How The U.S. Defines Race And Ethnicity May Change Under Trump

Posted in Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-11-23 16:51Z by Steven

How The U.S. Defines Race And Ethnicity May Change Under Trump

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2017-11-23

Hansi Lo Wang


The Trump administration is expected to announce possible changes to how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity by Dec. 1.
Chelsea Beck/NPR

Some major changes may be coming to how the U.S. government collects data about the country’s racial and ethnic makeup.

The Trump administration has been considering proposals to ask about race and ethnicity in a radical new way on the 2020 Census and other surveys that follow standards set by the White House.

Introduced when President Obama was still in office, the proposed changes could result in a fundamental shift in how the government counts the Latino population.

Another proposal would create a new checkbox on the census form for people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa, or MENA, which would be the first ethnic or racial category to be added in decades.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget is expected to release a decision on these proposals by Dec. 1, but an announcement may come out before the end of the month…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story here. Read the transcript here.

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Myth of race still embedded in scientific research, scholar says

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-11-21 04:08Z by Steven

Myth of race still embedded in scientific research, scholar says

Cornell Chronicle
2017-11-20

Susan Kelley
Telephone: 607-255-9737


Dorothy Roberts, professor of law, Africana studies and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, speaks Nov. 15 in Klarman Hall.
Chris Kitchen/University Photography

The concept of “race” – the idea that humans are naturally divided into biologically distinct groups – has been definitively proven false. But the 21st century has seen a disturbing increase in scientists inaccurately presenting race as the reason for racial inequality, says an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and law.

“Social scientists absolutely should engage with this rise of racial science to work on research designs that account for structural racism and state violence and that confront the racial politics of science … and unabashedly put racial justice at the center,” said Dorothy Roberts Nov. 15.

Roberts, a professor of professor of law, Africana studies and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on “Racism and the New Racial Science” at the 2017 Institute for the Social Sciences’ Annual Lecture in Klarman Hall.

There has been a long legacy of scientists presenting the concept of biological race as an explanation for racial inequality, Roberts said. European typologists created the idea of race in the 17th century to support slavery, colonialism and the conquest of people whom they defined as separate and inferior, Roberts said…

Read the entire article here.

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My mother spent her life passing as white. Discovering her secret changed my view of race — and myself.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-11-21 03:34Z by Steven

My mother spent her life passing as white. Discovering her secret changed my view of race — and myself.

The Washington Post
2017-11-20

Gail Lukasik


The author’s mother, Alvera Fredric, was born into a black family in New Orleans but spent her life passing as white. (Family photo)

I’d never seen my mother so afraid.

“Promise me,” she pleaded, “you won’t tell anyone until after I die. How will I hold my head up with my friends?”

For two years, I’d waited for the right moment to confront my mother with the shocking discovery I made in 1995 while scrolling through the 1900 Louisiana census records. In the records, my mother’s father, Azemar Frederic of New Orleans, and his entire family were designated black.

The discovery had left me reeling, confused and in need of answers. My sense of white identity had been shattered.

My mother’s visit to my home in Illinois seemed like the right moment. This was not a conversation I wanted to have on the phone.

But my mother’s fearful plea for secrecy only added to my confusion about my racial identity. As did her birth certificate that I obtained from the state of Louisiana, which listed her race as “col” (colored), and a 1940 Louisiana census record, which listed my mother, Alvera Frederic, as Neg/Negro, working in a tea shop in New Orleans. Four years later, she moved north and married my white father…

Read the entire article here.

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No doubt I am mixed, but I’m mixed and black. Blackness can accommodate mixedness, in a way that whiteness, with its myths of purity cannot.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-11-20 04:55Z by Steven

No doubt I am mixed, but I’m mixed and black. Blackness can accommodate mixedness, in a way that whiteness, with its myths of purity cannot. In some contexts I am black, in others mixed, sometimes I am Irish, others Nigerian (white is still off limits), but I am always me, always with the potential to identify as any of these things.

Emma Dabiri, “Emma: On Whether Irish Black People Are Woke, and on Changing “Foreign” Names,” Dublin Inquirer, October 25, 2017. https://www.dublininquirer.com/2017/10/25/emma-on-whether-irish-black-people-are-woke-and-on-changing-foreign-names/.

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Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-11-20 04:52Z by Steven

Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

New York University Press
2018-08-03
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479830329

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York

Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law

As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race.

In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law.

Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.

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Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2017-11-20 04:50Z by Steven

Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
June 2018
295 pages
ISBN13: 978-1-77112-240-5

Michelle La Flamme, Professor of English
University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Canada’s history is bicultural, Indigenous, and multilingual, and these characteristics have given risen to a number of strategies used by our writers to code racially mixed characters. This book examines contemporary Canadian literature and drama in order to tease out some of those strategies and the social and cultural factors that inform them.

Racially hybrid characters in literature have served a matrix of needs. They are used as shorthand for interracial desire, signifiers of taboo love, images of impurity, symbols of degeneration, and examples of beauty and genetic perfection. Their fates have been used to suggest the futility of marrying across racial lines, or the revelation of their “one drop” signals a climactic downfall. Other narratives suggest mixed-race bodies are foundational to colonization and signify contact between colonial and Indigenous bodies.

