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 2018-04-20 02:56Z 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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Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany

Posted in Canada, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Women on 2018-04-20 02:55Z by Steven

Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany

University of Toronto
Innis Town Hall
2 Sussex Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1J5 Canada
2018-05-23 through 2018-05-25

Sponsors: Germanic Languages & Literatures, Cinema Studies Institute, Gender & Women’s Studies Institute, Centre for Transnational & Diaspora Studies, Comparative Literature, SSHRC, Centre for the United States, TIFF, DAAD, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung

The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) is collaborating with the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures and the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto in hosting the 3-day SSHRC-funded conference, “Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany” in Toronto, Ontario, on May 23-25, 2018. The event will feature keynote addresses by Fatima El-Tayeb and Noah Sow, a screening of “On Second Glance” (dir. Sheri Hagen, 2012) at TIFF’s Bell Lightbox with filmmaker in attendance, and a dance-music-word tribute to Afro-German poet and activist May Ayim by guest artists Layla Zami and Oxana Chi.

REGISTRATION OPEN UNTIL 4/21/2018

For more information, click here.

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A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-12 19:46Z by Steven

A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
Los Angeles, California
2018-03-28

Rob Buscher, Contributor


Ken Tanabe, left, and Jeff Chiba Stearns lead the Community Caucus at CMRS. (Photo: Rob Buscher)

Leaders in the multiracial movement gather to ‘Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine’ – a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the U.S.

Over the past few decades, the Japanese American community has become increasingly inclusive of multiracial and multiethnic individuals. However, for those of us who appear less phenotypically Japanese, it is sometimes difficult explaining our connection to people who are less familiar with interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Multiracial Japanese Americans are in many ways the direct result of institutionalized racism that stigmatized Japanese-ness in the 20th century. From the Alien Land Laws to the mass incarceration during World War II, the very existence of our Japanese immigrant ancestors was deemed objectionable. Is it any wonder that so many of our parents and grandparents would choose intermarriage with partners from other ethnic and racial communities?

Yet, despite the growing prevalence of mixed-race Japanese Americans, there are many outside our community who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence within the spectrum of Japanese American identity.

This is why it was so empowering to attend an event like the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, where nearly every one of the 200-plus participants were mixed race. While each individual has a totally different experience being mixed race (even within the same mixed community) the fact that multiracial folks were a super majority in this space meant that everyone had at least a basic understanding of the shared complexities surrounding our mixed identities.

Hosted at the University of Maryland on March 1-3, the 2018 conference’s theme was “Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine” — titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

Read the entire article here.

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Passing as Post-Racial: Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, Political Correctness, and the Post-Racial Passing Narrative

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-04-12 00:38Z by Steven

Passing as Post-Racial: Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, Political Correctness, and the Post-Racial Passing Narrative

Contemporary Literature
Volume 58, Number 2, Summer 2017
pages 233-261

Mollie Godfrey, Assistant Professor of English
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

In March 2016, Robert Folsom published an article in The Socionomist declaring that the rise of Donald Trump as a viable presidential candidate marked “the violent death of political correctness” (1). Folsom argued that while “[t]he conventional narrative on Trump is that he has succeeded despite his rejection of political correctness,” the “truth is that he has in large part succeeded because of it” (4). Indeed, the past few years have seen the rise of vigorous, mainstream opposition to many multiculturalist policies associated with political correctness at all levels and from all directions: from the Supreme Court’s back and forth on voting rights and affirmative action, to the 2015 spate of articles that derided trigger warnings as an attack on free speech, to the crowds of voters like Steve Crouse cheering Trump for speaking his mind and “saying a lot of the things that I think we’re all thinking” (Proskow). These recent events have renewed a debate that began in the 1960s and 1970s, when Civil Rights and Black Power activists and second-wave feminists sparred with traditionalists over the diversity and inclusivity of university curricula, faculty, student bodies, and standards of academic excellence. By the culture wars of the mid–1980s, traditionalists had begun to use the phrase “political correctness” in order to deride these demands for inclusivity.1 Teresa Brennan argues that the phrase “political correctness” was especially useful to its critics because it enabled the rebranding of demands for inclusive language as a violation of the American principle of the freedom of speech: “[t]he campaign against political correctness has been so successful because it has portrayed the attempt to uphold the rights of disadvantaged groups as the infringement of individual rights” (x). Now, criticism of political correctness has gone mainstream: a poll conducted in October 2015 by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that 68% of Americans and 81% of Republicans agreed with the statement “[a] big problem this country has is being politically correct” (Lalami 12).

