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Doshon Farad: My defense of Soledad O’Brien

By Doshon Farad
You know, it really sickens me that, in the twenty-first century, black folks are still arguing about complexion and color. When are we going to get to the point where we realize that regardless of complexion, hair texture or eye color, we are the same African people? It is essential for us to recognize blackness in all of its many forms and expressions.

First, I wish to applaud Soledad O’Brien for taking on the awesome task of discussing the very complex subject of being “Black in America”. For the past several years she has delved into an area that many of our colleagues and other blacks are too frightened to even go near for fear of being the subject of ridicule or jeopardizing their status.

Soledad’s Black in America reports have attempted to carefully examine and explain virtually every aspect of the Black experience in this country. I think what I like most about these special reports is that O’Brien goes beyond “experts” and reaches out to the “average” brother and sister who’s just struggling to make it day by day to discuss this very sensitive topic.

Here’s my issue: Within the black community we have what my Your Black World colleague, Yvette Carnell, referred to in her recent article, “CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Isn’t Black Enough, But President Obama Is?” , as black “purists”. These are black folks who seem to have a problem with any black person who they view as not being “black” enough or too “mixed” looking as a result of white ancestry and more specifically white parentage. Please keep in mind that these “purists” come in all shades.

When Soledad recently announced that she would be doing another “Black in America” report she became the target of a twitter bashing campaign being launched by folks identifying themselves as African-American critics, who expressed their displeasure at a “non-black” looking woman hosting such a program. This particular installment asked the question, “Who is Black?” It focused on the issue of complexion being used as the primary factor in determining who is black. Among the vicious tweets were insults such as;

“What do you know about being black in America when you’re not even black yourself, you’re mixed?”


“What can you tell us about being black when you have a white father?”


“You’re black enough, you’re too mixed looking”.

These things were also being said off of the internet. It’s quite sad how black folks, after being discriminated against for so many centuries due to our complexions and features, will now do the same thing to each other. What I find most remarkable is that we’re quick to throw in someone’s face saying that they’re not “black enough” but white folks don’t seem to have a problem with identifying who is black regardless of how “mixed” they may appear or how many white ancestors they may have. Just ask President Obama.

It’s amazing how black folks forget that to this very day there exists in America the “one drop” law. This was a law that was established during slavery that said regardless of how “white” looking a person appeared, if they had a black ancestor that particular person was black and would be treated as such i.e. sold into slavery. Now we’re (black folks) saying the reverse; that if you have one drop of white blood, this means you’re NOT black. Wow. Am I the only one who sees the irony in this? So I guess this means that every person of African descent in the Western hemisphere is really white? Since all of us whose ancestors have been in this part of the World since slavery has white ancestors either through rape or miscegenation. J.A. Rogers speaks at length on this subject in his book S@x and Race: Vol. 1-3.

I can’t tell you how many times that I-a light complexioned black man- have been stopped by white police officers and before running my name they would always ask me for my height, weight, eye color, but never my race. They would automatically fill in “Lt. Complexion black male” or sometimes just “black male”. I always say that if you’re a black person who doesn’t know you are black, America will always remind you. As light as I am, I haven’t had too many experiences of white people not being able to easily identify me. If I’m walking down the street in an affluent white neighborhood and the residents were to get suspicious, they’re not going tell the 911 operator, “There’s a suspicious high yellow mixed looking man in the area”. Instead they’ll tell the operator, “Come get this n—– right away”. LOL!

I wonder if Soledad’s black critics were among those in 2008 who were saying that then Senator Obama wasn’t really black because he had a white mother. The issue of colorism and self-hatred still runs deep within the black community, across America. I guess this is what Dr. Cornel West means when he says that black people practice White supremacy without being in the presence of white people. We salute you for your trailblazing, Soledad. Keep on keeping on!!!

