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Will Racial Fluidity Solve America’s Racial Problem?

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The answer by CNN’s John Blake is a firm no. In fact, he believes racial fluidity is a con. He explains his position throughly in his extensive article, “The blurring of racial lines won’t save America. Why ‘racial fluidity’ is a con.” But what exactly is racial fluidity?

Although the term might be unfamiliar to many, the concept is not. Racial fluidity is the idea that one can choose their own race. Or as Urban dictionary puts it, “It means you can be whatever race you want yo. If you feel like you wanna be Black one day and Mexican the next then do it Bro.”  The most famous example of this in recent memory is Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who claimed to be black and even worked for the NAACP.  Some have compared it to gender fluidity, something that is becoming more socially accepted.

But are racial fluidity and gender fluidity the same? And will the ability of mixed race people (because more often than not, it is mixed race people that are able to claim whatever race they are able to pass as), or anybody, to pick the race they want slowly wash out racism?

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The issue is much more complex than gender fluidity. Although the concept of being able to be who you want to be, including your race,  is a magnificent thought, the realities of the world make racial fluidity something we have to examine cautiously.

What happens when mixed race people that have been checking the “White” box but have been identified as black by the outside world and faced discrimination? What happens when your race identity changes over time to others as your socio-economical status changes?  What happens when a country has over 100 categories for your racial identity but being closer to White is still an advantage?

All of that and so much more is addressed in Blake’s fascinating article, which you can read here.