Talk:One-drop rule

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Reggae music[edit]

Excuse me but shouldn't there be a portion of this article about the one-drop rhythm in reggae music? It's ridiculous that there isn't even any mention of reggae. Please someone fix this. --Tree-name 15:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Why not do your own page?JBDay 19:44, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Harold Ford Jr[edit]

Please excuse me if this is a silly question. I made my first contribution to Wikipedia yesterday (some minor corrections to articles) and am still trying to learn the ropes. My question is this:

There is no indication that Harold Ford Jr has more european than african ancestry, both of his parents are African American. He should not be included unless this claim is substantiated. I'm removing it.

Why is there no discussion on this topic? The notion of invisible Blackness is unique to the United States. Only in the U.S. can someone say the phrase, "White-looking Black person" with a straight face. Everywhere else on earth such a phrase is considered as nonsensical as saying, "tall-looking short person," or "fat-looking thin person." The U.S. phenomenon of belief in invisible, (intangible by definition) "race" is of consuming interest to folks outside the 'States and of vital importance to understanding U.S. history. I would have expected its discussion page to be huge and highly contested. But there is nothing here! FrankWSweet 11:47, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for contributing. Talk pages are only here to discuss articles and there hasn't been much debate over this topic, at least under this heading. If you want to see long discussions, head over to Race and intelligence. Cheers, -Willmcw 16:55, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
About two years ago, this article contained plenty of opinions. I don't know what occurred, but the current "talk" page and the current "article" page scarcely resemble those of 2004. Spooks may have erased the entire kit-and-kaboodle. Things often vanish. Such is the way of Wikipedia. 22:23, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Notice this page is considered "African Diaspora." Most seem to believe that only "blacks" are affected by the ODR, which is nonsense. Walter Plecker and his types would be proud. So he cut the childbirth deaths in "black" women by 50%, he was still a vile Southern Paternalist. As for "white looking blacks," the term "black" is used in this country to mean a certain caste/marriage group that has become larger and larger as there are more lines crossed in marriage. If we had the "Latin" system, "white and "black" would merely be descriptions, nothing more.JBDay 22:54, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


What's a "white scholar" exactly? I wonder about this article... Ben Arnold 11:30, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the section is weak. Even removing the adjective does not help because (1) most scholars publishing in the field today conclude that the one-drop rule is alive and well (see and (2) the section asserts political motives without evidence. Judging only by the U.S. decennial census, it is accurate to say that "By the 1980 census, many groups who were regarded as non-white, became conditionally white (Arabs, Latinos, etc), which allowed intermarriage to include the offspring as white," but this was because census "racial" designation became self-assigned and voluntary in 1960. In any event, give me a couple of hours and I shall fix this section. -- Frank W Sweet 12:47, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Editing by others has gradually improved and strengthened the text in this section. This is good. Unfortunately, it has also introduced a couple of minor factual inaccuracies. This is not good. I have corrected the section's second paragraph accordingly. -- Frank W Sweet 14:12, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Is it a good thing?[edit]

Barbara Shack added two paragraphs. The second is:

Arguably it is a good thing that the One-drop rule cannot be enforced. Favourable genetic mutations happen throughout humanity. White (people) are only a part of the total human population. Transfer of favourable genes strengthens the whole of humanity. This is discussed in more detail in the article on Racial purity. To the extent that White People of America prevent favourable genes which arose in Non-white populations spreading to them they weaken themselves.

The idea that endogamous barriers harm the populations on both sides of the barrier by reducing genetic diversity is reasonable. (Although, given that all members of our species are already as alike as peas in a pod, compared to the much greater diversity in other large mammals, one wonders if the goal of maximizing our gene-pool diversity is not already hopeless.) But my question is that this paragraph seems to take sides as to the morality or ethics of a cultural tradition. Is this okay in Wikipedia? I certainly agree that the ODR is irrational and unjust in many ways. But can you say this in an encyclopedic article? Just asking. I will stand by whatever other contributors say. -- Frank W Sweet 16:09, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Barbara ShackI wrote, "arguably" to make it more encyclopaedic. I'll try and find a way of being more neutral.
"It can be argued it is a good thing that the One-drop rule cannot be enforced. Favourable genetic mutations happen throughout humanity. White (people) are only a part of the total Human population. Transfer of favourable genes strengthens the whole of humanity. It makes the whole of humanity better able to survive. This is discussed in more detail in the article on Racial purity. To the extent that White People of America prevent favourable genes which arose in Non-white populations spreading to them they refuce their capicity to survive or weaken themselves. Other populations which do not restrict their gene pool will eventually overtake those populations which restrict themselves. ")
Here's how it is now. Is that better?

Needs a source, not just opinion.Parkwells (talk) 21:52, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Please stick to the topic[edit]

The topic of this article is only the one-drop-rule. Other topics, such as the validity of the race concept for example have their own articles. Thanks, otherwise everything will only be messed up and incoherent-xpark 20:30, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

What is the above complaint in reference to? If there is something off-topic in the article, please feel free to remove it. Frank W Sweet 17:55, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

How about this "(Similar comparisons can be made to hair texture, and the fact that Afros and dreadlocks, while cool for certain music videos and TV sitcoms, are not acceptable in corporate America or in most executive media jobs or educational institutions.)" while the statement may be true, it's not directly relevant and, I don't think, is not much different than, say, a white person going to an interview with spiky hair or mohawk. --CJWilly 23:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

Google hits for these phrases:

  • one-drop theory: 534
  • one-drop rule:37,200

Re-name article?--Nectar 22:45, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Works for me. In my view, the word "theory" suggests that the notion of invisible intangible Blackness (due to a trace of distant African ancestry) has scientific foundation, rather than being merely a bizarre counterfactual myth unique to the United States. I would go with "rule." -- Frank W Sweet 14:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
What people colloquially know it as does not dictate what it should be called. It was never officially used as a law or rule, as any judgements made that involved it called upon it as a theory. To the casual eye, the word theory would do more to give the impression of it being an untruth than "rule", which gives an air of authenticity. -- 17:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I do NOT agree. "Theory" implies that there is some sort of science behind it. Is it provable or disprovable that a person is "colored" or "non-colored" in any instance? It is a matter of personal definition and preference how one sees others. There is no sense in calling this a theory. It is a "rule" because people who agree with it choose to go by the rule. If I do not allow persons with green shirts into my club, it is my own rule, regardless of how foolish it is. But there is no disprovable theory that green-shirted persons are worthy of entry into my club or not. It is a rule, not a theory, and the name SHOULD change. --mal7798 04:15, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
That's at least 3 votes for a name change, plus me so that's 4 against 1. This subject is not a theory in the slightest. I'm going to change the name. Malamockq 06:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
It was a rule related to the racial caste of slavery, and the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, put into VA law in 1662, that assigned children in the colonies to the social status of their mothers, rather than of their fathers, which prevailed among English subjects under English common law. Some historians believe this initially related more to the difficulty of foreigners not being considered English subjects, and the country had no system of naturalization. In the North American colonies, it meant that the children of slave mothers were born into slavery, no matter who their father was. (This was after a mixed-race, Christian woman with an English father gained acknowledgement that she had completed an indenture and was free, and not a slave.) While often discussed in terms of slavery times, the one-drop rule was generally not put into law until the 20th century; 1924 in VA, where it was part of a racial purity and eugenics program. Even in the late 19th century, a debate in the VA legislature recognized that many families accepted as "white" had African ancestry in their past, so they did not support a one-drop rule then.Parkwells (talk) 22:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)


The intro section seems to be a bit on the long side, maybe some of it should be moved into the body of the article? Sfnhltb 16:04, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. For a start, I have removed the following paragraph that Barbara Shack added last December.

It can be argued it is a good thing that the One-drop rule cannot be enforced. Favourable genetic mutations happen throughout humanity. White (people) are only a part of the total Human population. Transfer of favourable genes strengthens the whole of humanity. It makes the whole of humanity better able to survive. This is discussed in more detail in the article on Racial purity. To the extent that White People of America prevent favourable genes which arose in Non-white populations spreading to them they refuce their capicity to survive or weaken themselves. Other populations which do not restrict their gene pool will eventually overtake those populations which restrict themselves.

There are 5 problems with this well-intentioned paragraph:

1. The opening words, "It can be argued" are pseudo-academic weasel words. A wealth of research has been done on human reproduction. Either it supports the notion that "interracial breeding" is a good thing eugenically or it does not or it.

2. The lack of research support for the suggestion is because the suggestion is worse than wrong--it is non-falsifiable. How could anyone possibly design an experiment to show that an endogamous barrier between human populations leads to "improvement".

3. In a genetic sense, what exactly is meant by "White population" and "non-White" population? Even a glance at White (people) shows that the definition of who is White? varies dramatically between nations, cultures, even among regions within the United States, to say nothing of the fact that today's U.S. definition differs dramatically from that used in 1920, which differs from the U.S. definition of 1880, which differs from that of 1810, which differs... etc. Whiteness has always been an ethnic self-identity loosely related to a few elements external appearance, but with little connection to actual genetic admixture. Why is Carol Channing accepted as US-White despite having a genetically African grandparent? Why is Gregory Howard Williams accepted as US-Black despite having no genetically African grandparents at all?

