(Re)defining Race: Addressing the Consequences of the Law’s Failure to Define Race

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-23 14:34Z by Steven

(Re)defining Race: Addressing the Consequences of the Law’s Failure to Define Race

Cardozo Law Review
Volume 38, Number 5 (June 2017)
pages 1817-1877

Destiny Peery, Associate Professor of Law; Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (Courtesy)
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Modern lawmakers and courts have consistently avoided discussing how to define race for legal purposes even in areas of law tasked regularly with making decisions that require them. This failure to define what race is in legal contexts specifically requiring such determinations, and in the law more broadly, creates problems for multiple actors in the legal system, from plaintiffs deciding whether to pursue claims of discrimination, lawyers deciding how to argue cases, and legal decision-makers deciding cases where race is not only relevant but often central to the legal question at hand. This Article considers the hesitance to engage with questions of racial definition in law. Drawing on findings from social psychology to demonstrate how race can be defined in multiple ways that may produce different categorizations, this Article argues that the lack of racial definition is problematic because it leaves a space for multiple definitions to operate below the surface, creating not only problematic parallels to a bad legal past but also producing inconsistency. The consequences of this continued ambiguity is illustrated through an ongoing dilemma in Title VII anti-discrimination law, where the courts struggle to interpret race, illustrating the general problems created by the law’s refusal to define race, demonstrating the negative impact on individuals seeking relief and the confusion created as different definitions of race are applied to similar cases, producing different outcomes in similar cases. This Article concludes that definitions of race should be intentionally, rationally selected by lawmakers and/or the courts, creating racial definitions that make sense in the context of the law or policy requiring the use of race, that are tied to the reasons for implicating race in the law, and that are informed by evidence about how racial perception and categorization processes operate.

Table of Contents

    • A. Historical Colorblindness
    • B. Contemporary Colorblindness
    • C. Colorblindness in a Race-Conscious World
    • A. Historical Definitions
      • 1. Race Determination Cases
      • 2. Miscegenation Law
      • 3. Race Definition Statutes
    • B. Contemporary (Lack of) Definitions
      • 1. Refusals to Define
      • 2. Legacies of Definitions Past
    • A. Actual Versus Perceived Race, Ambiguous Plaintiffs, and Title VII
      • 1. Types of Misperceived Plaintiffs
      • 2. “Actual” vs. Perceived Race
    • B. Inconsistency and Confusion for the Courts
    • C. Determining Relevant Racial Definitions for Title VII
    • A. Social-Cognitive Origins of Race
      • 1. Cognitive Development and Use of Race
      • 2. Social Cognition: Perceptual and Conceptual Processes
        • a. Perceptual Process: Responses to Stimulus Characteristics
        • b. Perceptual Process: Contextual Effects
        • c. Conceptual Process: Use of Racial Labels
        • d. Conceptual Process: Use of Stereotypes and Prejudice
        • e. Interaction of Perceptual and Conceptual Processes

Read the entire article here.

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All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities Film Screening

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Live Events, United States, Videos on 2018-04-20 02:56Z by Steven

All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities Film Screening
Sie FilmCenter
2510 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80206
Wednesday, 2018-05-09, 19:00-21:30 MDT (Local Time)
Rebekah E. Henderson, Creator

World Premiere of the film project All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities. AMU is a short film that examines the experience of multiracial Americans and their families through a series of interviews. This project is intended to be the start of many more conversations about how we think about race. Following the film there will be a Q&A session with the project creators and some of the participants. This screening will be in honor of the late Dr. Gregory Diggs who provided the creative spark that launched this project last spring.

For more information, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.

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A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-12 19:46Z by Steven

A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
Los Angeles, California

Rob Buscher, Contributor

Ken Tanabe, left, and Jeff Chiba Stearns lead the Community Caucus at CMRS. (Photo: Rob Buscher)

Leaders in the multiracial movement gather to ‘Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine’ – a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the U.S.

Over the past few decades, the Japanese American community has become increasingly inclusive of multiracial and multiethnic individuals. However, for those of us who appear less phenotypically Japanese, it is sometimes difficult explaining our connection to people who are less familiar with interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Multiracial Japanese Americans are in many ways the direct result of institutionalized racism that stigmatized Japanese-ness in the 20th century. From the Alien Land Laws to the mass incarceration during World War II, the very existence of our Japanese immigrant ancestors was deemed objectionable. Is it any wonder that so many of our parents and grandparents would choose intermarriage with partners from other ethnic and racial communities?

