It showed that the mixture of African Americans and Whites simply yielded children with some characteristics of each race, who were entirely normal.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-04-02 21:15Z by Steven

In 1932, under the supervision of Harvard physical anthropologist Earnest Hooton, [Caroline Bond] Day published her Radcliffe master’s thesis, A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States. It showed that the mixture of African Americans and Whites simply yielded children with some characteristics of each race, who were entirely normal. In fact, Day observed, these offspring were often middle-class and lived lives that were very like those of middle-class White people, although in U.S. culture they were regarded as African American. As an outsider within her field, Day adapted the methods of anthropology to her own uses.

Anastasia C. Curwood, “Caroline Bond Day (1889–1948): A Black Woman Outsider Within Physical Anthropology,” Transforming Anthropology, Volume 20, Issue 1, (April 2012): 79.

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The Study of Race

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2012-04-02 17:43Z by Steven

The Study of Race

American Anthropologist
Volume 65, Issue 3 (June 1963)
pages 521-531
DOI: 10.1525/aa.1963.65.3.02a00010

S. L. Washburn, Professor of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Delivered as the Presidential address at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 16, 1962, in Chicago

The Executive Board has asked me to give my address on the subject of race, and, reluctantly and diffidently, I have agreed to do so. I am not a specialist on this subject. I have never done research on race, but I have taught it for a number of years.

Discussion of the races of man seems to generate endless emotion and confusion. I am under no illusion that this paper can do much to dispel the confusion; it may add to the emotion. The latest information available supports the traditional findings of anthropologists and other social scientists-that there is no scientific basis of any kind for racial discrimination. I think that the way this conclusion has been reached needs to be restated. The continuation of antiquated biological notions in anthropology and the oversimplification of facts weakens the anthropological position. We must realize that great changes have taken place in the study of race over the last 20 years and it is up to us to bring our profession into the forefront of the newer understandings, so that our statements will be authoritative and useful…

…If one were to name a major race, or a primary race, the Bushmen have a far better claim in terms of the archeological record than the Europeans. During the time of glacial advance more than half of the Old World available to man for life was in Africa. The numbers and distributions that we think of as normal and the races whose last results we see today are relics of an earlier and far different time in human history.

There are no three primary races, no three major groups. The idea of three primary races stems from nineteenth-century typology; it is totally misleading to put the black-skinned people of the world together-to put the Australian in the same grouping with the inhabitants of Africa. And there are certainly at least three independent origins of the small, dark people, the Pygmies, and probably more than that. There is no single Pygmy race.

If we look to real history we will always find more than three races, because there are more than three major areas in which the raciation of our species was taking place…

Read the entire article here.

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In Arizona, Censoring Questions About Race

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-04-02 15:41Z by Steven

In Arizona, Censoring Questions About Race

The New York Times

Linda Martín Alcoff, Professor of Philosophy
Hunter College, City University of New York

In recent weeks, the state of Arizona has intensified its attack in its schools on an entire branch of study — critical race theory. Books and literature that, in the state’s view, meet that definition have been said to violate a provision in the state’s law that prohibits lessons “promoting racial resentment.” Officials are currently bringing to bear all their influence in the public school curriculum, going so far as to enter classrooms to confiscate books and other materials and to oversee what can be taught.  After decades of debate over whether we might be able to curtail ever so slightly the proliferation of violent pornography, the censors have managed a quick and thorough coup over educational materials in ethnic studies.

I have been teaching critical race theory for almost 20 years. The phrase signifies quite a sophisticated concept for this crowd to wield, coined as it was by a consortium of theorists across several disciplines to signify the new cutting edge scholarship about race. Why not simply call it “scholarship about race,” you might ask? Because, as the censors might be surprised to find, these theorists want to leave open the question of what race is — if there is such a thing — rather than assuming it as a natural object of inquiry. Far from championing a single-minded program for the purpose of propaganda, the point of critical race theory is to formulate questions about race.

