“One day after this election is over I am going to write a piece about how Latino is a contrived ethnic category that artificially lumps white Cubans with Black Puerto Ricans and Indigenous Guatemalans.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-11-04 16:47Z by Steven

The news media, in general, has not done a good job of covering the Latino vote. “One day after this election is over I am going to write a piece about how Latino is a contrived ethnic category that artificially lumps white Cubans with Black Puerto Ricans and Indigenous Guatemalans . . .” tweeted Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times.

Margaret Sullivan, “We still don’t know much about this election — except that the media and pollsters blew it again,” The Washington Post, November 4, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/we-still-dont-know-much-about-this-election–except-that-the-media-and-pollsters-blew-it-again/2020/11/04/40c0d416-1e4a-11eb-b532-05c751cd5dc2_story.html.

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This interracial couple got engaged in Obama’s America. Then Trump took office.

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-10-20 20:55Z by Steven

This interracial couple got engaged in Obama’s America. Then Trump took office.

The Washington Post
2020-10-20

Sydney Trent, Local enterprise reporter


David and Jessica Figari with daughter Liliana at their home outside of Tampa. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

David and Jessica Figari are navigating racial and political divides in their country — and in their family — that they never anticipated when they fell in love

On the already muggy morning of Aug. 28, 2013, David Figari and Jessica Jones held hands in the billowing crowd near the steps of the Georgetown University Law Center. The young lovers had traveled from Florida to meet each other’s relatives and attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The reminiscences from 1963 march veterans had ended and the trek to the Lincoln Memorial was about to begin when David saw an organizer standing near a microphone at the top of the stairs. He walked up to the man with the mic and introduced himself.

“Hey, I’d like to say something. Can I do it?” David said.

The man gave him the once-over and immediately said “No.”

“No, no, you don’t understand. I’d like to propose to my girlfriend.”

“No,” the man said again.

“I said, ‘No, you don’t understand,’” David said. “‘That’s my girlfriend.’”

He pointed to Jessica. Something clicked — this couple, this moment — and the man gasped.

“Everyone, everyone, really quick!” he announced. “David actually has something to say.”…

Read the entire article here.

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White GWU professor admits she falsely claimed Black identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2020-09-03 19:45Z by Steven

White GWU professor admits she falsely claimed Black identity

The Washington Post
2020-09-03

Lauren Lumpkin and Susan Svrluga


A George Washington University history professor falsely claimed a Black identity throughout her life, she admitted Thursday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

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Jessica A. Krug, an associate professor at George Washington University, said she’s claimed a Black identity throughout her career.

A history professor at George Washington University admitted in a blog post to claiming a Black identity, despite being White.

Jessica A. Krug said she has deceived friends and colleagues by falsely claiming several identities, including “North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness,” she wrote in a blog post on Medium. Krug, whose areas of expertise include African American history, Africa and Latin America, is White and Jewish, she admitted.

“I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech,” Krug wrote. “I have thought about ending these lies many times over many years, but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics.”

Neither Krug nor the university immediately returned a request for comment.

Krug, in the blog post, said she has been battling “unaddressed mental health demons” for her entire life. She said she started to assume a false identity as a child.

Read the entire article here.

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“Every Brazilian, even the light-skinned fair-haired one carries about him on his soul, when not on soul and body alike, the shadow or at least the birthmark of the aborigine or the negro…”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-30 16:13Z by Steven

After slavery, Brazil didn’t institute prohibitions of interracial relationships or draconian racial distinctions, as the United States did. The absence of a rigid racial taxonomy led to an extraordinarily mixed country, with single families composed of multiple skin tones, and far more racial fluidity.

“Every Brazilian, even the light-skinned fair-haired one carries about him on his soul, when not on soul and body alike, the shadow or at least the birthmark of the aborigine or the negro,” wrote the 20th-century Brazilian sociologist Gilberto de Mello Freyre, who examined the country’s racial mixing in the 1930s. A “paradise,” he declared Brazil, “in respect to race relations.”

Terrence McCoy, “In Brazil, the death of a poor black child in the care of rich white woman brings a racial reckoning,” June 28, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/brazil-racism-black-lives-matter-miguel-otavio-santana/2020/06/26/236a2944-b58b-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html.