The year 2000, which Folsom describes as the turning point in American public discourse over the value of liberal multiculturalism and its much caricatured cousin, political correctness, was also the year that Philip Roth’s highly acclaimed novel The Human Stain was published. The Human Stain made waves among critics and scholars as a racial passing novel for the new millennium, one that was especially surprising because the passing genre focuses on a social practice that Jet magazine had once optimistically declared would “pass out” with the end of Jim Crow (“Passing Out”).2 In The Human Stain, the light-skinned African American protagonist, Coleman Silk, decides to pass as Jewish during the 1940s, gaining as a Jewish American in the post–World War II era many of the privileges of whiteness.3 He marries a Jewish woman and rises to prominence as a professor of classics and the first Jewish dean of faculty at Athena College, a small liberal arts school in New England with a mostly white faculty and student body. Near the end of the novel, Coleman’s sister affirms that his black-to-Jewish-to-white passing is out of place in the post-Jim Crow era of liberal multiculturalism and affirmative action: “Today, if you’re a middle-class intelligent Negro and you want your kids to go to the best schools, and on full scholarship if you need it, you wouldn’t dream of saying that you’re not colored. That would be the last thing you’d do” (326). Her claim that passing is no longer profitable in contemporary America is also arguably affirmed by the twist in Coleman’s plot: near retirement, he uses the word “spooks” to refer to two students who have been absent from his class all semester; the students turn out to be black, Coleman is accused of racism by his politically correct colleagues, and he resigns amid the ensuing scandal. This plot twist seems to turn Coleman’s racial passing plot into an ironic tragedy about the shifting…

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The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-04-06 02:48Z by Steven

The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment

Princeton University Press
2018-03-13
360 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691160283
Paperback ISBN: 9780691182100
E-book ISBN: 9781400889556

Edited by:

Julian E. Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs
Princeton University

An original and engaging account of the Obama years from a group of leading political historians

Barack Obama’s election as the first African American president seemed to usher in a new era, and he took office in 2009 with great expectations. But by his second term, Republicans controlled Congress, and, after the 2016 presidential election, Obama’s legacy and the health of the Democratic Party itself appeared in doubt. In The Presidency of Barack Obama, Julian Zelizer gathers leading American historians to put President Obama and his administration into political and historical context.

These writers offer strikingly original assessments of the big issues that shaped the Obama years, including the conservative backlash, race, the financial crisis, health care, crime, drugs, counterterrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment, immigration, education, gay rights, and urban policy. Together, these essays suggest that Obama’s central paradox is that, despite effective policymaking, he failed to receive credit for his many achievements and wasn’t a party builder. Provocatively, they ask why Obama didn’t unite Democrats and progressive activists to fight the conservative counter-tide as it grew stronger.

Engaging and deeply informed, The Presidency of Barack Obama is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama and the uncertain aftermath of his presidency.

Contributors include Sarah Coleman, Jacob Dlamini, Gary Gerstle, Risa Goluboff, Meg Jacobs, Peniel Joseph, Michael Kazin, Matthew Lassiter, Kathryn Olmsted, Eric Rauchway, Richard Schragger, Paul Starr, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Thomas Sugrue, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and Jonathan Zimmerman.

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Stanford scholar examines biracial youth’s political attitudes and self-identification factors

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Economics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 22:31Z by Steven

Stanford scholar examines biracial youth’s political attitudes and self-identification factors

Stanford News
Stanford University, Stanford, California
2018-03-29

Alex Shashkevich, Humanities Public Information Officer
Stanford News Service


Political scientist Lauren Davenport examines multiracial groups in the United States and their political views in her new book. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

With the mixed-race population rapidly increasing in the United States, Stanford political scientist Lauren Davenport says it’s important to figure out what factors shape this group’s political attitudes and self-identification.

Biracial youth who identify with the races of both of their parents tend to be more socially progressive and liberal than their peers who are of a single racial background, according to new research from a Stanford political scientist.

The multiracial population is one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States, said Lauren Davenport, an assistant professor of political science. Curious to know more about how this group aligns politically, Davenport analyzed data from the U.S. Census and national surveys of college students. She also conducted in-depth interviews with biracial youth to explain what factors into their self-identification and shapes their political attitudes.

Davenport found that gender and socioeconomic status are among the strongest predictors of how a person of mixed race chooses to identify. Biracial women are more likely than men to identify with both of their races rather than one, and biracial people from more affluent backgrounds are more likely to identify as just white.

Davenport discusses her findings and their implications for America’s future in her new book, Politics Beyond Black and White, available March 29.

