Tag Archives: James Augustine Healy

White Racial Identity, Racial Mixture, and the “One Drop Rule”

White Racial Identity, Racial Mixture, and the “One Drop Rule”

by A. D. Powell
Presented at Fifth Union, Kingsport, Tennessee
Friday, 18 June 2004

In the days of the Third Reich, the Nazis imposed the “Nuremberg Laws” on German citizens. Assimilated German Jews were told that they were not German. It didn’t matter that their language, culture and self-image were all proudly German. They now belonged to a separate and “inferior race.” Nazi propaganda pictured all Jews as racially distinct from Germans, but the reality was that Jews were forced to wear symbols of identification – yellow Stars of David – so they would not be able to “pass” as German or “Aryan.” People with either one Jewish parent or grandparent found themselves reclassified as mischlings or “mixed race.” The biographies of German Jews and part-Jews frequently speak of “passing for Aryan” and the desirability of having Nordic as opposed to darker or more Semitic looks because the former facilitated the ability to “pass.” Are we having a feeling of deja vu yet?

 

A. D. Powell

While most Americans have been carefully taught that the Nazis were crazy, evil, racist, etc., for “seeing” separate “races” in Europe when they didn’t exist, we are never asked to see the similarity between the Nuremberg Laws that defined Jews and mischlings and our own legal and social traditions of racial classification – especially the myth that white people with a “taint” of Jewish – excuse me – Negro blood are not truly white but secret, “light-skinned” members of the “black race” who are only “passing for white.” Just as German Jews were declared unworthy of the honor of being German, American laws, films, novels, television programs, etc., encourage Americans to accept the idea that even small amounts of “black blood” destroy all right to a European-American heritage and identity. The great difference is that, while the Nazis were avowed racists, today’s American society is based on laws that enforce legal and social equality between the so-called “races.” Indeed, the idea that otherwise white persons can be secret, hidden members of the black race, is promoted by many of the very people who pride themselves on fighting racism in others.

Documentary Genocide and “Lynching” Reputations

In its June 16, 1996 issue, the very liberal and prestigious The New Yorker magazine published an article by Harvard University Afro-American Studies professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in which he denounced the late, highly respected New York Timesbook critic and author, Anatole Broyard, as a “light-skinned black man” who had “passed for white.” Entitled, “White Like Me: The True Lies of Anatole Broyard,” Gates’ article charged Broyard, who was of Louisiana Creole parentage, with “lying” about his “race” because he did not identify with blacks. The attack by Gates and The New Yorker was aimed not just at one man but at all Americans in a similar situation. It was an attack that Adolf Hitler and Walter Plecker would have enthusiastically supported.

Broyard had brought the blood of the “inferior” Negro race into the “superior” white race and “polluted” the latter. But wait! Our mainstream American media don’t believe in superior and inferior races. In our society, the ideals of racial equality and opposition to racism are trumpeted from the rooftops. What’s going on here?

 

A recent major motion picture, The Human Stain (and the novel that preceded it), also solemnly warned the nation that strange, inferior creatures it called “light-skinned blacks” had implanted themselves into the white race. Like the German Jews who looked German, acted German, etc., but were NOT truly German, these strange creatures looked and acted white but were most unworthy of that honor. It sounds almost like one of those horror movies in which aliens take over human bodies in an attempt to walk among us do us harm. Miramax, the company that produced the film, sent special instructions to movie critics to make sure that all of them knew about so-called “passing for white” and would describe the otherwise white protagonist, called “Coleman Silk,” as a “light-skinned black man” who was guilty of the heinous crime of claiming the “honor” of being white when he was tainted by the blood of the inferior black race – excuse me, we don’t believe in that anymore. He tainted the white race with the blood of the blacks in whose equality Miramax and all the other mainstream movie critics claim to believe. Does this make sense? If a man tells you he’s Irish and you later find out that he’s also part-German, do you denounce him as a lying German who only “passed” for Irish? No, because Irish and Germans are considered biological and social equals. If our Irishman is part-German, you are not getting an inferior product. If our Irishman is part-Negro, he is no longer Irish because the Negro blood means you are getting an “inferior” person and not the “superior” person you thought he was. This makes sense if you’re a racist who believes in white racial purity, but all these anti-passing accusations are made by people who claim to be against racism. Why is that?

The Human Stain was only the latest in a string of warnings about the white race being infiltrated by these alien, genetic freaks called “light-skinned blacks.” While those Americans who lived through the pre-Civil Rights era when racism (not anti-racism) was politically correct are aware of the so-called “anti-miscegenation” laws that supposedly prevented Negro blood from entering the white race, most Americans probably learn this lesson from Hollywood. Constant television reruns of films such as the two versions of Imitation of Life, Pinky and various television programs present the horror movie scenario- the inferior, genetic freaks look like us but are not us.

American journalists who write about so-called “passing for white” solemnly inform the public that “one drop” of “black blood” makes you “black” in the United States of America. They admit that this idea is rooted in the presumed inferiority of the race in whose equality they claim to believe. However, unlike other racist practices from the pre-Civil Rights era, we are told that the “one drop rule” is something we should embrace rather than scorn. We are told that those who reject the racism of the “one drop rule” are worthy of our contempt. Why the contradiction? Why is the “one drop” myth the only racist rule that self-described anti-racists in the media and academia are fighting to preserve? Why did the only credible and powerful opposition to the proposed “multiracial option” for the U.S. Census, for example, come from NAACP, the National Council of La Raza and other so-called civil rights organizations? Why are certain questions and matter of fact never presented to the public when the topic of so-called “passing for white” comes up? Consider the following:

* Hispanics and Arabs within the U.S. population show obvious signs of the supposedly dreaded “black blood.” Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic are essentially mulatto nations. Nearly all Mexicans have some black ancestry from the African slaves who were brought to colonial Mexico and then assimilated into the Indian and mestizo populations. Why is there an “escape hatch” for Hispanics and Arabs when their Anglo and Creole counterparts are condemned as “light-skinned blacks”? Whites who are told by family members to consider themselves “black” are told that “society” or “whites” in general hate and despise the dreaded “black blood.” But what racist worth his salt says that the “inferior” Negro blood is more than welcome into the white race as long as it comes speaking Spanish or Arabic?

* Since it is acknowledged that the “one drop rule” is racist, why are we told to preserve it instead of eliminating it? Why aren’t the people accused of “passing for white” hailed as heroes who defied racism instead of being subjected to character assassination and the kind of condemnation usually reserved for child molesters and serial killers?

* Why are black American elites and black-identified mulattoes usually the most fanatical and enthusiastic supporters of the “one drop rule”? Indeed, could this racist myth even continue to exist in polite society if blacks turned against it?

* Why is evidence against the “one drop rule” ignored? Why is the public never told that the antebellum Southern states legally permitted persons with one-fourth to one-eighth “Negro blood” into the white race, and could be even more lenient when the person or family was accepted by the local white community? Why are we not told that the “one drop rule” is not related to slavery but accompanied the rise of Jim Crow segregation and the eugenics movement? Why is the audience not told that no American is legally obligated to call himself “black” and the “one drop rule” depends almost totally on self-policing? Why are they lying to us?

While the Jews of Europe were punished with physical genocide for supposedly “polluting the “pure blood” of the “Aryan race,” Anglo and Creole Americans of partial black ancestry are subjected to documentary genocide and the lynching of reputations. People are declared “black” because some paper or ancestral document has the telltale words “black,” “Negro,” “Colored,” or “mulatto.” Or, like Anatole Broyard, their reputations are blackened after they are dead and can’t defend themselves.

The web sites Interracial Voice and The Multiracial Activist have spent several years challenging the idea of hypodescent. This is the doctrine that the offspring of mixed race unions should always identify with the ancestral group with the lowest social status and never with the higher status ancestry. In those years we have learned many things about “race” in the United States.


American Indian Ancestry and White Racial Identity

All white supremacists hold that white racial purity is essential for the survival of the white race. The support of so-called anti-racists for the “one drop rule” complements this idea perfectly. If a drop of black blood can truly make a white person black, who can blame whites who are opposed to interracial marriage? Bigotry becomes self-defense. Yet, even here there are contradictions. American Indian blood is considered harmless and compatible with white ancestry in a way that black blood is not. We started to ask why an American can say, “My grandmother is an Indian but I am white,” when he cannot say “My grandmother is black but I am white” without his right to a white identity being challenged.