4. None of the value-laden terms is defined nor even theoretically definable. What, quantifiably speaking, is meant by: "a good thing", "strengthens", "better able to survive", "favourable", "weaken", overtake". Seriously, exactly how could anyone measure whether one population is "overtaking" another? What does it mean?

5. Finally, there are no geographically discontinuous populations of humans in a genetic sense. All humans are as genetically alike as peas in a pod. Said another way, virtually all human genetic variation is between individuals, not between groups, no matter how the groups are defined. This one fact renders the entire notion of hybridization irrelevant to this particular species of mammal. -- Frank W Sweet 17:00, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Note on footote #6 from Charles W. Chesnutt "What is a White Man" Italic textThe IndependentItalic text 41 (30 May 1889): 5-6

"...extracts from a decision of the Supreme Court of South Carolina...the only rule which can be laid down by the courts is that where there is a distinct and visible admixture of Negro blood, the individual is to be denominated a mulatto or person of color"

Langston Hughes quotation[edit]

Thank you, That is a wonderful quotation. I have also seen the words attributed to some Haitian bigwig being interviewed by Harry Hoetink. Would you happen to have the page number in The Big Sea? -- Frank W Sweet 13:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

No, I'm sorry I don't. I stumbled across it on this page: and it reminded me of this theory. Maybe they can help you out.

Further source:,6761,819295,00.html


Swirly wrote, "'Zambo' describes a person on black and amerindian ancestry, sambo used to describe 3/4 black and 1/4 white)."

I have no objection to the spelling change. I just wanted to point out that This term varied in spelling and meaning throughout the new world. In some places and times it was derogatory, in others it was merely descriptive. In Africa it had an entirely different meaning. For many centuries, Sambo or Zambo was (and still is) a common male first name among the Hausa peoples of what is today northern Nigeria and adjacent regions of Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. It is the name traditionally given to a family's second son. According to Peter H. Wood in Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina From 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion, 1st ed. (New York: Knopf, 1974), page 185, "Repeatedly in [North] America, when non-English-speaking groups have imported names which had laudatory or at least neutral implications at first, these have gradually been made common nouns and given a negative connotation."

A similar phenomenon in the early 19th century transformed the Yoruba day names into derogatory terms. In the Yoruba culture, children are often named for the day of the week that they are born. The Yoruba days of the week are named as follows:

(English -- Yoruba maculine name, Yoruba feminine name)

  • Sunday -- Quashee, Quasheba
  • Monday -- Cudjo, Juba
  • Tuesday -- Cubena, Beneba
  • Wednesday -- Quaco, Cuba
  • Thursday -- Quao, Abba
  • Friday -- Cuffee, Phiba
  • Saturday -- Quame, Mimba

-- Frank W Sweet 16:11, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Can someone please copy edit this article?[edit]

I noticed a sentence "These standards are widely rejected by America's Latino community, the majority of whom are of mixed ancestry, but for whom their Latino cultural heritage is more important to their ethnic identities than skin color." appears (with only a few words changed) twice in this article. Foday 04:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I find it hard to believe that "The one-drop rule was unrelated to slavery"[edit]

What was it related to? Many slaves, such as Frederick Douglass, were known to have European ancestry, but were still regarded as black and as slaves. It seems as though the theory was a racist theory designed to keep slaves (who often became mixed-race) and later their free descendents "in their place", an extension of the racism used to justify slavery. Foday 04:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

In every federal census that Frederick Douglass appears in his race is classified as "mulatto", not black or negro; Douglass publically identified as black however. Slavery was not legally predicated on race or color, and the only reason Douglass was a slave was because his mother was a slave.

Genetic Averaging[edit]

The author of this section confuses allele frequency with age of allele distributions. Sub-Saharan Africans as a population indeed have the oldest allele distributions, with the European allele distribution being intermediate in age between those of sub-Saharan Africans and East Asians. This doesn't mean, however, that Europeans are a genetic average of East Asians and Africans. Many African alleles cannot be found in other populations, and many European alleles can't be found in East Asian populations (the converses are also true, but to a lesser extent). Thus, a half-black, half-East-Asian person will not have a genetic profile similar to that of a European, as this person will have many alleles found hardly at all in Europeans, and will have a disproportionate number of alleles that are particularly enriched in East Asians. I.e., this person will appear to be a cross between an African and an East-Asian. The section as it stood before was kind of like an argument claiming that if you blend the musical styles of Vivaldi and Stravinsky, you would get something similar to Beethoven, because the average of the time when Vivaldi wrote and when Stravinsky wrote would bring you to about when Beethoven wrote. The truth is that while all three composers belong to the same broad tradition of Western "art music", and each successive one owes some of his style to earlier ones, they each have their own distinctive characteristics that do not develop in a neat linear fashion as time goes forward. (For more contemporary music fans, replace "Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Stravinsky" with "the Beatles, R.E.M., and Radiohead".) Europeans are not simply Africans halfway to becoming East Asians.-Atemperman 18 May 2006

But the point is that if the one drop rule defines Blasians as black, it must define whites as black too since whites have just as much pure African genes as Blasians do. Europeans share 65% of their genes with North East Asians and 35% with pure Africans. Since most blasians have one African-American parent (who is by no means pure African) and another parent who is the genetic antithesis of African, they're no more black than Europeans are.
I kinda see what you're saying, but the section seemed that it was saying that Europeans are a genetic average of sub-Saharan Africans and East Asians, which is nonsense. Even if it were clear that what the section was trying to say is what you said, i.e., that the one-drop theory by considering half-black, half-Asian persons to be black must then accept that whites are in fact black, it would still be wrong. First off, all humans share at least 99%, not 65% or 35% of their genetic material.
More importantly, the idea in this section, which you repeat here, that there's some single continuum of genetic variation, and blacks are on one end, with East Asians on the other. This is either wrong or meaningless. Everyone interested in this topic should learn a bit about human comparative genetics. A good resource is this post[1], which synthesizes material from a number of scientific sources.
So, alleles have different frequencies in different races. All races other than blacks originated as subgroups of sub-Saharan Africans, and then split off and populated different regions of the world. The oldest groups is blacks, the newest group is East Asians, and one of the intermediate groups is Europeans. Some of blacks' genetic diversity was lost when the proto-European group diverged, and some new genetic diversity has since developed in Europeans. Likewise for East Asians.--Atemperman 15:22, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Addendum: The post I linked to appears on a site many opinions of which I disagree with. That said, it neatly provides in one place some useful factual information. As to whether speaking of human "races" is appropriate, I think this is a cultural issue rather than a scientific one, and if people prefer, we can just say "population subgroup" instead of race, to avoid various present and historical problems with the word "race".

According to the work of J. Philippe Rushton there is indeed some single genetic continuum from blacks to North East Asians. He claims that blacks and North East Asians fall at opposite extremes on 60 different variables including behavior, personality, and penis size.

Mr. Rushton represents a fringe view and practices flawed science. He has misinterpreted the work of Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, and his data represents his bias, not the world in general. See WP:NPOV#Undue weight. --JereKrischel 16:57, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Rushton does not represnt the fringe. His theory was endorsed by E.O. Wilson who is one of the world's most emminent biologists. In an interview with the journalist Peter Knudson: "I think Phil is an honest and capable researcher ... The basic reasoning by Rushton is solid evolutionary reasoning; that is it's logically sound. If he had seen some apparent geographic variation for a non-human species-a species of sparrow or sparrow hawk, for example-no one would have batted an eye."

I'm sorry, that's a blatant misrepresentation. Asserting that Rushton's basic reasoning is sound does not represent an endorsment of his methods, data, or conclusions. Furthermore, citing E.O. Wilson, who has also had the cloud of racism over his works, hardly helps portray Rushton as anything but fringe:
Some critics accused Wilson of racism. At a conference in 1978, members of the International Committee Against Racism poured water on his head and chanted "Wilson, you're all wet". The controversy caused a great deal of personal grief for Wilson; some of his colleagues at Harvard, such as Richard Lewontin and the late Stephen Jay Gould, were vehemently opposed to his ideas.
Rushton is a new age eugenicist who has made a career out of misinterpreting real science to proclaim the validity of his simplistic, unsupportable theories regarding the social categories of race. He is definitely fringe. --JereKrischel 20:18, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

You're the one misinterpreting real science when you incorrectly deny the biological reality of race. Please take the time to read the comments from Jensen before making rash edits.

I'm sorry, but when laymen interpret studies in ways specifically denied by those who developed and conducted those actual studies, it is easy to come to simplistic, catchy, but completely incorrect conclusions. I've edited your entries further to clearly illustrate the challenges to the sound-bites you've quoted. --JereKrischel 22:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Clearly, this has become an argument between one or two people who think Rushton's right, and those who don't. In any event, the concept of genetic averaging arose after one-drop laws were repealed or struck down, and so it's not important in the history of the one-drop rule/theory. If we want to continue having this debate, let's move it to a separate page. I thus propose that the section on genetic averaging be deleted or moved to its own page.--Atemperman 23:10, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I support removing it. It has zero to do with the subject of this article. JWB 17:25, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. I came to the discussion page to find out why the genetic averaging section was even in this article. Whether it deserves its one page is a different question, but it's entirely irrelevant to an article on the one-drop rule. Natalie 05:35, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I do too, and so I'm moving it to its own page. Some people probably think it should be junked from WP entirely, but that debate can take place on the separate Genetic Averaging page. --Atemperman 20:51, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Historical Reference[edit]

From what I have gathered, I would like to submit that the “One-drop theory” be recognized more as a historical circumstance as opposed to fact. For instance, if one would apply said “theory” to the U.S. population as a whole with today’s technology and circumstances (DNA, Admixture Levels, etc.); I assure many would be surprised. At this point, it is beyond phenotypical measures as to what is “inside” a person’s genetic heritage.

