Your Nationalism Can’t Contain Me

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-08-25 15:53Z by Steven

Your Nationalism Can’t Contain Me

The Nation
2016-08-25

Aminatta Forna


Aminatta Forna. Photo and Illustration by Jonathan Ring.

I’ve held three passports and claimed many identities, all at once. I am the future of citizenship.

Those of us who call ourselves British and were of age in 1990 will remember the Conservative politician Norman Tebbit and his so-called “cricket test.” Immigrants from India, Pakistan, and the West Indies, said Tebbit, should support teams from Britain and not from their countries of origin or ancestry. Anyone who didn’t shouldn’t consider themselves British. “Which side do they cheer for?” Tebbit asked. “It’s an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?”

I was reminded of Tebbit’s test on a recent visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The hotel bartender, hearing my accent, told me his favorite soccer team was Manchester United. I know little about soccer, but enough to know that Manchester United is a Premier League club, possibly the Premier League club, and attracts a global following—659 million fans, according to data provided by a market-research company hired by the team. The company reckoned there were 108 million Man U fans in China, 35 million in India, 33 million in Nigeria. Many treated the overall figure with skepticism, but nobody doubted that a soccer club based in a northern English city had achieved a massive international fan base. The young bartender was from Mexico, an immigrant to the United States, and had never been to Britain. I asked him why he supported the team, and he said he was a big fan of Wayne Rooney. He admitted, though, that a friend had recently been talking to him about another British team, Aston Villa, and he was thinking that he might switch allegiance…

…Way back, tribes were key to survival. Humans joined into groups, pooled labor, shared care of their offspring, protected each other from wild animals and from rival tribes. Tribes were about resources—maximizing, protecting, sharing. You were a member of your tribe by birthright, typically by being born to other members of the tribe and in the tribal lands. But when it was beneficial, the tribe welcomed more people in; at other times, it might decide that limiting membership was in its best interests. The Jim Crow “one drop” rule, by which a person’s race (in this case, read “tribe”) was determined according to whether they possessed a single drop of African blood, is a case in point…

…Anxieties about shared loyalties continue to vex, even concerning those not suspected of international terrorism. Writing in The Week in January 2015, the columnist and Reason Foundation researcher Shikha Dalmia said: “Today, a new twist on this old worry has emerged. It concerns so-called transnational immigrants like me who like to maintain what Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, whose parents are Indian émigrés, last week derisively called ‘hyphenated identities.’ If you want to be Indian, stay in India, advised Jindal, who himself gave up Hinduism, the religion of his birth, and embraced Christianity.”

Like Dalmia, I self-identify as belonging to more than one culture. I have fought for at least a decade with newspapers about how my national and ethnic origins should be described. I reject the hyphen (the term “hyphenated identity” was first struck by Horace Kallen in his 1915 essay “Democracy Versus the Melting Pot”), which looks far too much like a minus sign to me: black minus British, Irish minus American. Always, I ask to be described as British and Sierra Leonean. I did this after many years of being described in various ways: British-born Sierra Leonean, British of Sierra Leonean origin, or—erasing my Scots mother from the picture altogether—simply as Sierra Leonean. (Notably, never have I been described by British papers as Scottish.) But I am both. I belong to both worlds; not just culturally but physically, I move between them. I have family in both, own property in both, have paid taxes in both. I now live in the United States, where I also pay taxes. As a so-called transnational, I belong to a growing class of people…

Read the entire article here.

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Essentialism and Racial Bias Jointly Contribute to the Categorization of Multiracial Individuals

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-24 22:03Z by Steven

Essentialism and Racial Bias Jointly Contribute to the Categorization of Multiracial Individuals

Psychological Science
Volume 26, Number 10 (October 2015)
pages 1639-1645
DIO: 10.1177/0956797615596436

Arnold K. Ho, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Organizational Studies
University of Michigan

Steven O. Roberts, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan

Susan A. Gelman, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
University of Michigan

Categorizations of multiracial individuals provide insight into the psychological mechanisms driving social stratification, but few studies have explored the interplay of cognitive and motivational underpinnings of these categorizations. In the present study, we integrated research on racial essentialism (i.e., the belief that race demarcates unobservable and immutable properties) and negativity bias (i.e., the tendency to weigh negative entities more heavily than positive entities) to explain why people might exhibit biases in the categorization of multiracial individuals. As theorized, racial essentialism, both dispositional (Study 1) and experimentally induced (Study 2), led to the categorization of Black-White multiracial individuals as Black, but only among individuals evaluating Black people more negatively than White people. These findings demonstrate how fundamental cognitive and motivational biases interact to influence the categorization of multiracial individuals.

Read or purchase the article here.

