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View Diary: Why? CNN and NPR Present a Potpourri of Tragic Mulattoes Before a National Audience (285 comments)

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  •  Of course it's speculation- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, smartdemmg

    it's hypothetical. I'm just trying to figure out the terminology here, so let's not make it about President Obama. Let's say it's any random person who is light skinned enough to pass.
    Not trying to be argumentative, I really don't get it.

    •  some black people (4+ / 0-)

      who were light enough chose to pass because they knew they would be treated better as a white person. It's sad, but a true fact of life in the early to mid 1900s. They got better work and educational opportunities. But they also in many cases had to cut ties with family members who did not pass.

      Some of my father's aunts could easily have passed, but thank God they did not. I doubt I would have gotten to know them, especially growing up in Mississippi.

      Here's a news feature from a Pittsburgh paper about one sister's experience.

      This would have been too complicated for me, even if I had that complexion. Hard to keep up with the lies and appearances. Once upon a time I would have been angry with them. To me, this is an ultimate betrayal of your heritage. But to them, they saw an opportunity and took it. Can't be too angry about that.

      •  Thanks, I know it's complicated. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, breakingsong

        I guess what I'm struggling with is the idea of calling anyone a mulatto because they're of mixed race. I've always considered it an offensive term, and I actually thought the question about whether it would apply to the Prez was an interesting way to think about it.  
        And I'm pretty sure no one (except an idiot) would call him a mulatto, so I don't get why it's okay to use the term for anyone else.

        •  Honestly (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1, Debby, ogre, kyril

          I don't hear those terms (mulatto, quadroon, octaroon) in this country any more. I think we've moved to slang language that we created: high yellow, red-bone, blue-black, midnight, ink spot. Some of these may be offensive, but I don't think the intent was to insult anyone. At least I don't think so.

          You will hear mulatto used proudly in some Caribbean and South American countries. I'll let others explain why because I really don't understand it. Or maybe I do, but don't want to accept it.

        •  As a white Canadian who will be fifty next year, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, gramofsam1, breakingsong

          I also understood that mulatto was an offensive term.

          I recc'd the diary because two of the African American Kossack voices that I respect most recommended it.

                                  Reading to learn,

          Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

          by Chacounne on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:42:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I thought so too (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, Chacounne, breakingsong

            and am certainly not taking this diary as permission to use the term, but I believe that in this diary it's being used to some intentional effect. What, exactly, that effect is supposed to be is going over my head, but I respect the judgment of the author and the other AA voices who've recommended it.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 12:08:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I understand (0+ / 0-)

          that terms like mulatto, quadroon, and octaroon are common in Brazil -- and that they find it bizarre how we in the US tend to be so emphatically binary (you're either black or you're white).

          A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

          by deminva on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 03:33:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That gets even more interesting- (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            deminva, breakingsong

            my son spends 2 months a year in Brazil, so he's dated Brazilian girls, including some of mixed race. His impression, purely anecdotal from the girls he's known, is that colorism is even worse in Brazil than it is here. These girls were very emphatic that they were NOT black, and they said some things about black people that he found shocking enough to end the relationship.

            So I guess that what looks more enlightened on the surface might not be so enlightened after all.

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