Are the Tsarnaevs White?

Posted in Articles, Law, New Media, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-24 22:31Z by Steven

Are the Tsarnaevs White?

The Daily Beast
2013-04-24

Peter Beinart, Senior Political Writer and Associate Professor of Journalism
City University of New York

also Editor-in-chief
Open Zion

In a word, yes. But why is this so hard for Americans to grasp? Peter Beinart on our country’s long track record of conflating religion and race.

The day after last week’s attack in Boston, David Sirota wrote a column for Salon entitled “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American,” arguing that this would limit the resulting crackdown on civil liberties. At first, conservatives were appalled. Then, when police fingered the Tsarnaev brothers, they were triumphant. “Sorry, David Sirota, Looks Like Boston Bombing Suspects Not White Americans,” snickered a headline in Newsbusters. “Despite the most fervent hopes of some writers over at Salon.com,” added a blogger at Commentary, “the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing are not ‘white Americans’.”

But the bombers were white Americans. The Tsarnaev brothers had lived in the United States for more than a decade. Dzhokhar was a U.S. citizen. Tamerlan was a legal permanent resident in the process of applying for citizenship. And as countless commentators have noted, the Tsarnaevs hail from the Caucasus, and are therefore, literally, “Caucasian.” You can’t get whiter than that.

So why did conservatives mock Sirota for being wrong? Because in public conversation in America today, “Islam” is a racial term. Being Muslim doesn’t just mean not being Christian or Jewish. It means not being white…

Read the entire article here.

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Status Boundary Enforcement and the Categorization of Black-White Biracials

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-24 15:30Z by Steven

Status Boundary Enforcement and the Categorization of Black-White Biracials

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Available online 2013-04-23

Arnold K. Ho, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Colgate University, Hamilton, New York

Jim Sidanius, Professor of Psychology and Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University

Amy J. C. Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Hellman Faculty Fellow
Harvard University

Mahzarin R. Banaj, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics
Harvard University

Highlights

  • This paper demonstrates that individual differences and social context interact to influence how we categorize biracials.
  • We show that the rule of hypodescent is used to enforce group boundaries.
  • Anti-egalitarians are shown to strategically engage in hierarchy maintenance.

Individuals who qualify equally for membership in more than one racial group are not judged as belonging equally to both of their parent groups, but instead are seen as belonging more to their lower status parent group. Why? The present paper begins to establish the role of individual differences and social context in hypodescent, the process of assigning multiracials the status of their relatively disadvantaged parent group. Specifically, in two experiments, we found that individual differences in social dominance orientation—a preference for group-based hierarchy and inequality—interacts with perceptions of socioeconomic threat to influence the use of hypodescent in categorizing half-Black, half-White biracial targets. Importantly, this paper begins to establish hypodescent as a “hierarchy-enhancing” social categorization.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Race, Policy, and Culture: An Identity Crisis for Sickle Cell Disease in Brazil

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Dissertations, Health/Medicine/Genetics, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2013-04-24 03:45Z by Steven

Race, Policy, and Culture: An Identity Crisis for Sickle Cell Disease in Brazil

Melissa S. Creary, MPH, Doctoral Candidate
Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts
Emory University

Professor Howard Kushner, Chair
Professor Jeffrey Lesser, Co-Chair

Abstract of Dissertation Prospectus

In 2001, Cândida and Altair, a married couple, started a national organization to increase the rights of sickle cell patients, and thereby gave birth to the sickle cell disease (SCD) movement in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Cândida, the wife, who carries sickle cell trait, now heads the municipal SCD unit for Salvador. She, with light skin and wavy brown hair, might be considered white in the United States, but when I asked her why she had created the organization she responded: “Eu sou negra!” (I am black). Her darker-skinned husband, who considers himself a black activist, coordinates the national SCD association and helped craft policy for SCD. As a family, Cândida and Altair shift between multiple roles: genetic carrier, parent, government official, and SCD advocate. Together these two activists have helped shape the racial discourse on SCD by associating the disease with “blackness” on the individual, organizational, and national level.