Author Michelle LaFlamme approaches racial hybridity with a cross-generic and cross-racial approach, unusual in the field of hybridity studies, by analyzing characters with different racial mixes in autobiographies, fiction, and drama. Her analysis privileges literary texts and the voices of artists rather than sociological explanations of the mixed-race experience. The book suggests that the hyper-visualization of mixed-race bodies in mono-racial contexts creates a scopophilic interest in how those bodies look and perform race.

La Flamme’s term “soma text” draws attention to the constructed, performative aspects of this form of embodiment. The writers she examines witness that living in a racially hybrid and ambiguous body is a complex engagement that involves reading and decoding the body in sophisticated ways, involving both the multiracial body and the racialized gaze of the onlooker.

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Emma: On Whether Irish Black People Are Woke, and on Changing “Foreign” Names

Posted in Articles, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-11-20 04:46Z by Steven

Emma: On Whether Irish Black People Are Woke, and on Changing “Foreign” Names

Dublin Inquirer
2017-10-25

Emma Dabiri


Illustration by Rob Mirolo

Do you think Irish black people are woke? What’s being woke? Is there any civil-rights movement? You’re mixed race, so are you black? Africa: would someone like yourself get the culture? What did you get culture-wise from your father’s side? Irish people come across as just trying to look for one person they can say… Yes, here is our black successful person, as opposed to uplift black Irish people in general […] In Dublin, Pavee Point has a centre. The LGBT community has Outhouse. Why do you think ethnic minorities don’t have such a place?

Cheeky! This is like 10 questions but I like ‘em, so let’s go. Let’s start with explaining “woke”. “Staying woke” refers to questioning the dominant paradigm, and occupying a state of awareness about structural oppressions.

The phrase “staying woke” has some early references in the 1960s, it was then further popularised in the 2008 song “Master Teacher” by Erykah Badu, but really caught on following the wave of protest after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the subsequent rise of Black Lives Matter. In 2016, “woke” entered into the Oxford Dictionary

…Am I black? Gosh you aren’t shying away from the big questions, now are ye? But yes, I identify as black. The thing is, despite being told I was black (and often not so politely) my whole damn life, and often being reminded that I wasn’t “really Irish”, my claiming of my blackness still elicits occasional cries of “But what about your ma?” or “You’re erasing your Irishness!” Blah blah di blah blah blah.

I think what we really need to look at is why a person with a white parent can identify as black, but why a person with a black parent can rarely, if ever, identify as white. We have to stop acting as though racial constructions are rational or ordered. They are not. I always say that you cannot be “half white”. You are either white or you’re not. And I’m not…

Read the entire article here.

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Vale of Tears: Revisiting the Canudos Massacre in Northeastern Brazil, 1893-1897

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-11-20 04:28Z by Steven

Vale of Tears: Revisiting the Canudos Massacre in Northeastern Brazil, 1893-1897

University of California Press
December 1995
365 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780520203433

Robert M. Levine (1941-2003), Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies
University of Miami

The massacre of Canudos In 1897 is a pivotal episode in Brazilian social history. Looking at the event through the eyes of the inhabitants, Levine challenges traditional interpretations and gives weight to the fact that most of the Canudenses were of mixed-raced descent and were thus perceived as opponents to progress and civilization.

In 1897 Brazilian military forces destroyed the millenarian settlement of Canudos, murdering as many as 35,000 pious rural folk who had taken refuge in the remote northeast backlands of Brazil. Fictionalized in Mario Vargas Llosa’s acclaimed novel, War at the End of the World, Canudos is a pivotal episode in Brazilian social history. When looked at through the eyes of the inhabitants of Canudos, however, this historical incident lends itself to a bold new interpretation which challenges the traditional polemics on the subject. While the Canudos movement has been consistently viewed either as a rebellion of crazed fanatics or as a model of proletarian resistance to oppression, Levine deftly demonstrates that it was, in fact, neither.

Vale of Tears probes the reasons for the Brazilian ambivalence toward its social history, giving much weight to the fact that most of the Canudenses were of mixed-race descent. They were perceived as opponents to progress and civilization and, by inference, to Brazil’s attempts to “whiten” itself. As a result there are major insights to be found here into Brazilians’ self-image over the past century.

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Real American: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-11-20 02:50Z by Steven

Real American: A Memoir

Henry Holt and Co.
2017-10-03
288 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781250137746

Julie Lythcott-Haims

A fearless debut memoir in which beloved and bestselling How to Raise an Adult author Julie Lythcott-Haims pulls no punches in her recollections of growing up a biracial black woman in America.

Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called “micro” aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.”

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For one year, all the South Asians in the US were considered “white”

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2017-11-20 02:40Z by Steven

For one year, all the South Asians in the US were considered “white”

Quartz
2017-09-02

Preeti Varathan


Stand and be counted. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The history of classifying South Asians in the United States is fraught. For most of the 20th century, the census and courts did not consider South Asians as a distinct race, in part because their numbers were negligible. In 1970, the US census decided South Asians were white.

Racially designating South Asians, especially from the Indian subcontinent, is complicated. India is home to more than 2,000 ethnic groups. In the early 1900s, scholars believed that a major ancestral group, the Aryans, migrated to the subcontinent from Europe. They indisputably integrated into Indian culture—the Mahabharata, one of the most well-known ancient Indian epics, tells the story of Aryan warriors who fought among their families for political and spiritual legitimacy. They grouped into an elite, fair-skinned class, possibly explaining the diversity in skin tones of Indians today.

So what happened in 1970? Let’s go back to 1919…

Read the entire article here.

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