Getting to the Essence
I don’t read Essence, Ebony, or any of the other popular lifestyle magazines for black females. I am not in their demographics in any fathomable way. But, every so often they publish something so offensive that it gets my attention. Once in a while they have a commentary that casts multiracial people or parents of multiracial children in uncomplimentary light. The dis pisses me off.
Quite often, they take the self-identity of a multiracial person and make them black. It’s bad journalism, not to mention that it’s just a false thing to do—a lie. What’s the point of stretching racial truth into a lie?
A perfect example is a story titled “Standing With Kaepernick: America Has An Ugly History Of Rejecting Black Athletes” in Essence by writer Feminista Jones, who is a social worker. I won’t even go into the long, ugly history of black social workers sanctioning calling multiracial children black, so they will be adopted by black families, since I don’t know if Feminista holds that belief and I’d hate to make anything up about her. The article starts like this: “San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is protesting police brutality and the mistreatment of people of color in America by refusing to stand during the National Anthem before his team’s football games.” You already know this.
Feminista goes on to say this, “As the news of his bold move spread, Kaepernick has been repeatedly called the “N-word” and has been told to leave the country.” Then she states that Kaepernick’s (white) mother says he brought shame to his family. Sigh.
Colin Kaepernick is multiracial. He identifies as multiracial. He’s not a black athlete. Feminista contends that he is facing such horrible treatment from the public because he is a Black Athlete. He’s not. He has, meanwhile taken flack from black athletes for not being black enough to have taken a stand on this issue.
Stop already! Kaepernick could be purple and should only be judged—if people like Feminista Jones wish to judge—on his actions, not on his color. His team is the human race and he is not a member of any black athlete’s special club.
Ironically, the word “essence” means the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing. In philosophy it means the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc. It’s time for Essence to get real and honest about the existence of the multiracial population.
In the article, Feminista Jones goes back to events that happened in 1936 to black athletes, but this is 2016 and we’ve come a long way in recognizing the existence and contributions of multiracial people. Now it’s time for the black media’s recognition or honesty, at the very least. You can do this. Time is of the essence.