Recent studies show that the average U.S. citizen identifies themselves as multiracial. After so many centuries its bound to happen that there are fewer and fewer pure races anymore, they exist but they are on the decline. If you are Greek and Japanese, Irish and Swedish or even Australian and German, it’s no big deal. When the skin color starts to get darker, then the problems crop up. The debate between light-skinned and dark-skinned is old news. The thing is for those who can pass as white, and do so on a constant, only jumping into the black roll when something positive is to be gained. President Barak Obama’s dad was from Africa, he was black black as my older relatives would say. That’s why to a lot of black folk they relate to the President because even though he has another half of him that is white, his skin color (dark brown) is all black folk see. From behind, President Obama looks like just another black dude. He identifies himself as a black man because he has probably had several unfortunate opportunities to encounter the racism that is still alive and well in the U.S. For black folk, many of us over the years just shake it off, keep our heads up and keep on stepping. Thing is, even though he is bi-racial he can’t hide his blackness. Most bi-racial people with black and white parents are extremely fair-skinned and in some instances they pass as a regular white person.
Being a black person anywhere in the US or abroad can be just a little disheartening at times as people of color seem to always get the short end of the stick, regardless of what new research studies suggest that blacks are almost equal with whites. So the (passing) bi-racial individual has the magical powers of being black or white at any given moment, depending on the situation. A great example of this would be Soledad O’Brien, the TV journalist. She claims Australian Irish, French and Afro-Cuban ancestry. According to her she only has like one tenth of blackness in her but yet and still somehow she won the “National Association of Black Journalist of the Year” in 2010. She is also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist. She has and continues to receive accolades from Spanish and African-American organizations, she has been a keynote speaker for several white prestigious universities and yet I have not heard her name anywhere near anything black that is controversial? I have not seen her march for Travon Martin or pen an open letter on racism. Never heard her speak on the controversies surrounding the disproportionately high jail time given to blacks over minor offenses compared to whites. But she does jump at every positive opportunity to retrieve an award and gain something positive for herself from some minority institution. One day she is white, one day she is black or maybe Spanish depending on the degree and prestige of the accolade being presented to her. This is an amazing gift, to only accept the positive from a race that is constantly surrounded with negativity, mainly African-American. The fact that she married a white man and have white children with blue eyes and blonde hair seems to be her dream come true. She has amazing talent as a journalist I just would like her to pick a race and stick with it that’s all. As I type this I was always reminded growing up that I was “High Yellow” or “Red Boned” and how lucky I was. Never looked at myself as lucky, just black. The difference between me and Soledad is that I’m not passing, I’m clearly an African-American and quite proud.
This is not a knock Soledad blog this is the reality that those who run around saying they are black should also join in the fight to end racism and let their voices to be heard to make a difference in the black community whenever possible. Imagine if Soledad with all her influence lent her voice to black issues or even Hispanic rights/immigration issues. She could make a serious difference for the races she claims to be a part of. Thing is she is not alone. As races become watered down because of intermarriage (nothing wrong with that) we have more and more Soledad’s and they continue to choose the White road, the less difficult road. I suggest Soledad give back every black award she has won and all the black organizations chasing behind her to recognize her and lift her up, STOP, until she begins to act like a African American which includes taking some of the bad along with the good..