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My parents taught me from a very young age that I am neither white nor black but both. Under my parents's roof I was always biracial, but when I went to school or any social gathering outside of the house there was always probably a 9/10 chance I would be labeled as black if the subject came up. It doesn't matter if some of my facial features are features that our society commonly associates with white, because my dark skin always makes me black. Now, mind you, I don't mind being identified or described as a black woman and I certainly am not offended by it. It's just something that always made me curious.

This is just not a personal experience, either. I've noticed it with public figures and entertainment. President Barack Obama is half white, but he is most often identified as black. Halle Berry is half white as well, but she is often labeled as black too. I haven't noticed this happening with any other ethnicity besides black, but if you guys know of any please let me know. It seems it doesn't matter if a person is Black and White, Black and Asian, Black and Mexican, or any other ethnic mixture with black. It seems that no matter what kind of features that person has that they will always be seen first as black and only black.

I'm just curious for different ideas as to why this is. I'm going to take a few people who've been on my block list for a while with hopes they can discuss this civilly without name calling, but the minute I see any of that behavior from them I will block them again.
Knobist's avatar

Hilarious Prophet

One drop rule.
Jacque De Molay
One drop rule.


I'm very aware of the 'one drop rule' but why is it enforced and where does it come from? Why does it only seem to apply to black ethnicities?
Knobist's avatar

Hilarious Prophet

Metheshrew
Jacque De Molay
One drop rule.


I'm very aware of the 'one drop rule' but why is it enforced and where does it come from? Why does it only seem to apply to black ethnicities?
It comes from the established definition of white in the early 1900s.
Mrtyu-Mara's avatar

Dapper Informer

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From personal experience with individuals of mixed races, they usually identify themselves as the race they more predominantly resemble.

For example: One student from High School was Black and Asian -- Japanese to be specific -- but identified as Black. I can't tell you any real specific reason as to why, because I never asked her, but when asked what her race was, she wouldn't say Asian, and she wouldn't say both Black and Asian, but she would say Black.

Another example is a girl from High School who was White and Asian. She identified more with her Japanese heritage as opposed to her White one. When asked her race, she would say "Asian".

If I'm being subconsciously racist about this, please stop me. sweatdrop
marshmallowcreampie's avatar

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With mixed-race people, they're usually identified by whatever race they most resemble. Obama looks more black than white, so people call him black.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

Personally, I don't see a difference, but a person can be what they want to be, I suppose. : P

It is a little interesting, and it may just be that being black stands out as opposed to being tan or white, which say, Asians are more likely to be white or tannish, Arabic is more likely to be white or tannish, Hispanic etc., white stands out less in terms of skin color, instead of say, black, but honestly it may just be stereotypes.


People who have black in their skin are refereed to as "black people", rather than people with black or dark skin.

So it's kind of silly.
Metheshrew
Jacque De Molay
One drop rule.


I'm very aware of the 'one drop rule' but why is it enforced and where does it come from? Why does it only seem to apply to black ethnicities?

It doesn't. While my mother is very clearly European and can trace her family only a few short generations ago back to Spain and Italy, my father is very much of Mestizo descent and one can easily tell by his very dark skin and facial features. Despite the fact the he too more than likely has European ancestors, and the fact that I actually take after my mother despite maybe a shade or two darker than the average Caucasian, I am not considered Caucasian.
A Drunk Damsel's avatar

Wheezing Gawker

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I'm black and Native American, my cheek bones and reddish tint of skin show that. When people ask I just say I'm black because everyone claims to have Native American in their blood. And I don't feel like going into a speech on how I really am half. I also hate when people assume my hair is fake because its long and soft.
Ontological Empiricism
From personal experience with individuals of mixed races, they usually identify themselves as the race they more predominantly resemble.

For example: One student from High School was Black and Asian -- Japanese to be specific -- but identified as Black. I can't tell you any real specific reason as to why, because I never asked her, but when asked what her race was, she wouldn't say Asian, and she wouldn't say both Black and Asian, but she would say Black.

Another example is a girl from High School who was White and Asian. She identified more with her Japanese heritage as opposed to her White one. When asked her race, she would say "Asian".

If I'm being subconsciously racist about this, please stop me. sweatdrop


Nope, you're not. smile I don't feel like you are, anyway. And thanks for pointing out different ethnicities here. Hmmm...I wonder why they identify with that one specifice ethnicity, though. Not going to lie, I've done it a few times myself when I was younger.
Booty Tickle
I'm black and Native American, my cheek bones and reddish tint of skin show that. When people ask I just say I'm black because everyone claims to have Native American in their blood. And I don't feel like going into a speech on how I really am half. I also hate when people assume my hair is fake because its long and soft.


Oh god, I've had many 'hair' experiences throughout my life. People just don't realize that black women (whether they are black or biracial) can grow long hair that is there own.

I can kind of understand not wanting to have to explain to people that you are actually who you are.
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In my area we have several Native settlements around ( within 50-100 miles which is in our "area" ) and its not uncommon to see someone half-white half-Native. I have noticed the same phenomenon although people tend to think of most as just nicely tanned whites. Not sure how to think of that actually if its bad or not. But either way I agree, unfortunately it does seem as if you can only be a variation of white or non white. Its ridiculous and I wish we grew out of this quickly.
Larry Matasareanu says: People will judge you based on skin color. What race can show up more then black?? Im half Mexican but my HS asked my dad for ID because he's all w*****k and I'm paper white.
Knobist's avatar

Hilarious Prophet

Booty Tickle
people assume my hair is fake because its long and soft.
Are you bragging?
Jacque De Molay
Booty Tickle
people assume my hair is fake because its long and soft.
Are you bragging?


Larry Matasareanu says: Its not bragging if its true???

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