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A Mixed-Race 'Historical Moment'

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  • multiracialbookclub
    The Historical Mulatto / Mixed-Race Population in the United States: During slavery there were, of course, frequent Mixed-Race births, many resulting from the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2006
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      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
      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
      Anti-Miscegenation Laws

      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
      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.]


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