Mom Was a Brown-Skinned Asian Migrant. She Was Also Racist. Now What?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-08-27 01:19Z by Steven

Mom Was a Brown-Skinned Asian Migrant. She Was Also Racist. Now What?

Human Parts
2019-08-05

Kate Rigg, Actor, Writer, activist, futurist, culture vulture, Amerasian rebel


That’s her on the left. She loved sunglasses. And me. And whiteness. All photos taken/owned by the author.

The dirty little secret of my New American family

Both sides of my family, the white one but especially the Southeast Asian one, are going to freak when they see that title. However, since my mom went to the great Gucci outlet in the sky a few years ago, there is no one here to throw a massage sandal at my head and verbally assault me for an hour in response. And my dad barely does email, let alone read blogs, so let’s continue.

The title of my story is the great unspoken truth for many of us North Americans “of color.” I have heard my mom say, “Send them back!” in various political and casual conversations concerning various ethnic groups — including her own…

Read the entire article here.

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Bridge of Triangles

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Oceania on 2019-08-15 19:52Z by Steven

Bridge of Triangles

University of Queensland Press
1994
140 pages
ISBN: 978 0 7022 2639 7

John Muk Muk Burke

Bridge Of Triangles

1993 David Unaipon award-winning novel about exile and longing in a mixed-race community. It explores identity issues in an inner-city environment devoid of values and family heritage. Inevitable conflict as the protagonist must cross the bridge into the landscape of his Wiradjuri ancestors. This striking new edition features a haunting cover photograph symbolising the loneliness and single-mindedness of the central character’s plight.

Chris Leeton is tormented but also sustained by his growing need to cross over into the landscape of his aboriginal ancestors. After the night of the flood, his Wiradjuri mother resolves to take her four children away from their riverbank home and her unhappy life with Chris’s white father. In the struggle to keep the family together in Sydney’s grim commission housing, schoolboy Chris is tender witness to poverty and despair. In time he comes to understand that they are exiles in their own land. He senses that it is his generation which must cross the bridge back to that landscape which defines his people’s existence.

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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All? Colourism and light skinned privilege

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania on 2019-08-15 18:12Z by Steven

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All? Colourism and light skinned privilege

The Pin
2018-02-11

Elodie Silberstein, Artist & Scholar
Brooklyn, New York

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All? Colourism and light skinned privilege
Image Credit: Elodie Silberstein

Footscray station. Fifteen minutes by train from the city centre and here I am, in the multicultural melting pot of Melbourne. I feel thrilled. I want to sense the buzzing atmosphere of the market, and to replenish the stock of hair products that I use to enhance my natural curls. Some friends advised me to look for the requisite articles in the numerous shops of the East African community. Being new to Australia, I struggle to find products in mainstream stores that are suitable for my textured hair inherited from my Cameroonian father and French mother. The first beauty salon I encounter sets the scene. The flagship products in the window display immediately grab my attention: skin-lightening body lotions, whitening soaps… you name it, they have it. Smiley models display their charms all over the packaging promising to women of colour a lighter skin tone. A few applications, et voilà! Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Faced with this extravaganza of skin-whitening products I am suddenly brought back to my childhood in Cameroon, and I cannot help but feel my heart sinking.

Growing up mixed-race in Douala was a peculiar experience. Interracial unions were rare in the 1970s. My parents were a bit of a curiosity. I became used to being called chocolat au lait (milk chocolate) by my neighbours. It did not take me long to realise the obvious advantages that my lighter hue provided me over my dark chocolate counterparts in the white, but also in the black community…

Read the entire article here.

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Thinking Relationally about Race, Blackness and Indigeneity in Australia: Reflecting upon ACRAWSA’s Symposium

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Justice on 2018-08-04 00:59Z by Steven

Thinking Relationally about Race, Blackness and Indigeneity in Australia: Reflecting upon ACRAWSA’s Symposium

Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association
2018-07-18

Charlotte Sefton, Ph.D., Arab and Islamic Studies
University of Exeter

At the close of her paper, entitled ‘Navigating Power with Poetry on the Hazardous Drive toward Decolonisation’, Carolyn D’Cruz posed the vital question of whether, or not, the work of decolonisation can be pursued through engagement with nation-state level Politics. Her question recalled my recent viewing of Angela Davis and Gayatri Spivak in conversation at the Akademie der Künste on a panel entitled ‘Planetary Utopias – Hope, Desire Imaginaries in a Postcolonial World’. Aside from my general sense of wonder at seeing Davis and Spivak in conversation, one particular topic of their discussion had stuck with me; they too had disagreed on the place of the State in the futurity of justice. Whilst Davis had underscored that ‘the bourgeois nation-state, ensconced as it is in capitalism, would never be able to do the work of ensuring justice’; Spivak, in response, had questioned the real-world utility of refusing to engage it; asserting that our work is, instead, to ‘insert the subaltern into the circuit of citizenship’, that is into a structure that they could ‘work within’ as opposed to no structure at all. Whilst Davis conceded that we are tied to engaging the State for now; she maintained that a world free of violence and domination would not be able to retain ‘any aspect’ of the State as she understood it; Spivak maintained that the State must be seen through a more complexed lens, as both ‘poison and medicine’. AWCRAWSA’s latest symposium, ‘Thinking Relationally about Race, Blackness and Indigeneity in Australia’ provided important interventions to these broader debates in decolonial thought and practice…

