Daddy’s House (or Knowing Who Your True Friends Really Are)

Daddy's House (or Knowing Who
Your True Friends Really Are)

James Landrith

by James A. Landrith, Jr.
September 1997

Also printed in INTERRACIAL VOICE's Contributing Writers and Their Essays and Project RACE's – From The Executive Director

Those of us involved in the movement towards adding a multiracial category with racial sub-identifiers to the census and other forms that collect racial data are parents of multiracial children, multiracials ourselves or just dedicated to ending the oppression levied by the government and civil rights organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Council of LaRaza (NCLR).

These civil rights organizations have taken a hard line approach against multiracials and don't want to see a multiracial category. Their attitude is rooted in the one-drop rule, an old standby of racial separatists like the Ku Klux Klan, that states that if you have any black ancestors, then you are black and only black, so get over it. These organizations use the one-drop rule to "stack the deck" or artificially inflate their numbers. But they are not alone. Another participant in the racial Jihad on multiracials are white Members of Congress with apologetic attitudes for actions committed by their ancestors. This attitude is fine as a personal choice, but to force multiracials into one-drop compliance based on self-guilt for things their ancestors may or may not have done is disgusting and revolting. Yet another combatant in the war on multiracials are certain black Members of Congress who wish to keep in the good graces of the NAACP by telling multiracials to grow up and just be black. Jim Crow is alive and well in America and he has an NAACP membership.

On May 22, 1997, Harold McDougall, the Washington Director of the NAACP testified at a Congressional hearing on this topic and went on record about feeling uncomfortable about a 12-year old multiracial child (who also testified at the hearing) having the right to self-identify, because his own son could be mistaken for multiracial. Ah, we get to the heart of the matter, or let the black cat out of the bag, so to speak. An overwhelming portion of this campaign of resistance has been fueled by black elitists and their discomfort with accepting their own multiracial heritage and by Latinos who don't admit their African roots. The basic underlying reason for this opposition stems from the fact that most black Americans have white ancestors and that is an uncomfortable thing to think about. Acknowledging multiracials means coming to grips with a heritage they may want to leave buried. If multiracials get the category, then a basic belief of many in the black community will be shattered. Better to leave that white ancestors thing alone, than admit the truth. So the Office on Management and Budget (OMB) and the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards (tasked with providing a recommendation for the collection of racial data for the next census) decided to ease their discomfort and instead stick it to the multiracial community. Who's gonna know? After all, only black people are qualified to discuss matters of race in this country, so no one else cares. Right?

It's time brothers and sisters. It's time to go all out against this racial onslaught against our families and ourselves. The longer we roll over and take it, the longer it will continue. The NAACP and NCLR are rejoicing in the knowledge that they got their way with the Interagency Committee and the OMB. This can be remedied, but you have to start getting vocal and stop treating the civil rights community like strict parents who are going to punish you for stepping over the racial line. They already have.

You are of age. Declare your racial independence and move out of Daddy's house. He's only keeping you around for the tax deduction anyway. Sure, he might get angry, he'll certainly call you names, he already has, but in the end you'll be able to call yourself by your own name – multiracial.

James Landrith is the notorious editor and publisher of The Multiracial Activist and The Abolitionist Examiner, two cyber-rags dedicated to freedom from oppressive racial categorization. Landrith can be reached by email at: or at his personal website/blog.


One comment

  1. From: Cathy
    Sent: November 24, 1997, 3:37 PM
    Subject: your article on identity


    My name is Cathy. I read your article and, as a child of a white parent and a black parent, agree with your ideas. I think it is healthy to tell the child the facts, no matter what they look like. They are of African and European descent, and should know that and shouldn’t hide it. I am confused by people to be many different things, so i don’t think that your child will definately be viewed as black in this world. I have been questioned about my race, and i tell them what i am with pride. They can believe it, like it, or whatever. I don’t care!!! as a child i was called black by everyone, when multiracial and biracial people were pretty scarce and not recognized. But today, things are different, an i am now recognized as both races. I do know that i am not in the “majority”, and my experiences with racism make me the “minority”, But i don’t whine about it, but cherish my uniqueness. I think it is healthy to feel self-acceptance for all you are.

    Hope my opinion gives you some more perspective.


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