The Problem With Gregory Howard Williams: Poster Child For The “One-Drop” myth Of White Racial Purity
By A.D. Powell
It is no accident that Gregory Howard Williams, a very white man who proclaims himself to be “black,” has received far more television and newspaper publicity that all the people in the multiracial identity movement put together. Williams, Dean and Professor of Law at the Ohio State University College of Law, is being lionized by black and liberal elites who are presenting his autobiography, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black, as the ultimate statement on “race” and racial intermixture in the United States.
Williams has appeared on national television programs such as “Larry King Live,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Dateline NBC” and ABC’s “Nightline.” His book has even been made into a motion picture for Fox-TV and will soon enter the homes of millions of Americans to preach the gospel of hypodescent and the “one drop of black blood” myth of white racial “purity.” No one who challenges the hypodescent mythology comes close to gaining this kind of extensive publicity. No books that seriously explore the variety of the multiracial experience, such as the anthologies of Maria Root and Naomi Zack, have been promoted by national bookstore chains and reviewed in almost every newspaper in the country.
Williams is a polished orator with an emotional, dramatic delivery. Every guilt-ridden liberal in the audience is moved to tears as he vividly describes:
1- His idyllic “white” childhood in Virginia and the day his “light mulatto” father took Williams and his brother on a bus to Muncie, Indiana and told them that they were really “colored.”
2- How his “white” grandmother called him “nigger.”
3- How Williams and his brother were beaten and rejected because they were too “white” for the blacks and too “black” for the “whites” after they dutifully followed their father’s instructions to identify themselves as “Negroes.”
4- How his father never made more than a thousand dollars a year after returning to Muncie because he was “black.”
5- How Williams swore he would become an attorney and “make something of himself” to prove that “blacks” are not “inferior.”
6- How “society” forced him to be “black” and he “had no choice” once his dreaded black blood was revealed.
But . . . here’s what Williams and his supporters won’t mention:
1- Latinos and other partially African-descended minorities and how they openly “get away” with refusing a “black” identity in a nation where most “whites” are supposedly obsessed with white racial “purity.” Does the presence of Latinos prove that most “white” Americans are NOT obsessed with white racial “purity” and Gregory Howard Williams and his supporters are lying? Williams also describes his “white mulatto” father, Tony Williams, as “passing for” Italian or Greek because of the darkness of these “white” ethnicities. But why are these “white” ethnic groups so dark? Could it be because of their geographical closeness to Africa and their ancestors’ intermixture with Africans? These are questions that Williams and his supporters don’t want anyone to bring before the public.
2- His father’s self-destruction. Why did Tony Williams choose to return to Muncie (the only city where he had left a “colored” reputation) when he had the entire United States to choose from? Wasn’t Williams’ father typical of “black-identified” non-blacks in that he policed himself and his family to enforce the “one drop” myth when no outside force or person could have done it? Williams takes great pains to tell every audience about the time his “white” grandmother called him “nigger” but usually fails to mention that Tony Williams was the first to describe his son in such a disgusting way. Williams loves to tell his audiences that his father was wealthy in Virginia because he was “white” there but never made more than a thousand dollars a year in Muncie because he was “black.” Bull! Tony Williams was a drunk, a wife beater (which is why Williams’ “white” mother took the two younger children and left), a poor businessman (who didn’t know what to do when a nearby military base closed and his tavern began to lose money), a child abuser who took his sons from their home and deposited them in a ghetto slum with his alcoholic mother, and a lazy bum who just decided to stop working and wallow in self-pity. The senior Williams was a “white” man in the 50s when there were plenty of jobs. Hell, coal-black men were making good money in the auto factories and other unionized industries. Tony Williams was not “black” – he was a sick SOB.
3- Williams ignores the role of social identification as opposed to genetics. He called his mother a racist for abandoning him and his elder brother, but doesn’t explain why this “racist” married Tony Williams with full awareness of his mixed ancestry and produced four children with him. Williams doesn’t explain why his mother raised his two younger siblings as “white” even though they had the same paternity and dreaded “black blood.” Williams delights in telling of the privileged summers he spent with his maternal grandparents in Muncie, describing to a tearful audience how his grandparents later rejected him when he became “colored.” Why doesn’t Williams expect us to ask the obvious questions? Since his mixed ancestry (apparently known to all the adults in his family) was acceptable with a “white” identity, it is apparent that the “black” identity came from accepting that designation and acting as an “inferior.” Tony Williams allowed his inferiority complex to “choose” a “black” identity for himself and his minor sons. It is apparent that the cowardice of the mother and grandparents in not rescuing “Greg” and his brother from their abusive father originated in their fear that the boys had accepted the “nigger” identity Tony Williams had chosen for them. If the problem had been Greg’s “black blood,” he wouldn’t have been acceptable before.
By promoting the “one drop” myth of “no choice,” Williams has done far more than any self-described racist to oppress people of mixed racial ancestry who have the “misfortune” to have some traceable black ancestry but do not have the great privilege of being Latinos (an ethnic description which supposedly cleanses the “taint” of “Negro blood”). It is extremely hard to point out the racist nature of the hypodescent myth when people who paint themselves as opponents of racism are the biggest supporters of the myth.
If, for example, anyone uses the word “Aryan” in a racial sense, it’s not only Jews and other groups that were victims of the Third Reich’s genocidal policies that will take pains to set him straight. By contrast, black elites and some of their “white” allies take great delight is assassinating the character of multiracial Caucasians such as the late New York Times book critic Anatole Broyard, describing him as a mere (by implication) “black” who presumed to call himself “white” despite his Caucasian phenotype and predominate European ancestry. Very few people who claim to be anti racist will defend Broyard (and, by implications, all other part-black non-Hispanics who reject a “black” identity) because they dare not contest with blacks regarding what is and is not racist. No self-styled “progressive” or conservative defends “Aryan” racial terminology but many of them defend the “passing for white” myth because they have been exposed to blacks (and those who claim to be “black”) who are its enthusiastic supporters.
Williams is now on the defensive. He claims he is being persecuted by a “multiracial police” out to destroy his “right” to be “black.” Really? When he appeared with Ted Koppel on “Nightline,” Williams claimed he had no choice in being “black.” The “multiracial police” are not supposed to point out this contradiction.
Williams has a right to tell his story or call himself what he pleases, but he has a moral obligation to cease using his story to terrify others into the black fold when they don’t want to be there and don’t HAVE to be there. Williams has a moral obligation to make the following points in all his interviews and personal appearances:
1- No one is legally or socially required to call themselves “black.” The presence of Latinos in this nation is proof that “black blood” does not preclude identification with other racial labels including multiracial, Indian, Asian, mestizo or even that “godlike” appellation “white” (which the blasphemous Anatole Broyards of this country have dared to claim).
2- Williams should cease referring to himself as someone who found out he was truly “black,” or describing his “true legacy” as “poor and black.” He should cease referring to his mulatto or multiracial father as a “light-skinned black” (that is an oxymoron).
Williams is not simply selling his autobiography. He is promoting the “one drop” myth and that is why he has received so much publicity. If Williams had lived the same tragic childhood but ended up calling himself “white,” “multiracial,” or any label other than “black,” do you believe for a moment that he would have received even a tiny fraction of the publicity with which he has been showered? Black and liberal elites know what they’re doing. Williams is a club they use to frighten and beat “white blood” into the “black” fold.
Gregory Howard Williams – a simple black and white mind advocating a simple black and white world. It would be ludicrous if it the stakes were not so high and the suffering so great.