Arizona’s House Bill 2281, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in May 2010, does not actually mention critical race theory, but the term has been all over the press with a “damning” image from 1990 of Barack Obama, then a Harvard law school student, hugging the law professor Derrick Bell, one of the field’s founders. State Superintendent Tom Horne devised the bill particularly to put a stop to what he describes as the “racist propaganda” of critical race theory, and now other conservatives are sounding the call against what they say is a “deeply disturbing theory.” Perhaps the negative publicity recently produced by the Republican stance on contraception has the party looking for a new target to shore up the base.

What the bill does say may sound to some ears as reasonable. It prohibits courses that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” that “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” or that are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.”  The reality, of course, is that ethnic studies teachers are constantly trying to get students from multiple backgrounds in our classes, and many of us have even endeavored to make these courses required for all. But the other two issues raised by the bill, concerning “resentment” and “ethnic solidarity,” are a bit more complicated…

…Yet those who believe that critical race theory aims to produce ethnic or racial “solidarity” may be surprised to find that most critical race theorists have some skepticism about the existence of race. In this they simply follow the anthropology profession, which declared some 50 years ago that the concept of race is an illusion. In a paper published in 1963, S. L. Washburn, the president of the American Anthropological Association, referred to the concept of race as “an antiquated biological notion.” He and others argued that there is simply no global coherency or consistent social practice in regard to the concept of race, and that the biological status of the term was a sham produced by suspect scientific methods. Character traits we associate with races, including intelligence, are produced, not found. Dividing people by race, others explained, was like identifying slides by the box they came in.

Many people who are familiar with the debates over racism — over its causes, its nature and its solution — may be unaware that the very category of race has been debated for decades, not only among anthropologists but also among biologists, sociologists, social psychologists and even philosophers. Human beings share over 99 percent of our genes across racial groups, and no single gene accounts for anything physical other than eye color, a rather insignificant attribute. Diseases often associated with racial groups are found in other groups, thus making them more likely to be the result of reproductive patterns than some biological foundation. If siblings — who share the largest amount of DNA — can be identified as being of different races because of the way they look (as is common in Latin America and in my own family), how can race be biological? There just is no clear cut way to map our social classifications of race onto a meaningful biological category. Debates today concern how to explain the historical development of the physical traits we associate with races, but nobody with any standing believes that the racial groups named in the Great Chain of Being actually exist. In short, scholars have become quite critical of the concept of race…

Read the entire article here.

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The Case for Cablinasian: Multiracial Naming From Plessy to Tiger Woods

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-04-02 02:58Z by Steven

The Case for Cablinasian: Multiracial Naming From Plessy to Tiger Woods

Communication Theory
Volume 22, Issue 1 (February 2012)
pages 92–111
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.2011.01399.x

LeiLani Nishime, Assistant Professor of Communication
University of Washington, Seattle

This article advocates for the interdisciplinary use of critical race theory and critical rhetorical theory in communication to analyze racialized language and to evaluate the cultural and political significance of new racial discourses in the United States. The article examines the dissenting opinion in Plessy v Ferguson (1896) and the congressional hearings on the Tiger Woods Bill (1997), two key instances of public debate over multiracial categories. The article then turns to Tiger Woods’ term “Cablinasian” and the possibilities of an alternative and contestory multiracial nomenclature, shifting the critique away from Woods’ celebrity or politics and toward the legal history and rhetorical potential of the word itself.

In 1996, Oprah Winfrey, on her U.S. television show, asked Tiger Woods how he racially identified. He famously responded by saying he made up his own word, “Cablinasian,” combining the words Caucasian, Black, Indian, and Asian. His comments stirred so much passionate response Winfrey scheduled another show dedicated to the issue. At the center of the debate was the perception that Woods was advocating for his own racial exceptionalism, an exceptionalism that endeared him to many in the multiracial movement and alienated him from many African American activists (DaCosta, 2007; Spencer, 2003; Squires, 2007; Weisman, 2001; Williams, 2006; Wu, 2002). He was roundly criticized in the popular press for buying into the historical social elevation of multiracial African Americans and rejecting a communal African American identity (Black America and Tiger’s Dilemma, 1997; Nordlinger, 2002).

