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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Race in a Baby’s Face

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-29 16:39Z by Steven

Race in a Baby’s Face

Psychology Today
2014-07-28

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Ed.D, Psychologist and Co-founder
Stanford University LifeWorks program for Integrative Learning

Crawling the color line

Race is supposedly something objective, even biological, that we’re ascribed at birth and marks us through our whole lives, assigning us to a group that separates us from others. But for many people race is ambiguous, complex, and uncertain. I’ve never understood my race or that of my children. And for the newest babies in my extended family, it’s not clear at all what their race is supposed to be.

When my niece had a baby, a beautiful boy, everyone oohed and aahed when they saw the cute little guy. One of his cousins glowed, “Oh he’s so cute!”  But suddenly a puzzled expression came over him and he looked at the baby’s father, then at the mother, and back at the baby and blurted out: “Wait…..they had a white baby?”…

Read the entire article here.

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When Dad Wiped Away My Tears: Accepting a Child’s Vulnerability

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-06-18 08:28Z by Steven

When Dad Wiped Away My Tears: Accepting a Child’s Vulnerability

Psychology Today
2014-06-15

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu Ed.D.
Stanford University

I thought summer camp would be endless fun. My two best friends were going and I wanted to go with them so badly I asked my dad to lie about my age so I could get in. I was seven and you were supposed to be eight. Dad liked my spunk, so he changed my birthday on the application and I got to go to the two-week overnight camp. On Father’s Day I always remember this story with gratitude and want to share it with you.

Camp Russell wasn’t quite what I had dreamed about. It wasn’t a rich kids’ camp, but the Boy’s Club camp and was full of tough kids from all over the city. I was scared and tried not to be noticed, but as the only Asian kid there I stood out everywhere I went. Kids would whisper to each other when I walked by or shout from a distance, “Hey Jap” or “Ching, Chong, Chinaman!” and everyone would laugh or pretend to speak Chinese. I didn’t know what to do. There were too many and they were too big to fight. So I pretended not to hear anything and no one approached me or threatened me. I was big for my age and I heard them joking that I knew karate…

Read the entire article here.

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Things to Know When Talking About Race and Genetics

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2014-05-19 02:35Z by Steven

 

Things to Know When Talking About Race and Genetics

Psychology Today
2014-05-13

Agustín Fuentes, Professor of Anthropology
University of Notre Dame

On May 5th, 2014, I shared the platform in a webinar debate with Nicholas Wade (former NYTimes Science Writer) about his new book “A Troublesome Inheritance – A discussion on genes, race and human history.” The debate was sponsored by the American Anthropological Association.

Wade’s assertions in the book (and our discussion) are that Humans are divided into genetically identified “continental races” and that there are significant differences in genetically based social behaviors between these “races” as a result of the last 50,000 years of human evolution.

Wade argues that social scientists are covering up these ideas and claims that a true discussion on race is repressed by most academics out of political correctness. These points were also made by Charles Murray in a laudatory review of Wade’s book in the Wall Street Journal. They are both wrong.

I am an academic and I love to talk about the data on race, so do many of my colleagues. The scientific data on human genetic variation and human evolution refute the claims there are multiple biological races in humans today and in the debate I offered articles, datasets, and work by biologists, geneticists, evolutionary theorists and even anthropologists to demonstrate this. Unfortunately, in such discussions the bulk of data, and its complexity, are too often ignored.

Avoiding direct challenge is a common tactic by people trying to use select slices of genetic data to “prove” that there are multiple biological races in humans today. This is a problem because dialogue on such an important topic should be encouraged and as open minded as possible, but it must also be accurately informed by the science of human biology. So here is a mini-primer on what we what we know about human genetics to help such a discussion (see the bibliography at the bottom of this post for very good articles on the topic)…

…5) Nearly all the genetic variation in our entire species is found in populations just in Africa, with most of the variation found in all populations outside of Africa making up a small subset of that variation…

…Given these facts, here is the key argument you need to remember: While different populations vary in some of the .1% of the genome, the way this variation is distributed does not map to biological races, either by continent or otherwise.

For example, when you compare people from Nigeria, Western Europe and Beijing you do get some patterned differences…but these specific groups do not reflect the entire continental areas of Africa, Europe, and Asia (the proposed “continental races” of African, Caucasian and Asian). There are no genetic patterns that link all populations in just Africa, just Asia or just Europe to one another to the exclusion of other populations in other places. If you compare geographically separated populations within the “continental” areas you get the same kind of variation as you would between them. Comparing Nigerians to Western Europeans to people from Beijing gives us the same kind of differences in variation patterns as does comparing people from Siberia, Tibet and Java, or from Finland, Wales and Yemen, or even Somalia, Liberia and South Africa— and none of these comparisons demonstrates “races.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Four Simple Reasons Smart People Shouldn’t Believe in Races

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-12-27 01:44Z by Steven

Four Simple Reasons Smart People Shouldn’t Believe in Races

Psychology Today
About Thinking: Questioning everything with a hopeful skeptic
2013-12-23

Guy P. Harrison

Today is a good day to wake up and join the human species.

Guess what I do almost every time race and racism are discussed in popular culture. I groan and turn away in discomfort. The curse of an anthropology education makes me painfully aware of how clueless politicians, writers, broadcasters, and virtually everyone else are on this topic. Whenever some celebrity utters the dreaded N-word or a person of one race does something horrible to a person of another race, the voices of authority take center stage and call for understanding, love and cooperation between races.

Blah, blah, blah.

Such reactions to race problems may feel nice and do some good but they are too shallow to be effective long-term. The problem is that they completely miss the core problem, which is race belief itself. Races are not naturally occurring subspecies of human beings. They are the artificial creations of our cultures. Therefore, attempting to solve the problem of racism by asking for tolerance between races is like turning up the air conditioner in a burning house because you don’t like the temperature. Overt racism and all other destructive but less obvious race problems are unlikely to ever go away no matter how much love and tolerance we pour on the fire. What is needed is a game-changer, an awakening to the reality of who we are as revealed by science.

The critical problem with biological races is the claim that we are all inherently limited or empowered based on our birth into a unique genetic group that contains millions of other similar people. Many good people who champion racial equality and would not be considered racists carry this destructive belief in their heads. But it can’t be true because the groups themselves are unnatural, inconsistent and illogical. The biological race group called “black people”, for example, makes no sense because of the deep genetic diversity within it. Two randomly selected “black” people from Africa, the Caribbean or elsewhere are likely to be more distantly related to one another than any one of them is to a typical “white” European…

1. The police lineup in your head. By far, the most common objection I hear to the rejection of biological races comes from what I call the “mental police lineup”. It’s easy to imagine a dark-skinned African, a light-skinned European, and a typical Japanese or Chinese person all standing side-by-side. The visible contrast is so great, I’m often told, that races must be real. There is an easy answer to this popular defense of the race concept, however…

Read the entire article here.

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