The One Drop Rule….Does it favor “Black” People

Last week I was having a conversation with a friend about the CNN series Black in America. The discussion led to one of the hosts of the series, Soledad O’Brien. She is considered “black” but is of of mixed race. My friend was upset because she is not only a member of the Black Journalist Association but also a member of the Hispanic Journalist association. He said she was playing both sides and needs to just be black.

Now I explained to him that in my opinion the “one drop rule” taken to the extreme seems to require that someone of mixed race is to forget their other heritage but being black. I asked him what is someone to do when they don’t look black but has one grandparent who is black. I know of cases like this. Where people who could “pass” as anything else but black try to join a black organization and are told they are not black. In fact I know many Jamaicans who would have a “fit” if you called them black because of one a parent or grandparent who was black or had “one” drop of black blood. I tole him about my wife’s cousin who is a teenager visiting the US from Jamaica. He has grandfather who is black but he looks “Syrian” because of Chinese and East Indian Blood in the other parents and grandparents. He mentioned to me that he has seen so many “Black children” wear their pants “sagging”. Not if he lived in America he would be classified as Black. But in Jamaica he is “Indian” or “Syrian”. There is no way I can tell him he is black by American standard. Some would want him to do this to “prop” up the number of Black people. Does it make sense? Let me not even mention my wife (Chinese/Black) who is “Black” by the one drop rule but referred to as “Hispanic” in Florida and “Chiney” in Jamaica. She does not look “Black”. In fact she tried to join the Black Students Union in college and was “rejected”. There are many other stories out there. The point is the “one drop” rule which was used to “degrade” people of mixed raceĀ  is seen by some to increase their numbers…

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