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22 November 2013 @ 07:44 pm
When I was born, the "mixed" marriage (Jewish/Gentile) that produced me made conventional people have to suppress their gag reflex. That was more than 70 years ago. At Swarthmore in the 60s, there were enough of us Halfies to be a recognizable group, and by now that sort of thing is so ordinary it doesn't even register. We figured the same thing would happen with people of recognizably different "races," and it has. Some of today's Halfies.
The Hebrew Hammercock: pic#820100hammercock on November 23rd, 2013 07:29 am (UTC)
And my son, half Ashkenazic Jewish (Austrian/Czech/Polish/Russian) and half Latino (Cuban/Puerto Rican), and 100% adorable and awesome. :)
fjmfjm on November 23rd, 2013 09:12 am (UTC)
That is a very weird page for a non American to read.

a) several of the people supposedly not visible as bi racial clearly are to someone from a culture where people are less scared of making the "wrong" call.
b) They are black? Because they have a black parent? And what does it mean?

ps, if you go to face book and look up either sarah devorah Mendlesohn or Nik Mendlesohn you'll find my siblings: Jewish, Jamaican, Irish
browngirl on November 23rd, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
Hey, fellow Jamaican!

I cringed at the list's title. The US has the weird and awful rule that someone with any discernible Black ancestry is therefore Black (a holdover from slavery which was used to justify enslavement).
fjmfjm on November 23rd, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
I just shuddered. Not saying the UK is not racist you understand, but most of us (particularly in the major cities) have a much blurrier sense of race.

I once had a "white" student (Irish by "blood") who thought of herself as Black. Why? Because when she was about a year old her mother married a black man. She grew up in Brixton, all her friends were Black, she married a Black man and she sounded "Black Brixton" on the phone. She hated going through customs because she got all the same hassle because of her voice.
Kalimackalimac on November 23rd, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
I found it terribly unconscientious of them not to define "Black". On checking up on some of these, I find that they mean "Black enough that, if they'd lived in the antebellum South, they'd have been enslaved," which is a fair definition, but only to make a polemical point and only if you use it explicitly. Which they don't.

But racists do go on about this "taint" thing, which is why the eligible-for-slavery rule was written that way in the first place, so it's worth pointing out that, like all the other supposedly rigid dividing lines between people (male v. female, gay v. straight), race is actually fuzzy.
Maia Cmaiac on November 23rd, 2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
A friend has an adopted son. When someone from the adoption agency said to her, "We have a baby, but he's mixed race," she replied, "Human and what else?"

The agency worker said, "You don't understand--"

"No, you don't understand. Human and what else?"

It saddens me that there are people who would have rejected the baby because his birth parents had different skin colors.

...The concept of "Halfies" has narrowed somewhat since my father's maternal grandparents, both the children of German immigrants, were appalled that their daughter wanted to marry a descendant of Irish immigrants instead of a good German like themselves. (I can't imagine what they'd have said if they'd known his grandparents weren't Catholic.) I look forward to seeing it dwindle away to nothing.
fjmfjm on November 23rd, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)

My great uncle had to go to court to get permission to marry his under age (under 21) girlfriend. Her parents objected because they were German Jews and he was part of that Russian rabble.
Kalimackalimac on November 23rd, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
It would have been nice if your friend had found a way of saying "I don't care about race" without being a dick about it.
A Wandering Hobbitredbird on November 23rd, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's being a dick to call someone out on their assumption that I am likely to be a racist, or to act in a racist way in the specific situation. The social worker could equally well have started with "we have a baby, he's $age weeks old, would you like to see a picture?" As asked, they are treating being mixed-race as automatically a difficulty, whether for the child himself or for the parents.
Kalimackalimac on November 23rd, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
Let me rephrase, then. It would have been nice if the friend had found a way of calling the person out on this assumption without being a dick about it.
Kalimackalimac on November 23rd, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC)
This was frustrating for me because I'm sufficiently out of date that I was only familiar with one of those 16 celebrities. Old fogie that I am, I'm apt to begin such a list with Pushkin and Dumas.

Edited at 2013-11-23 02:30 pm (UTC)