Light-Skinned Latinos Tend To Vote More Republican. Be Careful How You Interpret That.

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-09-19 18:14Z by Steven

Light-Skinned Latinos Tend To Vote More Republican. Be Careful How You Interpret That.

Latino Voices
The Huffington Post

Roque Planas, Editor

Lighter-skinned Latinos are more likely to vote Republican, according to polling data analyzed by the Washington Post.

The data highlights rarely recognized racial divisions within the Latino community that have perplexed the U.S. Census Bureau and tripped up mass media. But don’t expect it to change too much about the way you understand the Latino vote.

Writing for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog on Wednesday, professor Spencer Piston analyzed a sample of Latino citizens interviewed for the 2012 American National Election Studies. Interviewers measured the respondents’ skin color.

…The predictions Piston makes based on the data, however, are questionable. He writes that the analysis should make us rethink projections suggesting that the growth of the Latino electorate will dilute the Republican vote, which are based on the premise that Latinos tend to vote Democrat. …

…As a multiracial ethnicity, Latinos view race differently than non-Latinos because so many Hispanics come from a mixed-race background. While racial division and discrimination are undoubtedly part of the Latino experience, Latinos have less fixed ideas about race than non-Latino Americans. Our communities, our social groups and our families are racially mixed in a way that doesn’t exist to the same degree among non-Hispanic white and black Americans. …

Read the entire article here.

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Challenger Upends Brazilian Race for Presidency

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Women on 2014-09-17 17:52Z by Steven

Challenger Upends Brazilian Race for Presidency

The New York Times

Simon Romero, Brazil Bureau Chief

RIO DE JANEIRO — When Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva were both cabinet ministers, they clashed on everything from building nuclear power plants to licensing huge dams in the Amazon.

Ms. Rousseff came out on top, emerging as the political heir to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and ultimately succeeding him as president. But she now finds herself locked in a heated race with Ms. Silva, an environmental icon who is jockeying for the lead in polling ahead of the Oct. 5 election as an insurgent candidate repudiating the power structure she helped assemble.

Ms. Silva’s upending of the presidential race is a symbol of the antiestablishment sentiment that has roiled Brazil, including anxiety over a sluggish economy and fatigue with political corruption. Her rising popularity also taps into shifts in society like the rising clout of evangelical Christian voters and a growing disquiet with policies that have raised incomes while doing little to improve the quality of life in Brazilian cities.

“Marina differs from other politicians” in this election “in that she came almost from nothing,” said Sonia Regina Gonçalo, 34, a janitor, referring to Ms. Silva, who was born into extreme poverty in the far reaches of the Amazon. “She’s the ideal candidate for this time in Brazil.”

Thrust to the fore after her running mate, Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash in August, Ms. Silva, 56, has a background with few parallels at the highest levels of Brazilian politics, allowing her to resonate with voters across the country.

If elected, she would be Brazil’s first black president, a milestone in a country where most people now identify themselves as black or mixed race, but where political power is still concentrated in the hands of whites…

Read the entire article here.

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In Korea, Adoptees Fight To Change Culture That Sent Them Overseas

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-09-09 19:53Z by Steven

In Korea, Adoptees Fight To Change Culture That Sent Them Overseas

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
National Public Radio

Steve Haruch

In the Gwanak-gu neighborhood of Seoul, there is a box.

Attached to the side of a building, the box resembles a book drop at a public library, only larger, and when nights are cold, the interior is heated. The Korean lettering on its front represents a phoneticized rendering of the English words “baby box.” It was installed by Pastor Lee Jon-rak to accept abandoned infants. When its door opens, an alarm sounds, alerting staff to the presence of a new orphan.

The box, and the anonymity it provides, has become a central symbol in a pitched debate over Korean adoption policy. Two years ago last month, South Korea’s Special Adoption Law was amended to add accountability and oversight to the adoption process. The new law requires mothers to wait seven days before relinquishing a child, to get approval from a family court, and to register the birth with the government. The SAL also officially enshrines a new attitude toward adoption: “The Government shall endeavor to reduce the number of Korean children adopted abroad,” the law states, “as part of its duties and responsibilities to protect children.”

