Being Biracial Shouldn’t Be An Excuse To Be Racially Neutral

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2022-04-20 21:14Z by Steven

Being Biracial Shouldn’t Be An Excuse To Be Racially Neutral


Dwayne Wong (Omowale)

Whenever Meghan Markle comes up in the news, my mind immediately always comes back to this quote from her:

On the heels of the racial unrest in Ferguson and Baltimore, the tensions that have long been percolating under the surface in the US have boiled over in the most deeply saddening way. And as a biracial woman, I watch in horror as both sides of a culture I define as my own become victims of spin in the media, perpetuating stereotypes and reminding us that the States has perhaps only placed bandages over the problems that have never healed at the root.

I, on the other hand, have healed from the base. While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.

The reason for this is that Markle’s fame is largely based on her racial identity. Not only has she received a great deal of attention for her marriage to Prince Harry, but this attention comes largely from the fact that she is not white. As Funmi Olutoye wrote: “We’ve made it. I say ‘we’ because even though she’s mixed race, the world still looks at her as black.” The notion that the elevation of a single black individual represents black progress is misguided. This is a topic that I addressed when I wrote The Black African Crisis in the Age of a Black President to help dispel the idea that Barack Obama’s presidency in of itself represented collective advancement for black people. But beyond that, Olutoye invokes the one-drop rule to claim Markle for black people, despite the fact that Markle’s remarks demonstrate that Markle clearly regards herself as a biracial woman who stands on the fence between black and white. Markle does not profess to be a black woman…

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