It's My Understanding that....[edit]

....the "rule" or "theory" was unoffically created by white slaveowners and slavebrokers after the slave trade had been banned in the early 1800's. It was then institutionalized and made legal after Plessy v. Ferguson, particularly in the Southern states. I don't think Americans of African descent either created or upheld the rule; rather it was forced upon them by the majority. It's a dated and insulting rule or theory or whatever you call it, and should be dismissed by all races. --Rex1932 21:24, 18 June 2006

I'd have to agree with you. Panda —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

The "Drop" has a Very Complex History[edit]

Many African-Americans of less then "half" sub-Saharan consider themselves "Black" in this land of the USA. I happen to be related to many and I'm inclined to agree. So, what is "race" anyways? It's a open question that can't really be totally ignored for some reason. Is there such a thing as differing "race"? Or can obvious differinces be related to the "human condition" and adjustments humans had to make to adjust to unique environments and conditions? Sorry, I guess I have strayed off of the subject as well.

"Moorish Appearance???!!!"[edit]

Wikipedia is gaining much attention these days... most of it is negative... there are obvious reasons for this namely those users who either don't have any knowledge in an area in which they post info (which turns out to be inacurate), or they are simply posting biased, bigoted, or "hate" info with careless disregard for truth or descency. In regard to this I notice in this article the mention of "Margarita de Castro e Souza, a Portuguese of possibly mixed origins, who was known at her time for having a 'Moorish' appearance." First, the word here is "possibly." Second, the overwhelming majority of "Moors" were Berbers who (regardless of what Afro-centrists and Euro-centrists want people to believe) are still Caucasian according to Science! Third, many Portuguese, Spanish, and others in Southern Europe have "Moorish" ancestry... so it could never have been such a "shocker... oh my god, you have a Moor in your pedigree!" Fourth, considering the fact that Ben Franklin thought the early German immigrants to America were NOT "White," and more recently the idea that Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Portuguese, Jews, Arabs, Berbers, and Indic peoples are "not 'White'" - it seems safe to conlcude that these peoples have never been consider "White" by anyone other than those who understand the Science behind the classification of "races" (if they even exist). That said, what is this brief, ridiculous, and extremely vague and over-generalized statement even doing in this article? I realize that it is an example... but it's an extremely ignorant and repugnant one. Finally, what is a "Moorish appearance" anyway???!!!??? And even if she did have some distant "Moorish" ancestor - she would not have had an appearance!!! Get updated on your knowledge of genetics!!! This statement is propoganda at best!

People are getting two groups of people wrong..people from India went up north and mixed with white..these people are seen as white/Aryans like people in Iran,Lebanon,Turkey,Italy Afghanistan,Pakistan so on..they are seen as lower class whites in Europe.. they call them Indo-Europeans,Eurasians,Persians,Celts or "black" Irish.."black" whatever but they are not seen as the same race as African..the other group like the Moors..Berbers..Hebrews..Arabs "Gypsies" come from people in India who mixed with black the Americas they confuse the first group as the second...maybe due to tv & movies which often uses the 1st group to portray the 2nd group. --MissKnowItAll

"Black Irish" are actually descended from Abrahamic tribes who migrated from Persia/Greece/NEast Africa, and the ancient world made no such insane foolishness over skin shade or such things as continents. There were no "Black Africans" in anywhere but SSAfrica until the slave trade shifted from Slavic lands because of the Ottoman wars.JBDay 00:00, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

The one-drop theory arises curious cases[edit]

"The one-drop theory arises curious cases." <-- what does this sentence mean? --JWSchmidt 20:18, 2 December 2006 (UTC)


Fredrik Reinfeldt..would not be seen as black... the one drop thing is 1/8th or 1/16 which ia the same thing(your mom 4-grandparents, father 4-grandparents) it only relates to grandparents...anybody before them doesn't count. this is real important for them who keep bringing up that one relative who may or may not have ethnic blood..if it was before your grandparents and everyone since then was white than you're white..your not mixed your not even multiracial --MissKnowItAll

There is a serious error in the article on the One Drop Rule. Spaniards of pure European ancestry who are born in Latin America DO NOT consider any mixed-race person with barely recognizable caucasian features "white." In fact, the One Drop Rule applies even more intensely in the white Spaniard community in Latin America, since the admixture between races is so common there, and the white community resents the common misconception that any person with a Spanish surname is "colored."

For some unknown reason (to me), in the US, this pernicious and condescending perception of the non-white nature of any Spanish surnamed person is extremely common, and becoming more so. Inaccurate statements such as the one in this article do not help this situation. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cd195 (talkcontribs) 05:11, 4 February 2007 (UTC).

This is the first time I have heard of this....[edit]

I am 1/4 Cuban and I learned from my Cuban relatives that it doesn't matter what color your grandma was; if you looked white, you WERE white. I look black, so I AM Toni Morrison said, "Definitions belong to the definers, NOT the defined." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rex1932 (talkcontribs) 05:27, 4 February 2007 (UTC).

"One drop rule" in Brazil never existed[edit]

There's no such thing in Brazil, there never was. And in the "One drop rule" entry we see something called "reverse one drop rule" attributed to Brazil. It gives the wrong impression to the reader as if it is something established by the government in south american countries and it is wrong, and make it look like as if the african-american view were the only valid view. The racial situation in there is much more complex than such a simple description.

The only source used for it is an article written by an american interviewing people living in the USA, which offers no evidence whatsoever besides of how some americans see race. I think it's your obligation to come up with trustworthy sources instead of just leaving it there until someone "proves" otherwise.

Have you ever been to Brazil? I was born there, and in Brazil a drop of white blood makes you white to the man on the street. You have to be jet black with broad features to pass as black in brazil. Source is one of the world's most respected papers Onedroprule
I am brazilian and I have lived here all my life and there never was any "one drop rule" the source for this information is not a valid source. How can a newspaper article be used as a source for anything besides opinion? Your opinion also is not a valid source.
The "one drop rule" derives from one of the bloodiest idelogies of the 20th century, the same fables raised by the "scientific racism" by the end of the 19th century are taken very seriously in the american society today. The same ideology used to call people "black" in the US were used to justify euthanasia of the mentally ill and of the "inferior races" during the Third Reich. The same ideology were used in the apartheid in South Africa and the outrageous laws in the US. How can you associate it to Brazil? This is not only irresponsible, but a plain lie.
What the person is considered to be will depend entirely of how he looks, so it's possible to have either a white person that has a black parent, and a black person that has a white parent. This fact alone smashes your affirmation to bits. If a person looks black he will be considered black even if most of his ancestors are blondes, there is absolutely nothing to do with "one drop" of anything.
I will remove it again, and I expect if anyone has anything to add in this discussion to bring valid sources, not opinions.
Look everything on wikipedia is offensive to someone, but that doesn't give us the right to go around vandalizing articles and violating wikipedia articles. The sources is the Washington Post, one of the most respected journalistic institutions in the world. Onedroprule
This is not offensive to me, this is a plain lie! If you want to say it then come up with data different than opinions! How can you say anything about some people's culture and country without any serious study about it? This is not vandalizing, this is stating the truth. If you disagree with me then I challenge you to come up with anything more trustworthy than a mere opinion. Everyone has opinions, what's the difference between yours and of the guy that wrote the article? You obviously never lived in Brazil, any brazilian would be able to tell how this is just ridiculous.
I must remember you that it's your obligation to come up with trustworthy sources, and opinions aren't qualified as such. I will remove it again and I hope if you wish to discuss it further you bring good information instead of a casual article written by an american about things he is not qualified enough to argue over.
I've looked at the source and it's extremely credible. The source is credible, the paper is credible. Doesn't matter if you don't think it's credible. No one here is interested in your opinions Influencey
Opinions aren't facts, and your "source" is nothing more than opinions from an american. Please remove it or come up with trustworthy sources. It's your obligation to prove it, then prove it. Is there any responsible person I can talk to? You don't seem to grasp what the problem is, maybe I need to talk with someone else.
Actually the article quotes people of Brazilian origin. Race is a social construction so all racial definitions are opinions. You don't seem to grasp wikipedia's reliable source policy, wikipedia's 3 revert rule policy, or wikipedia's vandalism policy. Influencey
The "one drop rule" is a very real historical fact, still applied in some places, with a very well defined basis, which was the racial theories of the past. In this context opinions aren't valid. Unless you can prove that the exact same ideas occurred in Brazil, with historical and trustworthy sources, then it's not valid. The impression the reader will get from this text is wrong, as if the exact same ideas are applied in Brazil but in the reverse.
I repeat, unless you can prove this historical fact with trustworthy sources, i.e., historical sources not opinions, then this is nothing more than "wishful thinking".
And more, the "one drop rule" implies an imposition from racists, a form of excluding others. There never was any form of racist imposition in Brazil because people are free to indentify themselves as they wish. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC).
The one drop rule used to have a very strict legal meaning; today the term is used in a much less formal sense, as simply a rough and ready way that people label race. This article is not simply about how the concept was applied legally & opppressively, but also the impact it had on how race is socially constructed in America. Today the one drop rule has become a symbol for African-American unity so concepts chanage. The fact that Brazil socially constructs race in the opposite way is thus both relevant, interesting & cited by a reliable source. Influencey
Being different doesn't mean that it is the opposite. By saying "opposite" you are implying a relationship where one's values are the opposite of the other, but the circumstances involving both societies and culture are completely different. This is not interesting, it's simply false, shallow and it disinforms more than informs. There's no such thing of one drop of anything here, black people can have white children, white people can have black children, and people identify themselves as they wish and it's more related to how they look instead of ancestry. If you wish to know "different constructs" then I suggest you research everywhere because you will always find different ideas about it. There's no reason to single Brazil out in this matter or to cite it under "one drop rule" article if all you want is to show "different racial constructs".
The truth is that brazilians aren't as obssessed with race as you are, and the very fact that you believe people should have this or that stance in this matter is biased. If you read the text of the "reverse one drop rule" you will see that in its flawed logic it assumes that everyone else in the world should think as you do, and if they don't then they are "the opposite". Wrong assumptions, wrong conclusions, bad sources.
The entry is specifically about "one drop rule" and unless you have the evidence, in the strict sense of it, of this concept in Brazil then it's just an opinion, not a fact. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:15, 10 March 2007 (UTC).
We have a reliable source saying that in America if you are not quite white you are black, but in Brazil if you are not quite black you are white. That's direct evidence of a reverse way of drawing the racial line. Just because you think Brazilians are so much more advanced than Americans that they couldn't possibly care about anything as petty as race, does not give you the right to censor and vandalize articles Influencey
You have nothing but wishful thinking. There's no reverse way of doing anything, your conclusion seems more a cultural tendency of americans to treat everything in a dualistic manner: good vs. evil? black or white? us vs them? You will find black people whose mother or father is blonde simply because they look like black. There's no rule defining anything at all.
And, by the way, repeating that I am "vandalizing" the article won't make this "reverse one drop rule" to be real.