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4 Responses to Doshon Farad: My defense of Soledad O’Brien

  1. DeepEntity Reply

    December 18, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I think Black People aren’t defining Soledad O’brien as Black because she isn’t proud of being Black. Just read her bio on Wikipedia where it states she is a American, Not Black or African American journalist. her mother is Cuban but we know Cuban’s that are in America that don’t acknowledge their African root’s. Although Soledad O’brien say’s she’s Black. Black people know she is doing it for media attention and keeping her job. African American’s are by most very proud of our race. Mrs. O’brien when the camera is off is a Latino White woman…Being Black is in everyday living not when it suit’s you! Like Jesse Jackson said “YOU DON’T COUNT!”

    • Olive Reply

      December 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      “her mother is Cuban but we know Cuban’s that are in America that don’t acknowledge their African root’s.”

      Stop right there. Not all Latinos are neglecting their black roots. From pictures it’s very clear that her mother was a black Cuban. From her household maybe her mother did delve in conversations about being a black Latina in Cuba. She stated that she wasn’t “confused” like a lot of other bi-racial people are and saw herself as black. Maybe Soledad was closer to her mother and thus identified herself as black.

      You’ll find that black or mixed Cubans (and the rest of the African diaspora in Latin America) strongly tied to their roots, even much more than African Americans. As someone who is into West African art & culture I can say that a lot more is found in South America and the islands than there is in the USA. If you’re measuring blackness by how much someone has kept their African traditions Afro Cubans, Brazilians and Haitians win by a landslide over Afro Americans.

      And of course who ever edits Wikipedia is going to list her as American(it doesn’t mean white, it means your nationality). I just typed in Will Smith and I get an “American actor”.

  2. Tyrone Reply

    December 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    BLACKS IN AMERICA TIME FOR WHITES IN AMERICASoledad O’Brien has done “CNN” “Blacks in America “Latino in America” “Black Finance In America” “Muslim in America”! Never Whites in America”! Whites are the majority in America. White Americans are responsible for the creation of America’s “ Constitution”! Whites are responsible for slavery in America for the “Jim Crow Laws” “Separate but Equal” Discrimination against majority! WHERE IS WHITES IN AMERICA????? Now this new program”Who is Black” is totally ridiculous ! It does nothing to help race relations in America nor identify the root problem of racism in America! What it does is blame black people for racial hatred with in their race…..ENOUGH!!!!All the programs Ms. O’Brien does on minorities. Are negative and shows just the lease of blacks in America! America has been under white rule forever! White racism is a big big factor in America and the great divider! White only male only Presidents of the United State has been the norm in America! That should be address in a Whites in America” program! America should demand that Soledad O’Brien does a program “Whites in America’! Where is the Blacks and Police Brutality in America” or Blacks and Police Murders in America!In my 53 years old never has the effects of white rule or white racism been examine! America has never address the effect of white only male only Presidents of the United State. Nor have America address the fact that white businesses are favor more then minority businesses! Or the fact that whites that commit the same crime as a minority serve less time if any in prison or jail! WHERE ARE THOSE ANSWER WHERE ARE THOSE PROGRAMS????????????? On the other side I want to know about white hero in America! Anderson is now doing a program on race in America. He is finding that white parent are still teaching racism in their homes! THE OCCUPY….IS YOUI see and the country see how the right wing media is attempting to tell America who the “occupy” is! They are not only trying to paint a negative picture…..Some are saying they (the occupy) don’t stand for nothing” Some say they (the occupy) are against President Obama …….Then some say because of the violent ….they are President Obama’s people! Anything that associate President Obama in the negative!Now the violent has come from mainly police officer …..From cracking a head of a war hero to beating a college student….even arresting a politician…….Now am I saying that there are not some people that are involve in movement. That are not dead wrong……..NO! In every movement there are bad people …Or people planted to make the movement look bad! But people like Sean Hannity of Fox News are reporting on the bad behavior and the violent and the arrest…….The occupy) movement is about American sick and tire of a corrupt system that takes from the system thought tax breaks and loop holes…..Corporation that receive big tax breaks and Republican that say GIVE THEM MORE….AND CUT JOBS TO REDUCE THE DEBT!That will create higher unemployment! Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are media American terrorist that are against America and their rights that they got from the American Constitution! It surprising to me that there is a question of blacks not join the “occupy” ! Where is the statement that whites dominate the “occupy”! The truth it’s black people that laid the platform for a “occupy”! It’s the many marching and dying that led to a “occupy” BY BLACKS! It’s about time white stood in big numbers for equality for all! It’s time that whites see police brutality! It’s time that whites feel the power of the bias and racist authority! It’s time for whites to read and watch how racist and bias TV networks like Fox News disrespect and demonize Americans they hate! IT’S TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Tyrone Reply

