I read a few articles in the past week that make me wonder what will become of the Multiracial community if we do not comment on those articles and those like them.
The first one is about the singer/songwriter, Halsey. She gave birth to a baby while she was wearing her hair in box braids. Apparently, many people did not know that she was Biracial until they saw the pictures, which caused people to surmise that she had been “passing as white.” Perhaps she was just being quietly Biracial. She’s taken a lot of heat since the pictures were posted. No one should judge the race(s) of another person. She has since said that she is Biracial and is proud of her African American heritage and white background.
Then we have Brianna Hamblin, a reporter for Spectrum News 1 in Rochester, New York, who shared an incident on Twitter in which the men’s language about her reached a “disgusting level” and just happened to be recorded by a camera operator. Hamblin is Multiracial and the man who verbally attacked her made repeated made disparaging remarks about the “differences” between Biracial, Multiracial, Black, and White women sexually. We must call out these kinds of horrible treatment, as not fair to any woman of any race(s). We all must speak up.
An interracial couple recently had pre-wedding pictures /wedding photographs taken. He is Black and she is White. They portrayed a slave, complete with chains and a plantation resident, in apparel of the era which was completely in poor taste. Viewing of the photos went viral on the Internet. We must not treat the poor, racist decision of two people to become the focus of our lives. We must not enable “interracial” to become another term for “poor taste.”
These three examples make it clear that if we, as individuals and as a community, do not insist on respect and respectful terminology, i.e. Biracial and Multiracial to be allowed, we will lose the respect it has taken years to achieve. NOW IS THE TIME TO INSIST ON PROPER WORDING FOR OURSELVES, OUR CHILDREN, AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN. This is the time to demand respect.
Susan Graham, President, Project RACE