In the years after the Korean War, more than 160,000 Korean children — the population of a midsize American city — were sent to adoptive homes in the West. What began as a way to quietly remove mixed-race children who had been fathered by American servicemen soon gained momentum as children crowded the country’s orphanages amid grinding postwar poverty. Between 1980 and 1989 alone, more than 65,000 Korean children were sent overseas.

For the first time in South Korean history, the country’s adoption law has been rewritten by some of the very people who have lived its consequences. A law alone can’t undo deeply held cultural beliefs, and even among adoptees, opinion is divided over how well the SAL’s effects match its aims. The question of how to reckon with this fraught legacy remains unsettled and raw…

Read the entire article here.

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“No Rainbow Families” and the Problem with Race-Based Reproduction Policies

Posted in Articles, Canada, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-09-08 21:14Z by Steven

“No Rainbow Families” and the Problem with Race-Based Reproduction Policies

Impact Ethics: Making a Difference in Bioethics

Catherine Clune-Taylor, Doctoral Candidate
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta, Canada

Catherine Clune-Taylor suggests that we should target institutional and interpersonal racism rather than restrict individual reproductive choice

A July 2014 Calgary Herald article revealed that Calgary’s lone fertility clinic, Regional Fertility Program, restricts patients’ use of sperm donors to those of the same race. This “no rainbow families” policy received both national and international coverage. The media attention prompted the clinic to release a statement on its website, claiming that the policy was discarded a year ago (though the clinic had failed to update its website to that effect). Furthermore, the clinic maintained that the views represented in the article were solely those of the physician interviewed, Dr. Cal Greene, who apparently was unaware of the clinic’s change in practice. This is a dubious claim, given Dr. Greene’s position as the clinic’s administrative director and the full transcripts of his interviews with the article’s author, Jessica Barrett.

This news highlights the need for improved oversight of, and regulation for, fertility clinics. In addition, news of this clinic’s policy has given rise to complex, sometimes heated discussions among many about race, racism and good parenting.

As someone who is mixed-race, I was surprised to hear support for Dr. Greene’s arguments in social media from non-white and mixed-race persons. They sympathized with Dr. Greene’s arguments that parents and children should have an ethnic or cultural connection (presumably secured via shared race). They specifically cited the many experiences of interpersonal and institutional racism they had experienced growing up as non-white or mixed-race. They reasoned that a same-race parent would be better able to prepare their children for, and support them through, such experiences, and that it was better to not bring a mixed-race child into a racist society if it could be avoided…

Read the entire article here.

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Marina Silva: The political dynamo who has electrified the election season and wants to be Brazil’s first black woman president

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-09-08 20:57Z by Steven

Marina Silva: The political dynamo who has electrified the election season and wants to be Brazil’s first black woman president

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Marina Silva: a pioneer in politics

By Primeiros Negros, José Eustáquio Diniz Alves, and Luciana Lima

The first black woman candidate to the Presidency of the Republic, Maria Osmarina Silva, known as Marina Silva, comes from an unusual trajectory that began in February 8, 1958, in a place called Breu Velho in the seringais (rubber plantations) of the state of Acre, seventy miles from downtown Rio Branco, the capital of Acre. She remained there until at age 16, still illiterate, to earning international recognition in defense of the environment, becoming minister and postulated becoming president of Brazil.

Her parents Pedro Augusto and Maria Augusta had eleven children, of whom only eight survived. She hunted, fished, worked as a maid and became literate only after 16 years of age. She graduated in History from the Federal University of Acre. She is married to Fábio Vaz de Lima and has four children, Shalom, Danilo, Moara and Mayara.