All our lives we have seen people such as the late Johnny Cash, Burt Reynolds, Loretta Lynn, Cher, etc., proudly proclaim their American Indian ancestry without this acknowledgment being taken as a repudiation of their white ancestry or right to a white identity. One of Johnny Cash’s records, called Bitter Tears, is devoted to denouncing the wrongs done to American Indians by that favorite villain of politically correct American history, “The White Man.” But somehow Johnny’s whiteness was not compromised by this. According to the letter of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, most part-Indian whites would not be white, yet few Americans realize this. Why can’t “black blood” be treated like American Indian blood? Why are Interracial Voiceand The Multiracial Activist the only ones asking that question?

Have you noticed that, while Bell Curve-type studies purporting to show the genetic inferiority of blacks appear with some regularity, no one produces studies purporting to show that American Indians are racially inferior to whites? Could this be because the wide acknowledgment of American Indian ancestry in whites protects American Indians from this kind of racial attack? There is no political profit in it. In the two version of the American movie, The Squawman, the American Indian wife of a British aristocrat is clearly presented as racially inferior, but their son is not. The son is even considered a worthy heir to his father’s title and estates in England. Change the wife’s race to “black” and try to imagine that ending.


White Honor, Dishonor, and the Severing of Interracial Family Ties

Sociologist Orlando Patterson, in his cross-cultural study of slavery, Slavery and Social Death, describes a slave as a person with no ancestors. Biologically, of course, everyone has ancestors. But the slave has no official family and no family rights and obligations within society. He is socially dead. In American history, describing a physically white person as nonwhite, especially Negro or black, was a perfect way for white elites to send a message to the white masses: Don’t get too close to or friendly with blacks or mulattoes. Otherwise, you will lose your race, your honor, your whiteness, your very ancestry. You will become socially dead to other whites.

The producers of the 1934 version of Imitation of Life worried about how they were going to present the “passing for white” girl without evoking the specter of miscegenation. Clearly, some “pure white” had to mate with a Negro for the girl to exist. How could they avoid reminding the audience of that? It is no accident that, in PinkyImitation of LifeThe Human Stain and other anti-passing melodramas, you almost never see any parents or ancestors who look like the accused passer. We are told that the absent father of the “passing” girl of Imitation of Life fame was a “real light-skinned colored man” since her docile black mammy would never be so bold and uppity as to mate with a real white man. The point is that we are meant to see the girl as a genetic freak. Whites did not produce her, we are told, and therefore have no family responsibility to her. We are also told that her spiritual descendant, Anatole Broyard, had no white ancestors since there were no “pure” whites among his immediate ancestors. The same could be said for most Latinos, but somehow their lack of white racial purity doesn’t count.

What is a family? What is an ethnic group? What are the obligations of a family? The “one drop rule” and the anti-passing drama tell us that the “passer” has sacred obligations to his socially inferior black-identified relatives which should prevent his upward mobility, but his “pure” white relatives have no obligation to him. Officially, he doesn’t have any white relatives or ancestors. The very term “light-skinned,” which has been used to describe anyone from brown-skinned people to Nordic blonds, is used as a euphemism to avoid saying “white.” We are taught that the “passer” is “light-skinned” but not “white.” Why? Because the word “white” implies a connection to and family relationships with white people – something anti-miscegenation laws and racial classification statutes were designed to destroy.

As previously mentioned, black elites and black-identified mulattoes have internalized many of these racist beliefs that “whites” and “blacks” can never be part of the same family. Yet, the Southern mulatto elite, which traditionally considered themselves the “superior” members of the “inferior” race, have families that are very racially mixed. The “one drop rule” or myth allows them the emotional luxury of hating whites in general while prizing the physical characteristics that white ancestry bestows. Most of the anti-passing hysteria in the post Civil Rights era seems to come from this group. Their fanatical devotion to the “one drop rule” is also used as a moral shield by others who want to promote the “one drop” or hypodescent ideology that proclaimed blacks and mulattoes inferior in the first place.


Hating Whites and Loving White Genes: Black Support of the “One Drop Myth” and White Racial Purity

In 1999 The Washington Post published an emotional article by one of its so-called “black” reporters, Lonnae O’Neal Parker, in which the author described her trauma when she discovered that her first cousin, Kim, was white-identified. This shouldn’t have been too surprising since Kim was born to and reared by a “pure” white mother, looks totally white, and has a “light-skinned” mulatto father who was not keen to identify with blacks.

O’Neal Parker’s article became a nationwide sensation. The Seattle Times and other papers reprinted it and ABC Television’sNightline devoted an entire episode to it. O’Neal parker’s highly irrational thesis was that Cousin Kim and all others in a similar situation have an obligation to repudiate their white ancestry and identify with blacks in order to make up for any wrongs done to blacks and black-identified mulattoes by whites in both the present and the distant past. In other words, the “one drop rule” is not presented to the public as a sign of black moral superiority instead of black biological inferiority. Cousin Kim supposedly chose the evil, racist whites over the innocent, pure-hearted blacks. This is also the way the “one drop” myth was justified inThe Human Stain and the attacks on Anatole Broyard. O’Neal Parker, who is herself mulatto elite – not physically black but not as white as Kim – has no problem incorporating white genes into her family, but she does not want whites in it since whites are defined as the enemy. Only in Interracial Voice and The Multiracial Activist could one find some suggestion that O’Neal Parker’s racial views were – shall we say – not a picture of good mental health.

We find it very interesting that O’Neal Parker insists that Cousin Kim must refuse to be white because “whites” are the enemies of blacks. It was the white-owned Washington Post and other white media that promoted O-Neal Parker’s venom and let it go unchallenged. They were the ones who gave her a forum. In The New York Times, black columnist Brent Staples performs a similar task ; his columns are used mainly to promote the “one drop rule” and denounce “passing for white.” The “one drop” myth is promoted either through blacks or justified as a glorification of blacks.


Racial Kidnaping and Ethnic Rape

What do we mean by a glorification of blacks? At Interracial Voice we started using the terms racial kidnaping and ethnic rape to refer to the practice of claiming as “black” people who were not physically black and did not identify with blacks. Kidnaping and rape are appropriate analogies here because the victims are taken by force – clearly against their will. Anatole Broyard was such a victim. Here are some other major examples:

Michael Morris Healy, an Irish immigrant, arrived in the U.S. around 1815 and established a plantation near Macon, Georgia. He took a mulatto slave, Eliza Clark, as his common-law wife and the two produced 10 children. All of the surviving children were sent North to be educated and protected from slavery since Georgia made legal manumission almost impossible. They were baptized as Catholics and lived the rest of their lives as proud Irish Americans. James Augustine Healy became Bishop of Portland, Maine. Patrick Francis Healy became President of Georgetown University from 1873 to 1881. Michael Morris Healy, Jr. joined the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard) and became a celebrated sea captain, the sole representative of the U.S. Government in Alaska. Now, many decades after their deaths, these proud (and “white”) Irish Americans are being widely promoted as “blacks.” First “blacks” this and first “blacks” that, even though no one identified with blacks could have accomplished what they did. The U.S. Government named an ice cutter after Captain Healy, but only to honor blacks, not him. Indeed, for Captain Healy it is an insult rather than an “honor.”

What is the point of this racial or ethnic kidnaping? Does it prove what blacks could accomplish? No! The Healys were biologically more white than black and, socially, they were white. What can the public conclude except that something is strangely unique, mystical and inferior about black genes? (See http://www.interracialvoice.com/powell8.html)

On November 30, 1944 Calvin Clark Davis of Bear Lake, Michigan died a hero’s death in World War II as part of the U.S. Army Air Force. He was posthumously honored with several medals. However, the “honor” was tainted by the fact that Davis was described as a “black man” who “pretended to be white.” Indeed, Davis’ racial identity has received far more publicity than his military heroics. I wrote an article about Davis for Interracial Voice called “Pissing on the Grave of Heroes.” Davis, we are told:

* passed for white
* lied about who he was
* concealed his race
* faked being white

Remember what I said about having no ancestors? Far from being honored for his military service, Davis is being publicly shamed and dishonored.

Another World War II hero “outed” for alleged “passing for white” was Pvt. Robert Brooks of Sadieville, Kentucky. He died heroically in the Philippines on December 8, 1941. His story appears in Studs Terkel’s book on World War II, The Good War.

Here are other prominent examples of racial kidnaping or ethnic rape:

* Jean Toomer, whose name is taught to schoolchildren and college students as the “black” author of a book of poetry and short stories called Cane, was in fact a multiracial Caucasian who rejected a false “black” identity and wrote extensively on why the U.S. racial classification system should be eliminated in favor of a common “American” identity.

