The Thing About Black Women and Interracial Dating....

My God...do we really have to go through this again?

Apparently so.  Now...Jill Scott's article isn't what bugs me; let me make that clear.  She's being honest, and in her honesty she is not bashing interracial relationships.  She's not arguing against them.  She's just being honest about her initial instinctive reaction.  In fact, she makes sure to state, "...when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit...wince. I didn't immediately understand it. My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress...Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options. But underneath, there is a bite, no matter the ointment, that has yet to stop burning. Some may find these thoughts to be hurtful. That is not my intent. I'm just sayin'."

So again...what bugs me are the comments.  Take this village idiot right here:
As a caucasian woman and life partner of a "black" (Ethiopian born, naturalized American citizen) man, I experience (and receive) the venom, the looks, the verbal judgments of those who align themselves with Ms. Scott's way of thinking. It is painful, ridiculous and at times unbearable. Racism swings both ways via those who choose to remain closed in their minds and hearts and by those who choose to remain ignorant. We are not only the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl but my partner is also a good father to my own 2 (caucasian) daughters from my first (youthful and stupid) marriage. Our children experience hatred and racism on a daily basis... usually by way of passive aggressive words and actions from African American women. So... feel proud and happy, those of you who continue to perpetuate this reverse racism. In my own practical experience you succeed in making our lives a bit more painful and difficult than it already is in this modern (hellish) day and age. Thank you also for making us stronger, more resilient and certainly more close and tightknit as a family unit. I will continue to hold my head high, love my man and my children while thanking God every single day of my life for each of them.
"Tina", is it?  Hi, Tina; I'm Ankhesen Mié, American's foremost Ankhesenologist.  Please...call me "K".  Now Tina, I'm so sorry you've experienced venom, etc. but...Jill Scott?  Not so venomous.  Now, I know we evil black bitches all look alike and are hard to tell apart, but do be a dear and at least try.

You know, Tina, *shakes head*, there are actual, valid reasons why women like you--in particular--lack credibility and are not so quickly embraced by women of color.  Ms. Scott wrote an eloquent, touching, detailed article but I just think you skimmed it and never stopped to think about what the woman is actually saying.  For example, have women like you ever really paused to wonder why black men pursue you so diligently?  Have you ever stopped to ask why they flee people who 1) look like them, and 2) tend to be more educated and better employed?  Have you paused to wonder why they pursue you so intently, when your two groups haven't had the best rapport...you know, traditionally speaking?  Did you ever stop to interrogate your hubby--while you were still in the dating phase, of course--about why that was?

Or did you just latch onto the notion of universal desirability and run with it?

I have to wonder what went through your mind when you, ahem, "read" this part (I'm guessing your brain only registered the portions in bold):
When our people were enslaved, "Massa" placed his Caucasian woman on a pedestal. She was spoiled, revered and angelic, while the Black slave woman was overworked, beaten, raped and farmed out like cattle to be mated. She was nothing and neither was our Black man. As slavery died for the greater good of America, and the movement for equality sputtered to life, the White woman was on the cover of every American magazine. She was the dazzling jewel on every movie screen, the glory of every commercial and television show. She was unequivocally the standard of beauty for this country, firmly unattainable to anyone not of her race. We daughters of the dust were seen as ugly, nappy mammies, good for day work and unwanted children, while our men were thought to be thieving, sex-hungry animals with limited brain capacity.

We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death. In the midst of this, Black women and Black men struggled together, mourned together, starved together, braved the hoses and vicious police dogs and died untimely on southern back roads together. These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed. While we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It's frustrating and it hurts!
Now, Tina...when you didn't read the parts not in bold and didn't stop ask the tough questions, that was your white privilege showing, believe it or not.

I'll be honest.  I have no "special affinity" for black men...growing up, I must not have gotten the memo.  I haven't dated a black male since I was 18, and that was so long ago that....  Anyhoo, I currently live in Appalachia and for the past decade-ish I've simply "gone with the flow".  I was raised in an African family, and even spent a good chunk of my childhood in Cameroon so, needless to say...slightly different mindset.  And yet, I can understand why black women like Ms. Scott feel "the wince."

Self-hate is a dangerous phenomenon, and Tina, you ought to know.  What people like you seem to having trouble grasping is that self-hate can manifest in multiple forms.  Eating disorders, cutting, and suicidal mentality are some classics, along with skin-bleaching, plastic surgery...and the tendency to automatically flee all things which look like you (cue nods from Asian American men). When you didn't factor in that last part, Tina, your white privilege was showing.

