A U.S. Census proposal to add category for people of Middle Eastern descent makes some uneasy

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-26 21:32Z by Steven

A U.S. Census proposal to add category for people of Middle Eastern descent makes some uneasy

The Washington Post

Tara Bahrampour

For the first time in four decades, the federal government is poised to add a new ethnic category to the U.S. census form, adding a box for people of Middle Eastern and North African descent.

Details are still being negotiated, but as the form is currently envisioned, people would be able to check the new box in addition to race identifiers, such as “white” or “black.” Within the new category, they would also be able to specify national origins, such as Saudi or Israeli, and ethnic affiliations, such as Berber or Kurdish. The new form would go to Congress for final approval in 2018 in time for the 2020 Census.

The move comes after more than 30 years of lobbying, but also at a time of rising Islamophobia and calls by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to ban people from Muslim lands. Some are questioning whether the new designation could lead to profiling or otherwise put them in danger.

The proposed addition would create a race and ethnicity category called MENA for people with roots in the Middle East and North Africa. It has been championed by organizations representing Arab Americans and others with roots in the geographical swath from Iran to Morocco, who complain of being ignored in the decennial count…

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Reevaluation of the Influence of Appearance and Reflected Appraisals for Mixed-Race Identity: The Role of Consistent Inconsistent Racial Perception

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2016-10-26 14:03Z by Steven

Reevaluation of the Influence of Appearance and Reflected Appraisals for Mixed-Race Identity: The Role of Consistent Inconsistent Racial Perception

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
October 2016, Volume 2, Number 4
pages 569-583
DOI: 10.1177/2332649216634740

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Adjunct Visiting Professor of Sociology
University of Wisconsin, River Falls

Developed from Cooley’s looking-glass self, the theory of reflected appraisals is frequently used to explain how appearance influences the racial identity development of mixed-race people. However, postulating that racial identity develops via the internalization of the perception of what race one thinks others assume him or her to be rests on the assumption that others consistently perceive the individual in the same manner. Although true for many people, the appearance of mixed-race people is often ambiguous and changeable and is perceived differently depending on context, which results in mixed-race people’s being ascribed to, and interacted with as if a member of, a variety of different races and ethnicities. This fact illuminates a gap in our knowledge of how appearance influences racial identity absent consistent perception by others. Drawing on 30 interviews with mixed-race adults from a variety of racial backgrounds in the United States and United Kingdom, the author examines not only the particular experiences with differential racial perception that mixed-race people have but also the mechanisms by which appearance influences identity when one experiences varying perceptions from others. This work ultimately extends the theory of reflected appraisals by advancing the idea that, under certain conditions, identity can form from experiences being consistently inconsistently perceived when that consistent inconsistency itself functions as a reflected appraisal of a particular identity.

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Helping mixed heritage children develop ‘character and resilience’ in schools

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-10-26 14:00Z by Steven

Helping mixed heritage children develop ‘character and resilience’ in schools

Improving Schools
November 2016, Volume 19, Number 3
pages 197-211
DOI: 10.1177/1365480216650311

Kirstin Lewis
Educational Studies
Goldsmiths, University of London

Recent UK government policy suggests that all schools have a key role to play in building ‘character and resilience’ in children. This article draws on data from a wider research project, exploring the school experiences of mixed White/Black Caribbean and mixed White/Black African children in two London secondary schools. Because data from this project suggest that many children experienced adversity at school, a theoretical framework previously developed by Ungar et al. was used to assess how they coped with adversity and to what extent their schools supported them with it. Findings revealed that although positive relationships with adults were essential, teachers could not offer the necessary support and guidance because they were unaware of mixed heritage children’s needs and any challenges they faced. This article asks whether such a framework might prove useful in supporting teachers to understand what factors develop ‘character and resilience’ and the ways in which they might therefore support children to cope.

Read or purchase the article here.

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How America Bought and Sold Racism, and Why It Still Matters

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2016-10-25 20:06Z by Steven

How America Bought and Sold Racism, and Why It Still Matters

Collectors Weekly

Lisa Hix, Associated Editor

Today, very few white Americans openly celebrate the horrors of black enslavement—most refuse to recognize the brutal nature of the institution or actively seek to distance themselves from it. “The modern American sees slavery as a regrettable period when blacks worked without wages,” writes Dr. David Pilgrim, the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and a sociology professor at Ferris State University and the author of Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice, who has spent his life studying the artifacts that have perpetuated racist stereotypes.

The urge to forget this stain on our nation’s history is everywhere. In Texas, McGraw-Hill recently distributed a high-school geography textbook that refers to American slaves as immigrant workers. At Southern plantation museums that romanticize the idea of genteel antebellum culture, the bleak and violent reality of enslaved plantation life is whitewashed and glossed over. Discussions about how slavery led to modern-day racism are often met with white defensiveness. How many times have black people heard this line? “Slavery happened a long time ago. You need to get over it.”

