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fuckyeahethnicwomen

The One Drop Rule

fuckyeahethnicwomen:

“In an era where the quantity of blood was the measure of one’s identity, Americans devised a vernacular and legal fractionalization of racial identities in order to determine who was and was not to be counted as white. Mulatto (half-black and half-white), Quadroon (one-quarter black) and Octoroon (one-eighth black) were, in the eyes of the law, not the equivalent of white racial identity. Anti-miscegenation laws were thus further compounded by the one-drop rule.” Debra Thompson

For generations, the boundaries of the African-American race have been formed by a rule, informally known as the “one drop rule,” which, in its colloquial definition, provides that one drop of Black blood makes a person Black.  In more formal, sociological circles, the rule is known as a form of “hypodescent”  and its meaning remains basically the same: anyone with a known Black ancestor is considered Black. Over the generations, this rule has not only shaped countless lives, it has created the African-American race as we know it today, and it has defined not just the history of this race but a large part of the history of America.

Race mixing between Whites and Blacks in America is not new. The unique American definition of “Black” has roots that are almost as old as race mixing on this continent. […] The legal treatment of mulattoes as Blacks, with all of the attached legal disabilities, may have begun as early as the seventeenth century. One of the earliest judicial uses of the term “mulatto” to describe a person of mixed Black-White descent, appears in the Virginia case of In Re Mulatto. Although the opinion consists of a single sentence, and we know of no supporting record to illuminate the facts of the case, its logic constructs the American view of racial mixture between Black and White that has endured for over three hundred years. 

In re Mulatto in its entirety states: “Mulatto held to be a slave and appeal taken.”Without discussion or debate, the court thus apparently articulated the first judicial expression of the rule of hypodescent. Implicit in its  opinion is the finding that the litigant was of both African and European descent, but the court found that the European ancestry made no legally significant difference at all, and the holding is likely to have severed whatever ties this “racial hybrid” had with his European ancestry. In fact, it was the African ancestry that both defined his status and determined his fate.

As racial mixing continued largely unchecked by the laws that purported to prohibit it, the result was children. As intermixture continued through the generations, many children became “light-skinned,” even White-skinned. While in most statutes mulattoes were  classified with Blacks,  ”logic required … some  demarcation between [mulattoes] and white men” in order to establish a clear way of distinguishing someone White from someone who would not be considered White. 

Without a bright line to distinguish White from mulatto, the efficient administration of American society, in which substantial legal rights were based on being White, would have been impossible. Guarding the port of entry to White status was essential to the protection of the delicate social order of a racial caste system, and the persistence and extent of illegitimate race mixing made this an issue of both importance and some delicacy.On the one hand, families considered White for generations had to be protected from the social consequences of an unknown dalliance by a distant ancestor. ”To have pushed the definition [of black] any further would have embarrassed too many prominent ’white’ families.

 As the court noted in State v. Davis, “[i]t would be dangerous and cruel to subjet to this disqualification [being regarded as someone in the degraded class] persons bearing all the feature of a white on account of some remote admixture of negro blood.” On the other hand, steps had to  be  taken to  curb “[t]he constant tendency of  this [mixed-race] class to assimilate to the white, and the desire of elevation, [that] present frequent cases of embarrassment and  difficulty.” Finally, maintaining the color line, however ethereal, was important as a matter of social etiquette. As Chief Justice Lumpkin lamented in Bryan v. Walton: “Which one of us has not narrowly escaped petting one of the pretty little mulattoes belonging to our neighbors as one of the family?”

a.  Adjudicating Fractions of  Blood.  Many states had laws that specifically set forth the fraction of Negro blood necessary to make a person Black. Over the years, this fraction ranged from one-quarter to one drop. The concept of “pure blood,” based as it was on pure conjecture, proved difficult both to litigate and adjudicate. Even though fractional definitions of race gave the appearance of judicial objectivity, fairness, and  consistency, the rational for the  decisions switched fairly quickly from a pseudo-scientific basis to the common social meaning of race.

