We Can’t Screw Ourselves Out of Racism

Posted in Articles, Canada, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice on 2019-04-19 21:27Z by Steven

We Can’t Screw Ourselves Out of Racism

Medium
2019-03-28

Daniella Barreto, Digital Activism Coordinator
Amnesty International
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Illustration by Maia Boakye (@/ghostyboi)

Multiracial kids won’t end racism. Stop acting like we can.

In case you’ve been living under a six-ton boulder for the last five years, featuring mixed-race couples is the hot new thing in advertising. It’s edgy! It’s progressive! It’s absolutely adorable! Best of all, it is accessible to anyone who’s willing to test out their new Diversity Strategy™ and choose to see the backlash as free PR: banks, clothing brands, jewellers, mattresses, cereals, you name it. We haven’t stopped at plain old mixed race heteros, lord no. Ever heard of representation? Give me mixed race gays. Add some kids! (Just don’t get into that queer or trans business much because there’s not a lot of expendable cash in that.) Diversity’s the in-thing! The opportunities are endless.

Our obsession with diversity reveals far more about us than we think. And serves as a convenient distraction to avoid doing any real equity work.

Mixed race relationships are not inherently progressive, radical, or even healthy. That includes queer ones. The mainstream gawks at multiracial people and mixed-race relationships, turning us into superheroes or weirdos, statistical outliers divorced from the historical impacts of colonization and anti-Black racism — particularly in a Canada so smitten with itself that it has started to believe its own lies about multiculturalism.

It is a gross misunderstanding and a cruel oversimplification of the magnitude and insidiousness of white supremacy (and basic genetics) to think that if we all just fuck each other more or have mixed babies that we will get along better, turn the same shade of beige, and lo, racism will vanish…

Read the entire article here.

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Hybrida: Poems

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Poetry, Social Justice, United States on 2019-04-19 18:33Z by Steven

Hybrida: Poems

W. W. Norton
May 2019
144 pages
6.4 × 8.5 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-324-00248-2

Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn, New York

A stirring and confident examination of mixed-race identity, violence, and history skillfully rendered through the lens of motherhood.

In this timely, assured collection, Tina Chang confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States. She ruminates on the relationship between her son’s blackness and his safety, exploring the dangers of childhood in a post–Trayvon Martin era and invoking racialized roles in fairy tales. Against the stark urban landscapes of threat and surveillance, Chang returns to the language of mothers.

Meditating on the lives of Michael Brown, Leiby Kletzky, and Noemi Álvarez Quillay—lost at the hands of individuals entrusted to protect them—Chang creates hybrid poetic forms that mirror her investigation of racial tensions. Through an agile blend of zuihitsu, ghazal, prose poems, mosaic poems, and lyric essays, Hybrida envisions a childhood of mixed race as one that is complex, emotionally wrought, and often vulnerable. Hybrida is a twenty-first-century tale that is equal parts a mother’s love and her fury, an ambitious and revelatory exploration of identity that establishes Tina Chang as one of the most vital voices of her generation.

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With the Birth of My Son, I Stopped Hiding

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Media Archive, United States on 2019-04-19 18:12Z by Steven

With the Birth of My Son, I Stopped Hiding

Modern Love
The New York Times
2019-04-19

Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn, New York


Brian Rea

Fearing judgment of her interracial relationship and mixed-race child, a woman keeps both from her family. Until she doesn’t.

My son, Roman, turned to me from his book and said, “Mom, can you throw me a blanket? This is my favorite part in the book and I don’t want to stop.”

When I look at my son, I see myself: the inability to tolerate pain, even from the smallest of physical hurts; the deep fear of the dark, of the deserted street, of that strange insect on the ceiling; and the intense, abiding love of reading.

Most of all, I see myself in his face, the eyes like mine, left slightly larger than right, especially when he’s tired, and the toothy smile that breaks through the most serious situations. All of it: me.

Yet when he and I walk along the street, so many people feel the need to tell me how much he isn’t like me, how incredibly unalike we appear, how he looks just like his father. They say it with such authority.

My son is biracial. His father is Haitian-American and I’m of Chinese descent; Often, I have to work to prove that my son is mine. On our daily subway commute to school, at least one person will look at me, then at him, and then back again. I am forced to see what they see: His skin is darker and his hair wavy, while I’m fair, prone to freckling, with hair that won’t hold a curl. If their eyes happen to meet mine, they’ll catch me glaring, holding them accountable for what I deem to be their silent judgment…

Read the entire article here.

