The demise of the white majority is a myth

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-05-19 16:54Z by Steven

The demise of the white majority is a myth

The Washington Post
2018-05-18

Dowell Myers, Professor
Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California

Morris Levy, Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Southern California


Meghan Markle, engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, with her mother, Doria Ragland. (Steve Parsons/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The tale of the coming white minority has roiled American politics. A recent political science study shows that white anxiety over lost status tipped the last election to Donald Trump, and Democratic Party leaders are banking on changing demography for a brighter destiny.

But rumors of white America’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. That’s because the prevailing definition of whiteness is stubbornly stuck in the past.

It was 2000 when the Census Bureau first projected an end to the white majority of the population in 2059. Four years later, it revised that date to 2050. Then in 2008, it told the public that the passing of the white majority would occur in 2042. At this abrupt rate of change, some anxious whites might see displacement as an imminent threat.

In fact, the Census Bureau projects no fewer than six futures for the white population based on various definitions of whiteness. The most touted set of projections adopts the most exclusive definition, restricting the white population to those who self-identify as white and also no other race or ethnicity. Under this definition, whites are indeed in numerical decline.

But this doesn’t reflect the increasingly fluid and inclusive way that many Americans now regard racial and ethnic backgrounds. Mixed-race parentage is growing more common, and a rapidly growing number of people choose more than one racial or ethnic category to describe themselves on the census…

Read the entire article here.

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The making of Meghan Markle

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2018-05-16 15:26Z by Steven

The making of Meghan Markle

The Washington Post
2018-05-16

Jessica Contrera, Features Writer


Portraits of Meghan Markle from eighth, ninth and 12th grades. From her childhood in Los Angeles to her acting career, Markle has said her “ethnically ambiguous” appearance shaped her identity. (John Dlugolecki/Contact Press Images)

What happens when a ‘confident mixed-race woman’ marries into the royal family

Meghan Markle was glaring at her love interest. She leaned forward, fury clear in her expression as she asked the question: Was it so hard to believe one of her parents was black?

“You think,” she spat, “this is just a year-round tan?”

He stammered. She grimaced. The opening credits began to roll.

It was just the scene of a television show, a few lines from the script of the law drama “Suits.” But Markle would later describe it as something more: the moment she was no longer playing the role of “ethnically ambiguous.” That was the description assigned to so many of the jobs for which she had auditioned. Others asked her to be white, like her father. Or black, like her mother…

Read the entire article here.

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What Meghan Markle means to black Brits

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2018-05-11 15:30Z by Steven

What Meghan Markle means to black Brits

The Washington Post
2018-05-11

Karla Adam, London correspondent covering the United Kingdom

William Booth, London bureau chief

Photos by Tori Ferenc


Photo by Tori Ferenc

After she marries Prince Harry, the royal family will look a bit more like modern Britain.

LONDON—Jean Carter had never bothered to come out for a royal appearance before. But when Prince Harry and his fiancee, Meghan Markle, made a visit to Brixton this year, Carter bought a bouquet and weathered a chilly afternoon waiting for a glimpse of the couple.

Carter was glad to see Harry, the happy-go-lucky, ginger-bearded son of the late Princess Diana. As an immigrant from Jamaica, though, Carter, 72, really wanted to lay eyes on Markle, a biracial American actress who is the subject of deep fascination here.

Multiethnic Brixton is South London’s hub for a founding generation of Afro-Caribbean immigrants. It’s a crossroad so central to the story of the African diaspora that local historians call the neighborhood — with its jerk chicken grills, reggae dance halls and vibrant mural scene — the black capital of Europe. When South African President Nelson Mandela came to Britain in 1996 he went to Buckingham Palace — and Brixton.

Carter characterized the royal couple’s visit to the neighborhood as “a big statement.”

But what exactly will it mean to have a biracial member of the monarchy after Prince Harry and Markle exchange vows on May 19?…

Read the entire article here.

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He searched for his Japanese birth mother. He found her — and the restaurant she had named after him.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2018-05-10 18:45Z by Steven

He searched for his Japanese birth mother. He found her — and the restaurant she had named after him.

The Washington Post
2018-05-08

Kathryn Tolbert


Bruce Hollywood with his mother, Nobue Ouchi. (Courtesy of Bruce Hollywood)

It began with a heart attack in the Pentagon parking lot in pre-dawn darkness. Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood was on his way to work and found himself on the ground, thinking: “This is where it ends.”

