Category Archives: Barack Obama

Mixed Relationships and People On The Rise

The changing concept of "race."

The changing concept of “race.”

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.

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Bigotry At The White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Ridiculous treatment.

Ridiculous treatment.

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.

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So What Determines Your “Race”?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

Good Lawd.

From Gawker:

Former Democratic strategist Karen Finney, who was once the first African-American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, was revealed today to be the new host of a 4 p.m. weekend show on MSNBC. Good for her, and good for MSNBC, which adds Finney, pictured at left, to an already diverse roster of talking heads that includes Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Al Sharpton.

Don’t mention Finney’s race to Tim Graham, however. Graham, a so-called media “watchdog” for the conservative Media Research Center, doesn’t think it’s fair for MSNBC to herald Finney’s entrance as an arrival of another African-American host—y’know, considering her skin is so light and all.

 

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Finney has a black father and a white mother so she is actually mixed. However, much like President Obama, Finney has the right to self-identify however she chooses. What is most interesting to me though in situations like this, that show once again how silly our “race” notions are, is that the key to determining if is is ok for her to be called black (or African-American) is her lighter skin and straighter hair. But Graham has no problem labeling Obama as black (also black father and white mother) presumably because he has darker skin and less straight hair.

So I guess this is kind of an admission that what your parents are has nothing to do with your “race.” Just how you look.

Just silly. I say again people, there are no different “races,” just different blendings.

 

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Michelle Obama Brings Fun To White House & Jimmy Fallon

While the right wingers and racists (and I don’t always think those two things are tied together) use stuff like this to belittle the President and the First Lady, I have to say I so love those two for being so real. Whatever else is said about them after their term is up, The Obamas showed that a bit of color in the White House sure made it more fun.

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American Black Presidents Before Obama?

Ole Andrew Jackson may have been a brother.

Ole Andrew Jackson may have been a brother.

One of the problems with the “one drop” rule, that racist idea that one drop of black blood makes a person black, which one of those still accepted beliefs here in America, at least to many, is that if you apply it fully, it may turn out everybody is black. After all, wouldn’t that simply be a question of how far back you want to go.

Several scholars are now saying Barack Obama may not, according to the one drop mindset, be our first African-American President. Look out! This may cause some people great consternation.

Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and ole Thomas Jefferson all may have had blacks in their genealogy.

Well, well, well.

Of course I don’t buy into the one drop rule. But this goes to show, defining people by what they look like or what is in their ancestry is all just a wasted exercise. We are all mixed somewhere down the line.

Read more about these other “black” Presidents here.

 

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Watermelon-Eating Obama Display Simply Sign Of Ignorance

Stereotypes die hard.

Stereotypes die hard.

Something is seriously wrong with this man:

Danny Hafley of Casey County, Ky. said this week that people are reading the mannequin in his front yard depicting President Barack Obama eating a watermelon completely wrong.

“The way I look at it, it’s freedom of speech,” Hafley told Lex 18 in a recent interview, going on to state that he had included the watermelon not in attempt to play to any racist stereotypes, but because the statue “might get hungry standing out here.”

Uh huh.

To see the interview with this fool man, click here.

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Mixed Couples – Susan Rice and Ian Cameron

A smart and accomplished couple.

A smart and accomplished couple.

The United Nations ambassador, Susan Rice, is married to ABC News producer, Ian Cameron. They fell in love while both were at Stanford.

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Obama Speech During Football Game Flushed Out A Lot Of Racists

Some people's priorities are really screwed up.

Some people’s priorities are really screwed up.

This is what I call bi-level stupidity.

When the President addressed the grieving people of Newton on Sunday night and his speech was broadcast to the nation, television stations broke into regular programming to cover it.

This didn’t sit well with the neanderthal segment of the Sunday Night football crowd who couldn’t believe a football game was being interrupted by a tragedy involving 26 people being killed. And worse still, they were incensed that a part-black man was doing the interrupting.

It was just too much for their brains. So some of them took to Twitter and here was the result:

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Trust me there was much more where this came from (if you’re in the mood to read more click here).

Amazing how little it takes for some people to show their true colors. And their stupidity.

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Ann Coulter Now Blames Hispanics

Most divisive nominee.

Most divisive nominee.

Ann Coulter can’t help herself. Now instead of advising the Republican party that it is in their best interest to court the Hispanic population considering that group almost single-handedly handed Obama the White House, she is instead attacking Hispanics.

In a column she wrote a few days ago, in which she made fun of the Spanish language by titling it “America Nears El Tipping Pointo” she said this:

…Hispanic immigrants, who — because of phony “family reunification” rules — are the poorest of the world’s poor.

More than half of all babies born to Hispanic women today are illegitimate. As Heather MacDonald has shown, the birthrate of Hispanic women is twice that of the rest of the population, and their unwed birthrate is one and a half times that of blacks.

That’s a lot of government dependents coming down the pike. No amount of “reaching out” to the Hispanic community, effective “messaging” or Reagan’s “optimism” is going to turn Mexico’s underclass into Republicans.

She then takes it further with this gem:

…contrary to stereotype — Hispanics are less likely to be married, less likely to go to church, more supportive of gay marriage and less likely to call themselves “conservative” than other Americans.

Rather than being more hardworking than Americans, Hispanics actually work about the same as others, or, in the case of Hispanic women, less.

Yeah, if Republicans keep thinking like Coulter, Democrats may have permanent control of the White House.

Read her full column here.

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An Open Letter To President Obama On Being A Bi-Ethnic Role Model

The best mixed role model there is.

I came across this piece on The Huffington Post and though it is a couple of weeks old it is still quite appropriate and on time:

Dear President Obama,

I have sat down to write this letter dozens of times and always end up a bit tongue-tied. Please bear with me as I attempt to explain myself. Nine years ago I watched the image on a sonogram and heard the words from my doctor: “It’s a boy.” In that moment, my first emotion was fear. How was I going to raise a man? It seemed daunting, but perhaps nervousness is not uncommon for mothers of sons to experience. I also felt extremely aware that as a Caucasian woman having a son with a man of African American descent, my son would undoubtedly face issues in his life I would never fully understand … deep breaths …

Truth be told, I was unprepared for the powerful love I felt when I held him for the first time. He was perfection, the way all newborns are. He was mine and any hesitation or fear about mothering this little tiny man was replaced with adoration and love. I am blessed to have a loving husband by my side who is also a wonderful father. Our son (and two other daughters) have been lucky to grow up loving two parents of different ethnic backgrounds. And yet there has always been the element of the unknown. Neither my husband nor myself would ever be able to entirely comprehend what it felt like to grow up bi-racial child in a world that is not always embracing of things and people that are different. I was faced with trying to figure out how to prepare my son for issues that he may face in his life due to his ethnicity that I had no firsthand experience with.

The election in 2008 had a profound effect on our family. As you pursued your dreams and became the nominee for president, there was a shift in the air. I was overwhelmed with the implications your success had for my children’s lives, particularly for my son. We watched the debates leading up to the election as a family. I lined up three small chairs and made the kids popcorn (admittedly, a bit of a bribe for them to sit and watch something they did not really understand). I explained that although they may not understand what they were watching, it would have an important impact on their lives, regardless of the outcome of the election. We were watching history unfold, a story that had a direct impact on our children. I felt this was especially true for my son because he could see himself in your face.

Read more of this wonderful open letter here.

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