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Liana by Martha Gellhorn (1944)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2019-04-18 19:30Z by Steven

Liana by Martha Gellhorn (1944)Liana by Martha Gellhorn (1944)

Literary Ladies Guide: Inspiration for Readers and Writers from Classic Women Authors
2018-11-25

Taylor Jasmine

Liana by Martha Gellhorn

Martha Gellhorn was married to Ernest Hemingway when Liana, her fifth novel, was published in 1944. She had already made quite a name for herself as a war correspondent by that point and it rankled her to be described as “Mrs. Ernest Hemingway” in reviews of her books.

Though her fiction varied in its quality and critical acclaim, her book of linked stories titled The Trouble I’ve Seen (1936), based on her actual observations as a journalist during the Depression, earned her a great deal of respect.

Her brief marriage to Hemingway was already in jeopardy the year that Liana appeared. In her capacity as a war correspondent, Gellhorn wanted to cover the action, wherever it happened to be…

…The story centers on Liana, who is described as a mulatto, or what we now call mixed-race. She marries Marc Royer, a wealthy white man on a fictional French Caribbean island called Saint Boniface.

For his part, he marries her mainly to spite another woman, and so, Liana is marked by a kind of tragedy in this sense, becoming a prisoner in his home, and a partner to a man who doesn’t fully love her…

Read the entire review here.

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I don’t need a DNA test to tell me that I come from everywhere. Creoles are the original American racial mélange of black and European — French and Spanish mostly — and frequently Native American.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-04-18 01:14Z by Steven

I don’t need a DNA test to tell me that I come from everywhere. Creoles are the original American racial mélange of black and European — French and Spanish mostly — and frequently Native American. But this mélange has hardly been celebrated. Instead, it was the measuring stick for the limits to which Jim Crow laws had to go to police racial lines in Louisiana and the wider South (see one-drop rule, tragic mulatto, Plessy v. Ferguson). Creole multiracialism has been viewed not as quintessentially American but as something that undermines what quintessentially American should mean. Both blacks and whites viewed Creoles with special contempt and more than a little suspicion, as if we were trying to join a club we could never belong to, because of our color.

Erin Aubry Kaplan, “I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am,” The New York Times, April 16, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/opinion/dna-test-23andme-race.html.

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Liana

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Novels on 2019-04-18 01:07Z by Steven

Liana

Charles Scribner’s Sons
1944
285 pages

Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998)

Her Color Was No BarrierTo Men

A French-owned island of the Caribbean is the setting for a haunting story of the tragedy of a marriage between a lovely, untutored mulatto and a rich, lonely white man. He has married her to spite the woman he wants and lovesand has failed; he has reaped ridicule where he had had envy. Then comes on the scene a bitter young French refugee, in love with his last century, detached from the pitfulls and vices of a trepical island community. More hires him to teach Lianahe leaves then to their own devices—and then is startled into jealous suspicion when infidelity is whispered. The thought is fertile seedand emotional complications confuse the issues of young Pierra’s desire to serve his country. A tragic ending sounds the inevitable finals to an impasse. Simply told, with emotional undertones. —Kirkus Reviews

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Mixed Up: ‘Being white-passing has definitely entitled me to privileges’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2019-04-18 00:51Z by Steven

Mixed Up: ‘Being white-passing has definitely entitled me to privileges’

METRO.co.uk
2019-04-17

Natalie Morris, Senior lifestyle Writer

Siobhan Lawless
(Picture by Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

Siobhan Lawless is a writer. She is Jamaican and Irish, with east and south Asian elements thrown in for good measure.

‘My mum is second generation Jamaican and my dad second generation Irish – although my great grandparents on my mum’s side are also part Indian and Chinese,’ Siobhan tells Metro.co.uk.

‘On dad’s side, nana is from Longford and grandpa was from County Galway in Ireland. On mum’s, grandma and grandad are from St Catherine’s and St Elizabeth, parish towns in Jamaica.

‘Both sides of my family came from large households and farming backgrounds. They came to England as immigrants in their teens and early twenties, hoping Britain would open up more opportunities for their children – even though this move came with its own challenges.’…

…For so many mixed-race people, where you fit in the world depends on how other people perceive you. For Siobhan, her lighter skin places her closer to whiteness, but there are complications alongside the privilege….

Read the entire article here.