Yet, despite the growing prevalence of mixed-race Japanese Americans, there are many outside our community who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence within the spectrum of Japanese American identity.

This is why it was so empowering to attend an event like the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, where nearly every one of the 200-plus participants were mixed race. While each individual has a totally different experience being mixed race (even within the same mixed community) the fact that multiracial folks were a super majority in this space meant that everyone had at least a basic understanding of the shared complexities surrounding our mixed identities.

Hosted at the University of Maryland on March 1-3, the 2018 conference’s theme was “Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine” — titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

Read the entire article here.

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hapa.me: 15 Years of the Hapa Project

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-10 20:51Z by Steven

hapa.me: 15 Years of the Hapa Project

Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012
2018-04-07 through 2018-10-28

The word “hapa” is the Hawaiian transliteration of the English word “half.” Much of its current usage derives from the phrase hapa haole, meaning “half white.” The phrase was originally coined by native Hawaiians to describe the mixed offspring resulting from encounters between islanders and White settlers. In subsequent years, hapa (or Hapa) has come into popular usage away from the islands, most frequently embraced by Asian/Pacific Islander Americans of mixed descent.

Artist Kip Fulbeck created The Hapa Project in 2001, traveling the country to photograph over 1,200 volunteers who identified as Hapa. The Hapa Project’s goal was to promote awareness and recognition of the millions of Hapas in the United States; to give voice to multiracial people and other previously ignored ethnic groups; to dispel myths around exoticism, hybrid superiority, and racial homogeneity; and to foster positive identity formation in multiracial children. In 2006, Fulbeck published the first book and premiered kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, the first museum exhibition to explicitly explore Hapa identity. That exhibition remains one of the most popular in the history of the Japanese American National Museum, setting attendance records before traveling throughout the US and abroad. The exhibition broke new ground in exploring identity through photographic portraits of mixed-race subjects, paired with the participants’ handwritten responses to the typically posed question, “What are you?”…

Read more here.

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New York Times journalist comes to talk about multiracial identity for Black History Month

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-10 03:17Z by Steven

New York Times journalist comes to talk about multiracial identity for Black History Month

Iowa State Daily

Naye Valenzuela

Journalist Walter Thompson-Hernandez came to Iowa State on Feb. 22 to speak to students about what it’s like being multicultural and speaks about how to define ones identity.
Megan Petzold/Iowa State Daily

As the lights went down and as the crowd hushes to a silence, a man gets up and walks to the podium. He opens his laptop and presents a PowerPoint. The first slide presents a graffiti on a blue brick wall in Los Angeles.

The graffiti says “black power, brown pride – Tupac,” which led to the man’s first question.

“What Tupac song is this from?” He asks the crowd.

A student jumps up right away and proudly states the song is “To Live and Die in L.A.”

Walter Thompson-Hernandez, the guest presenting, is shocked, to realize a lecture attendee in Ames was the first to get it right.

Most known for his work called “Blaxicans of L.A.,” where his photos and videos talk about people in South Central Los Angeles and their experience with their multiracial identity of being both black American and Mexican in the United States, Thompson-Hernandez talks about the history of Blaxicans and what could be the future of multiracial identities in the future…

Read the entire article here.

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Carlos Arias Vivas | DNA tests don’t define your identity

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-09 02:03Z by Steven

Carlos Arias Vivas | DNA tests don’t define your identity

The Daily Pennsylvanian
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Carlos Arias Vivas


Convos with Carlos | 23andMe results can’t change your upbringing

During one late night bonding session with my hallmates, one of them revealed to the group that they took a DNA test and discovered more about their background. Intrigued, I sought out to buy one of the kits for myself. The major players in this industry are Ancestry.com and 23andMe; both offer DNA tests that can shed light on your lineage as well as an optional health risks assessment.

Now, I knew that these tests are very expensive. For 23andMe, the basic ancestry service costs $99 and the Health + Ancestry service costs $199. I ended up choosing to go with 23andMe based on positive online reviews. Also, this was the brand my hallmate had used. Luckily, for me, there was a special Black Friday sale, so I snatched up the kit and waited for it to arrive at Amazon@Penn.

Before doing the spit-test that is required, I knew that I was going to be Latino. My parents are from Ecuador, and I imagined that my ancestry composition would show a high concentration of Latino ancestry. I never questioned my background because that was never a conversation I had with my family. After countless times of spitting in my tube, I entered my registration code to track my kit, sealed up the test tube in the box, and dropped off my sample at the post office.

