“i am the perfect hue for escaping endemic prejudices while reaping the benefits of good-hearted policies that attempt to suture age-old chasms with the silver thread of nominal acceptance.”
From “half” – a work in progress by M
I am not that perfect hue, but I am also a qualifier for the “half” label. I don’t generally like saying as much. There’s this notion that being such is its own thing, which can sometimes, it seems to me, be about distancing one’s self from whichever parent’s ethnicity is least white. When it comes to being black, perhaps more prevailing now than the old one-drop construct is the idea that you’re only as black as you have to be via appearance. This is inexorably tied to the very real pains of colorism in addition to racism.
Now and then, I’ll hear the sentiment that being mixed is this unique cultural marker or that being in an interracial relationship is a mark of enlightenment. The ideas prevail enough that to feel otherwise seems almost jaded. In that regard, I suppose the mindfulness of M’s post is something I appreciated. Where blackness has become desirable in the culture at large, it’s often as a technicality, an exception, or in the form of coolness. Among the demographic that benefit the most from affirmative action are biracial children who have at least one privileged parent. The idea that this is progress comes from a perspective that likes diversity in theory, but always makes sure to distance itself from where it’s most populous and wounded.
Thing is, most relationships are at least a little shallow — particularly in their conception. That interracial relationships can exist without some idiot’s sanctioned harassment is progress, certainly, but people generally want some empty but idealized notion of beauty sold to us everyday — along with security. Why would the ones in interracial relationships be any different?
I don’t entirely agree with everything in this post by Evette Dionne, but it’s certainly interesting and in the following point she expresses a sentiment that I would hope would be obvious (but I know isn’t):
“Your spouse may be black, but that isn’t a ticket to the land of understanding.”