Taye Diggs Doesn't Want His Son To Be Black; Black People Don't Want Taye Diggs to Be Black Either

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

1. Taye Diggs believes you are an idiot. And yes, "you" encapsulates literally any and every person who happens to be reading this. If you are reading this — or, if you're not reading this and just happen to be alive somewhere breathing air or eating Baja Fresh — Taye Diggs believes that you're a nincompoop. A fool. A fucking dunce. Because only an idiot would see a Black man and his lighter-skinned Black son, and then see the son's White mother, and have no fucking idea what was going on. Like you just saw a squirrel doing Crossfit. On the back of a Black unicorn.

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But, apparently, this is one of his rationales for wanting his son to be considered biracial instead of Black.

“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?'”

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Again, if you are reading this, Taye Diggs believes you are the dumbest motherfucker who ever lived.

2. Taye Diggs has two children's books. One, Mixed Me!, is based on his son. The other, Chocolate Me!, is based on his own experience. I actually own Chocolate Me!. It was one of the gifts The Wife Person and I received at our baby shower last month; an addition to our yet-to-be-born daughter's library. I haven't opened it yet, but I'm sure it's nice and empowering and shit.

Anyway, that he would be compelled to write a book like this is not a surprise. He has made no secret of how he was teased as a kid for his looks and his complexion, and how much that hurt him. These claims may seem insincere — or, at the very least, melodramatic — because they're coming from someone roundly considered to be one of the handsomest men in Hollywood today, but it's not too difficult to imagine a short, dark, theater nerd named Scott getting teased for being a short, dark, theater nerd named Scott.

This background provides a bit of a context for his history of making racially awkward statements. And, to be frank, I wouldn't be surprised if he says these racially awkward things because he still feels awkward racially about himself. While I have no doubt he's very much aware that he is Black, I wonder if he considers his Blackness — and Blackness in general — to be a positive thing.

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Of course, he would not be the only Black person to own this idea. It's one of the many unfortunate byproducts of America's historically antagonistic relationship with its Black citizens. It is beyond sad, and I do harbor a level of sympathy for people who feel this way. But whatever sympathy I possess is canceled out and surpassed by my want to keep that idea — that "Blackness" inherently equals "badness" — from spreading even more. My joy in finding it, and squashing it like a stinkbug on a windowsill, is palpable.

Because, when it manifests as a Black man (or woman) teaching his (or her) Black son (or daughter) that they are not Black, that they will not be seen as and treated like a Black person, they are now actively jeopardizing that child's life. The difference between a Black child being aware of and embracing of his Blackness — and everything that means — and being taught that he or she is not Black could literally be the difference between that child dying at 16 or dying at 86.

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Basically, I'm sorry Taye, but you gotta catch it for that bullshit today.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

aunapptural-disqus
au napptural

Coming out of retirement to say when people tell you who they are you should believe them. When Taye Diggs was tilting at windmills talking about black women didn't support him because he had a white (read: better) wife, we should've known who he was. White is right man, able to whitewash his child with a single logical fallacy. He's always had color issues, and frankly we need to start calling people on the BS and stop letting them skate on some 'love is love' excuses. Love ain't got jack to do with Terrance Howard's three failed marriages but race and color issues are always bridesmaids.

In close, it's hilarious how this guy and other black men, got nothing but love when they said they didn't want black wives, but now people are shocked they don't want black children.

(Hate that I have to add this, but not everyone who marries IR has color/race issues. Just those who do)