Saw this article on the blog Mixed American Life. America, and the world, is indeed changing when it comes to seeing more and more mixed relationships and kids. Glad to see it. Love does’t know color or ethnicity. Here is an excerpt:
President Obama is biracial, and in media, multiracials are everywhere. More than ever, they’re touting their mixed heritage.
Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are biracial, half-black and half-white. They made their names playing black characters on MADtv. But last year, they premiered their own show, where they take on multiracial issues with glee.
But taking on such issues doesn’t always go smoothly, as music diva Beyonce discovered in a commercial for L’Oreal. In it, she declared the secret to her skin was a “mosaic of all the faces before it.” The screen flashed the phrases: “African-American. Native American. French.”
The backlash was immediate. The singer was criticized for abandoning her black identity. But the multiracial community embraced her.
It’s not just that there are more multiracial and biracial people. The government is now counting the group differently. For the first time in modern history, the 2000 Census allowed us to check off more than one box for race.
The last Census showed 9 million people, about 3 percent of the population, reporting more than one race. That’s an increase of one-third from the decade before.
“The youngest age group, kids under 5 [years old], 7 percent are identified as having more than one race group,” says Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. “If we look at the elderly, over 65, it’s only 1 percent.”
That means more people are choosing spouses outside their own race. The change, Passel says, comes from evolving attitudes. Over the past few decades, he says more people have simply come to view intermarriage as no big deal.
“More than two-thirds of people in our surveys, when asked how they’d feel about someone in their own family marrying someone of a different background, said they’d be fine with it,” he says.
Ask young people — those under 40 — and the number rises to more than 80 percent.
To read the full article go here.
I found this to be very interesting (from The Huffington Post):
The most hateful tweeters in the United States tend to live in the eastern half of the country, according to a new map that pinpoints hate speech from Twitter across country.
The map, created by geography students at Humboldt State University in California, looks at more than 150,000 geocoded tweets (tweets that say where the user is located) between June 2012 and April 2013, sorting for those that contained a racist, homophobic or anti-disability word. The researchers then decided whether or not the tweet was using the word in a hateful way.
According to our analysis: A majority of hateful tweets are coming from smaller towns and more rural areas. For example, some of the biggest spots for homophobic tweets are along the border of Oklahoma and Texas, and one of the biggest hubs of racist tweets is in a seemingly empty area of western Indiana. There are a lot more racist tweets coming out of an area in the middle of North Dakota than in the larger city of Fargo, for example. Homophobic tweets have a wider spread across the nation than racist ones, which are coming from the southeastern portion of the country more than anywhere else.
The project is a follow-up to a similar study that mapped racial slurs on Twitter in reaction to President Obama’s reelection in 2012. The students used The DOLLY Project (Digital OnLine Life and You), a huge archive of geolocated tweets, to collect data in both cases. This data can be used to track all kinds of tweets. There is also a map of where the word “grits” is most often tweeted (spoiler alert: it’s the south).
The interactive map lets you zoom as far as the county level on the map to pinpoint which counties across the U.S. wrote the most hateful tweets. You can look at all hateful tweets, tweets by category, or just at specific words. The map does not include sexist terms or terms that are offensive to the mentally disabled. Some of the terms shown are sort of outdated, which is most likely why some terms are less frequent than others.
Pleased to see that very little of this craziness comes out of California, which is not to say we don’t have our crazies. Be sure to click on the map in the original article, the interactive ability to focus on certain words is interesting. Of course the East Coast is much more densely populated so it is not too surprising that the total number of hate tweets coming out of there are much much higher. Here it is.
The MSNBC talk show host and college professor has a white mother and a black father, though she self-identifies as black.
Friend of mind posted this in honor of May being “Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.” (Admittedly I didn’t even know that. Shame on me.) But love this article, which was on Changelabinfo.com. The last point on this list is the most important in my opinion and nails the biggest takeaway for all of us:
Five Things You Should Know About Asian Americans
By Scott Nakagawa
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. In honor of the occasion, here are five things that I think you should know about Asian Americans.*
1. We Don’t All Look Alike. In fact, most of us aren’t alike at all. When many non-Asians conjure a picture of “Asian American” in their minds, they see an East Asian person – someone whose roots can be traced to China, Korea, or Japan. But Asian America includes dozens of distinct and linguistically diverse ethnic groups originating from a region that encompasses much more than the Far East.
