Hi Meltingpot Readers,
In case you don't regularly follow gossip zines and websites like I do, then you may have missed the latest in the Halle Berry/Gabriel Aubry custody battle over their daughter Nahla. Sad but true, another celebrity couple airing their very dirty laundry for all the world to comment on, like me.
Now like most of you, I just shake my head in shame that these two adults can't find a way to handle their business in a private dignified way, a way that will spare their daughter from future pain and sorrow. But at the end of the day, I figure it's their life, they can screw it up any way they want. However, I can't help but reflect on Berry's latest insistence that her daughter is Black because her mama is Black. Here's the report from the Huffington Post, in case you want to read all the juicy details.
At the HuffPo, they claim Berry and Aubry are now in the midst of a 'race war' as Aubry doesn't want his daughter to be referred to as Black. So, let's review. Mom says, 'my daughter is Black,' dad says 'she's not.' What to do? But more importantly, what does it matter? Here we are in 2011 and two parents are fighting over their daughter's racial classification. Surely this isn't the first time parents of multi- or bi-racial children have disagreed on how to classify their children's racial identity, but perhaps this is the first time the paparazzi and gossip rags have decided to publicize the fight for all the world to comment on. And you know that is exactly what is going to happen.
Suddenly everybody is debating whether the One-Drop Rule still has relevance, if it ever had relevance and why, given its racist origins, any Black woman would invoke it when referring to her daughter. Just to prove my point, there were over 105,000 mentions of Halle Berry and the One-Drop Rule for Google to find in 0.12 seconds. Let the race debate --not war -- begin. And here's what I'm wondering, as a mama with two mixie kids, one dark and one light. Would this conversation be any different if Berry's daughter didn't have ginger tinted skin and brown curly hair? What if she presented more caucasian? Would Berry still insist her daughter was Black? Would Aubry have to declare that she wasn't? Hmmm...
If you could have some sit-down time with Berry and Aubry, what would you tell these two warring parents to do, as it relates to their daughter's ethnic identity? Maybe we can help them and/or others in similar situations.
I'm listening. Halle are you?