Diggs sat down with The Grio, to promote his new children’s book ‘Mixed Me’ and dropped the most perplexing statements of his career.
“When you [call biracial kids Black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are and that’s my fear,” he explained. “I don’t want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself Black and everyone thinks he has a Black mom and a Black dad, and then they see a white mother, they wonder, ‘oh, what’s going on?‘”
Bruh. What’s going on with you?
Walker isn’t a science project in need of dissection. It’s pretty simple. He’s biracial.
After the initial backlash to his interview, Diggs offered this statement:
As Diggs tells us to ‘wake up’, I’m reminded of Tiger Woods, a pioneer of ‘New Black’ sentiments. Woods made history when he became the youngest and the first Black man to win the U.S Masters in 1997. But the brother had barely hit a hole in one before he denounced being Black for a new race that he created ‘Cablinasian.’
Black people haven’t cared about Woods or golf ever since.
What’s wrong with being Black? Despite the ‘Black is Beautiful’ movement and popularity of natural hair, there are still Black folks who believe that simply being Black isn’t good enough. When they have a small chance to snatch up some whiteness, they grab it with all their might and hold on to it for dear life believing that the grass MUST be greener on the other side.
Diggs claims that he doesn’t want to define his son but that’s exactly what he’s doing by publicly declare that we recognize that he has his mother’s White blood.
It doesn’t matter what Diggs, his son or anybody thinks he is; he looks Black. He will be perceived as Black. It’s better that he prepare his son for life as a Black man in the world than trying to convince the world that he’s White too. It is irresponsible of Diggs to want this life for his son.
Part of me wants to believe that Diggs is doing this because he thinks it will protect his son. Maybe if the police believe that he isn’t Black then he won’t become another Freddie Gray, Michael Brown or Tamir Rice. But that’s simply isn’t true. Tony Robinson and Darrien Nathaniel Hunt were both mixed when they were gunned down by police in 2014.
I’m sure Diggs’ son will have to face issues with his own identity that many mixed raced children have described having like President Barack Obama who discussed this at length in his 1995 book Dreams from My Father. In the book he said, “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”
But Diggs doesn’t necessarily agree with that either. In the same Grio interview, he also said,
“As African-Americans we were so quick to say okay he’s black he’s black, and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because who knows. Everybody refers to him as the first black president, I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that it’s interesting. It would be great if it didn’t matter and that people could call him mixed. We’re still choosing to make that decision, and that’s when I think you get into some dangerous waters.”
Maybe Diggs doesn’t realize that by passionately declaring his son’s whiteness to the world, it appears that he wants to diminish his son’s Blackness. He may even create a word to similar to “Cablinasian” to describe his son’s identity.
But your son is Black. And it is indeed Beautiful.
On Taye Diggs & Why Opting Out Of Blackness Is A Trend was originally published on hellobeautiful.com