Christine B. Hickman, “The Devil and the One-Drop Rule: Racial Categories, African Americans, and the U.S. Census

Related: 

ANTI-MISCEGENATION LAWS IN CANADA AND THE US, AND THE CANADIAN INDIAN ACT

jalwhite

where is the solidarity, now?

jalwhite:

tw: Blackface

Well clearly the best way to make a point about racist imagery & NDN’s is to put on blackface! Or something. It’s too early for this shit.

blueklectic

Look. This is real simple for Lupe and all my other faux conscious brothas who walk around with an Ankh for show {read this slowly}

super-eklectic1:

-You do not get to tell Black women how to dress, act, speak or think. 
-You do not get to tell Black women how to conceptualize and use ANY word or slur that has been created to oppress and dehumanize us (i.e. bitch, hoe, slut, etc). 
-You do not get to shame 

or disrespect us for dressing, acting, speaking or thinking in a way that does not coincide with your values or thinking.
-You do not get to tell us how we should feel or speak about being Black women.
-You do not get to tell us about our struggle or silence us when we choose to talk about it.
-You do not get to tell us when we should talk about being black women.

In summary, do not tell Black women what to do. We have built whole nations while simultaneously having your backs making sure you have the rights we don’t even have yet. We are more than capable of thinking, being and existing on our own. Don’t ride so high on your road to blackness and achieving a higher level of consciousness that you forget you came further because of us.

You say you love us, then act like it. *drops mic*

(via deliciouskaek)

drowndeepinblah

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia:

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia:

eclecticspectrum:

vagabondaesthetics:

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia reblogged your post: Baratunde just annoyed me…

So we’re not going to talk about the history of Pan Africanism & the ties between the Civil Rights Movement, Black Pride…

 And?

No one is denying any of this. But that does not mean that everything is peaches and cream because of it. It’s as if the present and the lived experiences of another generation aren’t being taken into account.

Black Pride, The Civil Rights movement, etc hasn’t kept my own family members from making disparaging comments about the entire diaspora and their history. It didn’t keep my peers from shunning my Ghanaian name, hairstyles, and language.

Clearly there is more that needs to be discusses but feel free to keep mentioning this as if it negates everything that has happened afterwards.

Why won’t you stop discussing your identity? :( You’re hurting my feelings.

Very cute my dear :D

Do people think that listing all these things is supposed to keep me from talking about my own life and experiences?

What I don’t understand is how someone who has called me disgusting amongst other things continues to essentially haress me. If I’m so terrible STOP ENGAGING WITH ME.

She has her own blog to run and it’s a well known one at that, yet lo and behold she seems to pop up and derail. It’s pathetic.

I swear I’m gonna have to start reporting people because this is absolutely ridiculous.

Who said anything about you not talking about your life & experiences? Since you called my name you might want to actually read my words. As for claims of harassment? I’m not flooding your inbox with a damned thing & like a lot of people I have come out in the past in defense of black women like you even if I disagree with them. Go ahead & report me for responding to things that get reblogged onto my dash, be sure to mention posts where you call my name & address them to me. Let me know how that works out for you. I’m not popping up to do anything but point out facts. You know those things you like to ignore when you go off on these tirades against the same people who you claim to admire as long as we stay silent & don’t expect respect from people who want it from us.

Oh look it’s the facts police. You bring up these facts as if I’m not aware of them. You bring up these facts as if they soothe tensions, as if they are supposed to keep me from voicing my concerns on my own blog. 

You interject these facts not to make things nuanced but create excuses for negative manifestations of folks trying to reconnect with Africa.

No one is forcing you to reblog anything that comes onto your dash. You do that on your own. You make a choice to derail. 

I’ve said everything that I need to say. If you want to keep reblogging and spreading more falsehoods carry on.