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On passing, wishing for darker skin, and finding your people: A conversation between two mulattos

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-08-23 21:41Z by Steven

On passing, wishing for darker skin, and finding your people: A conversation between two mulattos

Fusion
2015-06-15

Collier Meyerson

In 10th grade, I auditioned for the role of Julie in the musical Show Boat, one of the most famous portrayals of the tragic mulatto trope. I was cast, instead, as Queenie, the mammy. I deserved the part of Julie. I had a good singing voice. But there were no black people in my school to play the part of Queenie.

My first personal tragic mulatto moment.

Playing the mammy in Show Boat made me realize something my black mother had always told me and I never believed: the world did not see me as Julie, trying to manage two different backgrounds. It saw me as black. Specifically, white people saw me as black.

On Wednesday, I spoke with Mat Johnson, the author of Loving Day, a new novel that explores the mulatto experience—one that Johnson sees as a subset of the black experience. And one that the United States didn’t recognize until 2000, the first year the Census collected data on people of more than one race…

CM: I don’t personally pass as white. And I’ve always wondered about others who can. Do you ever choose to intentionally pass as white?

MJ: Every single time I get pulled over by a cop. And I feel guilty as I’m doing it, but you have never met a whiter man than me pulled over by a police officer. I mean, I sound like Gomer Pyle.

When I moved to New York I wondered what would happen if I stopped playing up my black identity. And I basically just let that go. I didn’t cut my hair in a way to look blacker. Didn’t have facial hair in a way that made me look blacker. I wore clothes that were more ethnically generic, just generally bland preppy. And I went through this whole period. It was maybe like a month where I just let that disappear…

Read the entire interview here.

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“Yuck, you disgust me!” Affective bias against interracial couples

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-19 12:10Z by Steven

“Yuck, you disgust me!” Affective bias against interracial couples

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume 68, January 2017
pages 68–77
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.05.008

Allison L. Skinner, Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Washington

Caitlin M. Hudac, Senior Post-doctoral Fellow
University of Washington

Highlights

  • Bias against interracial romance is correlated with self-reported feelings of disgust.
  • Interracial couples elicit a neural disgust response among observers – as indicated by increased insula activation.
  • Manipulating state disgust leads to implicit dehumanization of interracial couples.
  • Findings suggest that meaningful social units (e.g., couples) influence person perception.

The current research expands upon the sparse existing literature on the nature of bias against interracial couples. Study 1 demonstrates that bias against interracial romance is correlated with disgust. Study 2 provides evidence that images of interracial couples evoke a neural disgust response among observers – as indicated by increased insula activation relative to images of same-race couples. Consistent with psychological theory indicating that disgust leads to dehumanization, Study 3 demonstrates that manipulating disgust leads to implicit dehumanization of interracial couples. Overall, the current findings provide evidence that interracial couples elicit disgust and are dehumanized relative to same-race couples. These findings are particularly concerning, given evidence of antisocial reactions (e.g., aggression, perpetration of violence) to dehumanized targets. Findings also highlight the role of meaningful social units (e.g., couples) in person perception, an important consideration for psychologists conducting social cognition research.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Multiracialism and Its Discontents: A Comparative Analysis of Asian-White and Black-White Multiracials

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-03 19:25Z by Steven

Multiracialism and Its Discontents: A Comparative Analysis of Asian-White and Black-White Multiracials

Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
July 2016
178 pages
6 1/2 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4985-0975-6
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4985-0976-3

Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York

This book addresses the contemporary complexities of race, racial identity, and the persistence of racism. Multiracialism is often heralded as a breakthrough in racial reconciliation; some even go so far as to posit that the U.S. will become so racially mixed that racism will diminish. However, this comparative analysis of multiracials who identify as part-Asian and part-White and those who identify as part-Black and part-White indicates vastly different experiences of what it means to be multiracial. The book also attends to a nuanced understanding of how racism and inequality operate when an intersectional approach of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation is taken into account. It takes a focused look at how multiracialism is shaped by racism, but ultimately reveals a broader statement about race in the U.S. today: that there is no post-racial state and any identity or movement that attempts to address racial inequality must contend with that reality.

Contents

  • Chapter 1: Multiracialism: A New Era
  • Chapter 2: A Historical Primer: Asians and Blacks in the United States
  • Chapter 3: The Synthesis of a Multiracial Identity
  • Chapter 4: Seeing Racism, Responding to Racism
  • Chapter 5: White Enough and Salient Blackness
  • Chapter 6: The Matrix: Complicating the Color Line
  • Conclusion: Multiracialism and Its Discontents
  • Epilogue: Multiracials Give Advice
  • Appendix: Participants in the Study
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Biracial Current and Former Military Dependents Needed

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2016-07-31 00:43Z by Steven

Biracial Current and Former Military Dependents Needed

New Mexico State University
2016-07-30

Charlotte Williams, M.A.
Approved IRB Number #13184

My name is Charlotte Williams and I am a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at New Mexico State University. I would like to invite you participate in a study that aims to explore growing up biracial in a military community. Participants will report their experiences and their perspectives regarding their experience growing up biracial in a community without many others like themselves and explore how their racial identity developed. If selected to interview, interviews will consist of 60-120 minute sessions via phone. If interested in participation please follow the link listed below to complete the pre-interview screening. The online screening should take approximately 20 minutes of your time. There are no major risks involved in the participation of this study; however, participants may experience possible discomfort when discussing experiences of growing up, their racial identity, or their community. As a result of your participation, you will help in gaining a better understanding of biracial identity development in a military community.

