Tag Archives: Census

Mixed People Monday – Shannyn Sossamon

UntitledThe actress, who has appeared in A Knight’s Tale40 Days and 40 Nights,  Road to Nowhere and had a starring role on the CBS supernatural drama, Moonlight, is very mixed. She is French, Hawaiian, Dutch, Irish, German and Filipino.

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So What Defines A “White” Person?

White or something else?

White or something else?

Thank God, some people get how stupid our concepts of race are. I think I was tipped to this article by the blog, Mixed American Life, and I really wish it were required reading. Here is an excerpt:

It’s been widely mentioned among a certain set on social media networks that the suspect in the Boston bombings is Chechen, and therefore, “Caucasian.” The good-natured purpose of this being to foil the usual insipid bigotry let loose in similar situations, which assumes that all terrorists are non-White, that Muslims are of a separate, lesser race, and/or that any particular terrorist act is part of some larger, epochal war of “us versus them.”

All of these racist conclusions are ridiculous, and would be easily refuted with the most basic and widely-accepted social and scientific data of contemporary times. However, stating that because the suspect is from the region of the Caucasus Mountains he “is White” is a troubling statement. Most readily, this reifies a notion of Whiteness. But additionally, this overlooks the history of the term “Caucasian,” and how the racial history of anthropology brought this term into common parlance. To a person from the United States, where “Caucasian” is a synonym for racial Whiteness, there is an etymological connection that would allow you to say this, and think you are correct. But “Whiteness” has always only ever been exactly what “White people” want it to be. What part of the world a person is from has little to no affect on whether anyone thinks s/he is actually “White”, because “White” is a social class, not a place.

“Caucasian” was first identified as a race by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in 1779, as one of five: the others being Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American. These categories were based upon the measurement of the human skull. While he was a proponent of “Degreneration Theory,” that theorized that all humans were originally Caucasian before having their appearance change due to poor living conditions, he was able to note what is now widely known—that phenotypical differences within races are as large as those between races. In other words, in any measureable characteristic, there is as great a difference between individual Africans, and as great a difference between individual Europeans, as there is between Africans and Europeans compared.

I sincerely hope you take the time to read the rest of this excellent, not long, article that blows up our notion of what divides us. I just don’t get how people, once they are educated to these facts, can still see people in terms of race. Here is the link.

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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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The Browning of America

A changing American identity.

A changing American identity.

Saw this very interesting article in The Huffington Post:

Welcome to the new off-white America.

A historic decline in the number of U.S. whites and the fast growth of Latinos are blurring traditional black-white color lines, testing the limits of civil rights laws and reshaping political alliances as “whiteness” begins to lose its numerical dominance.

Long in coming, the demographic shift was most vividly illustrated in last November’s re-election of President Barack Obama, the first black president, despite a historically low percentage of white supporters.

It’s now a potent backdrop to the immigration issue being debated in Congress that could offer a path to citizenship for 11 million mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants. Also, the Supreme Court is deciding cases this term on affirmative action and voting rights that could redefine race and equality in the U.S.

The latest census data and polling from The Associated Press highlight the historic change in a nation in which non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority in the next generation, somewhere around the year 2043.

Despite being a nation of immigrants, America’s tip to a white minority has never occurred in its 237-year history and will be a first among the world’s major post-industrial societies. Brazil, a developing nation, has crossed the threshold to “majority-minority” status; a few cities in France and England are near, if not past that point.

The international experience and recent U.S. events point to an uncertain future for American race relations.

Read more here. I do think the next 10 years are going to see a redefining of America. But that will not come without a lot of tension and growing pains because these years will see huge changes in our make-up.

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In London, Whites Are Now A Minority

A change in the guard symbolizes a bigger change.

A change in the guard symbolizes a bigger change.

America is not the only country that is in the midst of an ethnic shift from being majority white (though that change is not expected here until about 2050). In London, whites are now the minority. According to The Financial Times:

White Britons no longer make up the majority of people in London for the first time, according to the latest census data which pointed to a cosmopolitan capital increasingly divergent from the national economy around it…

The surge of immigration has been especially striking in London, where more than one in three people — 37 per cent — were born outside the UK.

Only 45 per cent of London’s population were white people of English, Scottish or Welsh heritage, according to the latest data, down from almost 60 per cent in 2001.This makes London the first UK region where white ethnic Britons have become a minority.