No, I bring up these facts when you come at a man about his name like he doesn’t have a right to his feelings about the way people treat him. I bring up these facts when you ignore them to justify your attitudes instead of thinking about them & what the choices of earlier generations mean to this generation. I am not making excuses for a damned thing, but I’m also not going to accept this “We said go away, so go away” routine when it ignores a history of entreaties to return as well as current ongoing government supported efforts by various countries in Africa to get Black Americans to reconnect & bring their money & skills back to those places. It’s not derailing to point out reality. But you keep telling yourself we’re not speaking the truth because you don’t like hearing that things are much more complicated than your disdain for us.

I didn’t say that I he didn’t have a right t his feelings. Of course he does. But in an attempt to connect to people, it wouldn’t hurt him to be cognizant of why people respond to him the way in which they do.

I am a fan of his writing. He wrote something and I have right to respond to it. I stated that I did not like the way in which he framed the Nigerian reaction. He has a powerful voice that can influence people. I believed that he diminished the voices of people who have issues, whatever those issues may be with his name.

When he asked for reasons I responded to the best of my ability.

You are pointing out a reality but how large is that reality for everyone? What is that reality like for the people living in my father’s village right now. What is that reality like for the young Africans who are teased in their classrooms? What is that reality like for the Black American children who still believe that Africa is a monolith. How many of them are thinking -  well there was the Civil Rights Movement, Pan-Africanism and W.E.B.

You are mentioning things that are real but unfortunately they do not touch the lives of enough people. If they did this conversation would not be necessary. I am telling you, as a person who has lived in the United States for her entire life, who grew up with a name, history, culture, that was teased, butchered, and ridiculed that in spite of these things these issues are prevalent. My elder brothers deal with it. My relatives deal with it. I dealt with it and continue to deal with it. That is what you are missing.

I am not ignoring history, context, and nuance. I am telling you that with all of those things the problems are still very real.

And if I did not grow up in a home that taught me to not just be proud of where I come from but to question everything, I would be like my father’s generation. I wouldn’t take the time to learn about American history - the full history. I wouldn’t challenge my relatives when they make negative, ignorant, hateful comments about the diaspora. I would join in and nod my head.

If I didn’t have that knowledge, I would not have instantly forgiven the kids who got a kick out of deliberately mispronouncing my name. I’d be hating them instead of laying the blame at the feet of white hegemony.

I have consistently said that I have heard you. I understand you. I see what you are bringing to the table.

I am telling you that it is not enough. Now maybe for you it is. I say maybe because I cannot speak for you. But for me, the wonderful things that past visionaries did, and even some of the awesome things that are happening now, are not enough to offset the present manifestations of all around ickyness.

I didn’t say it was enough. I am merely pointing out that this is a process & a hard one at that. I teach a lot of this history to my kids & their friends. But getting angry with people for fucking up (on either side) without acknowledging that they are individuals & not the institution bothers me. I got plenty of “You’re American, you must be loose” that I know came from a person who got that message & didn’t know better until I aired them out about who I am & what I will not tolerate. No one said the problems are real. What we are saying (and that you don’t seem to be hearing) is that when people come out of their face with hurtful things & seemingly feel no remorse for those things in these conversations? That just adds to the problems & creates the impression that these conversations are attacks. You have a right to feel how you feel, just as Baratunde has a right to talk about his personal life & his name & not have it be about anything in his head but how these things have impacted him. Does that mean that there are unintended consequences? Yep. That’s true of everyone with skin in this game.

(via drowndeepinblah)

drowndeepinblah

to karnythia

blackridinnhood:

karnythia:

eclecticspectrum:

vagabondaesthetics:

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia reblogged your post: Baratunde just annoyed me…

So we’re not going to talk about the history of Pan Africanism & the ties between the Civil Rights Movement, Black Pride…

 And?

No one is denying any of this. But that does not mean that everything is peaches and cream because of it. It’s as if the present and the lived experiences of another generation aren’t being taken into account.

Black Pride, The Civil Rights movement, etc hasn’t kept my own family members from making disparaging comments about the entire diaspora and their history. It didn’t keep my peers from shunning my Ghanaian name, hairstyles, and language.