* Alexander Dumas, the French author of the famed novel The Three Musketeers, is presented to American schoolchildren as “black” when he was really three-quarters white and in no way socially “black.”

* Alexander Pushkin, the greatest of Russian poets and father of Russian literature, is frequently presented to schoolchildren as another famous “black” because of one African great-grandfather.

Why are all of these people described as “black” in American schools even though there are no physical or cultural standards to justify that description? Are they claimed as “black” because of a tacit fear that “black” genes cannot stand on their own? Is this a “liberal” version of the old racist canard that miscegenation “improves” the “Negro” race while “degrading” the white race?


The Lies that Sustain the Myth of “Passing for White”

When the “one drop myth” is reported in the mainstream media, no mention whatsoever is made of the evidence against it. Such evidence, if presented, never sees the light of day and is limited to a few people who take pains to study the subject. The American people are not allowed to consider the following:

* If the “one drop rule” is real and enforced by whites, why is a glaring exception made for Hispanics and Arab-Americans? It does not take a genius to see both the physical and historical evidence that Hispanics and Arabs are nearly all “tainted” with the blood of what used to be America’s official “inferior race.”

* Why aren’t Americans told that antebellum definitions of “white” tended to be more liberal than 20th century definitions; people with one-fourth to one-eighth Negro blood were legally allowed into the white race. For example, Edison Hemings Jefferson, the former slave son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (and whose white descendants are the only Hemings descendants to pass a DNA test showing descent from the Jefferson line), was legally white once he was manumitted because the has at least seven-eights white. We should not be surprised that in both abolitionist and Republican Party literature, “white slaves” were frequently used to arouse the Northern white population against slavery. Why are these facts kept from the American people?

* What are the real world standards for saying that someone is “black” and not “white”? Edison Hemings Jefferson is always described in the media as “light-skinned black” who only “passed for white,” but his descendants are acknowledged as white without qualification. Where is the cutoff point? The only one I can see is that dead whites with a touch of the dreaded “tarbush” are “black” and those still living are ‘white.”

In the magazine American Heritage, a white woman named Jillian Sim announced that she had discovered that her great-grandmother was Anita Hemmings, a white mulatto or mixed white who graduated from Vassar College in the late 19th century was almost expelled for being “colored” when a wealthy and envious classmate decided to have her background investigated. Now Vassar proudly claims that Anita, who lived as white for the rest of her life, was their first “black” graduate. Jillian Sim accepts the myth that Anita was a “black” who “passed for white” and she condemns both her paternal grandmother and great-grandparents as “blacks” who “passed for white.” Sim, her father, and her son, however, are still white. The dead are “black” and the living are “white.”

After Broadway star Carol Channing’s recent disclosure that her father was partially black but lived all his life as a white man, you’ll notice that Channing is not described as “black” in the media but her father is described that way without qualification. Moreover, if you look at the Amazon.com comments on Channing’s autobiography, Just Lucky, I Guess, you’ll note that commentators who are black-identified insist on calling her “black” as well.

People as diverse as the actress Mae West, former U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower and former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, etc. have been labeled “black” (usually by blacks and black-identified mulattoes) on the basis of the one-drop myth. There appear to be no standards except opportunism – the ethnic rape charge again.

It is common, we at Interracial Voice have discovered, for black-identified supporters of the “one drop” myth to announce that people don’t “look white” when they’ve been white all or nearly all of their lives. They will shamelessly insist that Carol Channing doesn’t look white and Mae West didn’t look white. They could see the dreaded colored blood all along! Mixed whites who used to travel all over the Jim Crow South as white, are told by fanatical black-identified folks that they are obviously black. These rants are so similar, we swear there must be a school somewhere that teaches black-identified folks nothing but defense of the “one drop” myth.

“Passing for White” is an Honored American Tradition – for Nearly Everyone Else. “Passing” is an honored American custom – for nearly everyone except tarbrushed whites non-Hispanic, non-Arab whites and mulattoes who have the misfortune to be too American or Louisiana Creole. It is not so much your touch of the dreaded black blood that matters, but whether or not your ancestral documents (census records, birth, marriage and death certificates, etc.) bear the telltale words “mulatto” or “free person of color” or “Negro” on them.

The Latino Escape Hatch. Throughout most of the 20th century, Latino elites in the United States (and the government of Mexico itself) argued that all Hispanics should be classified as “white” on all official records – regardless of appearance or ancestry. So a blond person with the “tarbrush” could be labeled “Negro” in Texas while a dark-skinned Mexican with no white blood or European ancestry would be officially labeled “white” – even if he was treated more like a Negro than a white person. Now that is big time passing!

South Asians. Before the Civil Rights era and the rise of affirmative action, South Asians from India, Pakistan, etc. insisted that they were “white.” They were first labeled “nonwhite” and then received the ultimate honor of being called “white.” According to this myth, dark-skinned people from India were dark-skinned “Caucasians” while “tarbrushed” Americans of totally European phenotype were unworthy to call themselves “Caucasian.” Now South Asians are called “Asians” and are eligible for “minority” benefits and the numerous advantages “white guilt” can bestow. Big time passing!

Mississippi Chinese. The Chinese of Mississippi started out as “colored” and many of the men married “Negro” women. The leaders of the Chinese community begged the local white elites for the right to be classified as “white” instead of “colored.” The price the white elites imposed was rejection of all Chinese kin who were part-Negro or intermarried with Negroes. Big time passing and a rejection of family that you will never see condemned on television a la Imitation of Life.

Jew and “Passing for White.” The Jewish immigrant moguls who founded Hollywood prided themselves on rejecting their Jewish heritage and forced Jewish actors and actresses to change their names. That is why Jews named Issur Danielovich, Bernie Schwartz and Betty Persky became Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Lauren Bacall, respectively. You can buy books telling you about hundreds of famous Americans who are secretly Jewish. By “secretly” I don’t mean that they would deny it if you asked them. I mean that they don’t announce it and carefully present a non-Jewish image to the public. This is called passing when the tarbrushed whites do it. It is big time passing!

Working Class “Passing.” Hiding a working class background when one rises in class is considered morally acceptable. In an anthology of autobiographical essays from academics from the working class, This Fine Place So Far From Home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class (Temple University Press, 1995), editors C.L. Barney Dews and Carolyn Leste Law present a stream of stories in which academics from poor and working class backgrounds quickly learn to “pass” as upper middle class in origin and hide their less desirable relatives and backgrounds. In the 1930’s movie, Stella Dallas, the working class mother drives her daughter away so the girl can be reared by her upper class father and have a better life. The film ends with the mother secretly looking at her daughter’s high society wedding while standing outside in the rain. Imagine Imitation of Life ending like that! Big time passing!

Southern Whites in the North and “Passing for Yankee.” One can also say that Southern whites who move North quickly learn to drop the accent and “pass” for Yankee. I once asked Rick Bragg, the former New York Times reporter and author, who is from Alabama, how he managed at The Times when he is so obviously Southern. He admitted that he is an exception. Many others will not deny that they were born south of the Mason-Dixon line, but hope to God that no one brings it up. Think of it! How many white Southerners do you know who are not poor and living in a community with other Southerners who retain their accents or advertise their Southern origins? Big time passing!

Finally, how can there be true equality in this country while the “one drop” myth is presented to the American people as a perverted ideal we must honor – for no reason that makes any sense? I began this presentation with a reference to racial definition laws of Nazi Germany. There is no sense in pointing out the illogic and racism of the Nuremberg Laws while simultaneously upholding the “one drop” myth and its assumptions of white racial purity.

We at Interracial Voice and The Multiracial Activist have spent years arguing with people (the vast majority of them black-identified) who claim to be devoted opponents of racism but fight like hell to retain the myth that all true whites are “pure” and “one drop” of “black blood” makes you “black.” But what we call “race” is a spectrum of human colors and phenotypes that blend into each other. There are no hard and fast boundaries that divide one so-called “race” from another. Whenever we fail to challenge the “one drop” myth and argue in favor of human freedom to choose one’s one own identity, we effectively deny that sacred reality.


Selected Bibliography

Barney Dews, C.L. & Law, Carolyn Leste. This Fine Place So Far from Home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class. Temple University Press, 1995.

Brodkin, Karen. How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America. Rutgers University Press, 1999.

Brooks, James F. Confounding the Color Line: The Indian-Black Experience in North America. University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

Channing, Carol. Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts. Simon & Schuster, 2002.

