This Racist Campaign

The One-Drop Rule in Modern Times

Back when I was more idealistic than I am now; I would often say there ought to be a law mandating marriage to someone of a different race than your own, so that over time we would eliminate that difference in our society. Human nature being what it is, though, we would just find something else to fuel our differences and prejudices. Perhaps you remember the old Star Trek episode where the two guys, black skin on one half of their bodies and white on the other, were in mortal conflict? Captain Kirk was puzzled over the source of their racial enmity, since their race was apparently the same. They quickly pointed out to Kirk, that no, they weren’t the same race. One was black on the left; the other was black on the right. Exactly our problem, eh?

Jay Nordlinger has an article on the subject of race in politics. He quotes an old saying I had never heard before, but I have certainly pondered the concept: “America is the only country in which a white woman can give birth to a black baby, but a black woman can’t give birth to a white baby”. It’s curious to me that the old “one drop rule”, the intention of which was to exclude someone, is now used to include. Far be it for me to take issue with whatever race or ethnicity a man chooses to claim for his own. All I ask is for consistency, and that it not be done for disingenuous or self-serving reasons. The same goes for choice of churches, by the way, but that’s another kettle of fish.

I am not too keen on the use of a hyphen to qualify what kind of American you are. It is another tool to divide us and can too easily be taken to the point of silliness. For example, why call me Irish-American when my last Irish ancestor arrived in this country around 1790? If Gary Player was a naturalized citizen (maybe he is), is he then an African-American?

As for Republicans being the most racist party; trust me on this, I have encountered a lot more old (and young) cracker Democrats who freely use the “n” word to describe Obama than Republicans. Far more. (By the way, I am authorized to use the term ‘cracker’ – having grown up in the Cracker State.) I am very amused by that, because it is jeopardizing their Yellow-Dog Democrat status.

I sometimes use the one-drop rule in my household. All in good fun, of course. I tell my wife and daughter they are not white women, because of my wife’s Cherokee heritage. Short of my idealistic law I opened with, I don’t know how long it will take for us to all be able to joke about race, but it can not come too quickly. Race is not very funny right about now.

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