Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me

If you find yourself asking “Is that guy white or black?” (see: Shane Battier, Blake Griffin, Jason Kidd, Delonte West, Aaron Williams, Deron Williams, Mike Bibby, Jordan Farmar), the answer is almost always “he’s half and half.” Why is this complicated or surprising? Hey, it's 2009. Yet I hear this question all the time on internet discussions and, especially, in casual conversation from some close to me. Apparently "part this, part that" is not a psychologically salient category for many people: every human object of inquiry must be deemed one or the other. Of course, even Americans who phenotypically appear undeniably of either European or African descent probably have a little bit of ancestry from the other group.

(Being half one thing and half another, I hope I, Bhel, am insulated from charges that I am an obsessive racialist by dint of making these observations.)

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