Stop using mixed race people as symbols of interracial unity to ease your white guilt

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2018-11-13 03:16Z by Steven

Stop using mixed race people as symbols of interracial unity to ease your white guilt

Friktion
2018-05-09

Sophie Buzak-Achiam


Illustration: Mette Clante

Dutch beer company Heineken has recently faced backlash for its “lighter is better” ad, where a bartender with light skinned Latino appearance slides a beer past three dark skinned Black people towards an Eurasian woman, with whom he shares a wink, before the slogan “sometimes lighter is better” appears. As a mixed race person, who might be racialised in a similar way to the exotic yet safely light skinned woman in the ad, this ad struck a well-known chord. Spending a good half of my life in a white Danish environment, I have often found my ambiguous racial appearance used by white people as a symbol of a conforming, non-threatening otherness. Although still seen as a person of color, I also embody a whiteness that can make me come across as safe mediator to ease racial tensions and white guilt.

Considering the overwhelming whiteness in European advertisement in general, I don’t believe it to be a coincidence that Heineken, as a white owned company, chooses to use people of color and racially ambiguous people as the stars of this ad. In representing the “lighter is better” demographic, the two lighter skinned actors become pawns to the white system which uses them to mask its racism, that becomes perhaps more subtle with the acceptance of some people of color…

Read the entire article here.

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JewAsian: race, religion, and identity for America’s Newest Jews [Review]

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2018-11-01 02:37Z by Steven

JewAsian: race, religion, and identity for America’s Newest Jews [Review]

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 40, 2017 – Issue 13
pages 2380-2382
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1329544

Hasia R. Diner, Paul And Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History
New York University

Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt, JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

Sociologists Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt, a married couple, he of Jewish background, presumably European, and she of Korean derivation, have, with this slim book, launched an important topic for further research and scholarly inquiry. The two authors explore here, using the conventional methods of sociological study, a trend, presumably new and emblematic of postmodernity. This trend can be accessed by even the most casual readers nearly every Sunday in the wedding announcements in The New York Times‘ Style section. Like JewAsian—obviously a neologism—The Times postings chronicle the not uncommon phenomenon of, for the most part, Jewish men, bearers of identifiable Jewish surnames, marrying women marked by their names and by the accompanying photographs identifiable as Asian, primarily individuals who themselves or their forbears hailed from China, Korea, and Vietnam.

The text of the wedding announcements, besides detailing the usually impressive occupations and educational backgrounds of bride and groom, and those of their parents, fit well with this fascinating book. Nearly all the nuptial notices indicate that a rabbi or cantor will be officiating at the ceremony, indicating that Jews, certainly the non-Orthodox among them who constitute the American majority, have embraced this emerging reality of marriages across lines of race, ethnicity, and religion. So too the fact that the brides in these marriages have chosen to have their unions solemnized by a member of the Jewish clergy, rather than by someone representing Christianity or Buddhism or any other religious tradition associated with Asian and Asian American culture, represents an important contemporary reality which Kim and Leavitt explore in their book.

The wedding announcements, like the much publicized union between FaceBook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, sweethearts since their Harvard days and like the data presented in JewAsian, point to the trend by which the non-Jewish, Asian women who marry Jewish men become integrated and absorbed into the fabric of American Jewish life. Kim and Leavitt, who for the most part leave out the details of their personal journey as an Asian and Jewish couple, focusing carefully on the pairs whom they interviewed, do appropriately indicate in the Preface that they met and fell in love while graduate students at the University of Chicago…

Read or purchase the review here.

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When Asian Women Are Harassed for Marrying Non-Asian Men

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-10-14 00:14Z by Steven

When Asian Women Are Harassed for Marrying Non-Asian Men

The Cut
2018-10-12

Celest Ng

Photo: Jade/Getty Images/Blend Images

The men who harass me know three things: I’m Chinese-American, my husband is white, and our son is multiracial. You hate Asian men, they insist; you hate your own child. You hate yourself. I once received 27 tweets — calling me everything from “irrelevant” to “liar” to “coward” to “neglectful gaslighting mother” — in 48 hours, from one person. I save these messages in a folder on my computer to document the abuse. Whenever I upgrade my laptop, I copy them over, little packets of poison I must keep and carry forever.

I’ve gotten messages like this for more than four years, ever since my first novel — featuring a family with an Asian father and a white mother — was published and my own mixed family became public knowledge. But this message arrived in August — #AsianAugust, some were calling it, because of the huge success of Asian-centered films like Crazy Rich Asians, Searching, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It was a moment when Asian-Americans were celebrating as a community, yet here was a hate message plummeting out of the blue into my inbox. And like most of the harassing messages I receive, it came from an Asian man…

Read the entire article here.

