Oh boy … black actor Taye Diggs made quite the stir with comments regarding his biracial son with white actress Idina Menzel.
While on a press tour promoting his new children’s book Mixed Me, which speaks to the experiences of biracial children, Diggs said during an interview;
“When you [call biracial kids black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are, and that's my fear. 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?'”
That statement did NOT go over very well once the Twittersphere got a hold of it.
This is why so much mixed kids have identity crisis. Taye Diggs isn't helping his son, when he says he doesn't want him to be seen as black.— ?ecca (@MJStarLover) November 18, 2015
There’s already a stigma attached to black men who date and marry outside of their race that by doing so they are “denying” their blackness or in essence “betraying” the black woman. Since Diggs made those remarks about his son's racial identity, it seemed like he was confirming that mindset.
Also LOL at Taye Diggs saying people would be "confused" by his child having a white mother. This aint 1846. None of us are confused by that— Clutch City (@HumbleTeej) November 18, 2015
The way Diggs worded his original statements made it sound like he just didn’t want his kid to be viewed as black, period.
It's a shame how Black guys like Taye Diggs are so ashamed of who they are. & He's passing his self hatred down to his own child.— Chihiro Ogino (@WickedBeaute) November 18, 2015
Twitter users wasted no time pointing out that SOCIETY is going to label Diggs' son based on what he LOOKS like regardless of how he identifies himself.
I totally get what Taye Diggs is saying but he can call his son biracial all day but if he looks black in the eyes of America he's black.— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) November 18, 2015
Taye Diggs: I told you my son is mixed, not just black. Please respect both sides of him Police: Lol we don't care— EatPrayTravel (@EatPrayTravels) November 18, 2015
If Taye Diggs' son wants to identify as white then he's in for a rude awakening when he gets older and is stopped by cops— Petty Papi (@pettypapi) November 18, 2015
No one tried to justify the out-of-touch societal norm that ignores the fact that we are a multiracial population, but it’s just a simple fact. If he looks more African-American, that’s what people will see with their eyes and that’s what he will be to them.
I wonder if Taye Diggs understands why his son doesn't have the option of identifying as white (if he can't pass) White supremacy ideology.— Ferrari Sheppard (@stopbeingfamous) November 18, 2015
I guess I understand what Taye Diggs is saying bcus I'm mixed. But when I'm walking down the street you see my blackness not my Japanese.— ART HOE? (@_xoxomari_) November 18, 2015
People on Twitter suggested that since it's inevitable, Diggs should teach his son to EMBRACE being identified as black and be proud of what he looks like rather than grow up to resent being called “black” instead of “mixed.”
Upon receiving plenty of backlash and “Black Twitter” threatening to disown Diggs, he responded to the criticism and clarified his point of view.
It's true...mixed race children should be able to claim both of their racial identities openly, comfortably and proudly. However, it doesn't really sit well to imply that it's somehow a "negative" thing to be recognized by the race that corresponds more to your outer appearance.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @praise1025