Paul R. Lehman, Race, biracial and multi-racial fallacy and fantasy

November 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Posted in American Racism, Ethnicity in America, Race in America | 3 Comments
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Race, biracial, and multiracial are concepts based in fallacies and fantasies. The fact that many Americans embrace them, they create serious problems for all concerned. Many Americans grow up thinking that just because one of their parents belongs to a different ethnic group than the other it means that they are biracial. In order to understand the challenges these terms represent in America we need to examine the problem, the effects, and the solution.

The primary problem comes from the fact that the false concept of many biological races exist. If one would apply common sense to the knowledge available to them they would realize that no pure race of man exist other than the human race…Homo sapiens.  A brief look at world history shows the influences that went into changing the blood lines of people the world over. All one has to do is look at the experiences of people like Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Chaka Zulu, or the impact of The Crusades, the Norman Conquest, and the American Revolutionary War to understand the mixture of ethnicities and cultures in the world. Yet, the fantasy of race persists.

The problem with the various aspects of race stems from the economic influence of slavery. When the Europeans first started to explore the world, the one thing that stood out to them when in the company of other people was their color –white (eighty percent of the world population is of color). The Europeans began to refer to themselves as whites, and the white race. When they came to America and met the American Indians, they called them red men. Later, when the Africans came and were brought to America, they were called black men. However, in the system of slavery, white was of premium value since the most important people in society were white. That value, however, was only in economic terms. A mixed bred Indian or African brought more money at the slave market if part of their ethnic identity included Europeans and was obvious in their appearance. Some of the names given these mixed breeds were mulato, quadroon, etc, for African Americans, and half-breed, for American Indians.                         Certainly, some of the offspring’s of the master, Overseer and other European American men received special treatment. Some of the females were forced into prostitution, housework, nursemaid, and other jobs making profit for the master; some of the males were called” house slaves” and  did work that kept them out of the fields.

The treatment received by these slaves of mixed ethnicity made many of them believe that they were special because they had some of the European blood in them. Because many believed and behaved like they were more valuable than the other slaves; this attitude made them not readily accepted within the slave community or tribal community. Their specialness was only available on the plantation; in regular society, they were still seen as ordinary slaves. For the so-called biracial, buying into the fantasy of a superior white race was at the base of their problems.

After the Civil War no special provisions were made for the freedmen who saw themselves as biracial. However, since many of them thought themselves better than other African Americans, they formed groups of like people and created small communities and clubs that catered only to the so-called biracial people. All their efforts made a difference only within the African American community. European Americans could care less about the games they played trying to imitate them. The effects of their actions were in part to separate them from the European American as well as the African American communities. Many saw themselves as a special race of people– a mixture of the white and the black race. In reality, no one cared about their so-called special racial status but them. The primary factor in this fantasy is the value placed on the European American (white) that would transfer to them in part because of their biological connection.

Today, after the Civil Rights movement, the Cultural Revolution, and the Gnome Project, for someone to identify himself or herself as biracial would underscore the ignorance that speaks to the fallacy and fantasy of race. The world now has the knowledge confirmed that people are more alike than penguins, and more human differences occur within a family with the same biological parents than with other people in the world. So, where is the value in identifying oneself as biracial? As long as people hold on to the false concept of many races of human beings, the chance of creating a superior or inferior race is possible. The best way to deal with the problem of biracial is to clarify it. What have been thought of as race are simply ethnic and/or cultural differences. When we eliminate the word race and insert ethnic group or cultural group we change the human value so one groups cannot be humanly superior or inferior to another since they are all human. All people are multi-ethnic, and many are multi-cultural, just ask someone who has had a DNA study of himself or herself performed.

Cultural and ethnic differences have been a fact of life almost since life itself. When one looks at the Bible, cultural and ethnic differences readily appear. Select practically any book and chances are aspects of culture and ethnicity will play a part in it. The fact that the idea or concept of race never comes up should underscore its lack of importance in the lives of biblical people in general. Evidently, looking at world history and biblical history and finding that people the world over are more a conglomerate than a single source, provide a lesson worth considering.

As stated in my book, America’s Race Problem, the primary problem for all Americans regarding race, biracial, and multi-racial is the fallacy of accepting “race” as a legitimate term. The problem compounds when began believing and acting like the term is real when we know it is fantasy. The idea of a person being part of two biological races is a joke. One part for certain would be Homo sapiens, but what would the other part be?

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3 Comments »

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  1. Couldn’t agree more. For things to change we have to change. Excellent.

  2. I understand your rationale and I applaud you for providing an analysis that is far from being simplistic. However, I feel that the story of those biracial, social climbers has been used too often. Back then (during slavery), you were either White or Black, superior or inferior, rich or poor. Globalization has changed a lot of things. There aren’t only two absolute, mainstream races ethnic groups anymore.
    Acknowledging this fact leads you to understand that when someone refuses to be identified as “black only”, it doesn’t make them systematically feel “white”.
    People will stop defining themselves by races when everybody will have access to the same opportunities.

    Where I agree with you: as an African individual with European heritage and a North American education, I claim to be multicultural, not multiracial. Unlike a biracial person, I don’t have a racial identity issue. I wouldn’t even have had cultural identity issues if people respected the way I define myself.
    Whether you call it “ethnicity”, “race” or “culture”, this little something that defines you makes you different.

    • Thank you for your comment. If you would read some of my eariler blogs on race and ethnicity, you would understand that the first thing to release is the concept of race. Race is a fantasy, a social construction–think of it like Santa Clause. Just because someone says he exist, and others react as if he does exist, does not make it factual. The terms race, ethnicity, and culture are not interchangable–they are separate and unique terms with specific denotations. Please check out a few of my blogs on race and ethnicity then make another comment.


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