Opinion: Fetishizing of the Black mixed child – By Akola Thompson

Mulatto, dougla, buffiana, blasian – there are many words that are used to describe the Black mixed child. It was not so long ago when social orders stood firmly against miscegenation that these children would be considered persona non grata. Today, the mixed Black child is portrayed as a mythical creature with powers to cure racial disharmony.

We all know the popular calls to douglarize the nation or make mixed babies to end racism today. Chances are that you’ve been one of those sounding the trumpet for mixed relationships as you see them as being revolutionarily necessary in times of such unease. Coming out of a history of illegality and rejection, the push for the Black mixed child is steadily increasing.         
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Persons believe that in mashing together distinct lives and cultures, they can play a part in achieving the colorblind future they have long envisioned; a future where racial lines are so blurred and ambiguous that they have no bearing over the lives of their children. It is a nice thought but it is not a thought based wholly on reality. Mixed children will not deliver us from ethnic anxieties towards each other just like how centuries of enslavement that birthed mulatto children did not change the anti-Blackness in our society, but rather solidified other systems of anti-Blackness such as colorism.

White supremacy is insidious and manifests itself in dangerous ways. All the push for the mixed Black child buys into is white ideals of perceived beauty and respectability. While these children can often fit into the accepted standard of beauty and can benefit from this, they are not immune from experiencing the structural racism that comes with their Blackness. The idea is though, the further removed from Blackness one is, the better chances they have of getting a proper education, jobs and benefitting from white power systems. This is certainly true as those who adhere more closely to white ideals are readily more able to secure high paying jobs, higher education, access loans etc. but the complexity of Black lineage does not always make it so cut and dry.

We bandy past the identity struggles these children have to contend with and the often hostile mixed race family dynamics and social environment in which they are raised. Rather than subverting racism, the portrayal of the mixed Black child as possessing superpowers for racial healing directly plays into racism and anti-Blackness. This push for the mixed child did not occur outside of the scope of our fiercely race and class conscious society. There are a lot of moving parts and rationales behind the push for mixed children and certainly love is amongst these, but it is often not the dominant reason.

One can frequently come across Black persons who have internalized anti-Blackness to such a degree that they do not want to have relations with fellow Black people because they do not want their children to have “Black skin, Black hair, Black nose.” They seek out partners who they believe will reward them with a child that deviates from perceived standard Blackness. Driving all of this is the standard image of what the mixed Black child should look like. They have Eurocentric features; light skin, light eyes and curly hair. But not all mixed children fit this narrow standard and often find themselves facing rejection from their families. This is because the entire idea of the mixed Black child is to remove them further from Blackness and towards a look that is racially ambiguous. On the flip side, there are white and non-Black people of colour who see in Black partners, a chance to create “exotic” children who will bring them closer to Blackness and protect them from charges of being anti-Black.

Many actively weaponize their proximity to Black-ness as an excuse as to why they cannot be racist. We see it frequently how people would utilize their friends, family members and partners to suggest they are a Black ally or are equipped to speak on behalf of the Black experience. They believe that their proximity to Blackness somehow makes them exempt from racism. It would be a much simpler world if persons were truly able to compartmentalize their lives in such a way that they would never have friends, family or partners of other races or classes – simple in the sense that it would take away a lot of the pretensions we continue to see today. But people do not live non-binary lives and many are able to work with, befriend and even love those from varying ethnicities while harbouring anti-Black stereotypes, thoughts and actions against them and others.

While the look of our population is steadily changing, the ethnic fears and unease still remain a featured part of our society. The unions we form should be based on mutual respect and understanding of distinct cultures rather than surface level tolerance. We must too be self-aware of the white ideals we continue to place on ourselves, others and future children.

