People Like Richard Cohen Make Me Want to Barf

4 years ago

Making the rounds on my Facebook timeline today is a story about how biracial families make Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen “want to puke.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's inauguration, January 1, 2010, Image Credit: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, via Flickr

Well, racist people like Richard Cohen make me want to barf too, but he’s not worthy of my biracial family’s vomit.

Cohen uses the mayor-elect of New York City Bill d Blasio as an example (bold emphasis is mine):

 People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives,this doesn’t look like their country at all.

When someone claims he is not racist but starts using terms like “their country” and not our country or implies that he's not racist but manages to offend black folks, biracial/interracial families, and lesbians in the same breath? News flash, you’re racist.

Image Credit: 4nitsirk via Creative Commons

Interracial families and biracial children are not a new concept for this country, my country.

Let’s go back about 40 years to the Vietnam War, when United States servicemen left behind an unknown number of bụi đời aka children of the dust after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Many of those servicemen left their Amerasian children behind or or were able to bring their Vietnamese family to America. Some managed to reunite with their children and their children’s mothers many years. Does fathering these “children of the dust” make our U.S. servicemen less American, less patriotic? The Vietnam War Conflict (it might have been a conflict to the U.S., but it was war to my Vietnamese family) was not the only time U.S. servicemen married outside their race and fathered biracial children.

What about our country’s forefathers who left Europe to see the American dream? How many of those men took advantage of Native American women and fathered children? Don’t forget the slave owners who had relationships with their house slaves. Our esteemed founding father Thomas Jefferson had a relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings. She bore six mixed race children, who are believed to be Jefferson’s.

See Mr. Cohen, biracial and mixed race people is the American way. 

I’m sorry that the reality of the American people’s racial make-up makes you gag. I didn’t marry a black man to break an barriers. I married for love and we created our children out of love. It doesn’t matter that my children are biracial because they will own their uniqueness. My husband and I are raising them love themselves and to love others for their differences. That’s the American way.

Isn’t that why our forefathers left their countries? To live in a world where they can be different; where they can be themselves.

Maybe Mr. Cohen, perhaps you need more love in your life?


Thien-Kim has no regrets about marrying a black man and creating a biracial famliy.  You can find her at I’m Not the Nanny and her virtual book club at From Left to Write.

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