The issue should not be skin colour at all. No one can tell enough about you from just your skin colour to classify you as a person. The issue of race is based on fear of something different, unpredictable. Human beings tend to be intimidated by something we can’t understand, predict, or control.
If people stopped promoting racism, it would likely go away a lot sooner. Consider why it is so important to you to keep promoting racism before you write about the colour of someone’s skin – whatever colour it may be.
In our culture, we think we are so civilized and sophisticated, skin colour should mean nothing more than a feature of a specific human being – like the shape of your nose, a mole, a scar… they all add up to characteristics which create the whole. All of those are superficial. You can’t actually know anyone at that level, let alone where their ancestors and heritage came from.
I’m “white” but just as Keanu is Hawaiian, Chinese, etc. I am Canadian, Austrian, German, Scottish and whatever else farther back in time. What does it matter to you or anyone else? You don’t know me. Being “mixed race” is more than skin deep and should be about more than skin tone/ colour.
No one is “monoracial”. To want rights based on being mixed race and then deny or begrudge the same rights to another group of people (for the very same reason!) is backwards and silly. Being white enough to pass for white is far too far down the rabbit hole. Everyone, each human being on the planet, is of mixed race.
All the complaints about racism only create more racism. Instead, stop focusing on skin colour as a way to judge a person. Brown, black, white, green… it is all mixed race. We are on this planet together whether your skin is light or dark, your hair is straight or curly, or not there at all. Each of us decides their own identity. If you base your identity on race, that’s up to you. Don’t push it on others who may feel their career, hobbies, skills, strengths, etc define them more than the colour of their skin.
(This post inspired by a post about Keanu Reeves being of mixed race but passing for white and being denied his identity. See below).
As mixed race people, we must have the freedom to define our own identities. Thus, monoracial people deciding our identities for us is dangerous behavior that renders us invisible.
So, is Reeves being cast truly a case of White-washing? No. As a person of non-white heritage, Reeves being cast is not White-washing. While audiences may not read him as a person of color, that is not his fault, nor is it his responsibility to ensure that people make the correct assumptions about his identity. That is not and never will be the job of mixed race people.
Is White-washing an issue? Most definitely. Are mixed race actors to blame? Not at all.
Source: Keanu Reeves and the White-washing of Hollywood :: WINM :: Keanu Reeves Articles & Interviews Archive