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In Brazil, the death of a poor black child in the care of rich white woman brings a racial reckoning

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science on 2020-06-30 01:18Z by Steven

In Brazil, the death of a poor black child in the care of rich white woman brings a racial reckoning

The Washington Post
2020-06-28

Terrence McCoy


Demonstrators in Recife, Brazil, demand justice for the death of 5-year-old Miguel Otávio Santana da Silva, the son of a black maid who fell from the ninth floor of a building while under the watch of his mother’s white employer. (Leo Malafaia/AFP/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO — In the early days of Brazil’s coronavirus outbreak, when businesses and churches went dark, anyone who could stay home did. But not Mirtes Souza. She worked as a maid, and her duties cooking and cleaning for a wealthy family were to continue.

One day this month, she left the luxury building to walk the family’s dog, leaving her 5-year-old son, Miguel, in the care of her boss. But security footage broadcast widely in Brazil showed the woman leaving him unattended inside an elevator and the door closing.

The boy rode it to the top of the building and wandered outside. When Souza returned from the walk, she found him crumpled on the pavement outside the luxury building. He’d fallen nine floors.

“I’m a domestic worker,” Souza said in an interview. “But if I was white, and he’d been white, would this have happened?”

Sarí Gaspar, Souza’s employer, has been charged with culpable homicide in the death of Miguel Otávio Santana da Silva. She has asked for Souza’s forgiveness in a public letter…

Read the entire article here.

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My grandparents were racist. Here’s how I moved on with my head held high.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2020-06-26 02:00Z by Steven

My grandparents were racist. Here’s how I moved on with my head held high.

The Washington Post
2020-06-23

Carolyn Copeland


The author, Carolyn Copeland, circa 1998, when she was about 7, with her father, Brian Copeland, her mother, Mary Copeland, and her brothers Casey, left, and Adam. (Carolyn Copeland)

My grandparents loved to take photos, but there are no pictures of them holding me as a baby. They weren’t in attendance at my birth, my baptism or any of my birthdays. That’s because for the first few years of my life, my grandparents rejected me and my two brothers because we are black.

I’ve hesitated over the years to share my story publicly out of fear that I would embarrass or hurt the people in my extended family, but with the demonstrations taking place around the country after the police killing of George Floyd, I feel it has never been a more important time to reveal my personal experience with racism and explain the different ways it has shown its face within my family. The age of “going along to get along” is over.

From the moment my white mother started dating my black father in the late 1980s, her father disowned her. From that point forward, on my grandfather’s orders, my parents were disinvited from all family gatherings. My grandmother — who said from the beginning that she was against the idea — still complied. Neither attended my parents’ wedding…

Read the entire article here.

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“I have supper with them, and they have supper with me too. Only thing I don’t like is blacks and whites mixing, but I keep that to myself.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-21 23:41Z by Steven

“I got plenty of African American friends — I’ve known ’em since I was 14,” said [Lonnie] Miles, adding that he learned to say ‘African American’ out of respect. “They know if they need anything, all they have to do is ask me. I have supper with them, and they have supper with me too. Only thing I don’t like is blacks and whites mixing, but I keep that to myself.”

Stephanie McCrummen, “Wrapped up in the Confederate flag,” The Washington Post, June 20, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/20/heflin-alabama-confederate-flags.

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I’m a black man with white privilege. I see how it distorts America.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2020-06-14 20:31Z by Steven

I’m a black man with white privilege. I see how it distorts America.

The Washington Post
2020-06-11

Steve Majors
Takoma Park, Maryland


A demonstrator speaks to the crowd on a bullhorn during a protest against racial inequality. (Kevin Mohatt/Reuters)

I walk a racial tightrope. It’s one I’ve struggled to balance on for my entire life. But over the past several weeks, I’ve felt myself teetering. I’m black and outraged that racism continues to kill black people like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor while burdening the lives of so many others in our country. But I know that I am not one of those people. I know the freedom of moving through a world that magically removes many barriers from my life and shields me from harm — all because of my ability to pass as white.

