The old one-drop rule of the Jim Crow south has been dusted off and this time applied by the new left – if you think you have one drop of sub-Saharan African blood then brother, you’re black.
How else can you explain this giddy statement from CNN’s Soledad O’Brien?
I’m on the phone with a confused reporter, and I’m confused too. She keeps asking me why I “count myself as black… And why does Barack Obama?” My answer (for President Obama, at least) is “have you seen him?” But she won’t let it go. “Is your father annoyed that you deny him?” My dad is white. I interject. “Let’s conference him in,” I say. “Listen, he married a black woman, he has six black children. He’d be the first person to tell you I’m black.”
The questions, to me, reveal more about the asker. This reporter surely doesn’t know a lot of black people, or she wouldn’t be struggling so hard. She’d know black people come in all hues.
O’Brien’s parents married in 1958 in Washington, D.C. Her father Edward, an Australian (from Toowoomba, Queensland) of Irish descent, was a mechanical engineering professor. Her mother, Estella, who is Afro-Cuban, was a French and English teacher. O’Brien is the fifth of six children, who all graduated from Harvard University;
Hispanic Magazine.com – June /July 2005 – Cover Story
So what would make a Harvard educated woman who is ¼ black or to put it more succinctly, ¾ white, chastise a female reporter for suggesting the obvious – namely, that Soledad is primarily Caucasian. Remember that Cuba was conquered and settled by white Spanish Conquistadors. Further, one look at Ms. O’Brien would hammer home the obvious, that she is a woman of European descent with a mixture of other cultural traits. What would make her deny the obvious? A pandemic of Hypodescent Fever.
Now it appears that Ms. O’Brien is not faking it. Obviously, Time Warner, the current owners of CNN have a similar mindset – they hired Soledad O’Brien to host of all things the CNN series Black in America. Ms. O’Brien’s dismissive posture and righteousness on this topic seems Orwellian. Indeed, her full name is María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien. Soledad and her white husband Brad Raymond have four beautiful children – only a severe case of Hypodescent Fever could lead any mother to decide that they are black – that is, to ignore their full heritage.
Of course due to the pervasiveness of political correctness in the national media, no one at CNN or at the other cable news outlets have called her out on this point or even question the wisdom of having a predominately Caucasian woman hosting Black in America. It is just like having an able body actor playing the role of a wheel-bound character – it only works with the willing suspension of disbelief. And just to complete the vertigo nature of Soledad O’Brien, CNN is touting “Journalist Soledad O’Brien, (as) the host of the two-part CNN documentary “Latino in America,” premiering Oct. 21, (2009.) I do not question the book smarts of either the producers at CNN or Ms. O’Brien herself, but book smarts combined with arrogance and hubris will produce foolish pronoucements.
THE NEW LEFT EMBRACES THE ONE DROP RULE
Soledad O’Brien might as well be the poster girl for the New Racism of the Left – namely, Hypodescent Fever. Even Mr. Orwell would be scratching his head. That doesn’t matter to the new left ravaged by Hypodescent Fever. Non Sequiturs are the norm rather than the exception.
So CNN is practicing a non sequitur when it trying to satisfy a diversity policy vis-à-vis race by hiring a Caucasian with only 25% black heritage to host “Black in America.” The most hate filled racist from 1850 Atlanta, Georgia (home of CNN today) would have shouted “bravo – one drop of black blood makes Soledad and her children black – let’s put that filly and her children on the auction block.”
Hypodescent Fever does allow us, however, greater insight into the history of race relations in this country. Consider the controversy surrounding Sally Hemings vis-à-vis Thomas Jefferson, arguably the greatest founding father after George Washington.
So when we look into the eyes of Soledad O’Brien we’re looking into the eyes of Sally Hemings. Both women in 1790 Virginia would have been considered slaves even though both were ¾ white. The only difference is that Soledad O’Brien would have had her hand in the air saying, “That’s right, I’m black.” The problem with that type of bluster becomes apparent during Miss Hemings’ time – Brad and Soledad’s lily-white children would have been sold into slavery, just like the freckled face, red headed children of Miss Hemings. Octoroons were 7/8th white and 1/8th black and as slaves fetched the highest price at the slave auction, especially the girls for obvious reasons.
If Ms. O’Brien acknowledged her full racial heritage as a facet of who she is rather than picking one aspect of her racial background and making it her sole identify she might restore some balance to her life – that is, eliminate her current racial vertigo. Think about it, Soledad and her five siblings ALL were admitted to Harvard University. I wonder what racial box Soledad check. By “passing” as a black woman Soledad was able to ensure that her first rate mind would be given every consideration at both Harvard and at CNN.
Hypodescent is insidious for many reasons. Corporate American is now able to present men and women of mixed races as black even thought they project Caucasian features because this type of advertising claims diversity while marginalizing blacks with African features. Think of Hollywood’s use of Haley Barry, and Venesa Williams, a former Miss America. Corporate America also uses people like Rochelle Oliver a Florida producer, Don Lemon of CNN, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, radical progressive thinker, Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP, and Melissa Harris-Perry, a product of a black father, William M. Harris Sr. and a white mother, Diana Gray. Despite the genetic proof, Mrs. Harris-Perry states: “I’ve never thought of myself as biracial,” Harris-Perry says. “I’m black. Even President Obama is embraced by the new-left as black, our first black president. Passing as black today has its benefits and so the hypodescent filter is employed every day.
Yet, the one-drop rule was wrong in 1850 Atlanta and it is still wrong in 2013 America. Listen to the following words from a man of God from 50 years ago and you’ll feel the power of our greatest national motto: E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
Washington, DC, Wednesday, August 28, 1963
Thanks in large part by the collaborative efforts of academia, Wall Street and Hollywood, that day is still in our collective future.