Barack Obama’s Warning to People of Mixed Heritage

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-04-15 21:42Z by Steven

Barack Obama’s Warning to People of Mixed Heritage

Eighth Generation

Louie Gong

Back in April 2005, a group of mixed people sponsored by the nonprofit MAVIN had the golden opportunity to sit down with the then-Senator Obama. The conversation, filmed as part of the feature length documentary “Chasing Daybreak,” may be the only interview in which he has addressed the mixed race experience directly. I pulled the dusty DVD off my shelf last week and uploaded this clip with permission from MAVIN. (I’m a past President of MAVIN, and I currently sit on the Advisory Board for both MAVIN and Mixed in Canada)

In my travels, I still hear people citing the increasing presence of America’s mixed race population (up 32% since Census 2000)—and high-profile individuals—as supposed movement towards a “post-racial” or colorblind society. In a cultural climate like this, I think hearing President Obama—the mixed race person most often touted as evidence of this post-race state—strongly caution mixed folks to stay connected to community and participate in larger movements by people of color is a priceless tool for sparking discussion…

Read the entire article here.

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Louisiana Ordered to Provide Voucher Data to U.S.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Louisiana, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-04-09 23:01Z by Steven

Louisiana Ordered to Provide Voucher Data to U.S.

Education Week

Mark Walsh, Contributing Writer

A federal judge has ordered Louisiana to provide annual data to the federal government on the students participating in the state’s private school voucher program.

The April 7 order by U.S. District Judge Ivan R. Lemelle of New Orleans appears to bring to a conclusion months of skirmishing between the state and President Barack Obama’s administration over the voucher program and whether it will affect racial balance in the school districts still under court supervision for desegregation.

The judge largely sided with the U.S. Department of Justice, ordering the state to provide data about the racial background of students enrolling in the voucher program…

…The judge sided with the federal government in a skirmish over race classifications. The state had sought to exclude data on students who marked “black” as one of several race or ethnic categories they meet.

“The state is now suggesting, for reporting purposes, a ‘new definition of black’” that would fail to take account of mixed-race students, the Justice Department said in a March court filing.

“Adopting the state’s new proposed definition would thus undermine the United States’ ability to accurately and fully count students in public and private schools by race to evaluate … whether the voucher program has an impact on segregation in those schools,” the Justice Department said in the filing.

Lemelle’s order requires the state to include data for black students “defined as any student who indicated black either alone or as one of several race/ethnic categories.”

Read the entire article here.

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Bill to recognize Nansemonds passes committee

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2014-04-04 20:54Z by Steven

Bill to recognize Nansemonds passes committee

Suffolk News-Herald
Suffolk, Virginia

A bill that would extend federal recognition to the Nansemond Indian Tribe and five others in Virginia passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

The tribes, which also include the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock and Monacan, are officially recognized by the state but not by the federal government.

“I just hope we can finally get there,” Nansemond Indian Tribal Association Chief Barry Bass said on Thursday. “It’s been a long, hard road.”

The bill has passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee before, but a vote in the full Senate has been blocked by senators who believe the tribes should have to go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs as other tribes have done.

But recognition through the bureau’s administrative process requires documentation that current tribal members have a continuous line of descent from the historical tribes. That has been difficult, if not impossible, for Virginia Indians to prove, in part because of Walter Plecker, who was the registrar of Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics from 1912 to 1946. He replaced “Indian” with “black” for the race on many birth and death certificates that passed through his office, ensuring that no official documentation exists for many tribal members to prove their relationship to ancestors…

Read the entire article here.

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Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-04-01 21:59Z by Steven

Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Malay Mail Online
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Zurairi AR

UALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 — Malaysians with mixed-race parentage will benefit the most from voting along racial lines as they will have more than one representative, Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said today.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) MP also claimed that the system suggested by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim yesterday will ensure justice for every ethnic group in Malaysia.

“For those who may have two or three ancestries, they can choose which one they prefer… They can be in both worlds,” Bung said in Parliament here.

“For me that is really good. At least, for me who has both Sungai and Malay ancestries, I can then get two or three representatives. Now, I can only get one.”

Sungai is the name of one of the many official tribes in Sabah.

Bung also refuted claims that Shahidan’s remarks is alike the now-abolished apartheid regime in South Africa, in which people voted for representatives from their own ethnic communities…

Read the entire article here.

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Butterfield featured on ‘Colbert Report’

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-03-26 19:21Z by Steven

Butterfield featured on ‘Colbert Report’

The Wilson Times
Wilson, North Carolina
Tuesday, 2014-03-25

Corey Friedman, Times Online Editor

Comic pundit Stephen Colbert argued Obamacare and the Racial Justice Act with U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield while bashing North Carolina barbecue in a playful segment spotlighting Wilson’s congressional district.

Butterfield, a Democrat representing the state’s 1st District, appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert ReportMonday night, the latest installment in a series of interviews with House members. Colbert asked Butterfield whether Obamacare was a “great train wreck or greatest train wreck.”

