Monday, December 28, 2009

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Understands Black People

The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck was recently regaling her co-hosts with an oh-so-amusing story of how, while out shopping with her young daughter Grace, she was getting funny looks from the evidently cloistered white people around her, because Grace was carrying the doll representing Sorry your feelings got hurt Elisabeth, but just imagine feeling the sting of discrimination over several generations, or the curious, sometimes awkward stares and comments not because your child is carrying a black doll, but has married interacially and is raising biracial children. Now that's a notion that'll probably make your dear friends lose their overpriced lunches. But carry, on, I feel your pain, no seriously, more than you know.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger Woods: Zero for Par

Tiger Woods, Cablinasian golf hero, has been outed as a philandering husband. After his recent bizarre tree-hitting accident, rampant media speculation regarding his mysterious injuries forced him to admit that, yes, he cheated on his hot Swedish wife (ok, shallow I know, but Tiger, seriously??!) with some 20-something reality girl ( No judgement or anything). Anyhoo, rumor has it that Elin Nordegren, said hot Swedish wife (And mother of Tiger's so-cute children) got handy with a golf club, and inflicted aforementioned injuries. Anyhoo, after all this hoopla, Tiger still ain't talkin' and thus far has gotten away with a fine for reckless driving. Now that we've established that the Bill Cosby of sports is as flawed as any of the rest of us, we need to get back to matters of greater importance, what's Lindsay Lohan up to these days?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Power-Packed Punch of Precious

Immediately after viewing the critically-acclaimed film "Precious", I texted my friend summarizing my impression of the movie. This was at 10:30 at night. On a Sunday. Such was the raw acting talent of Gabby Sidibe and the frightening transformation of Mo'Nique, that I was blasted out of my little existential bubble and into a bleak world, that, as the aforementioned friend pointed out, is a fact of life for too many, especially people of color. Despite some shortcomings (negative portrayal of black motherhood; lack of some back story on Precious' abusive and emotionally warped mother), this film goes beyond others of its genre in vividly presenting how a dark-skinned black teen in 80's Harlem uses immense fortitude to cope with being raised by one abusive parent while raising the children of the other abusive parent by whom she got pregnant. I applaud Precious for not coming across as an afterschool special, and despite its shortcomings, I'm rooting for it to be recognized in awards season, for it's a very good beginning in allowing art to bring more such stories to the forefront in an equally meaningful and honest fashion.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sammy Sosa Embraces the (Not-So) Dark Side

Hello, again, my lovely loyal readers. I'm back to rant, and not at all in a kinder, gentler fashion. As you may well know, Sammy Sosa, while intending to soften his skin, ended up bleaching his face to match Edward Cullen's (Cool, a chance to throw in Twilight!) Now, anyone who's ever stood in a beauty supply store knows this explanation is crap. We've all seen the tubes of cream with names like "Fair and White", and "Black & White" (I wish I were making that name up) whose label descriptions barely mask their intentions to turn one from Oprah to Alicia Keyes, and probably lighter. I am deeply offended and hurt by these actions on so many levels. Firstly, Sammy evidently thinks his audience is stupid, seeing as he used the lamest excuse possible to justify why he looks like the undead. Secondly, as a public figure, he IS a role model, whether he cares to be or not, and by doing this, he's saying that brown-skinned people aren't good enough, as they are, lastly, Sammy's actions, because of their colonial implications, will perpetuate the long-standing animosity that darker-complexioned people harbor towards those with lighter skin or a biracial background, because of the real and perceived advantages they enjoy in this society. Enjoy your artificial complexion, Sammy,thanks for the disappointment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Richard Nixon: Friend of the Mulatto

New tapes have recently been released of Richard Nixon's many delightful musings on the world, including his beliefs regarding abortion. Here for your reading pleasure is a quote from an article, in which he's speaking to special counsel Chuck Colson: Nixon said, "There are times when abortions are necessary, I know that, you know that's when you have a black and a white." Colson: "Or rape." Nixon: "Or rape." (Here's the link to the full article from which this came This quote seems to imply that the Prez thought that race-mixing was worse than rape, as it appears that he had to be prodded to include that aspect in his commentary. Wow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Regarding Michael Jackson

