Have That Awkward Conversation About Race – And Yes, Whiteness Too

Posted in Articles, Audio, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-27 01:42Z by Steven

Have That Awkward Conversation About Race – And Yes, Whiteness Too

KUOW 94.9 FM
Seattle, Washington
2014-12-24

Jamala Henderson, Morning Newscaster/Reporter

Protests over high profile police shootings have renewed calls to discuss police treatment of African-Americans – and talk about race relations in general. But how do we have those difficult and often awkward conversations? KUOW’s Jamala Henderson put that question to University of Washington Professor Ralina Joseph. Highlights from the interview:

How do I talk about race with family and friends?

I tell them you need to just start talking. It needs to be a conversation about what does your family look like? What does your family talk about? What are the silences that you have? There’s not one simple answer. The answer is honestly engaging in dialog engaging in conversation.

What makes race so difficult to talk about?

Some people refuse to name people by race and ethnicity for example in thinking that that’s a progressive move that shows to them they’re colorblind and they’re above labeling people.

But I think that’s actually part of the problem. Pretending that people are all the same, that we don’t see difference, doesn’t actually make disproportionality go away. It just means that we don’t actually have the tools to be able to talk about describe race…

Read the interview here. Listen to the interview here.

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The Born Identity: Race & Identity in the Multiracial Community

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-26 21:28Z by Steven

The Born Identity: Race & Identity in the Multiracial Community

Districtly Speaking
Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
3160 16th Street, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20010
Thursday, 2015-01-29, 18:30-20:00 EST (Local Time)

“Race is not a universal concept — the definitions we go by are often arbitrary, uniquely American and undergo dramatic shifts from one generation to the next….perhaps it’s time to let multiracial people steer the conversation, instead of constantly having other who lack their lived experience define what they are, what they’re not and what they can be.” —Zak Cheney-Rice, Identities.Mic

“I self-identify as African American… that’s how I’m treated and that’s how I’m viewed. I’m proud of it.” —President Barack Obama

Join us on Thursday, January 29 for our first town hall of the year examining race and identity in the multiracial community. Our panelists will discuss growing up in a multiracial family, how they choose to identify themselves and how the biracial/multiracial story is being told through pop culture, the media, academia and the Obama Presidency. Got a question for our panelists? Submit your questions when you RSVP! Follow the conversation leading up to the town hall on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! #DSMultiracial

Moderator:

Jonelle Henry, Journalist, Host & Conversation Starter; Founder & Host
Districtly Speaking

Panelists:

  • Joline Collins, Training Coordinator, Spitfire Strategies
  • Alex Laughlin, Social Media Journalist / Audience Engagement Manager, National Journal
  • Steven Riley, Founder & Creator, MixedRaceStudies.org
  • Janea West, Journalist & Cultural Critic
  • Patrick Wilborn, STEM Instructor/Tutor Instructor, College Tribe

For more information, click here.

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Is the Defendant White or Not?

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-26 21:26Z by Steven

Is the Defendant White or Not?

The New York Times
2015-01-23

Nour Kteily, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Sarah Cotterill, Doctoral Student
Department of Psychology
Harvard University

AS jury selection continues in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the defendant in the Boston Marathon bombings, so does debate about what would constitute a fair and impartial jury. Questions have been raised about the race, gender, age and religiosity of prospective jurors; about the effect of holding the trial in Boston; and about the legal requirement that the jurors be open to the possibility of sentencing the defendant to death.

But recent research of ours suggests that another, largely overlooked factor may also play an important role in the trial: whether the jurors perceive Mr. Tsarnaev as white.

No sooner did the F.B.I. release photographs of Mr. Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, three days after the bombings, than questions arose about the racial identity of the suspects. (“Are the Tsarnaev Brothers White?” ran a headline in Salon.) Although neither brother matched the visual prototype of a white American, both hailed from the Caucasus, the region that gave rise to the term “Caucasian,” and both had lived in America for many years…

Read the entire article here.

