“Often race is used as a variable without people really defining it biologically, and that is a very minimum we should expect from a scientific variable that you’ll be able to define it biologically.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-22 23:24Z by Steven

Often race is used as a variable without people really defining it biologically, and that is a very minimum we should expect from a scientific variable that you’ll be able to define it biologically. They just treat these social categories as though they are biological without really doing the legwork to figure out why that is a valid way to think about these things.Angela Saini

Bob McDonald, “The return of race science — the quest to fortify racism with bad biology,” Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio, November 15, 2019. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/nov-16-watching-wildfire-with-radar-the-return-of-race-science-and-more-1.5359599/the-return-of-race-science-the-quest-to-fortify-racism-with-bad-biology-1.5359610.

Tags: , , , , ,

Despite this history, and although denying people civil rights according to their race is no longer legal, socially, the one-drop rule is still very much alive.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-22 03:19Z by Steven

Despite this history, and although denying people civil rights according to their race is no longer legal, socially, the one-drop rule is still very much alive. Many Americans, including liberals who politically reject racism, routinely define white people who have black ancestors as “passing” for white. The same Americans would find it absurd to accuse a black person who has white ancestors of “passing” for black, since the one drop rule is based on hypodescent—i.e., the belief that African “blood” overwhelms all others. Sadly, folks who employ the term “passing” seem unaware that they are repeating two centuries of essentialist pseudoscience developed by white supremacists to justify slavery and segregation. —Victoria Bynum

Eric London, “Historian Victoria Bynum on the inaccuracies of the New York Times 1619 Project,” World Socialist Web Site, October 30, 2019. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/30/bynu-o30.html.

Tags: , , ,

But I was unprepared for intense cross-examination about where I was from. I did not understand, until I was a teenager, that my father was coaching me in the art of being a “good” black girl, acceptable to white people.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-20 01:44Z by Steven

After my school experiences, any demands to explain where I came from disconcerted me. My parents taught me to hold my head erect, to look directly at adults who addressed me, to smile with my eyes not just my teeth, to speak clearly, and to be conspicuously open, transparent and honest. My dad said that if I did not follow this advice I would be regarded as “shifty”, duplicitous and unworthy of attention. But I was unprepared for intense cross-examination about where I was from. I did not understand, until I was a teenager, that my father was coaching me in the art of being a “good” black girl, acceptable to white people.

Hazel Carby, “My Jamaican dad was an RAF hero. Why did no one believe me?The Guardian, November 16, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/16/jamiacan-father-raf-hero-.

Tags: , ,

Today, this hyper-sexualization and fetishization of mixed race people has unfortunately become the norm. A disproportionate amount of mixed women experience sexual violence compared to other minority women.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-19 02:26Z by Steven

Today, this hyper-sexualization and fetishization of mixed race people has unfortunately become the norm. A disproportionate amount of mixed women experience sexual violence compared to other minority women. The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence study found that mixed race women experienced rape, physical abuse, and stalking by an intimate partner at a rate of thirty-two point two percent, a rate second only to American Indian/Alaska Natives at thirty-seven point five percent.

Alia Shaukat, “Me, Myself, and My Mixed Identity,” The Bull & Bear: McGill’s Student-Run News Magazine, October 17, 2019. http://bullandbearmcgill.com/me-myself-and-my-mixed-identity/.

Tags: , , ,

“Self-Portrait in Black and White” doesn’t meaningfully engage with centuries of work from black-identifying scholars who wrote accessibly about their backgrounds, especially those with mixed-race ancestry.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-10-27 17:15Z by Steven

Nor is he [Thomas Chatterton Williams] the first thinker to ponder how multiracial people navigate a world so obsessed with the minutiae of race. Self-Portrait in Black and White doesn’t meaningfully engage with centuries of work from black-identifying scholars who wrote accessibly about their backgrounds, especially those with mixed-race ancestry. Nella Larsen’s novel, Passing, was published nearly a century ago; the former NAACP leader Walter White published his memoir, A Man Called White, in 1948. Upon his death in 1955, The New York Times wrote that the fair-skinned White “could easily have joined the 12,000 Negroes who pass the color-line and disappear into the white majority every year in this country. But he deliberately sacrificed his comfort to publicize himself as a Negro and to devote his entire adult life to completing the emancipation of his people.” Absent from Williams’s memoir is any critical analysis of texts written by White or even by major figures such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Angela Davis, or Malcolm X.

Hannah Giorgis, “A Simplistic View of a Mixed-ish America,” The Atlantic, October 26, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/10/mixed-ish-thomas-chatterton-williams-race/600679/.

