The Tan Man’s Burden

When I was a young man I had a job washing cars for a car rental place. Mostly the job was two or three guys vacuuming up the inside, shooting it with the deodorizer and then hosing it off. It was part-time work so there was a gang of part-timers working in shifts. For a young honky in the big city, it was an interesting experience because most of my colleagues were from the third world. There were a few other honkies and some American blacks, but most were immigrants from the third world.

One lesson I learned was that outside of America, the world is not black and white. In the States, race was always about blacks and whites. In the rest of the world, there are a lot of shades in between. There’s also a fair bit of tribalism too. The African guys had a low opinion of American blacks. One guy from Ghana used to tell me that only the stupid were caught by slave traders and shipped to the new world. The smart Africans stayed in Africa. West Indians also had a tough time with American blacks. They put a great deal of effort into separating from them.

The one guy I always remembered was a guy named Maurice, who was from the Caribbean and of mixed race. He was obsessed with his mixed race too. He never stopped talking about it. If he did not tell you he was mixed race, you would have assumed he was Spanish or maybe Cajun. In parts of the South like Louisiana you run into guys who are white, but they have some Indian mixed in, or maybe even a black or two way back in the family tree. They used to tick the white box, but now they tick the black box.

The thing about Maurice was he talked about his mixed race all the time because he was a man without a race. The blacks did not accept him as black and he just assumed the whites did not accept him as white. In all likelihood, no one cared. I know I did not care, but he cared very much. At the time, I just thought he was a guy with hangups, but looking back, I see now that being a mulatto is a strange curse. While it has no real social drawbacks in the modern age, especially for women, for whom it is an asset, the person of mixed race imagines it is a huge burden.

It may be a burden too. This story about Rodney Harrison calling out Colin Kaepernick for not being authentically black is a good example. Until this controversy, my guess is exactly no one cared that Kaepernick was half black, except Kaepernick, who appears to obsess over it. So much so he went overboard trying to prove he belonged in the black world, by affecting everything we would associate with black culture. His wigger act really is over the top and most likely the result of feeling like he has to be extra black in order to pass for black. He is a tanned and tatted Vanilla Ice.

It has been noted that Obama’s closest advisers are mixed race people who identify as black. Obama, of course, is of mixed race. He also has the added burden of having been raised abroad. His connection to the black American experience is theoretical, at best. Yet, he puts a lot of effort into being not white and one could be forgiven for thinking that maybe he nurses a grudge against whites. He did dedicate a book to his delinquent father, but has never had much to say about his white mother and white grandparents who raised him, other than a disparaging remark about them.

Being black in America has its own unique challenges. Being white in America is no guarantee of happiness either, but black people have some special challenges that are made easier on an individual basis by black solidarity. Talk to black professionals and one of the things they lament is the lack of black middle class institutions. The cookout with Ned Flanders is nice, but they want to be around other black people who share their outlook. It’s why the black middle class has struggled to cut off the black underclass. Racial solidarity is powerful stuff.

Mulatto man does not have anything like that as the mixed race people are roughly 3% of the population. The black-white portion of that is less than a third so the number of people with a black parent and white parent is very small. There’s never been an identity group for mulattoes so there’s no history or shared experience around which to build a racial identity. The result, at least for now, is a class of people with no tribe to call their own. They are not authentically black and they don’t believe they are accepted as white. That disengagement probably feels like a great burden to the person carrying it.

45 thoughts on “The Tan Man’s Burden

  1. Growing up in the South, it was hard not to notice the inverse relationship between skin color and attitude in the black community. When I was in school, the angriest, most troublesome black kids were nearly always the ones with the lightest skin, and of those, the ones who were capable of “passing” for white were usually the worst.

    Even when I was a kid, I instinctively grasped what was going on, even if I couldn’t put it into words: The more tenuous one’s perceived connection to a community, the more one feels it necessary to overcompensate in “proving” that one really belongs to said community. It would be amusing if it weren’t so obvious.

  2. As soon as the lefties decide that exploiting mulattoes will prove politically expedient, a new identity group will be born; a new anointed group will emerge along with the usual agitprop BS (e.g. MLM – mulatto lives matter).
    The most economically disadvantaged group in the USA and with the worst social pathologies (even worse than the worst inner city black ghettos) are the American Indians.
    Of course, the lefties could not give a sheet about them (why should they, they don’t really care about any disadvantaged group) because, so far, they have not found a way to exploit them.