Clinton, Catherine & Gillespie, Michelle, Eds. The Devil’s Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Courtney, Susan. “Picturizing Race: Hollywood’s Censorship of Miscegenation and Production of Racial Visibility through Imitation of Life.” Genders 27 1998

Crane, Cynthia. Divided Lives: The Untold Stories of Jewish-Christian Women in Nazi Germany. Palgrave MacMillan, 2000.

Dominguez, Virginia. White by Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana. Rutgers University Press. 1994

Dorman, James H. Creoles of Color of the Gulf South. University of Tennessee Press, 1996.

Foley, Neil. “Becoming Hispanic: Mexican Americans and the Faustian Pact with Whiteness,” in Reflexiones 1997: New Directions in Mexican American Studies, ed. Neil Foley (Austin: University of Texas-Center for Mexican American Studies, 1997

Forbes, Jack D. Africans and Native Americans: The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples. University of Illinois Press, 1993.

Gabler, Neal. An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. Random House Value Pub., 1988.

Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717. Yale University Press, 2003.

Gates, Henry L. Jr., “White Like Me,” The New Yorker (June 17, 1996)

Gugielmo, Jennifer and Salerno, Salvatore. Are Italians White?: How Race is Made in America. Routledge, 2003.

Haney Lopez, Ian F. White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race (Critical America Series), New York University Press, 1998.

Hartigan, John Jr. Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit. Princeton University Press, 1999.

Hodes, Martha E. Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History. New York University Press, 1999.

Hoberman, J. “Jump Cuts,” The Village Voice, October 29, 2004.

Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Harvard University Press, 1999.

Johnson, Kevin R. How Did You Get to Be Mexican?: A White/Brown Man’s Search for Identity. Temple University Press, 1999.

Johnson, Kevin R. (Ed.) Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader. New York University Press, 2003.

Kein, Sybil. Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana’s Free People of Color. Louisiana State University Press, 2000.

Kerman, Cynthia Earl. The Lives of Jean Toomer: A Hunger for Wholeness. Louisiana State University Press, 1987.

Loewen, James W. The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White. Waveland Press, 1988.

Logan Alexander, Adele. Ambiguous Lives: Free Women of Color in Rural Georgia, 1789-1879. The University of Arkansas Press, 1991.

Mills, Gary B. The Forgotten People: Cane River’s Creoles of Color. Louisiana State University Press, 1977.

Mills, Gary B. “Miscegenation and the Free Negro in Antebellum ‘Anglo’ Alabama: A Reexamination of Southern Race Relations” The Journal of American History, Vol. 6, No. June 98. Pp. 6-34.

Mosse, George L. Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism. Howard Fertig, 1978.

O’Toole, James M. Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820-1920. University of Massachusetts Press, 2003.

Pascoe, Peggy. “Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of “Race” in Twentieth-Century America,” The Journal of American History, 83 (no. 1, June 1996), 44-69.

Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Harvard University Press, 1985.

Rigg, Bryan Mark. Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military. University Press of Kansas, 2002.

Root, Maria P., Ed. The Multiracial Experience : Racial Borders as the New Frontier. SAGE Publications, 1995.

Roth, Philip. The Human Stain: A Novel. Vintage, 2001.

Sim, Jillian. “Fading to White.” American Heritage. February/March 1999.

Sollors, Werner. Interracialism: Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature, and Law. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Sollors, Werner. Neither Black Nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature. Harvard University Press, 1999.

Suro, Roberto. Strangers Among Us: Latinos’ Lives in a Changing America. Vintage Books, 1999.

Sweet, Frank W. The De-Assimilation of South Carolina. Backintyme, 2000.

Sweet, Frank W. The Destruction of the Louisiana Creoles. Backintyme, 2000.

Sweet, Frank W. The Virginia Origin of the Two-Caste System. Backintyme, 2000.

Takaki, Ronald. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Little Brown & Company, 1989.

Tent, James F. In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Nazi Persecution of Jewish-Christian Germans (Modern War Studies). University Press of Kansas, 2003.

Tenzer, Lawrence R. A Completely New Look at Interracial Sexuality: Public Opinion and Select Commentaries. Scholars Publishing House, 1991.

Tenzer, Lawrence R. The Forgotten Cause of the Civil War: A New Look at the Slavery Issue. Scholars Publishing House, 1997.

Terkel, Studs. The Good War: An Oral History of World War II. Random House, 1984.

Thomas, Piri. Down These Mean Streets. Vintage, 1997.

Watts, Jill. Mae West: An Icon in Black and White. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Zack, Naomi, Ed. American Mixed Race. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1995.

 

From The Multiracial Activist

White Slaves: Chapter 3 of The Forgotten Cause of the Civil War
http://www.multiracial.com/readers/tenzer3.html

From The Washington Post

Parker, Lonnae O’Neal. “White Girl? Cousin Kim Is Passing. But Cousin Lonnae Doesn’t Want to Let Her Go.” The Washington Post. 1999.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A43852-2000Feb28¬Found=true

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Mixed-race History: Some Hidden Information

‘White,”Mixed’ or’Other?’

Some Books and Articles Your Librarian Didn’t Tell you About!

“White by Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana” by Virginia R Dominguez, 1986 — Rutgers University Press.

Dominguez is one of the few serious researchers in the area of racial mixture and white racial identity. She shows the importance of individual choice in overcoming the legal manipulations and bogus statutes of the power elite. She is also one of the few scholars honest enough to see the connection between the Hispanics and non-Hispanics of interracial ancestry. Indeed, she notes that the use of the term “Hispanic” as a racial category is designed to help government avoid dealing with the reality of racial intermixture.

“The Forgotten People: Cane River’s Creoles of Color” by Gary B. Mills — Louisiana State University Press, 1977.

Mills shows the higher than expected status that mixed-blood Creoles had in antebellum Louisiana (as does Dominguez in White by Definition). Remember that whenever you hear references to “black” plantation owners in the antebellum South, someone is trying to steal history from racially mixed people (mulattoes, quadroons, etc.) and give it to blacks.

“Miscegenation and the Free Negro (sic) in Antebellum ‘Anglo’ Alabama: A Reexamination of Southern Race Relations” by Gary B. Mills in The Journal of American History, Vol. 6, No. 1, June 1981. Pp. 16-34.

Check pages 27 through 31 of this long articles and you will see where Mills shows that families of known racially mixed ancestry moved from “colored” to “white” status within a generation or two with the knowledge and consent of the white community. This information totally contradicts the myth of “passing.”

“Race and Kinship in a Midwestern Town: The Black (sic) Experience in Monroe, Michigan, 1900-1915” by James E. DeVries — University of Illinois Press.

DeVries plainly states that the white community of Monroe, Michigan accepted the mobility of part-black whites into the white community. This again contradicts the “passing” myth. DeVries, however, is too much of a “liberal” racist to admit that and offend black elites. He even goes so far as to suggest that the white community of Monroe was “racist” for accepting part- black whites into the white community. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

A quote from the book: “Crossing over was not the silent mechanism that some historians have indicated. It involved not only racial heritage but, ironically, family and personal identity. Could an individual known to have an African ancestry be regarded and defined as white? Yes, the interracial backgrounds and unions off the Fosters and Duncansons were matters of public knowledge. Each of the families had a long, continuous heritage in Monroe, and descendants residing in the community today beat no stigma of race and are generally viewed as Caucasian.” (P. 150)

“Black (sic) Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South” by Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark — W W. Norton and Company.

Johnson and Roark found that a “white mulatto” member of a “free colored” plantation-owning family served in the Confederate Army with the full knowledge and acceptance of the white community. “White” status seemed to be more closely related to loyalty issues rather the strict “purity.” (p. 307).

RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUPS WHO ALSO FACED THE “ARE THEY WHITE, COLORED OR WHATEVER?” QUESTION. IN OTHER WORDS, THE PEOPLE MIXED-RACE ANGLOS ARE ALWAYS ACCUSED OF “PASSING FOR” ARE MIXED TOO.

“Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986” by David Montejano — University of Texas Press, Austin.

Montejano describes the great inconsistencies in defining Mexicans as either “white” or a separate “race.” Mexican-Americans faced segregation similar to a Jim Crow system. The recent PBS series Chicano! also illustrates this fact. The existence of a racially mixed ethnic group with numerous racial phenotypes and class distinctions confounds the efforts of white elites to establish clear racial boundaries. Mexicans are a mixture of Indian (predominately), Spanish and black (from the slaves brought to colonial Mexico by the Spanish). Though they usually fail to mention the third element in their ancestry, many Mexicans have clearly Negroid facial feature and hair texture.