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The Chinese-African Kids And Identity Crisis

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2018-10-14 00:02Z by Steven

The Chinese-African Kids And Identity Crisis

Shorthand Social
2016-02-08

Ilelah Balarabe Shehu

INTRODUCTION

As the number of Africans coming to China for business keeps jumping up by 20-30% annually since 2011, so also the number of intermarriages between Africans and Chinese. This inter racial marriages has resulted in giving a new face to what is hitherto known as Chinese faces. Now the emergence of what is known in China as chocolate kids, a mixture of Asian and African colors. With over 4000 of these kids in Guangzhou alone, the Chinese society is divided on accepting these kids as Chinese or not, while the kids themselves are struggling with their identity crisis. Most of them in a fool of confusion regarding to where they actually belong. But despite the identity crisis, most of the kids have a dream here in China.

As the economy of China continues to attract global attention with its increasing participation in global politics and its desire to be seen and recognized as a global power, this has come with an increase of economic migrants from all over the world. The ones from Africa are more visible especially in the southern city of Guangzhou where at the moment, arrangement has been completed to build an African town. According to Africansinchina.net, with an estimated population of over two hundred thousand Africans in Guangzhou, the city is by no doubt the largest city with Africans not only in China but in Asia. As such, this is the city where more inter marriages take place between Chinese women and African business men or even students. As a result of this fast growing community of Chinese African families, a new generation of kids from Chinese and African parents is growing rapidly not only in the city of Guangzhou, but also in almost all cities and towns in China. Towards the end of the year 2014, there were over 4000 African Chinese kids in Guangzhou alone, according to Information and Resources for Urban Entrepreneurs.

Read the entire article here.

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Sharon H. Chang does a deep dive of her new memoir “Hapa Tales and Other Lies” with fellow Seattle writer Anne Liu Kellor

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2018-10-12 14:16Z by Steven

Sharon H. Chang does a deep dive of her new memoir “Hapa Tales and Other Lies” with fellow Seattle writer Anne Liu Kellor

International Examiner
Seattle, Washington
2018-10-08

Anne Liu Kellor

Sharon H. Chang recently released a memoir called Hapa Tales and Other Lies: A Mixed Race Memoir about the Hawai’i I Never Knew. The book is an exploration of her Mixed Race Asian American identity through the lens of being a tourist in Hawai’i, a place with many Mixed Race Asians where Chang was indirectly told she could find a sense of racial belonging.

Different from the trips she took with her parents when she was a kid, Chang’s adult exploration of spaces like Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center tell her a more complicated history of Hawai’i and the indigenous culture – colonization, marginalization of Native Hawaiians, exploitation and appropriation. She spends significant time challenging the use of the term “hapa,” a word that originally referred to mixed Hawaiian natives, but that many Mixed Race Asians now use without any awareness of the word’s origins.

Seattle-based writer Anne Liu Kellor interviewed Chang about this exploration as they shared similar perspectives of being Mixed Race, Asian American women and mothers.

International Examiner: In Hapa Tales and Other Lies, you write that this book is a “chapter of your identity story” and “part of a larger, necessary story about the loneliness and challenge of self-defining that Mixed Race people generally face.” When did you start becoming more reflective about your Mixed Race identity, and how has this process of “self-defining” changed for you over time?

SHC: I started becoming more reflective about being Mixed Race when I met my husband (who is also Mixed) at the turn of the century. My husband had been recently politicized and the 2000 Census had just taken place where people could self-select more than one race box for the first time. When we met, he was in the process of reflecting deeply on where to step into the race conversation as a now recognized biracial person. I had never heard anyone talk about being Mixed Race like that, ever, and I was completely drawn in.

When my husband and I grew up no one talked about being biracial, multiracial, or mixed-race. That language didn’t really exist on a large scale. People like us were “half” this, “quarter” that, or you were expected to just “pick a side.” I began to see such concepts as harmfully self-divisive and wondered how things could be different. But what spurred me to go even deeper and actually begin writing on Mixed Race was the birth of my son in 2009…

Read the entire interview here.

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Fluidity amidst structure: multi-racial identity constructions across the life course of Malaysians and Singaporeans

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2018-10-09 03:37Z by Steven

Fluidity amidst structure: multi-racial identity constructions across the life course of Malaysians and Singaporeans

Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture
Published online: 2018-07-18
18 pages
DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2018.1499222

Geetha Reddy
Department of Sociology
University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

Multi-racial identity construction is understood to be fluid, contextual and dynamic. Yet the dynamics of multi-racial identity construction when racial identities are ascribed and formulated as static by governments is less explored in psychological studies of race. This paper examines the dynamics of racial identity construction among multi-racial Malaysians and Singaporeans in a qualitative study of 31 semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to identify the different private racial identity constructions of participants who were officially ascribed with single racial identities at birth. Participants reflected on the overwhelming influence of the state and significant Others in limiting their ability to express their multiple racial identities when they were in school, and highlighted their capacity to be agentic in their private racial identity constructions when they were older. This paper shows that across the life course multi-racial individuals possess (1) the ability to adopt different racial identity positions at different times, (2) the ability to hold multiple racial identity constructions at the same time when encounters with Others are dialogical, (3) the reflexivity of past identity positions in the present construction of identities.

Read the entire article here.

