Haitian-Irish mix? That’s a first!

poochooteeJosh Benjamin,
Philadelphia, PA.

Almost nobody ever guesses me to be a black-white mix. This has led to numerous identity issues for me in the past. Now, however, I feel blessed and enjoy my background without calling attention to it.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • barry irving

    …that’s because you are talking National label…not actual ethnicity…you are mixed. You say Haitian?…many Haitians are Black colored people…if you Hatian Parent was not Black ( meaning color wise ) but lighter skinned, they could be more European or even Dominican…you look White so you African roots are likely to be lesser.

    • nm_guy

      race doesn’t equal ethnicity. Ethnicity has to do with cultural traditions and origins. Race is just an antiquated way of dividing up the worlds populations into groups. There are multiple ethnic groups within any race. In fact, lumping all hispanics, all natives, all asians, all whites, all blacks into singular categories ignores the many differences and histories within each of those communities. Haitians of any skin color are probably more ethnically similar than they are different. Same for poor blacks and whites in rural Louisiana in comparison to rich blacks and whites in urban New York City.
      If the guy has white and black parents but looks white does that make him less black than a guy with the same parents but looks black? I say it shouldn’t matter based on appearances but instead on what culture he gravitates too.

      • barry irving

        …as a scholar and one who has researched his own geneology, YOU ARE WRONG…TRUST ME!

        …1 Race is your original Genetic makeup…which ever you are more of or if you are unmixed which is rare but real…that’s pretty much what you are genetically…Culturally, you can be whoever you want if you can pull it off. You can say you are Black or White ( two Political / Social Constructs )…but you are what you are most of or what you are completely in actual genetic FACT…not private projection.

        …2 Ethnicity is the “specific”…in Africa…Tribes are considered your Ethnicity…because historically, Tribes mixed or did not mix with certain people or others who do not look like them or have their same Tribal History…Yoruba, Akan, Tutsi…all tribes…all ethnicities. In America in the early 1900’s you had to be Anglo Saxon Protestant to be White…that began changing to include Jews, Italians, Germans , Russians…Irish…after the 1920’s…population advantage was the reason for the shift…

        …3 Cultural Traditions is what you would call CULTURE / Ancestry – mainly culture…many define themselves by that…Culture is all inclusive and hungry for more people for it’s lifeline. For some people, Culture is Nationality and Race…that’s a problem. Race, Culture and Nationality are three different things. That’s why America is such at odds…people don’t understand these Vernacular terms that they use every day so adamantly.

        …4 origins is Specifically about Race…original Race and Geography…Genealogy is all about origins…

        …5 Hatians like other Caribbean people are of many shades, they embrace the “same culture” – which gives them an affinity with each other based on lifeline culture… with the exception of Christianity and Vodun…some combine those two, but they are at Cultural odds…

        …6 I’m from N.Y. and my Father is from the South / Mother – Caribbean…what poor African Americans and Poor European Americans have in common will only be lifestyle / culture…even poor Whites think they are better than Well to do African Americans…they call that (“Assumed White Privilege and Authority”) Lincoln and the founding Fathers of this country gave them that assumption…it’s history…

        …7 All of the wealthy are bound by their money which comes from the masses of any nature. Class is the prime divider in America…problem is that it is exacerbated by Racial Animosity, which takes it over board. At the same time, there is the same animosity among the rich for those different and those who are in competition or ideologically different…it never ends…there’s always a reason for somebody to hate somebody…it’s the nature of man!

        …8 You are entitled to your opinions…they matter little in the scheme of reality and people who KNOW who they and YOU are “FOR SURE”!!!!

        …here’s a clue…stop talking about how Black or White someone is…those are false premises…life is about the culture you belong to…your personal ancestry…what Nationality you choose to be known as…and how you identify in the world you live in. When you start out with false premises, stereotypes and projections…where do you think you can go from there?…to truth?…LOL!

        • nm_guy

          Glad to see your not some babbling troll. So lets talk for real. First you pretty much said the same things I was saying: race and ethnicity are not the same things. Race is a biological classification and ethnicity/identity is a cultural construct.

          In your original post it just sounded like you were telling the guy that he shouldn’t claim “blackness” because he looks more white. My point was that people could look the same but be different ethnically or they could look different but be ethnically similar.
          A persons skin color is genetically determined, as you pointed out, but so is eye color and neither matter more than a persons identity.

          I strongly agree that “…class is the primary divider in America”. The rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer but all people want to talk about is racial differences.

