Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baby Mitchell x 3

Several years ago, the daughter of one of my favorite professors at Ohio State married a young black man named Sean Patrick Mitchell.  When she had her first child, I got to kid her and the rest of her family that I was deeply honored that they had named the child after me.  Well, the kid’s name is Mitchell, isn't it?  By the time she'd had her third kid, that gag had gotten a bit old.  Now, at this point, I imagine a great many people are saying, “Oh how wonderful!”  Well, not so fast.  My friend’s daughter, shortly after delivering her third child, made the very alarming discovering that while her husband professed to love her and his children; apparently, he loved his crack pipe more.  She finally threw him out of the house, got a divorce and is getting her life back on track while raising three biracial children. 

That story reminds me of the wisdom Ralph Bunche showed more than 50 years ago while at a high society dinner party when the subject of civil rights came up.  An elderly lady asked Bunche (not realizing that he was a light-skinned black man), “would you want your daughter to marry a Negro?”  Bunche considered the question for a moment and then replied, “Well, not just *any* Negro.”

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