Thursday, July 9, 2009

Soledad O'Brien

We are about to start traveling on Saturday for the better part of a month, so needless to say life is hectic around these parts.

But I would be remiss if I didn't weigh in on one tiny bit of the saga that has become Michael Jackson death.

Prior to the memorial service Soledad O'Brien was making some point and proceeded to exclaim Michael Jackson's children "white, white, white!" I'm pretty sure I could bold face that and accurately express her impassioned voice but maybe I'm projecting, so I won't.

It would have been a shameful statement had she whispered it.

Whether or not his three children are genetically MJ's is of zero concern to me. But as a woman who is of a similar complection to MJ's original skin tone with biological children who share certain phenotypes with his kids, that sentiment raises my hackles. Listen closely: Looking at people is not a concrete way of determining their ancestry.

It's disheartening to know that a national tv anchor joins ranks with the woman who cut my son's hair, a random woman on the train and the countless others I've encountered while raising children who according to them, "don't look like you."

As someone who is of a multi racial background herself, Soledad O'Brien should know better than to arbitrarily declare who other people are. I had no intention of watching Black in America 2, but now I will actively avoid it.


  1. I have been somewhat fascinated by the number of people who have come out of the woodwork to say that those children weren't "his." I find this disheartening, not just because of the racial factors. What makes a child "belong" to a parent? Is it genetics? Is it because a child looks just like someone in the family. Or is it love and care provided to the child? For me, I think the love and care are far more important than whatever genetics could contribute to the relationship. So whether they are genetically his children and just happen to look more like their Caucasian mother or not, the fact of the matter is that those children saw him as his father.

  2. Exactly Amy. When I said that it was of zero interest to me, I should have made it clear its because I think the genetic link is irrelevant in defining him as their father. I have obvious personal baggage with the racial element but I can't imagine how adoptive parents feel in regard to this national game of speculation...

  3. children and I share the same race. However, my children look nothing like me and my husband. They could be adopted, I know that they're not. So, genetics doesn't automatically mean your kids will resemble you in anyway...I totally agree with you in regards to how adoptive parents must feel.