“Colored and Catholic: The Lebanese in Birmingham, Alabama” by Nancy Faires Conklin and Nora Faires. In “Crossing the Waters: Arabic -Speaking Immigrants to the United States Before 1940” edited by Eric J. Hooglund — Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

This article relates the efforts of Lebanese immigrants in Alabama to establish “white” status and make themselves an exception to the Jim Crow laws. The Lebanese were too dark for their claim to “white” status to go unquestioned. You might say they were unknowing victims of the degradation of “Anglo” mulattoes.

“Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans” by Ronald Takaki — Little, Brown and Company.

Takaki states that “In 1909 federal authorities classified Armenians as “Asiatic” and denied naturalized citizenship to Armenian immigrants.” Armenians had to go to court to have themselves declared “white.” South Asians also were also denied “white”status due to their dark skin colors (despite the efforts of Anthropologists who claimed that skin color in “Caucasians” range from very pale to very dark brown or almost black).

“Pocahontas: The Evolution of An American Narrative” by Robert S. Tilton — Cambridge University Press.

Tilton explores the role of Pocahontas and the “Indian Princess” legend in creating white elite identity and legitimizing the stealing of Indian lands. The claim of descent from an Indian Princess is very popular among many whites. Tilton argues that is a way of saying that we didn’t steal the land but inherited it.

Here’s another interesting quote from Tilton:

“…for many base wretches amongst us take up with negro women, by which means the country swarms with mulatto bastards, and these mulattoes, if but three generations removed from the black father or mother, may, by the indulgence of the laws of the country, intermarry with the white people, and actually do every day so marry. Now, if instead of this abominable practice which hath polluted the blood of many amongst us, we had taken Indian wives in the first place, it would have made them some compensation for their lands. …We should become rightful heirs to their lands and should not have smutted our blood…”

The Rev. Peter Fontaine of Virginia, 1757.

“Mixed-Bloods and Tribal Dissolution: Charles Curtis and the Quest for Indian Identity” by William E. Unrau — University Press of Kansas.

Unrau relates how mixed blood or “white Indians” were promoted by government as a “civilizing” influence on real or full-blood Indians. Charles Curtis is often listed as an “Indian” (1/8) Vice President of the U.S., but he was fully “white” in every caste or social sense. We should ask what is the difference, if any, between a “mixed blood Indian” and a part-Indian “white?” What is the role of a “mixed” elite (for either Indians or blacks) in reinforcing ideas of white superiority and institutions of white supremacy? Indeed, whenever blacks insist on claiming people who aren’t of Negroid phenotype for their “race” aren’t they really expressing an inferiority complex and a tacit belief that their genetic stock needs to be improved with the blood of their hatred but adored white “enemy?”

WHEN JESUS CAME, THE CORN MOTHERS WENT AWAY: MARRIAGE, SEXUALITY AND POWER IN NEW MEXICO, 1500-1846. By Ramon A. Gutierrez (Stanford University Press, 1991),

This is an excellent study of racial intermixture in New Mexico under colonial Spanish rule and the early days of the Mexican republic. Check out this passage regarding the origin of the word “mulatto”:

“Professor John Nitti of the University of Wisconsin’s Medieval Spanish Dictionary Project informs me that the word `mulato’ initially meant a racial mixture of any sort. Offspring of Spaniards and Moors were known as `mulatos’ in medieval Iberia, as were later mixtures between blacks and Indians, and between Frenchmen and Indians. Eventually `mulato’ came to mean specifically a mixture between a black and a white. `Mulato’ appears in New Mexican church records, though there is no evidence that the individuals classed as such had any black African ancestry”

Here’s a passage that reminds us of many of today’s Latino leaders:

“Don Pedro Pino, New Mexico’s representative to the 1812 Cortes at Cadiz, reported to that assembly that `In New Mexico there has never been any caste of people of African origin. My province is probably the only one in Spanish America to enjoy such distinction.’ Don Pedro was patently wrong, but advanced the claim to validate a myth he wished to perpetuate, namely that New Mexico’s nobility had preserved their honor and racial purity over the centuries.”

SLAVES WITHOUT MASTERS: THE FREE NEGRO IN THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH. By Ira Berlin (Vintage Books, 1974).

This book SHOULD be called “THE FREE MULATTO OR MULTIRACIAL…” However, Berlin would never have won the National Historical Society Book Award if he had been that honest. Most of the “free colored” caste could be called multiracial as opposed to “black.” The best thing about Berlin’s book is how he details the antebellum laws that acknowledged varying admixtures of black ancestry in the white population (as opposed to the “one drop” rule that really had its origins in the 20th century). Here’s an interesting passage:

“Fearful of pushing too many persons of both colors to the wrong sides of the color line, the South Carolina legislature never legally defined the Negro and left the problem of distinguishing between mixed-bloods and whites up to the courts. South Carolina jurists generally drew the line between white and black at somewhere between a quarter and an eighth Negro ancestry, but they also made legal passing contingent on social acceptability as well. .. Allowing the question of whiteness to turn on public acceptance as well as genealogy enabled many well-placed whites to free their mulatto children from their proscribed status.”

MEXICAN AMERICANS: LEADERSHIP, IDEOLOGY, & IDENTITY, 1930-1960. By Mario T. Garcia. (Yale University Press, 1989).

A really interesting history of Mexican American political leadership and its quest to fight racial discrimination against Mexican-Americans while pretending to be a pure “white” ethnic group. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) constantly went to court arguing that position. However, you’ll never see them denounced for “passing” by black or liberal elites.

SLAVES OF THE WHITE GOD: BLACKS IN MEXICO, 1570-1650. By Colin A. Palmer (Harvard University Press, 1976).

The author details the black slavery in Mexico and the ancestry that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans pretend doesn’t exist.

BETWEEN RACE AND ETHNICITY: CAPE VERDEAN AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS, 1860- 1965. By Marilyn Halter (University of Illinois Press, 1993).

Struggle of Cape Verdean (Portuguese/African) Americans to establish their identity in the United States and their relationship with “white” (still pretty dark) Portuguese.

THE MELUNGEONS, THE RESURRECTION OF A PROUD PEOPLE: AN UNTOLD STORY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING IN AMERICA. By N. Brent Kennedy with Robyn Vaughan Kennedy. ( Mercer University Press, 1997).

The origins, persecution and re-emergence of a Southern multiracial ethnic group. Kennedy provides fascinating accounts of the politics of racial classification.

CREOLES OF COLOR OF THE GULF SOUTH. Edited by James H. Dormon. (University of Tennessee Press, 1996).

How multiracial Creoles have maintained their ethnic identity despite oppression.

THE SHADOW OF BLOOMING GROVE: WARREN G. HARDING IN HIS TIMES. By Francis Russell. McGraw-Hill, 1968).

This book is interesting to students of racial classification because of the racist smear campaign conducted during Harding’s presidential campaign in 1920 – that he was part Negro. Russell provides fascinating detail on this campaign, an issue that the Harding family is still sensitive about. Harding won anyway.

THE SWEETER THE JUICE: A FAMILY MEMOIR IN BLACK AND WHITE. By Shirley Taylor Haizlip. (Simon and Schuster, 1994).

Haizlip starts out as a devoted believer in the “one drop” myth who wonders why she and her mother are the only “white” members of her “black” family. She decides to trace her mother’s missing relatives, imaging them to be “blacks” who are “passing” as white. She’s forced to change her mind as she encounters white relatives who remain “white” despite the revelation of their partial black ancestry. Haizlip herself moves more toward a multiracial as opposed to a purely “black” identity.

THE LIVES OF JEAN TOOMER: A HUNGER FOR WHOLENESS. By Cynthia Earl Kerman and Richard Eldridge.. (Louisiana State University Press, 1987 — 1-800-861- 3477).

Falsely labeled as a “black” author because of his book of poetry and short stories, CANE (which deals almost exclusively with multiracial people), Toomer fought a life-long battle to be recognized for what he truly was. His theories of a “universal man” beyond racial demarcation makes him an important dissenting voice against the hypodescent status quo.
Also see The Jean Toomer Pages

DESEGREGATING THE ALTAR: THE JOSEPHITES AND THE STRUGGLE FOR BLACK PRIESTS, 1871-1960. By Stephen J. Ochs. (Louisiana State University Pres, 1990).