    • The American Indians said they wanted Pale Face to leave them on their reservations and shove his pasty white federal laws up his lily white rump. And so Pale Face did not only that, but gave the Red Man a monthly stipend of money and fire water. American Indians are living just how they want and very close to how they were when Pale Rider came: poor and uncivilized. I do not feel pity for them.

  3. Interesting and enlightening take on the Kaepernick Kerfluffel, Z Man. Other not-mutually-exclusive possibilities are that this was a sports-agent-directed preemptive strike against the strong possibility of his being cut or that his new BLM, Muslim(?) cis female (did I do that right_?) love interest has him thinking with his other head, as we used to say in the service.

    Thing is, being rejected by folk you don’t care about is usually not a strong force in personality formation. You don’t say that your acquaintance Maurice was rejected by whites but you imply that he was not: That the rejection by blacks is what really stung. So, by analogy, can it be that Kaerpernick’s adoptive parents misguidedly pushed him towards a black identity_? That would feel good for them but it would put the sting in being told that he was not authentically black. If somebody said that to me I’d (within the bounds of safety) ask, “So what’s your point_?”

    We know from a number of sources that our Malignant Mulatto in the White House’s white mom hated white America and regularly badmouthed it. That alone would account for his rejection of white America and awkward embrace of black America. In his case we can posit that, being a narcissist and hypersensitive to slight, his hostility comes from suspicion that he’s not really accepted as black although they are happy enough to use him for their own ends.

    • “or that his new BLM, Muslim(?) cis female (did I do that right_?) love interest has him thinking with his other head, as we used to say in the service.”

      No (?) necessary, she is indeed Muslim, they are engaged to be married (a Muslim ceremony is planned, how much you want to bet that she’ll get him to convert if he hasn’t already) and is filling his head up with black Muslim garbage. This evil harpy has gotten control of a public figure with a $126 million contract, of which ~$61 is guaranteed.

    • Non-Whites who are half White don’t ever identify as White because being White isn’t advantageous. When you grow up seeing European-Americans reject their own race and culture, but see non-Whites embrace their race and identity, you gravitate to what is normal and healthy: ethnocentrism, not ethnomasochism.

      • “Non-Whites who are half White don’t ever identify as White because being White isn’t advantageous.”

        As recently as fifty years ago, the exact opposite was the case. “Passing” as white was a game that many mulattos found it advantageous to play. Now that whites have been demonized, it’s a different world.

        • This woman, who is an eighth Chinese, has made a career as an Asian American writer. It’s sort of odd. She’s fair skinned, red haired, and has blue eyes. It’s not like anyone meeting her on the street would look at her and see an Asian person, or treat her as an Asian person.

  4. Note though that Caperdick didn’t appear to have a problem until he began to fail for the first time in his life. He Peter-principled out, hit the wall and this forced him into examining why this had taken place. Rather than work harder and try and improve (or perhaps he had done this and still failed) he decided to take the easy route and blame whitey. He probably would have done better if he had taken advantage of the fact that he was drafted by MLB out of high school. His white parents probably thought that they had a Peyton Manning who could run. Instead, he was a well-built version of Louis Tiant. Being completely blind to race differences hurt him rather than helping him.

    • I tend to agree. I’ve read that his arm gave out. That he was never that great; now others are better and passing him up, replacing him. And he has this radical black Muslim girlfriend who seems to be working him over. She will disappear when his fame and $$$ and celebrity disappear. He has a lot to worry about and is handling it badly.

      • You’re right, Lulu. But after hearing all of the nonsense that came out of his ridiculous mouth, I care not one bit how badly life is starting to suck for him. I feel very bad for his White, adoptive parents, though.

        • I have no sympathy for him. He’s acting like a spoiled brat. And I too feel badly for his adoptive parents.

  5. My experience as a half-Mexican, half-Gringo kid anecdotally supports that Latins see intermarriage very differently. Despite the light hearted teasing from the Mexican kids, I always felt more accepted by them than the Caucasian kids I spent 5th through 8th grade with — so much more that I went to Catholic high school a 50% Mexican population and again fit in very well.

    Smart half-Mexican guys can be highly disruptive (cf James Jesus Angleton and Terry de la Mesa Allen) and while not particularly famous, I have been no exception. Per Fred Z’s comments, I have different strengths and different weaknesses than the Caucasian and Asian professionals around me. I strongly sense that I am processing information differently than them and that Asians and Caucasians are processing information differently from one another.

