Fear of a Borg Life: Part I–Disappearing Traits

July 18, 2007

assimilationAssimilation. 

It’s a scary word.  It sends chills down the spine and conjures a clear image of the Borg:  The expressionless eyes, the grey skin.  The threat delivered in an ominous monotone:  “You will be assimilated.”  The dread of the Borg was not caused by fear of living under their rule.  The worst thing about being conquered by the Borg was the obliteration of self.  Ones hopes, dreams, personality, history, likes and dislikes, gone.  Vanished.

There is a notion among some black people that to marry “interracially”,  (white especially) means assimilation, that one is necessarily dissolving oneself and relinquishing identity.  It, along with the “self hating” label that some may try to put on those considering marrying “out”, can be an effective deterrent.  Who wants to disappear?

 There’s a funny issue that no one speaks on (as far as discouraging black people to marry ir).  The white spouse is in as much danger if not more of being “assimilated” and “disappearing”. 

When I go out and about with my children, people see that they are lighter than me but few people doubt that I am their mother.  I may get a second glance or two, but there is rarely confusion as to our relationship.  Apparently it’s quite the opposite with my dh.  We went out shopping once with the children and I went off to another section of the store.  When I came back to where they were, I noticed a black couple studying my husband and children with open curiosity.  Who was this white man and what was he doing with these brown children?  I came closer and my son ran to me saying, “Mommy!”  You could see the lightbulb go on and their faces said “Ohhhhhh.”  I ignored them but I was thinking, “DUH!”

In our society a “biracial” child is still seen as black.  White father + black mother= black children.  Black father + white mother = black children.  There’s a reason why a “black” person’s color can range from lighter than Vanessa Williams all the way to darker than Alek Wek. 

Of course, if your biracial children then also marry white, it is very likely that your grandchildren will appear white.   In that case, blackness is gone.  Your descendants henceforth, unless they marry black, will be white people.  They will look nothing like you!  Cue the violins and get out the tissues. 

But guess what?  If you marry black the same think is likely to happen, except that your descendants will likely be black.  I have a black friend with two black parents.  She and all of her siblings look like her mother’s family.  Her father, as a result, has a bunch of children who look NOTHING like him in the face, although he did manage to pass on other physical traits such as height and build.  I wonder if he feels that he has been erased?

That’s what happens anytime two people get together and have children.  One’s features may dominate. The children may appear to be a blend of the two.  But as each generation grows and marries, new genes will be added, and the appearance of the family continues to change.  Sure, your large eyes or slender fingers may pop up now and again in your great-grandchildren.  But odds are that only a very few will bear a strong overall resemblance to you.  In any case, you will be dead and gone and long past caring.  Seems a bit silly to worry about it now.

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5 Responses to “Fear of a Borg Life: Part I–Disappearing Traits”

  1. KT Says:

    A salaamu aleikum,
    After my divorce, we shared custody of our preschool age boys. But now we live in separate countries and I’ve allowed him to take them. I often wonder if their will be any trace of my heritage, now that I’m gone? They could pass for the sons of him and his new wife. (He is a blue eyed Scandinavian and she is a brown South Asian). My boys know that I’m their mom, but without my sporadic interjections of Black English or books about famous African Americans, or stories about their grandparents…..what part of me will remain with them? Of course, I am Muslim first. I am more than just a Black person, but it is a big part of me so I really wonder if it will be a part of them, and if it really matters…

  2. foreverloyal Says:

    Wa alaikum ma salaam,
    I think that every child should be raised with knowledge of their family history and by extension, the culture(s) of that family. There is nothing wrong with wanting some of what you are to stay with your sons. My only caution is against the overemphasis on things that are ultimately transitory.
    How often do you get to see your sons?

  3. ummadam Says:

    Your sitiuation is opposite of mine. When my dh goes out with the kids, there are no questions asked or strange looks. every now and then if the person knows him they will ask if his wife is Arab. With me it’s different. With me it’s different, but that’s here in Saudi. They aren’t use to seeing bw with anything other than bm.

  4. foreverloyal Says:

    They think you are the nanny?
    What kind of reactions do you and he get, respectively, when it is found out to whom you are married?

  5. oskana Says:

    TO KTSays

    I am curious why did you let your husband take them. How often do you see them. Are you involved in their lives much. Forgive my curiousity but it hurts me when I see mothers shut out of their children lives to be replaced by second wife I see too often. Do you get along with his new wife and how is she treating your boys. I think your culture is very important. Often times when kids grow up like such in your situation have lack of culture. I apologize if I’ve asked too many questions.

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