In four years, Marina went from illiteracy to the vestibular (college entrance exam). She graduated with a degree in History and postgraduate in Psychoanalysis…

…Marina Silva is a mestiça (person of mixed race) and brings in her blood the three colors/”races” that form the Brazilian people: índios (Indians), brancos (whites) and pretos (blacks). By definition of the IBGE, Marina can be classified as a person of parda (brown) color. The grouping of parda and preta color is defined as the população negra (black population), according to the methodology adopted by most Brazilian researchers. The negro is the sum of people who self-declare themselves “pardas” and “pretas”. So in terms of “race”, the “indiazinha” (little Indian) Marina can be defined as cabocla (of mixed indigenous decent), mulata or negra

Read the entire article here.

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Will Brazil elect Marina Silva as the world’s first Green president?

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Women on 2014-09-05 19:17Z by Steven

Will Brazil elect Marina Silva as the world’s first Green president?

The Guardian/The Observer

Jonathan Watts, Latin America Correspondent

Born into a poor, mixed-race Amazon family, Marina Silva is on the verge of a stunning election win after taking over her party

It started with the national anthem and ended with a rap. In between came a poignant minute’s silence, politicised football chants and a call to action by the woman tipped to become the first Green national leader on the planet.

The unveiling in São Paulo of Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva’s platform for government on Friday was a sometimes bizarre mix of tradition and modernity, conservatism and radicalism, doubt and hope: but for many of those present, it highlighted the very real prospect of an environmentalist taking the reins of a major country.

In a dramatic election that has at times seemed scripted by a telenovela writer, Silva has tripled her coalition’s poll ratings in the two weeks since she took over from her predecessor and running mate, Eduardo Campos, who was killed in a plane crash. Following a strong performance in the first TV debate between candidates, polls suggest she will come second in the first-round vote on 5 October and then beat the incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, in the runoff three weeks later.

This is a spectacular turnaround for a candidate who did not even have a party a year ago, when the electoral court ruled that she had failed to collect enough signatures to mount a campaign. It was also the latest in a series of remarkable steps for a mixed-race woman who grew up in a poor family in the Amazon, and went on to become her country’s most prominent advocate of sustainable development.

The distance Silva – known as Marina – has come from her remote forest home was evident at the launch of her programme for government in the affluent Pinheiros district of São Paulo. About 250 people – mostly from her Sustainability Network party and its allies in Campos’s Brazilian Socialist party (PSB) and other groups – gathered under the chandeliers of the swanky Rosa Rosarum venue, where waiters in white gloves served canapes, while they waited for their leader…

…Women are hugely under-represented in Brazilian politics, but it is not because of her gender that Silva could break the mould. That has more to do with the colour of her skin and ideas.

Silva is a mix of Brazil’s three main ethnic groups. Among her ancestors are native Indians, Portuguese settlers and African slaves. While she is usually described as predominantly “indigenous”, friends say Silva categorises herself as “black” in the national census. In Brazil’s white-dominated political world, this is exceptional.

“It will be super-important for Brazil to have a black president, as it was in the US with Obama. It would signify a big advance for our country against discrimination,” said Alessandro Alvares, a member of the PSB and one of the few non-white faces in the room.

Silva’s political colours could prove still more controversial. For more than a decade, she has been known as the country’s most prominent Green campaigner, having first worked on sustainability at the grassroots with the Amazon activist Chico Mendes, who was later murdered. She later served as environment minister in Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration from 2003 to 2008, when she put in place effective measures to slow the deforestation of the Amazon. In her address to Friday’s meeting she stressed that Brazil could double its output of crops and meat without further clearing of the rainforest.