Tags: , , , , ,

Identity angst is a luxury of the privileged. And I was privileged. And I was/am angst.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-10-27 16:28Z by Steven

Identity angst is a luxury of the privileged. And I was privileged. And I was/am angst. The fact that I have time space and a vocabulary to tease out my own relationship to race and represent Asian, and to lobby for more gender equity or fight for diversity in Western media and culture, means that I am already living my mother’s American dream. It wouldn’t look like that to her. Nope. She used to sigh and roll her eyes when I did shows like “Birth of a nASIAN” at the Smithsonian about Asian American identities. She was furious when I got into Juilliard because it meant I was not going to morph into a blonde doctor by sheer force of her will. And she would still be mad today that I am not pursuing her dream of passing as one of the Real Housewives of Assimilation Hills.

Kate Rigg, “My Asian Mom bought me a Blonde Wig.Medium, October 25, 2019. https://medium.com/@katerigg/my-asian-mom-bought-me-a-blonde-wig-6158df9c7a3a.

Tags: ,

With dark skin, a braided wig, a feathered war bonnet, and a name like Young Deer, he could easily “pass” for a Plains Indian and entertain audiences with thrilling stories of the Old West or dance to the beat of a tom-tom. His marriage to Lillian St. Cyr (1884-1974) would give him that chance.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-10-26 21:27Z by Steven

Instead, [James] Young Deer began to create a new identity and in his own way “discovered” his Indian roots. After all, “going Indian” might open the door to other opportunities, especially in an era of dime novels and Wild West Shows. With dark skin, a braided wig, a feathered war bonnet, and a name like Young Deer, he could easily “pass” for a Plains Indian and entertain audiences with thrilling stories of the Old West or dance to the beat of a tom-tom. His marriage to Lillian St. Cyr (1884-1974) would give him that chance.

Angela Aleiss, “Who Was the Real James Young Deer?Bright Lights Film Journal, April 30, 2013. https://brightlightsfilm.com/who-was-the-real-james-young-deer-the-mysterious-identity-of-the-pathe-producer-finally-comes-to-light.

Tags: , , , ,

“That fascinates me that there was a black person who had white privilege and was cognizant of his ethnicity,” he said. “When you really think about it, he kinda wasn’t a black person when he was there. That’s such a juxtaposition for me.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-10-26 20:13Z by Steven

“That fascinates me that there was a black person [Samuel Codes Watson] who had white privilege and was cognizant of his ethnicity, he said. “When you really think about it, he kinda wasnt a black person when he was there. Thats such a juxtaposition for me.Tylonn J. Sawyer

Micah Walker, “He passed as a white student at U-M — but was actually college’s first black enrollee,” The Detroit Free Press, October 19, 2019. https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/2019/10/19/samuel-codes-watson-unviersity-michigan-tylonn-j-sawyer/3992118002/.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Our society is racially illiterate in general, and the greatest illiteracy is to be in the presence of a multiracial person.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-10-26 18:42Z by Steven

“It’s really hard for administrations to catch up,” says G. Reginald Daniel, PhD, professor and vice chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. One of the key areas lagging behind in universities is student counseling. “There are special kinds of microaggressions that come with multiracial identity,” says Daniel. “Our society is racially illiterate in general, and the greatest illiteracy is to be in the presence of a multiracial person.”

Kristal Brent Zook, “Universities Are Still Struggling to Provide for Mixed-Race Students,” Zora, September 23, 2019. https://zora.medium.com/universities-are-still-struggling-to-provide-for-mixed-race-students-d291d89c5b60.

Tags: , ,

“My mama would go around town, pushing my sister and I in a cart to the grocery store, and people would actually come up to her and lecture her. They would say, ‘Do you know what you’ve done?'”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-09-26 01:45Z by Steven

Her [Brittany Howard’s] most striking lyrics come on Goat Head [in her album Jaime], as she discusses growing up as the child of a poor, interracial couple in rural Alabama.

“When I was born – or rather when my sister was born in 1984 – that was like the first wave of mixed babies, little brown babies,” she says.

“My mama would go around town, pushing my sister and I in a cart to the grocery store, and people would actually come up to her and lecture her. They would say, ‘Do you know what you’ve done?'”

In the song, she recalls an incident that happened when she was a baby, but was told about later, where “someone cut off a goat’s head, and they put it in the back of my dad’s car and slashed his tyres, and smeared blood all over his car”.

“It’s always been a part of me, that story,” says Howard. “Because Athens was a beautiful, peaceful country place, where people are neighbours and we really care about each other. But there’s a racial line, or there was at least, and that’s why I wanted to write that song. Just to explain where I was coming from.”

Mark Savage, “Brittany Howard finds freedom after Alabama Shakes,” BBC News, September 25, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-49808839.

Tags: , , , ,