Later, as he lay in the ambulance racing to Walter Reed Army Hospital, two regrets popped into his head. One was that he wouldn’t be able to help his son with his college applications. The other was that he never thanked the Japanese woman who gave birth to him, then gave him up for adoption in 1960.

Hollywood was adopted by an American couple who were stationed in Japan with the U.S. military and who could offer him a good life in America.

It took that heart attack in 2005 for Hollywood to set out to find his birth mother, something his adoptive mother, who had passed away, had repeatedly encouraged him to do. Before that, he said, he never felt something was missing. His adoption was not something he had reflected on much.

“I always knew I was adopted because I had Asian features and [my father] was an Irishman and [my mother] was a Norwegian lady,” said Hollywood, 57. “And they always told me, ‘…We picked you out special. So you’re even more special than everyone else.’”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Trump administration’s plan to make people disappear

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 02:06Z by Steven

The Trump administration’s plan to make people disappear

The Washington Post
2018-03-30

Karen Tumulty, Columnist


2010 Census forms. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

As long as there has been a census, there have been complaints about how it was conducted.

Ours is believed to have been the first country to have required that its entire population be counted on a regular basis. The Constitution stipulated that there be an “actual enumeration” of all U.S. residents within three years of Congress’s first meeting and every 10 years thereafter.

But when the 1790 population tally came in at a disappointingly low 3.9 million residents, skeptics — including President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson — insisted that the initial effort surely must have missed 1 million or more people. The new nation’s wounded pride notwithstanding, later surveys suggested that the first count was pretty much on the mark.

Nor has the seemingly objective exercise of counting people ever been immune to politics. The census helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be allocated annually and how congressional district lines will be redrawn to ensure that voters are equally represented. After the 1920 Census showed a massive movement from farms to cities, the rural lawmakers who dominated things at the time decided to ignore it entirely and skipped reapportionment that decade.

The Trump administration now proposes to corrupt the process in a different way: by requiring every household to report the citizenship status of its members…

Read the entire article here.

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A black female politician was gunned down in Rio. Now she’s a global symbol.

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Women on 2018-03-20 17:24Z by Steven

A black female politician was gunned down in Rio. Now she’s a global symbol.

The Washington Post
2018-03-19

Anthony Faiola, South America/Caribbean Bureau Chief
Miami, Florida

Marina Lopes, Reporter
São Paulo, Brazil


Demonstrators rally for a second consecutive day last Friday to mourn Marielle Franco, a Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, black rights activist and outspoken critic of police brutality who was fatally shot in an assassination-style attack in the city on March 14. (Lianne Milton/For The Washington Post)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Before stepping into her Chevrolet Agile at 9:04 p.m. last Wednesday, Marielle Franco had just done what she did best: fire up a room.

“Let’s do this,” the 38-year-old politician with the cascading Afro had said as she wrapped up a speech at Rio’s House of Black Women calling for black empowerment.

Brazil needed it, she said. Across this troubled metropolis, police brutality and extrajudicial killings were ravaging the slums. Elected last year as the only black woman on Rio’s 51-member city council, she had gone after those responsible while reframing the debate in an uncomfortable new way.

In a society that has long seen itself as post-racial, Franco argued, the slaughter was not just a war on the poor. It was also a war on blacks…

…Racism in Brazil has a complex history.

The country imported 4 million slaves, more than 10 times the number brought to the United States. In the United States, intermixing of races was discouraged. But in Brazil, where Portuguese settlers were outnumbered by their slaves, it was endorsed as a way to “whiten” the population.

Miscegenation soon became a cornerstone of national identity, with 53 percent of Brazilians now seeing themselves fluidly as black or mixed-race.

“In Brazil, you bump up against this narrative of racial mixture, that black identity or white identity is an import — that the concept of racism was imported by Americans,” said Glen Goodman, professor of Brazilian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Critics say that the myth of a post-racial Brazil silences conversations about deep-rooted discrimination and violence…

Read the entire article here.

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National Geographic acknowledges its racist past, then steps on its message with a cover photo

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2018-03-18 04:12Z by Steven

National Geographic acknowledges its racist past, then steps on its message with a cover photo

The Washington Post
2018-03-16

Victor Ray, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Tennessee. Knoxville

National Geographic has long offered a kind of pop-cultural imperialist anthropology that centers the white gaze and exoticizes people of color. The current issue of the magazine makes a brave attempt to deal with that messy history around race and racism.