My skin tone has given me white privilege. For more than five decades of the journey across my tightrope, I’ve had what feminist researcher Peggy McIntosh calls an “invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.” These are the tools of white privilege, unwanted and conferred on me at birth by a white father who had a fleeting relationship with my divorced black mother. I was the youngest of five and grew up with older siblings in a large, extended black family. They were quick to remind me that what they jokingly called my “light, bright, almost-white skin” did not grant me any special advantage in our family. But they and I could see that wasn’t going to be the case in the outside world.

I want to assure my white friends that white privilege is real, because I benefit from it every day. And I want to explain to my black family that even though this knapsack that whites carry is invisible, weightless and present from birth, it’s possible to teach yourself that it’s there. I say that not so I can seek forgiveness for myself or offer absolution for any others. It’s to explain why so many claim to be blind and unfeeling to something that has been present throughout the history of this country. Even as I continue to reap its benefits, I am ashamed of the white privilege I carry around because I know it comes at the expense of others who have every right to the same opportunities, advantages and freedoms…

Read the entire article here.

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Bubba Wallace emerges as NASCAR’s improbable yet ideally suited change agent

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2020-06-13 20:55Z by Steven

Bubba Wallace emerges as NASCAR’s improbable yet ideally suited change agent

The Washington Post
2020-06-13

Liz Clarke, Sports Reporter


“I encourage people to have those tough conversations just to educate yourself,” Bubba Wallace says. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Born in Alabama and reared in North Carolina, Bubba Wallace doesn’t remember seeing a Confederate flag until he went to a racetrack. His memory isn’t tied to a particular track because the flag was a fixture in the grandstands nearly everywhere he competed as a young racer.

But that’s not what transformed Wallace into a change agent in America’s most tradition-bound sport. It was the video of an unarmed black jogger being gunned down in Georgia after he was cornered by a white father and son brandishing a pistol and shotgun.

“The Ahmaud Arbery video was the final straw for me in being silent. That shook me to the core like nothing has in the past,” Wallace, 26, said in a telephone interview Friday. “Something flipped inside of me to be more vocal and stand up for racial equality and make sure we get a hold on that and change the face of this world and get it to a better place. Creating unity and compassion and understanding of each of our brothers and sisters is so powerful. We have to preach that to the ones that don’t want to listen and understand.”…

…The only full-time African American racer in NASCAR’s Cup series, and the first since the late Wendell Scott of Danville, Va., retired in 1973, Wallace is uniquely suited to lead NASCAR into the future its executives say they want: one in which women and minorities feel welcome and fill the grandstands, pit crews and driver ranks in numbers that mirror the diversity of America.

Wallace’s father is white; his mother is black. Both are NASCAR loyalists and fans, in particular, of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. So Bubba, who started racing at age 9, grew up an Earnhardt fan, too…

Read the entire article here.

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The importance of learning to style my multiracial son’s hair

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2020-02-10 01:38Z by Steven

The importance of learning to style my multiracial son’s hair

The Washington Post
2020-02-05

Nevin Martell


Nevin Martell and his son, Zephyr. (Indira Martell)

When I look at my son, Zephyr, I see a blend of his mother and me. His golden caramel skin is made with her browned butter and my heavy cream and white sugar. Both of us lent him elements for his face — her smile, my eyes. When he makes jokes, I hear echoes of myself, but when he laughs, it reminds me of my wife. He got her speed and my endurance.

Despite my paternal desire to see a piece of me in every part of him, soon after his birth I became convinced that somehow my genes played no role in the creation of his hair. He got that solely from his mother, whose tightly coiled curls require patient care and attention. All her diligent work pays off. From buns to braids to an Afro — whatever style she chooses elicits compliments. I have a head of straight strands, requiring little maintenance and styled in a fashion my barber calls a disconnected cut, which is appropriate given how little thought I give it.

As it began to grow into its curl pattern, Zephyr’s hair became less and less like my own. Though I tried, I never seemed to be able to dress or style it in the way he preferred. So, for the first few years of his life, it became solely his mother’s purview. Whenever it needed to be done, I would throw up my hands like a sitcom father from another era and exasperatedly declare to my wife, “You take care of it, because I can’t do it!”

“You’re perfectly capable,” she would always admonish me as she deftly coaxed his curls into place. “It’s not rocket science.”…

Read the entire article here.

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