Taye Diggs' Message to Son About Being Biracial Isn't About Self-Hatred

Taye Diggs and ex-wife, Idina Manzel

There's great beauty in diversity that should be celebrated. Taye Diggs has hoping to help his 6-year-old son Walker better love and understand his background, but all of those efforts went out the window -- after Taye's controversial comments about his son being biracial, and not black.

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Taye came under fire after an interview with The Grio, that left some people looking for an explanation. Promoting his second book, Mixed Me!, the 44-year-old actor expressed how he wants his son with ex-wife and actress, Idina Menzel, to embrace his mixed heritage -- and not have to feel like he needs to choose being black or white.

Needless to say, many are scratching their heads at why Taye wanted to "denounce" little Walker's blackness. Sure, Taye's son might be mixed, but he definitely has strong, black features that are undeniable.

Because of the backlash and media attention, Taye took to social media (he's quite active on it) to set the record straight. According to him, it's not that deep.

#MixedMe

A photo posted by Taye Diggs (@tayediggsinsta) on

I know race relations is a touchy subject (especially in this country) but can we come to the table to have a chat about this?

Sadly, there are people who have issues with who they are, and want to identify as something else (does anyone remember Rachel Dolezal?). Obviously, they have deeper issues that need addressing. You should never hate yourself, or your race.

More from The Stir: 20 Things Never to Say to Parents of Multiracial Kids

With that said, I don't think Taye Diggs is trying to teach his son he isn't black, but make him realize there's more to his story. His book, Mixed Me!, looks to help children answer questions about their blended heritage and, hopefully, navigate life a little easier. No matter how black Walker looks, he does have a white mother -- with her own story and family background that needs some loving too.

Society might not understand, or want to label Walker as being one thing, but why should that stop a family from choosing to love all of who he is? Would Walker really be "less black" for saying he's biracial?

I'll never forget meeting an older woman here in Oklahoma, who said something to me I'll never forget. She's a wife, mother, and grandma -- who happened to marry a black man (soo shocking, I know. Someone call TMZ!). It really annoys her when people don't acknowledge her children aren't just black.

"Hellloo, I helped make them too! Don't disrespect me to make them fit in some box," she told me.

My husband's family is also blended. Yes, you might see a black man when you see him (he's also Latino, but we'll save that discussion for another time), but wait until you check out his granny. She's a white-haired, blue-eyed Irish woman -- with a seriously thick West Indian accent. His eldest sister married a white man (I have two cute nephews), and while our familia doesn't have day-long discussions about race, that doesn't mean we aren't attune to certain realities and harsh truths.

If I'm speaking honestly, there are things Tate will need to speak to Walker about, as he is a man of color. Let's not kid ourselves here, the world will look at his son's blackness first. I don't, however, think that means there isn't room for other discussions.

More from The Stir: 5 Tips for Talking About Race With Kids

There are plenty of mixed children in this world who have identity issues. Some feel they have to side with one particular race, and others don't believe they are black or white enough to consider themselves authentic.

Perhaps Taye didn't use the right words to convey his message, but at least it has us talking about being mixed, what it looks like, and how society sees people from two racial groups.

 

 

Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

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