Not There Yet

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2017-08-10 01:21Z by Steven

Not There Yet

Fordham Law News: From New York City To You

A conversation with six Fordham Law professors about civil rights.

While it has been more than 50 years since the last Civil Rights Act was passed, the United States still has work to do to fully realize the equality of all persons. To plot where we are on the long road of civil rights, Fordham Lawyer spoke with six professors: Elizabeth Cooper, Tanya Hernández, Leah Hill, Joseph Landau, Robin Lenhardt, and Kimani Paul-Emile.

How does the United States measure up against Latin American countries with our same history of slavery and racial inequality?

Hernández: It’s somewhat of a mixed bag in Latin America. There are examples of very impoverished understandings of race—a sort of denial that there is any problem with racism because of the extant mythology across the region that perpetuates the idea that racial mixture equals racial harmony. At the same time, there’s a lot of social justice activism on the part of Afro-Latinos; in fact, they have garnered significant traction with political administrations that have been amenable to them. For example, in 2012 Brazil had a significant Supreme Federal Court ruling that held that race-based affirmative action was constitutional. Notably, the opinion was rooted in the idea that neutrality was not enough—that it was not enough for law to be neutral if they wanted to achieve equality. That’s pretty remarkable. It contrasts with what has been happening with the U.S. Supreme Court in this area. Since the Reagan years, there has been this shift to a jurisprudence that is all about color blindness: Equality is viewed as simply being neutral. The Court doesn’t look at the material effects of people having different starting points and, consequently, different needs. That particular comparison shows a kind of enlightenment in the Latin American sphere that we have not seen in a while in the United States.

About a year or so after this Federal Supreme Court decision, new legislation called the Law of Social Quotas was passed in Brazil. What this did was mandate that there be race-based affirmative action within all the public federal universities. What’s significant about this is that there are actual quotas—numbers that can be measured and monitored. Institutions can be held accountable. There’s none of this discomfort with the idea that having accountability means that you’re demeaning someone by only viewing them as being a race. Instead, it’s a notion that the numbers matter because the numbers inform the direct way to integrate an institution.

This type of attention to race stands in marked contrast to the United States, where the use of affirmative action is sometimes misdescribed as being the most radical. But what is often misunderstood is that the United States has forbidden quotas since 1978 with the Bakke case [Regents of the University of California v. Bakke]. Thus, we don’t have authorization to use direct numerical set-asides. We can have targets and wish lists, but there can be no hard number. Without a hard number, how do you hold the institution accountable?…

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Illicit Labor: MacArthur’s Mistress and Imperial Intimacies

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-06 18:04Z by Steven

Illicit Labor: MacArthur’s Mistress and Imperial Intimacies

Radical History Review
Volume 2015, Number 123 (October 2015)
pages 87-114
DOI: 10.1215/01636545-3088168

Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Associate Professor of American Studies
University of Hawaii, Mānoa

This essay examines a brief affair between General Douglas MacArthur and a mixed-race Filipina vaudeville actress named Isabel Rosario Cooper. It focuses on Cooper’s little-documented and underexamined life as a way to understand how the intimate politics of the bedroom overlapped with the libidinal economies of the cosmopolitan Philippine entertainment industry, American military occupation, and broader geopolitical relations of imperial desire. Cooper and MacArthur’s liaison was constitutive of as well as constituted by the larger international “romance” between the United States and the Philippines that MacArthur himself oversaw in the early and middle part of the twentieth century. Going beyond the salacious details of an illicit love affair, this study seeks to illuminate how intimacy made up a type of imperial labor writ small, which served to underpin the project of US imperialism as crucially as colonial administration or military occupation.

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Number of multiracial people grows in Oneida County

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, United States on 2011-07-17 20:59Z by Steven

Number of multiracial people grows in Oneida County

The Observer-Dispatch
Utica, New York

Elizabeth Cooper

UTICA — Nisa Duong is part Vietnamese, part black, part American Indian and part white.
But the 19-year-old Utica resident said her racial and ethnic identity isn’t at the forefront of her mind, and if it comes up, it’s in positive ways.
“I feel really unique because of all those cultures being bundled up together,” she said. “It sets you apart from other people. It makes you who you are.”
Duong is one of a growing number of multiracial people living in Oneida County.
New census figures show the number of people identifying themselves as mixed race has risen about 35 percent since the 2000 Census, from 3,583 to 4,865.
Combinations of white, black and Asian are turning up in greater numbers, and each statistic illuminates a different aspect of the region’s ever-changing mosaic.

  • The number of Oneida County residents who said they are a combination of black and white jumped from 831 to 2,157.
  • The number of those saying they are white and Asian rose from 388 to 586.
  • The number saying they are part black and part Asian went from 18 to 51.

Those numbers still make up a small portion of the total population of the county, which stands at 234,878. Still, they echo a transformation going on across the nation.
Experts attributed the change to several factors, Hamilton College Associate Professor of Sociology Jenny Irons said…

…The Obama factor

Even as attitudes toward race change, there are ways people’s attitudes have remained the same.

Irons noted that even though President Barack Obama has been clear about his biracial background, he still is talked about as the nation’s first black president.

“In our society we still think of race in pretty rigid, fixed categories,” she said…

…Black and white

Michael Fenimore, 31, is half black and half white, but when it came to filling out the census form, he said he was black.

“One thing my mom always told me is the color of my skin is black,” he said. “I always put myself down as a black male and am proud of that. I know who my parents are and I’m proud of who I am.”…

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