So, last weekend, some Nigerian couple in the UK managed to spawn a fully “White” baby. Blonde hair, blue eyes, the works. No, not an albino. A White baby. Quite a few geneticists got a stiffy and began to probe deeper into the issue.(Pun alert) They’ve found nothing…so far.
And while many people are fascinated, throwing theories around about where this “anomaly” came from, I’m sitting on the sidelines with my omniscient bucket of popcorn munching and smiling: this is better than anything on TV right now.
It’s not the fascinating theories that scientists are coming up with that intrigue. Yes, we must know for “scientific purposes” but that doesn’t really concern me. In 3 years they’ll announce that Elvis never died he just grew in reverse(Benjamin Button) and then snuck into this lady’s womb in the heat of passion, or something outlandish like that to break the cycle. We’ll call them liars, they’ll publish books that we’ll never read or believe until some White couple gives birth to Tupac’s reincarnation and two Brazilians rebirth Bruce Lee. And even then, we’ll lose interest. Because this has happened before, mind you, and most people just ignored it. Several times, if Google serves me correctly.
I’m also not so much into the human drama of trying to figure out just how the older siblings will now react to their new – obviously special – youngling. Although that does tickle the mind. What’s the White kid going to do when they start rapping along to Hip-Hop tracks or when some pro-Black movement is taking place? But that’s not nearly as entertaining as the giant white elephant in the room.
What’s got me munching popcorn is the “why”. Not “Why did this happen?” but “Why are people so concerned with why this happened?” Also “Why is there inevitably going to be so much drama because of the kid?” Basically, why is everybody trying to act like they’re not racist in a situation that clearly highlights that they are. All of them.
Racism, according to my Dic, is “discrimination or prejudice based on race.” And what, pray tell is “A race”? Well, my Dic
k says that it’s “a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.”
This is important because none of the geneticists/scientists have used either of these words – and that’s understandable. But what is interesting is that none of the journalists have used it either*. In fact, nowhere have they referred to the word “race” except when mentioning “mixed race” couples; which clearly this is not.
At the end of the day, it’s all about race, and nobody wants to be the first to say it. See, health isn’t the issue; the baby’s been pronounced perfectly healthy. So they move into genetics. Genetically speaking this outcome is impossible unless both parents have White ancestry. Otherwise, it’s a mutation. These are 2 people from Nigeria who – with all due respect – are
darker more African than most people I know combined. The White ancestry is unlikely and ultimately, unimportant. Or it should be unimportant.
Remember that race denotes common descent and heredity. Meaning if this son-of-a-Black White baby is really just White, racists lose a lot of footing in their 800 years of segregational effort. It also thwarts all supremacist theories and basically put people in a place where they have to start judging people based on regions. And they can’t do that or allow that to happen. At the same time, they can’t just ignore this whole thing and walk away. That would be wrong. So everybody involved in the matter is trying to tiptoe around this so delicately that it’s like watching scientists, social and genetic, do ballet on a land mine field. If they do it long enough,everyone will forget about it. If not, then it’s just a matter of time before this blows up in everyone’s faces.
Who will be the first to say some outlandishly racist stuff? Besides Mel Gibson, of course.
All jokes aside, this is a pretty damn serious issue. It’s 2010 and race is still the fabric that keeps our Worlds apart. That we still bother to qualify couples as “interracial” and that people still refer to Kenyan born Asians(Indian, Persian, Sri-Lankan, Pakistani…whatever) as “Indian” should clue you in to just how racist your mindset still is. And people are so quick to deny it to. One guy actually told me “But they are Indian” while pointing at 2 of my friends whose grandparents were from Iran. Ignorance masking the fact that deep down, we’d rather not have them here. And all we need is an excuse to say no; to keep our lineage pure.
When the chips hit the table and everyone’s bluff is called, we all say “No” when our Arab daughter wants to marry some Black guy. We all shake our heads when our African sisters has a baby by a White guy. And we all know this so our sisters would run away before telling us about that white baby and our daughters would break off an otherwise fundamentally sound relationship just to avoid tension. And for what? Is there something so direly important in the color of our skin that our cultures would be lost in the Melanin count? Does the kink in my hair make me less Buddhist and does the blue-eyedness of this girl make her less African?
The truth is, it does, unfortunately. Because part of belonging to a culture is being accepted into it. So for as long as Black Kenyans do not look at their fellow Kenyans minus the skin color and vice-versa then there will never be any progress. For as long as we refuse to ask questions, refuse to invite change, refuse to concede and accept – not one, but all of us – then there will never be peace. Ever.
I remember quoting this Public Enemy line while on a tirade about Obama:
White man, White woman, White baby.
White man, Black woman, Black baby.
Black man, White woman, Black baby.
Black man, Black woman, Black baby.
Times are changing. These stigmas no longer hold true. And to fight a change like this is to set yourself up for loss.
Those are my 2 pennies, tax and duty free.
*In reference to the Sun, the Times and the report on BBC & CNN