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Passing, Identity and Race

Posted in Audio, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-04-18 00:32Z by Steven

Passing, Identity and Race

WYNC
New York, New York

WNYC Newsroom

When Anita Florence Hemmings applied to attend Vassar College in upstate New York in 1893, she did not disclose her racial identity to the school. She passed as a white student for years before eventually being outed as a black woman shortly before graduation, after her white roommate’s family hired a private detective to investigate her background.

“Even though Vassar allows her to graduate after she’s been outed to the (college) president, she becomes the subject of a national scandal,” Vassar film professor Mia Mask told WNYC’s Jami Floyd. “And she’s worried that she will be unemployable after her time at Vassar.”

Now, Hemmings’s story is helping to launch a deeper conversation at the college. The conference, Quiet As It’s Kept; Passing Subjects, Contested Identities, runs from Friday Apr. 5 through Sunday Apr. 7.

For the professors coordinating the event, the topic spins off related discussions.

“Part of what happens when we start talking about passing and how we perform our identities is that we also get into a conversation about authenticity,” said English professor Hiram Perez. “It also brings us into this complex conversation about the different ways that we police one another.”

The conference is slated to include presentations about many forms of passing pertaining to race, sexuality, gender, ability, religion, and class.

Listen to the story (00:07:56) here.

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Belgium has apologised for its abuse of mixed race children – it’s time for Ireland to do the same

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Work on 2019-04-18 00:03Z by Steven

Belgium has apologised for its abuse of mixed race children – it’s time for Ireland to do the same

gal-dem
2019-04-11

Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff


Image via Métis Association of Belgium / Facebook

The apology from Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, for the segregation, kidnapping and trafficking of as many as 20,000 mixed-race children in the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, is long overdue. Forcibly taken from Africa to Belgium between 1959 and 1962, métis children born in the 1940s and 50s were left stateless. If you’re not aware of the atrocities of colonialism (Belgium was responsible for the deaths of between 10 to 15 million Africans), this type of identity-destroying abuse might feel hard to comprehend – especially situated in such recent history. But in the UK, we have our own unresolved issues with the treatment of dual heritage children slightly closer to home: in Ireland.

The correlations between the cases are striking. In Belgian colonies, many métis were brought up in Catholic institutions or orphanages, away from family and sometimes removed from where they were born. “These children posed a problem. To minimise the problem they kidnapped these children starting at the age of two… The Belgian government and the missionaries believed that these children would be subjected to major problems,” Francois Milliex, the director of the Métis Association of Belgium, told RFI.

Similarly, in Ireland, it has been documented that mixed-race children were left to rot in mother and baby homes and industrial schools in the 1940s to 60s. The Catholic Church was involved – nuns and priests would often run the homes and schools. “To be Irish was to be Roman Catholic. To be Roman Catholic was to be Irish,” says Rosemary Adaser, who co-founded the Mixed Race Irish campaign and support group for victims of the homes and schools. “It wasn’t uncommon for the Roman Catholic Church to send over its priests to the Irish community in London and give them lessons in morality.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Up: ‘You don’t get to tell me that I’m not really black’

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-04-17 23:48Z by Steven

Mixed Up: ‘You don’t get to tell me that I’m not really black’

METRO.co.uk
2019-03-27

Natalie Morris, Senior lifestyle Writer


Kristian has never lived in any country for more than five years. (Picture by Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

Kristian Foged has never lived in one country for more than five consecutive years. With influences from Uganda, Denmark and The Seychelles, his cultural experience couldn’t be more varied.

‘“Where are you from?” has always been a complicated question for me,’ Kristian tells Metro.co.uk.

‘My mix is firstly one of ethnicity, with my mom being from The Seychelles and my dad from Denmark. But it is also a mixed heritage and cultural upbringing.

‘While my mom’s side of the family is fully Seychellois, my grandparents emigrated from The Seychelles to Uganda when they were young, which meant my mom was actually born in Uganda and has spent her whole life there.

‘On the other side of the world, my dad was born in Denmark, and became an engineer because he wanted a job he could do anywhere. Eventually, he ended up in Uganda and met my mom.

‘Since my first four or five years in Uganda, I have moved back and forth between Uganda, Denmark and Greenland, before finally moving to study at university in England in 2010.

‘My moving around as a kid has actually meant I have never lived in any country for more than five years in a row. In fact, if I make it past this summer, London will be my new record!’

Being mixed-race is important to Kristian. The transiency of his upbringing made fitting in a constant battle, but it also generated a strong desire to form a solid sense of identity. No matter where in the world he moved, that sense of self could come with him…

Read the entire article here.

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