The ‘One Drop Rule’ – Is it a good idea? [Spoiler: No]


Someone asked me if the One Drop Rule is a good idea so here’s a short, off-the-cuff article with my thoughts on the matter.

1. Background Info
2. My thoughts on the One Drop Rule
3. What is the “Whiteness” cutoff?

1. Background Info

Prior to the Civil War, freeborn people with 12.5% non-White ancestry (one great-grandparent) were generally considered White and assimilated into the American population, as were ‘White passing’ mixed-race individuals. Following the Civil War, some states enacted legislation that increased this figure to 12.5% or higher for African ancestry. As a result, only people with one Black great-great-grandparent (or less) could be considered White.

The ‘One Drop Rule,’ introduced in the 1900s, stated that anyone with one Black ancestor (“one drop of Black blood”), no matter how distant, would be considered Black. This rule established a racial binary, replacing mixed-race classifications such as “mulatto.” In the…

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