…Opening the symposium, Irene Watson made central to her keynote ‘Thinking Relationally about Race, Blackness and Indigeneity in Australia’ this linkage between the State and survival. The survival of the Australian State requires that Indigenous people do not survive; thus it has always required genocide; it has always demanded the erasure of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies, voices and experiences. The non-survival (the genocide) of Indigenous people is the only way the State survives. As Nikki Moodie would later assert in her paper ‘Decolonizing Race Theory: Place, Survivance & Sovereignity’, echoing Patrick Wolfe, the Settler-Colonial State as such can only function through a logic of elimination. The State’s white, colonial-modern and neoliberal logic of capital, property, individualism and ownership cannot make space for Indigenous peoples nor Indigenous ways of being; neither in the sense of relation to land nor of relation to each-other. As Irene Watson reminded us, despite the State’s professions to the contrary, there has been no decolonisation of Australia; not least because the ‘hierarchy of voice’ established by colonialism remains; thus the violent silencing and erasure of Indigenous peoples – and their calls for self-determination – also remains. Indeed, both the idea and formation of ‘the State’ is founded upon the structure of hierarchical leadership and, thus, the principle of the differentiated right to voice. For Angela Davis too (in the aforementioned panel discussion with Gayatri Spivak) the masculinist and individualist nature of leadership as epitomised in the workings of the State is a central obstacle to a politics of collectively, relationality and justice…

Read the entire article here.

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Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Religion, Social Science, South Africa on 2018-08-03 01:27Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Journal of Intercultural Studies
Volume 38 (2018)
2018-08-01

Publication Cover

  • Introduction
    • Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather M. Dalmage
    • Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
    • Linguistic Cultural Capital among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodríguez-García, Miguel Solana-Solana, Anna Ortiz-Guitart & Joanna L. Freedman
    • ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialised Belonging in Denmark / Mira C. Skadegård & Iben Jensen
    • Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie B. Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuvrability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Sue Ann Barratt & Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/national Couples in Ireland / Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
    • Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine L. Rocha

Read or purchase this special issue here.

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A Long Way from Home, A novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Oceania, Passing on 2018-03-05 01:46Z by Steven

A Long Way from Home, A novel

Knopf
2018-02-27
336 pages
6-1/4 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525520177
eBook ISBN: 9780525520184

Peter Carey

The two-time Booker Prize-winning author now gives us a wildly exuberant, wily new novel that circumnavigates 1954 Australia, revealing as much about the country/continent as it does about three audacious individuals who take part in the infamous 10,000-mile race, the Redex Trial.

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in southeastern Australia. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive. With them is their lanky, fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher who calls the turns and creeks crossings on a map that will remove them, without warning, from the white Australia they all know so well. This is a thrilling high-speed story that starts in one way, and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves.

Set in the 1950s, this is a world every American will recognize: black, white, who we are, how we got here, and what we did to each other along the way.

A Long Way from Home is Peter Carey’s late-style masterpiece.

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“You can’t be a white Australian writer and spend your whole life ignoring the greatest, most important aspect of our history, and that is that we – I – have been the beneficiaries of a genocide.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-02-12 02:07Z by Steven

A Long Way from Home, Peter Carey’s 14th novel, uses the story of a light-skinned Indigenous Australian who has been brought up white to address the country’s brutal history of racism. It seems strange at first that Carey – surely Australia’s greatest living novelist, even if he hasn’t dwelled there for decades – has taken so long to get around to the subject. In a recent interview in the Australian, he said that he’d always felt that it was not the place of a white writer to tell this tale. Then something changed: “You can’t be a white Australian writer and spend your whole life ignoring the greatest, most important aspect of our history, and that is that we – I – have been the beneficiaries of a genocide.”

Alex Preston, “A Long Way from Home review – Peter Carey’s best novel in decades,” The Guardian, January 15, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/15/a-long-way-from-home-peter-carey-review.

