The American multiracial movement is a social and political campaign to encourage recognition of the multi-ethnic background of racially mixed people. A primary focus of the movement is the large-scale acceptance of the mixed heritage of individuals of black and white parentage, or African and European parentage, who have been historically classified simply as “black” due to the legal and later social One Drop Rule.
The multiracial movement claims to be a crusade for racial progress in the United States by promoting the acceptance of and creating communities for mixed race individuals. But is the movement, in its focus on ending the One Drop Rule, encouraging anti-black prejudice? Informal aspects of the movement suggest that it is not as tolerant and beneficial as it claims.
Minimizing black/African heritage
Mixed race advocates and their supporters attempt to reduce the black or African ancestry of people of black and white parentage. Comparisons are made between mixed race individuals and those of “pure” African descent to show the “striking” difference in phenotype. Within the informal movement, a social hierarchy is created amongst mixed people — those with the least African ancestry (as judged by appearance) on top and those with the most on the bottom.
Reverse one drop rule
Some advocates of the multi-racial movement categorize not only those of directly mixed parentage as multiracial, but anyone who share outward traits with mixed individuals. This results in a reverse One Drop Rule — anyone who is suspected of being mixed due to appearance is labeled as such, whether they are or not. This is done to separate mixed individuals from “true” blacks; mixed race people can not be recognized as mixed if there are blacks with a similar appearance.
“White is right” and blame blacks
Supporters of the movement claim that mixed people have been marginalized and denied their true identities. However, these same people view white-identified mixed individuals as inspiration. If the multiracial movement’s goal is to encourage a mixed identity, it should be opposed to mixed people identifying and being seen as white. Since the most vocal supporters are not opposed to this, it suggests that the movement is not so much about supporting mixed heritage, but lessening black heritage.
Multi-racial advocates blame black Americans for past and current lack of mixed race identity in the United States. But these supporters rarely mention the role that white Americans had to play in this; whites historically proposed and upheld the One Drop Rule and continue to view most individuals of black and white ancestry as simply black. Mixed race advocates failure to acknowledge this fact again suggests that the minimization of black identity is a most important goal.
The multiracial movement is a campaign that began with positive intentions, but with methods that hinder its goals. Acknowledgment of the multi-racial parentage of mixed individuals should be just that, and not the disregard and resentment of one part of their heritage.