This is trickey. The article makes clear that something like 1 drop applies, at least sometimes. But it doesn't make clear that it is quite as extreme as 1 drop, or that it is called 1 drop. I think it's worth a mention, but maybe make clear that it isn't exactly the same thing? Regards, Ben Aveling 11:42, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

the extreme form of the one drop rule where someone who was 99% white was legally forced to be black no longer exists, so the term 1 drop rule has been relaxed to simply mean then tendency Americans still have to sometimes describe multiracial people as just black. There's a reverse tendency in Brazil so this should be mentioned. Perhaps we should call the section Reverse one drop rule (informal) to emphasize this was never anything that's been law in any country, just a rough and ready way of deciding race Influencey
Actually I changed the section to say that Latin America rejects the 1 drop rule, without going as far as saying they have a reverse 1 drop rule Influencey
Brazilians don't speak spanish. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:53, 11 March 2007 (UTC).
Good for Brazilians. Onedroprule

I agree that there is no "reverse one drop rule". The Washington Post's author idea of Sidney Poitier being considered black if he had straight hair and a job is simply laughable. Reminds me of that movie in wich there were many monkeys at the beach, and the women were all topless like some european beaches, passing the impression that the author's idea is that in Brazil there are not yet techniques to straighten the hair (or "real" white people with curly hair, of other ascents), and that black people most of the time is unemployed, doing absolutely nothing for a living, perhaps living on fruits on the abundant forests. Inversely, unemployed white people of curly hair is not considered black or brown. I hate to play that "foreigners don't know a thing about Brazil" card, I don't even mind much people thinking that we speak spanish, but that's what it really looks like. The Neinstein quote is not a strong support of this sort of claim either, he's not based in any study on the perception of races in Brazil, it's just what he's saying, which would be more adequate on an article about him than as a sample of the common views.

The whole point is not that "we're so advanced that we see races only as social constructs" or whatever. Its somewhat the opposite, actually. The closest thing to a reverse one drop rule that there is, is a sort of "political correctness". Saying that someone is "black" may be regarded as offensive, so the term "moreno" will often be used to a broad range of people, from black, passing by all degrees of black-white miscigenation, to white people of black or dark hair, irrespective of the hair being straight or not, or of being unemployed or not; that is, almost everybody except asians, amerindians and whites of red or blond hair. But this is not equivalent as saying that someone with Poitier's complexion is white, but is actually a "polite" way to avoid mentioning that he's black. The whole thing is a mess, actually. This thing of using "moreno" as a sort of "euphemism" is repudiated by many people, and while it is true that someone looking like Rashida Jones would hardly be considered/recognized as black or even mixed (unless in the way that it's usually said, in a tone of praise, that everybody in Brazil is mixed to some degree), there are also people whose standards of races are somewhat closer to the "not reverse" one drop rule, but mostly from people who consider themselves to be black, something that I think that has came from USA's hip-hop / black awareness moviments. As some other article states, it's seen somewhat like the issue of tall and short, but added with some relevance of ancestry; not as if someone who got really much tan would "become" black or as if Michael Jackson had really became white. Like that recent exceptional case of twins in which one was "blond" and the other was "black", each one would be regarded as white and black, respectively, rather than being both white (reverse rule), or both black (standard rule). I'll see if I find real studies on the perception/standards of race in Brazil, anyway. --Extremophile 18:41, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Brazil examples[edit]

Careful reading of the Washington Post's article will show that the stuff about someone as dark as Sidney Potier's being considered white if he had straight hair and caucasoid features was merely the reporter's personal speculation, and as such it doesn't belong in the article. The additional example of a man whose skin was dark enough to be considered black by some but who in fact did not consider himself black is presented so that it implies that the man actually thought of himself as white, when in fact his self-identification is made no mention of. He may have thought of himself as moreno (brown), for example. SamEV 01:18, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Still doesn't justify blanking that much material. Add qualifications or alternative sources if you'd like but blanking highly credible sources is inappropriate. Of course it's influenced by the reporters point of view, but in wikipedia a point of view is considered notable enough for inclusion if a reliable source expresses it. Onedroprule
Will do. SamEV 02:00, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not other people's obligation to prove you otherwise, but it's your obligation to come up with valid sources. This article is just an example of why Wikipedia can't be taken seriously. There aren't any facts in here, just opinions that support someone's agenda. And implying a connection between Brazil and "spanish-language television" is just priceless, you and your "reliable source" don't even know that in Brazil people don't speak spanish. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC).
Whether you want to admit it or not, there's an enormous amount of African ancestry in Brazil. I understand this is an extremely emotional issue but that's no reason to delude ourselves into believing a paper as respected as the Washington Post is not a reliable source. And no the source did not claim anything about the language spoken in Brazil. Please take the time to understand the material you are commenting on. Onedroprule
You are dodging the responsibility of providing accurate sources with things that have nothing to do with the issue. What having "african ancestry" in Brazil has to do with you to provide appropriate sources? Why do you associate "spanish language television" with people that don't speak spanish? The material in the Washington Post is merely an opinion, of a non brazilian by the way.
You associated the brazilians and "spanish speaking televisions" here: "dark-skinned immigrants to the United States from Brazil, ...and lighter-skinned Latinos dominate Spanish-language television...".

What is hard to people of Anglosphere in general and the United States in particular is to understand the generally non-racialist culture and ways of life of the Latin America in general and Brazil in particular.

This is because although Anglosphere and Latin America are considered by many people as part of the Western World, the cultural and societal matrix of these two “worlds” are quite different.

First, Latin-American Law is not based in the English Common Law, but in the Continental European Napoleonic Code, which make the concepts of jurisprudence, dues, civil laws and citizenship different.

Second, the religion that shaped societal and cultural relations in Latin America was Roman Catholicism, mainly trough the missions of Jesuit orders (things like the Temperance movement never happened in Latin America, for example).

And third, the tradiotional culture (specially the high culture: literature, architeture) of Latin America was much more attached to the culture of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy than the Northern European/Protestant-Germanic cultures.

All of these factors made race relations in Latin America very different from race relations in the USA. People here are not organized in “race brotherhoods” or “ghettoes” — in bars, you can see people of different races chatting around the same table, for example. The concept of nationality is more based on jus soli and civil affiliation than ethnic or religious origins (a black christian Brazilian would be firstly considered Brazilian, secondly black, and thirdly christian, for example); and people are “allowed” to adopt cultures even if this culture was not originated by their “race”. In Brazil you can find black people who just listen to Rock and don’t like Rap or Samba, while you can have all-white Samba bands or white Samba composers (like Noel Rosa). A black man is free to make friendship with whites, and whites can be friends of blacks. And to marry outside the race generally is not considered “wrong”, a “crime” or a “silent holocaust”, since the free will of the person is respected above race or ethnicity conjectures.

Obviously because of three centuries of slavery there’s still racism in Brazil, but it's more a social-caste racism than a segregation-area racism that exists in USA. In Brazil, almost all corporate managers are white, while most of the bathroom cleaners and maids are black, for example.