“Let me tell you, when the history of this period is written, you will see that the Affordable Care Act has been one of the most significant pieces of legislation that’s ever been passed,” Butterfield said.

Colbert asked whether President Barack Obama was lying when he told Americans that if they liked their health insurance plans, they could keep them…

…Colbert profiles congressional representatives and their constituents in his occasional “Better Know a District” segment. He’s known for using satire and deliberately taking some comments out of context for comedic effect in the often offbeat interviews…

…Racial identity framed the opening of Colbert’s segment, when he introduced Butterfield as a “prominent African-American congressman and civil rights leader,” then appeared visibly surprised upon meeting Butterfield, who is light-skinned.

“What’s happening?” Colbert asks someone off-camera. “Can someone tell me what’s happening? Is this the guy? You said he was black.”

“I have been for 66 years,” Butterfield said.

“My mistake,” replied Colbert. “I don’t see race.”

“We come in all shades,” said Butterfield. “How about that?”

“I really thought you were a white guy,” Colbert mused. “My apologies.”

The Comedy Central host teased Butterfield for supporting a plan to fund pre-kindergarten education with a tax increase of 94 cents on each pack of cigarettes, implying that the proposal would make smoking more expensive for preschoolers.

“Those who smoke cigarettes can afford to pay a little bit more to help us invest in education,” Butterfield said.

“Even a 6-year-old?” asked Colbert…

Read the entire article here.

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Stephen Colbert Is Confused About G. K. Butterfield’s Race In Latest ‘Better Know A District’

Posted in Interviews, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-03-25 20:33Z by Steven

Stephen Colbert Is Confused About G. K. Butterfield’s Race In Latest ‘Better Know A District’

The Huffington Post

Carol Hartsell, Senior Comedy Editor

Stephen Colbert unveiled a new edition of “Better Know A District” on Monday’s show, and it was chock-full of racial misunderstandings, confusing questions and barbecue taste tests… like all of his best segments, really.

Sitting down with North Carolina Representative G. K. Butterfield, things got off to an awkward start when Colbert was confused by the congressman’s race (Butterfield is the son of mixed-race parents and identifies as African-American). But once that was over, Colbert got right to the tough questions: why Butterfield is prejudiced against the 1% (the real minority in America) and why he wants to make six-year-olds pay more for cigarettes.

Watch the full segment above or here.

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Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-03-20 16:52Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union

University Press of Mississippi
August 2014
432 pages (approx.)
6 X 9 inches
3 B&W photographs
Hardcover ISBN: 9781628460216

Edited by:

G. Reginald Daniel, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Hettie V. Williams, Lecturer of African American History
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Essays that explore how the first black president connects to the past and reimagines national racial and political horizons

The concept of a more perfect union remains a constant theme in the political rhetoric of Barack Obama. From his now historic race speech to his second victory speech delivered on November 7, 2012, that striving is evident. “Tonight, more than two hundred years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward,” stated the forty-fourth president of the United States upon securing a second term in office after a hard fought political contest. Obama borrows this rhetoric from the founding documents of the United States set forth in the U.S. Constitution and in Abraham Lincoln’sGettysburg Address.”

How naive or realistic is Obama’s vision of a more perfect American union that brings together people across racial, class, and political lines? How can this vision of a more inclusive America be realized in a society that remains racist at its core? These essays seek answers to these complicated questions by examining the 2008 and 2012 elections as well as the events of President Obama’s first term. Written by preeminent race scholars from multiple disciplines, the volume brings together competing perspectives on race, gender, and the historic significance of Obama’s election and reelection. The president heralded in his November, 2012, acceptance speech, “The idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like . . . . whether you’re black or white, Hispanic or Asian or Native American.” These essayists argue the truth of that statement and assess whether America has made any progress toward that vision.

Contributions by Lisa Anderson-Levy, Heidi Ardizzone, Karanja Keita Carroll, Greg Carter, Frank Rudy Cooper, Marhsa J. Tyson Darling, Tessa Ditonto, David Frank, Amy L. Heyse, David A. Hollinger, George Lipsitz, Mark McPhail, Tavia Nyong’o, David Roediger, Paul Spickard, Janet Mendoza Stickman, Paul Street, Ebony Utley, Ronald Waters