This “waiting game” was an agonizing process. But even though I was excited to receive my results, I knew that the outcome wouldn’t dramatically change who I was. Whatever 23andMe had in store, my upbringing is already set in stone…

Read the enetire article here.

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Mixie and the Halfbreeds play opens tonight in Toronto

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2018-04-04 17:45Z by Steven

Mixie and the Halfbreeds play opens tonight in Toronto

Metro Morning with Matt Galloway
CBC Radio One

Matt Galloway, Host

We meet the director [Jenna Rodgers] of a new play opening tonight in Toronto and talk about what it means to be mixed-race in Canada right now.

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Mixie and the Halfbreeds

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events on 2018-04-04 15:13Z by Steven

Mixie and the Halfbreeds

fu-GEN Theater
157 Carlton Street, Suite 207
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2K3
Telephone: 416.920.2828
2018-04-03 through 2018-04-15

written by: adrienne wong & julie tamiko manning
directed by: jenna rodgers
featuring: zoe doyle & nessa trenton
choreography by: ming-bo lam
set & lighting design by: alison yanota
costume design by: jackie chau
sound design by: deanna h. choi
stage manager: bradley dunn
producer: jenna harris
production manager: suzie balogh

In Mixie and the Halfbreeds, two estranged neighbors are not as different as they think. Haunted by peroxide teeth and blondissima hair, Mixie and Trixie tackle a question that has plagued mankind through the ages: do blondes really have more fun? Mixie & the Halfbreeds invites the audience to explore complex and relevant issues of culture, identity, and race, and tackles questions of mixing in contemporary Canadian society and popular culture.

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Stanford scholar examines biracial youth’s political attitudes and self-identification factors

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Economics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 22:31Z by Steven

Stanford scholar examines biracial youth’s political attitudes and self-identification factors

Stanford News
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Alex Shashkevich, Humanities Public Information Officer
Stanford News Service

Political scientist Lauren Davenport examines multiracial groups in the United States and their political views in her new book. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

With the mixed-race population rapidly increasing in the United States, Stanford political scientist Lauren Davenport says it’s important to figure out what factors shape this group’s political attitudes and self-identification.

Biracial youth who identify with the races of both of their parents tend to be more socially progressive and liberal than their peers who are of a single racial background, according to new research from a Stanford political scientist.

The multiracial population is one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States, said Lauren Davenport, an assistant professor of political science. Curious to know more about how this group aligns politically, Davenport analyzed data from the U.S. Census and national surveys of college students. She also conducted in-depth interviews with biracial youth to explain what factors into their self-identification and shapes their political attitudes.

Davenport found that gender and socioeconomic status are among the strongest predictors of how a person of mixed race chooses to identify. Biracial women are more likely than men to identify with both of their races rather than one, and biracial people from more affluent backgrounds are more likely to identify as just white.

Davenport discusses her findings and their implications for America’s future in her new book, Politics Beyond Black and White, available March 29.

Stanford News Service interviewed Davenport about her research…

Read the entire interview here.

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Politics beyond Black and White: Biracial Identity and Attitudes in America

Posted in Books, Economics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-03-30 00:21Z by Steven

Politics beyond Black and White: Biracial Identity and Attitudes in America

Cambridge University Press
251 pages
Online ISBN: 978-1108694605
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1108425988
Paperback ISBN: 978-1108444330
DOI: 10.1017/9781108694605

Lauren D. Davenport, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Stanford University, California

The US is transforming into a multiracial society: today one-in-six new marriages are interracial and the multiple-race population is the fastest-growing youth group in the country. In Politics Beyond Black and White, Lauren D. Davenport examines the ascendance of multiracial identities and their implications for American society and the political landscape. Amassing unprecedented evidence, this book systematically investigates how race is constructed and how it influences political behavior. Professor Davenport shows that biracials’ identities are the product of family, interpersonal interactions, environment, and, most compellingly, gender stereotypes and social class. These identities, in turn, shape attitudes across a range of political issues, from affirmative action to same-sex marriage, and multiracial identifiers are shown to be culturally and politically progressive. But the book also reveals lingering prejudices against race-mixing, and that intermarriage and identification are highly correlated with economic prosperity. Overall findings suggest that multiracialism is poised to dismantle some racial boundaries, while reinforcing others.

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