And about the “reverse one-drop rule”: this existed in Brazil during most of the 20th century, but nowadays generally the people tends to classify race-mixing in a “non-drop” basis: if a person is son of a black and a white, he or she is not considered nor black or white, but half-black, and half-white too — in fact, a mixed-race person. I know it’s difficult to many Americans to understand these concepts, but here in Brazil you can be a person of multiple races, multiple cultures and sometimes even multiple religions — the syncretism is pretty common here, too.--MaGioZal 04:55, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

The Latin America is not really part of the Western World. --PaxEquilibrium 11:14, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
You should read Western world:
"Since Columbus the notion of the West has expanded to include North America and South America, though much of Latin America has more pre-Western influence; later still, Australia and New Zealand. ... Generally speaking, the current consensus would locate the West in, at the least, the cultures and peoples of Europe, the two Americas, and Australia."
When the article speaks of "pre-Western influence" in Latin America, that's a reference to Native American cultures, which were wiped out in Anglo-America but survived the European conquest of Latin America, not issues of race; there were virtually no Africans in Latin America until the Atlantic slave trade, so "pre-Western influence" had little or nothing to say concerning skin color. — Malik Shabazz (Talk | contribs) 17:27, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Indigenous people were not wiped out. Some went west, prodded by Buffalo Soldiers, others ran into the swamps and forests in order to escape being rounded up. When scum such as Plecker wanted to ensure his bogus racial purity, he threw out tons of records and consigned what was left of American Indigenous peoples in VA to the "black" caste. Those creole people either reject the label outright, or they use their one drop to become part of the "black" caste with all of its benefits. Some people named Williams in NC identify as "black," for example, but they are surely as mixed as the likes of Heather Locklear. I have relatives down there, and they identify in many ways, some as "black," and some as indigenous. The darker people tended to go to big(ger) cities and blend in as "black." That was due to Plecker and his scum laws, not actual genetic dying out. No, indigenous were not wiped out. JBDay 23:53, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

"Dubious" tag concerning slave-holding South[edit]

I added the "Dubious" tag to the following sentence:

"In the slave-holding South, racial membership was essentially the reverse of the 20th-century one-drop rule. A person of any visible European ancestry was presumed to be free."

Despite the citation of three court cases, the general rule was the opposite, which is why it is called the "one drop rule"; a person with even "one drop" of African blood coursing through her or his veins was considered African and potentially enslaved (actually enslaved in most cases).

This is confirmed, and the statement quoted above contradicted, by the following paragraph from the article:

"The 1910–19 decade was the zenith of the Jim Crow era by most measures. However, the one-drop rule was made law as early as 1705 in Virginia. Such laws would continue to be enacted into the 20th Century. Tennessee led the parade by adopting a one-drop statute in 1910. It was followed by Louisiana the same year, Texas and Arkansas in 1911, Mississippi in 1917, North Carolina in 1923, Virginia in 1924, Alabama and Georgia in 1927, and Oklahoma in 1931. During this same period, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Utah retained their old blood fraction statutes de jure but amended these fractions (one-sixteenth, one-thirtysecond) to be equivalent to one-drop de facto. By 1925, almost every state had a one-drop law on the books, or something equivalent. These were the laws that gave power to bureaucrats like Walter Plecker of Virginia, Naomi Drake of Louisiana, and similar people around the country — people whose mission was to hunt down any families of mixed ancestry and shove them to the Black side of the color line." (My emphasis)

If the one-drop rule in the slave-holding South was that one-drop of European blood made a person free, how could its opposite have been the law in Virgina in 1705 and possibly elsewhere as well?

At best, the article contradicts itself concerning Virgina, a significant slave-holding state that included the future states of Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia and portions of Ohio. At worst, the statement about the one-drop rule in the slave-holding South is completely false. — Malik Shabazz | Talk 16:48, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

australian aboriginal[edit]

since when were australian aboriginals not considered black? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:29, 14 May 2007 (UTC).

What is "black?" Aussi Aboriginals are of dark complection, but not "black" as they use it in the United States of America. Most likely they are descendents of various wrecked seafarers from many places. They developed their phenotype through isolation, which includes certain types of selection. In the 1960s, the Black Nationalists successfully got them to identify as black, to fight the "whites", which was the old Japanese influence of "white vs. coloured." Again, they are not "black." JBDay 19:41, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Aboriginals are considered a pacific islander race. However, people who don't know any better will call them black just out of plain ignorance of not knowing any better.Mcelite (talk) 01:54, 15 December 2007 (UTC)mcelite

Indigenous Australians often identify with African Americans as they have had similar struggles with oppression and for human rights. They have very different heritage, but often they call themselves black also, such as in the term "black fella". —Pengo 01:45, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

"results of the one-drop rule"[edit]

The "Some results of the one-drop rule" section says "Only 10% of Americans who self-identify as black are less than 50% sub-Saharan in ancestry, and thus can not be considered black at the genetic level." Although the 10% and less than 50% are mentioned in the referenced article, the claim "and thus can not be considered black at the genetic level" is false (and not from the referenced article). There is no such thing as "black at the genetic level", there's just percentages of certain genes found in certain groups of people. So I'm removing the whole "thus" part, as it is inaccurate, looks as if it is from a source (because of the reference), and uses weasel words ("cannot be considered" - by whom?). Jalwikip 13:37, 28 August 2007 (UTC) (EDIT: rereading that paragraph reveals it is awfully written, and contains very little information. Someone should edit.)

Balance, neutrality, and factual accuracy[edit]

Today an anon editor added banners disputing the balance, neutrality, and factual accuracy of this article, without any explanation why. I left a message for the editor, and I hope we hear what that editor's concerns are. — Malik Shabazz (Talk | contribs) 04:51, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Genetics, Reality[edit]

I find it bizarre that this article doesn't at any stage attempt to compare the "one-drop rule" with any of the many modern understandings of race or lack of existence thereof. At the risk of sounding pedantic, it might be wise to point out, for example, that all humans have their origins in sub-Saharan Africa.

The article also fails to say why the one-drop rule matters today in a supposedly non-racist society. Why is it important to classify people into racial categories today? Where is it applied today? By whom? For what purpose? Who are these "blacks who used the one-drop rule to enlarge both the black group and its leadership" that TIME magazine believes are out there applying the rule on unsuspecting "light-skinned persons" who would "never dream of identifying" with them otherwise? Why are random people being surveyed as to whether they think Barack Obama is black or interracial? What exactly is the issue here that's so important? —Pengo 05:34, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I understand perfectly what you are saying and I agree, but in reality, as far as society is concerned, it DOES matter, sadly, because we are still a racist society, at least in the US. - Jeeny Talk 05:51, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

If the One-Drop Rule is true, we're all black.[edit]

Evolutionary theory states that humans spread from Africa. What nationality are the people there now? Black. That nust, if this rule is true, make me black, and I'm pretty sure I'm caucasian. Lighted Match 01:24, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The rule has nothing to do with science or evolutionary theory. It was/is a political thing in the US. So your "caucasianess" is safe. Jeeny (talk) 02:52, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
BTW, what sort of nationality is black???--Ramdrake 12:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, no one is 100% one "race"...and African American heritage can be found in every human being...thus, yes, if going by this rule, we could consider everyone African by blood. Flyer22 (talk) 06:08, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think "African-American" heritage can be found in every human being...perhaps you meant African.Wikifried (talk) 11:31, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Alleged "Damage Caused in African American Families"[edit]

To Mcelite and any other editor who wonders why I removed this section:

Please review Wikipedia's policies concerning verifiability, original research, and reliable sources.

The information that was added to this article was not based on reliable sources. Self-published books, blogs, advertisements for films, and messages to e-mail lists are not reliable sources. Furthermore, none of the sources have anything to say about "Damage Caused in African American Families", the title under which this information was added.

In accordance with the policies cited above, information that cannot be supported by reliable sources will be removed from the article. — Malik Shabazz (Talk | contribs) 05:50, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Sentence in intro[edit]

I removed this sentence from the intro section:

During the Black Pride era of the Civil Rights Movement, the stigma associated with sub-Saharan ancestry was claimed as a socio-political advantage.[3]

It was put back. From the edit summary I can see that it does have some relationship with the subject of the article. However I still think that the connection should be made a bit more clear for the readers. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:21, 14 December 2007 (UTC) (a white American 'cause the one drop rule ain't really enforced) :-)

The Black Pride Era was actually quite devestating and in a way brainwashing. It really got people to deny all their heritage that wasn't African it really put the one drop rule into effect even more. It's sad but it's the harsh truth that's one of the reasons why so many people of African American descent don't even realize they are of Native American (largely), or caucasian descent. Or they don't tell anyone cause their afraid of being messed with...Mcelite (talk) 01:53, 15 December 2007 (UTC)mcelite

I think the point that the one drop rule has helped the African American people to have a greater sense of solidarity should be mentioned. I don't think it needs to be related to any special era however. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:18, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Well that true it doesn't need to be related to a special era. Actually I think it caused more harm with people whom were African American and also of another heritage. It seems to have actually helped in the ignorance of getting people to only acknowledge or feel like only their African heritage is important, or a person is wrong for admitting they are more than African American. (Which strengths the effects of the one drop rule) Probably a oood is e.g. is a friend of my she has a light brown color to her,but her hair is blond literally, and she used to dye her her dark brown so people wouldn't know that she is part white.Mcelite (talk) 05:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)mcelite

one drop? that must be some damn strong blood[edit]

