While promoting his new book “Mixed Me,” based on his son’s life as biracial, the actor Taye Diggs revealed that he does not want his son, Walker, to be called black, but rather mixed.
“When you [call biracial kids Black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are and that’s my fear,” he explains to Chris Witherspoon at theGrio.com. “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?'”
While the conversation centered around his son, whose mother is singer Indina Menzel, many people are thinking the race issue is more about Diggs himself. “Diggs can teach his son to ’embrace’ his bi-racialness all he wants, but, he is going to be seen or perceived as ‘Black’ by anyone who sees him, especially when it comes to the way Black people are being treated. Diggs still has a problem with his color and he is, through his son, trying to breed his own blackness right on out of his family,” one person commented.
But it hasn’t all been backlash. “Kudos to Taye Diggs. As a biracial woman, I’ve ALWAYS defined myself as biracial, or mixed. Regardless how society wants to classify me, I define myself,” another commented.
Diggs then went on to speak about President Obama. “As African-Americans we were so quick to say okay he’s black he’s black, and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because who knows. Everybody refers to him as the first black president, I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that it’s interesting. It would be great if it didn’t matter and that people could call him mixed. We’re still choosing to make that decision, and that’s when I think you get into some dangerous waters.”
You can listen to Diggs full interview below.