The word mulatto is not what many people think it is, and for many, it is a word that is distasteful and unpleasant. To some it is an outright insult. The word mulatto goes hand in hand with other offensive sayings like jungle fever or swirling.
The Tragic Mulatto Myth
The word comes from Old Spanish lingo referring to a mule. For those who don’t see the connection, a mule is the cross between a donkey and a horse. It is as outdated and many times as offensive as the “n” word or using the word “boy” to address a grown man of color. Furthermore, though half my child’s ancestors were enslaved and bread for labor purposes, it is not them I view to be the animals. Why would anyone use words to dehumanize the innocent victims of such a travesty of justice?
Now, this term applied to individuals who were equally mixed with black and white ancestry. It excluded anyone with a multiracial heritage, and by now I am sure these “pure bloodlines” are all but obsolete.
It is not uncommon for people with a biracial or multiracial bloodline to be bombarded with inappropriate questions like “Are you adopted?” or “What color are you anyways?”. People with this amazing ancestry are forever being forced to identify themselves and then defend that identity. This makes it difficult in the already awkward tween and teenage years for biracial and multiracial children to really find how they will identify both outwardly and internally.
I think that all multiracial and biracial people have to form their own ethnic and racial identity free from anyone elses subjective opinions including peers and parents. Every child’s journey into the harsh realm of the “reality” of adulthood will be different. That does not men that it cannot be done and them come out healthy, well rounded and whole human beings. The amazing thing about the transitioning into self identification is that it is done from within ones own heart and mind. It is an internal creation that once established no one can ever take it away.
The “tragic mulatto” ideology was derived from Euro-centric ideals that somehow multiracial people are so plagued by an overwhelming and consuming state of racial confusion and the feeling of not belonging anywhere (as if they somehow cannot find who they are because they can never identify) that they will forever be tormented and their life will be one of tragedy.
I am here to tell you that is a crock if I ever heard one!
As a matter of fact the amount of multiracial and biracial people today are abundant. The amount of closed minded and racist people who still think like this are quickly declining in numbers as the new generations take their place among the masses.
These children will have no trouble finding their place with strong and independent parents to help them through those years that are awkward for all teenagers and young adults regardless of color. That is not to say they wont have some unique ones along they way, but these people, these children, are no ones tragedy.~Spring
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