One Drop Too Many
The case against racial classifications in America
by Ronald Bronson, Jr.
I’ve spent the past month making the argument through three different pieces of legislation in the United States Senate Simulation I participate in, that racial classifications in the United States are a thing of the past and need to be eradicated. Yet, the most ardent opposition of this measure is the left. That’s correct. The advocates of “fairness and equality” are adamantly against any measure that would actually work to UNITE the nation, instead of wallowing in the days of Jim Crow and segregation.
In the recent debate over whether the 2000 Census would have a “multiracial” category or not, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was the most vocal opposition. Why? Because their fear is that if today’s “blacks” become tomorrow’s “multiracials” or even worse “whites”, that their clout will be diluted. So, in the battle for self-interest many communities and churches across America are promoting “check black” campaigns. They argue that “the Census form isn’t the place to recognize your diversity.”
So, after over one-hundred years the “one-drop” rule is still in effect. That is, the finding of the Supreme Court in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. Homer Plessy said that he had the right to sit in the “white” railroad car because he was white, being only one-eighth black. Yet, the Supreme Court declared that states had to decide “the proportion of colored blood necessary to constitute a clored person.” It’s good to know that we’ve come far, yet still live in a time warp.
I’m not naive enough to suggest that if racial classifications were eliminated by the US Government, that everyone would just forget about race. Not even remotely. But, why do we have to confine future generations to such narrow and totally inaccurate categories that define nothing. After all, we’re talking about breakdown the citizens of this nation based on totally arbitrary and artificial classifications.
More than one in eight blacks who married in 1994 had white spouses. Surely the number has grown since that time. A study from the mid 1950’s found that nearly 75% of all blacks in this country had some white ancestry. Meanwhile, over 20 million whites during that same period were said to have some black ancestry. Add this to the giant influx of Hispanics (of any race), Asians and the already greatly assimilated American Indian population and you’ll find that the “great melting pot” has been simmering for quite a while.
Give future generations the chance to recognize individuals based on who they are, as opposed to what they look like. We owe children of biracial parentage the opportunity to recognize the heritage of both of their parents, instead of being forcibly lumped into one or having to “take sides”.
Ron Bronson, Jr., is a student originally from Central New Jersey. He has been published in a number of publications including USA Today. He is an editor of an independent student newspaper and has served in a variety of leadership roles in national student non-profit organizations over the past six years including the National Junior Political Association and The ChangeAmerica Foundation.
Also by Ronald Bronson, Jr.
Copyright © 2000 Ronald Bronson, Jr. and The Multiracial Activist. All rights reserved.