‘I’ve Always Found That to be an Offensive Term’: Paula Patton Opens Up About Why She Doesn’t Consider Herself Bi-Racial

Paula Patton is opening up about why she doesn’t agree with the term biracial despite being a member of two separate racial groups. 

While out promoting her new BET+ series “Sacrifice, ” the actress stopped by SiriusXM’s Urban View “The Clay Cane Show” to talk about reprising her role as the can-do entertainment lawyer Daniella Hernandez. During the discussion, the 45-year-old was asked about her known dislike of the term biracial. 

Los Angeles, California – Dec. 11: Paula Patton attends BET+ and Footage Film’s “Sacrifice” premiere event at Landmark Theatre on Dec. 11, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

Patton, whose father is Black and mother is white, often has spoken out about her race and how she identifies as just Black. The California native has also said she finds the label to be “offensive.” “It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African Americans, a way of saying, ‘I’m better than that,’” she was once quoted saying in a 2010 interview.

When asked how she felt about that statement nearly a decade later, the “Warcraft” star said, “I feel the exact same way.” However, Patton said that isn’t to be confused with her not wanting to embrace her mother, but instead revealed, “It was my mother who let me know, ‘The world is going see you as Black and that is who you are.’ ”

She continued, “So don’t have any questions about that. I’m very grateful for her. The politics of race in our country are such that when one wants to make it very clear that they’re not Black, it’s a way to keep them separate from Black people. We know; we’ve had a long history in this country of that, of it not being popular to be Black, to be honest with you. I’ve always found that to be an offensive term. I’m Black and I embrace it, that’s my family.”

Patton’s comments triggered a debate around the word and many people in the comments section on YouTube had plenty to say, including one user who disagreed with the actress’ stance, stating, “You shouldn’t let the world identify you or give you identity.”

That person added, “Scientifically she is half black and half white. Period. And that’s okay. It sucks that she feels she have to deny or not identify with a whole other side of herself. It’s stupid.” 

Another person commented, “I don’t think you should have to deny any of yourself or family period.  Everyone is mixed with something. Either way she’s cool and a class act. Very talented lady.”

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