Taye Diggs had the audacity to call his son ‘mixed’

by Mixed Up Mama
2 comments

Attacked this week was Hollywood actor Taye Diggs over his mixed race son, Walker (6) whom he shares with his former wife Idina Menzel. Menzel is caucasian and so it follows their son is biracial. But Diggs had the audacity to say he is mixed.

To Americans, this is equivalent to Diggs denying his own black identity, refuting his history and ignoring the one-drop rule which has defined American race politics and identity. The likes of Tiger Woods and Lewis Hamilton are often slammed for their refusal to identify solely as Black. Instead, they purport they are indeed mixed.

Tiger who is one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch jokingly refers to his ethnic make-up as “Cablinasian” (a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, (American) Indian, and Asian).

Obama, however, perhaps for simplicity’s sake when running for American president knew that identifying as one-half anything would hurt his political ambitions. He opted early on to adopt an entirely Black identity. And without any of his white relatives alive to contest, he’s been largely accepted.

Although the one-drop rule was invented by white segregationists who were keen to keep their racial blood lines ‘pure’, African Americans themselves are fierce critics of the multi-racial category. To this day, only 7 percent of Americans identify as multi-racial (when many believe the numbers are much higher).

American sitcoms, dramas and day time soap operas still exhibit same-race couples. And when there is an exception, it’s usually a show looking to make major ripples (like the sitcom Ellen in the early 2000’s when they featured a same-sex kiss). British tv, on the other hand, features inter racial dating as naturally as any other couple. It’s refreshing to see.

To me, the one-drop rule seems outdated and completely against an individual’s right to define his/herself. I get the argument that yes, he will  be seen throughout his life as Black and his experience probably largely defined by living as a Black man in a racist world. But, we have to start somewhere don’t we? Walker will be influenced by both his parents and that will complete his identity. He shouldn’t be forced to choose just because the world does it for him. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Be sure to read Diggs’ latest book ‘Mixed Me’ which is about a biracial family. I’ll be ordering it soon for my little ones and I’ll be sure to include a review.  Well done Taye for stepping up, speaking out and writing about it.

For more about mixed race families, read Are Multiracial Families the New Normal?

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2 comments

Cherry Ocampo February 11, 2021 - 12:19 pm

Most american black people are due to colonization technically mixed even when very dark skinned very rare for a black American to have 100% African genetics some European amounts varing . Many black , latino , and afro latino do nor have dna tests so even in modern era don’t know where they come from . His child is biracial even if he has tiny bit of euro on his side. Biracial means genetically you are made of two races. Multiracial means more than one most Latinos are actually multiracial not Spanish or biracial mestizo as they claim to be . Side note some people are triracial 3 races. If you don’t know genetically how much you are saying multiracial covers any category is the scientific term for mixed race. Multical includes biracial triracisl and people mixed with all 4 races . I am multiracial my dad was full European ancestry born and raised in the usa my mom was Honduran multiracial afro Latina she is a blend of 3 or 4 races .

Reply
Cherry Narissa Mitchell Ocampo February 11, 2021 - 12:20 pm

Most american black people are due to colonization technically mixed even when very dark skinned very rare for a black American to have 100% African genetics some European amounts varing . Many black , latino , and afro latino do nor have dna tests so even in modern era don’t know where they come from . His child is biracial even if he has tiny bit of euro on his side. Biracial means genetically you are made of two races. Multiracial means more than one most Latinos are actually multiracial not Spanish or biracial mestizo as they claim to be . Side note some people are triracial 3 races. If you don’t know genetically how much you are saying multiracial covers any category is the scientific term for mixed race. Multical includes biracial triracisl and people mixed with all 4 races . I am multiracial my dad was full European ancestry born and raised in the usa my mom was Honduran multiracial afro Latina she is a blend of 3 or 4 races .

Reply
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