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Comments

  • Ramdath Jagessar  On 02/15/2021 at 10:43 am

    The premise of this article, that mixed race children will help cure racial disharmony in Caribbean society, is simply not borne out by history or contemporary observation. Guyana for instance had a long period of slavery and emancipation when considerable numbers of mulatto children (black-white parentage) were produced. Nobody has ever claimed that these children helped reduce the rampant racism of the time.
    Later the Indians and Portuguese and Chinese came along and there was some limited mixed race offspring to add to the mulatto children, but the racial disharmony continued unabated. Instead, the mixed race children put their cup where the milk was flowing, meaning they leaned towards the white people who were the powers in colonial society and rejected their non European ancestry and culture.
    Came self rule and independence and some political coming together of Indians and blacks for a brief time and a small increase in dougla children. The political unity did not last long and burst into open race war and killing and exodus of most of the Indians. Racial disharmony went nuclear and has continued to this day. Obviously the presence of mixed race children did nothing.
    Trinidad is basically the same story, no evidence of mixed race children having any effect on racial harmony historically. Today, Trinidad has an enormous mixed race group of as much as 24%, cultural and political racial disharmony remains high, there is no racial unity on any important area, no nationalism. to talk about.
    Is that enough evidence? I hope those espousing such unproven and purely emotional ideas should know that ignorant propaganda can cause a lot of harm.
    There’s a ton of evidence that unions between people of different races tend to be very fragile and prone to breakups and also great suffering and identify pain for the children.
    Sociological studies show very clearly that the black male in the Caribbean is often a poor role model as a father, has a tendency towards infidelity, economic irresponsibility. The black mother is too often a single parent overburdened by the task of raising children whether black or mixed race.
    Quite simply, what is the benefit to other races of union with black people to produce mixed race offspring? It’s just nonsense to blandly put forward the pious hope without a shred of evidence that said mixed race children could magically have some good effect on race relations in the society.
    Postscript: Quite clearly the group most gung ho about mating with other races and producing mixed race kids are the black males. They openly prefer to mate with other race females in preference to their own black women. But the Indian man wants the Indian woman, the whites prefer their own, Chinese same down the line. So who wants the black woman to be their mate and mother of their children? Noooobody! Do a minority report on that, ms Akola Thompson.

    • Dennis Albert  On 02/15/2021 at 1:12 pm

      Is this the same Jagdessar who posted on a Diaspora website that he preferred a Ukrainian to attack him rather than someone who is of African heritage?

      Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Russia are the boring, cold, cultureless and backwards countries. African countries are rich in resources, culture and love, until the people from the Caucus mountains got badmind and greedy.

  • Kman  On 02/15/2021 at 12:32 pm

    Why is the child referred to as a black mixed child? Why not mention the other race first.

    All lives matter! We all belong to the human race. Yes l am am aware of how non whites and mixed races have been treated for ages, not something any human should support or be proud.

  • Dennis Albert  On 02/15/2021 at 1:22 pm

    On the flip side, there are white and non-Black people of colour who see in Black partners, a chance to create “exotic” children who will bring them closer to Blackness and protect them from charges of being anti-Black.

    This is selfish for anyone to use their children for their benefit. Do they know the identity issues and discrimination that these children will face, especially in the ABCEU countries?

  • detow  On 02/15/2021 at 2:18 pm

    Do any of you guys ever read what you write? Have any of you ever married outside of your predominant race? Are you the result of a mixed race union? Have you even thought of asking the opinion of persons who have first hand experience with being of mixed race unions, or those who have married outside of their predominant race and have produced children who really do not give a damn about anything that you all seem so empowered to spout such blatant nonsense about?

    I married outside my predominant race because of LOVE, nothing else and the person that I have been happily married to for the past sixty two years still feel the same about me. We have produced two beautiful children, (and neither we nor they really give a damn about what anyone else thinks about them) one of whom is married to a (very) black person and the other to a totally white person with lineage way back into the early ages. Their off springs, two totally black and the other two extremely light skinned, and none of them really (and I quote them) really care about what others think about them as the only persons they care about are their parents, grand parents and all of their other relations.

    So would you guys please, please stop this nonsense that only tends to infuriate rather than placate. Let the universe unfold at it’s own rate. No more BS.

    A good day to you all.

    • Dennis Albert  On 02/15/2021 at 2:54 pm

      Race is a big issue because Trump and his Russian bots have started race tensions and hate crimes in the ABCEU countries. The Stabroek writer is complaining that mixed race children bear the brunt of racism no matter how much whiteness or “lighter” race DNA.

      Even in Guyana, mixed race children are viewed as PNC or Venezuelan refugees by those who voted for the PPP.

  • Ramdath Jagessar  On 02/15/2021 at 3:17 pm

    I think I prefer a black man like this Dennis Albert to attack me rather than a Ukrainian. Dennis is so bad at attacking that I am safe for years. I got to know quite a lot of Ukrainians here in Canada and I can tell you if they attack, you will feel it! Not like powderpuff Dennis. I write a serious comment on a matter of great public interest such as promoting mixed race children, and all this nincompoop could talk of is who I prefer to attack me and comparing Eastern European culture with African countries culture! What does that have to do with the topic of mixed race children in the Caribbean?
    Then he jumps to white and non-black people wanting to create exotic children with black partners “to bring them closer to blackness.”. Whaat!
    Let me send a lesson to this dummy Albert how to handle debate on such matters.
    Let him read the rubbish written by the Akola Thompson person and then read and analyze my comment on her rubbish to discover what was wrong or right about my comment and then write his comments on my comments.
    Example: Ram says there is no evidence to show that mixed race children helped reduce the racism of the slavery and colonial period. But I say this is wrong, and here is the evidence he has ignored/
    Example: Ram says racism and racial disharmony grew greater in the self rule and independence years in Guyana despite the presence of many mixed race children. This is wrong for these reasons, and give fact and logic.
    Example: Ram says racial disharmony continues unabated in Trinidad today despite the presence of as much as 24% of the population being mixed race. And say if he agrees with that statement or he disagrees giving reasons and evidence.
    Is that too much to ask for any kind of debate on such an important matter?
    Or should I call him an ignorant black jackass and give him the excuse he wants to bleat that Ram is a racist, Ram doh like black people?

