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  • Dr. Mezmer

Racial Imperialism, from Octoroons to Macaroons

The census bureau has made much of the decline of Caucasian Americans as a percentage of the American population, a literally shady proposition if you ignore a little shade that is. You see, if you are Caucasian, or a white folk, you can be a card-carrying member of another race by just jiggling your genetics a little. So if one of your parents was black, then you can be black too, and the same goes if one of your grandparents were black, or if one of your great grandparents were black. The same goes for any ethnicity, so folks can easily recategorize themselves as native American, Latino, or even Italian by just a nostalgic trip to Ancestry dot com. So even if your ancestor was an Inuit woman who had an affair with the Viking Leif Erikson in 1010 AD, you can qualify as a native American and get lots of affirmative action perks and assorted deference. (Just ask Senator Elizabeth Warren, who claimed American Indian status for the Texas state bar in 1986, though her DNA test suggested a possible native American ancestor ten generations ago)

Racial reclassification can be a great thing because then you have a new social distinction to rally behind, which you can use to get a leg up in social status when you argue that your new status hasn’t given you a leg to stand on due to all that awful past discrimination. It is an even better thing when you are re-classified by default, thus obscuring or even canceling out your ancestry from other races.

Yummy macaroons, no matter the color!

This is an awful thing for us shrinking white folk, as we will disappear in a generation or two the way things are going. But this is merely a legalistic vanishing act, due to what I would call racial imperialism. I would suggest no racist solution of course, but a racial one is certainly in the cards. In the past, individuals who were half black were called mulattos, quarter black were quadroons, and one-eighth black were octoroons. Let’s bring that back, along with similar distinctions for the different blends of people that are produced every day by this great American melting pot. With this new trend, in the future we will have entirely new classes of people who have their own reserved slice of recognition, preference, social justice, affirmations, reparations, or just plain guaranteed fifteen minutes of fame, on the hour every hour that is. We can have all sorts of new racial distinctions like macaroons, buffoons, and loony toons to keep us distracted, persecuted, and busy on our twitter, facebook, and other social feeds all day. And maybe then we can see the nonsense in all of this and recognize that we are all under the hood just people after all.

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