Black White Man

My mother is black, and my father is white. I walk among you.

Archive for August, 2012

Multiracial in-laws: or how I learned to stop worrying and love my family

When I go to visit my in-laws in the almost-completely White rural midwest, I put up with a lot of stuff. I have to hold my tongue a lot, sometimes out of shock at what people say and believe, and sometimes out of not wanting to start an argument that will only end badly with people whom I love and care about very much.

What I sometimes forget is that my wife has to put up with a lot when she’s with my Black family as well. We just got back from a vacation that had quite a few rough spots. In general, my family members don’t have a lot of in-laws. There are only a handful of stable marriages on my side. So, on one level, they don’t really know where to put my wife. Is she a sister/daughter? Is she like a cousin or an aunt? And then the racial stuff exacerbates that, to point where she feels totally ostracized. And then there are comments, like my son being introduced as “he’s blond and has blue eyes, but he’s cool.” Unbelievable.

But, we made it through. My wife and I had a few spats about it. I brought up some of it with my family, where I thought it would help. We came home. It’s all good… at least until next visit!

Google Look-ahead “Why isn’t there…”

I love Google. One of the things I love most about Google is how it reveals the racism of Internet users at large through its look-ahead feature. When you start typing, Google will try to complete your search based on what the most popular searches are which start with those same words. Bloggers (like hufpo’s “I am extremely terrified of Chinese people”) and comedians (like W. Kamau Bell’s “Pat Robertson racist”), often comment on this phenomenon. Here’s my addition to the field:

an image of Google's lookahead suggestion where I've typed in "why isn't there" and the completion is "a white history month".

(by the way, the answer is that every month is white history month)

Is Rashida Jones following me?

No sooner do I have a conversation about Rashida Jones with a friend of mine, and then post about it on this blog, then I turn on the TV and there she is on the Daily Show. I had no idea that she had a new movie coming out, even. I had just seen her in last year’s Muppet Movie. So, now she’s freaking me out for two reasons: once for her overall beige-ness, and once for cropping up everywhere.

Rashida Jones, part one

Despite being multiracial myself, I’ve always had a morbid fascination with people who look quite multiracial. I find that most of us look fairly like one or the other of our parents. You have those like me and Vin Deisel, who look quite White. And you have those like Halle Berry and Barack Obama who look quite Black. But, there are, of course, many who look, well, multiracial. And, of those, there are some who have this amazing kind of all-over middle-brown look. Rashida Jones is one of these, whose hair, skin and eyes are all kind of the same middle tone. I can’t say that I love it or hate it — I’m just kind of fascinated by it. I think that I have such a hang up about people not believing me when I say that I’m Black, that I have a natural fascination with multi-racial people who are a little more obvious.