His supporters, such as conservative republican Thomas Petri, sponsor of the so-called Tiger Woods Bill (1997), did not help Woods’ reputation with civil rights groups. The bill called for the inclusion of a “multiracial” category on the census and was opposed by organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium. They argued that the new category would undercount legally recognized racial groups resulting in less political power and fewer resources for those groups. The debate, now aligned along a left-right axis, deepened the divide between a conservative, colorblind, embrace of the term Cablinasian and a race-conscious, civil rights-based, rejection of Woods.

Academic treatments of Woods have also been highly critical of his use of the term Cablinasian. Whether primarily grounding their arguments in the public policy implication of the term (Hernandez, 2003; Spencer, 2003; Wu, 2002) or in media representations of both Woods and the controversy (Billings, 2003; Cashmore, 2008; Dagbovie, 2007; Houck, 2006; Palumbo-Liu, 1999; Yu, 2003), they argue that the term ultimately concedes to a colorblind worldview. The media critics point out Woods’ own apolitical indifference to social issues and document the ways in which his celebrity persona affirms the liberal individualist ideology of a U.S. society “beyond race.”

Rather than reiterate arguments about the way Woods represents and reflects prevailing views of race, a topic that has been covered so convincingly and so well by the scholars cited above, I propose an alternative framing of the issue. Conceived as a complement to rather than a replacement of more traditional communication approaches to the Tiger Woods phenomenon, this analysis will center on the term Cablinasian. It argues for the possibilities of an alternative and contestatory language of multiracial nomenclature, shifting the critique away from Woods’ celebrity or politics and toward the legal history and rhetorical potential of the word itself.

Contextualizing the term within a longer history and broader social context makes clear the relationship between colorblind rhetoric, multiracial naming, and the race-based inequalities often hidden by both. Through a comparative reading of two attempts to legally define racial categories, the dissenting opinion of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and the congressional hearings on the failed Tiger Woods Bill (1997), I trace the rarely acknowledged exploitation of Asians in constructions of both multiraciality and colorblindness in the United States. The deliberate choice of two unsuccessful bids to alter racial language highlights challenges the bills posed to prevailing racial norms. Neither became law, but in their moment of rupture with a “common sense” racial order, they enable us to perceive race as an order.

This article, therefore, is a case study of the term Cablinasian linking together early and more current narratives of multiraciality and makes a case for Cablinasian as a method of critique. For the purpose of this article, the term functions as an exemplary approach to multiracial naming rather than an idiosyncratic solution. Its significance is not as a singular and specific word but in the possibilities it presents for reconceiving the way we name racial allegiances and understand racial identities. When used as a critical tool, Cablinasian presents a challenge to racial categories by making visible multiple racial allegiances rather than reverting to a celebration of colorblindness…

Read or purchase the article here.

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The Birth of the Mestizo in New Spain

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2012-04-02 01:15Z by Steven

The Birth of the Mestizo in New Spain

The Hispanic American Historical Review
Volume 19, Number 2 (May, 1939)
pages 161-184

C. E. Marshall

No colonizing nation of modern times has had, perhaps, a more interesting and significant history than Spain in the new world. Protestant commercial England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries built up a largely self-sufficing economic empire. Catholic medieval Spain created an empire inhabited by races of many colors. In the English colonies of North America, the Indians were brushed aside by land-hungry settlers who quickly took away their land and shot down their wild game. In the Spanish colonies the fate of the natives was far different. For the Spanish conquest of America, somewhat like the Norman conquest of England, had as its unique result the essential fusion of conqueror and conquered in the creation of a new society. It is estimated that, at the close of three centuries of Spanish rule, the total population in Spanish America was 16,910,000. Of these 7,530,000 were Indians; 5,328,000 were of mixed blood; 3,276,000 were white and 776,000 were Negroes.