See, Tina...money, education, good looks, and "speaking well" don't automatically mean a person is free of "issues". Now, I know how hard it is to say no to a charming, good-looking man who showers you with attention, doesn't require you to be skinny, and tells you everything you've ever wanted to hear. However, that's all the more reason why you have to ask the difficult questions and risk hearing a thing or two you'd rather not.

For example, if all you Tinas-to-be are on a date with a "wonderful black man", ask him about the whole black-white drama-rama.  Yes, I realize it ain't the most romantic dinner conversation, but if you're doin' the interracial, you gotta have "the talk."  So if he says you're just his "preference", run. If he says something which implies white female superiority, run. If he says a bunch of negative shit about all black women (you know, all twenty-some million of us which he somehow managed to date), run.  Because you have not stumbled across the jackpot; you've in fact hit what many relationship counselors refer to as a "red flag."

Never trust a person who deflects questions about their inner workings onto the inner (and outer) workings of others.

Take your cue from Asian women and gay Asian men who regard white suitors warily (you're by no means in the same boat per se, but...you know, similar make and model).  Lastly, reread Ms. Scott's article. Enlightened are the white women who can read this passage and pay close attention to its truth. The rest are draptos.
When our people were enslaved, "Massa" placed his Caucasian woman on a pedestalShe was spoiled, revered and angelic, while the Black slave woman was overworked, beaten, raped and farmed out like cattle to be mated. She was nothing and neither was our Black man. As slavery died for the greater good of America, and the movement for equality sputtered to life, the White woman was on the cover of every American magazine. She was the dazzling jewel on every movie screen, the glory of every commercial and television show. She was unequivocally the standard of beauty for this country, firmly unattainable to anyone not of her race. We daughters of the dust were seen as ugly, nappy mammies, good for day work and unwanted children, while our men were thought to be thieving, sex-hungry animals with limited brain capacity.

We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death. In the midst of this, Black women and Black men struggled together, mourned together, starved together, braved the hoses and vicious police dogs and died untimely on southern back roads together. These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed. While we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It's frustrating and it hurts!

Comments

  1. Great post!

    As a full-time swirler, I would never say that IR relationships don't receive negative reactions, but at the same time, people definitely notice what they want to notice. My boyfriend and I have received dirty looks from people at times (but you don't really hear us whining, because we aren't that attuned to others' facial expressions/inner feelings about IR), but they've been all ages, colors, and genders. Thinking about it, the only characteristic I could ascribe to the majority is that they ride public transportation (as do we).

    If you care that much what people think either a) people are really mean to you (wah!) b) you feel insecure in your relationship or c) you want people to hate so that you can play the victim while rubbing your relationship in their faces. MMV of course.

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  2. Now I love Jill Scott and I love your post about this I have not read the article myself(can't bring myself to just yet" But I do get what she is saying on the point that you have laid out.

    That they are those type of people who do put other races on a pedastel and I have have the misfortune of meeting some and talk about them in your presence to get a rise out of you *laughs and shakes head*.

    However what I dread is the constant misreading and applying all what Ms Scott said as to how all black women feel. I mean I have BM/WF couple come up to me and insinuate I was "hating on the them." LOL

    http://lifeisannoying.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/if-i-disapprove-of-your-relationship-does-that-make-you-feel-better/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUchUiM4XZ4

    I just think the media will take it as if she is speaking for all of us like they always do. I mean it is hard for Black American women especially when your buissness in on display and people take what ome "represntative" says as the truth i.e. Chris Rock's "Good Hai", 42% marriage thing with those women and Steve Harvery and now since some of them went to Russian TV news thingy and now Jill Scott appearing on CNN.

    I think the whole "soul burns" thing really got to people too.

    Sorry for the long post too.

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  3. @ Jasmin

    I'm going to go with Option C.

    I don't think these women care "that much". And when you're with someone who consistently treats you like gold, you're not insecure. So it's C...it's the narcissism, it's the classic, glamorized white take on being a victim of racism.

    The "Tina" woman in my blog, for example, spoke way too happily about her life with her husband. She had to trot out the whole family bio, like she was on a damn talk show or in a Lifetime movie. And this is something I've noticed about white privilege; it lets women like "Tina" talk about a supposedly painful experience in self-serving way.

    On a particularly powerful Black Conscious Thought post I read this right here, "On one particular blog I read a comment from a black man in which he said, “I wish I could be there when a black woman married to a white man gets called n*gger by her husband for the first time.” Now here is the flip slid to his black man’s comment…on the same blog post he declared his love for white women."

    See...this is my personal problem with this specific IR issue: the double standard. I'm one of those black women who honestly doesn't give a fuck about black men dating white women and yet when I'm out with a man who's not black, or even just talking to black men about non-black men I like...boy have I tasted some venom.