Sickle cell disease is the most common hereditary hematologic disorder in Brazil and throughout the world. In Brazil, the estimated prevalence is between 2% and 8% of the population. My research explores how patients, non-governmental organizations, and the Brazilian government, at state and federal levels, have contributed to the discourse of SCD as a “black” disease, despite a prevailing cultural ideology of racial mixture. Specifically, this project analyzes how the Brazilian state, advocacy, and patient communities within the nation have, at times, branded SCD an Afro-Brazilian disease. At the state level, I’ll describe the reigning racial ideology and how the development of racialized health policy contests their own viewpoint. On the organizational level, I’ll investigate the alignment of the SCD movement with the black movement of Brazil and the decisions made by some of these organizations to influence health policy using anti-racist motives. Lastly, I will explore the actual embodiment of SCD in the patient population and the “identity crisis” many may experience upon being diagnosed with a “black” disease.

With this framework in mind, I aim to answer the question—How are different actors (re)defining race and health through culture, biology, policy and politics in contemporary Brazil? This multi-level identity crisis is in constant contestation of competing racial frameworks at the micro, meso, and macro level. I will manage these complexities with a flexible notion of biological citizenship that considers frameworks of biology, social determinants, and policy in ways that is uniquely responsive to the cultural and historical specifics of how race, identity, health, and legitimacy operate in Brazil.

To do this, I will spend ten months in Brasília, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro investigating the construction of sickle cell disease on three different levels: advocacy organization around patient rights, individual patient and family experience, and governmental policy development and implementation. To assess the social, geographical, and political context of my subjects, I will use a series of historical and qualitative methodologies.

My work will deepen and re-think narratives of Brazil’s racial history through the lens of SCD. It also stands to generate a better understanding of the historical genealogy as it informs the current implementation of SCD policy. This analysis can provide lessons to both Brazil and the US on how future policy can be designed. Specifically, whether policy developed around populations (or sub-set of populations) can be measured against and be as effective as policy developed around disease.

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The 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners (Biography): “The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo,” by Tom Reiss

Posted in Articles, New Media, United States on 2013-04-17 02:03Z by Steven

The 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners (Biography): “The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo,” by Tom Reiss

The Pulitzer Prizes
Columbia University
New York, New York
2013-04-15

For a distinguished and appropriately documented biography or autobiography by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
 
Awarded to “The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo,” by Tom Reiss (Crown), a compelling story of a forgotten swashbuckling hero of mixed race whose bold exploits were captured by his son, Alexander Dumas, in famous 19th century novels.

For more information, click here.

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The Racial Middle On-line Survey

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Social Science, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2013-04-16 03:27Z by Steven

The Racial Middle On-line Survey

On behalf of Dr. Reanne Frank and Dr. Jennifer Jones of The Ohio State University, we invite you to take part in our research study, which concerns the development of racial identity among multiracials. There are no foreseeable significant direct benefits to you by participating in this research. However, we do hope that this research will provide you with the opportunity to engage in meaningful reflection about your identity. Furthermore, it is our hope that this research will benefit society in general by advancing our awareness and understanding of the experience of race in contemporary society.
 
If you agree to participate in our research, we ask that you complete an informational survey and family history to the best of your ability. Completing the survey and family history will take approximately 20 minutes. You must be at least 18 years of age to participate in this study.

If you would like to complete this research study, please click the link below to participate.

https://casosu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_es5b7nJjyMlPOn3
  
As a reward to participating in the survey, we offer you the opportunity to participate in a raffle to win an Amazon gift certificate for $50.
 
If you are asked and agree to participate in a follow-up interview, we will provide you with an additional small honorarium of $20.00 in exchange for your participation.
 
For more information about this research study, please contact Dr. Jennifer Jones at jones.4155@osu.edu. For questions about your rights as a participant in this study or to discuss other study-related concerns or complaints with someone who is not part of the research team, you may contact Ms. Sandra Meadows in the Office of Responsible Research Practices at 1-800-678-6251.

