Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 13:38:31 -0800 (PST)
From: “Quintan McCullough” email@example.com
Subject: Letter to the Editor
first off i would like to say thank you for creating TMA it is a very important thing that you are doing. Now let me go onto saying a couple of things. I’m irish, black, and blackfoot native american. I grew up being called everything in the book being told i’m this or that. I was told that the society we live in will view me as a black man because my father was black “the one drop theory.” I’ve gone through almost every name as far as an i.d. bi-racial, multi-racial, mulatto, At one time I believed these names were fine, over the past couple of years i’ve come across a word that describes exactly who i am, and i believe we all are. The word is AMALGAMATED it’s a word generally used in science, but it has taken on a a different meaning a more personal one, please bear with me as i explain, all the other catagories we’ve been place in in some form or another expresses parts or seperations (bi=2, multi=many)and i have a problem with that because that’s not who we are we are something new, the meaning of the word is this
“2 or more elements or mixtures coming together to create a new entity or body”
i use it in the this way “2 or more ethnic cultures coming together to create a new culture” can you see the difference in the meanings. I’ve been wanting to create a web site and even start up a co-alition for amalgamated people, but so many of us have been told that we are this or we are that. It’s such an injustice to us, for society to say what and who we are, we a re lacking a voice there are so many of us that are hear but we are sleeping, and we don’t even know it. I try to explain to friends but they don’t understand they think that nothing can be done, i told them if that was the case, blacks would still be slaves in this country, because at that time in the u.s., that’s all they were. Don’t get me wronr i love the different ethnic cultures that make up my past, i love the black side of my family for excepting me with open arms and embrasing me and teaching me their culture, this is meant in no disrespect to them, the same goes for my irsh side, though not as widely accepted. I regret not growing up and knowing anything about the blackfoot nation, but i have done research and studies about that nation,! to get a better understanding about them and see some of them in myself. I just feel that we need to know all of ourself to become truly one with ourself, because to let society deny us of our god given right, is to deny our on existance, if i’ve offended you in any way i’m sorry, but this means enough to me that i have the word amalgamated tattooed on my left forearm. I would love to hear from you. thank you for your time. If there is anything i can do please let me know
Quintan (Quincy) McCullough
U.N.I.T.Y. MAYBE SOMEDAY WE’LL KNOW WHAT IT MEANS
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 00:14:20 -0800 (PST)
From: “George Winkel” firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Letter to the Editor
TMA reader Quintan McCullough (02/15/01) described his “AMALGAMATED” tattoo on his arm, and he urged everyone multiracial to self-identity “amalgamated,” too.
I am all for Mr. McCullough’s freedom to self-identify any way he wishes. But I am not charmed by his selecting the name, “AMALGAMATED.”
Partly the reason is historical. The tap root of “white” racism from 1619 onwards was precisely the dominant “white” community’s irrational fear of “amalgamation” with the “black race.” The very phrase “amalgamation of the races” long referred disparagingly to the interracially blended community.
The reason “amalgamation” is a bad, disparaging term, I feel, is its connoting combination, not blending. (E.g., compare dental amalgam, used to fill teeth.) “Amalgamate,” in interracial parlance is a word, to me, clearly implying the indestructibility of “race.” I think it originally imbued “race” with eternal elemental reality (i.e., “germ plasm”?), which never ever will truly fuse into a new humanity. Coiners hundreds of years ago of the mixed-“race” labels — “mulatto,” “quadroon,” “griffe,” etc. — probably sensed on some level that accepting the indivisibility of blended humanity contradicts the “race” concept. Eventually they hit on the “one-drop rule” as a way to get around this contradiction in “race,” the arbitrary division of the indivisible.
The impossibility of naming all the racial combinations (“amalgamations”?) led to the “one-drop rule.” It restored “race’s” original 18th century function — elevating Caucasian “whiteness” to dominion over all others by divine right. “Black” was made society’s bottom — truly its cesspool — with three other “races” competing to be next to “white.” (Oddly, none wish to be found anywhere near “black,” not even Hispanic sharing richly in the African “blood.”) Actually, the most objectionable aspect of the indestructible “germ plasm” connotation in “amalgamate,” for me, is its implying that “eternal race” is real.
“Race” is not real. It does not exist in the real world. “Race” is a thing of language and imagination. Its only existence is literary, verbal, social (mental, & hypnotic) — words. Therefore, children of different-“race” people are not “amalgams.” Multiracial children, such as Mr. McCullough, are unique human beings, the same as everyone else. Not surprisingly, people tend to resemble both their parents. That is all.
There are no “race lines” creating or marking off any distinct differences between any human populations. Therefore, there is no way of containing or even defining separate “breeding populations” implied by the word “race.” Conclusive proof there are no “race lines” is the fact we all breed easily and well with one another. Moreover, this interfertility obviously has gone on since Man’s first appearance as a species, hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Children often amuse themselves imagining they can see faces in the clouds. “Race” is similar, but it is sinister. “Race” is a mental game of arbitrarily picking out peoples’ complexions, noses, hair, or something, and then hypnotizing ourselves into believing it means real difference. I think a better project for young Mr. McCullough is helping us go about waking up the people sleepwalking under the spell of this damned “race” hypnosis.