This is the funniest article I have read on wikipedia. Keep on keeping on blacks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:33, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how it's that funny. Surely, you must have noticed how any person who is biracial, with that other half being African American, is largely considered African American. Some might find it a silly rule, but it is a reality in this world that I don't feel is too funny at all. Flyer22 (talk) 06:13, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
The One-drop rule sometimes works with other "races" as well. For instance, a person who is half Caucasian and half Chinese being largely considered Chinese. Flyer22 (talk) 06:20, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you Flyer22 it's a rule that makes it hard to claim any of your other heritage no matter how proud of it you are people in the U.S. will see ur skin color and will call you black I have 4 friends that are full blood Native American and people always think they're black when they have no African ancestry at all.Mcelite (talk) 03:54, 28 December 2007 (UTC)mcelite

Rushton's quote seems only tangentially relevant to the subject. It's about race in general, not about ODR. (talk) 19:25, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I assume the popularity of this stupid topic on the internet (and that's the only place anyone will ever hear of it) is that it implies the evil whities who supposedly made the rule are trying to say minority blood "taints" people somehow. And what is the internet for if not manufacturing reasons to get people all pissed off? Here's a brain teaser, if the concept of "race" is just a meaningless social construct, then how can the origination of the concept be "racist"?
By the way people are always more adept at discerning differences from the norm of their own kind than from that of other races. People of type A, will usually classify an A-B hybrid as type B and vice versa. I've met asians who said they had a very hard time telling white people apart. And we've all heard the cliche about Chinese people looking alike. It's how the brain works, not some retarded rule some slave-owning-bastard made up. (talk) 10:44, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Well with this rule it was structured specifically to kill any relationships between Native Americans and people whom were Native American and African descent. Also to demean those whom are of Caucasin and African American. When people are put into a situation that they feel that can't connect to their own people just because they are part black that causes them to only relate to black people which was the main point of the one drop rule, which was to keep the races seperate. Most African Americans that have Native heritage either don't have a clue or think that their is little percentage in their blood so they think it doesn't matter. Which is completely untrue, more studies have shown that majority meaning between actually 65-78% of so called African Americans can also call themselves Native American because they are also descents of them as well. Percentage varies so don't think I'm saying people who are both races or also have Caucasin blood are more African American or vice versa. It varies from family to family. So yes its a bogus rule that was created to make people of African American descent to feel of less value and also to discourage interracial relationships between white and black people. So there u have it (It's a rule that has caused alot of cultural damage.)Mcelite (talk) 19:06, 13 April 2008 (UTC)mcelite

I see you missed my point entirely. I'll try to be clearer. I think this page is a lot of bullshit and bad logic, trying to ascribe evil to innocent human nature. I don't believe any actual historic "rule" has had any affect on modern society whatsoever. And by the way, someone who was half indian used to be called a half-breed. (talk) 01:51, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

That was not innocent human nature. The entire point of the one-drop rule was to keep races separate. I one-drop rule does greatly affect people of African American descent to this day. If you ask your friends that you would call African American if they have any Native American ancestry at all, I bet you find at least a few that say yes I do. However, give them an application and the will check African American because of the one-drop rule and its effect on the American people. Also how much Native American ancestry people have varies from family to family with some families being more Native American or even Caucasian than black. The say could be said vice versa and yes people who were half Native American were called half breeds. This page isn't bullshit it's harsh reality on how southern slave owners in particular used this rule to keep slaves that were half breeds from wanting to reach out to their Native people, and to only acknowledge their African roots.Mcelite (talk) 02:46, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

fyi, notice how I start my opinions--particularly ones which directly contradict someone else's opinion--with phrases like "I think" and "I don't believe". That's so I don't sound like some bloviating know-it-all. It makes a person less irritating to debate with.
You can't possibly prove that things some slaveowner did hundreds of years ago are the reason people today identify themselves one way or another. Most of the country never had slavery. Most of the population immigrated in the last century. This article's comparisons are weak: Like homogenously white Europe. Or the holier-than-USA Brazilians... wait didn't they have slavery too?
If the situation was the opposite of the way it is people would just be getting pissed off about that too. Look at Tiger Woods, he called himself something different and people get mad. In the US we don't use terms like Half-Breed/Creole/Colored/Mixed anymore, because people get pissed off at THAT. Nowadays the hyphenated-American thing is all the rage. "White" isn't an ethnic category, just a lack of one; anyone who says otherwise is probably a fascist, or at least called one. If anything, people claim what they do about their own ethnicity because of a reaction AGAINST the past?
Everyone I know who is a large percentage Native American is very proud of the fact. If you mean small percentage, well I can claim that too, perhaps most people can unless you're a very recent immigrant. (talk) 13:13, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
And how about all the people who claim to be "Irish-American"? There must be ten times more of them here than Irish in Ireland. (talk) 16:57, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
In the United States, the "one-drop rule" originated in the slave economy: if a child of mixed parentage was considered Black, she or he was born into slavery (and was therefore valuable property). For most of American history, the one drop rule was perpetuated by laws that kept people of African descent as second-class citizens — no matter how "mixed" their ancestry might have been. The motivation of the white people who enacted and enforced those laws may have been, in part, the enhancement of "white privilege" (see White privilege#History for an explanation by W. E. B. Du Bois of the "psychological wages" of whiteness).
This is not quite right - According to the principle of partus sequitur ventrum, adopted into Virginia colonial law in 1662, the status of the mother determined the status of the children - therefore, children of enslaved mothers were born into slavery, regardless of their ancestry. By the eighteenth century, there were slaves who were otherwise legally white under current law, such as the children of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, who were 7/8 European in ancestry (Hemings was 3/4 European in ancestry). The children were slaves because they were born to an enslaved woman; but they were legally white under VA law at the time. It was not until 1910 that Tenesssee passed a law incorporating the one-drop rule of descent, and 1924 when Virginia did the same, part of continuing white supremacy efforts to enforce segregation.Parkwells (talk) 14:14, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Since the 1960s, the one-drop rule has been perpetuated by tradition by both Blacks and whites. Like many minority groups, most Blacks see it as a way of embracing a fellow member of the group, particularly if that person is successful. But often the situation has less to do with the "one-drop rule" than it does with appearances. In a society that still makes distinctions between white and Black people, and only grudgingly acknowledges multiracial as a category (first permitted in the 2000 census), Tiger Woods, Halle Berry, and Barack Obama are considered Black because they look Black and not white. On the other hand, if Mariah Carey or Derek Jeter never said a word about their ancestry, they could "pass" for white and probably nobody would be the wiser. Alicia Keys is on the cusp: many Black people recognize by sight that she has mixed ancestry, but I suspect that most white people wouldn't.
I hope this helps a little. Anyway, this is supposed to be a discussion about how to improve the article, and not a general forum about the subject. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 20:53, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree with Malik Shabazz. That's exactly what it is and because of that people who are of mixed heritage tend to only associate with their African American heritage as a result. Famous people such as; Sanaa Lathan, Aaliyah, and Meagan Good are of mixed heritage but because of the one-drop rule it's habit to call them black. Some black people would even say that Alicia Keys is black and should only identify herself as black because of their own ignorance. So yes the one-drop rule still affects people's lives todayMcelite (talk) 00:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

One drop of blood represents a less than half of a percent of the total. To say this is the cutoof is absurd. All the other examples (one-half, one quarter in some cases) can also be explained by difficulties people have classifying someone due to gene dominance and how the brain works. Mariah Carey has light hair and skin--presto! people assume she's white. Go show random people pictures of people like Derek Jeter and Alicia Keys ask them what race this person is, I guarantee you they won't be a uniform answer. Repeating theories many times doesn't make them true. Social Science isn't one. (talk) 17:27, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah you're right you would get various answers from different people if you showed a photo of Alicia Keys and asked what race is she. However, you're wrong about (One drop of blood represents a less than half of a percent of the total) in actual fact and with recent research if people of African American descent were all given blood test the African American population would be more than cut in half because of the fact that multi-racial relationships have been going on for centuries. Also some African Americans are mixed because of rape by slave owners, and those that escaped slavery did one of two things. They either went as far north as possible or they were taken in by Native Americans that may have still lived in the areas. Also Native American slavery on African Americans occurred but depending on the tribe treatment of slaves varied. The Cherokee had most slaves with 8% of the Cherokee population actually being slave owners in order to try to receive status from Caucasian Americans, even though that completely failed. That's why Cherokee-African American mixture is very common. But yeah I agree with you that you won't get the same uniform answer about Alicia Keys or Derek Jeter but I bet you'll get similar answers in the south were racism is still prominent in our country.Mcelite (talk) 21:59, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

