The research provided the couple with insight into the effect of the worldwide “mixed-race movement” on race politics and cultural identities, Harry said.

    “We’re arguing that analyzing mixed race as a type of social performance can help us make sense of some of these new cultural dynamics,” he said.

    The Elams’ work — much of which is derived from a book Michele wrote last year titled “Mixed Race in the New Millennium” — asks what causes people to classify themselves as “black,” and examines the potential for intra- and interracial social mobilization.

    A particular focus of their work was the play “Combination Skin” by Lisa Jones. Jones’ performance focuses on the question surrounding the authenticity of being mixed-race and emphasizes that identifying as mixed-race is about theatricality, Michele said.

    “[Jones’ work] is calling to the constructed nature of the mixed-race category,” Ivy Schweitzer, an English professor at Dartmouth who attended the lecture, said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

    The connection between race on stage and race in society is strengthened by the idea that identity is a continual performance, Schweitzer explained.

    “There’s a continuity between the performativity of race in our daily lives and the performativity of race on stage,” Schweitzer said. “The stage is a space where we get to see that [mixed-race identity] performance happening.”

    In the United States, the “mixed-race movement” is comprised of an uneasy coalition of “interracial couples, transracial adoptees and a new generation of mixed-race-identified youth,” the Elams said.

    The mixed-race movement gained considerable national attention after the census, which gave it both cultural leverage and a profound impact on race politics in the United States, Harry said. He added that the movement has since become a fad associated with a “new frontier” that some claim will guide the country in the post-Civil Rights era.

    “In the last decade, a myriad of often well-funded organizations, web sites, affinity clubs, student groups, college curricula, media watches, journals, plays and performances have emerged, all focused on the ‘mixed-race experience,’” Harry said.

    Much of the recent rhetoric on mixed race, specifically regarding presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who has a black father and a white mother, has emphasized that being mixed-race allows individuals to transcend racial histories, Soyica Colbert, a Dartmouth English professor who introduced the lecturers, said. The Elams argue that being mixed race is a deep part of history, she said. They are interested in learning how that history is expressed in popular culture, she explained.

    “In what ways does [mixed race] get deployed and why does it become a touch point in certain moments?” Colbert said. “And why is it so in vogue right now?”

    FROM: http://thedartmouth.com/2008/04/18/news/race

  10. seb

    This has played itself out millions of times in American history:
    -Ben Tillman, racist white politician of the South, who railed against black-white IRs, but had TWO FAMILIES: white family/white wife in the front house, black family/black concubine in a little house in the back—-all the while he fanned the flames of race hatred and race mob lynching against black people.
    Many whites give lip sevice to equality towards black people. Balck people are an abstract in the minds of many whites. . . .
    . . . .until white son or daughter brings a black fiancee home to “Meet The Parents”.
    Then the real thoughts come to the surface.
    It is real easy for whites to state on surveys/polls that they can have no fear of IRs, especially IRs that involve a black son-n-law or God forbid, a black daughter-n-law.
    It is real easy to speak platitudes about the “brotherhood of man”, blah, blah,blah.
    Until it hits TOO close to home.
    Then all the poisons that lurk in the mud, finally hatch

  11. Chance

    Seb,

    There is some general truth to what you wrote. I can not disagree that many not all but many whites find it unpleasant when a son or daughter bring home a black person they are dating.

  12. Stephanie

    Hello Chance,

    I agree with the lady regarding mainstream society’s views on IR. There’s a vicious cognitive dissonance on the part of mainstream society. They want the idea of accepting IR but when it comes to their daughters and, especially sons bringing home their Black/multiracial significant others, it’s a whole another story.

    I think Black women/White men IRs are more difficult than Black men/White women. They aren’t accepted at all.

    Steph

  13. LaKair

    i’m tired of the arguements about mulattos why are yall so obssessed. if mullatos want to not be considered black all they have to do is check the little square box that says other or mixed race so that settles it. move on. yall seem to have issues with color when its not about color but who u really are on the inside. everyone came from the same 2 people(adam and eve) so u can’t deny any race , even chinese! it’s use less to argue about ur color. u light skinned black who feel insecure about dark skinned blacks and you dark skinned blacks who feel insecure about light skinned blacks let it go. ur alll beautiful. don’t listen to what someone says about ur skin being to light for my taste or to dark for my taste. as i read some of ur comments its dumb to type such foolishness

  14. suggestion

    @ LaKair

    If you’re “… tired of the arguments about Mulattoes”, then stop reading them.

  15. Joseph

    LaKair

    Mulattoes have a right to be concerned about the issues that concern them. That is why. Mulatto issues do not revolve around whether we are black or not!

  16. The New Face of the NAACP

    The NAACP has elected its new leader – Benjamin Todd Jealous, a Rhodes Scholar and Human Rights Activist. Jealous at age 35 is the youngest President and CEO in the 99 year history of the organization.

    There are two things that struck me at first glance when I read the news. First, his age. It’s no secret that the NAACP has struggled to remain relevant in quickly changing times. Hopefully, Mr. Jealous will help.

    The second thing that struck me was his image. To be quite honest, when I first saw his picture I thought that he was Caucasian.

    Here’s his photo: http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-05/38994062.jpg

    Mr. Jealous’ mother is Black and his father is White. Jealous’ father took part in sit-ins to desegregate Baltimore lunch counters.

    So the president of the NAACP is an ivy league credentialed Mulatto man.

  17. Chance

    Interesting article the NAACP does need new leaders to take on future task.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: