Taye Diggs has publicly revoked his son’s black card and blacks are up in arms. In this country, the “one-drop rule” has been the gauge for defining blackness for centuries. It’s been an ongoing argument since slavery. There is no scientific evidence behind the theory as it was based on white slave masters not wanting to distribute their wealth to their bastard half-black offspring among other things. Moreover- Black Americans, willingly, take in any and everybody who is passed off as black. We take everybody’s babies. Even Toni Morrison, ignorantly, called Bill Clinton (who was technically a hillbilly from Arkansas) “the First Black President“. So yeah- EVERYBODY and their mama get a black pass from us. I’m not, necessarily, for all that and no other race of people seem to do it. There are plenty of Vietnamese and other babies born during the Vietnam War. Those children weren’t recognized as Vietnamese. Those babies were mixed. We demand that mixed with black kids accept “black cards” because it seems that we need to feel better about being black. Like “good ole, regular” black ain’t good enough. We fawn over “faux exotic features” like springy, curly hair and light eyes. It’s appalling.
Taye Diggs was married to a white woman and they had a son. Walker IS half-black and half-white or mulatto (if you’re fancy). *Sidebar* Just to clarify a mulatto, by definition, is half-donkey and half-horse. I digress.
For me, the issue isn’t that Diggs wants his son to acknowledge both sides of his racial makeup. It’s the psychology behind it. It’s no secret that Taye Diggs has had issues with his own skin color. He was teased as a child by other black children for being “too dark”. He admits that his own fair-skinned mother married a super dark-skinned brother because she had her own issues with “not being black enough”. In 2011, Taye Diggs says in an interview that his mother always told him that he would marry a white woman even as a child.
What’s wrong with that picture? How does a person grow up with black parents and around black people and JUST KNOWS that they want to marry a white person? It’s human nature to surround yourself with people with whom you are familiar. And maybe being teased by faces that looked like his took a toll on his self-esteem. I get it. Kids tease each other. Some more harshly than others. It’s life.
My biggest concern for Taye Diggs and his son is that we live in a world where no matter how many white mamas have half-black babies. Their color privilege doesn’t “rub off” on their offspring. Their brown sons and daughters, no matter how light they are, will not be allowed in white spaces and not get side eyes. The children who can’t pass will be set up for failure.
Taye, I will never call your son black. He is mixed and I will refer to him as such. But I hope that YOU will teach him that the people who look like his mother may be the very ones causing him harm because he looks more like his father.