NYT: "I'm a Woman of Color, So Let's All Talk About Me!"
April 20, 2019, 10:42 PM
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Here’s the umpty-umpth op-ed I’ve read in the New York Times with the same basic theme:

I’m a Woman of Color, So Let’s All Talk about Me!

From the NYT:

I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am

Tests like 23andMe are a fad that distracts us from the reality of race in America.

By Erin Aubry Kaplan
Contributing Opinion Writer, April 16, 2019

When my sister called me a few months ago to say, a little breathlessly, that she had gotten back her results from 23andMe, I snapped at her, “I don’t want to know!” …

I’ve never been interested in DNA tests. I have nothing against people discovering they’re 18 percent German or 79 percent Irish, but I think the tests are a fad that distracts us from the harsh realities of race and identity in America. They encourage us to pretend that in terms of shaping who we really are, individual narratives matter more than the narrative of the country as a whole. There is no test for separation and tribalism, and yet they are baked into our cultural DNA.

But that didn’t explain the panic I felt during that phone call. I was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t take the news, whatever that news turned out to be. And then I realized that was it: I didn’t want to “turn out to be” anything more than what I was. I didn’t want my blackness divvied up or deconstructed any more than it has already been, not just in my lifetime but in the history of the Creole people of Louisiana I descend from.

… I always saw Mr. Obama as an honorary Creole, a reminder to all of us black folk along the spectrum — a vast majority of whom have white ancestry — of where we belong.

My own wariness about knowing what my sister had found out never abated. But being a lawyer, she persisted, and I recently learned what the results turned up: slightly less than half African, the rest not. Relatively little French — a mild surprise, given Louisiana’s history. And a dollop Jewish. Interesting, amusing even, but I’m still black in America. What a relief.

Erin Aubry Kaplan, a contributing opinion writer, teaches writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line” and “I Heart Obama.”

 

[Comment at Unz.com]

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