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A Long Way from Home review – Peter Carey’s best novel in decades

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing on 2018-01-25 04:32Z by Steven

A Long Way from Home review – Peter Carey’s best novel in decades

The Guardian
2018-01-15

Alex Preston

The acclaimed writer’s 14th novel is a nuanced story of racial identity set in postwar Australia

Writers are by nature chameleons, with each new character a new disguise to take on, a fresh skin to inhabit. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that racial passing has such a rich literary history. Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing, is a near-forgotten classic, telling of two mixed-race women, Clare and Irene, who identify as white and black respectively. More recently, we’ve had Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, in which the African American Coleman Silk attempts to pass for a Jewish academic. Then there’s Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill, whose concluding revelation about one of the characters’ racial identities does what all good end-of-book twists ought to, shedding new light on the entire novel.

A Long Way from Home, Peter Carey’s 14th novel, uses the story of a light-skinned Indigenous Australian who has been brought up white to address the country’s brutal history of racism. It seems strange at first that Carey – surely Australia’s greatest living novelist, even if he hasn’t dwelled there for decades – has taken so long to get around to the subject. In a recent interview in the Australian, he said that he’d always felt that it was not the place of a white writer to tell this tale. Then something changed: “You can’t be a white Australian writer and spend your whole life ignoring the greatest, most important aspect of our history, and that is that we – I – have been the beneficiaries of a genocide.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Coming to Terms with Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Oceania on 2017-11-04 19:58Z by Steven

Coming to Terms with Mixed Race

The Quadrant
July 2017

Robert Murray

One of the difficulties of Stan Grant’s recent book is trying to pin down how pre-TV life differed from that of any working-class boy from the bush who makes it in the big smoke. But then there are quite a few things Grant neglects to explore in his genial but ultimately frustrating personal history

From either a primary school teacher or from my Mum, I heard at an early age that part-European indigenous people—then known inelegantly as “half-castes”—were caught between two worlds, and that could make life difficult for them. Their dilemma has been around for a long time but has never really been part of the public discussion, or even much awareness. “The Aboriginal problem” seems to remain firmly with the remote tribal people, where it has always been.

This is part of the value of Stan Grant’s memoir, reviewed by Jeremy Sammut in the June 2016 edition of Quadrant, his story of being one of the Westernised “light-skinned” part-Europeans who today make up the majority of those who identify as Aborigines. Sammut’s review concentrated on the part of the book dealing with recent indigenous public policy. This piece adds the more personal mixed-race aspect.

“The old definitions of Aboriginality strain to serve the constellation of groups and individuals that lay claim to that identity,” Stan Grant writes. In some ways, it doesn’t seem to have made things all that difficult for Grant, manual worker’s son from the Riverina who became a successful television journalist and is now an indigenous celebrity. But he says it was an extra load to carry, perhaps in small rather than big ways.

His autobiography, Talking to My Country, is important as a brightly written, lucid account of mixed-race life—if we can use that useful but unloved term. As the title suggests, it aspires to be talking to this country about Aboriginality, but is a word-play also on his home country in the Riverina district of New South Wales where his boyhood had little in common with the “full descent” communities of the remote outback that get all the publicity.

“Aboriginal” or “indigenous” still implies to most Australians the Northern Territory, Cape York or the Kimberley, the dark-skinned people only lately and lightly integrated to modern ways and often troubled by them. The figures put it otherwise. Most who identify as Aborigines these days live in the south, much as other Australians do, but their circumstances or predicaments, when there are predicaments, get little media, political, academic and thus public attention. It has ever been thus. Colonial governments believed they had an obligation to shield “full-bloods” from the conspicuously damaging effects of newly established white society, but they expected mixed-race people to just become like everybody else. To a large extent they did, but not without problems, often emotional as much as anything.

The total Australian population now identifying officially as of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent is close to 700,000. About 175,000 live in New South Wales, almost all of them thought to be of mixed descent and more or less Westernised, like the majority nationally. Corroboree-type ceremony in New South Wales is believed to have died out around 1900…

Read the entire article here.

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Racism is real, race is not: a philosopher’s perspective

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Oceania, Philosophy, Social Science on 2017-09-07 02:31Z by Steven

Racism is real, race is not: a philosopher’s perspective

The Conversation
2017-08-31

Adam Hochman, Lecturer in Philosophy
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


from www.shutterstock.com

There are no races – biological or social – only racialised groups.

We live in a richly diverse country, populated by Indigenous Australians, recent immigrants, and descendants of relatively recent immigrants. Some feel threatened by this diversity; some relish it.

Most of us, I think, are unsure quite how to talk about it.

We have many words to describe diversity. We ask people about their ancestry, their ethnicity, and – most awkwardly – their “background”. We seem least comfortable asking people about their “race”, and with good reason.

Racial classification has been used to justify some of the most heinous crimes of modernity, including those committed on our own shores. Asking people about their “race” can make you sound a bit, well, racist…

Read the entire article here.

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