Friday, March 16, 2012

As MULTIRACIAL as We Wish to Be

If you read the two blog posts prior to this one, you will see one article and one opinion piece from The New York Times on the same day--today, March 16, 2012.

The staff report on the FACT that interracial marriage is seen gaining in acceptance, is based on a survey. It's a ho hum article written by a reporter for the newspaper. It makes your eyes glaze over with data and you probably yawn at least once.

But wait! Some guy named Williams, who himself has a black father and white mother, has much, much more space than normally given to an opinion piece by the NYT. Prime newsprint real estate. His opinion is that "mixed-race blacks" have an ethical obligation to identify as black--and interracial couples have a "moral imperative" to teach multiracial children to do just that. He self-identifies as black and he recently married a white woman.

Project RACE is all about choice. If Mr. Williams wants to self-identify as black or green or purple, that is his choice and that's fine with us. But to advise the parents of multiracial children how they should identify is to take away their own free choice. What kind of moral imperative is that?

His article goes on to give inaccurate information,states that personal decisions end up having one destructive cumulative effect, but only if it's a decision that he does not agree with. He says, "and so I will teach my children that they, too, are black..." In our society multiracial children get the question "What are you?!" all the time. Mr. Willams' children can always say, "I'm black because my father decided I am." We advocate to always give children the freedom to choose and explain that multiracial is respectful terminology for a person of more than one race and an honest and valid response.
Susan Graham for Project RACE


  1. Not to mention the fact that when you yourself are biracial and you marry a white woman, you've pretty much abdicated the right to complain about "losing the race."

  2. What a dishonest interpretation of his article. He clearly doesn't care how you self-identify in social settings, as he acknowledges his own white ancestry in the article and refers to mixed-race and multiracial people repeatedly in the article. He is speaking of self-identification for political purposes. He is advocating for multiracial black people to embrace the "black" label for the same reasons that Mexicans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans all embrace the Hispanic label--despite being ethnically distinct.

    He also does not advocate for the suspension of will. The article centers on will, but presents that, in our considerations, multiethnic black people should consider the ethical ramifications of removing themselves from the black race in any official capacity. Those ramifications are absolutely real.