    Uh...WTF???

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  4. Moi,

    ITA. There's always the "It's a Wonderful Life" story--what about all of those WF/BM couples on Divorce Court?

    Whenever people trot out the "Black women hate me" sob story, I always have a smartass remark, like, "Well maybe you're just ugly." I don't see how someone looking at you (for whatever reason) for 3 seconds automatically equals "OMG! Jealous bitter Black lady!" And other people notice too, I'm sure; they're just too busy looking for Black women to notice.

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  5. The Youtube vid Aiyo posted totally supports that. WF/BM couples really do automatically assume every black woman they see is hatin'.

    Statistics show that WP who fear POC are actually more likely to be killed by WP. I'm beginning to think it's a similar trend in relationships. WW who pay soooooo much attention to BW are aren't noticing that we ourselves are busy paying soooooo much attention...to someone else (lovin' the comments on these).

    Now, most BW in America may "wince" like Scott says, but as we continue to succeed academically and professionally (thus opening multiple doors for ourselves), we tend to care less and less about what our Stateside counterparts do. And I feel bad for BM in America because ultimately, our growing indifference will be a great loss for them--not us.

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  6. It sounds like Tina really enjoys the idea of being a trophy and it pisses her off to not be seen as one by every.damn.body. It seems to make it REALLY hard for her to understand why Ms. Scott might not be her biggest cheerleader. And why should she have to be? Why the hell does she need the acceptance of even one BW (though she seems to love monoliths) to achieve comfort in her relationship? It clearly eats her alive and affects her every day.

    Yet, as a WW who dates interracially I have yet to experience this "venom" she speaks of. It's not that I don't hear the things people say - when my b/f's coworkers said he met their expectation of having a "pretty, little, white girlfriend" after they met me could have been taken as an insult, but really - it got the same level of emotion out of me that telling me my shoe's untied would. I understand "the wince" is not a personal attack on me. Tina needs to make her life a little easier by allowing people to think and say shit without taking it personally. Actually, I'm guessing her husband is one of few BM she dated, so I'm not really that surprised by her comments. Just a little embarrassed to share skintone with her.

    Additionally, I just LOVE when WP use the term "reverse racism" like racism was inherently meant for POC to be the recipients of and when WP get it - it's flipped on its head.

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  7. @ vintagelux

    Exactly. Some of these WW want to be a "prize"; they want to conform to the benevolently sexist notion of being on a pedestal, and when they get an I-actually-don't-give-a-fuck look from a black woman, they brand her as "jealous" and cry reverse racism...'cause, as we all know, racism is only supposed to go in one direction.

    And by the way she spoke about her husband, you're right - she does sound as though this whole IR is fairly still new to her. Since her kids from her previous relationship are white, I'm guessing their father was a white guy who didn't put her ass on a pedestal, so she just went out and found the first starry-eyed negro who would.

    Women like Tina need to add 1 + 1 and learn a thing or two about POC truth: no sane black woman is going to "hate" on any woman who's struggling to raise children of color in America - it wouldn't make sense. I realize it's antithetical to the prevailing myth of the evil, soulless, unemotional black bitch, but it's true - we don't generally roll that way.

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  8. And Aiyo...thanks for that blog link...GOD, did it make flesh crawl.

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  9. Moi and Vintagelux,

    I wouldn't be surprised if women like Tina tend to date/marry the "Black women ain't sh*t" Black men who encourage that mentality. Instead of questioning why someone would be so irrationally against his own race, they buy into it hook, line, and sinker.

    Anecdote: In my Ethics class last semester, one of the (White) girls in my class said she was friends with a biracial (Black dad, White mom) guy who refused to date Black girls because his dad abandoned the family when he was a baby. (Yea, I couldn't figure out how Black girls were relevant to this story either.) So, he said he'd only date White girls so that he would have light-skinned kids. I asked her why his girlfriend would want to be his "White girl" and asked her what he'd do if he married this girl and his kids came out dark (he obviously skipped genetics)--trade her in for a new model? You have to have really low self-esteem to be flattered by someone else's issues.

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  10. To the commenter who tried to post as Joe/John Clyde (can't remember),
    uh...not happenin'.

    Try actually reading next time before you roll your eyes about the "hypocrisy of black female bloggers".

    Like "Tina" you skimmed, latched onto a couple of key words and phrases, and went from there.

    Nice try...not.

    (And did you really think I'd post that comment here? Here? I ain't Abagond or Field-Negro, darlin'...I practice strict comment sterilization, hear?)