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SNAPSHOT: “a true story of love interrupted by invasion”

Posted in Arts, Live Events, New Media, Women on 2013-04-15 00:26Z by Steven

SNAPSHOT: “a true story of love interrupted by invasion”

Greenway Court Theatre
544. N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, California
2013-04-04 through 2013-04-21

Mitzi Sinnott

A daughter’s journey through a landscape of years, memories and realities, initiated by her questioning, “what do I know about war?”  The answers are lying in an album of faded photos of her absent father, who left for the Vietnam War before she was born.  Fusing words, dance, music and film this story chronicles the quest of a mixed-race daughter from Southern Appalachia who eventually finds her homeless Veteran father suffering in Hawaii.

Her growing insights reveal how the forces of history, race and war affected herself and her family, and the torn fragments of her life begin to re-connect. SNAPSHOT honors her father and other Vietnam Veterans who have been lost under the avalanche of history. This play is a daring look at the truth of our past and an inspiring example of the need for us to reconcile our history—one life at time.

For more information, click here.

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‘Mixed Kids Are the Cutest’ Isn’t Cute?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-09 02:46Z by Steven

‘Mixed Kids Are the Cutest’ Isn’t Cute?

The Root
2013-04-08

Jenée Desmond-Harris, Staff Writer

“I’m a Caucasian woman with a biracial child (her father is black). I live in a predominantly white community. Why is it that whenever people discover that I have a ‘mixed’ child, they always say things like, ‘Oh, he/she must be so cute/gorgeous/adorable, those kids are always the best looking. You are so lucky.’

I know they mean well, but it seems off to me, and maybe racist. Do they mean compared to ‘real’ black children? When a German and Italian or an Asian and Jewish person have a child, black people don’t say, ‘Mixed children like yours are always the best looking.’ (Plus, it’s not true—not all black-white biracial kids are the ‘best looking.’)

Am I being overly sensitive by feeling there’s something off about these comments? If not, what’s the best way to respond?”

I chose this question for the first installment of Race Manners, The Root’s new advice column on racial etiquette and ethics, because it hits close to home. Like your daughter, I’m biracial. Like you, my white mother has developed an acute sensitivity to the subtle ways prejudice and bigotry pop up in daily life. I should know. She calls me to file what I’ve deemed her “racism reports.”

And let’s be clear. Americans of all races say bizarre things to and about mixed people, who can inspire some of the most revealing remarks about our black-white baggage. Just think of the public debates about how MSNBC’s Karen Finney, and even President Obama, should be allowed to identify…

…As Marcia Dawkins, the author of Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity, told me, “The myth that mixed-race offspring are somehow better than nonmixed offspring is an example of ‘hybrid vigor,’ an evolutionary theory which states that the progeny of diverse varieties within a species tend to exhibit better physical and psychological characteristics than either one or both of the parents.”

And just take a wild guess how this idea has popped up for black people. You got it: In order to demean and oppress African Americans, thought leaders throughout history, including the likes of Thomas Jefferson, have said that black-white mixed offspring are better, more attractive, smarter, etc., than “real” blacks and not as good or attractive or smart as “real” whites, Dawkins explains….

Read the entire article here.

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Performing ‘Race’ and Challenging Racism

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-08 15:33Z by Steven

Performing ‘Race’ and Challenging Racism

One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for her Father’s Racial Approval
Blog Updates
2013-04-08

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

It is an exciting time to be an actor, when the notion of ‘performance’ is taking on new meanings and has the potential to change the way we view the art form. Traditional definitions of ‘performance’ include the act of staging or presenting a play; a rendering of a dramatic role. Now scholar/activists like Judith Butler are exploring a new definition of performance, or ‘performativity’—looking at how we use language and behavior to construct identity.

In my solo show, One Drop of Love, I get to meld these two understandings of performance. I am an actor who portrays several different characters: my Jamaican/Pan-Africanist father, my BlackfeetCherokee-Danish mother, candy and fruit vendors from East and West Africa, Census Workers from the 1790s to the present, racist cops from Cambridge, MA and many others. At the same time, in taking on these roles, I explore the construction of  ‘racial’ identity, and how these identities are created through speech and acts—and not through biology…

Read the entire article here.