Readers should know that there is a movement among black and liberal American Catholics to create a “black Catholic” history that rightfully belongs to multiracial Americans. Louisiana Creoles are the victims of this attempt to create “black” Catholics, but the most prominent victims are three brothers born to an Irish-American father and a mulatto mother in antebellum Georgia. James Augustine Healy was bishop of the diocese of Portland, Maine from 1875 until his death in 1900. Patrick Francis Healy served successively as professor, prefect of studies, vice-rector, and, from 1874 to 1882, as rector of Georgetown University. Alexander Sherwood Healy served as rector of Holy Cross Cathedral and, for a few months before his death in 1875, as pastor of St. James Parish in Boston. Ochs admits that the Healys did not identify with blacks but with their Irish heritage and were not considered “black” by others. Indeed, not only were the Healy brothers only one-quarter “black” and of caucasian phenotype, but it was their Irish father who reared them as Catholics and paid for the educations that allowed them to rise to such high positions in their Church. Nevertheless, hypodecent fanatics like Ochs claim that “blacks” deserve all the credit.

THE MISSISSIPPI CHINESE: BETWEEN WHITE AND BLACK by James W. Loewen. (Waveland Press, 1988).

Loewen describes how the Chinese moved from “colored” to “white” in Mississippi by agreeing to the demands of the white elite that they cut all ties with part-black Chinese and those married to “colored” wives. You’ll never see the Chinese denounced for “passing” in black or liberal publications.

CHINESE IN THE POST-CIVIL WAR SOUTH: A PEOPLE WITHOUT A HISTORY. By Lucy M. Cohen. (Louisiana State University Press, 1984).

How the Chinese used their in-between status to intermarry with both whites and “colored” in the South.

WHITE BY LAW: THE LEGAL CONSTRUCTION OF RACE. By Ian F. Haney Lopez. (New York University Press, 1996).

How is “white” defined in the U.S.? The definition varies tremendously. Lopez concerns himself mainly with immigration issues and how East Asians, South Asians, Latinos, Armenians, Arabs and others made legal efforts to prove themselves “white” in order to gain U.S. citizenship.

MAKING ETHNIC CHOICES: CALIFORNIA’S PUNJABI MEXICAN AMERICANS. By Karen Isaksen Leonard. (Temple University Press, 1992).

When men from India’s Punjab province were not allowed to bring women with them from India due to racist immigration laws, they intermarried with Mexican women. A multiracial Punjabi-Mexican American ethnic group was the result.

ON GOLD MOUNTAIN: THE ONE HUNDRED-YEAR ODYSSEY OF MY CHINESE- AMERICAN FAMILY . By Lisa See. (Vintage Books, 1996).

The author describes how her multiracial Chinese and European American family thrived in Los Angeles, California despite anti-miscegenation laws. Marriages between family members of Chinese ancestry and “whites” were conducted in nearby Mexico and then the couples moved back to California. California obviously did not prosecute couples who evaded its anti-miscegenation laws the way Southern states did.

THE TEMPLE BOMBING by Melissa Fay Greene (Addison-Wesley Publishing Compnay, 1996).

The title refers to the infamous bombing of Atlanta’s oldest and most prominent synagogue on October 12, 1958 by white supremacists. However, the books is also a social history of Southern Jews, their marginal position in Southern race relations, and their constant fear that their “whiteness” (the “passing” theme) could be challenged.

SCENES IN RED, WHITE AND BLACK: THE EUGENIC ASSAULT ON AMERICA by J. David Smith. (George Mason University Press, 1993).

Smith shows the 20th century link between anti-miscegenation laws and the eugenics movement. Forced sterilization of the institutionalized, racial registration and restricting miscegenation were all linked to the idea of “improving” the [white] gene pool. The best part of the book is the hidden history of the minority of fanatical racial purists who wanted to ban all non-caucasian ancestry (with the exception of small amounts of American Indian ancestry possessed by white elites such as the descendants of Pocahontas) from the white “race.” Special emphasis is placed on Virginia and the men whose names are unknown but should go down in infamy: Walter Plecker (who headed Virginia’s bureau of vital statistics and delighted in hunting down “impure” whites and Indians) and Virginia aristocrat John Powell of the Anglo-Saxon Clubs. Showing the link between black nationalism and white racism, Smith details the friendship between John Powell and Marcus Garvey (both believed in promoting racial purity).

THE RAMAPO MOUNTAIN PEOPLE. By David Stephen Cohen. (Rutgers University Press, 1974).

Also called “Jackson Whites,” this is the story of a multiracial community of Dutch, Indian and black ancestry that has existed since colonial times.

AMBIGUOUS LIVES: FREE WOMEN OF COLOR IN RURAL GEORGIA, 1789-1879. By Adele Logan Alexander. (University of Arkansas Press, 1991).

While the author slavishly subscribes to hypodescent, she provides good historical detail on how the privileged social and educational opportunities of Southern multiracials were due to their often close ties with whites fathers and other relatives (as opposed to the myth of the callous white rapist slavemaster “breeding” more slaves). These privileges created the myth that mulattoes and mixed-whites were the “flower of the colored race.” These “mulatto elites” filled the “Negro” colleges and universities and reinforced the idea that intelligence comes from “white blood.” When you recognize this history, you can see why the NAACP makes the ridiculous claim that losing non-blacks to a “multiracial” category will somehow destroy all the progress that “blacks” have made. Many of them probably still have the tacit belief that intelligence comes from “white blood.”

WOMEN OF COLOR, DAUGHTER OF PRIVILEGE: AMANDA AMERICA DICKSON, 1949-1893. By Kent Anderson Leslie. (University of Georgia Press, 1995).

This book should be read with AMBIGUOUS LIVES. The biography of an “elite mulatto lady” who inherited her white father’s plantation and became the richest “colored” woman in the U.S.

INDIAN SLAVERY IN COLONIAL TIMES WITHIN THE PRESENT LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES by Almon Wheeler Lauber (reprinted 1970 by Corner House Publishers).

This work, originally published in 1913, proves that extensive Indian slavery existed side-by-side with Negro slavery in colonial America in virtually all the colonies.

LUMBEE INDIAN HISTORIES: RACE, ETHNICITY AND INDIAN IDENTITY IN THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES. By Gerald M. Sider. (Cambridge University Press, 1993).

The history of the Lumbee Indian tribe of North Carolina (now officially the largest Indian tribe east of the Mississippi) should be required reading for the study of racial intermixture in the United States. Listed as “free colored” (a generic term for “non-white”) during the antebellum period, they fought a long and constant battle against the state of North Carolina for the right to call themselves “Indians” instead of “Negroes.”

POWHATAN’S MANTLE: INDIANS IN THE COLONIAL SOUTHEAST. Edited by Peter H. Wood, et. al. (University of Nebraska Press, 1989).

This book also deals with Indian slavery. Important mention is made of uneven sex ratios among Indian and early black slaves, with women predominating among the former and men among the latter. Black and Indian intermixture probably far outnumbers black-white intermixture. Colonial merchants waged slave-raids against Indian tribes and “An inestimable number of Indains from many tribes found themselves either being shipped away as slaves from colonial ports or working as slaves in and around them.”

THE ONLY LAND THEY KNEW: THE TRAGIC STORY OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS IN THE OLD SOUTH by J. Leitch Wright, Jr. (The Free Press, 1991).

Emphasis on Indian slavery and intermixture with whites and blacks.

SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS SINCE THE REMOVAL ERA. Edited by Walter L. Williams (University of Georgia Press, 1979).

Good essays on the history of the Lumbees of North Carolina, the Houma of Louisiana, the Catawba of South Carolina and the Indians of Virginia in their struggle for ethnic survival and dignity within a white/black Jim Crow dichotomy.

SLAVERY AND THE EVOLUTION OF CHEROKEE SOCIETY, 1540-1866. By Theda Perdue (University of Tennessee Press, 1979).

THE CHEROKEES: A POPULATION HISTORY. by Russell Thornton (University of Nebraska Press, 1990).

CREEKS AND SEMINOLES. By J. Leitch Wright, Jr. (University of Nebraska Press, 1986).

The three books listed above contain important information on the social and legal implications of Cherokee intermixture with whites and blacks.

THE DEATHS OF SYBIL BOLTON: AN AMERICAN HISTORY by Dennis McAuliffe, Jr. (Times Books, 1994).