The top source of new migrants to England and Wales overall for the decade was India — supplanting Ireland in the decade to 2001 — while the second-biggest source was Poland. In the 2001 census, Poland did not make the top 10.

Of course this shift is about one city in England but it is a striking occurrence since London is of course the marquee city in that country.

The Australian, a leading media source down under, also reported this from the same Census news:

The results, published yesterday, also show that the number of mixed-race people has doubled to top a million for the first time.

The changing face of Britain has been highlighted during the past decade with the prominence of mixed-race sports personalities such as Lewis Hamilton and Jessica Ennis. From small-market towns such as Boston to cities such as Birmingham, many parts of the country are home to increasingly mixed communities…

The London statistics include 102,000 mixed white and Asian people; 119,000 mixed white and black Caribbean; 119,000 other mixed; 542,000 British Indian; 224,000 British Pakistani and 222,000 British Bangladeshi.

Gotta love diversity.

Here is the full story in The Financial Times and here is the full piece in The Australian.

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Facebook Holding Onto Outdated Concepts of “Race”

Come on Facebook, don’t be so backwards thinking.

This is a great piece by Glenn Robinson of the blog, Mixed American Life:

I had been telling people that identity sites like Facebook and Google+ don’t have a field for race – because race does not define us.

Well, maybe I was wrong – again.

Facebook went there – at least on this ‘Brief survey’ that popped up at the top of my page.

Click here to read more on what Facebook did when it comes to taking us all back to a place we had hoped to have gotten past.

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“Mixed Mexican” and The Fallacy of Race

Funny and enlightening at the same time.

Saw this on Mixed American Life’s site. Very good video demonstrating the complexity of “race” and it’s non-existence. Worth watching.

Here is the video.

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Mixed People Are Indeed Going To Become The Norm

An ever growing wave.

I read a very interesting article this morning, that I do believe is correct on where we are going if all the intermingling of ethnicities continues at the rate it is going. Which I do believe it will, if not speed up. And I know this is still what scares so many who still believe in “racial purity” which doesn’t really exist anyway. Here is what University of Delaware evolutionary biologist John McDonald said in the article when talking about what to expect over time as more and more people mix:

Most of the traits that we think of as distinguishing different groups (hair color, skin color, hair curliness, facial features, eye shape) are controlled by multiple genes, so they don’t follow a simple dominant/recessive pattern,” McDonald explained. “In those cases, blending will make people look more similar over time.”

It’s not straightforward to predict how blending of genes affects physical appearances, but McDonald said the tendency is for such traits to average out. The average American skin and hair color will probably darken slightly, and there will be fewer people with very dark or very pale skin and hair.

The genetic mixing under way in the United States is also happening to a greater or lesser degree in other parts of the world, the researchers said. In some places, unique physical traits tailored to the habitat still confer an evolutionary advantage and thus might not bow out so easily; in other places, immigration happens much more slowly than it does elsewhere. According to Stearns, perfect homogenization of the human race will probably never occur, but in general, Earth is becoming more and more of a melting pot.

A population forged from the long-term mixing of Africans, Native Americans and Europeans serves as an archetype for the future of humanity, Stearns said: A few centuries from now, we’re all going to look like Brazilians.

How very interesting.

Here is a link to the whole article.

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With Minorities Soon To Be The Majority, What Does A Typical American Look Like?

Which is more American?

Another sign that the world is changing rapidly, much too fast for some:

For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing.

New 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the nation’s racial makeup and the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is now resulting in fewer Hispanics entering the U.S.

“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”

The issue is not whether this is good news or bad news, because it isn’t either. It is just a fact. But I do think for some who are accustomed to being in the majority, this is a great cause for alarm. Just look at the comments following the article which you can read here. You throw in the fact that we have a Mixed President, and I think this growing population trend is why we see so much ugliness from so many in these past years.

By the way, no one should think this population trend means Whites will not be the majority group, because minorities are made up of many groups, each separate, so each separate group will still not outnumber Whites any time soon. It is not like all minorities see themselves as one group. Not by a long shot.

But it is indeed interesting to see how our idea of what is a typical American will have to change. Whether some like it or not.

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Breaking News: Marry For Love, Not Color

Not so uncommon anymore.

This is a great video clip from a news cast in Michigan that looks at Mixed relationships and marriages. Very nice to see. Here is the clip.


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