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Moving beyond monoracial categories

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-26 20:42Z by Steven

Moving beyond monoracial categories

The Daily: of the University of Washington
2015-01-25

Emily Muirhead

I once had a professor claim that in 50 years, everyone will be so racially “mixed” and therefore ambiguous, no one will be able to distinguish “what someone is,” so race won’t matter much anymore.

As a biracial individual who has been asked “What are you?” more times than not, race does matter. It matters more than many people choose to believe. Despite the fact that racial categories are arbitrary social constructs, race still has very real personal and public implications aside from blatant racism — which seems to be the only times race is actually is talked about.

Categorizing someone into a racial category upon meeting them happens instantaneously. For most people this isn’t problematic because it’s merely a harmless form of observation, but sometimes, regardless of intent, a person’s race negatively or positively changes how someone is perceived and interacted with.

Ralina Joseph, associate professor in the communication, ethnic studies, and women’s studies departments, and a woman of color, has experienced racially rooted assumptions when it comes to teaching. She explained how on a number of occasions on the first day of class while standing alongside a white male TA, students will wrongly address the TA as “professor,” likely due to the image that comes to mind when one thinks of a person in this profession — i.e., a white man.

Being half-Japanese and half-Caucasian (predominantly Scottish), I straddle two sides of a racial spectrum, one foot in an American minority and the other in the majority. I’ve even been called “exotic,” a Eurocentric term that labels me as a sort of racial commodity against which monoracial individuals may be measured. To some, my whiteness blended with Asian features automatically places me into the irritatingly vague racial category of “half-white, half-something,” but there is much more to my identity than that…

Read the entire article here.

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The Superiority of the Mulatto

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-26 00:29Z by Steven

The Superiority of the Mulatto

American Journal of Sociology
Volume 23, Number 1 (July, 1917)
pages 83-106

E. B. Reuter (1880-1946)

Perhaps the most significant fact regarding the Negro people in America is the degree to which the race has undergone differen- tiation during the period of contact with European civilization. From the low and relatively uniform state of West African culture there has come to be a degree of cultural heterogeneity not else- where observable among a primitive people. While the bulk of the race in America is as yet not many steps removed from the African standards, there has nevertheless arisen a considerable middle class, which conforms in most essential respects to the conventional middle-class standards of American people, as well as a small intellectual group, some members of which have succeeded in coming within measurable distance of the best models of European culture. Within the racial group in America at the present time there are represented the antipodal degrees of human culture: at the one extreme are the standards of West Africa; at the other, those of Western Europe.

A study of the more advanced groups shows a great preponderance of individuals of mixed blood and a dearth, almost an entire absence, of Negroes of pure blood. In the numerous lists of exceptional Negroes, published from time to time by Negroes as well as by white students of race matters, there is a regular recurrence of a few names; the various lists are virtually repetitions. The dozen or score of men everywhere mentioned as having attained some degree of eminence are, in all but one or two cases, men of more Caucasian than Negro blood. In a recently published compilation of one hundred and thirty-nine of the supposedly best-known American Negroes there are not more than four men of pure Negro blood, and one of these, at least, owes his prominence to the fact of his black skin and African features rather than to any demonstrated native superiority. Of the twelve Negroes on whom the degree of doctor of philosophy has been conferred by reputable American universities, eleven at least were men of mixed blood. Among the professional classes of the race the mulattoes outclass the black Negroes perhaps ten to one, and the ratio is yet higher if only men of real attainments be considered. In medicine the ratio is probably fifteen to one, in literature3 the ratio is somewhat higher, on the stage it is probably thirteen to one, in music the ratio is at least twelve to one. In art no American Negro of full blood has so far found a place among the successful. In politics, the ministry, and other occupations in which success is in no way conditioned by education or ability the proportion of mulattoes to black Negroes is somewhat less, though still high. In politics the ratio is at least seven to one, and even in the ministry it is not less than five to one. The successful business men of the race are in nearly all cases men of a bi-racial ancestry. Among the successful men in every field of human effort which Negroes have entered there is the same disproportion between the numbers of pure- and mixed-blood individuals…

Read the entire article here.

