Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Washington Post's Proud Tradition of Racism Continues... (a follow up)

The Washington Post (wanting to feed the controversy fire, while at the same time wanting to avoid getting burned) put up a response to the column I mentioned earlier. Kevin Huffman is also the parent of bi-racial (non-black) children, but unlike Mrs. Chang seems to have a clue.

Let me start by suggesting this may slightly over-value the deep personal meaning of the Census form. I viewed the form as a seven-minute exercise in ensuring that the District of Columbia gets to count my whole family as residents. Maybe we can even get enough funding to fix the Metro escalators. I hadn’t realized the need to express solidarity with my relatives and ancestors, living and dead.

Anyway, like Chang, my kids are half Asian and half white, which led me to identify them on the Census as… Asian. My brother is half black and half white. He went with biracial. Somehow neither of these decisions has resulted in meaningfully different personal connections for my family.

The question of race as biological or sociological construct is complex. While Chang may wish Obama took a more literalist perspective and identified as biracial, I’m quite sure she doesn’t have the right to judge.

Exactly. Well said, Mr. Huffman.

I'm sorry that President Obama didn't fulfill Mrs. Chang's personal ambitions by making a personal choice on his own personal census form.

I'm equally sorry that the default position of too many Americans is that our fellow citizens of biracial ancestry should automatically want to set aside their African Heritage. Thus, I still think Mrs. Chang is a racist.