“If elected, Marina will be the greenest president in history, the first black president in Brazil and the first to be born in the Amazon,” said Altino Machado, a journalist based in Acre state, who first met Silva more than 30 years ago when they both attended a theatrical group. “She has proved her credentials as an environmentalist and protector of the Amazon. She also has a very strong ethical code and is totally free from any taint of corruption, which is extremely rare in politics in Brazil, where scandals happen all the time.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Transracial Adoption – No Longer a Black and White Issue

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2014-09-05 16:17Z by Steven

Transracial Adoption – No Longer a Black and White Issue

Afropean: Adveures in Afro Europe

Nat Illumine

N.b. This article is based on research conducted by the author for an undergraduate dissertation entitled ‘A Political Minefield: Transracial Adoption Policy and the Mixed Race Experience’ (2013) alongside a British Association of Adoption and Fostering conference entitled: ‘Transracial Placements: No longer a Black and White Issue’ (held on July 7th 2014). This articles focuses on transracial adoption but does not explicitly focus on the mixed race experience.


There has been an on-going and controversial debate in the UK about transracial adoption – the practice of white families adopting children from ethnic minorities. The debate has a complex history, and British governments have historically flip-flopped on policies, on the one hand attempting to place ethnic minority children with loving parents as quickly as possible, and on the other hand trying to ensure racial, ethnic and religious matching between adoptive parents and adopted children, with varying degrees of success. Whether white parents are able to successfully raise ethnic minority children with a sound sense of racial identity, as well as effectively preparing them for the racism they may experience, is central to the debate.

The History of Transracial Adoption in the UK

Transracial adoption (TRA) began in the UK in the 1960s to allow white parents to adopt ethnic minority and mixed race children, because the number of white childless couples wanting to adopt far exceeded the number of white infants in care. The British Adoption Project was also set up in 1965 to address the increasing numbers of non-white children in care who were deemed ‘hard to place’ due to their ethnicity, thus establishing TRA in which white families were adopting non-white children…

…Racial Literacy and “Race Mixing” in the General Population

There has been markedly little research into the racial literacy of white parents and the potential strategies they may offer to transracially adopted ethnic minority children in combating racism and formulating positive identities. Racial literacy is defined as an understanding and appreciation of both racial and cultural differences, as well as the realities of racism and discrimination. White mothers have been specifically positioned within this discourse as failing to both inculcate a positive racial identity in their (transracially adopted or mixed race) children and effectively assist them in dealing with racism.

The academic and social commentator Jill Olumide (2002) posits TRA as a discourse about race mixing that is mediated by professional welfare organisations, citing adoption and fostering policy as ‘one of the few areas in which race mixing may still be prevented’. Olumide suggests that opposition to TRA problematises bonds in interracial families by suggesting that bonding between different races is unnatural. This view allows for social work professionals to ‘define the racial “needs” of poor children’, creating specific knowledge claims which are then perpetuated by the media as a discursive device against race mixing…

Read the entire article here.

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Faces of the Democratic Future

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-09-05 16:00Z by Steven

Faces of the Democratic Future

The American Prospect

Gabriel Arana, Senior Editor

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

Elaine Teng, Assistant to the Editor
The New Republic

Young leaders on the future of their party

Demographers and political prognosticators like to talk about the rising “Obama electorate.” Majority-minority, more liberal on social and financial issues alike than their forebears, this young cohort stands poised to radically transform the country’s politics in the decades to come. For the July/August issue of The American Prospect magazine, we asked rising progressive leaders what they think about the future of the Democratic Party—and how it needs to change.

Svante Myrick, age 26
Mayor of Ithaca, New York
Ithaca, New York

I’d like to see the party elect a woman president. When Barack Obama was elected, I was a young mixed-race kid with a strange name, being raised by a white mother. It changed what I thought was possible for my life. After I was elected mayor here at 24, I remember a mother telling me the following story. She and her adopted son, who is black and around 15 years old, were coming to city hall. In the elevator, an elderly white woman looked at him and said, “Are you the mayor?” When the mother told me this story, I said, “Well, come on, I don’t look 15 years old.” She said, “You don’t understand. He’s gotten on elevators before and had older women jump off—he’s had people cross the street when they see him coming because he’s black. He’s been confused for a lot of things, but this is the first time he’s been confused for a figure of authority.” That’s powerful. Obama has changed the life outcomes, through his example, for millions of black men. His family has done the same for black families. He’s changed the way we think about a black family in this country. I think that our first female president is going to do the same thing for young women…

Read the entire article here.