          • barry irving

            …Race is expansive any way you look at it. You cannot define it as narrowly as a biological classification…there are other ways to look at Race besides Science…

            …Ethnicity is a sub classification of Race…ethnicity is “qualified” race…the only real difference is origins versus social mixing or in the case of something like Slavery…Amalgamation. African. Asian ethnicity is original genetics + some mixing, that’s actual…It’s not a construct…if you are of two different Races or ethnicities…you are mixed race as opposed to one genetic Race…

            …identity is culture or lifestyle oriented…it is personal and protected by the Constitution. Identity is who you have population, family,cultural, spiritual or political affinity with,

            …my point about Blackness is that it is a color construct just like White. Blackness is really personal and not easily defined, because it is expression as well as vocal identity. Black is relatively new historically in America as a common term…it’s about 50 years old and came about as a counter to White during the 60’s Civil Rights struggle. White is as old as early America.

            …what you look like is the shallowest measure…who you are because you know this is all that matters.

          • barry irving

            …Race is expansive any way you look at it. You cannot define it as narrowly as a biological classification…there are other ways to look at Race besides Science…

            …Ethnicity is a sub classification of Race…ethnicity is “qualified” race…the only real difference is origins versus social mixing or in the case of something like Slavery…Amalgamation. African. Asian ethnicity is original genetics + some mixing, that’s actual…It’s not a construct…if you are of two different Races or ethnicities…you are mixed race as opposed to one genetic Race…

            …identity is culture or lifestyle oriented…it is personal and protected by the Constitution. Identity is who you have population, family,cultural, spiritual or political affinity with,

            …my point about Blackness is that it is a color construct just like White. Blackness is really personal and not easily defined, because it is expression as well as vocal identity. Black is relatively new historically in America as a common term…it’s about 50 years old and came about as a counter to White during the 60’s Civil Rights struggle. White is as old as early America.

            …what you look like is the shallowest measure…who you are because you know this is all that matters.

      • barry irving

        …as a scholar and one who has researched his own geneology, YOU ARE WRONG…TRUST ME!

        …1 Race is your original Genetic makeup…which ever you are more of or if you are unmixed which is rare but real…that’s pretty much what you are genetically…Culturally, you can be whoever you want if you can pull it off. You can say you are Black or White ( two Political / Social Constructs )…but you are what you are most of or what you are completely in actual genetic FACT…not private projection.

        …2 Ethnicity is the “specific”…in Africa…Tribes are considered your Ethnicity…because historically, Tribes mixed or did not mix with certain people or others who do not look like them or have their same Tribal History…Yoruba, Akan, Tutsi…all tribes…all ethnicities. In America in the early 1900’s you had to be Anglo Saxon Protestant to be White…that began changing to include Jews, Italians, Germans , Russians…Irish…after the 1920’s…population advantage was the reason for the shift…

        …3 Cultural Traditions is what you would call CULTURE / Ancestry – mainly culture…many define themselves by that…Culture is all inclusive and hungry for more people for it’s lifeline. For some people, Culture is Nationality and Race…that’s a problem. Race, Culture and Nationality are three different things. That’s why America is such at odds…people don’t understand these Vernacular terms that they use every day so adamantly.

        …4 origins is Specifically about Race…original Race and Geography…Genealogy is all about origins…

        …5 Hatians like other Caribbean people are of many shades, they embrace the “same culture” – which gives them an affinity with each other based on lifeline culture… with the exception of Christianity and Vodun…some combine those two, but they are at Cultural odds…

        …6 I’m from N.Y. and my Father is from the South / Mother – Caribbean…what poor African Americans and Poor European Americans have in common will only be lifestyle / culture…even poor Whites think they are better than Well to do African Americans…they call that (“Assumed White Privilege and Authority”) Lincoln and the founding Fathers of this country gave them that assumption…it’s history…

        …7 All of the wealthy are bound by their money which comes from the masses of any nature. Class is the prime divider in America…problem is that it is exacerbated by Racial Animosity, which takes it over board. At the same time, there is the same animosity among the rich for those different and those who are in competition or ideologically different…it never ends…there’s always a reason for somebody to hate somebody…it’s the nature of man!

        …8 You are entitled to your opinions…they matter little in the scheme of reality and people who KNOW who they and YOU are “FOR SURE”!!!!

        …here’s a clue…stop talking about how Black or White someone is…those are false premises…life is about the culture you belong to…your personal ancestry…what Nationality you choose to be known as…and how you identify in the world you live in. When you start out with false premises, stereotypes and projections…where do you think you can go from there?…to truth?…LOL!

    • nm_guy

      race doesn’t equal ethnicity. Ethnicity has to do with cultural traditions and origins. Race is just an antiquated way of dividing up the worlds populations into groups. There are multiple ethnic groups within any race. In fact, lumping all hispanics, all natives, all asians, all whites, all blacks into singular categories ignores the many differences and histories within each of those communities. Haitians of any skin color are probably more ethnically similar than they are different. Same for poor blacks and whites in rural Louisiana in comparison to rich blacks and whites in urban New York City.
      If the guy has white and black parents but looks white does that make him less black than a guy with the same parents but looks black? I say it shouldn’t matter based on appearances but instead on what culture he gravitates too.

 

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