one tiny soapbox: February 2007
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Saturday, February 24

Funny Thing...

Recent funny quote:

So, how do deaf people speak in "tongues?"

~ Allan, a current TMS Student.


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Friday, February 16

Biracial: All Mixed Up?

Here it is, nearly 4 AM, and I've decided to break my 2 month blog silence with some seriously personal musings from the ol' gray matter's "south 4o."

[What follows is a revelation, or "outing" of certain private thoughts that may elicit both positive and negative reactions among people who've known me for years. Don't worry, though, it's "rated PG".]

It's about being 'biracial' and being attracted to people who aren't "all black."

As some of you may know, my father's Black and my mother's from Italy, which makes me 'mixed' or 'mulatto' or 'biracial' or what have you. And you know what? Because the Lord made me this way, I like being so. Fortunately, I never had a rough time with it - you know, undue pressure one way or the other from friends and family - mainly because several members of my dad's family married white women, providing me with ample and tacit "moral support" to help me to see being "mixed" as nothing too special.

Be that as it may, I was still cognizant of the several trends that swept across the Black community in America's 80s and 90s. Media influences - fueled, no doubt by the recording artist flavor of the day - caused several "shifts" in what we thought was cool with respect to tones of skin. Earlier on in my life, "light-skinned" (or "high yellah," as my dad and his peers called it) was supposedly most attractive. I suppose The
DeBarge family had something to do with that. Later, when Gangsta Rap and sleek, dark-skinned models came on the scene, "we" decided dark was in, and the mulatto crowd got less attention.

Though being light of complexion has seen its hey day come and go several times, one thing I've always noticed about myself is my own tendency to be drawn to the
aesthetics of others like me, biracial people with some "Euro" features (and even to people who aren't Black at all). Particularly women. I say this in light of my recent foray into wife-searching, which has obviously led me across the virtual paths of numerous prospects. Upon recently coming across the face of an unquestionably gorgeous biracial woman, my mind began to revert to that somewhat latent tendency. I had already been leaning toward women of other ethnicities, mainly white and Latina. (At my church, where the bulk of desirable marriage prospects exist, this is the predominate "demographic," anyway.) But, when encountering this particular lady's picture, it was like something clicked, and I realized (or remembered) just how much I'd always been attracted to this "type." It was as though I was just then acknowledging to myself, "aloud," that this was my preference, for good or for ill!

I don't know if I can explain it well enough for you non-black folks, but, among a great many blacks, this can be a pretty volatile subject.

Why? Because there are many of us black folk who are literally enslaved to our cultural "allegiances." This bondage manifests itself in a most insidious way: we think we need to preserve the "purity" and thus the "dignity" of our ethnic heritage by committing many of the same segregative errors our former white slave owners did. We feel a necessity to preserve and protect our "blackness" by marrying our own, buying from and selling to our own, living among our own, etc, etc, etc. There are so many burdensome consequences to this type of thinking - obvious and not-so-obvious - that I couldn't possibly enumerate them all here, in this one sitting. I will say, though, that when it comes to dating and marriage, a lot of Blacks - especially women - are almost fiercely protective of the ideal of preserving the Black family. They'd like nothing more than to see Black men remain faithful to this ideal by preferring and choosing Black wives.

Many would castigate me for having the preferences I have, claiming they're solely the result of media programming. They'd say my likes and dislikes were basically handed to me by the little white man on TV, and in the magazines, and on the movie screens. Further, they decry this as bad, because I, as a member of the Black Community, need to have an equal, if not greater appreciation for "my own" than for the "other." Consequently, the prescribed anecdote to such "jungle fever" has, in part, been counter-programming, using those same media outlets to reverse
the affects of "self-hate" instilled in me by The Man.

Heil, Hitler?!

I never really bought the logic, completely. But, in an effort to tow the "party line," I tacitly accepted this thinking - at least never overtly challenged it - until recently. The one thing that made me see ever so clearly the error in such a rationale was my acquiring a Biblical perspective. Now that I see this earth as temporal, and its people groups as the single race the Lord made them at Creation, I'm no longer compelled to strive to "preserve" anything so shallow or inconsequential. Simply put: it's not "Kingdom" thinking. It's not Biblical thinking.

Political liberals, especially Black ones, would argue that in that last statement I revealed myself to have an insufficient appreciation for the far-reaching impact of slavery on the condition of today's "Black community." To that I'd say they're right. I recognize today's problems among Blacks and other so-called disenfranchised ethnic groups not merely as obvious indicators of the long-term effects of slavery and "race" hatred; that's far too narrow a view. Instead, I see it from a Biblical perspective, being the direct consequence of the presence of sin - past and present - in the heart of (every) man. It's remedy is not the preservation of superficial
ethnic line-drawing, but an accurate teaching of - and ardent obeying of - the Word of Christ.

Product of BOTH black AND white parents

With that said, be it known from this day forth that, I will no longer offer any apologies for being inclined toward marriage prospects with the physical characteristics of "biracial," Latin, Mediterranean and European ethnicities.

Now that I've said my piece, I'm going to bed.


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