Lolo Jones Thanks Taye Diggs, Says Only Race She’ll Ever Claim Is “100m Hurdle”
Symptoms of Lolo Jones’ foot-in-mouth syndrome reared their ugly head yet again yesterday evening when she tip-toed into the Taye Diggs trending topic and, in the words of Kevin Hart, “wasn’t ready.”
Diggs was trending because of his comment about Black people always being “so quick” to label someone mixed, like our President, as Black, and expressing his preference for his son to identity as bi-racial and not choose between Black or white. Understandably, the sentiment raised a lot of eyebrows, but not from Jones who actually thanked the actor for his book “Mixed Me” and then went on to say she’ll never claim a race, except the 100 m hurdle.
It’s one of many annoying remarks Jones has made throughout the span of her career which prompted many in Black Twitter to retort that they have no interest in claiming her anyway. She, of course, went on to play the victim, writing: OH FUN the hate in from black twitter ” we don’t claim you” Why if a biracial kid says they are both do black ppl take it as an insult?
No one takes it as an insult to identify as the races you are, the question should be why do bi-racial people (and their parents, apparently) find it insulting to only be labeled Black?
While it’s completely fine, and should be accepted, that people can identify themselves by whatever race they choose (so long as it’s truthful) this notion of white denial that arises whenever someone bi-racial calls themselves Black is baffling. The majority of African Americans have some racial admixture, but when people see us they see Africa; they see the dominant features that years ago forced us into the socially constructed racial class of Black. And the fact of the matter is the treatment we receive is most often predicated on that blackness, not whatever percentage of white dilutes it. That’s why I believe Barack Obama chooses to refer to himself as a Black man, because the experiences he’s had in life are congruent with that of a Black man whose mother didn’t happen to be a white woman from Kansas but a Black woman from the inner city, or the south, or wherever. That’s also why African Americans take such pride in his position; finally we have a man in the White House who can identify with the experiences we’ve had in this country in a way no other leader of the free world ever has. And let’s be honest, we’re the only ones trying to claim President Obama — not white people — despite his mixed race. They’re the ones who have a problem with him because of that racial duality. White people don’t see a mixed man they can identify with when President Obama takes the mic to address the citizens of America, they see a Black man, and the disrespect and discrimination he’s experienced from the day he announced his candidacy to this very hour supports that statement.
So before Lolo Jones and Taye Diggs decide to gather ’round the Internet campfire and have a pow wow about the notion of disrespecting one’s white heritage again, let’s recall who put these wheels in motion to begin with and who isn’t breaking their back to embrace individuals who are just as much white as they are Black. I think both will see that’s a far bigger problem than Black people trying to claim someone they want us to believe isn’t ours.