Taye Diggs defends wanting son to be called mixed, not black or white: ‘I’m a proud black man’
Last week, actor Taye Diggs stopped by theGrio to talk about his second children’s book, Mixed Me, inspired by his biracial 6-year-old son, Walker. His mother is actress and singer Indina Menzel.
“When you [call biracial kids black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are, and that’s my fear,” Diggs said.
“I don’t want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself black and everyone thinks he has a black mom and a black dad, and then they see a white mother, they wonder, ‘Oh, what’s going on?’”
Diggs then turned his focus to President Obama, who is often described as the first black U.S. president when in fact he’s biracial. Diggs hopes that soon society will begin to identify Obama more often as mixed.
“As African-Americans, we were so quick to say okay he’s black, he’s black, and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because who knows. Everybody refers to him as the first black president. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that it’s interesting. It would be great if it didn’t matter and that people could call him mixed. We’re still choosing to make that decision, and that’s when I think you get into some dangerous waters.”
Since his interview with theGrio, Diggs has turned to Instagram to stand by his remarks.
“I am a proud black man. I want my son to grow up to be a proud black man if he so chooses. He has a mother who is white. He has every right to be just as proud of his mother’s ‘blood’ as well. Please wake up, people. It’s not that deep.”
Diggs also appeared yesterday on TMZ to discuss the backlash he received on social media.
Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.