To get an outsider’s view of its coverage of race, National Geographic hired the University of Virginia history professor John Edwin Mason, who studies the history of photography and African history. Mason found that the magazine was often on the wrong side of racial history. For instance, it glossed over the historical significance of the brutal 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, in which white South African police killed 69 unarmed peaceful protesters.

National Geographic’s editors rarely questioned the colonial legacy and power relations that allowed its photographers and writers to shape a global conversation on race and difference that was too accommodating to white supremacy. I was happy to see the magazine take up the laudable goal of addressing its racial history. Many mainstream publications, were they to examine their own history surrounding coverage of race and the protection of white supremacy, would probably not fare much better than National Geographic.

Unfortunately, the cover story for this issue traffics in the very racial cliches the magazine’s editor says National Geographic was guilty of in the past. The cover photo depicts 11-year-old mixed-race twin girls, with the tabloid-esque framing that one is black, the other white. And the headline makes the grand claim that the girls’ story will “make us rethink everything we know about race.”

Read the entire article here.

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Why Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to take a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry was probably a smart move

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-16 01:05Z by Steven

Why Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to take a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry was probably a smart move

The Washington Post
2018-03-14

Tara Bahrampour

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) rejected a call this week by a Massachusetts newspaper to take a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage, saying it is a cherished piece of family lore and noting that she has never used it to get ahead.

She might also add that such a test may not prove anything — or at least it couldn’t establish the absence of Native American ancestry her critics might be hoping to find.

If Warren were to take one of the widely available commercial “spit tests” and DNA related to a Native American tribe showed up, she would have positive proof that her family stories are true.

But if no such DNA were evident, that would not mean she didn’t have Native American ancestry…

Read the entire article here.

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Latina heroine or black radical? The complicated story of Lucy Parsons.

Posted in Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-02-20 00:16Z by Steven

Latina heroine or black radical? The complicated story of Lucy Parsons.

The Washington Post
2018-01-12

Tera W. Hunter, Professor of History and African American Studies
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Lucy Parsons occupies an unusual position in American history: a prominent woman noted as much for her acts of brilliance and bravery as for her evasiveness and contradictions.

Parsons spent most of her life in Chicago, where a park named in her honor calls her the first “Chicana socialist labor organizer.” Born circa 1853, Parsons said she was of Mexican and Indian descent and from Texas — an Aztec genealogy dating before Columbus. Elsewhere she’s been recognized as “the first Black woman to play a prominent role in the American Left.”

These differing narratives are indicative of a life that defies easy categorization and has challenged assessments of Parsons’s legacy…

…With “Goddess of Anarchy,” prize-winning historian Jacqueline Jones has written the first critical, comprehensive biography of Parsons that seeks to peel back the layers of her complex life. Jones amassed an incredible body of records — local, state and federal government documents; prolific newspapers; organizational and personal correspondence; and Lucy and husband Albert Parsons’s extant writings. Through these documents Jones uncovered evidence that Parsons was not of Mexican or Indian ancestry. Her research shows, too, that Parsons was not, as many have thought, born Lucia Eldine Gonzalez but as Lucia Carter in Virginia in 1851. Her mother was black, and her father was white (and probably her slave owner). Her family moved to Waco, Tex., during the Civil War, where Lucia worked as a cook and seamstress in the homes of white families. As a teenager, she married an older, formerly enslaved man, Oliver Benton, a.k.a. Oliver Gathings, and had a child who died as an infant…

Read the entire review here.

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Right now, census data are distorting one of the most transformative population developments of the early 21st century. A sizable and growing number of young people come from families with one white and one minority parent, as more adults form families across racial and ethnic lines.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-02-14 23:35Z by Steven

Today’s census questions misunderstand both Hispanic and white identity

Right now, census data are distorting one of the most transformative population developments of the early 21st century. A sizable and growing number of young people come from families with one white and one minority parent, as more adults form families across racial and ethnic lines. By far the largest group among them have Hispanic and white European ancestry.

But you wouldn’t know that from the 2000 or 2010 Census results. While 2000 was the first to allow Americans to report a multiracial heritage, neither it nor the 2010 Census allowed people to check off both part Hispanic and part something else.

Why? The culprit is that the census examines race and ethnicity with two questions: first, race; and then Hispanic origins. This format was created in accordance with a 1997 Office of Management and Budget memorandum that defined the standards for collecting and classifying ethnic and racial data to which all federal agencies must adhere.

Richard Alba, “There’s a big problem with how the census measures race,” The Washington Post, February 6, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/06/theres-a-big-problem-with-how-the-census-measures-race.

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