    As I’ve aged, it has become clearer why the Mayans were able to calculate the length of the solar year more accurately than any civilization at that time while being mired in all sorts of jiggery-pokery. Mayan mysticism will always war with Northern European literalism in my mind. Strangely though, they often come up with similar solutions to the same problem.

    • Mexicans and South Americans are more comfortable with the gradations of the color wheel. Take a look at the leadership south of the border and you don’t find too many blacks or Amerinds. It’s all Spanish speaking honkies. My guess though is your cultural experience is more similar to that of Italians 100 years ago than the mulatto experience.

      • The Mexican people I’ve known in the border area are very cognizant of and rather discriminatory based upon whether one is an Indio or not. I remember a Mexican woman’s disdain toward her own mother because her mother was “white” and the woman I knew was “an Indio”. Had darker skin, more Indio features. It was disdain based upon a feeling of inferiority toward her mother, resentment.

        Mom must have gone off the reservation?

        I have never seen the “gleefulness” or “smugness” mentioned up the thread. I am not keen on mixing families up in any way because it makes the kids’ lives more difficult. Their difficulty may come from inside them without any kind of discrimination from the outside. Their own recognition of being “different” is one of the most difficult things a child can have to deal with.

        • Yeah, the whole Mestizo thing is something most Americans cannot comprehend. I recall bumping up it for the first time as a young man in Nogales. It quickly made sense, but it was alien to me.

      • They are comfortable with ethnic identities in the sense that they do not resent their betters as we see here. I know Mestizos who have no issue at all with the fact that Mexican tv and Mexican beauty pageants are all white. On the other hand after several centuries there would be no Caucasians in Mexico if they were not taking being white very seriously. People take race extremely seriously in India and no one calls it racism. Americans have some mind parasite eating their brains.

        • Brazil is often used as the color wheel example except that from my experience with professionals from there they easily pass for white. The same for Columbians with one exception but she has very fine features and just tans well. Clearly among POC lighter is better.

      • There’s a reason why Benito Juarez is a saint to the Mexican people. I get the mestizo thing. My grandmother was a dark-skinned Indian looking woman who was treated as a chattel by her husband’s family. My mother is light skinned though her nose would not be out of place in a pre-Columbian painting or sculpture. I pass and have a gringo last name.

  6. Kaepernick and Pharaoh Three Putt are the best examples I know of why paternal abandonment should be a firing-squad offense. Offered a choice between a civilization that built basically everything everywhere in all of history, and one of the most dysfunctional* cultures in the annals of anthropology, they choose Daddy’s. They want to be black because that’s how they think “real men” act, and have no counterexamples near to hand (Kaepernick’s adoptive father doesn’t count as a “real man,” no matter how alpha he is, because — let’s all say it together — “you’re not my **real** father!!!”). I swear, when I’m dictator….

    *an interesting chicken-and-egg problem, that — is black culture so fucked up because of high rates of paternal abandonment, or are daddies bailing because the culture’s so fucked up?

    • Sub-Saharan mating patterns are what you see in American inner cities. The theory in HBD circles is that the climate made monogamy and patriarchy unnecessary. Women could gather what they needed for food without a permanent man around so there was never a need for humans to develop the traits for it. The result is a society that resembles a pride of lions. Marriage rates in the West fell when status and access to females changed so there appears to be something to it.

      • Didn’t Obama write about visiting his Kenyan relatives for the first time and being surprised that they seemed to show the same family formation patterns as people in the inner city?

    • “is black culture so fucked up because of high rates of paternal abandonment, or are daddies bailing because the culture’s so fucked up?”

      Look at black family statistics from the mid-twentieth century America, they mirrored white family statistics in the most important ways. Something like 90% of black kids were raised by married mothers and fathers. This is the only time and place in history that blacks successfully adopted productive living arrangements, and they did it under a system of laws that demanded strict segregation and no miscegenation. The Civil Rights movement destroyed the black family and indisputably made things worse for whites and blacks alike. Once you understand this fact, you are next forced to ask the question, “if the Civil Rights movement was terrible for both whites and blacks, who exactly is benefiting from this arrangement?” That’s outside the scope of this discussion, although I will point out that once you examine that question, you must prepare to have even more of your precious brainwashing challenged.

      • Blacks may have married more back when, but they did it because White employers wouldn’t hire black men or women who had a bunch of bastard children. It reflected poorly on your character to have baby mamas all over the place. And as far as what black “marriage” looked like back then, just watch “The Color Purple.” The black men would marry very young, very poor black girls and treat them like… well… house slaves.