Clearly there is more that needs to be discusses but feel free to keep mentioning this as if it negates everything that has happened afterwards.

Why won’t you stop discussing your identity? :( You’re hurting my feelings.

Very cute my dear :D

Do people think that listing all these things is supposed to keep me from talking about my own life and experiences?

What I don’t understand is how someone who has called me disgusting amongst other things continues to essentially haress me. If I’m so terrible STOP ENGAGING WITH ME.

She has her own blog to run and it’s a well known one at that, yet lo and behold she seems to pop up and derail. It’s pathetic.

I swear I’m gonna have to start reporting people because this is absolutely ridiculous.

Who said anything about you not talking about your life & experiences? Since you called my name you might want to actually read my words. As for claims of harassment? I’m not flooding your inbox with a damned thing & like a lot of people I have come out in the past in defense of black women like you even if I disagree with them. Go ahead & report me for responding to things that get reblogged onto my dash, be sure to mention posts where you call my name & address them to me. Let me know how that works out for you. I’m not popping up to do anything but point out facts. You know those things you like to ignore when you go off on these tirades against the same people who you claim to admire as long as we stay silent & don’t expect respect from people who want it from us.

I just wanted to reblog this because I got the same “harassment” bull too. Because apparently disagreeing with you and responding when you get reblogged by her is harassment. -_-

I’m saying, you address posts to me & tag them with my name. But I’m harassing you? Nah b. Feel free to take your own advice about blocking or whatever, but don’t try to gaslight me. This broad claims to want dialog, but what I see is a desire for punching bags.

(via blackridinnhood-deactivated2012)

drowndeepinblah

to karnythia

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia reblogged your post: Baratunde just annoyed me…

So we’re not going to talk about the history of Pan Africanism & the ties between the Civil Rights Movement, Black Pride…

 And?

No one is denying any of this. But that does not mean that everything is peaches and cream because of it. It’s as if the present and the lived experiences of another generation aren’t being taken into account.

Black Pride, The Civil Rights movement, etc hasn’t kept my own family members from making disparaging comments about the entire diaspora and their history. It didn’t keep my peers from shunning my Ghanaian name, hairstyles, and language.

Clearly there is more that needs to be discusses but feel free to keep mentioning this as if it negates everything that has happened afterwards.

I’m mentioning facts because the historical context affects the social context. You know that, please stop pretending you don’t know exactly what I’m talking about when I bring up what has come before especially in a discussion of Baratunde’s name & why his parents gave it to him. You’re not going to erase over a hundred years of context & have a real discussion of any of the current issues. It cannot be done, just like these conversations have to include a discussion of imported & exported images as well as access (or lack thereof) to education & what that means for this generations efforts. You seem to think these things are brought up to spite you, but that’s not remotely true. I have been having these conversations for years & the past affects the present affects the future is a truism of any effort to reconcile things across the diaspora.

drowndeepinblah

to karnythia

eclecticspectrum:

vagabondaesthetics:

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia reblogged your post: Baratunde just annoyed me…

So we’re not going to talk about the history of Pan Africanism & the ties between the Civil Rights Movement, Black Pride…

 And?

No one is denying any of this. But that does not mean that everything is peaches and cream because of it. It’s as if the present and the lived experiences of another generation aren’t being taken into account.

Black Pride, The Civil Rights movement, etc hasn’t kept my own family members from making disparaging comments about the entire diaspora and their history. It didn’t keep my peers from shunning my Ghanaian name, hairstyles, and language.

Clearly there is more that needs to be discusses but feel free to keep mentioning this as if it negates everything that has happened afterwards.

Why won’t you stop discussing your identity? :( You’re hurting my feelings.

Very cute my dear :D

Do people think that listing all these things is supposed to keep me from talking about my own life and experiences?

What I don’t understand is how someone who has called me disgusting amongst other things continues to essentially haress me. If I’m so terrible STOP ENGAGING WITH ME.