    December 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm


    The late Attorney William Kunstler knew and believe the Boogie Man mentality was alive and well in America! He also knew that “ALL” lawyer knew and use the Boogie Man mentality when selecting a jury. Mr. Kunslter knew that many judges use the Boogie Man mentality to render decision against minorities. Especially black people! Hate and dividing the country is the foundation of a racist white America! So every institution in America is corrupted polluted with the evil of white racism. Any police department in America can confirm by their action my statement and Mr. Kunslter belief. Fair and balance has “NEVER” been a concept in America when the opportunity to discriminate and disrespect is present.

    Black people in America from conception to death are feared and seen as less then human “The Boogie Man”! Yes I said IT…… “The Boogie Man is how many white American teach each generation of white American! This mentality allows police brutality and racial profiling and pure hatred and fear of black people. Former Drug Czar and long-time Republican presidential appointee William Bennett is a lot of things. He live and believe in “The Boogie Man” mentality! What is so very shameful he is paid by American tax money! William Bennett is a openly racist that stated” you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” This hate and evil talk goes on each and everyday behind close doors in Government.The Boogie Man mentality is as old as black American in America!

    Evident truth and witnesses mean nothing when black people are involve! Videotape beating of black males by police in a courtroom can be justify. The Boogie Man is to receive “NO” justice or respect! Black people are judge by the most evil and the most criminal and the most unintelligent of black people! That was evident with the O. J. Simpson incident. A black man accuse of murdering two white people. This case was called the crime of the century. Now remember John Wayne Casey a white man. He raped and murdered 33 white males BUT that was not the crime of the century! NO NO NO a black man was accuse of murdered of TWO white people. AND FOUND NOT GUILTY IN A CRIMINAL COURT! But O. J. Simpson was seen as “The Boogie Man” !

    Seventeen year old black Trayvon Martin was seen by George Zimmerman as “The Boogie Man”! Zimmerman stalk and murder “UNARMED” Trayvon Martin. Whom he “NEVER” met but hated on sight! Zimmerman told the dispatcher Trayvon Martin is asshole and a fucking punk! Again George Zimmerman “NEVER” met Trayvon. But on sight stated “ Trayvon Martin must be on something “referring to drugs”! Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin and later on the Sean Hannity. Claim he believe GOD thought he did the right thing! Michael Dunn, 45 white, sits behind bars this morning accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old black Jordan Davis in a gas station parking lot.

    What lead to the fatal shooting? Apparently the two had gotten into an argument over loud music coming from the car Davis and his friends were riding in.Update: Michael Dunn, Man Who Shot Teen Over Loud Music, Claims Self Defense, Might Invoke “Stand Your Ground” Law. In an incident that appears to bear some similarities to the Trayvon Martin case, Dunn and Davis’ paths crossed on Friday night at a gas station in Jacksonville. Davis and a four other friends, all juveniles, had just come from the mall and were blasting loud music in their red SUV. Michael Dunn like George Zimmerman saw “The Boogie Man” and with hatred and total disrespect. Shot UNARMED” black males!

    Now here is the twist! Because of the white control media reporting on black crime in America daily on the nightly news! Stereotype are repeated and believe not only by white American but black American TOO! The Boogie Man mentality will continue to kill black people and be justify in America’s court system. I really thought after 9/11 the hatred of “ALL” Muslim would give black a break. “BUT” know it just added Muslim to the Boogie Man mentality!!!!!!

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