I am white, a Euro-mutt, a conglomeration of several northern European ethnicities.
Ethnicities are about more than skin color.
Part of my ancestry is rooted in the British Isles. UK’s history is a string of invaders oppressing the locals. I am said to share DNA with both victims and victors.
This makes me unsettled when I think about it. I am reputed to have English, Irish, Scot and Welsh blood in my veins. I also have Germanic and Scandinavian blood.
So, I am a mix of the abusers and the abused, the result of voluntary and involuntary mixing of unlike cultures.
There are ethnicities that also mix skin colors. In the old west, there was a term, ‘half-breed’.
Cher had a song about this.
These folks are usually a mix of white and Native American, though they also mixed with black ex-slaves and Asian immigrants along the Railroad lines.
Remember that racism is not just limited to people of different colors.
Omaha is the nearest large town in the area where I grew up.
South 24th Street is where the foreign immigrants have historically landed at in Omaha.
I remember being a young man talking to an older man in South ‘O’, (“Soud O”, as some would say) and him telling me how there was a time when the Swedes and Italians hated each other.
So racism isn’t just about skin color.
So far, I have made two points; most Americans have histories of racism, and racism isn’t restricted to colors.
But the real focus of this piece is how biracial people deal with being both a part of both groups, when one group is better-off than the other group.
About 9 million people, around 3% of Americans, identify as bi-racial.
There needs to be public discussion about this, because:
“Study findings indicate that youth of mixed race/ethnicity are more likely to be at risk for poor mental health outcomes, yet less likely to mitigate this risk even with similar number of external developmental assets as their single race/ethnic counterparts.”
I’m not a black man nor am I a mental health expect. I’m not a railroad engineer either, but I know a locomotive when I see it.
I consider all factors when looking at a situation, and biraciality is a factor in the BLM movement.
As biracials, Kaepernick is constantly crying out for attention,
Chiara de Blasio is on the riot-side of the George Floyd protests,
and then there’s Meghan Markle, Jesse Smollet and Bubba Wallace.
And Nicole Hannah-Jones, part of the 1619 Project, is also biracial.
Biraciality is an issue that needs public discussion and should be a discussion with several parts:
1) The anger of b/w biracials toward whites for oppressive behaviors
2) The anger of b/w biracials toward blacks for behaviors that shame biracials.
Some biracials have a more complete view of blacks than only-blacks do.
3) The anger of darker black women angry toward black men who prefer white women or redbone women.
This too is a racial issue, and I suspect some black women are using BLM to vent about this very issue, because it is a racial issue , but also an intra-racial issue, (a churning WITHIN racial boundaries) which is a sub-issue that needs to be addressed for racial healing to occur.
Another multiracial person I want to mention is CNN employee Don Lemon, who is always talking about racism, yet who seems to prefer white men, which likely seems hypocritical to the black community.
This is a complex issue with many layers. But each side needs to have an equal part in the discussion.
Do any classes in Black Studies deal with this?
There is more related info on this topic at:
see also the other articles in the 'minority' section of this website.