Proud to Be Black Y’all….But Not Necessarily: The Bi-Racial Conflict

I’m stoked to see the ‘what if’ questions dancing around the site.

For those of you who have not yet had children, and for those of you that do, you’ll never know more than what your child discloses to you.

As the mother of an adult child, I can tell you about the enlightening things I’m learning just now from a child too old for punishments that went right under my nose during points in her life.

Now, I was a concerned and focused mother, and she was a productively busy and after school program involved child, with two adults in her home. Whatever she did (of which a small part she now feels comfortable enough to share with me, I know there’s more she isn’t) was kept mum.

So we can agree that no one person can know everything; I dare you tell me your parents knew everything. When people love people they keep certain shit to themselves; things are left unsaid because we don’t want to hurt the feelings of the people we care about.

But more so than simply attempting to display common courtesy we’re taught that there is some shit you just don’t say.

But people like me do.

A complicated and unique facet of being bi-racial is that we’re all a part of at least two different races and/or cultures yet, depending on who we’re most closest to, is who we come to identify with.

I see many women on this blog that speak of being proud of their skin color, of their race and of their right to exist equally along with other races.

They should and that’s cool, yet the issue is not so simple for a bi-racial child which must determine ‘which ‘side’ gets to ‘have’ us. Some of this identification will rest on what origin a bi-racial child looks most like, we can’t stop the presumptions of those on the outside looking in.

I wonder what the reaction would be if these proud Black women found out that their child isn’t necessarily ‘proud’ of their Black racial heritage.

I could take the easy route and blame it on the unfiltered opinion that other races have of Blacks in general.

I use the term “Blacks” because as a bi-racial, we sometimes don’t see choose to identify with any particular African/Caribbean/African American check box.

It doesn’t sound great to say, but I know I’m not alone in this sentiment.

You are ‘black’ and I am…not, because I am not ‘just Black’ and because its okay for me to be not Black since bi-racial and multi-culturism is now becoming the norm. I had no hand in creating my genetic make up, my parents did that, so therefore I cannot feel obligated to identify with one culture while excluding the other.

Does the choice to not identify with ‘typical Black’ become what we’re doing while here promoting diverse families? The comments burn just the same when they come from the mouth of an Irish person, a Pakistani person or a Black person.

Being bi-racial allows me the opportunity to hear far more race based presumptions and observations dumped into my ear then I’m comfortable receiving from EVERYONE. When words are put in the air, they stick in your ears, I can’t help but to hear how ALL people feel about Blacks.

Some of it is the truth, though it doesn’t sound good to say, but some of the things you can’t say are things we do say when we discuss our issues with Blackness while creating community here.

This does not mean that I am ashamed of my African American blood, this just means that the position the African American isn’t a desirable one and anybody can observe that.

When compared to the stereotypical depiction of Black Americans, African American’s and other cultures all hold a low opinion of the race. Some would argue that the behavior of certain members of the race is a clear indication that we/they hold a low opinion of themselves, regardless of where it originally came from and regardless of the contributing factors that bought them to that place.

Many Blacks live that stereotypical life, and we’ve agreed, that it is their right and their plight to do so.

Many bi-racial people imitate, discuss, criticize and shun, Black-ness, all while knowing we are a part of it. Those who aren’t Black or African American imitate, criticize and shun certain parts of their own individual blood line. Google #FAB if you don’t believe me.

It may be something bi-racial people do as a way to process our feelings or maybe not.

The honest answer is that we’re not clinging to the belief of ‘that’s not me’ as a form of denial, but literally the label “Black” does not quite fit ‘us’ even when Blacks imply that we are required to do so.

Is it wrong to want to step away from typical Black-ness? Regardless of my reasons for not being a ‘typical Black’ some of the anti-Black behavior is beneficial, isn’t it?

We talk about low income male dominated neighborhoods are not safe. We talk about a lack of appreciation for self sufficiency, education and persistence. We discuss how low class Blacks have normalized dysfunction in their relationships with their mates, children and society.

I tried my hardest to work on my dysfunction because I am motivated simply by my desire to ‘not be like those Blacks’. I was told and believed I am better than that, my complexion and ambiguity may have contributed to my quest to distance myself.

Do I hang my head while I acknowledge that I purposely distance myself from typical African American behavior, and if I do not choose to be ashamed of my separatism, does that make me a bad ‘Black’ person?

Is distancing oneself from destructive behavior, that may be associated with ones lower class of race, something that is promoted here? Does my desire to have things ‘un-Blackistan-ish’ for my daughter and for myself mean that I am a traitor or just a person that wants something different from what I see?

There’s much to be proud of within the Black race, and I am proud of the efforts and accomplishments achieved by African American’s.

I am just as proud of my Native American race.

By being bi-racial, I have an association to both race and neither race in totality, but merely as a spectator that hopes the best for what previously were unique and distinct cultures of people.

Some bi-racial people feel like its okay for Blacks to feel “Proud to be Black” but also feel like maybe, just maybe Blackness isn’t at the center of our existence and being. Those of you who seek to reproduce by those that look unlike yourselves, be reminded and prepared for the next generation of humans who may not feel the way you do about the race you most closely identify with.

The decision to change things was made prior to any bi-racial person’s arrival. Will certain people allow bi-racial people to be unique and self determined or will we always be traitors to both races because our parents ‘sold out’ by loving who they loved in the context that created each of us that now exist among you.

 

 

The Man Myth