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Tracee Ellis Ross: ‘That Hurt Like the Bejesus’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-01-25 20:23Z by Steven

Tracee Ellis Ross: ‘That Hurt Like the Bejesus’

The New York Times
2015-01-22


Tracee Ellis Ross Credit Pej Behdarvand for The New York Times

The actress talks with Jenna Wortham about defining her own sense of beauty and humor.

It’s awards-show season. Do you like going to the shows? I didn’t actually go to the Golden Globes, but I do love awards-show season. It means lots of pretty dresses — and it’s even more fun when you are nominated.

The show you’re on, “black-ish,” has gotten a fair amount of critical praise. Do you know if the show has been picked up for a second season? No. Having been in the business for a while, I never like to look forward. You kind of enjoy what’s happening while it’s happening and leave the rest up to God, the angels, the trees, the stars — whatever you want to call it.

I love how women have responded to you in particular, especially the way you wear your hair out in this gorgeous storm cloud. A storm cloud? Is that what you said?

I may have said that, yes. That’s lovely. Women are asked to put forward, to a certain extent, a mask. And for black women, that has taken on greater significance, because the standard of beauty has not necessarily had the space for different definitions of beauty. I’m trying to find my own version of what makes me feel beautiful. On “black-ish,” there’s a lot that has to be done working around my hair, in terms of scheduling…

Read the entire interview here.

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Adopting The Asian in ‘Caucasian': Korean Adoptees and White Privilege

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-25 01:19Z by Steven

Adopting The Asian in ‘Caucasian': Korean Adoptees and White Privilege

Hyphen: Asian America Unabridged
2015-01-20

Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut

My father remembers that when I first arrived, he’d wake up to me calling out “Abojee! Abojee!” in the middle of the night, the Korean word for father. As a little girl, those nights in my new home in America were filled with angst that if I fell asleep at night, I might wake up utterly alone. I fought against the tide of sleep until I was secure in the knowledge that one of my parents was still at my side. I remember my mother would often sing me to sleep with Christmas carols, after running out of lullabies.

I was around two years old when I was adopted. I say ‘around’ because my date of birth and name on my official adoption documents were most likely fabricated by social workers at the White Lily orphanage in Daegu, South Korea in 1979. On those papers, it says that I was “abandoned,” without explanation nor names of my biological parents; for many Korean adoptees, this is the norm. Many of us will never know our real stories because those early erasures of our original families were not only commonplace but were created to make us into social orphans, a profitable industry. Many of us were the children of unwed mothers who faced the stigma of raising us alone and unsupported by the state. Caught in precarious social and economic circumstances, their only option was to relinquish their children to wealthy, white and European parents who could provide “a better life” with the promise of a home, education, and cultural capital.

I feel compelled to return to this giant chimera of adoption because it continues to haunt me. Equivalent to the giant elephant in the room, the chimera represents everything that is unspeakable and messy and ambivalent. Like many Korean adoptees, I grew up in a liberal, white family, in a predominantly white town, and came of age during the years of neoliberal multiculturalism in the 1980s to 1990s. I didn’t realize it then, but my discomfort as a hypervisible minority in my family was the direct result of being raised in a climate of colorblind attitudes when international adoption was part of a continuing trend of the white American savior complex. I was taught to believe race wasn’t important, when the real reason was that nobody knew how to discuss racism and micro aggressions, especially the social workers at adoption agencies…

Read the entire article here.

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TCK TALENT: Gene Bell-Villada, literary critic, Latin Americanist, novelist, translator and TCK memoirist

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-24 20:22Z by Steven

TCK TALENT: Gene Bell-Villada, literary critic, Latin Americanist, novelist, translator and TCK memoirist

The Displaced Nation: A home for international creatives
2015-01-21

Elizabeth (Lisa) Liang


Professor Gene Bell-Villada (own photo)

Elizabeth (Lisa) Liang is here with her first column of 2015. For those who haven’t been following: she is building up quite a collection of stories about Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs) who work in creative fields. Lisa herself is a prime example. A Guatemalan-American of Chinese-Spanish-Irish-French-German-English descent, she has developed her own one-woman show about growing up as a TCK, which is receiving rave reviews wherever it goes.

