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This study paper seeks to explore the subject of self-hate and Reflections of my Daughter. Reflections of My daughter are the work of David Mura in which he explores the chances his daughter has in this world, having been born to parents from different races. The author is of Japanese origin who married a white (American) woman. In this poem, Mura, who is a self-identified Japanese-American expresses his feelings concerning his relationship with his white wife and daughter who is now of mixed race. In another poem, Mura wrote, The Color of Desire, he questions the reasons for him marrying a woman of a different race. In the poem, Mura wonders whether marrying a woman of another race was a way of escaping although it is not clear what it is he is escaping, whether it is his values, cultures, or himself. These two poems by Mura bring out the immense debate concerning color of people and marriage and the influence it has on the people's identity. This study paper will analyze the subject of self-hate and identity by the use of the poem, Reflections of My daughter and the two beliefs associated with men marrying outside their race.
When it comes to men marrying outside their race, there are two beliefs associated with the decision- traditional belief and popular culture belief. The ideology behind traditional belief is that men of color who marry outside their race do so as they want to escape from their culture, values, and/or themselves. On the other hand, the popular culture belief bases its notions on the fact that men of color who marry outside their race and cultures are driven by love and have no intention of escaping their culture, values, and/or themselves. In this study paper, men of color will refer to the black or any other race, which marries the white people. In regards to the traditional belief black men who marry white women do so with an intention of losing their culture or escaping from their beliefs and values. The popular culture belief concerning marriage of black men and white women is a clear indication of love between the two people, and the issue of identity does not contribute to these unions. The main argument behind the popular culture belief is that there is no black culture or black identity. The ideology of black population is a notion, which aims at boosting the self-esteem of some few people in the world who still consider themselves as a minority. The black population comprises of several black community making it hard to associate some culture or tradition with a certain black community. Besides the United States, there are other large black people in Africa, United Kingdom, part of Central and Latin America, and the Islands of the Caribbean. All these components of the black population have their own different values, cultures, and beliefs and, therefore, one cannot pin tradition to the black community.
Culture of people comprises of several aspects of life including arts, dialects, history, values, and traditions. In view of the fact that there is no such thing as Black culture, then it follows that black men marry white women because of love and affection, and not as a means of abandoning their original identity. Popular culture belief emphasizes on marriage as being a union between two people irrespective of color or origin bound together by love. Incidentally these black men-white women unions still face challenges that end up breaking the entire relationship. The most notable reason for black man-white marriage failure is the difference in cultures and origins. This brings in the picture of black men marrying white women to escape their black identity and culture. The traditional belief acknowledges the fact that black people have their traditional way of doing things, and so do the white communities. This difference in the way of doing things between black and white persons is what leads to the notion that black men marry white women as a way of escaping their identity.
Since the ancient times, the black population has received the label of being the minorities in the society and the people who have to struggle and fight with the issue of race. This labeling of black people as minorities gave the white people an upper hand as the superior community and hence they have access to better resources than the black community. The history of the slave trade and colonialism had a negative influence on the black population with most of them cursing to have been born black. In addition, there is the issue of racial discrimination especially in the white populated areas whereby the white people have an advantage in areas of jobs, education, and social status. In an effort, to evade this racial discrimination black men marry white women hoping that their future generation will not undergo the same suffering, as they will have a better identity or ethnicity. Unfortunately, according to David Mura's Reflection of my daughter, this black man-white woman union is not as easy as it seems and it is not the solution to the issue of identity. This is evident in Mura's fear for his daughter as he thinks that she will face the same racism he faced while growing up because she is of a mixed race. Mura prefers terming his daughter Samantha as Asian because he believes this will prepare her to face the world in their eyes. The society will treat a person as they see him or her and not how they think of the person.
Marrying a white woman just to escape the black culture will not work if the black color still remains in the genes of the next generation. As much as there will be a white aspect in children born by a black man and white woman union, and this will determine how they treat them. In such marriages, the society chooses to see the black color more than the white color and, therefore, there are no instances that the suffering of the black will end. Mura struggles with the decision of what his daughter should be- Japanese-American, European American, and many other versions the society will place on her. Inter-marriage basing on race leaves the people in the marriage feeling isolated and feeling out of place because, in most cases, they will not be areas that are familiar. For instance, a family of black and white people will easily relocate to the United States, which is not the home of the man. In the end, the man will feel out of place and in isolation because of the different cultures and traditions amongst the white population.
Another notable argument behind the popular culture belief is that race does not matter in the current society. People will marry because of love and for no other reasons. There are several interracial marriages that have stood the test of time, and this is a clear indication that it, not about race or color or origin but about love. In David Mura's works, he questions on what to term his daughter who is a product of a mixed marriage- yellow, white, black. To the author, it should not matter whether the individual is white, black, or whatever color. After all behind the colored skin, there are human beings who have similar characteristics. Traditional belief counters this reasoning with the idea that a person's racial and cultural identity will always be paramount. This is because societies will always find a way of defining and relating individuals with their identities, either with or without purpose. According to the traditional belief, the idea of identity and culture is still outstanding, and black men badly want to be associated with the white community.
In the current society, identity of a person majorly matters in all areas for instance travel, jobs, hospitals, and medical centers. Arguing that the world is past the age of racial discrimination is illogical as there are many instances where a person will be forced to reveal or think about his or her identity. For example, there are many cases when people are to state their identity, and, in most cases, there are only five options given and the others' option. During the census period in America, everybody has to identify under which race he or she falls and in most cases, people have to choose more than one ethnicity. This is a certain evidence of the identity issue that we cannot run away from, and it will always have an impact in people's lives no matter whom they marry. For this reason, black men can use marrying white women as a way to escape their own cultures and identities, which they deem to minority in the world. By marrying the white women, black men hope to raise their social status in the society and make way for their children who will not be purely black but a new breed, which has the white skin color element.
The issue of self-hate is widespread especially in the black community. Black men will choose to marry white women, not because of love but as a way of escaping their cultures, identity, values, or themselves. The traditional belief proposes that marriage between black men and white women is a leeway for the black people to adopt the white identity. On the other hand, popular culture belief has an emphasis on love as the foundation of the black men –white women marriage. To this ideology, black culture does not exist and, therefore, black men lose nothing by marrying white women.