one-drop rule

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 2 02:19:26 UTC 2010

On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 7:02 AM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at> wrote:
> hist.

Not precisely true. As was pointed out in a thread from a while ago,
were the concept truly merely a "blast from the past," the history of
civil rights in the United States might very well have proceeded quite
differently. Suppose that protagonists as disparate as Thurgood
Marshall and Huey Long had been psychologically able to regard
themselves as members of a group distinct from that to which, e.g.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vernon Jordan belonged. Can you imagine
what a difference it would make, if Obama were regarded as a *white*
man who is "part-black" and not as a *black* man who is "part-white"?

Somewhat OT: After the movie, Flashdance, made Jennifer Beals a
temporary star, I was really caught off guard when she was "outed" as
black by TIME. In an interview published in the Boston Globe, Ms.
Beals revealed that her [white] mother had told her that she was
"mixed." But, she was sure that her late [black] father would have
wanted her to say that she was "black." EBONY subsequently published a
cover story "outing" every notable personage in any field of endeavor
whose ancestry could be traced to any sub-Saharan African on any limb
whatsoever of the family-tree as "black," possibly motivating Tiger's
dad to mount his campaign to keep (white) people from regarding his
son as just another "black" athlete.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
idiotic or unworthy.
–Kathryn Schulz

The American Dialect Society -

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