There have always been ... people that do
not support interracial relationships and
individuals, and there likely always will be.
However, to paint an entire community
with the broad brush that you
choose to use is akin to slander.
The way you seem to be content with
laying all the blame for the pain of
multiracial people at the feet of
African Americans (at least in your
editorials) is unfortunate since many of
us multiracial people count ourselves as
simultaneous members of that very community.
Furthermore, if you examine the historical record,
the Black elite often consisted of a majority of
light-skinned individuals, and these people often
engaged in operating social societies known as
"paper-bag" or "blue-vein" clubs - the idea was
that you only got in if you were as light or
lighter as a paper-bag, or if the skin on the inside
of your arm was light enough to discern your veins).
Perhaps the fear of some in the black community
(and curiously, you don't seem to attack any other
so-called "monoracial" community with quite as
much vehemence) is not entirely misplaced.
While I do not advocate the continuing
denial by anyone of the realities of us
"mixed race" people, I do advocate the
taking of responsibility by all of us,
whoever we are, of our own and our
communities' complicities in the ongoing
project of racism and racialism in this country.
Instead of playing the game of politics as usual,
with all the broad name-calling and denigration
and demonization of one's "opponents" ...
we would better serve our purposes to sit down
literally and figuratively - with as many
people as we can and exchange experiences,
and the worldviews molded by these experiences.
Only then can we understand the fear others'
have when they see us coming, and only
then can we own up to the fears and
prejudices we are ignoring in ourselves.
Another point I would like to ask about is,
who exactly is "the black intelligentsia,"
and is it really led by the NAACP?"
It seems to me you are engaging in the same kind of
political rhetoric as Minister Farrakhan by making
these kinds of empirically unsupported and blanket
statements about entire groups of people.
Considering that many conservatives have come
down on the side of the new multiracial box
precisely for the reason that they think it will
in fact help them destroy affirmative action
(notwithstanding the reality that
[A]ff[amative] Action has benefited
far more white women than it has people of color)
and other civil rights gains, and considering that
many "multiracials" have accepted these strange
bedfellows, it is perhaps not surprising or upsetting
that the NAACP does not endorse this position.
We should learn from the unsavory politics
of expediency in our collective past:
The example of the white women's wing of the
suffrage movement and the shame - less way
they ditched their black sisters in
order to get the Southern vote.
Do we want to behave this way?
I'm not saying we as multiracial people
need to continue to sacrifice our selves
and our definition of our selves for other
people who might hate us and denigrate our reality.
However, I do think there needs to be
more real discussion, and less political
catch-phrases and blaming going back and forth.
Self-identity is important, and I will continue
to engage in producing my own even if it does
make other people afraid, angry, or unhappy ...
To rage against "the rising tide of separatism" as
you do, and then to turn around and encourage
similar behavior from those of us that have been
fighting to have our inclusive identities recognized
seem[s] to me [to be] the very soul of hypocrisy.
We need to understand that there are real
reasons behind beliefs and actions, and
offer our understanding of them, perhaps
because our experiences have been unique
in a dichotomous and racist society. ...
The reason for the hatred of people like us
lies in *both* the hatred of the "racial"
minority, and in the hatred of the combination
of the minority with the mainstream majority.
I do know that I refuse to play your
game and attempt to separate these
two facts from one another.
I really don't know what our participation
in the race game - by trying to count
ourselves as "a wholly separate race"
in the face of historical and cultural
experiences very much to the contrary
- is really going to make a real step
in the eradication of race as a
controlling and unjust ideology.
It seems to me instead that we
would be imitating the founders
of race and slavery who took
the people of vastly different
cultural identities and forced them
to become "black" in order to meet
their own selfish need for creating social
order of which they sat at the pinnacle.
Is this the legacy we want to leave the world?
Sarah N. Gatson