The article itself claims 90% of self-identified blacks are over 50% sub-saharan. So even a simple (and fair-sounding) majority-wins classification would barely change things.
As for the South, I wonder about that. Racial identity is certainly much more polarized black-white there, both from the legacy of the past, the large black population, and the relative lack of other minorities. That implies a possibly sharper cutoff, but doesn't necessarily say the cutoff will fall any farther from 50%. (talk) 01:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Well the claim that is shown isn't recent, nor were their DNA census done. It's hard to find claims that are not in self-published books, which is something we can't use on wikipedia. The researches that deal with DNA analysis recently state that 65-78% are bi or multiracial overall. Some stating that Native American and Caucasian mixture may be just as high as each other. With percentage mixture increasing as you go more out west or more north. You're right though it would be hard to get more people of African American descent to actually put down their full heritage and not just black. That's because of the mind sets that have been put on generations, yeah the south is alot more black-white oriented because of the lack of other minorities. Florida is the least narrow minded due to such a high latino population, which has forced them to realize not all latinos are Mexican. Yet, go to Mississippi and a number of them are very ignorant of that type stuff. It's a sad reality but it's true.Mcelite (talk) 18:27, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Out of Africa hypothesis[edit]

If what the Out of Africa hypothesis says is true, then the one-drop rule appears extremely silly anyhow, as everyone happens to be "black"! But nobody thought of such a possibility then, did they? idiots. (talk) 22:45, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

"You should hear her sing. She's a female Lena Horne." — Joe Pasternak

Unfortunately, some folks are missing the social stigma of being descendants of enslaved Afrikans. Much of the disgust regarding the one drop rule was in the Free Man of Black community where some Mulattoes found life much better as whites. In other words, people started passing as white and this was not acceptable social politics at that time, given that if the one passing became the supervisor or manager of the one incapable of passing, the one passing would likely have to behave in ways that did not betray racial sympathies. In short, if the whip was the way then the one passing had to whip. Should it be discovered one passing was passing...well let's just say life got real ugly! The one drop rule means a lot to a mother when she has to consider where to send her children to school. My sons are mixed Puerto Rican - Afrikan and one identifies almost exclusively as a White Hispanic having that appearance, while my other son actually speaks Spanish and is often surprised when other Puerto Ricans realize his multi-ethnicity as his appearance is without doubt Afrikan. The rule matters because it will determine how the children approach their culture or decide that a White Hispanic is socially and politically better than a Black Hispanic. In time, each one will mature and make other decisions about race, bi-raciality, etc., but until the child embraces the color of his skin and his cultures he remains in a socio-cultural limbo and his associations will be based on superficials. Both my sons are artists but so far only the obviously Afrikan one has made sound relationships based on common interests in spite of racial differences! This should be the goal for all of the 16 - 18 year olds. When I completed the 2010 Census the affirmation was Afrikan-American because no such option such as Afrikan-Hispanic was offered - I had to chose one. The one drop rule matters because the government is still counting the other brother. (talk) 18:33, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


Arabs are considered White in the United States, someone having some Arab ancestry during the time of the one drop rule would not make them not black if they had some black african ancestry. Thanks. Iamanadam (talk) 22:02, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Ashkenaz Jews[edit]

What race are Ashkenaz Jews? Especially the fair-skinned ones from Eastern Europe? --Topk (talk) 16:51, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

White of course. There was a lot of intermixing. It's fairly obvious that people like Michael Douglas or Helent Hunt have a lot of European ancestry. Pure semites would in no way look like those two as example.

"the whiter" the ashkenazi looks, the more European blood he has. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:39, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Angelina Jolie[edit]

Her picture is included among those who'd be considerend black by the "One-drop rule". Which part of her heritage is black? Wikipedia's article said she's European on her dad's side and French Canadian on her mom's.Jlujan69 (talk) 05:15, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

If a reliable source can't be found that she has some black in her ancestry, then she should be removed from the article as an example. Kman543210 (talk) 05:20, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin[edit]

can any one add to the artcile as example Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, who has african ancestry, and always considered as white and noble ? (Idot (talk) 19:03, 22 August 2008 (UTC))

The one-drop rule is an American phenomenon. I'm not sure how Pushkin is relevant. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 17:48, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
The noble part is easy and has nothing to do with race; anyone who rose as high as his grandfather did in the service of tsarist russia was ennobled. (talk) 05:57, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

2 questions[edit]

1) Is this a rule so that people can claim to be black? or one that is forced on them as black?

2) Does this rule work with other races? I'm 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Hungarian so I'm wondering if I could ever be identified as either of them by a similar rule PXK T /C 14:34, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

The rule was made to force people to be black and only claim black regardless of what your other heritage is in your family. With being 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Hungarian you would just be considered white, but if you had a little African American in your family and you had a light brown or brownish complexion people would call you black. Even if you told them you are of a mixed background some people would even get upset that you would acknowledge your European heritage.Mcelite (talk) 17:12, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up. I was confused by the Family Guy episode. well, at least now I can be proud to be an Eastern European (I'm from western europe) PXK T /C 17:22, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
The one-drop rule wasn't about "claiming to be black", Mcelite, it was about denying people with the slightest bit of black ancestry the rights and privileges enjoyed by white people. Specifically, it originated during slavery, when the difference between being white or being black could mean the difference between freedom and slavery.
Mcelite is right about modern application of the one-drop rule. Today it's largely a matter of culture (as opposed to law); many people still consider a person black if they have any black ancestry, although it's growing more and more common to acknowledge their non-black ancestry as well.
I don't think there's any similar rule concerning other ancestries. I think most white people in your situation would consider themselves part Irish and part Hungarian. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 17:59, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


I suppose that if you might expect any Wikipedia article to be bias it would be this one, but to claim that there are a large number of African Americans due to slave masters raping slaves is a bit much. Also reverting valid content for any reason is further proof of Wikipedia bias and the need to for every article to be questioned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Do you have specific POV issues with the article? Until you describe them, I'm going to remove the NPOV banner. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 04:55, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Well in antiquity, caucasian males didn't marry african slaves, they just raped them and their kids were mulattos. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:22, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Alternatives section[edit]

This section appears to be irrelevant to the article. It does not discuss the one drop rule or alternatives to it at all. Specific problems

  • The first sentence seems to be totally unsourced (who says "the one-drop rule and the reverse one-drop rule are being replaced by another methodology of deciding who is black and white"?), indeed I think it's more true to say that the terms "black" and "white" are not so much being re-defined, as that the children of white-black marriages are increasingly rejecting a simplistic dichotomy, and choosing to identify with both parent's ethnicities. Hence we see more and more people calling themselves "mixed race". That's not the same as saying that there is a different methodology for determining blackness.
  • Is Debra Dickerson talking about the "one drop rule"? Or is she talking about the fact that most African-Americans don't identify as European American because they have been excluded from that identity? It is hard to identify as an ethnic group when one has no participation in it, and ancestry is simply a matter of genetics, it is not a necessarily a matter of identity. So what is she discussing? We need to put her comments in the comtext of the "one drop rule", currently it is unclear whether her comments have been taken out of context. Does she actually mention the one drop rule at all?
  • Rushton has no place here. This article is talking about a legal distinction used int he deep South during a specific period of US history, and how it has affected the way US society and culture defines "white" or "black" people. Rushton seems to be talking about something completely irrelevant to that. His quote seems to be taken out of context. Unless he is specifically discussing the "one drop rule", he should be removed. If he is discussing the one drop rule then his comments should be placed in context of the one drop rule and how he specifically is discussing the rule. Otherwise it looks totally irrelevant.
  • Again Levin seems to be discussing how he personally would define "black". Is he making these comments with regards to the "one drop rule"? If not they are irrelevant. We can't simply list the racialist opinions of a few minor academics, who are not anthropologists, and who don't seem to be discussing the one drop rule at all, and then claim that this is relevant to the article. We need a context for these quotes, and if this context is "how do you define black in the USA", rather than a discussion of the "one drop rule", then these comments are irrelevant.
  • Are Ossario and Duster discussing the one drop rule? Can we have some context?
  • The whole section on the pencil test is irrelevant. The one drop rule is an US legal invention. It has never been a biologically valid, or sensible system. It's only reason to exist was to deny rights to one group while guaranteeing liberty to another. It's a legalistic formula. Likewise the South African system was alegalistic formulation. But the SA system was not a "one drop rule", which by definition is a dichotomy. The SA system had a tripartite legal system, black, white and coloured. Therefore it is not a "one drop rule". We need to find reliable sources that discuss this SA system with reference to similarities or difference to the US "one drop rule", or else it's OR.

Frankly this whole section is original research, none of the citations or quotes seem to make reference to the "one drop rule" at all. Most seem to be interested in different legal, or psychological, or phylosophical discussions of how to distinguish between "white" and "black" people. Well this sort of discussion doesn't belong here. This article is not about the phylosophical or psychological or SA legal distinction between "black" and "white". It's about a specific legal system used in the deep South of the USA at a specific period of time. Basically this section is assuming that differences between "black" and "white" are the subject of the article, rather than the Jim Crow laws themselves. Alun (talk) 12:55, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Dubious statistic[edit]

Considering the possibility that people identified as black Americans have low African ancestry, the article states:

The last two statements, taken together, apply an extremely improbable distribution of African ancestry. Assuming a nearly symmetrical distribution, they imply that 80% of black Americans have African ancestry in the range of exactly 50% to 56%. Any way to reconcile them, or to get a more reliable source for the fraction of African ancestry in self-identified black Americans? Moxfyre (ǝɹʎℲxoɯ | contrib) 20:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Stat I'd like to see: Take two Americans at random, one black and one white. Which is more likely to be decended from slaveowners? Chrisrus (talk) 06:52, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Pencil Test Couldve Been Cheated Easily[edit]

All theyd have to do is shave their head and that would make sure the pencil would fall. Did South Africa have any measures in place to make sure people didn't do that. That would be interesting to know. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:05, 6 October 2009 (UTC).