Moreover, we are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who came to the U.S. for wildly different reasons, at different times, and under vastly different circumstances. While some Asian immigrants first arrived in the U.S. as sojourners seeking economic opportunity (and not a few of us because the economies of our home countries are devastated by global economic pressures), others are in the U.S. as legacies of war. Still others entered the U.S. with special visas in order to fulfill business needs for investment capital or highly skilled workers.
And, Asian Americans generally don’t identify as Asian American, which after all is an American term invented in the 1960s, before the largest waves of migration from Asia post-1968. Instead, most of us identify by ethnicity.
2. We Aren’t Halfway Between Black and White. In fact, this way of thinking of Asians overlooks the peculiar role anti-Asian racism plays in strengthening the American racial hierarchy. Rather than be profiled into traditional categories of Black, White, or indigenous, Asians, like many Latinos, are raced as “forever foreign,” even if we may have been in the U.S. for generations. Whether we’re profiled as sub- or super-human, we are always exotic, and anti-Asian stereotypes are manipulated in a way that strengthens the oppressive power of all other racial categories, from White as normative, to Black as problematic and dangerous.
Some version of this has been true since the first Asian immigrants came to the U.S. Because of perceived over competition for economic opportunity and white anxiety over loss of cultural and political control, the reaction to the arrival of Asians made the connection between “American” and “White,” and “race” and “nation,” stronger than ever.
3. We’re Not Your Model Minority. We aren’t all privileged by high incomes and higher levels of education. That’s not to say there isn’t some privilege associated with being stereotyped as exceptional, but that privilege is conditional, based on our usefulness in maintaining a racial hierarchy in which there are model minorities and “problem minorities.” As long as we can be profiled as a model minority who quietly pulled ourselves up by our boot straps, that stereotype can continue to be used as the exception to American racism that strengthens the myth of American social mobility across the color line, with terrible implications for other people of color.
And, word to the wise, the point of drawing attention to those Asian ethnic groups who don’t benefit from the stereotype is, in part, to remind those of us who do that our privilege should be balanced by the obligation to raise the visibility of those among us who continue to suffer from poverty and/or anti-terrorist racial profiling. When we dodge this responsibility, we make ourselves vulnerable to changes in the political climate that might turn the stereotype over onto its flip side which casts us as disloyal, dangerous perpetual foreigners.
4. We Aren’t “Naturally” Conservative. While it’s a perilous jump from Asian American voters to a whole community that includes so many non-voters, most of us who vote aren’t conservative at all. That doesn’t mean we’re progressive, exactly. Instead, it means we tend to side with liberals on issues like health care, affirmative action, immigration, and social security. That’s probably why well over 70% of us voted for Obama. And as we are also less likely to be Christians, as long as the GOP continues to side with conservative evangelicals, many Asian voters will lean toward Democratic candidates.
5. Asian Americans are Human Beings. That may seem awfully obvious, but studies demonstrate that when many of us, especially Whites, respond to images of White people, we describe people without race. We may use other adjectives, but white isn’t often among them. That is, until images of non-Whites are introduced. And when non-White images are presented first, race is almost always noted.
But, we are all just human beings upon whom race has been imposed. Race is neither cultural nor biological. Instead, it’s a political system, invented to subjugate and exploit non-whites, and to keep those raced as different apart from one another, I’m guessing so we can’t figure out that we’re all just human.
During Asian Pacific American Heritage month, this bears repeating. Even as we address racism, and celebrate our many cultures, we Asians should remember that race, as opposed to culture or ethnicity, is a political invention imposed upon us in order to fit us into categories according to which power has historically been organized in the U.S. Forgetting this may well strengthen those oppressive categories, even when our true interests lie in holding them up and making them visible to ourselves and others in order to destroy them.
Here is the link to the original article.
This is an excerpt from The Huffington Post this morning. It is written by a physician and wife of a noted journalist who was attending the White House Correspondent’s dinner last week. She happens to be Muslim:
As I left the hotel and my husband went to the ballroom for the dinner, I realized he still had my keys. I approached the escalators that led down to the ballroom and asked the externally contracted security representatives if I could go down. They abruptly responded, “You can’t go down without a ticket.” I explained my situation and that I just wanted my keys from my husband in the foyer and that I wouldn’t need to enter in the ballroom. They refused to let me through. For the next half hour, they watched as I frantically called my husband but was unable to reach him.