  • Preface / Hettie V. Williams and G. Reginald Daniel
  • Foreword: Race Will Survive the Obama Phenomenon / David Roediger
  • Introduction: Understanding Obama and Ourselves / George Lipsitz
  • Part I: Race, Obama, and Multiraciality
    • 1. Race and Multiraciality: From Barack Obama to Trayvon Martin / G. Reginald Daniel
    • 2. By Casta, Color Wheel, and Computer Graphics: Visual Representations of Racially Mixed People / Greg Carter
    • 3. Barack Obama: Embracing Multiplicity—Being a Catalyst for Change / Janet Mendoza Stickmon
    • 4. In Pursuit of Self: The Identity of an American President and Cosmopolitanism / Hettie V. Williams
  • Part II: Obama, Blackness, and the “Post-Racial Idea”
    • 5. Barack Hussein Obama, or, the Name of the Father / Tavia Nyong’o
    • 6. The End(s) of Difference? Towards an Understanding of the “Post” in Post-Racial / Lisa Anderson-Levy
    • 7. On the Impossibilities of a Post-Racist America in the Obama Era / Karanja Keita Carroll
    • 8. Obama, the Instability of Color Lines, and the Promise of a Postethnic Future / David A. Hollinger
  • Part III: Race, Gender, and the Obama Phenomenon
    • 9. From Chattel to First Lady: Black Women Moving from the Margins / Marsha J. Tyson Darling
    • 10. The “Outsider” and the Presidency: Mediated Representations of Race and Gender in the 2008 Presidential Primaries / Tessa Ditonto
    • 11. Obama’s “Unisex” Campaign: Critical Race Theory Meets Masculinities Studies / Frank Rudy Cooper
    • 12. “Everything His Father Was Not”: Fatherhood and Father Figures in Barack Obama’s First Term / Heidi Ardizzone
  • Part IV: Race, Politics, and the Obama Phenomenon
    • 13. Barack Obama’s Address to the 2004 Democratic Convention: Trauma, Compromise, Consilience and the (Im)Possibility of Racial Reconciliation / David Frank and Mark Lawrence McPhail
    • 14. Barack Obama and the Politics of Blackness / Ronald W. Walters
    • 15. Barack Obama’s White Appeal and the Perverse Racial Politics of the Post-Civil Rights Era / Paul Street
    • 16. Barack Obama’s (Im)Perfect Union: An Analysis of the Strategic Successes and Failures in His Speech on Race / Ebony Utley and Amy L. Heyse
  • Epilogue: Obama, Race, and the 2012 Presidential Election / Paul Spickard
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Fatal Invention: The New Biopolitics of Race and Gender – Dorothy Roberts

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-03-07 17:09Z by Steven

Fatal Invention: The New Biopolitics of Race and Gender – Dorothy Roberts

University of California, Berkeley
Alumni House
Friday, 2014-03-07, 17:00-19:30 PST (Local Time)

Join us for a discussion with Prof. Dorothy Roberts, University of Pennsylvania Law School, author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century.  Lecture organized by the group, Politics of Biology & Race, a UC Center for New Racial Studies working group, and co-sponsored by the Center for Race & Gender and the Haas Center for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

Dorothy Roberts, an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law, joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Law School where she also holds the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander chair.

Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children and African-Americans. Her major books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997).


After first-term caution, Obama dives deeper on race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-03-03 04:44Z by Steven

After first-term caution, Obama dives deeper on race

USA Today

Aamer Madhani, White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — During his first term, President Obama waded gingerly into the issue of race, mindful of the historic nature of his presidency while at the same time downplaying its significance.

With a couple of exceptions — criticizing a police officer who arrested a prominent black Harvard University scholar as he fumbled to open the door to his home and speaking in personal terms about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — Obama didn’t make any big headlines on the issue early in his presidency.

But deep into his second term, Obama talks about race with a frequency and frankness that has left some black policymakers and activists cautiously optimistic about the nation’s first black president’s final years in office.

In recent weeks, the president has begun to draw the outlines for the legacy he hopes to leave on race and civil rights…

Read the entire article here.

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President Obama calls for minority youth outreach programme

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-03-02 03:44Z by Steven

President Obama calls for minority youth outreach programme

BBC News

US President Barack Obama has called for a national campaign to improve opportunities for black and Hispanic boys and young men.

Called My Brother’s Keeper, his new initiative aims to overcome the socioeconomic conditions keeping such youth from thriving.

The White House said businesses had pledged $150m (£89m) to promote it.

The president said it was an “outrage” that black and Hispanic men in the US fared so much worse than white men.

“I believe the continuing struggles of so many boys and young men – the fact that too many of them are falling by the wayside, dropping out, unemployed, involved in negative behaviour, going to jail, being profiled – this is a moral issue for our country,” Mr Obama said at the White House on Thursday, with more than a dozen black and Hispanic young men and boys standing behind him.

“It’s also an economic issue for our country.”

In a memorandum released on Thursday, the White House said the task force would focus on issues facing boys and young minority men under the age of 25.

Obama’s ‘bad choices’

America’s first black president has generally avoided policies defined by race, the BBC’s Beth McLeod reports from Washington DC, but in an emotional speech Mr Obama said it was an outrage that young Hispanic and African-American men have the odds stacked against them in US society…

…He spoke of visiting a school near his home in Chicago and sharing with the boys there his own experience of growing up without a father, acknowledging to them that he had been angry about that and had made “bad choices” and “got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do”.

“I could see myself in these young men,” Mr Obama told the audience at the White House. “And the only difference is that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving, so when I made a mistake the consequences were not as severe.”…

Read the entire article here.