Stanford News Service interviewed Davenport about her research…

Read the entire interview here.

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The Trump administration’s plan to make people disappear

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 02:06Z by Steven

The Trump administration’s plan to make people disappear

The Washington Post
2018-03-30

Karen Tumulty, Columnist


2010 Census forms. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

As long as there has been a census, there have been complaints about how it was conducted.

Ours is believed to have been the first country to have required that its entire population be counted on a regular basis. The Constitution stipulated that there be an “actual enumeration” of all U.S. residents within three years of Congress’s first meeting and every 10 years thereafter.

But when the 1790 population tally came in at a disappointingly low 3.9 million residents, skeptics — including President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson — insisted that the initial effort surely must have missed 1 million or more people. The new nation’s wounded pride notwithstanding, later surveys suggested that the first count was pretty much on the mark.

Nor has the seemingly objective exercise of counting people ever been immune to politics. The census helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be allocated annually and how congressional district lines will be redrawn to ensure that voters are equally represented. After the 1920 Census showed a massive movement from farms to cities, the rural lawmakers who dominated things at the time decided to ignore it entirely and skipped reapportionment that decade.

The Trump administration now proposes to corrupt the process in a different way: by requiring every household to report the citizenship status of its members…

Read the entire article here.

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Census Bureau’s Own Expert Panel Rebukes Decision to Add Citizenship Question

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 01:51Z by Steven

Census Bureau’s Own Expert Panel Rebukes Decision to Add Citizenship Question

The New York Times
2018-03-30

Michael Wines, National Correspondent


A Census Bureau panel denounced the decision this week to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, saying it would depress the response.
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Trump administration’s decision to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census, already the target of lawsuits and broad criticism by statistics authorities, drew a new opponent on Friday: the experts who advise the Census Bureau itself.

Those experts — prominent demographers, economists, engineers and others who make up the Census Scientific Advisory Committee — said in a statement that the decision was based on “flawed logic,” could threaten the accuracy and confidentiality of the head count and likely would make it more expensive to conduct.

In the statement, addressed to the acting Census Bureau director, Ron Jarmin, the committee also said it worried about the “implications for attitudes about the Census Bureau,” an allusion to fears that the latest move jeopardized the bureau’s nonpartisan reputation…

Read the entire article here.

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Counting Americans: How the US Census Classified the Nation

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-30 20:27Z by Steven

Counting Americans: How the US Census Classified the Nation

Oxford University Press
2017-07-03
376 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardback ISBN: 9780199917853

Paul Schor, Associate Professor History
Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France

  • Shows that U.S. census categories are more complex than previous histories of the census have shown, and directly contributed to the social construction of race.
  • Demonstrates the fluidity of racial categories in the U.S. census between the nineteenth and twentieth century, and the social implications of that fluidity.
  • Traces the visible and less known connections between categories such as slave, mulatto, mixed, “Mexican race,” and more current categories of the US census.
  • Shows how the mobilization of individuals or groups over contested statistical categories occured in the first half of the twentieth century, much earlier than race-based affirmative action policies since the 1960’s.
  • Draws on previously unused documents from the Census Bureau archive and other unpublished sources to explore the interactions between census officials and laypeople.

How could the same person be classified by the US census as black in 1900, mulatto in 1910, and white in 1920? The history of categories used by the US census reflects a country whose identity and self-understanding–particularly its social construction of race–is closely tied to the continuous polling on the composition of its population.

By tracing the evolution of the categories the United States used to count and classify its population from 1790 to 1940, Paul Schor shows that, far from being simply a reflection of society or a mere instrument of power, censuses are actually complex negotiations between the state, experts, and the population itself. The census is not an administrative or scientific act, but a political one. Counting Americans is a social history exploring the political stakes that pitted various interests and groups of people against each other as population categories were constantly redefined. Utilizing new archival material from the Census Bureau, this study pays needed attention to the long arc of contested changes in race and census-making. It traces changes in how race mattered in the United States during the era of legal slavery, through its fraught end, and then during (and past) the period of Jim Crow laws, which set different ethnic groups in conflict. And it shows how those developing policies also provided a template for classifying Asian groups and white ethnic immigrants from southern and eastern Europe–and how they continue to influence the newly complicated racial imaginings informing censuses in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.

