“I see myself as a woman of color with light skinned privileges. I hold the duality as both a recipient and an ally of a legacy of oppression and colonialism.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-25 02:41Z by Steven

“My inclusion in general POC spaces is a tricky one. While my ethnicity is very rarely discounted, the white privilege I’m afforded and responsible for owning quickly screws up the POC binary, too. Other people of color can respond with a hint of caution. Some openly recognize the complexity that I am holding and accept my lens as meaningful in the POC experience. Some do not. While prejudices I’ve experienced have punctured my bubble, guilt inevitably arises over how much to talk about these experiences as valid in contrast to my other advantages, especially with other people of color. I see myself as a woman of color with light skinned privileges. I hold the duality as both a recipient and an ally of a legacy of oppression and colonialism.” —Deva Segal

Tiffany McLain LMFT, A Part and Apart, Psychology Today, August 21, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/living-between-worlds/201808/part-and-apart.

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“A Part, and Apart”: Passing and Belonging as a Multiracial Person

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-08-24 21:14Z by Steven

“A Part, and Apart”: Passing and Belonging as a Multiracial Person

Psychology Today
2018-08-21

Tiffany McLain, LMFT
San Francisco, California

Here’s how to navigate passing and belonging as a multiracial person.

Tiffany note: For the past few months, I have been writing about the experience of white mothers of biracial children. For the next set of articles in this series, I will be sharing the stories of white fathers of biracial children. The following article is a brief interlude that invites us to consider the experience of the biracial person who has been raised by a white mother, despite being multiethnic.

The following article is written by Bay Area psychotherapist, Deva Segal, MFT. In it, she describes the experience of being a light-skinned biracial person in a society that desires a clear binary when it comes to racial identifications…

…Over the course of my life, I have identified myself in many ways: half Indian-half White; just White; Other; South Asian; Desi; multiethnic; biracial; multiracial; light-skinned Indian; light-brown-but-probably-needs-to-go-back-in-the-toaster-a-little-bit-longer. In recent years, I have identified a “publicly white person and privately a person of color” in efforts to acknowledge my privilege. Still, that doesn’t always fit. Half my story is gone. Owning my own experience as a woman of color without apology while still kinda passing for white is a delightful grab bag of identity crises…

Read the entire article here.

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Research shows that white parents of multiracial children are often, for the first time, thrust into the realities of racism, are subject to an experience from which they had previously been immune.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-03-25 03:06Z by Steven

Research shows that white parents of multiracial children are often, for the first time, thrust into the realities of racism, are subject to an experience from which they had previously been immune. Where they had once had the privilege of invisibility, white mothers who were raised in homogeneously white families may now face racism from both the white communities who had once embraced them and from “communities of color.”

Tiffany McLain LMFT, “Becoming White: The Experience of Raising Biracial Children,” Psychology Today, February 23, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-between-worlds/201802/becoming-white-the-experience-raising-biracial-children.

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Becoming White: The Experience of Raising Biracial Children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-18 21:48Z by Steven

Becoming White: The Experience of Raising Biracial Children

Psychology Today
2018-02-23

Tiffany McLain LMFT
San Francisco, California


Source: Carlos Enrique Santa Maria/123rf

How the racial identity of white mothers is shaped by parenting biracial kids.

Over the past few months, I have been exploring parenthood through the lens of white mothers who are raising biracial children. As a therapist in San Francisco who specializes in working with individuals who straddle cultural, racial and economic worlds, it has been my pleasure to go back to the beginning, so to speak, and have conversations with the mothers of children who may one day sit across from me as they seek to understand how the patterns established in their youth are playing out today in their personal and professional lives.

I’ve been most surprised to learn about the ways in which becoming a parent to a child ‘of color’ has caused these mothers to re-conceptualize what it means to be “white.” While many of the women I interviewed have thought about their racial identity in passing, it wasn’t until they experienced race first hand through this unique lens of parenthood that they really began thinking about the nuances of race relations in America. For many of them, they became aware that they had been thinking of themselves almost as “neutral,” or the “default,” that is, lacking a racialized body—until they had children of their own.