        What did blacks, in the US, the biggest disservice was White folks not setting the bar high for blacks to try to reach, or shaming them when they’d flip out like orks. We used to actually have to be stern parents with them because they needed it then and they need it now. Black Americans are easily manipulated, perpetually malcontent, violent children.

        • You are seriously citing “The Color Purple” as some kind of honest historical authority?? You are kidding, right?

  7. My younger son, adopted, is a part black man. His ancestry is black slave who came to Nova Scotia, Canada on the underground railway, plus Ukrainian, Irish, German.

    He is indeed a lost soul in many ways, at least in relation to our urbanized, ‘civilized’ society. I love him dearly, but he is different, very different, from me. I am a man of pure German heritage. He has many of the mental weaknesses that many commenters gleefully point out are common in blacks. He drives me nuts, because of his weaknesses, and because he has mental and physical strengths I lack. I have trouble examining and defining them, just as he has trouble with the strengths of whites.

    Time is long, our viewpoints are short, don’t be smug, be careful, there is no guarantee that God wants your particular mix of virtues and faults more than those of blacks or mulattoes, quadroons or octaroons or whatever. Perhaps God thinks blacks mixed with Jewish Chinamen are the real chosen people. Perhaps God wants all the races re-mixed to his original recipe. I don’t know and for god damned fucking sure most of the commenters in this world are idiots with no idea either.

    • Adopted kids–and from the same race no less–have greatly increased chances of genetic drawbacks all on their own. Maybe that’s Gods plan too. Gleeful commenters, bad thinkers all, are no match for the War On Noticing and it’s result.

      • Being given up by your parents is really traumatic regardless. I know someone who has fostered over a hundred children, including a number of long-term foster-to-adopts. She says that all her placements have had two severe crises: the first at puberty and the second when they start seriously dating someone for the first time and contemplate having children of their own. It’s horrifying to realize that your parents were comfortable choosing heroin or a dissolute lifestyle over raising you.

        The pool of adoptees is also very different from pre Roe v. Wade. There aren’t many middle class teenaged girls who got “in trouble” giving up their babies for adoption any more. Increasingly, the mothers of adoptable children have serious issues of their own.

    • I think most people who notice things have little animus toward people outside their tribe. Some do, for sure, but that’s mostly due to the frustration of watching crazy people push through policies that only make things worse.

      Despite the endless proselytizing from our betters, we are unlikely to see the mulatto paradise they imagine. Biology works strongly against it. It does appear that females are strongly disposed to mating with members of their group. It also appears we are disposed to mate with those genetically similar to us. Men do, in fact, marry their mothers and females marry their fathers. More than a few studies have found that females are less likely to mate outside their race, while males are less selective. That is reflected in the data where race mixing has not been a major social taboo for a long time, but we see little of it.

      It may be that not getting our colors confused is a good idea.

    • “Perhaps God wants all the races re-mixed to his original recipe. I don’t know and for god damned fucking sure most of the commenters in this world are idiots with no idea either.”

      If God wanted the races mixed, why would He have created them as distinct entities in the first place? We know from the Tower of Babel story in the bible that God’s intention is for us to be kept divided into separate and distinct communities; it is only logical to think that He made us as distinct races to help further this intention. As far as your fellow commenters go, some of us may be stupider than others, but God gave us the gifts of logic and reason so that we could work these things out for ourselves. Maybe you might want to examine the research I cited, it certainly seems to square up with your own anecdotal experience.

    • C’mon, Fred Z. You went from preaching to us about what God wants, to using His name in vain.

      I, personally, think that White folks need to start adopting needy White babies. I don’t think that most White parents that adopt non-White children are doing it for any other reason than to be the hero of their own White-Savior story. There is proof everywhere that non-White kids grow up resentful of their White adoptive, or even White birth-parent. I say take care of “your own ones”, as the Irish put it. I know, Fred; I’m a bad thinker with nary a word filter.

  8. In Louisiana there was a mixed race class that had their own culture and norms: les gens libre de coleur, or free people of color, but I think that may be the only place in the US where that happened. I used to work with a light-skinned Haitian guy, and he and his wife were both “milat,” the mixed-race elite of Haitian society. Rihanna has said that back in Barbados, she’s considered white.