She has her own blog to run and it’s a well known one at that, yet lo and behold she seems to pop up and derail. It’s pathetic.

I swear I’m gonna have to start reporting people because this is absolutely ridiculous.

Who said anything about you not talking about your life & experiences? Since you called my name you might want to actually read my words. As for claims of harassment? I’m not flooding your inbox with a damned thing & like a lot of people I have come out in the past in defense of black women like you even if I disagree with them. Go ahead & report me for responding to things that get reblogged onto my dash, be sure to mention posts where you call my name & address them to me. Let me know how that works out for you. I’m not popping up to do anything but point out facts. You know those things you like to ignore when you go off on these tirades against the same people who you claim to admire as long as we stay silent & don’t expect respect from people who want it from us.

(via drowndeepinblah)

drowndeepinblah

to so-treu

eclecticspectrum:

karnythia:

so-treu:

bouvier:

so-treu:

bouvier:

eclecticspectrum:

so-treu reblogged your post: Baratunde just annoyed me…

are we still honestly trying to dialogue with this bitch? she hates black americans and will find any reason to shit on…

 You’re still at it huh?

Call me a bitch. Say whatever you wish. It’s getting pathetic and redundant at this point.

Stop being concerned with who is and is not engaging with me. No one is forcing you to be a part of the discussion. If you’re so bothered by me just block me. It’s simple.

I’ve agreed with electricspectrum and arulpragasams a lot, and yet you’re still following me, so-treu. So that makes me a bitch too, and as electricspectrum and I are both bitches, isn’t it hypocritical to still be following me?

well, i follow you because i like you and agree with you on a lot of other things, and i rarely see you reblog electricspectrum. but if that’s how you feel, deuces.

It just feels a bit strange because although I don’t say it in the same way she does, I have similar views on black diaspora topics. I don’t know, I’m not saying to stop or anything, it’s just that I feel like I’ve said some of the same stuff she’s said, but it’s never bothered you in the same way electricspectrum bothers you?

no, because you’ve never said “massa taught you well, didn’t he?” why are we acting like that wasn’t a violent, hateful thing to say, especially given the convo that was happening when she said that??

look, i dont entirely disagree with her either, on all counts. if you remember i initially engaged with her and you and queerhairyvag about all of this. but at a certain point she stops listening, starts projecting, and starts lashing out. and it becomes clear that this is personal for her, as in she personally his issues with african americans. and im sorry some of us are dipshits but if y’all wont stand for us saying “all africans are like this” why should we stand for y’all saying “all black americans are appropriating assholes who dont respect africans and dont know african culture?” which is basically what she’s saying, over and over. no engagement with history, historical context, nothing.

I’m saying a lot of us were actually trying to to have conversations before that shit & the “You’re spitting on your ancestors” routine. I’d still like to actually discuss the issues, but I’m not about to let this yotch shit on people & their families & claim that her words are harmless. Nope. Not going for it.

You can cling onto the “routine” for as long as you see fit. 

Having negative feelings about culture is not unique to one group of POC. 

If someone told me that I spit on my ancestors by because I said that I had no culture I wouldn’t even bother to get upset. There’s history and context - racist oppressive things that have happened to make POC the world over do these things. What ever the reasons are the phlegm is still on the grave.

No one here is spitting on anyone’s history. I continue to try to have these conversations but you are interested in doing nothing but diminishing and derailing. I’m trying to have a conversation with some great people now but here you come being condescending and mention the Civil Rights Movement and Pan Africanism as that softens everything. 

I brought up my frustrations with cultural appropriation months ago. And you derailed then and made the Black American experience the center of the conversation.

I’m not here for it.

And the fact that you refuse to see that what you’re saying is offensive is part of the problem. I didn’t derail a damned thing, I tried to have a nuanced conversation about the reality of cultural appropriation amongst the peoples of the diaspora. You decided that facts & history & context don’t mean a thing unless someone is telling you that your anti Black American rhetoric is okay & acceptable. I’m not about to do that & I’m not going to let your bullshit cross my dash without pointing out the problems with your arguments. Keep telling yourself that everyone should think & feel the way you do. That’s the bigots way out & we all know it.

