A lot of people are giving Taye Diggs major side eye these days, and it's all because of a recent interview he gave to promote his new children's book, "Mixed Me." Diggs's interview with theGrio has reignited a fierce debate within the black community: when it comes to how biracial individuals should identify, does the one-drop rule still apply? Diggs doesn't think so.
For those not in the know, the one-drop rule refers to the practice of labeling anyone with any black heritage as black. As Diggs pointed out, it's the reason Barack Obama is known as the nation's first black president, even though his mother is white, and Diggs, father to a biracial child himself, has had enough of it. In the interview, the Broadway actor explained his viewpoint.
"When you [label biracial kids as black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are and that's my fear," Diggs said. "I don't want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself black and everyone thinks he has a black mom and a black dad, and then they see a white mother, they wonder, 'Oh, what's going on?'"
The interview came on the heels of the release of his second children's book, "Mixed Me," a story about a biracial child and his journey towards self-love. The story was inspired by Diggs's own 6-year-old son Walker, whom he shares with ex-wife Idina Menzel, and Diggs hopes that it will inspire biracial children to embrace both races equally.
Diggs's comments have caused considerable controversy, with many claiming that Diggs's stance comes from a place of self-hatred and a reluctance to identify with the black community. Amid the backlash, Diggs took to social media to clarify his statements.
Diggs's heart seems to be in the right place, but there's a long history of blackness being viewed as something shameful, with many biracial individuals going to great lengths to hide their heritage. As a result, it's a sore spot for many, and as for Diggs, if it's a topic he's tackling, then he should be prepared for the sometimes-uncomfortable conversations that are sure to follow.
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