With a thoughtfulness that inspired me, these mothers were willing to reflect openly on the ways they had unwittingly participated in racist systems. The act of having a biracial child shed light on aspects of their own identity that had previously been locked away…

Read the entire article here.

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Fact and Fiction in Mixed-Race Marriages

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2017-07-30 17:49Z by Steven

Fact and Fiction in Mixed-Race Marriages

Talking Apes: How natural selection reprogrammed the brain for language
Psychology Today
2017-07-30

David Ludden Ph.D., Professor of Psychology
Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville Georgia

Virginia is for lovers” may be the state’s travel slogan, but 50 years ago one couple was banished from the state for committing the crime of getting married. Richard Loving, a man of European descent, had fallen in love with Mildred Jeter, a woman of African and Native American origins. They wanted to marry, but Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws forbade mixed-race marriages. So they crossed the Potomac and said their vows in the nation’s capital, which had no such restrictions.

When they returned home, Mr. and Mrs. Loving were arrested. Instead of going to prison, the couple agreed to leave the state permanently. With the help of the ACLU, the Lovings sued the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, it wasn’t until 1967 that the Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. At that time, 16 states still had such laws on the books.

Since then, the number of mixed-race marriages has increased steadily. In 1970, just three years after the Supreme Court decision, surveys showed there were about 900,000 mixed-race couples living in the United. Three decades later, studies showed a five-fold increase to 4.9 million. These numbers include not just black-white marriages but rather all biracial couplings—any mixture of black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American—and regardless of whether the pair is legally married or cohabiting.

Ironically, Virginia now has a higher percentage of black-white marriages than any other state. So maybe now Virginia really is for lovers after all…

Read the entire article here.

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Save Your Mixed Tears™ and Other Tips for Mixed Living

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2017-04-30 20:41Z by Steven

Save Your Mixed Tears™ and Other Tips for Mixed Living

Psychology Today
2017-04-28

Jonathan Fisk


Source: Jonathan Fisk

I want to start by prefacing that this article is mostly written with white-POC mixed people in mind. As a white-Puerto Rican mixed person who strongly claims their Black and Taíno backgrounds, this is what I am, this is what I know, and so this is what I felt capable of writing about. Conversations about non-white mixes are definitely needed, and something being had, but not the focus of this article. That said, many themes here run true for other mixed people who might not fit this category, as well as for white-passing Latinx people.

Know that this has all been written all out of love. I’m writing this with not a hint of shade in my words, but as someone who wishes they heard these words earlier on in their exploration of identity as a mixed person.

1. Don’t feel the need to downplay your non-white identity…

Read the entire article here.

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Why Is There No “Linsanity” Over LA Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-11 18:16Z by Steven

Why Is There No “Linsanity” Over LA Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson?

Psychology Today
2016-05-09

E. J. R. David Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Lack of hype on NBA star may reflect larger issues in Asian American community

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May is also when the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs begin to heat up. The Golden State Warriors – the defending NBA Champions and perhaps the NBA team with the largest percentage of Asian Pacific American fans – continue to be the hottest team in the league. Therefore, a significant portion of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States as well as in the diaspora are likely focused on NBA basketball right now. And when it comes to putting Asian Pacific American people and NBA basketball together, many folks will most likely think of Jeremy Lin.

Remembering “Linsanity”

Jeremy Lin – a Taiwanese American basketball player – rose to stardom in 2012 while playing for the New York Knicks. He went from being an unknown, fringe NBA player to infusing hope on a struggling NBA team. After being inserted as the starting point guard for the Knicks as a last resort – the other point guards on the roster were all injured – Lin surprisingly led his team to a decent win-loss record…

…I am just curious why the same amount of attention is not given Jordan Clarkson

Read the entire article here.

