When You’re Biracial, There’s No ‘Choice’ in the Matter of Your Blackness

When You’re Biracial, There’s No ‘Choice’ in the Matter of Your Blackness

The Root

Charles D. Ellison, Contributing Editor

It’s safe to wager that when well-meaning black actor Taye Diggs took a recent dip into controversy over his biracial son’s identity, there was no less than white former Mrs. Taye Diggs putting on the pressure in the background: “Hey, I’m here. White mom. Don’t forget about me.” And who knows? Taut playpen discussions might have taken an interesting turn. Somewhat understandably, but too publicly and too clumsily, Diggs obliged, and met the ire of many African Americans head on. While Diggs gets some nod for courage, he did rip back a rather mean layer of onion in the process.

But the mistake Diggs made here is not so much the demand that his son stand firm on his biracialness. It’s that he trivializes that kind of existence as a simple mark-the-box choice. Contrary to the warped and misguided conjecture that biracial sons and daughters somehow have more control over their racial selfness than black people do, it’s really a lot more complex than that.

Don’t get me wrong: Diggs loves his son. And he should demand respect and love for the mother from the start. No surprise, even, if it was also Diggs’ conclusion that his boy’s complete embrace of the biracial construct could somehow shield him from the beastly assaults of routine racism.

It won’t…

Read the entire article here.

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