No, this test was only one way that classification according to population group could be carried out. There were other tests such as gum colour. Also there was classification according to parents' classification (eg the child of a white and a black parent would automatically be classified as coloured). Lastly there was the factor of how an individual was "perceived" by their neighbours or community which could be taken into account. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia and the One Drop Rule[edit]

Barack Obama is WITHOUT A DOUBT and English American and President of The United States .His mother is english american making him english american yet he can't be insterted into the gallery. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:54, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Barack Obama is WITHOUT A DOUBT half English American and half African American. His mother is English American making him half English American and his father was African making him half African American. He can be inserted into the gallary if you can be half African American and still be in the gallary. He can't be inserted into the gallery if being only half something means you can't go into the gallery of that something. Chrisrus (talk) 19:06, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I heard that in the US, the "race" has to be stated in several official documents like driver licenses. So what would be found in Obama's driver licence or in Rashida Jones'? Black? White / caucasian? Or is there an option like "mixed"? -- (talk) 18:30, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

You've been misinformed. There is no way that anyone would ever be required to state their race on a driver's license or anything like that in the USA. The only thing close I know of is the census, where you can check a box or boxes saying what race you are, or check "other" and write in what race you are. Or rather what you claim to be, not really what you are. This data ends up being only statistics about what people choose to check, if they check a box, or what they write in the box if they check "other"; no one verifies whether or not what you check has any basis in fact. They may actually be something else.
It's my understanding that Obama chooses to self-identify as a black person, and most people, although they know he's mixed, refer to him and think of him as a black person. This is the case with most black/white mixed people in the USA. Halle Berry, for example, or Prince (musician), or Lena Horne just to name a few. I wonder if he checks both the "white" and "black" boxes or what he does. So in that way you are right that the "one drop rule" is alive and well in the USA, but it's a cultural, not legal thing. Chrisrus (talk) 05:53, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems like years ago race was on my Driver's License but I can't remember for sure. It is on Birth Certificates, sort of. On my son's (born 1990), it has my race and my wife's, but there is nothing for the child. I guess it's left up to the whomever to decide that one.
Mentioning Obama got me to thinking what people will find when they research his Census forms in the future and see what box he marked. __209.179.31.90 (talk) 20:46, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


How is it that whites only want pure whites only in there group?what about people who are mixed with white americans? on the blackpeople wiki mixed people are put with black americans no matter if they say there mixed are not.why is it a drop rule for blacks and not for whites ?you can look 100% white and still be put on black wiki not matter if your mixed race why one rule for blacks and no rule for anyone else? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:21, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, American blacks belive this too! American culture doesn't deal well with being black and while at the same time. People feel they should identify one way or the other. It's complicated to explain why, and problably beyond the capabilities of this article, but practically all us Americans have a strong need for mixed black/white people to pick one or the other to "self-identify" as, usually black. Brazilians and Dominicans and such have no such wierdisms.
That's because in the 1600s-1800s in the Southern US anyone of mixed race was considered to be black, lots of blacks were slaves, and descendants of slaves were slaves from birth, therefore if you had one drop of black blood in you, you were a slave. Who would want to have a drop of slave blood in them? Even if you were a free black, you had very few rights (see Dred Scott) and your rights were always being threatened. In short, it didn't matter if you had white blood, but if you had black blood, you were at a severe disadvantage. (talk) 04:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
This type of reaction from a reader only confirms my opinion that this article has to do a better job of clarifying that the One-drop rule is and always has been complete nonsense, with no basis in fact whatsoever, and that anyone who believes in it has as a part of their conception of reality a cultural belief that was invented by racists to promote segregation. I should be clear that this article does clarify this fairly well, but not quite well enough, actually, as this is a belief that's hard for us to shake even when it's spelled out in what would otherwise be clear terms. It has to go out of it's way, to be redundant if it has to, or people won't accept it.Chrisrus (talk) 08:20, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Needed Improvement to this article[edit]

This article has to do a better job of clarifying that the One-drop rule is and always has been complete nonsense, with no basis in fact whatsoever, and that anyone who believes in it has as a part of their conception of reality a false cultural belief that was invented by racists to promote segregation. I should be clear that this article does clarify this fairly well, but not quite well enough, actually, as this is a belief that's hard for us to shake even when it's spelled out in what would otherwise be clear terms. It has to go out of it's way, to be redundant if it has to, or people will come away from the article without having learned anything.Chrisrus (talk) 20:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

The language and POV of encyclopedia articles should be informative and factual. To say that the subject of an article is "complete nonsense" and the result of "a false cultural belief that was invented by racists" would show a heavy bias, however popular, morally relevant, or generally accepted that bias may be, especially considering the historical context of racism in the time period. An article on Hitler could open with " of the most evil men in history...", but that would be extremely biased, even though most people would agree with the statement. It's better to present documented facts and let people draw their own conclusions. Our goal is to educate, not indoctrinate. (talk) 18:43, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not asking for the words "complete nonsense" of "invented by racists" to be included in the article. What I am saying, however, is that for this article to be informative and factual, it should clearly state in appropriate words that the one-drop rule is a just a widespread cultural belief with no basis in reality. And I'm not saying this article doesn't do that already as it stands; I'm saying that it needs to be a bit clearer about that. If the reader comes away from reading this with the idea that it's anything but a myth, then it's not doing it's job any more than if the article Bigfoot left a similar impression. Chrisrus (talk) 06:37, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

The Facts are as follows:

1) It is often a surprise for people to learn that, in reality, there is actually No Such Thing As a "Light Skinned Black" person.

2) Very few people seem to be aware of the fact that the term "Light Skinned Black" is really nothing more than a racist oxymoron created by White Supremacists in an effort to forcibly deny those Mixed-Race individuals, who are of a Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed (MGM-Mixed) lineage, the right to fully embrace and to also received public support in choosing to acknowledge the truth regarding their full ancestral heritage and lineage.

3) The people who have been slapped with the false label and oxymoronic misnomer of "Light Skinned Black" person are simply Mixed-Race individuals -- who are from families that have been continually Mixed-Race throughout their multiple generations.

4) Seeing that every other Mixed-Race group is allowed the dignity of receiving support in having itself referred to by the term that it most prefers – the question becomes “Why should the situation be any different for those Mixed-Race individuals who are of an Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed (MGM-Mixed) lineage?”.

5) If an MGM-Mixed individual would like to be referred to by the term ‘Mixed-Race’ (which is what they actually are) rather than by that of “Light-Skinned Black“ (a term, which, once again, has the racist-origin of being nothing more than an oxymoronic-phrase that was both created and coined by White Supremacists in an effort to try to deny these Mixed-Race people their right to and support in publicly acknowledging and also embracing their FULL-Lineage) there is no reason that they (like every other group on the planet -- whether Mixed-Race or not) should not be allowed the right to choose the term that society uses in referring to them (and to have their full-lineage acknowledged within that term). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Assertion that Race does not exist - an objective fact?[edit]

I worry about the recent changes stating categorically that there is no such thing as race. Doctors need to know people's races for medical reasons sometimes and forensic investigators have to and can determine people's race baced on their bones. As a guy who spends most of his time on articles about animals, it's obvious to me that a zoologist from another planet would classify us into sub-varieties that would correspond to our ideas of race. The fact that there are plenty of fuzzy areas and gray areas and such around a central concept doesn't mean that the thing doesn't exist. For example, just because there are things that could be either a tree or a shrub doesn't mean that neither exist. I think that the anthropologists coming out of social science are ideologically and emotionally influenced by concepts of justice and fairness. We should not rely only on them, but also medical doctors and specialists in harder sciences like biology. Sure, I maybe would like to live in a world where there are no races, where we are all one. But that shouldn't effect how I edit wikipedia. I think it's wrong for us to say that race is all an illusion as an objective statement of knowable fact based on what the anthropologial society's statement says. Chrisrus (talk) 22:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Well race obviously exists, given that social constructs are real. Either way, that section was irrelevant. Skotticus (talk) 15:41, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Genetics needs better sources[edit]

Essays by Steve Sailer about genetic studies are not the best source for facts about racial ancestries of US populations. Please add additional and better sources; more is being written about this topic.Parkwells (talk) 23:09, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


Sociologist here. The one drop rule is not a "sociological principle". Sociology is the study of society, not to be used as a reference to society in general. I would argue that what we are discussing is a "social principle" or custom. Calling it a "sociological principle" is inaccurate to both the subject matter and sociology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for picture change[edit]

In the section "Other countries of the Americas" section, there is a group photo of Rice, Powell, Bush, and Rumsfeld. It's there to emphasize the point about Powell being part white and part black. I would think a portrait of him would be more appropriate. There are several at that are better choices. __209.179.31.90 (talk) 21:15, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

"Few enforceable laws"[edit]

The sentence "Few enforceable laws" today use the one-drop rule implies that there are at least two laws. Name them or I'm removing the sentence.Camelbinky (talk) 21:59, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Per WP:LEAD, that sentence is summarizing the content of One-drop_rule#Legislation_and_practice. My question is whether there are any such laws. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 22:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)