When I see something mentioned repeatedly within a short period of time at different locations, it’s not within me to see it as merely a coincidence. Sometimes, some people really want to get a point (or a fear) across and they will flap their gums all over the place to make it happen. Right now, it’s dictating to black women that if they have children with non-black men, they are self-hating women trying to “destroy themselves” and they are “breeding out blackness”. Because according to some folks, if there’s anything that is a threat to the existence and safety of black women….it’s having interracial children.
While this particular brand of stupid isn’t exactly new, it did give me pause to think about the cognitive dissonance, as one BBW commenter stated, that occurs regarding black women and our ability to date, marry, and procreate across racial lines. But in reality, these fears make no sense as race has never depended on any woman’s womb. You see, race is a *social* construct. It has nothing to do with ethnicity. Nothing to do with DNA. It pretty much has no real scientific validity and serves no purpose except for division and compartmentalization. One could say it contributes to discrimination and oppression. But overall, it’s nearly impossible to protect and preserve because it simply does not exist.
So then, how on Earth do you make a black woman genetically responsible for carrying on a fictitious construct?
The answer? You don’t. And black women, you aren’t.
You are not a “race-traitor” for having a multi-racial or bi-racial child. You do not “hate yourself” or “hate black daughters” because you elect to exercise your freedom to date, marry, and have children with whomever you want. You are an EMPOWERED human being when you decide that you are living your life and loving whomever you want and if you decide to have children, fully expecting to love those children because they are your own.
They came from your womb, not by way of a factory paid for and approved of by the self-appointed protectors of the black race. There is no GAT-DL stork sent to bring you a child with a pre-existing measurement of blackness. You will not hold the infant up on Pride Rock and have a light beam down from parted clouds to ensure the black race knows just how black your child is and how black you remain before God and black people everywhere.
But I digress.
Simply understand that it is not empowering to stand back and examine a child and decide how much you will or won’t love her or him based on how light or how dark that child is. And that’s regardless of race or ethnicity: If your love is measured with a paper bag, that problem lies with YOU and not the child.
No child is too dark to love.
No child is too light to love.
And if this is going to be a factor, something you cannot wrap your head around, I ask in all sincerity that you think very carefully before deciding whether or not you want to be a parent. Especially if it’s going to be your knee-jerk reaction to assume that having a child with your non-black partner is an act of self-hate. Oh yes, I’ve seen the IRR-apologists and I know some of you are sitting out there now struggling with the idea that you need to stamp that “BLACK” label on your child as soon as the umbilical cord is cut, lest you fail the entire race.
Put the stamp down. Hold your child. Love your child.
And stop letting other people who don’t really care about your individual interests anyway tell you what you need to do in order to preserve THEM. The only thing you need to worry about preserving is a healthy love that can be passed from mother to child.
(Note: The Olympics post is coming! I’ve been crazy busy so I haven’t been able to write like anything….)