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Poetic Justice: Drake and East African Girls

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media, United States on 2013-04-03 17:19Z by Steven

Poetic Justice: Drake and East African Girls

The Feminist Wire
2013-04-03

Safy-Hallan Farah, Guest Contributor

I am an East African Girl. A couple years ago, one of my friends told me that being an East African meant I’m not really black. A visibly mixed-race girl with a “high yellow” complexion and sandy brown hair telling me I’m not black didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to tell the girl, in the words of CB4, I’m black y’all. I’m black like the back of Forrest Whitaker’s neck. I’m black like Snoop Dogg’s lungs. I’m black like some Helvetica font against a white backdrop trying to sell you stuff.

I’m a black woman. But my nose, my loosely coiled curls and my fivehead make me black in a way that extends the colorism debate, creating this hierarchy of aesthetic value where I’m not just black, I’m also acceptably black.

Back in the day, white people went to East Africa to find Iman, their acceptable black girl. When white people did this, former Essence Editor-in-Chief Marcia Gillespie called East African model Iman Abdulmajid “a white woman dipped in chocolate,”  highlighting Iman’s acceptable blackness while also lamenting the fact that black women’s beauty is often measured in their proximity to whiteness…

…In “Poetic Justice” by Kendrick Lamar ft. Drake, Drake does it again: “I was trying to put you on game, put you on a plane/Take you and your mama to the motherland/I could do it, maybe one day/When you figure out you’re gonna need someone/When you figure out it’s all right here in the city/And you don’t run from where we come from.” But couched between another lazy description of a faceless, nameless East African Girl, and Drake’s assertion that that East African Girl is busy ignoring him for another man, is a story of afrodiasporic identity, which is what sets Drake apart, narratively, from other rappers.

While Drake’s definition of black beauty may seem limited, his definition of black identity is what Touré would call “post-black,” and Michelle Wright would call “postwar diasporic black.” Drake’s flow in “Poetic Justice” facilitates a broader discussion of black identity and black authenticity, a discussion that implicitly critiques Marcia Gillespie’s “white woman dipped in chocolate” statement, positing that East African Girls “come from” the same city Drake does, Toronto. The underlying message is that Drake considers us black like him. Drake, as a black Jewish man whose Degrassi character Jimmy Brooks dated a fake East African Girl, occupies a similarly hybrid space like East African Girls. For many East African Girls, that feels like poetic justice because the definition of ‘authentically black’— descendants of Africans brought here as slaves— is a limited definition that doesn’t even include Barack Obama, much less East African Girls…

…East African girls are generally not mixed race, yet this idea that we are is deeply embedded in the minds of white racialists, leading some to believe we’re an entirely different, special, exotic breed of people. This goes back to the pseudoscience of Carleton S. Coon’s “The Races of Europe.” Anthropologists and white racialists, which are often one in the same, have been claiming we are of majority Arab or white or “Afro-Asiatic” descent for years. And while that isn’t the sentiment of Drake or Nas’s lyrics, our alleged mixedness underpins their lyrics by virtue of the sheer selectiveness of the East African Girls shouted out in hip-hop lyrics. When Drake or Nas reference East African Girls, it can be easily inferred that they mean Cushites representing the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia). “Cushite,” a term derived from “Cush” of the Hebrew Bible and Quran, is in reference to our shared “Afro-Asiatic” language classification, which is often mistakenly typified as a shared racial identity. This little mistake triggers a big mistake: the conflation of biology and genetics with race and ethnicity as a social fact, which reifies the racial categories…

Read the entire article here.

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When You’re Mixed Race, Just One Box Is Not Enough

Posted in Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-02 14:26Z by Steven

When You’re Mixed Race, Just One Box Is Not Enough

The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
National Public Radio
2013-04-02

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition. You can find hundreds of six-word submissions and submit your own at www.theracecardproject.com.

Since The Race Card Project is about identity, it’s not surprising that many submissions deal with the question of how people choose to identify themselves. That can be more complicated for those who have two parents who do not share the same race — especially when asked to choose a particular box for race or ethnicity on an application or government form.

George Washington III is familiar with this quandary. An African-American voice-over artist, Washington has been married twice, both times to women who are white. When he heard about The Race Card Project, his thoughts went immediately to his children. His six words: “My mixed kids have it differently.”…

Read the article here. Listen to the story here.

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