A Mixed-Race 'Historical Moment'
The Historical Mulatto / Mixed-Race
Population in the United States :
During slavery there were, of course, frequent
Mixed-Race births, many resulting from the rape
of enslaved black women by `White' slave owners.
Between 1850 and 1860, the Mixed-Race/
Mulatto slave population increased by
67 percent (67%) ... while in contrast,
the Black / Negro slave population
increased by only 20 percent (20%).
[Source: `Race and Mixed Race' by Naomi Zack
(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993).
The Onset of the Racist
One-Drop Rule (O.D.R.)
Once it was clear that the Mixed-Race /
Mulatto slave population increase had
outgrown that of the Black / Negro
slave population, the racist rule of
`Hypo-Descent' (i.e. The "One-Drop
Rule") was put into place and
it's power became prevalent.
The Rule of Hypodescent or The One-Drop
Rule centers around the false and racist idea
that a Mulatto or other Mixed-Race person
-- with even one African ancestor (no matter
how distant or remote) -- is then a `Negro'.
The `Rule' helped guaranteed that the
Mixed-Race children resulting from the
sexual assaults on and exploitation of the
slave women of-color would remain slaves.
""It is a fact that, if a person is known to have
one-percent of African blood in his veins,
... [t]he ninety-nine percent of Caucasian
blood does not weigh by the side of
the one-percent of African blood.
The white blood counts for nothing.
The person is a Negro every time.
[Quoted in John G. Mencke,
Mulattoes and Race Mixture:
American Attitudes and Images,
1865-1918 (Ann Arbor:
UMI Research Press, 1979), 37""'
The Onset of the Racist
As late as the 1950s, almost half of the
states had Anti-Miscegenation laws.
While the 'original' statutes were directed
wholly against any Black-White unions,
the legislation had 'extended' to unions
between `Whites' and "Mongolians",
`Malayans', Mulattos', and `Native-Americans'.
During the 1960s, The Civil Rights
Movement helped reverse many of the
legal barriers against Mscegenation.
The Warren Court , through its 1954 decision
in Brown v. Board of Education, was actively
striving to end discrimination against "blacks".
So when the case of McLaughlin v. Florida
appeared on the docket in 1964, the
Court was again ready to deal with
the question of "racial" `classification'.
In McLaughlin, the Court ruled as invalid
a Florida statute that allowed more severe
penalties for cohabitation by interracial
couples than same-race pairs.
Justice Potter Stewart in a concurring
opinion concluded, "it is simply not possible
for a state law to be valid under our
Constitution which makes the criminality of
an act depend upon the "race" of the actor".
McLaughlin v. Florida was instrumental
in paving the way for the 1967 case of
Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia.
In that year, sixteen states still had laws
that made interracial marriages illegal.
[The sixteen states that had, on it's books,
Anti-Miscegenation Laws in 1967 were:
Alabama , Arkansas , Delaware , Florida ,
Georgia , Kentucky , Louisiana , Mississippi ,
Missouri , North Carolina , Oklahoma , South Carolina ,
Tennessee , Texas , Virginia , and West Virginia .]
The case was brought about by Perry
Loving, a White man, and his Mixed-Race /
African American wife, Mildred Jeter-Loving.
Since Inter-Racial marriage was illegal in
their home state of Virginia , the couple
was married in Washington , D.C.
When they returned to Virginia , the newlyweds
were arrested and put in jail for breaking the law.
Before dawn one morning, police officers
barged into their bedroom, shined a
flashlight on them, and demanded
to know 'what the couple was doing'.
Mr. Loving pointed to their framed
marriage certificate on the wall,
but the officers informed them that
the D.C. license was not legal in Virginia .
At the trial, the Virginia judge gave the
Lovings a choice: they could spend one
year in jail or move to another state.
In his opinion, the judge actually had the gall to say:
Almighty God created the races, White,
Black, Yellow, Malay and Red, and he
placed them on separate continents.
And but for the interference with his arrangement
there would be no cause for such marriages.
The fact that he separated the races shows
that he did not intend for the races to mix.
[Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia , 388 US. 1 (1967).]
The couple grudgingly moved to nearby
Washington , D.C. , and appealed their case,
which eventually made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ultimately, via the Loving case, the Court found the
laws against Interracial-Marriage unconstitutional.
Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the Court's decision:
"Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry or
not marry a person of another race resides with the
individual and cannot be infringed upon by the State."
With that decision, all the remaining Anti-Miscegenation
laws throughout the country were 'declared null and void'.
[However, it was not until 7 November 2000 that
the electorate of Alabama passed an amendment
to the Constitution of 1901 that abolished
the prohibition of Interracial-Marriage.]
The problems caused by the
United States Census Bureau
The first U.S. census in 1790 -- which was
supervised by uber-hypocrite Thomas Jefferson
-- placed people into one of three categories:
Free White Male, Free White Female, and
Other Persons (which included slaves,
Free-"blacks", and "taxable Indians").
Seventy years later -- the government
began adding additional categories like
Mulatto, Chinese, and American Indian.
The 1890 census added further distinctions
and had categories for White, Black, Mulatto,
Quadroon, Octoroon, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian.
By 1910 the Census Bureau had begun steps to
eliminate the terms Mulatto, Quadroon, and
Octoroon (even though it was known by then
that at least three-quarters of all so-called "blacks"
born in the United States were Racially-Mixed).
Anyone with any African ancestry
would henceforth be counted as "black".
The 1990 census required people to choose
one of the following "racial" `categories':
White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander,
American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut, or Other.
These classifications had been
adopted and in use since 1970.
By the 1990s, many Americans felt that the
selections available did not adequately describe
who they were, and so they opted to check
off "Other" and use the write-in blank.
On the 1990 census almost ten million
people marked their "race" as "Other".
Contrary to popular myth most were not
the First-Generational Mixed Offspring of
Black-White unions, but rather, most were people
of the `Latino' cultural group who are unwilling to
identify themselves as White, Black, or Indian.
Americans using the write-in blank self-identified
nearly three hundred races, six hundred American
Indian tribes, seventy Hispanic groups, and seventy-
five different combinations of Multi-Racial ancestry.
Tom Morganthau, "What color is
"black"?" Newsweek (13 February 1995): 65. ]
The Census can be a useful starting point in the
discussion of the concept of "race," its ever-changing
nature, and the transforming face of U.S. society
[-- but, in order to do so, it will need to change
it's false, limiting, narrow and racist "race"
categories and 'ethnicity' definitions.]