To participate in the study, please visit the survey and provide your contact information and demographics here.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Charlotte Williams, M.A. at wilcha08@nmsu.edu or Dr. Luis Vazquez, Associate Vice President of Research Integrity at (575) 646-2481 or at mailto:lvazquez@nmsu.edu.

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The Evolution of My Mixed Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-24 00:08Z by Steven

The Evolution of My Mixed Race Identity

NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
2016-07-11

Jeanette Snider, Assistant Director in the Undergraduate Program
Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland

I recently took an intergroup dialogue-training course for administrators and graduate students interested in leading a related course offered at my university. We were ushered through a number of activities to explore our own life experiences and interrogate any biases we might bring to our class as facilitators. One of the exercises that particularly stood out to me during the training was the “Racialized Life Map” worksheet. We were asked to record the first 5 experiences we can recall in which we encountered or recognized ourselves as racialized beings.

As a Black biracial (African American and German American) woman several moments came to mind. I can remember in kindergarten, being asked if I was adopted by my classmates after my father came in for career day. I recall getting strange stares from my father’s coworkers on take-your-daughter-to-work-day or even being called the “N word” by a white classmate in 6th grade after school.

The memories continue…my first recollection of being tokenized by my middle school history teacher occurred when she asked me to speak on behalf of African Americans in class when the topics of slavery and the Civil Rights movement arose. As a high school senior, I vividly recall my guidance counselor telling me I had a strong chance of getting admitted to my top college choice, an elite, small public university in southern Virginia, because I am black. I was constantly socialized and treated as an African American woman. You see, in my mind, I didn’t have a choice to be biracial. Based on the aforementioned interactions along with a lifetime of experiences, I have identified as Black for most of my life. This, often conscious decision is based on people’s perceptions of my racial identity…

Read the entire article here.

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A JewAsian July 4th

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-07-22 15:03Z by Steven

A JewAsian July 4th

The ProsenPeople: Exploring the world of Jewish Literature
Jewish Book Council
2016-07-22

Helen Kiyong Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Samuel Leavitt, Associate Dean of Students
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Earlier this week, Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Leavitt determined the three takeaways on raising Jewish-Asian families worth sharing from their research for their coauthored book JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews. They are blogging for Jewish Book Council all week as part of the Visiting Scribe series here on The ProsenPeople.

The publication of JewAsian, coming just prior to the 4th of July holiday, provides a unique lens through which to observe the United States and try to learn about the state of our nation in 2016. Indeed, the way that young mixed-race Jews think about themselves allows us to make larger observations about our society.

On one hand, we are in the hot season of a mean-spirited presidential campaign in which race and diversity are focal points for voters’ anger and activism. On the other, on this final Independence Day during the administration of America’s first mixed-race President, the multicultural cast of Hamilton is on magazine covers and red carpet runways, challenging us to think in new ways about our nation’s founding story and current identity. Moreover, the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the University of Texas affirmative action admission plan reminds us that we cannot avoid taking race into consideration when we attempt to describe America.

Writing JewAsian helped us confront the central role that race plays for the young people at the center of our investigation. Like our nation, our mixed-race Jewish interviewees feel both the stress and the optimism of their complex identities…

Read the entire article here.

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How white parents talk with their black and biracial kids about race

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-21 18:54Z by Steven

How white parents talk with their black and biracial kids about race

The Brood
89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio
Pasadena, California
2016-07-19

How does “the talk” about race and policing play out when a parent is white and their children are black or biracial?

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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How parents oppress their mixed race children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2016-07-21 15:22Z by Steven

How parents oppress their mixed race children

The F-Word Blog: Contemporary UK Feminism
2016-07-20

Nicola Codner
Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

As a mixed race woman, whenever I come across articles by monoracial parents about their mixed race children, I tend to get a cold feeling of dread of inside. These articles seem to be in abundance these days in mixed race online communities. It’s very rare that I read one that doesn’t bring up numerous red flags, regardless of the race of the parent who is writing. I do seem to come across more articles written by white mothers, interestingly; however, this only increases my discomfort because as white people don’t experience racial oppression the scope for mistakes automatically broadens in these articles.

Parents of mixed race children tend to write as though they are authorities on mixed race identity, when in most cases it’s obvious they haven’t done any research outside of their own personal (often biased) observations of their children…

Read the entire article here.

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