Focusing in detail on slaves and their descendants, on racialized groups and on immigrants, and on the troubled imposition of U.S. racial categories upon the populations of newly acquired territories, Counting Americans demonstrates that census-taking in the United States has been at its core a political undertaking shaped by racial ideologies that reflect its violent history of colonization, enslavement, segregation and discrimination.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Note on Illustrations and Tables
  • Note on Terminology
  • Introduction
  • Part I: The Origins of the U.S. Census: From Enumeration of Voters and Taxpayers to “Social Statistics,” 1790-1840
    • Chapter 1: The Creation of the Federal Census by the Constitution of the United States: A Political Instrument
    • Chapter 2: The First Developments of the National Census (1800-1830)
    • Chapter 3: The Census of 1840: Science, Politics and “Insanity” of Free Blacks
  • Part II: Slaves, Former Slaves, Blacks, and Mulattoes: Identification of the Individual and the Statistical Segregation of Populations (1850-1865)
    • Chapter 4: Whether to Name or Count Slaves: The Refusal of Identification
    • Chapter 5: Color, Race, and Origin of Slaves and Free Persons: “White,” “Black,” “Mulatto” in the Censuses of 1850 and 1860
    • Chapter 6: Color and Status of Slaves: Legal Definition and Census Practice
    • Chapter 7: Census Data for 1850 and 1860 and the Defeat of the South
  • Part III: The Rise of Immigration and the Racialization of Society: The Adaptation of the Census to the Diversity of the American Population (1850-1900)
    • Chapter 8: Modernization, Standardization, and Internationalization: From the Censuses of J. C. G. Kennedy (1850 and 1860) to the First Census of Francis A. Walker (1870)
    • Chapter 9: From Slavery to Liberty: The Future of the Black Race or Racial Mixing as Degeneration
    • Chapter 10: From “Mulatto” to the “One Drop Rule” (1870-1900)
    • Chapter 11: The Slow Integration of Indians into U.S. Population Statistics in the Nineteenth Century
    • Chapter 12: The Chinese and Japanese in the Census: Nationalities That Are Also Races
    • Chapter 13: Immigration, Nativism, and Statistics (1850-1900)
  • Part IV: Apogee and Decline of Ethnic Statistics (1900-1940)
    • Chapter 14: The Disappearance of the “Mulatto” as the End of Inquiry into the Composition of the Black Population of the United States
    • Chapter 15: The Question of Racial Mixing in the American Possessions: National Norm and Local Resistance
    • Chapter 16: New Asian Races, New Mixtures, and the “Mexican” Race: Interest in “Minor Races”
    • Chapter 17: From Statistics by Country of Birth to the System of National Origins
  • Part V: The Population and the Census: Representation, Negotiation, and Segmentation (1900-1940)
    • Chapter 18: The Census and African Americans within and outside the Bureau
    • Chapter 19: Women as Census Workers and as Relays in the Field
    • Chapter 20: Ethnic Marketing of Population Statistics
  • Epilogue: The Fortunes of Census Classifications (1940-2000)
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Abbreviations
  • Sources and Bibliography
  • Index
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The Americans Our Government Won’t Count

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-30 19:42Z by Steven

The Americans Our Government Won’t Count

Sunday Review
The New York Times
2018-03-30

Alex Wagner, Contributing Editor
The Atlantic


Monica Ramos

Racially speaking, the United States is zero percent Hispanic. This is confusing — especially for America’s nearly 58 million Hispanics.

The United States census breaks our country into six general racial categories: White; Black; Asian; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; American Indian or Alaska Native; and Some Other Race. “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin” is treated not as a race but as an ethnicity — a question asked separately. So someone may be White (Hispanic) or Black (Hispanic) but not simply Hispanic. As a result, many Hispanics check “White” or, increasingly, “Some Other Race.” This ill-defined category is what mixed-race Americans, like me — half Burmese, half Luxembourgian-Irish — often check. It might just as well be called “Generally Brown.” Today, the third-largest racial group in America is “Some Other Race” — and it is made up overwhelmingly of Hispanics.

Equally obscured are America’s estimated 3.7 million residents of Arab descent. With neither a racial nor an ethnic category to call their own, they most often opt for a racial designation of “White.” But to count Yemenis and Syrians as generically white is a complicated proposition these days, when whiteness confers power, and men and women from the Arab world are instead the subjects of travel bans and national security debates.

Nearly four years ago, the Census Bureau began researching how to more accurately represent these populations and decided to combine the race and ethnicity questions into one, and to add two new categories: one for residents of Middle Eastern/North African origin and one for those of Hispanic origin. Many advocates within those groups celebrated the reforms, and the broad expectation was that the next census, in 2020, would incorporate these changes. After all, the bureau itself concluded that they were necessary to “produce the highest quality statistics about our nation’s diverse population.”…

Read the entire article here.

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