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  11. @ Jasmin

    Exactly. I mean, obviously she (and other WW like her) would say that they are not racist, right? ('cause we all know that just makes perfect sense) So what I wonder is if a WM had spoken the same trash-talk about BW would they still want to date HIM? I'm sure if that were a 1st date conversation, any rational person would see that as a huge red flag, if not a reason to end the date right there. But I'm sure a few WW find that charming as hell coming from a BM.

    I'm fortunate to have not dated anyone like that, but you know why? Because my radar is on for shit like that! When we're in the "friend zone" and a guy makes a comment that remotely reeks of dissonance with any race, including his own, we never get any further than that moment. Heaven knows I can't keep my mouth shut when someone says something stupid - cannot. No one was ever able to stomach asking me on a date after I tore into him. I got up and left in the middle of a date because he said I "looked like I liked black dudes." I knew that was a conversation that was about to get really ugly really fast. I don't understand where WW's standards are when they hook up with these men. If you wouldn't be ok with a white guy saying it, why be ok with a black guy saying it?

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  12. I got up and left in the middle of a date because he said I "looked like I liked black dudes."

    And how does that not set off alarms for some of these women? WTF????

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  13. Ah!!! Joe Clyde! I knew it was one of those!!!

    Anyhoo...Mr. Clyde says (and I really did try to publish this comment via email and for some reason it fucked up on me. Luckily...still had the comment in my email):

    I honestly didn't expect you to post it because why would you post something that goes against the great Black women and White man union agenda.

    The hypocrisy of Black female Bloggers is astounding. They blinding worship anything non-black but they high five bashing of Black men.

    Your parents did a fabulous job of raising you.

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  14. @ Mr. Clyde

    Awwww...*shakes head* Say it ain't so, Joe. Check my blog; I don't "bash" black men. I do, however, criticize certain types of black men.

    Now listen carefully, Joe, 'cause this concerns you: I also criticize anyone who comes onto my blog, doesn't read me or what I'm about and yet weighs in regardless. I get enough of that from admittedly-clueless-but-still-feel-the-need-to-run-their-mouths-about-POC white folks (see posts on "Freema Agyeman" and "Why 'Preference' is the Racist Mot du Jour").

    Now...if you aren't one of the types of black men I listed above, pat yourself on the back. Good for you. But don't go all white denial all on me and get mad at black women who criticize dysfunctional black male behavior. It's not just our right as black women, it's our duty. Only the cowardly flee before us.

    If you want to see more black women with black men, um...you're gonna have to go talk to the bruhs about all that.

    And FYI, I was raised by African parents. From the time I was 10 'til the time I was 18, I lived with my father only. My dad, a tenured professor, made it clear from day one that my education was my #1 priority. If my GPA was not a 4.0 or close to it, my ass went nowhere...and even when it was he still ran a tight ship. He also would bring different students to dinner in our home to subtly "show me" the different types of men; after they left he'd review their behavior, discuss their flaws, their virtues, and advise me on what to look for when I grew up. I've been following his advice ever since.

    So yeah, Clyde...my parents did do a fine job raising me.

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  15. During my first year at university, some South Asian-American men and I were discussing IR and I realized that a good chunk of the men in this group were currently involved with women who were of another race. I didn't think anything of it, until it became apparent that all of the men in IR were dating WW and that most had only ever been with WW (along with a few South Asian women here and there.)
    Your post definitely struck a chord with me. Internalized racism is a huge menace in my community, due to centuries of colonization by the British, Persians, Portuguese etc. White female (and male) superiority has become so deep rooted in South Asian culture that the average citizen hardly sees the preference for lighter skin as problematic (an example would be the "fairness cream" or skin bleaching commercials that are blatantly endorsed by Bollywood celebrities in over 36 countries).

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  16. @ Siah

    Thank you. Notice, however, that when you point something like this out, you're "hypocrite".

    It's no different from when whites tell non-whites that we're the ones keeping racism alive because we talk about it.

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  17. as a biracial, i never trust white people when they start going on about how "blacks can be racist" because 9 out 10 times the white person saying it usually did something racist.

    my mom is white, and she is racist...she refuses to see me as a black girl...she considers me white...look at my picture, i don't even look remotely white.

    it sucks coming from an ultra conservative family that tends to support the racism in the republicans...i have no one to talk to when it comes to racism.

    although i am not against interracial relationships, it annoys me when the couple believe one doesn't have to think about the children...my sister is a complete self hater, she won't even acknowledge herself as half black. she is always insulting blacks every which way. that is the kind of crap that happens when you pretend racism doesn't exist.

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  18. @ Moi:

    Thank you for calling me out on my last comment. It certainly was not my intention to devalue the issues attached to interracial dating in your community by stating that "hey, it happens with my people too!”
    I really appreciate you writing this post – it was very confronting.

