Soledad O'Brien has always been, to my eye, either Caribbean or mixed White-black in appearance.
Is there such a category of people as 'mixed', and does mixed mean that the person can claim either/or, rather than being classified arbitrarily as one or the other?
Traditionally there was not much confusion on this issue. In the 40s and 50s there were entertainers like Lena Horne who today would be called 'mixed'; however, they were originally classed as black, despite having some obviously European-like features (aided by plastic surgery and hair-straighteners, usually). Still despite their non-African features or their lighter coloring they were called 'negro' or 'black.' Not 'mixed', and certainly not White, and nobody suggested that they could choose either/or for their racial identity.
Nowadays it seems even AmRen readers think Soledad O'Brien could just as accurately be labeled 'White' because she has a White parent, and some insist she looks White to their eyes.
One perceptive reader says 'race is not just about skin color.' In other words, race is genetic, not just about outward appearance.
I've seen mixed-race families in which one child will be fairly 'White' in appearance, while another will appear close to 100 per cent non-white. So then can two children of the same parents actually be of different races?
That's what the mainstream media and the PC 'scientists' would have us think. Remember this story from last year?
Then there was this one.
And let's not forget this one.
The 'twin' stories are a special favorite of the 'race is a social construct, take your pick' crowd. Twins are often thought of as identical, (obviously there are non-identical, dizygotic twins as well) so the sets of twins seem to be irrevocable proof that race is a random thing, and that people of any race can produce, willy-nilly, offspring of any race, or children of several races. The more knowledgeable will not believe this, but a great many ill-informed people eat such stories up.
Then there's this story, whose opening paragraph even trumpets:
''If you know someone who still doesn't understand that race is a construct, go ahead and forward them the story about Carole Fraser — and her twins — from The Mirror.
Little Daniel and Martha are brother and sister — they're not black or white; they're both. Or neither. There's all this stuff in the piece about the children being "unusual" and how the chances of having babies of different colors is "a million to one." But as anyone from a racially mixed family will tell you, there are all kinds of skin tones and possibilities and green eyes and ranges of hair texture that can occur.''
And on and on. And it's working, according to the 'race realists' at AmRen, some of whom fully believe that race is a matter of how White (or not) someone looks.
So O'Brien and her White husband, though their children look outwardly European, could possibly give birth to a child that could be called nonwhite -- if that child looks more African, having inherited more of the African genes in the roll of the dice.
Genetically, all the children of any of the couples involved in the stories above are nonwhite, if you divide people into 'White or not'. However, if, along with the 'social construct' believers, you believe that there is a category (or many categories) called 'mixed', or 'half-and-half' then a couple of which one is White and the other not can have children of different races. Is anyone else's head spinning?
If we start making up a category called 'mixed', as some forms allow for when identifying race and ancestry, then we might just end up with all manner of racial classifications, as they have in Latin America. Notice the Mexican list has quite a few labels, but notice the Brazilian list of classifications which has over a hundred.
In earlier times there was the 'one-drop rule.' Not so long ago, black actress Halle Berry (who has a White mother) cited the 'one-drop rule' in asserting that her own child who has a White father is black.
She caught considerable flak for that comment, but she is firmly within American tradition to make that call. However the 'race-realists' at AmRen seem to disagree, just as they disagree about the race of a certain well-known politician. ''He's just as White as he is black!" was the cry back during 2008. ''Why does he want to deny his White side?" they asked indignantly.
Too bad we can't call on our ancestors to sort this confusion out for us; they weren't confused.
One quibble about the 'White' children with a black parent: children of one White and one black parent may look light-skinned, but in most cases their skin will darken and will not always look 'Caucasian.' Even though they may have light-colored hair, this, too, usually darkens by later childhood and the teen years, and may be quite dark by adulthood. This is even true with many European-descended people who were born blond and whose hair darkened to brown or dark brown by adulthood if not sooner. I have known many such people. The children of these White/black couples will grow less European-looking over time.
Though this issue may seem trivial, at least one commenter at AmRen points out to the confused commenters that if we choose to make racial identification a matter of personal choice, or whim, we will end up with a Brazil situation, in which there are very few people of all-European ancestry. If anyone who looks 'mostly' White is classified (or classifies himself) as such, then there will be surprises down the line when a child unexpectedly displays nonwhite features and coloring. There will be a great many non-European genes introduced into our gene pool if we categorize people strictly on outward appearance. But then that's the whole point, isn't it?
And it seems that many Americans have bought the false idea (knowingly promoted by the PC 'scientists') that race is 'just a matter of skin pigmentation.' There are many, many differences which make the races distinct, such as skeletal differences,, including bone density, differences in the muscle development, in cranial size and shape, dentition, shape of the foot, proportions of the body, glands, and even in gestational period. Voice, too, is different; many people have noted that they can tell black from white when talking to an unknown person on the phone, and it is not just about accent. Skin color is the least of it.
And I haven't even mentioned differences in affect and in behavior.
I have to hand it to the 'social construct' crowd; they've even got those hard-line 'race realists' buying their bill of goods.