The truth is when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, the economic subjugation of African Americans, and the terrorism used to maintain it, did not come to a grinding halt. The Jim Crow racial caste system that emerged 12 years after the Civil War ended in 1865 was just as violent and oppressive as slavery—and it lasted nearly a century. Up through Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, black people across the country, in Northern states as well as Southern ones, were routinely humiliated, menaced, tortured and beaten to death, and blocked from participating in business and public life. Thanks to smartphone and social-media technology, we’re seeing how such violence continues in 2015, 50 years after the height of the Civil Rights Movement

Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno played the “tragic mulatto” in the 1960 film “This Rebel Breed.”(From Understanding Jim Crow)

…Another caricature was inflicted upon mixed-race women: the “tragic mulatto,” which is based on the “one-drop rule” that says any African American blood in your lineage makes you a black person. In this story, the mixed-race woman grows up living as a privileged white person. When her white father dies, her black heritage is revealed, and she’s enslaved and subjected to violence by white men. Rejected by both racial groups, she’s often suicidal and alcoholic, and she in particular loathes her black side.

Reality, of course, tells a different story. In Understanding Jim Crow, Pilgrim says it’s true that in the days of slavery, mixed-race slaves (usually the illegitimate sons and daughters of their owners), sometimes sold for higher prices, and masters saw these women as particularly sexually desirable, claiming their beauty drove them to rape. Enslaved mixed-race women were also frequently sold into prostitution, and freeborn mixed-race women sometimes became the mistresses of white men under the “plaçage system.” Some people with “Negro blood” worked to “pass” as whites, which helped them get better education, pay, and homes. But throughout history, mixed-race people—who had the slur “mongrels” hurled at them by whites—have been well accepted in the black community: Take for example, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Mary Church Terrell, Thurgood Marshall, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Langston Hughes, and Billie Holiday

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TriPod Mythbusters: Quadroon Balls And Plaçage

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-10-25 19:12Z by Steven

TriPod Mythbusters: Quadroon Balls And Plaçage

WWNO 89.9 FM
New Orleans, Louisiana

Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Host

There is a common myth told about 19th-century New Orleans. It goes something like this: Imagine you’re in an elegant dance hall in New Orleans in the early 1800s. Looking around, you see a large group of white men and free women of color, who were at the time called quadroons, meaning they supposedly had ¼ African ancestry. The mothers play matchmakers, and introduce their daughters to these white men, who then ask their hand in a dance.

The ballroom is fancy, and the invited guests look the part. When a match is made, a contract is drawn up. The white man agrees to take care of the young woman and any children she may have with him. This arrangement was called “plaçage.”

Charles Chamberlain teaches history at the University of New Orleans. “Plaçage is defined historically as where a white man would basically have a relationship with a free woman of color where she would be kept, so that he would provide her with a house and some form of income so that she could maintain a lifestyle.”

What Chamberlain is describing is basically a common-law marriage. And those did happen. But the idea of Quadroon Balls is way sexier, which helps explain why they get talked about so much. French Quarter tour guides walk by the Bourbon Orleans hotel and talk about the famous quadroon balls that took place inside. But try to find proof of plaçage Chamberlain says, and it’s not there…

Listen to the story here.

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Turn Onto Old Dixie. After a Long, Rocky Stretch, It Becomes Obama Highway.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-24 19:21Z by Steven

Turn Onto Old Dixie. After a Long, Rocky Stretch, It Becomes Obama Highway.

The New York Times

Dan Barry

Peter Henry, the son of Dora Johnson, looking over a wall near 27th Street and President Barack Obama Highway in Riviera Beach, Fla., that once separated black and white neighborhoods.
Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

A main thoroughfare in the predominantly black town of Riviera Beach, Fla., was once called Old Dixie Highway. But now the road has a new name: President Barack Obama Highway.

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The rechristened road runs beside a railroad freight line, slicing across a modest corner of Palm Beach County and a considerable section of the Southern psyche. It used to be called Old Dixie Highway.

But now this two-mile stretch, coursing through the mostly black community of Riviera Beach, goes by a new name. Now, when visitors want to eat takeout from Rodney’s Crabs, or worship at the Miracle Revival Deliverance Church, they turn onto President Barack Obama Highway.

Our national journey along this highway is nearing its end, these eight years a blur and a crawl. That historic inauguration of hope. Those siren calls for change. The grand ambitions tempered or blocked by recession and time, an inflexible Congress and a man’s aloofness.

War, economic recovery, Obamacare, Osama bin Laden. The mass shootings, in a nightclub, in a church — in an elementary school. The realization of so much still to overcome, given all the Fergusons; given all those who shamelessly questioned whether our first black president was even American by birth.

His towering oratory. His jump shot. His graying hair. His family. His wit. His tears.

The presidency of Mr. Obama, which ends in three months, will be memorialized in many grand ways, most notably by the planned construction of a presidential library in Chicago. But in crowded and isolated places across the country, his name has also been quietly incorporated into the everyday local patter, in ways far removed from politics and world affairs…

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Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-10-24 17:33Z by Steven

Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity

Federal Register: The Daily Journal of the United States Government
A Notice by the Management and Budget Office on 09/30/2016
4 pages

Howard A. Shelanski, Administrator
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Review and Possible Limited Revision of OMB’s Statistical Policy Directive on Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.

The Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity were last revised in 1997 (62 FR 58782, Oct. 30, 1997; see https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards). Since these revisions were implemented, much has been learned about how these standards have improved the quality of Federal information collected and presented on race and ethnicity. At the same time, some areas may benefit from further refinement. Accordingly, OMB currently is undertaking a review of particular components of the 1997 standard: The use of separate questions measuring race and ethnicity and question phrasing; the classification of a Middle Eastern and North African group and reporting category; the description of the intended use of minimum reporting categories; and terminology used for race and ethnicity classifications. OMB’s current review of the standard is limited to these areas. Specific questions appear under the section, “Issues for Comment.”

Comments on the review and possible limited revisions to OMB’s Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity detailed in this notice must be in writing. To ensure consideration of comments, they must be received no later than [30 days from the publication of this notice]. Please be aware of delays in mail processing at Federal facilities due to increased security. Respondents are encouraged to send comments electronically via email, or http://www.regulations.gov (discussed in ADDRESSES below)…

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Postcolonial Palimpsests: Entwined Colonialisms and the Conflicted Representation of Charles Bon in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2016-10-22 23:33Z by Steven

Postcolonial Palimpsests: Entwined Colonialisms and the Conflicted Representation of Charles Bon in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

ariel: A Review of International English Literature
Volume 47, Number 4, October 2016
pages 1-23
DOI: 10.1353/ari.2016.0044

Jenna Grace Sciuto, Assistant Professor, English/Communications
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

This essay argues that Charles Bon in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (1936) embodies a fluidity that confronts the hierarchies of race, gender, class, and sexuality on which colonialism and neocolonialism depend for coherence and meaning. The biracial, sexually fluid Bon and his contradictory depiction by competing narrators reveal entwined colonialisms in the United States South that complicate the divide between the colonial and neo-colonial periods employed in linear surface narratives: Bon is portrayed as living multiple stories of colonialism simultaneously in the novel. With an awareness of the narrators’ divergent colonial mindsets, I show how Faulkner uses Bon’s métissage, or blending of cultural, racial, and sexual categories, to confront the resilient colonial mentalities that persist in the twentieth-century American South through imagining an alternative: the acceptance of this fluidity.

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Collection of demographic data regarding multiracial identification.

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-10-22 23:08Z by Steven

Collection of demographic data regarding multiracial identification.

The New York City Council
Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker
2014-11-25 (Passed 2016-11-13)

Int 0551-2014, Version A (2014-11-25)

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to the collection of demographic data regarding multiracial identification

Proposed Int. No. 551-A would require the Department of Social Services, the Administration for Children’s Services, the Department of Homeless Services, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department for the Aging, the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Department of Education, and any other agencies designated by the Mayor to provide to all persons served by the agency with a demographic information survey that contains an option for multiracial ancestry or ethnic origin. The bill would also require an annual review of all forms from the designated agencies, or any other agency designated by the Mayor, that collect demographic information, are completed by persons seeking services, and are within the administering agencies’ authority to amend. The bill would require all such forms to be amended to contain an option for multiracial ancestry or ethnic origin. Proposed Int. 551-A would also require reporting on the collected data.

Passed (50-0) on 2016-11-13. Enacted (Mayor’s Desk for Signature)

For more information, click here.

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Where did Colin Kaepernick get start as an activist?

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-10-22 22:35Z by Steven

Where did Colin Kaepernick get start as an activist?


Josh Peter

They remember the conservative haircut he wore at John Pitman High School, and now they see the Afro and cornrows. They remember his studious and soft-spoken ways from a decade ago, and now they see him refusing to stand for the national anthem and agitating for social change.

In Turlock, Calif., where Colin Kaepernick was raised, many residents have asked some version of the same question: What in the heck happened to our hometown hero?

But those who knew Kaepernick at the University of Nevada at Reno, where attended from 2006-10 and was a star quarterback before getting drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, say they’re not at all confused.

“Anyone who wants to characterize this as some new black awareness on his behalf just simply doesn’t know him or didn’t do the diligence,’’ Reg Stewart, director of the Center for Student Cultural Diversity at Nevada-Reno when Kaepernick was in school, told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s not like I turned on the TV and was like, ‘Wow, where did this come from?’ I was like, ‘You know what, he has been thinking about these issues for at least the time I’ve known him.”…

…At the black student union meetings at Nevada-Reno, Kaepernick was outspoken about issues such as attracting more African Americans to the campus, Bart-Plange said.

“He would let us know, we’ve got to get everybody unified,” Bart-Plange said. “The only way we’re going to get better is together, that’s how we’re stronger, power in numbers, educating each other.”

Kaepernick’s increasing identification as African American began as soon as he arrived at Reno, according to Stewart. African Americans made up about 4% of the student body, but Stewart suggested the university’s cultural diversity center gave Kaepernick an outlet to find his identity as an African American…

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