Recently, a viral video of a mixed-race kid in tears because he thought he was half white has been circulating around the internet. In the video, the child’s mother is explaining to him that he is Black, Filipino, and Mexican, and the kid asks her what percentage of Black he is. His mother responds that he is 50% Black, which made the kid feel that he was 50% white. The kid breaks down in tears even more, as he wanted to be 100% black.
The reactions to the video have been mixed. Some have applauded the kid for wanting to be “100%” Black, while others have deemed the video inappropriate because they think a child shouldn’t be thinking about his racial identity in this manner. Both sides have valid points.
On the one hand, it’s understandable why some people appreciate the kid’s commitment to his identity. The video reflects the struggles many mixed-race people face, especially in the Black community, where there is a deep-seated fear of “not being Black enough” and a longing to fit into a certain box. This is especially true in the U.S., where the one-drop rule and the legacy of slavery still linger. For many people, being able to identify as “Black enough” comes with a feeling of validation and belonging.
On the other hand, the video also highlights the pressure that some mixed-race people can feel to conform to one particular identity. It’s natural for children to try to make sense of the complexities of their identity, but pressuring them to fit into a certain box can be damaging. The child in the video, for instance, felt so strongly compelled to be “100%” Black that he was reduced to tears.
It is important to recognize the nuances of being mixed-race, and to celebrate the uniqueness that comes with it. Mixed-race people should be able to embrace all of the parts of their identity, rather than feeling the need to choose one over the other.
It is also important to remember that, for some mixed-race people, being “Black enough” can come with its own set of struggles. For some, being accepted by the White community can be difficult, while for others, being accepted by the Black community can be just as hard. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different.