Paula Patton On Race

On May 13, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

I didn’t point out in my Jumping the Broom post that Actress Paula Patton is biracial. I didn’t feel the need to go there. Patton says she’s black, and that’s her prerogative.

While plugging her new movie on Chelsea Lately, Patton seemed to be surprised her son looks so much like his white father. The toddler has blond hair and blue eyes. Patton has said she considers the term biracial offensive, and she confirms in the interview that her parents are of different races.

That said, I was surprised to hear her joke that she is waiting for her son to become “blacker” and that becoming black takes time. Really? I wonder what Robin Thicke thinks about that.

What do you say?

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  • Dominique

    She was joking obviously.

    So its a problem when a biracial person chooses to identify as black but you want them to shout from the rooftops about their “other” parentage. That says a lot…

  • Casey

    I think that she was just joking, people make jokes all of the time. She and her husband seem like very nromal people with good heads on their shoulders and let’s not forget that she was on Chelsea Handler, not The View. Chelsea’s show isn’t really a platform for anything other than off color jokes. I had no problem with her comments.

  • http://www.isthatyourchild.com Michelle

    I thought she was joking. At least I hope that she’s joking. She’s very adamant about not being identified as mixed race so who knows. It’s annoying because celebs have the biggest platform to speak to the public at large and most of them are ill-equipped to be the spokesperson for anything.

    • http://www.honeysmoke.com Honeysmoke

      Yes, celebrities often squander opportunities.

  • taliba

    I agree that J made a good point. My half Philipino nephew was very dark, with straight hair, when he was born; my brother was actually quite surprised at his coloring and said so to his wife (my sister-in-law). He had thought the boy would be lighter and more asian looking due to our father being biracial, and his wife being so fair. It kind of hurt my sister-in-laws feelings. My sister and I really admonished my brother for being so insensitive and he apologized. But guess what? AJ lightened up and now looks more Asian than anything else; although he has wonder full lips that let you know he’s biracial. Goes to show genes work in various ways and that even parents of biracial children can show ignorance (but hopefully they learn from it for the benefit of their kids)

  • Dafina

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her saying she is African-American but I think its how you qualify it. I myself am biracial (half black, half white) and have always said so but I say culturally I identify more with African-Americans. I was raised mostly around my black side of the family, I have been more accepted just for myself by black people, I went to an HBCU and I have been mostly seen by society as black even though I am lighter than Paula Patton! I feel that where she is wrong is in thinking her son would have been born “looking” black. We could get into a whole discussion about genetics here but she is half black and married to a white guy, what did she think was going to happen? My sister and I are the lightest people in most of our extended black family. Our father is dark skinned but his mother was like the color of butterscotch. When you factor my grandmother plus ancestors that could pass for white and add in our white mother, well, we need the sun!! LOL I hope she was joking and learns to look past his skin and eye color, that’s her son. Someone once asked me what it was like having parents of 2 different races and I said it was the same for me as it was for them. I didn’t wake up in the morning and say “Good morning Black Dad” or “Hi White Mom”; they were/are just Dad and Mom.

  • Christina

    I think her comments are biased, seems like she has some issues to deal with. Hollywood has done something to her, makes me think of Hally Berry. I also think comments like that “set back” people of mixed race…I don’t believe in the one drop rule both sides of my family count.

  • J

    I didn’t think she was joking about it taking time to become black. My baby is half black and half white. When she was was born she was white. No one would have known that her father was black and very dark skinned. Over the course of the next year she started getting more of his characteristics and now people are surprised to see she has a white mother. Seriously, that’s how I interpreted her statement.

    • http://www.honeysmoke.com Honeysmoke

      Good point.