Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Mixin' it up

About 10 years ago one of my high school teachers told me she thought miscegenation was the answer to our race problems. I had been out of high school for several years by that time and was fervidly studying African American literature and culture. I thought she was dazed by her idealism and that it was very convenient for her to think that would solve our problems. Turns out, she's not the only person thinking this way. Andrew Sullivan had a post recently about miscegenation as a balm. His idea is that the new reports of rising rates of black women/white men marriages mean that a) black women are "making it" and b) that they're helping create a future where race won't be restrictive, because people will be mixed together.

I think his view is also a bit convenient, like the aforementioned high school teacher. However, unlike the me of a decade ago, I'm not stuck on the idea of inter-racial love as more negative than positive. (Though I must admit, particularly when it comes to black men, I've still got some healing to do.) Now, I'm concerned that the turnaround on miscegenation may just mean we'll have another label for people. So we'll have blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians and "colored." And this doesn't seem like a good thing. So I'm still pondering the miscegenation as salvation argument and I think we've to to look out for the creation of another label, which doesn't solve anything. One other question this discussion raises with me is what happens to the people who aren't recently mixed ('cause many of us are mixed somewhere in our lineage)? If miscegenation is the answer, are we obsolete?

No comments: