Douglas Todd: Mixed unions applauded by some, but dismissed by others as brownwashing

Posted in Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-25 02:37Z by Steven

Douglas Todd: Mixed unions applauded by some, but dismissed by others as brownwashing

The Vancouver Sun
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2015-07-24

Douglass Todd, Vancouver Sun columnist

Ethnically mixed couples — involving whites, blacks, Japanese, Hispanics, Chinese, South Asians or others — were heralded not long ago as the wave of a tolerant, open, non-racist future.

National Geographic and Time magazine ran cover features with photos of mixed-race people, celebrating The New Face of America. The hero in the Warren Beatty movie, Bulworth, trumpeted inter-marriage as the way to end racial discrimination.

Polls consistently reveal many whites, blacks, Asians and others are attracted more to other ethnicities than their own, particularly for dating. British writer Laura Smith, who has a Guyanese mother and Scottish father, says she’s often told her mixed-race children “look cool.”

In the age of multi-ethnic celebrities such as Paula Abdul, Vin Diesel, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Halle Berry and Mariah Carey, Smith, who frequently writes about mixed unions, says white mothers, in particular, confess to her they yearn for mixed offspring; they want a society that’s less white and more “brown.”

But three cultural trends are shaking up this utopian dream, which places inter-ethnic couples at the vanguard of cultural fusion…

…Scholars SanSan Kwan and Kenneth Spiers, editors of Mixing it Up: Multiracial Subjects, also maintain the melting pot ideal, in which people of different ethnicities inevitably join up to make babies together, is a “problematic” form of “brownwashing.”

“To embrace a ‘brown’ or raceless society and to dispense with concepts of race are to deny the beauty there is in difference,” say Kwan and Spiers.

“Brownwashing hopes to erase the ugly patterns of racism and in one grand gesture homogenize us all.”

Roosevelt University Professor Heather Dalmage’s book also questions the vision of a society replete with mixed marriages. In The Politics of Multiracialism: Challenging Racial Thinking, contributors criticize white people who seek a “colour-blind” society, claiming they just want to deny the prevalence of racism.

British researcher Miri Song, of Kent University, also suggests a Western inter-marriage involving a white person can lead to questionable “assimilation,” in which the ethnic minority loses their identity to the so-called “dominant culture.”

Instead of being a sign of cultural success, Song writes, mixed marriages could “engender deep ambivalence” for minority members…

Read the entire article here.

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Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries: How Asian Immigrant Backgrounds Shape Gender Attitudes About Interethnic Partnering

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-22 20:39Z by Steven

Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries: How Asian Immigrant Backgrounds Shape Gender Attitudes About Interethnic Partnering

Journal of Family Issues
Volume 36, Number 10 (August 2015)
pages 1324-1350
DOI: 10.1177/0192513X13504920

Charlie V. Morgan, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Ohio

How do gender attitudes affect second-generation Asian Americans’ decisions to enter into interethnic heterosexual partnerings? A grounded theory approach was applied to 88 in-depth interviews, which represent a subsample of the respondents from Wave III of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study. I find that second-generation Asian women seek relationships across ethnic and racial lines as a way to resist patriarchal and gendered attitudes that they perceive are held by men from their own co-ethnic group and often stereotype Asian American men in the process. Cohabitation was also an important aspect of interethnic partnering: Whereas men cohabitated across ethnic and racial lines but typically married co-ethnics (in a process I term imagining the future), women were more likely to resist co-ethnic relationships and crossed ethnic and racial boundaries regardless of the type of relationship.

Read or purchase the article here.

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The Global African – Mexican Afro-descendants

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Videos on 2015-07-17 15:03Z by Steven

The Global African – Mexican Afro-descendants

The Global African
2014-12-03

Bill Fletcher, Host

Randal Archibold, Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
The New York Times (Author of the article “Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans”)

William Loren Katz
Author of: Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

Each week on “The Global African” host Bill Fletcher, Jr. addresses issues facing Africa and the African Diasporas.

Mexico’s Afro-descendant population for years has been virtually invisible; now, for the first time ever, the next national census will include the category of Afro-Mexican. Fletcher interviews NY Times Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Randal Archibold about Mexico’s Afro-descendant population. The next segment of the program deals with a fascinating yet virtually unknown chapter of US history, the biological and cultural bonds established between African slaves and Native Americans. Professor William Loren Katz, author of Black Indians-A Hidden Heritage and 40 other books on African-Americans and Native Americans, describes his research on relations between Africans and Afro-descendants and Native Americans.

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A Bias More Than Skin Deep

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-13 14:20Z by Steven

A Bias More Than Skin Deep

The New York Times
2015-07-13

Charles M. Blow

I will never forget the October 2013 feature on National Geographic’s website:

There was a pair of portraits of olive-skinned, ruby-lipped boys, one with a mane of curly black hair, the other with the tendrils of blond curls falling into his face.

The portraits rested above the headline: “The Changing Face of America: We’ve become a country where race is no longer so black or white.” It was about the explosion of interracial marriage in America and how it is likely to impact both our concept of race and the physical appearances of Americans.

As the Pew Research Center pointed out in a 2012 report: “About 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7 percent).”

People often think of the browning of America as a factor of immigration or racial/ethnic variances in birth rates, but it must also be considered this way: as a function of interracial coupling and racial identifications.

This freedom and fluidity is, on one level, a beautiful sign of societal progress toward less racial rigidity. But, at the same time, I am left with a nagging question: does this browning represent an overcoming, on some level, of anti-black racism, or a socio-evolutionary sidestepping of it?…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Mestizo’ and ‘mulatto’: Mixed-race identities among U.S. Hispanics

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-11 20:50Z by Steven

‘Mestizo’ and ‘mulatto’: Mixed-race identities among U.S. Hispanics

Pew Research Center
2015-07-10

Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Research Associate

For many Americans, the term “mixed race” brings to mind a biracial experience of having one parent black and another white, or perhaps one white and the other Asian.

But for many U.S. Latinos, mixed-race identity takes on a different meaning – one that is tied to Latin America’s colonial history and commonly includes having a white and indigenous, or “mestizo,” background somewhere in their ancestry.

When asked if they identify as “mestizo,” “mulatto” or some other mixed-race combination, one-third of U.S. Hispanics say they do, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey of Hispanic adults

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It’s official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-07-09 02:03Z by Steven

It’s official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California

The Los Angeles Times
2015-07-08

Javier Panzar


Source: The Los Angeles Times

The demographers agreed: At some point in 2014, Latinos would pass whites as the largest ethnic group in California.

Determining when exactly that milestone would occur was more of a tricky question. Counting people isn’t like counting movie ticket receipts.

The official confirmation had to wait until new population figures were released by the Census Bureau this summer. The new tally, released in late June, shows that as of July 1, 2014, about 14.99 million Latinos live in California, edging out the 14.92 million whites in the state.

The shift shouldn’t come as a surprise. State demographers had previously expected the change to occur sometime in 2013, but slow population growth pushed back projections. In January 2014, the state Department of Finance estimated the shift would take place at some point in March.

Either way, the moment has officially arrived…

Read the entire article here.

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Reclaiming Jewish Identity: An Aboriginal People of the Middle East

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-07-07 19:30Z by Steven

Reclaiming Jewish Identity: An Aboriginal People of the Middle East

The Huffington Post
2015-06-07

Binyamin Arazi

Starting this September, after decades of lobbying efforts by Arab-American organizations, the United States Census Bureau will begin testing a new category for Americans of Middle Eastern and North African origin. In conjunction with this new listing, no less than 19 subcategories will be made available, including ‘Israel.’ So where does this leave Jewish Americans? Should diaspora Jews follow the example of their Israeli co-ethnics and mark “Middle Eastern/North African,” or should they take the easy way out and mark “Other” or even “White,” as most Middle Eastern and North African Americans have done up to this point? Should there be a separate “Jewish” category?

These questions are likely to confuse many readers, particularly those who are more inclined to perceive “Jewishness” as a religious identity rather than an ethnic one. Nevertheless, contrary to the widespread belief that we merely constitute a religious faith, the Jewish people are an ethnic group/tribe of Southwest Asian origin, and one of the oldest extant native peoples of the region…

Read the entire article here.

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Race in Rhode Island: Is race just an invention?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-01 20:34Z by Steven

Race in Rhode Island: Is race just an invention?

The Providence Journal
Providence, Rhode Island
2015-06-27

Paul Edward Parker

Classifications were created to divide people, say educator, historian.

When you ask “What is race?” don’t expect a simple answer.