While this blog was on hiatus, we lost a giant of the entertainment industry. It is well understood that Michael Jackson was, to say the least, a deeply troubled man. In his eternal quest to cling to a childhood he felt deprived of, he made many questionable judgements and it remains a matter of fierce debate as to whether he took his behavior to depraved levels. His face seemed to became a tableu for his monumental insecurities, and he developed a dependency on painkillers, enabled by those around him who did not neccesarily have his best interests in mind. Conversely, he was a family man who had a close relationship with his mother, maintained close friendships with a small circle of confidantes, and raised three children who, as was made clear during his memorial service, loved him deeply. Of course it goes without saying, he was an artistic genius whose unique style was well-regarded by greats like Fred Astaire and James Brown, as well as recognized the world over. As we the public remember Michael Jackson, we must keep in mind both his incomparable talent and the complicated human being behind the magic. Farewell, Gloved One. Thanks for being a part of the rhythm of our lives.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Dear Readers:

A life transition temporarily interrupted publication of this blog, but I'm back and look forward to continuing to share insights on the mulatto experience. Thanks to those who've read up to this point, I appreciate it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Real Meaning of White Pride

I want the white supremacists to do me a favor. If these hatemongers absolutely insist on carrying on their primitive ideology, I must in turn insist that they relabel it something other than white pride. Otherwise , fine upstanding citizens with full or partial European heritage will always be looked upon with suspicion when they dare to proclaim any inkling of actual racial pride, the kind that comes from an appreciation of the cultures of their ancestors, their migrations here, and their place in the larger picture of the American melting pot. We deserve better than this simpleton midset, reflecting the worst aspects of American history, so please, I ask, be accurate so the rest of us can live according to our true selves.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Washington Post Heralds a New Day

My poor, pitiful computer has hit a technological depression, and has thus been tempermental, so I have been unable to post for a while until now. That being said, I am posting the following article from the March 23 Washington Post, even though it's from a month ago, because I feel this needs to be brought to people's attention, especially for those of us biracials who live in the DC area. I'm so encouraged by this development and have high hopes for the rest of the country.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mulatto Diaries

On March 19, 2008, Tiffany Jones began a Youtube v-log centering on black/white biracial issues. With humor, honesty and her lively personality, she has discussed all of her thoughts on relevant topics. She has also recently begun a Wordpress blog,, and has a Mulatto Diaries film in the works. All of this is a welcome addition to the burgeoning mixed-race media and I always look forward to the next installment. Congratulations, and thank you for addressing the vital needs and concerns of the biracial community.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Tale of Bill Burton

Amidst concern that the White House Press office lacked diversity, it was revealed that 36-year old Bill Burton, the Deputy Press Secretary is biracial. Throughout his career as a communications director for both John Kerry's and Richard Gephardt's Presidential campaigns, and later national press secretary for Obama's successful bid, he'd never publicly spoken about having a black father and white mother.His background came to light when the media called inquiring about the issue of blacks in the press office and was erroneously told that by a press assistant that Mr. Burton was white. He subsequently had to clarify to surprised colleagues that despite his appearance, he wasn't white. It is wonderful to have a self-identified biracial individual with such a pivotal role in the White House and it's nice to see us mixed-race folks finally comin' up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thank God Almighty

On Saturday March 7, the 45th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, I revisited the Smithsonian exhibit Road to Freedom, which focused on the press' role in bringing the Civil Rights Movement to the forefront of the American consciousness . My first time around, I was brought to tears gazing upon the photographs of those who'd sacrificed their physical safety, the comforts of home and even their lives to fight for the basic rights of citizenship. As I gazed at a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. laying in a glass-top coffin, it finally dawned on me that although his death is a still-immeasurable hole in the fabric of the ongoing American story, if he'd not tirelessly marched, selflessy utilized the passive resistance techniques that make him immortal, and made the greatest of sacrifices, we would probably not be where we are today. He laid his exhausted self down so others could pick up his baton and lead. I shared these thoughts with those I attended my second viewing with, members of Swirl, Inc, a group focusing on multiracial people, their families and their supporters, who brought up the unspoken struggles of those who fought for the right to love, marry and have children with whomever they wanted, regardless of race. Those who struggled unrelentingly, like Richard and Mildred Loving, should have their place in discussions right alongside Dr. King or Rosa Parks, for they did as much for human liberty and demonstrated the strongest of virtues, that of love.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Crazy Train

With Barack Obama in office for around a month, the fearmongering in written form has begun. Just two weeks ago, the NY Post published a cartoon which, on the surface was inspired by the stimulus bill, but clearly had racial undertones. Then, Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, CA, decided to resign rather than deal with the debacle he started after he sent around an e-mail depicting the White House lawn as covered in watermelons. It was titled "No Easter Egg Hunt This Year". Now that a person of color is in charge, those who're accustomed to being at the top of the power hierarchy in this country are losing their minds at the demographic and cultural changes afoot, and this is their desperate, rather pathetic attempt at putting us back in our place. Well, now that we're finally represented in the Oval Office our voices can be heard and it's gonna take a little more than some whiny articles to bring us down. back to the drawing board, fellas, better luck next time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Squirmin' in my Seat

