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View Diary: Why? CNN and NPR Present a Potpourri of Tragic Mulattoes Before a National Audience (285 comments)

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  •  Naw, sis (6+ / 0-)

    The term offends me. No one should feel or be deemed tragic for a circumstance they did not create. Nor should they pick up labels created by people who probably aren't concerned about their welfare.

    I'm surprised I'm against terms that do not apply to me. With my dark cocoa skin, I had to be smart to be noticed in a positive way. Growing up, my worst nightmare was to be in a room filled with "high yellow" folks. Wonder where I learned that phobia?


    •  Being offended was my initial (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CocoaLove, Be Skeptical, smartdemmg

      response too, for the reasons you mention. I guess using it as an archetype is considered okay, but people are not archetypes, and I don't like seeing it used to define individual people.  And I sure don't want anyone using it to refer to my grandson.

    •  This. A thousand times. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CocoaLove, gramofsam1, smartdemmg
      No one should feel or be deemed tragic for a circumstance they did not create. Nor should they pick up labels created by people who probably aren't concerned about their welfare.
      And the use of the term, and consequent analysis of mixed race children with roughly the same degree of warmth that one would show a lab rat, is a goddam shame.

      "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - Ron Burgundy

      by malharden on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:49:51 PM PST

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      •  They do get analyzed to death, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves

        don't they. And I don't doubt that there might be some figuring out for them to do at times.
        Thing is, the actual mixed race kids that I know, including my grandson, do not seem nearly as concerned about this as all of the people trying to study and evaluate them.


        •  It's a good thing that your grandson (0+ / 0-)

          isn't so concerned.  I don't know how old he is or where he is growing up, but I think it could account for that for now.

          •  He's thirteen, growing up (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tardis10, ladybug53

            in a family with white parents, an AA sister, 2 white siblings. He is lucky in that my daughter found a school with a good amount of racial diversity, which sadly was not easy to find.
            I agree it's good that he's not so concerned, he has friends of all races and seems equally comfortable with all of them.
            If people ask him about his heritage, he will tell them that his birth mom was white and his birth father was black, but if he's checking off a box on a school application, he checks the AA box, not whatever they're using as a mixed race category. And it's his choice to do that.

            Ironically, although I used to hear so much about mixed race kids not fitting in anywhere,  the kids I know seem to fit in everywhere, at least so far. The world is changing, and kids are always ahead of the curve.

    •  We've got lots of 'em (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      breakingsong, CocoaLove

      high yellows is another.  :) .  I call that one the "beige aristocracy" .  It's why Malcolm was "Red" for "redbone" You know we use "Uncle Tom" and other versions of that.  Along with "oreo" (don't know if that is used much any more)

      Some came into usage within our own community, some without - most as terms of analysis.  

      Donald Bogle's "Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films" comes to mind.  

      You are correct about "they didn't create" since even the term "mulatto' has little to do with having one white and one black parent - it was a state sponsored (census) category until 1920 used to count those of lighter hue.  And was also used to create a buffer class loyal to the colonizer (Haiti)

      That is a tragedy of sorts.

      Fanon explores the psychology in depth -- and not just for "us' since it played out well in Algeria.

      I guess since my dad played one of those archetypes on b'way in Strange Fruit  (he was cast as the tragic mulutto) and in real life was anything but - I don't bristle at the use - but I do find it sad when children grow up with confusions imposed by the unrelenting systemic hierarchy of race - and that can be applied to all of us.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:47:22 PM PST

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