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portrait of Denise Oliver Velez by photographer William Salomon Orellana, used with his permission.
Denise Oliver Velez, (photo Will Orellana)
This is what I look like. The result of an ancestry of a bicentennial of breeding farms and rape during the enslavement period on one side of the family, and a loving marriage between a white Kansan grandmother and a black grandfather from Tennessee on the other (whose marriage was illegal in many parts of the U.S. in 1915 when they wed).

Since we've been informed by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen that the sight of "us" (and we number in the millions) makes racists he refuses to call racists gag—I suggest strongly that they complete the process.

Puke on.

I've read outraged responses to his column, from Ta-Nehisi Coates, to Hunter here at Daily Kos, to Salon and more, but still haven't been able to shake off my own anger at Cohen (and his WaPo bosses) whose inability to state that gaggers=teabaggers=racists, displays once again his Paleolithic punditry and history of racism, sexism and homophobia.

What was also bizarre was while using the de Blasio family as an example of what evokes choking (de Blasio who just won by a landslide in NYC), he singles out Harry Belafonte, as if every major civil rights organization hasn't called out the Teapublican brand of hate, and as if Republicans across the board haven't been supporting racist voter repression, anti-immigration reform, and programs like Stop and Frisk.  

Hey Cohen—if it looks like a racist, talks like a racist, passes racist legislation, it ain't conventional at all—it's racist.  

Recent surveys prove that a vast majority of Americans approve of interracial marriage. Yet his "not-racists" (his holders of conventional views) to whom he attributes a gag reflex still exist, as an antediluvian minority, like the 46 percent of Republicans surveyed in Mississippi who would like to ban it. They are not reflective of national opinion.

I look at myself each morning in the mirror. A black woman, clearly with ancestry not exclusively sub-Saharan African. Such is the nature of the "made in the U.S.A." label for so many of us "black" folks, and others who reflect a mélange of cross-ethnic marriages and lineages.  

From my point of view anyone who objects to me and mine as some sort of abomination, deserves an 100 percent made by the KKK tag, with hooded accessories.

Follow me below the fold for more.

Our mixed ancestral genesis, and demographics here on these shores, in the Caribbean, Latin America, and even in Europe, or in Africa itself (for example "Cape Coloureds" in South Africa) exhibits no inability on the part of "whites" to mingle sperm and ova with "blacks" or any other form of cross-ethnic fertilization and birth. We are homo sapiens sapiens, not different species. But it took until 1967 for the Supreme Court here in the U.S. to validate the right to marry across racial lines as the law of the land. The irony of Loving v. Virginia, which ended legal discrimination is in the surname "Loving."

I'm fed up with the denial about, and excuses made for Teapublican Christians who talk about Jesus's love on a Sunday morning out of one side of their mouth and excoriate "race mixing" out of the other. The path to the pews should carpeted in the vile retching of hypocrites.

Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. [...] To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State ...

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

Many couples across the U.S. now celebrate "Loving Day."

I know the history of so-called race mixing in the U.S. quite well. It has been standard practice since the pilgrims and colonists arrived on these shores with penises wielded as weapons of rape and ethnocide against Native Americans. Children were often born from these violent encounters. The rape statistics for Native American women do not abate, and those rapes are perpetrated mostly by white men.

What should be making us all puke is the continued abuse of women.  

cover of hoax pamphlet
Hoax pamphlet whose author coined the tern "miscegenation"
From the genesis of the hoax perpetrated by two news reporters which spawned the term "miscegenation" to the theories of the sterility and depravity of human "mules" or mulattoes, to the ideology of white supremacy that unleashed a reign of racial terror typecasting black men as rapists hell-bent on defiling the flowers of white womanhood, to the histories of many free people of color in southern climes due to sexual congress and often love between black men and mainly Irish indentured servant women, to the elite founders, like Thomas Jefferson who sired children with his white wife's half-sister Sally Hemings—race mixing has been as American as apple pie.

Black women were portrayed as demon temptresses exuding savage sexual heat, always available for white men's courser needs, when they were not cast as mammies providing a teat to nurse white babies. Some were "privileged" to be raised to be sold-off as concubines in elaborate quadroon balls of the plaçage system. Others were bred "light" or "bright" for the fancy trade and sold to bordellos.

As long as "union" was illicit, it proliferated. Yet it is the placing of a legal stamp of matrimony on this intercourse that so offended the sensibilities of the pious. Their bigotry has been bolstered by a long history of racialist pseudo science.  

As genetic science has progressed in recent years, we accumulate more data on the geographical ancestry of those of us called "African-Americans" or blacks.  

The popular PBS miniseries African-American Lives featured this data.

With the help of geneticists, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. put African-American ancestry in these terms:
• 58 percent of African Americans have at least 12.5 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one great-grandparent);
• 19.6 percent of African Americans have at least 25 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one grandparent);
• 1 percent of African Americans have at least 50 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one parent); and
• 5 percent of African Americans have at least 12.5 percent Native American ancestry (equivalent to one great-grandparent).

Critics suggested the program did not fully acknowledge or inform guests (and the audience) that not all ancestry may show up in the tests. The genetic tests done on direct paternal or maternal line evaluate only a few ancestors among many. Ancestral information markers (AIM) must also be done to form a more complete picture of a person's ancestry. For instance, MtDNA testing is only of direct maternal ancestors. Unless other ancestry is evaluated, a person may miss a paternal line's connection to Europe. This gives a false impression that the person has little heritage of another ethnic group. AIM markers are not as clearly defined for all populations as suggested, and depend on data still being accumulated. Historic populations migrated, which also influences results. Particularly, critics note that genetic analysis is incomplete related to Native Americans, and new genetic markers for these populations may be identified.

We know that racialist pseudo science is not buried in the past. The internet has a sewer-full of sites that tout opposition to "race-mixing" and intermarriage. The comment sections of websites from Faux News, redstate, freerepublic, and even mainstream news agencies are chock-full of upchuck linking to, or quoting so-called "authorities."  

Like this one: "The health consequences of race mixing" which has links to "studies" and throws in anecdotal observations, and "data":

It is commonly observed that a disproportionate number of white women who end up with black men are obese. Obese women tend to have elevated testosterone levels. Some portion of testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which amplifies the effect of testosterone at certain targets. DHT is also one of the culprits in the genesis of acne. Therefore, a higher incidence of, say, acne in black/white-mixed offspring with a white mother could simply reflect inheritance of the genetics of elevated androgens from the obese white mother rather than an effect of race mixing.

Pure claptrap and bigot babble.

When a Richard Cohen, or any other public pundit asserts "today's GOP is not racist" I admit I'm pleased to see the swift and immediate pushback. More important will be how GOP racism will translate into ballots cast against them in upcoming 2014 elections around the nation. They seem to be in denial that in spite of gagging bigots, we elected a black man of mixed ancestry to two terms in the White House.  

Here's hoping we can retire quite a few more gagger-baggers from statehouses and the Congress.

Let them go home and vomit to their hearts content as private citizens, and while gagging invite Richard Cohen over to share a conventional meal.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, White Privilege Working Group, and Support the Dream Defenders.

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