July 08, 2009

The Kid Is So My Son

There's been a lot of talk and speculation -- and possibly even some facts, though I haven't seen them -- indicating that some or all of Michael Jackson's children aren't biologically his.

I don't know who their gene daddy is, or what DNA mashup was the genesis of the Jackson kids. The consensus is that they are gorgeous and poised now that we've seen them quite literally unveiled.

What IRKS me are the people who blabber on about what kids of color (not black, not white, but the colorful ones) (what I long ago on this blog called extraethnic, which maybe should have been intraethnic, or interethnic, or just plain KIDS, hello, I don't know) SHOULD look like. (p.s. we're all mixed; deal with it.)

"Those kids are not his. No way. YOU should know what mixed kids look like--those are not mixed kids," one mom with a son of mixed heritage said to me last week.

I was like, um, I don't get it. True, they could quite possibly not be his. They could be his. They could not be his. I can't tell you.

Someone else today said to me, "Those kids aren't his. They are not mixed."

Sure, Paris with her blue eyes, it's a long shot genetically speaking, but it's not unheard of. I haven't seen ALL the Jackson relatives. I don't presume to know. Why should any of us presume to know?

I've seen every permutation of DNA, every hue, every hair type mixed with every melanin level, every highlight, freckle, and eye color combination imaginable in my 25 years as a card-carrying member of the 'mixed relationship' club.

Even if they're not Michael's biological kids, does that mean the father was Caucasian?

What would you like to do, say, "Turn her hands palm up and let's see if she's mixed"? I'm here to tell you, you still wouldn't know.

I'm not saying that these kids are biologically Michael Jackson's or that they aren't, and I'm not bothered that people have OPINIONS because goodness knows this is the Interweb and without an opinion you might as well stay home...


...don't tell me what specific qualities of appearance a growing child, a child in media res, needs to demonstrate in order to be defined as non-white.

Identity is precious and takes decades to develop - we're lucky if we figure out our personal configurations while we're still on this planet. Identity is nothing to be toyed with, except by its owner. Or maybe it is.

So I say, ask a white-black middleman, ask me, ask someone you know, or ask no one, but definitely ask yourself this: What are your preconceptions of what mixed kids look like, what defines mixed, and where did you get the information? What if you're wrong? What if white is black and black is white?

What if Jesus had hair like wool and skin the color of copper like it says in your Bible, not blue eyes and locks of gold?

Who's identity are you really unsure about? Really?

Maybe its the man in the mirror's.