This book provides valuable information regarding the legal status and psychology of mixed-blood “white” members of Indian tribes. The author, a journalist, started out by investigating the death of his maternal grandmother, who was part-Osage Indian and an enrolled member of the tribe. Concentrate on the history and ignore the author’s attempt to impose a “one drop of Indian blood” rule on himself and his family – using the “one drop of black blood” myth to justify it. I note that in the many book reviews that appeared when the book was first published, McAuliffe’s historical research was praised but no one took his claim of being a white “Indian” seriously – quite the opposite of what happens when whites claim to be “black” (e.g., Gregory Howard Williams).

THE LIFE OF OKAH TUBBEE. Edited by Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. (University of Nebraska Press, 1988).

This book is an introduction to the autobiography of a Choctaw Indian who was enslaved as a child. The book is marred by Littlefield’s racist introduction, in which he insists on referring to Tubbee as a “black” passing for “Indian.” Littlefield claims that Tubbee was born to a black slave mother and a white father who emancipated the mother and two older children (who later became prosperous members of the “free colored” community but kept Okah Tubee (then called Warner McCary) as the slave of his own mother and siblings. Littlefield, in his devotion to hypodescent, does not want to consider that Tubbee was most likely a Choctaw slave trying to claim his lost heritage.

LONG LACE; THE TRUE STORY OF AN IMPOSTER. By Donald B. Smith. (University of Nebraska Press, 1982).

This story is fascinating history as long as you ignore the racist (“black” passing for Indian) remarks of the author. Long Lance (born Sylvester Long) was born in North Carolina of Indian, white and black ancestry. If his ancestry had been Indian and white only, Smith would praise him to the skies for seeking out his Indian heritage. Smith, however, insists throughout the book that Long was only good enough for his small amount of black ancestry. Long Lance launched a career as a journalist and gained fame as a provocative writer and eloquent speaker for the cause of the North American Indian.

THE LUMBEE PROBLEM: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN INDIAN PEOPLE by Karen I. Blu. (Cambridge University Press, 1980.)

How the multiracial people now called the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina fought the state’s attempts to classify them as “Negroes” and finally achieved recognition as Indians. Fascinating details on how Robeson County depends upon associations and social ties to “define” people since phenotype and “black blood” cannot be depended upon to determine racial classification in the county.

AFRICANS AND NATIVE AMERICANS; THE LANGUAGE OF RACE AND THE EVOLUTION OF RED-BLACK PEOPLES. By Jack D. Forbes. (University of Illinois Press, 1993).

Forbes, a prominent scholar of Native American studies, explores the evolution of racial terminology and the changing meanings of racial terms such as “black,” “mulatto,” and “mestizo.” Forbes emphasizes the constant racial mixing that has occurred throughout the centuries between Native Americans, Africans and Europeans.

POCAHONTAS’S PEOPLE: THE POWHATAN INDIANS OF VIRIGNIA THROUGH FOUR CENTURIES. By Helen C. Roundtree. (University of Oklahoma Press, 1990).

What is especially interesting to students of racial classification is how Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (its infamous “one drop” law) was used to persecute Native Americans.

MANY TENDER TIES: WOMEN IN FUR-TRADE SOCIETY, 1670-1870. By Sylvia van Kirk. (University of Oklahoma Press, 1980).

THE NEW PEOPLES; BEING AND BECOMING METIS IN NORTH AMERICA. Edited by Jacqueline Peterson and Jennifer S.H. Brown. (University of Nebraska Press, 1985).

The two books listed above are excellent histories of the origins, flowering, persecution and resilience of Metis (European and Native American) society in both Canada and the northwestern U.S.

ROBERT STAFFORD OF CUMBERLAND ISLAND: GROWTH OF A PLANTER by Mary R. Bullard (University of Georgia Press, 1995).

Robert Stafford was a wealthy Georgia planter who had several children by mulatto women and provided handsomely for them. The book provides fascinating information on how wealth could socially “whiten” people of known multiracial ancestry.

POOR RELATIONS; THE MAKING OF A EURASIAN COMMUNITY IN BRITISH INDIA 1773-1833 by Christopher Hawes (Curzon Press, 1996; may be purchased from University of Hawaii Press).

The Anglo-Indians were created by intermarriage and mating between British soldiers and Indian women. As early as the 1830s, Eurasians (later called Anglo-Indians) already exceeded the number of British civilians in colonial India. At the time of India’s independence, they outnumbered ALL British residents. Yet, there has been little historical attention to the development of this mixed-race community, the problems which it faced (social, economic and attitudinal) nor to the questions which its rise posed to British authority.

Hawes describes how the mixed-race experience in India is typical of the “European colonial adventure” worldwide. The social and legal experiences of mixed-race people is influenced by class status (especially the father’s status), birth within marriage versus the stigma of bastardy (British discrimination against people born outside of wedlock was especially harsh), and the conflict between the law and family ties.

Hawes’ research shows that the British as individuals had no real qualms about interracial marriage and, contrary to the hypodescent rule, wanted their biracial offspring to be British. The problem lay with British elites whose devotion to the new “scientific” racist doctrines resulted in oppression typical of the mixed-race experience:

a) The mixed-race communities are utilized to maintain colonial authority but denied the highest offices reserved for “pure” whites (with a few exceptions for multiracial persons of great wealth).

b) The colonial power fears that the mixed-race community will present a challenge to “white” authority and blur the lines between the “superior” European and the “inferior” non-European.

c) The mixed-race community (especially its educated elites) maintains its ambition to be treated as part of the European caste, but is subject to laws that prevent a full identification with the ruling nation to which it is bound by blood and culture.

“Eurasian populations…undermined, in the most public manner possible, concepts of colonial rule which depended ultimately on maintaining the illusion of the racial superiority of white European males. The consequent dilemma for Eurasian populations was how they might identify fully with their parent colonial societies, on which they were economically dependent and to which they were culturally bound. They shared in what has been termed the `imagined community’ of nationalism as fully as their European fathers and forefathers, but were denied participation on equal terms. In turn the predicament of colonial authority was how far should it go in acknowledging its children of mixed race. In practice it seems that there was an uneasy compromise in colonial societies between disavowal and acceptance. Parental responsibility and considerations of Eurasian utility to the regime were in tension with concepts of Eurasian political unreliability and the damage which full acceptance might do to perceptions of white prestige.”

DEGAS IN NEW ORLEANS: ENCOUNTERS IN THE CREOLE WORLD OF KATE CHOPIN AND GEORGE WASHINGTON CABLE. By Christopher Benfey (Alfred A. Knopf, 1997).

Benfey spends less time on the famous French painter Edgar Degas and the alleged influence that New Orleans and his Creole relatives had on his work than he does in relating the story of one of Degas’ relatives: a brilliant “quadroon” engineer named Norbert Rillieux who invented an efficient steam-driven apparatus for refining sugar.

When you ignore Benfey’s racist use of the term “black” to describe people who are far from it, you find important information about the privileges and oppressions experienced by mixed-race Creoles in 19th century New Orleans. Rillieux (who is often falsely listed as a “black” inventor) was a highly respected professional whose predominate white ancestry allowed him to utilize his talents in a way that would not have been possible if he had been black.

One of Rillieux’s close friends and major supporter in Louisiana sugar circles was Judah P. Benjamin, the Jewish Confederate luminary who later served as Jefferson Davis’s Secretary of State. In a nice touch of irony, Benfey compares the image of the “mulatto” in American literature with than of the “Jew” in European literature:

“Almost white, almost free, `oriental,’ and effeminate, at once wealthy and a social pariah, the free man of color in his literary depictions occupies much the same place as the Jew in literary Europe. (The first article of the eighteenth-century `Code Noir,’ or Black Code demanded the expulsion of the Jews from New Orleans.) Jews and free men of color were difficult to detect; they often LOOKED like white citizens, and passed for such. It was against the radical `otherness’ of Jews and free people of color that the proper Englishmen and proper Louisiana Creoles respectively sought to define their own uneasy identity.”

When Are Irish-Americans Not Good Enough to Be Irish-American? “Racial Kidnaping” and the Case of the Healy Family

When Are Irish-Americans Not Good Enough to Be Irish-American? “Racial Kidnaping” and the Case of the Healy Family

May 10, 2014 at 12:28am

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When Are Irish-Americans Not Good Enough to Be Irish-American?”Racial Kidnaping” and the Case of the Healy Family

By A.D. Powell

 

Consider the following family history:

 

Michael Morris Healy, an Irish immigrant, arrives in the United States around 1815 and establishes a plantation near Macon, Georgia. Healy and his mulatto common-law wife, Eliza Clark Healy, have 10 children. All of the children are sent North to be educated, baptized as Catholics, and leave any social disabilities of Georgia behind them. The children achieve great success as Irish-Americans:

 

  • James Augustine Healy became Bishop of Portland, Maine
  • Patrick Francis Healy became the rector then President of Georgetown University (1873-1881).
  • Michael Morris Healy, Jr. joined the United States Revenue Cutter Service, becoming a celebrated sea captain, the sole representative of the U.S. government in the vast reaches of Alaska.
  • Alexander Sherwood Healy also became a priest, director of the seminary in Troy, New York and rector of the Cathedral in Boston
  • Three sisters became nuns, one a Mother Superior.