Two weeks ago, I went to a lecture of historian C.R. Gibbs, a specialist on the history of the African Diaspora. The subject matter, "Black Presidents Before Obama", was a speech concerning historical black heads of state in Latin America and the Caribbean, supplemented with the seemingly unfounded belief that this region's governments have denied the African descendancy of their citizens, past and present. During the Q&A, I was the first to shoot up my hand to inquire about the differing perceptions of race in these countries as opposed to the U.S, especially regarding the one-drop rule. The convoluted answer I received, stating, in effect that these things do not matter, only served to solidify my understanding of and strength in my dual heritage. Although there were certain points on which I agreed, specifically concerning the effects of colonialism on populations of color, I take great issue with distorting history to further one's agenda, especially when it appears to denigrate those who don't fit into the confining boxes we've invented in this society.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How Rachel Getting Married Got It Right

I recently watched the lovely ensemble drama Rachel Getting Married and was quite pleased with its depiction of interracial marriage. Interestingly, Rachel Getting Married doesn't make its title subject the focus of the story, instead portraying the troubled mindset of Kim, a young woman freshly out of rehab, and the effect her presence has on her family. Kim has rejoined the family in time for her sister Rachel's wedding, and the movie shows with great realism how her loved ones are unwillingly absorbed into her life. The two interracial couplings, that of Kim's father and stepmother, and Kim's sister and her fiance, aren't mentioned, they just exist, and that is amongst the beautiful aspects of this film.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Whole Picture

Black History Month is upon us again. Even though a 28-day month is far from sufficient to honor the legacy of Blacks' existence in this racially complex country, it is still a good time to focus on the strong history that has been forged here, from the first slave ship to the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. It is a good time to respect the bravery of those who fought against such inhumanity, a good time to celebrate the artistic talents of the poets, the singers, the dancers, the painters and the musicians. How does a mulatto fit into this? First of all, although my truths don't fall entirely within this history, I recognize that I am a part of this greatness, and secondly, I consider a more personal angle, that of the stories which my maternal family members passed on to me. Stories which include the melding of Black Caribbean and Black American cultures, the witnessing of historic court cases, discrimination during lunch breaks, and personal ties with great black leaders of the day. I recall vibrant and spiritual moments on Sundays and delectable food such as my aunt's juicy greens and my grandmother's pineapple upside-downcake. Through these tellings and experiences, Black History has always been up close and constant, outside the generic Black History box that comes about every February. I am thankful for this, and I ride a gentle wave of beauty and strength from this knowledge.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hail to the Chief

For those who were dragged here across the rough sea, chained to the bottom of rotting ships.

For the mothers and the fathers whose humanity was worked away in the boiling Southern sun.

For the ones called nigger, whose lips were too dirty for the water fountain, and who hung on the end of ropes.

For Martin and Rosa, and the countless others, who said enough! Who asked "Do I not bleed red just like you"?

For Richard and Mildred Loving, who crossed the line and the law, for whom love was not even a question of color.

For the skinny kid with the funny name, a blended heritage that brings forth the Dream.
For my country 'tis of thee, Hail to the wisest and most thoughtful of Commanders-in-Chief.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Biracial Adoptees

Connor Cruise and I have something in common. The 13-year old son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is a biracial adoptee. It's refreshing to see someone in the public eye (he has a moment in the new Will Smith film "Seven Pounds") who became family through the same circumstance as myself. It is a beautiful reminder that family is not formed only through bloodlines or racial homogeneity, but through the ultimate power of love.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lessons on a Country Road

The biracial prism from which I view the world came starkly into focus during a holiday shopping trip with friends. On the drive to the mall, we had to pass through an area well-known as being racially unfriendly. As my friends continously stated how uncomfortable they were in this neck of the woods, I inwardly scoffed, thinking their fears were exaggerated, but as I listened to their stories of past unpleasant experiences with local residents, I realized I was mostly removed from this type of trouble. I can't relate to having a gun pulled on me during a swimming outing, having people move aside when I walk up to pay for a purchase or being concerned about who I can safely ask for directions. My tales have consisted of those who've wondered why I "talked white", taunted me on the playground with the wounding "oreo" epithet, commented on my"exotic" looks, and curiously perused my facial features as if I were from another planet. As frustrating as these encounters have been, they could in no way compare to the stings that my friends, and some of my relatives, have had to deal with. I've been naively immune to such things, and going on this shopping trip has been yet another learning experince in this ongoing school of life.