Then something remarkable happened. I watched as they let countless other women through — all Caucasian — without even asking to see their tickets. I asked why they were allowing them to go freely when they had just told me that I needed a ticket. Their response? “Well, now we are checking tickets.” He rolled his eyes and let another woman through, this time actually checking her ticket. His smug tone, enveloped in condescension, taunted, “See? That’s what a ticket looks like.”
When I asked “Why did you lie to me, sir?” they threatened to have the Secret Service throw me out of the building — me, a 4’11″ young woman who weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, who was all prettied up in elegant formal dress, who was simply trying to reach her husband. The only thing on me that could possibly inflict harm were my dainty silver stilettos, and they were too busy inflicting pain on my feet at the moment. My suspicion was confirmed when I saw the men ask a blonde woman for her ticket and she replied, “I lost it.” The snickering tough-guy responded, “I’d be happy to personally escort you down the escalators ma’am.”
Like a malignancy, it had crept in when I least expected it — this repugnant, infectious bigotry we have become so accustomed to. “White privilege” was on display, palpable to passersby who consoled me. I’ve come to expect this repulsive racism in many aspects of my life, but when I find it entrenched in these smaller encounters is when salt is sprinkled deep into the wounds. In these crystallizing moments it is clear that while I might see myself as just another all-American gal who has great affection for this country, others see me as something less than human, more now than ever before.
When I asked why the security representatives offered to personally escort white women without tickets downstairs while they watched me flounder, why they threatened to call the Secret Service on me, I was told, “We have to be extra careful with you all after the Boston bombings.”
What a shame that she was treated like this. I hope the men who did this all lose their jobs over it, though I doubt it will happen. No one deserves this kind of treatment and humiliation, especially simply for their appearance since that is all these men could have known about her at the time. And so stupid that with people of color all must bear the brunt of stupid acts of individuals. But no one was paying extra attention to young white males after Aurora, Colorado’s theater shootings. Or the Newtown massacres. Or to white men after one shot up the Sikh Temple. Or many other incidents of stupid people doing awful things. But Dr. Jilani had to bear the brunt of the actions of stupid people. Strange again that those security guards only focused on the misguided interpretation of the Muslim religion by the Boston bombers, but he ignored that they were from the place that the Caucasian ethnicity was named, Caucasus. It was more convenient to focus on their radical religious ties than their skin color I guess. Read the must read full piece here.
My son posted this on his Facebook page. I nearly died laughing. Brings back memories of my experiences in class too. Glad he has a sense of humor about it.
Click here for some funny stuff on life as the only black in your class.
I have to admit, I am still not sure which side of this debate I fall on. Honestly, I see the arguments on both sides as having merit.
Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court set the terms for boosting college admissions of African Americans and other minorities, the court may be about to issue a ruling that could restrict universities’ use of race in deciding who is awarded places.
The case before the justices was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white suburban Houston student who asserted she was wrongly rejected by the University of Texas at Austin while minority students with similar grades and test scores were admitted.
The ruling is the only one the court has yet to issue following oral arguments in cases heard in October and November, the opening months of the court’s annual term which lasts until the early summer. A decision might come as early as Monday, before the start of a two-week recess.
As hard as it is to predict when a ruling will be announced, it is more difficult to say how it might change the law. Still, even a small move in the Texas case could mark the beginning of a new chapter limiting college administrators’ discretion in using race in deciding on admissions.
I do believe that there are other criteria, other than “race” that can be used to ensure diverse student populations – family income, high school being located in an impoverished area, first in family to attend college, class ranking regarding of school, etc. Using those factors will naturally lead to minority students in a lot of cases even if ignoring culture or ethnicity. I also believe a middle class or upper middle class hispanic or black student should not necessarily get preference over a white kid who went to poor schools or comes from a poor family.
But I certainly believe it is critical that universities be diverse and reflective of our changing demographics and world. It is critical to our future. So I will be paying close attention to this ruling and what happens in the aftermath. It is a tough question, should we continue to pay attention to color in order to get past color? The answer is not so simple.
Read the rest of the article reference above here.