Obviously such a society did not come into existence full-grown like Athena from the head of Zeus. It certainly is not to be explained in terms of unrestrained economic exploitation and ruthless extermination of aboriginal inhabitants by colonizing whites. It was owing rather to complex religious, social, economic, political, and geographical factors which in Spanish America brought the Spaniards and Negroes into intimate contacts with the Indians, mitigated the asperities of that contact, and made the readjustments necessary to a new environment a relatively easy and natural process. To describe this process is not only to explain the origin of a new race of mixed blood and cast much light upon the history of modern Hispanic America. It is not only to write an important chapter in the history of those abiding phenomena which…

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Criollo, Mestizo, Mulato, LatiNegro, Indígena, White, or Black? The US Hispanic/Latino Population and Multiple Responses in the 2000 Census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-02 01:05Z by Steven

Criollo, Mestizo, Mulato, LatiNegro, Indígena, White, or Black? The US Hispanic/Latino Population and Multiple Responses in the 2000 Census

American Journal of Public Health
Volume 90, Number 11 (November 2000)
pages 1724-1727

Hortensia Amaro, Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences and of Counseling Psychology
Bouve College of Health Sciences
Northeastern University

Ruth E. Zambrana, Profesor of Womens Studies
University of Maryland

Current dialogues on changes in collecting race and ethnicity data have not considered the complexity of tabulating multiple race responses among Hispanics. Racial and ethnic identification—and its public reporting–among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States is embedded in dynamic social factors. Ignoring these factors leads to significant problems in interpreting data and understanding the relationship of race, ethnicity, and health among Hispanics/Latinos. In the flurry of activity to resolve challenges posed by multiple race responses, we must remember the larger issue that looms in the foreground—the lack of adequate estimates of mortality and health conditions affecting Hispanics/Latinos. The implications are deemed important because Hispanics/Latinos will become the largest minority group in the United States within the next decade.

Read the entire article here.

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The Racial Distribution of Nephritis and Hypertension in Panama

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2012-04-02 00:29Z by Steven

The Racial Distribution of Nephritis and Hypertension in Panama

The American Journal of Pathology
Volume 21, Number 6 (November 1945)
pages 1031-1046

Carl E. Taylor

In Panama a large scale natural experiment on the pathogenesis of human hypertension awaits scientific interpretation. The studies of Kean and of Marvin and Smith have demonstrated the presence of fairly distinct racial groups, living in contiguity and subjected to similar environmental factors, in which there is a striking difference in the incidence of hypertension. The native Panamanians, originally were Indian, but in the past 300 years there has been added to this stock the blood of Spaniards and other Europeans together with their Negro slaves. This apparently composite ethnologic group is actually fairly clearly defined in language, customs, and appearance. Relatively pureblooded Negroes were imported to Panama from the West Indian Islands for construction work on the Canal 30 to 40 years ago and with their descendants they form another rather distinct group. These racial groups were defined by Kean as follows: ‘A ‘Panamania’ is one born in Panama whose parents were both born in Panama,” and “a ”West Indian’ is a Negro who was either born in the West Indies of West Indian parentage or whose parents both were born in the West Indies.” A third racial group is made up of Caucasians, most of whom are United States citizens.

In examining 1,328 candidates for employment with the Panama Canal, Kean found that hypertension was seven times as common in the West Indians as in the Panamanians; this difference was especially marked in the younger age groups in which the ratio of Negro to Panamanian hypertensive patients ranged as high as 16 to 1. In a group of almost 2,000 pregnant females he found hypertension to be five times as frequent in the West Indians as in the Panamanians. In over 2,000 consecutive hospital admissions Marvin and Smith found that hypertension was about eight times as common in the West Indians as in the Panamanians.

Phillips found a high incidence of hypertension in Negroes in Jamaica. It is the consensus of studies 4-6 of the racial incidence of hypertension in the United States that American Negroes have about twice as much hypertension as whites. Many factors have been considered in attempting to explain this difference. Heredity has been discounted because of Donnison’s report of the relatively low blood pressure found in African Negroes living under primitive conditions. These authors suggested that hypertension in the Negro may be caused in some way by adjustment to a new civilization and a new environment.

Shattuck has reported that the Indians of Guatemala and of Yucatan have relative hypertension and that blood pressure in the mestizo or mixed racial groups was somewhat higher. Kean, in a survey of the relatively isolated Cuna Indians living on the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama, observed that the average blood pressure of 407 adult Indians was 105mm. of Hg systolic and 69 diastolic; not a single case of hypertension was found.

The generally recognized correlation between hypertension and nephritis suggested that an analysis of the racial distribution of nephritis in Panama might contribute to our understanding of the problem…

Read the entire article here.

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