Now, it must be emphasized that the Healy offspring were accepted as Irish American and “white” (whatever that means). The positions they obtained could not have been theirs if they had been black or even dark-skinned. Many other “white” people who knew about the Healys’ mixed-race origins accepted them as Irish-Americans. Are the Healys therefore entitled to be counted among the ranks of Irish-Americans and included in Irish-American history?

 

 

Not according to “black” elites and their “white liberal” allies. Years after their deaths, the Healy family is being claimed as “black” because of their achievements. As in the case of Anatole Broyard, the late New York Times book critic and essayist, if they can’t claim you when you’re alive and fighting, the hyenas try to “kidnap” your memory after you’re dead. James and Francis Healy have been betrayed by the Catholic Church they served so faithfully because insecure “black Catholics” want to claim “trophy” clergymen of high rank despite the fact that discrimination and lack of educational opportunities prevented real “blacks” from creating an impressive “resume” in the 19th century. James Healy is now being described as the first “black” American to be ordained a priest and the first “black” bishop. Georgetown University now claims that Francis Patrick Healy (photo right) was the first “African American” president of a predominately “white” university and the first “black” to obtain a PhD.. Some gratitude the Catholic Church has shown! It has insulted the memory of James and Francis Healy by effectively stating that they were not good enough for their Irish-American heritage but only fit to “improve” the “black race” with their “white blood.” The Healys must be turning over in their graves!

 

Captain Michael Morris Healy’s memory was recently tarnished by the United States Coast Guard, which named an Icebreaker, the U.S.C.G.C. HEALY (launched in 1997) after him. Normally, it is a great honor to have a ship named after you. It is an insult, however, when the ship is named after you so the U.S. Coast Guard can honor a “black” hero who was really Irish-American, at least 3/4 white, and identified as both white and Irish. In this case, someone told a group of black schoolkids at Virgil Grissom Junior High School in Queens, New York that they had a “black” hero in Captain Healy. The black kids initiated a letter-writing campaign to get the Coast Guard to name a ship after Michael Healy. Now, these kids may be flattered by the idea that a person of obvious Caucasian phenotype shares their “race,” but it is in fact a racial insult they are incapable of recognizing:

 

  • The Healy family’s achievements do not show what “blacks” could do in the 19th century because they were NOT BLACK.
  • The overwhelmingly European ancestry of the Healy family does not “prove” the biological equality of “blacks.” People will tacitly assume (as they always have) that “superior white blood” gave them their intelligence.

A prime example of the “liberal racism” that condemns the Healys as “black” on the basis of the “one drop” myth while pretending to be anti-racist and sympathetic, is “Racial Identity and the Case of Captain Michael Healy, USRCS,” by James M. O’Toole, director of the archives program at University of Massachusetts, Boston.. (Quarterly of the National Archives & Records Administration, Fall 1997, vol. 29, No. 3)

 

O’Toole begins with a confrontation between Captain Healy and two sailors he was disciplining. He notes that they called him a “God damned Irishman.” O’Toole is very upset that the sailors didn’t call Captain Healy a “nigger.” This seems to him the only natural thing to call Captain Healy. O’Toole throughout the article, projects his own racism and devotion to the “one drop” myth on 19th century Americans who obviously didn’t share his devotion to white racial “purity.”

 

O’Toole’s racist devotion to the “one drop” myth blinds him to racial reality in the 19th century. He assumes that the “one drop” myth was law and universally accepted by “whites.” It wasn’t. Any research into racial classification laws in the 19th century would have shown him that various degrees of “negro blood” were accepted into the “white race,” even in the Deep South. Also, the combination of a person’s looks and the reputation he had established were all taken into consideration in determining whether one was “white” or not. It is obvious that Captain Healy and his siblings succeeded in establishing themselves as second-generation Irish Americans. O’Toole cannot bear this and insists that the Healy siblings were really “African Americans.” He also calls their mother, Eliza, an “African American” even though her ancestry was at least half European.

 

O’Toole also claims that all “whites” believed in “mulatto inferiority” or the doctrine that mixed-race people are biologically inferior to BOTH or ALL “pure” parental groups. He is too ignorant to understand that this doctrine was created as a defense of slavery by pro-slavery intellectuals who wanted to counter the Northern anti-slavery argument that, if slavery is justified on the basis of “race,” then “white” slaves should be automatically free because the negro racial “taint” had been effectively bred out of the line. Lawrence Tenzer explains the origins of this doctrine very well in his book The Forgotten Cause of the Civil War: A New Look at the Slavery Issue. O’Toole would do well to sit at Tenzer’s feet and learn something. O’Toole follows the usual liberal excuse of claiming that “society” defined the Healy family as “black,” but expresses wonderment at the fact that “whites” who knew about Captain Healy’s mixed ancestry still treated him as “white.” O’Toole is amazed that establishing a “white” identity was so easy for the Healys:

 

The apparent ease with which they made the transition from black to white is striking. Hell, any white-identified multiracial could have told him that! First, they didn’t start out as “black.” All things would be made clear if he would stop listening to and promoting “black” propaganda. O’Toole is racist because he accepts the myth that the Healys’ real identity was “black” and that they were only “passing” for white and Irish American. Even though, like so many liberals, O’Toole acknowledges that “Group boundaries are more fluid than we often suppose,” he clearly accepts and endorses the “one drop” myth, passing it off as biological and social reality:

 

Where the Healys are remembered today, it is as African Americans; several of them are now celebrated as the “first black” achievers in their fields. They themselves, however, recoiled from such an identification. Wherever possible, they sought a white identity…

This may seem surprising or even disappointing to us…

 

Why should it be “surprising” or “disappointing” to anyone? The Healys embraced the identity that they believed best defined them. The Irish American identity certainly described the Healys well – far better than any false “black” identity. Does O’Toole really believe that the “white race” is “pure” or totally free from the “taint” of the “race” in whose equality he professes to believe? O’Toole also accepts the “liberal” nonsense that a “white” identity is merely an attempt to escape from “racism” and that the Healys would have cheerfully accepted a “black” identity if there had been no anti-black discrimination. Tell me, in a world free of anti-Semitism, would Jews voluntary call themselves “non-Aryans” or “kikes” or any other term invented to degrade them? Of course not; the question would be considered ridiculous. Why, therefore, do liberal and “black” elites insist that, in a prejudice-free world, people would cheerfully accept a racially degraded identity for themselves. Such idiocy constitutes a total rejection of logic.

 

Captain Healy married Mary Ann Roach, herself the daughter of Irish immigrants. O’Toole’s racism keeps him still amazed that a “white” identity was passed on to their son:

 

He repeatedly referred to white settlers [in Alaska] as “our people,” and was even able to pass this racial identity on to a subsequent generation. His teenage son Fred, who accompanied his father on a voyage in 1883, scratched his name into a rock on a remote island above the Arctic Circle, proudly telling his diary that he was the first “white boy” to do so.

 

Imagine that! O’Toole can’t understand how a boy with a white-identified Irish quadroon father and a “pure” Irish mother could presume to call himself “white” instead of some “black” nonsense. O’Toole appears to be really concerned about those polluting “black drops” contaminating his “whiteness.” He apparently doesn’t want to share his Irish American identity with people contaminated by the blood of the “race” he claims to champion.

 

O’Toole acknowledges that Captain Healy experienced prejudice for being Irish and Catholic, but he seems to be so disappointed that the “nigger” insult never pops up to put the uppity quadroon in his place. Indeed, O’Toole’s liberal racist contention that the Healy family’s Irish Catholic identity was mere social climbing to escape discrimination is even more ridiculous when you realize that, in the 19th century, both Irish and Catholics faced massive discrimination. If the Healys wanted to social climb, they could have become white Protestants.

 

The “racial kidnaping” of the Healy family is an important example of why the “liberal racist” assumption that a publicly-identified European heritage is somehow “too good” for those non-Hispanics “tainted” by “black blood” must be openly and defiantly challenged. We must end this racial “rape.” If the Healy family can be violated in death, it can happen to anyone.