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  19. @ Siah

    LOL - I was agreeing with you.

    What I was saying was, have you ever noticed how when you point something problematic out in your community, whomever you're "pointing out" calls you a hypocrite.

    POC have to talk about this sort of thing because discrimination against dark skin has plagued our communities for centuries, from Asia to Africa to Latin America.

    I welcomed your comment, dear.

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  20. aah, i gotcha, now :)

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  21. Chile, I hear ya about how members of WW/BM IRRs are DEF on calling ANY and EVERY interaction with a BW no matter how brief or casual to be all about us being "jealous" or "hatin'" on them and their Great Forbidden LUV!

    I've had WW/BM accost me several times in my life when I was out alone, trying to get me to notice them, damn near making out in my lap, obviously whispering, pointing and laughing at me. Oddly their fun usually ended when my White date showed up. The looks on their faces were priceless! I had totes ruined their day by NOT being an ugly, unwanted nigger bitch.

    Hell, I've even gotten the evil eye when I was trying to be NICE. I remember smiling platonically at such a couple just to show them that no, not all BW were hatin' on and grimacin' at them. I got accused of trying to flirt with the guy! After that, I just started treating BM/WW couples as if they were invisible. A tack I take to this day. I got sick of any and every response I've given IN THE PROXIMITY of these couples being interpreted as coming from a lonely, bitter, jealous (of her superior Whiteness no doubt, talk about some racio-misogynistic bullshit), unwanted Black bitch, even as my engagement and wedding rings bling on my left hand!

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  22. @ witchsistah

    LOL - it's about time I heard from you!!!

    @ lifeexplorerdiscovery

    Damn, girl (sorry it took me a minute to get back to you). That sounds like hell. Exactly how does your sister, ahem, explain "herself", you know? Like, doesn't what she ascribe to black folks somehow apply to her as well? Just curious.

    Feel free to talk about racism here. There's plenty of dysfunction to analyze in these parts. Just check out the Drapto Files.

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  23. I know this is a bit old- but I had to comment. I don't know- or pretend to know- what it's like to be a BW on the receiving end of the "I know you don't like me 'cause I'm with a BM look/attitude." But as a WW- in a 16+ year IR marriage that has given birth to 2 beautiful bi-racial little girls- I know what it's like to hear about this shit from other WW. I call it "the secret club." WW A dates/marries a BM, she sees WW B with a BM and feels the need to tell her "my BF/husband is black" like its a some secret club and we're all supposed to be friends. WW A then proceeds to point out every person in the general area- and some people that WW B has never meet/seen that have issues with her dating her BM- most of these people beig BW, who in the eys of WW A are jealous. In Line with what Jasmin said above (though I don't teel people they are ugly) I typically tell these people they are just fucking idiots and maybe the person in question doesn't like them because their a fucking bitch asking to be *not liked*. I say not liked b/c "hated on" would be to harsh, I don't believe we should hate- for any reason- BUT I don't have to like any one.
    That said, I think the problem with WW like my example of WW A- is that they DO indeed think they are 'Special' somehow- thus the need for their imaginary club, they DO ASK to be *not liked* by BW and I-don't-give-a-fuck-who-you-fuck thinking WW who may just happen to be in an IR relationshsip. They need their secret little club and they need acceptance because they are unsure of themselves. My husband may be seen in most eyes as a BM, but to me he's just a man who happens to be black. I certainly don't anounce his race to anyone- espically strangers- as a means of making myself more comfortable in a situation. And if someone does't like me, I'm usually just baffled as to why it could be since my Southern Charm usually out weighs my bitchiness. Usually. On most days.

    @lifeexplorediscovery
    I am SO sorry about how your mom acts. My children are absoutely my number one priority in this hate filled world. I would never deny them- no matter how they choose to dentify themselves in life. That said, I don't want them to HAVE to choose either black or white. I want them to just be THEM. My oldest, she's 11, says she is peachish-brown, a description she came up with all on her own when she learned her colors at about age 2. Mommy was peach, daddy was brown, and this is still how she identifies people. She never heard anyone called black or white until she went to school. And even now- when questionsed further by kids, whose parents teach them NOTHING, but they insist with the "but what are you questions" she says- Im just special! And she is- as ALL kids are. I just hate that people- Most, not all- expect bi-racial children to choose "a side" when they are really neither. I also hate the use of the word mixed when describing a bi-racial person, it sounds like something you would called a dog- oh wait, it is right?
    Be strong girl! Not all WP think like your mom. Trust that you are beautiful by just being who you are.

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