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Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2018-10-08 03:48Z by Steven

Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

The New York Times
2018-10-06

Motoko Rich, Tokyo Bureau Chief


The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun printed a special edition when Naomi Osaka won the United States Open tennis championship in September. Yomiuri Shimbun, via Associated Press

Is Japan becoming more welcoming to mixed-race people?

TOKYO — Just over 40 years ago, when my family moved from California to Tokyo, the fact that my mother was Japanese did not stop schoolchildren from pointing at me and yelling “Gaijin!” — the Japanese word for foreigner — as I walked down the street.

After seeing my red-haired, blue-eyed father, a shopkeeper in the suburb where we lived asked my mother what it was like to work as a nanny in the American’s house.

When we moved back to California two years later, I entered fourth grade and suddenly, I was the Asian kid. “Ching chong chang chong ching!” boys chanted on the playground, tugging at the corners of their eyes. Classmates scrunched their noses at the onigiri — rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed — that my mother packed in my lunch bag. When our teacher mentioned Japan during a social studies lesson, every head in the class swiveled to stare at me.

Now, back in Tokyo as a foreign correspondent for this newspaper, I am no longer pointed at by people on the street. But I am incontrovertibly regarded as a foreigner. When I hand over my business card, people look at my face and then ask in confusion how I got my first name. My Japanese-ness, it seems, barely registers.

In the past few weeks, covering local reaction to the tennis champion Naomi Osaka, the daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father, and Denny Tamaki, who is the son of a Japanese mother and a white American Marine and was elected governor of Okinawa last weekend, I have wondered whether Japanese attitudes toward identity are slowly starting to accommodate those of us with mixed heritages…

Read the entire article here.

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Forwards and Backwards

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2018-10-08 00:01Z by Steven

Forwards and Backwards

Hapa Japan
2018-09-30

Fredrick Cloyd

Whenever I think of living in the world as writer, as thinker, as cultural worker, as identities-in-motion and identities-in-between, I think of the projections we are placed into by others, and by ourselves to ourselves. How others put their own ideas onto us, their assumptions and judgements that follow, align with or compete with the same things we do to ourselves, according to the cultural and language frames we use for ourselves—the labels and concepts of what we learn and think we know. And in addition, there is the reality of a fixed identity or thought that interferes with reality. If we are “hāfu” then we cannot be “pure” or “white” or democrat, republican, woman, man, etc. And then the “human” label also plays its role. “I am human therefore you are wrong in labeling me such-and-such….”

Read the entire article here.

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Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-09-20 03:55Z by Steven

Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Stanford University Press
September 2018
256 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781503605046
Paper ISBN: 9781503606012

Ana Paulina Lee, Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies
Columbia University, New York, New York

In Mandarin Brazil, Ana Paulina Lee explores the centrality of Chinese exclusion to the Brazilian nation-building project, tracing the role of cultural representation in producing racialized national categories. Lee considers depictions of Chineseness in Brazilian popular music, literature, and visual culture, as well as archival documents and Brazilian and Qing dynasty diplomatic correspondence about opening trade and immigration routes between Brazil and China. In so doing, she reveals how Asian racialization helped to shape Brazil’s image as a racial democracy.

Mandarin Brazil begins during the second half of the nineteenth century, during the transitional period when enslaved labor became unfree labor—an era when black slavery shifted to “yellow labor” and racial anxieties surged. Lee asks how colonial paradigms of racial labor became a part of Brazil’s nation-building project, which prioritized “whitening,” a fundamentally white supremacist ideology that intertwined the colonial racial caste system with new immigration labor schemes. By considering why Chinese laborers were excluded from Brazilian nation-building efforts while Japanese migrants were welcomed, Lee interrogates how Chinese and Japanese imperial ambitions and Asian ethnic supremacy reinforced Brazil’s whitening project. Mandarin Brazil contributes to a new conversation in Latin American and Asian American cultural studies, one that considers Asian diasporic histories and racial formation across the Americas.

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Hapa Tales and Other Lies: A Mixed Race Memoir About the Hawai‘i I Never Knew

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, Social Justice, United States on 2018-09-19 17:27Z by Steven

Hapa Tales and Other Lies: A Mixed Race Memoir About the Hawai‘i I Never Knew

Rising Song Press
2018-09-15
210 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-732484702

Sharon H. Chang

HapaTales_Cover_0706_2

In her first work of literary nonfiction, Sharon H. Chang reflects critically on her Asian American, Mixed Race, and activist identity through the prism of returning to Hawai‘i as a tourist. While visiting O‘ahu and Kaua‘i she considers childhood trips to Maua‘i and the Big Island, pop culture and Hollywood movies of her youth that perpetuated Hawaiian stereotypes, and what it means that she has been stereotyped as a “Hawai‘i Girl” her whole life though she has never lived on the islands. But what begins as a journey to unpack the ways she has been perceived and treated as a multiracial woman evolves into much more as Sharon learns the real impacts of colonization and corporate tourism on Hawai‘i and uncovers what her Asian multiracial “mainland” identity actually looks like in relationship to the land, its Indigenous peoples, and the Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement.

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