(via drowndeepinblah)

Fear of a Black Polity

darkjez:

JAMELLE BOUIE

Once the general election kicked into gear, and it was clear that Barack Obama would have the overwhelming support of African American voters, a meme picked up among some white voters. “They’re only voting for him because he’s black.” This, of course, was at odds with the facts. Black voters were initially ambivalent toward the then-Senator, and only embraced him after the Iowa and South Carolina primaries. Moreover, by that point, African Americans had been loyal Democratic voters for four decades; their positive feelings may have stemmed from racial pride, but their material support everything to do with his political affiliation.

Now that we’re in an election year, voters are beginning to reevaluate the president. And for some in crucial swing states like Ohio, his race has reemerged as a sticking point:

“I’ll just come right out and say it: he was elected because of his race,” said Sara Reese, a bank employee who said she voted for Ralph Nader in 2008, even though she usually votes Democrat. […]

Many who raised race as a concern cast Mr. Obama as a flawed candidate carried to victory by blacks voting for the first time. Others expressed concerns indirectly, through suspicions about Mr. Obama’s background and questions about his faith.

“He was like, ‘Here I am, I’m black and I’m proud,’ ” said Lesia Felsoci, a bank employee drinking a beer in an Applebee’s. “To me, he didn’t have a platform. Black people voted him in, that’s why he won. It was black ignorance.”

There are a few ideas at work here. The first is a perception that Obama is an “affirmative action candidate.” Far from someone who pulled himself up from modest beginnings, Obama is seen as a victor of the (perceived) racial spoils system. Everything, from his Harvard law degree to his Illinois Senate seat, was the result of guilt-induced white generosity.

Second, is the striking attitude toward black political agency. Traditionally, overwhelming black support has always gone toward white candidates: John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, etc. But this never came with complaints; no one questioned Clinton’s legitimacy because he received 84 percent of African American votes. 2008 was the first time in history that African Americans could give their one-sided support to a black presidential candidate, and at the same time, it was one of the few times (in the 20th century, at least) when voters questioned that president’s legitimacy because of his huge support from black voters.

This, I think, points to a broader discomfort with black political agency, and the relationship of African Americans to our political system. It’s not uncommon for voters to support in-group politicians—white Southerners and conservative Evangelicals come to mind. But African Americans are the only group challenged for doing so; the view captured by the New York Times, for example, is that it was illegitimate for blacks to vote overwhelmingly for Obama. This standard—a requirement to split their votes between the two parties black candidate is on the ballet—is unique to African American voters.

This isn’t a fringe perspective; Herman Cain’s appeal to conservatives was based, in part, on the notion that he had escaped the “Democratic planation.” Likewise, black voters have been described as “brain-washed slaves” who are addicted to government “dependency.” In other words, we can’t trust the political decisions of African Americans because they are tainted by a desire to advance their material interests. It’s “ignorance,” not an informed choice.

I’m not one who sees the current crop of voter identification laws as akin to Jim Crow voting restrictions; they have more to do with naked partisanship than they do with any notion of black inferiority. Buried in that, however, is a genuine unease with black political power and the (real) possibility that African Americans could decide the fate of the nation.

sonofbaldwin

Judge Scheindlin has pointed to a sworn affidavit from state senator Eric Adams, formerly an NYPD officer of 22 years, who alleges that Kelly once said stop-and-frisks are intended to serve as a psychological tool applied specifically to black and Latino communities. Adams told the Guardian that the commissioner made the comment during a 2010 meeting challenging the department's use of a stop-and-frisk database. According to Adams, Kelly said: "He wanted to instil the fear in black and Hispanic youths that every time they leave their homes they will feel that they could be stopped and searched by the police."

gadaboutgreen:

I wish I could say I don’t even believe this shit. 

(via snarkbender)