  • Ramdath Jagessar  On 02/15/2021 at 5:34 pm

    When I say you are a dummy, Albert, I wasn’t jokesing. You can’t read either, it seems. My post above said clearly that your earlier post on my comment on the Akola Thompson article was irrelevant and idiotic and didn’t qualify as debate on an important topic.
    I then showed you specifically how to respond to my comment using evidence and logic. I then asked if that was too much to ask for debate on the topic. Seems it was too much for you.
    I then asked if you would prefer I call you a black jackass and give you the excuse to avoid debate on the topic and call me a racist.
    And so it seems you did prefer the black jackass tag and jumped at the chance to call me a racist and quote one of my articles that has nothing to do with this topic of mixed race children.
    Well bubba sometimes you get what you want.
    You are a black jackass.
    If you don’t like the use of the word black, I will say merely that you are a jackass, with humble apologies to the humble burro who at least has the excuse nobody taught him to read.

    • guyaneseonline  On 02/15/2021 at 5:49 pm

      To: Ramdath Jagassar

      You have insulted one of our commenters by calling him a “Black Jackass” then you refuse to admit that you were sorry and implying that being Black was an impediment etc.

      Based on what you have written in a Trinidad publication, I suspect that you are an anti-Black racist (see link in a comment above).
      I request that you make a formal apology to the readers of this blog or your email will be blocked.
      I try not to do this but it is sometimes necessary.

      Thank you
      Moderator

      • Ramdath Jagessar  On 02/15/2021 at 5:58 pm

        Seems that you didn’t read my piece either.
        I told him his comment was irrelevant and did not qualify as reasonable debate on the topic.
        I then showed him how he should have debated the points I made.
        I then told him if he preferred that I call him a black jackass so he could avoid dealing with the topic and call me a racist.
        And he did just that!
        For your information, I told him that if he didn’t like the use of the word black, I would withdraw it and call him a jackass.
        Which he declined to take as an apology.
        Listen man, go ahead and blacklist list so I can’t post on your site anymore.
        No loss to me.

    • Emanuel  On 02/17/2021 at 10:06 pm

      Nice to be back.

      Jagessar:

      Your language shows that you’re not an educated person. You can’t even blow a dog whistle to camouflage your hate for black people.

      Who exactly do you think you are? If you think other races don’t hurt their victims under similar situations, you ain’t living in the real world. If you live in a glass house don’t throw stones.

      Mr Bryan was right to kick your butt off the site. You need professional help. Your hate for my people is consuming you. I hope you get treated and soon.

      Emanuel.

  • wally n  On 02/15/2021 at 5:59 pm

    The article was a rabbit hole, you should have stopped it then.

  • guyaneseonline  On 02/15/2021 at 8:11 pm

    Ramdath Jagassar.

    Since it is no loss to you —-.then you will no longer be allowed on this blog.
    Our standards of discourse have to be maintained,

    Moderator

  • Dennis Albert  On 02/16/2021 at 3:38 pm

    I hope that Ms. Akola Thompson gets to read this thread. Trinidad got some serious ethnic tensions.

  • Jo  On 02/17/2021 at 1:48 pm

    This topic written in such an authoritative tone by Ms. Thompson reflects aspects of the racial issue underscored by the prevalence of the American historical narrative to overwhelm different mixed race experiences. I totally agree with Ms. Detow. First ask the subjects about whom you opine to give their two cents worth of their views before speaking for them. I’m not going to write a long tome about my multi-generational mixed race heritage and life experiences which were not as cut and dried as the article outlines. Suffice it to say, that life adds to our education. I know for sure that though in broad terms what Ms. Thompson outlines has veins of truth, I can assert most certainly, that it’s far from being the whole truth. Further I would add, don’t let the political stage of racial demagoguery define the truth for you. There’s a purpose for all the politically driven racial division. Leaders who want to steer towards a broader social consensus have it in their power to change the narrative. It suits them not to. I would add, we should include the fact that class and race/colorism issues infuse many if not all societies. Don’t assume that other racial groups don’t have their own internal forms of discrimination.

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