    I have a half Asian, half European kid and will have more, and I live in fear that they will one day think I did them a huge disservice. I guess nothing to do but wait and see. Oddly, all the really angry Eurasian kids you find online are the product of white man, Asian woman unions and those are perceived as worse for the kids, in part because the mother sometimes makes clear she finds Asian men, including her own sons, ugly and unappealing.

    • Regarding the offspring of Asian/White miscegenation, I think there is some research showing that the girls tend to do much better than the boys, although I can’t put my finger on it right now. As you pointed out, the most common union is white man plus Asian woman, and since half-Asians tend to look much more Asian than white, the girls can identify with their mothers much more easily than the boys can identify with their fathers. Also, white men tend to find Asian women attractive, so they will be popular with, and get positive affirmation from, both white and Asian boys in their peer group. Half-Asian boys will have a tougher time attracting white girls.

      A good friend of mine married an Asian girl. Their son had some emotional difficulties growing up and seems less well adjusted than his sister, who is a carefree and happy person. Fortunately, they did a good job raising him in a happy and stable home, and got him involved in athletics, so he is a very fit and good-looking kid who looks like he is going to turn out fine.

    • I have a good friend that is half Chines (mom) and half white (dad). She married a white man and has two sons. They all seem well adjusted. My friend has a good connection with her Chinese heritage and has even made the trip back to China. I suspect it is much different for white/black children.

  9. Miscegenation was outlawed for a very long time.

    Perhaps our ancestors weren’t so ignorant and narrow-minded as we moderns think.

  10. Even the Creoles in Louisiana really werent as accepted as their celebration in popular myth would have you belive. Still considered <white, and greatly so.

  11. There’s a wealth of research showing that mixed-race children are alienated an unhappy, lack a sense of identity, and in the case of mulattos, come almost exclusively from broken families.

    Black-White children are more likely than both Black and Whites to make poor decisions. Source:
    90% of women who have a child with a Black man never marry the father. Source:
    77% of women who have children with Black men earn less than $10,000 a year. Source:
    98% of White women who have children with Black men are not financially supported by the father. Source:
    The average White woman who has kids with a Black man earns $7250 a year, excluding welfare. Source:
    97% of White women who have children with Black men have used welfare. Source:
    97% of Black fathers who have children with White women are not active in their children’s lives. Source:
    Race-mixers may give less parental support to their children because of greater genetic distance. Source:
    97% of interracial (Black man, White women) children are born out of wedlock. Source:
    White-Black couples have more partner violence than White couples and as much violence as Black couples. Source:
    Bias against miscegenation is likely biological in origin. Source:
    Interracial marriages have a 23.5% chance of divorce, compared to 13% for same-race couples. Source:
    Mixed race kids suffer from low self-esteem, social isolation, and poor family dynamics. Source:

    • All of these research efforts seem to be seen through the construct of American society and its racial experiences. I’ve worked all over the world and race is seen very differently elsewhere – although racism is always present. In a place where whites are less than 10% of society, intermarriage between races (Asian, Black, East Indian for example) is viewed with different sensibilities depending where you are. In the Caribbean, although there is still racism between these ethnic groups, there is a much higher acceptance of inter-marriage and a much bigger representation of the mixed-race offspring. Still….in these cases there is also a much greater focus on measuring ‘whiteness’, in my experience. Where it concerns most of the races – probably a hold-over from colonialism – mixed-race people tend to look down on darker-skinned variants of their racial group. Not saying right-or-wrong, just sayin’.

      • I posted hard research, you posted anecdotes and opinions.

        I’ll stick with the research, which convincingly makes the case that race mixing leads to bad outcomes for everyone involved.

        • Good data. So, a kid of one black and one white parent has been dealt a very bad hand, but a kid of two mulattoes may do far better. Eric Holder. If that it better. They do tend to rule over blacks in the Carib, and often get promoted far beyond their competence in the Us. Colin Powell. The first key is probably, like with everyone else, to have two parents.

      • We are here. In American society. That is what these disaffected mulattoes are dealing with. That is what we whites are having to deal with. What happens in the Caribbean or anywhere else is irrelevant to our experience. Our Society. It simply makes no difference.

  12. I hope the lesson we’re all being taught from electing a self-hating mulatto as President, twice, will make us a better country. I would hate to think we’re going through all of this for nothing.

  13. I almost spurted beer through my nose when I clicked on your link to Congressman G. K. Butterfield, with a picture of Mr. Wonder Bread himself: “An African American of primarily European ancestry… ” Thanks for the good belly laugh. I be braiding my corn rows now as we speak.

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