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My Music Is My Soul, My Language Is My Armor

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2015-09-14 00:48Z by Steven

My Music Is My Soul, My Language Is My Armor

Psychology Today
2014-12-02

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Ed.D.
Stanford University

Byron’s story of identity, healing, and empowerment

“One night at a pub I heard the sound of traditional Okinawan folk music, and it was like being hit in the head with a hammer. The impact was like a bolt of lightning! The song told the story of how in life there are things that each of us is born to do. I realized that I had been trying to erase the reality that I was born and raised here on this island. Suddenly listening to the music my hardened heart melted and I was freed.”

Byron has captivated me with his story since we first met in 1999, two mixed race guys, one an elder researcher, the other a young searcher in the throes of an identity quest. Born and raised in Okinawa by a native woman and her family, his face is marked by the genes of his father, an American whom he never met and whose name remains a mystery. With looks that branded him as an American, associating him with an occupying army and military bases and making him a scapegoat for hostility, Byron’s youthful life was full of strife and he had to fight to stay alive and maintain his dignity. He struggled to find himself, even venturing to Los Angeles to become an American rock star.

But when he had his great awakening he put away his electric guitar and devoted himself to the study of the sanshin, a 3-stringed snake skinned instrument. He set out on a road of discovery, immersing himself in the study of Okinawan traditional folk music of the islands. Music led him to language, as he wanted to understand the words of the songs he was singing. But years of neglect have taken their toll and it is a language no longer used in daily life, understood only by the middle aged, spoken only by the elderly. Byron felt anger at the society that did not value its own language, though he understood the history of incorporation into the Japanese nation, subsequent forced assimilation into Japanese language and culture, and self chosen accommodation, that had drastically reduced the use of the language. So he sought out elders and asked them to teach him…

Read the entire article here.

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Balancing a Japanese and Irish Heritage

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-05-23 20:07Z by Steven

Balancing a Japanese and Irish Heritage

Psychology Today
2015-05-22

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu Ed.D.

Learning to live with complexity and ambiguity

When I was growing up I thought I was American until someone would remind me I wasn’t. With kids it was a simple, “Jap” or “Chink” but with Mom it was more complicated. She would usually tell me I was American but sometimes would suddenly use funny expressions like ishin denshin, which she said means “to communicate the heart by means of the heart.” It implies that words are not necessary and Mom claimed that a Japanese child (me) should know ishin denshin. She would say this when I failed to understand something she had not said. My mother’s frustration was even greater with my American father.

A typical day in our home:

We’re sitting around the table at breakfast and Mom says, “The windows are dirty.”

Dad glances up from his newspaper and coffee and says, “Yeah.”

The kids go to school, mom goes to work and dad stays home.

At dinner that night mom is in a bad mood, banging the pots and pans as she cooks dinner for three hungry kids. Finally dad asks, “What’s wrong?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Black and Yellow: Blasian Narratives

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-07 20:30Z by Steven

Black and Yellow: Blasian Narratives

Psychology Today
2015-04-07

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu Ed.D.

Crossing racial borders through storytelling

Saturday night I went to an event called, Black and Yellow: Blasian Narratives, featuring students from Stanford joining a group from Morehouse and Spelman, two historically black colleges. The students presented both monologues and interactive storytelling. Their diversity was stunning, Asian being Korean, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Japanese, and Vietnamese, with diverse forms of Black as well, from the Caribbean to Ghana. The purpose of the project by Canon Empire, a Cambodian American filmmaker and storyteller, is to unite Asian and Black communities through “Blasian” narratives and intimate and critical dialogues about race. He seeks to illuminate the reality that two communities historically socialized to see each other as polarized opposites and as competition and comparisons actually have much in common.

The presentations showed the complexity of lives that cross borders and enter liminal and marginal spaces, where creativity can flourish. Each person, in their own unique way, expressed their identities-in-flux, as if they were re-creating it right there on stage. As I watched them perform I was reminded of the wisdom of the identity scholar Erikson, who reminded us that: “Identity consciousness is overcome by a sense of identity won in action.”…

Read the entire article here.

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