—ML Awanohara

Happy New Year, readers! Today I’m honored to be interviewing Gene Bell-Villada, author of the Third Culture Kid memoir Overseas American: Growing Up Gringo in the Tropics and co-editor of my first published essay in the TCK/global-nomad anthology: Writing Out of Limbo. Gene grew up in Latin America and “repatriated” to the USA for college and beyond; he is a Professor of Romance Languages (Spanish), Latin American Literature, and Modernism at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is also a published writer of fiction and nonfiction.

Welcome to The Displaced Nation, Gene. Like me, you’re an Adult Third Culture Kid of mixed heritage. Since you were born in Haiti and grew up in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Venezuela as the son of an Asian-Polynesian mother from Hawaii and a WASP father from Kansas, your identity development was complex and nuanced, as you make clear in your memoir. Can you tell us how you identify yourself these days?

Like the title of my memoir, I identify myself as an Overseas American, of mixed WASP and Chinese-Filipino-Hawaiian ethnicity, with a Caribbean-Hispanic upbringing. I wrote my memoir in great measure to disentangle and explain that background—for myself and others! More broadly, in my middle 20s, it dawned on me that, by default, I happened to be a cosmopolitan, and that I couldn’t feel “local” even if I wished to. And so, I set out to make the best of that cosmopolitanism and build on it…

Read the entire interview here.

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Md. Gov. Larry Hogan and his Korean-born wife, Yumi, are a historic first couple

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-01-24 19:45Z by Steven

Md. Gov. Larry Hogan and his Korean-born wife, Yumi, are a historic first couple

The Washington Post
2015-01-23

Michael S. Rosenwald, Staff Writer

She was a painter displaying her abstract landscapes, a single mother of three daughters who’d grown up on a chicken farm in South Korea. He was a wealthy bachelor with more interest in politics than art who had stopped by the show in suburban Maryland on a whim.

His eyes didn’t gravitate to the paintings.

“I was more interested in the artist than the art,” he said.

He gave her his phone number, but she never called. Still, he didn’t give up. They eventually met again, fell in love and married several years later, in 2004.

They made history this week, moving into the Maryland governor’s mansion as a mixed-race couple in an increasingly diverse state — and as novices in wielding political power. Larry Hogan, a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, had never held elected office before he won a stunning upset in November…

Read the entire article here.

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More Than a Knapsack: The White Supremacy Flower as a New Model for Teaching Racism

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-01-23 18:55Z by Steven

More Than a Knapsack: The White Supremacy Flower as a New Model for Teaching Racism

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Volume 1, Number 1
pages 192-197
DOI: 10.1177/2332649214561660

Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina

This article suggests that White supremacy versus White privilege provides a clearer and more accurate conceptual understanding of how racism operates, evolves, and sustains itself. This article suggests a specific model for teaching White supremacy, the White supremacy flower, and describes the application and benefits of the model.

Teaching race and racism, particularly to undergraduate students who are often learning this type of information for the first time, can be especially trying for professors (Jakubowski 2001; Lucal 1996; Moulder 1997). This difficulty has spawned many teaching articles that address race but relatively few that provide instruction on teaching racism (Khanna and Harris 2009; Kwenda 2012; Sharp and Wade 2011). Furthermore, while the articles that do suggest strategies for teaching racism are insightful, most center on the concepts of “White privilege” or “advantage” as the guides for conversation (Gillespie, Ashbaugh, and Defiore 2010; Pence and Fields 1999; Wooddell and Henry 2005). Thus, some scholarship is attentive to teaching race but neglects racism while others focus on White privilege at the expense of White supremacy. This article addresses both of these concerns by teaching racism using a particular model of White supremacy.

In this article, I first review how and why White privilege and White supremacy should not be conflated. Second, I argue that White supremacy should replace White privilege as the primary concept to teach racism. Third, I propose a specific model for teaching White supremacy, the White supremacy flower model…


Figure 1. The White supremacy flower model.

Read the entire article here.

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