And, when you consider Latinos — Are they a race or an ethnicity? — plus America’s ever growing multiracial identity, that complicated answer grows even more complex.

The apparently simple concept of race eludes easy definition, even though we have been counting people by race in Rhode Island as far back as 1774.

The federal government took up the practice in 1790, the year that Rhode Island became the 13th and final original state to ratify the Constitution.

Despite that long history of sorting people into racial categories, experts say it has little basis in science. It’s more about sociology and politics.

“Race is not a biological construct. It’s a social construct,” said Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, a retired Rhode Island College professor who, for nearly 40 years, taught classes on the anthropology of racism. “There’s a belief that it’s scientific,” she added. “It’s impossible to classify humans scientifically into race.”…

What about Latino?

Along with “What is race?” those who count Americans by categories have to ask: “Is Hispanic or Latino a race?”

The Census Bureau has said no, Hispanic origin is in addition to race. Someone who identifies as Hispanic or Latino also will belong to one or more of the five racial groups.

But two-thirds of American Latinos disagree, Lopez said. They have told Pew that Latino is part of their racial identity.

“I’m not white, and I’m not black,” said Anna Cano Morales, director of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University in Providence. “I choose to be Latina.”

But Morales concedes racial and ethnic identity is not simple. “This is an incredibly complex set of questions,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Hawaii is home to the nation’s largest share of multiracial Americans

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-01 19:32Z by Steven

Hawaii is home to the nation’s largest share of multiracial Americans

Pew Research Center
2015-06-17

Jens Manuel Krogstad, Writer/Editor, Hispanic Trends Project

The number of multiracial Americans is growing nationwide, but in Hawaii, it’s nothing new. The Rainbow State – with its history of attracting immigrants from Asia and other parts of the world to work as farm laborers – stands far above the rest, with nearly one-in-four residents (24%) identifying as multiracial, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. The next most-multiracial states are far behind: Alaska (8%) and Oklahoma (7%).

Here’s another way to look at how much Hawaii stands out: In terms of total population, Hawaii is one of the smallest (1.4 million people), ranking 40th out of 50 states. But when ranking states with the highest total multiracial population, the state ranks sixth, with more than 330,000.

A new Pew Research survey found that the number of multiracial Americans may be higher than the estimates from Census, which has estimated that 3% of the overall U.S. population – and 2.1% of the adult population – is multiracial. But taking into account how adults describe their own race as well as the racial backgrounds of their parents and grandparents – which the census does not do – Pew Research estimates that 6.9% of the U.S. adult population could be considered multiracial…

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The ambiguity of racial categories

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-01 13:54Z by Steven

The ambiguity of racial categories

The Washington Post
2015-06-16

Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics and Political Science
Columbia University, New York, New York


Racial classification has been in the news lately with the story of Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP official who is ethnically white but characterized herself as black until the story came out:

The allegation lit up the Internet, fueled by Ms. Dolezal’s apparent refusal to give a direct answer about her racial background, and by family photos of her as a blue-eyed teenager with straight blond hair.

What does it mean to be white, or black, or mixed-race?

These questions are not going away. Richard Perez-Pena reports:

The number of American adults with mixed-race backgrounds is three times what official census figures indicate… The Pew Research Center survey found that 6.9 percent of adults in the United States were multiracial, based on how they identify themselves or on having parents or grandparents of different races. By comparison, the 2010 census reported 2.1 percent of adults, and 2.9 percent of people any age, as multiracial, based on people’s descriptions of themselves or others in their households. (Hispanics are considered an ethnic group, not a race.)…

Relevant to this discussion is a book from two years ago, “What is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans,” by former Census Bureau director Ken Prewitt recommends taking the race question off the decennial census. As I summarized last time this came up, Prewitt recommends gradual changes, integrating the race and national origin questions while improving both. In particular, he would replace the main “race” question by a “race or origin” question, with the instruction to “Mark one or more” of the following boxes: “White,” “Black, African Am., or Negro,” “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin,” “American Indian or Alaska Native,” “Asian,” “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander,” and “Some other race or origin.” He recommends treating Hispanic as a race or origin, in parallel with white, black, etc., which I agree makes sense. I think the current categorization in which “Hispanic” is an ethnic group but “White” and “Black” are races, is both confusing and unnecessary…

Read the entire article here.

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