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Market-style reforms widen racial divide in Cuba

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-09-05 15:32Z by Steven

Market-style reforms widen racial divide in Cuba


(Reuters) – Cuba’s experiment with free-market reforms has unintentionally widened the communist-led island’s racial divide and allowed white Cubans to regain some of the economic advantages built up over centuries.

Under President Raúl Castro, who took over from his brother Fidel Castro in 2008, Cuba has expanded its non-state workforce, loosened travel restrictions and promoted private cooperatives and small businesses.

As the communist government relinquishes its once near-total control of the economy, inequality has widened, undoing some of the progress seen since the 1959 revolution.

Much of the funding for new businesses such as restaurants, transportation services and bed-and-breakfast inns – targeted at tourists, diplomats and dollar-earners – comes from family members who emigrated to the United States over the last 50 years, especially Miami.

They sent almost $3 billion to relatives back in Cuba last year and, as they are mainly white, their investments put black and mixed-race Cubans at a disadvantage as they try to set up their own businesses…

…Before Castro’s revolution, education was largely off limits to blacks and mestizos and they were shut out of universities and jobs that involved interacting with customers. Whites had their own social clubs, beaches and private parties.

As soon as he assumed power, Castro eliminated segregation and attempted to abolish inequality by giving all Cubans access to free education and health care. The government hails those as among the revolution’s greatest accomplishments.

Today Cuba is largely a mixed-race society, though one in which lighter skinned Cubans still enjoy advantages in all but sports and entertainment.

Many Cubans are of ambiguous racial heritage, and a panoply of names exist to people of various hues. The terms are more descriptive and not considered offensive.

Some Afro-Cubans say they have not experienced racism under the revolution, advancing in education and careers without impediment.

Echevarria, the sandwich shop co-owner, said he was content with his humble business and not too bothered by inequality. “Racism exists. Not like before, but it exists.”

But other black and mixed-race Cubans say they feel racism, and experts say whites still have better access to good jobs and higher education…

Read the entire article here.

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The Michael Brown Tragedy: A Christian of Color Perspective

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, United States on 2014-09-01 00:49Z by Steven

The Michael Brown Tragedy: A Christian of Color Perspective

Jesus for Revolutionaries: A Blog About Race, Social Justice, and Christianity

Robert Chao Romero, Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Today is the funeral of Michael Brown. Please join me in praying for comfort for his family.

As for many, the tragedy of Michael Brown’s death has stirred in me much reflection about the deep racial divide in the U.S. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that racial profiling by police, and racial profiling in general, is wrong, especially when it leads to horrific violence. The racial divide seems to surface, however, when we discuss the prevalence of racial profiling in America today.

If someone grew up with fair skin and light hair in a middle class suburban neighborhood, then, in my experience, the tendency is to believe that racial profiling among police, and in other social settings, is not a pervasive problem.

If someone grew up African American or Latina/o in a racially marginalized urban area, then the almost universal agreement is that ethnic profiling is alive and well. It’s also important to note that many African Americans and Latinas/os in middle class suburban communities experience racial profiling (for example see this excellent article by a Black law professor from the Washington University School of Law in Missouri:

When asserting our perspectives on the topic of racial profiling, we all speak from our personal experience. Many whites from suburban environments speak from their experience–where they have not been racially profiled and where law enforcement is viewed as an ally. For those of us who are People of Color, our experience is often quite different—we experience racial profiling by the police, at our work places, and when we go to our local strip malls to shop.

For example, here’s a few of my racial profiling experiences. Those of you who have tracked with Jesus for Revolutionaries for a while will know that I am a 6 foot 1, 220 pound, dark-skinned, bearded, “Chinese-Mexican,” who usually passes as Latino…

Read the entire article here.

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