Questions for Maya Soetoro-Ng: All in the Family

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2010-07-08 17:54Z by Steven

Questions for Maya Soetoro-Ng: All in the Family

The New York Times

Deborah Solomon

Q: Let’s talk about the Democratic presidential caucuses taking place on Feb. 19, in Hawaii, where Barack Obama was born. Will you be campaigning for your brother?
Yes, of course. I have taken time off from my various teaching jobs in Honolulu and just got back from two months of campaigning. I have a bumper sticker on my car that says: “1-20-09. End of an Error.”…

Do you think of your brother as black?
Yes, because that is how he has named himself. Each of us has a right to name ourselves as we will.

Do you think of yourself as white?
No. I’m half white, half Asian. I think of myself as hybrid. People usually think I’m Latina when they meet me. That’s what made me learn Spanish.

That sort of culturally mixed identity was seen as an anomaly when you were growing up.
Of course, there was a time when that felt like unsteady terrain, and it made me feel vulnerable…

Read the entire interview here.

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Questions for Benjamin Todd Jealous: Race Matters

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2010-04-05 20:05Z by Steven

Questions for Benjamin Todd Jealous: Race Matters

The New York Times

Deborah Solomon

As the new head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, can you tell us how your organization plans to respond to the case of Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor who was recently arrested for disorderly conduct at his own home — charges that have since been dropped — after he reportedly chewed out a cop who suspected him of burglary?
Our local volunteers are already engaged with the Cambridge Police Department, as we are with police departments across this country. The next step is passing the End Racial Profiling Act in Congress. Racial profiling is a constant drumbeat in this country. It’s a form of humiliation that strikes like lightning on a daily basis, and that is part of what Professor Gates was responding to. It’s hard to be in your house, told you’re a burglary suspect and then when you are no longer a suspect, told you are the problem…

…As the son of a white father and a black mother, do you refer to yourself as black?
Yes, without qualification…

Read the entire article here.

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