Today, Asian and Latino Americans who are light-skinned and have high economic status, particularly those who have white partners, may also gain entry into the white race.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-09-05 21:09Z by Steven

Irish and Italian Americans came to be considered members of the white race as their assimilation provided them with the material resources that allowed them to move away from the menial labor that was seen as synonymous with being black. Occupational and class mobility along with the loss of ethnic identity allowed these groups to assert what they were; phenotypically white immigrants from Europe who had been denied the ability to claim that identity because of racialized ethnocentrism. Today, Asian and Latino Americans who are light-skinned and have high economic status, particularly those who have white partners, may also gain entry into the white race. Those who marry whites are almost assured that their offspring will be accepted as white.

Charles A. Gallagher, “In-Between Racial Status, Mobility and Promise of Assimilation: Irish, Italians Yesterday, Latinos and Asians Today,” in Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity, edited by Kathleen Odell Korgen, 20. London and New York: Routledge, 2010.

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Has ‘whiteness studies’ run its course at colleges?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Campus Life, History, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-31 05:46Z by Steven

Has ‘whiteness studies’ run its course at colleges?

Cable News Network (CNN)
In America: You define America. What defines you?
2012-01-30

Alex P. Kellogg, Special to CNN

Among university departments that study African-American history, Latin American or Chicano cultures and all varieties of ethnicities and nationalities, there’s a relatively obscure field of academic inquiry: whiteness studies.
 
While there are no standalone departments dedicated to the field, interdisciplinary courses on the subject quietly gained traction on college and university campuses nationwide in the 1990s. Today, there are dozens of colleges and universities, including American University in Washington, D.C., and University of Texas at Arlington, that have a smattering of courses on the interdisciplinary subject of whiteness studies.
 
The field argues that white privilege still exists, thanks largely to structural and institutional racism, and that the playing field isn’t level, and whites benefit from it. Using examples such as how white Americans tend not to be pulled over by the police as often as blacks and Latinos, or how lenders targeted blacks and Latinos for more expensive, subprime loans during the recent U.S. housing crisis, educators teach how people of different races and ethnicities often live very different lives.
 
Most of the instructors specialize in sociology, philosophy, political science and history, most of them are liberal or progressive, and most of them are, in fact, white. Books frequently used as textbooks in these courses include “How the Irish Became White” by Noel Ignatiev, an American history professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and “The History of White People” by Nell Irvin Painter, a professor emeritus of American history at Princeton; but the field has its roots in the writings of black intellectuals such as W.E.B. DuBois and author James Baldwin.
 
In the past, detractors have said the field itself demonizes people who identify as white.
 
But today, academics who teach the classes say they face a fresh hurdle, one that has its roots on the left instead of the right: the election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president.
 
“Having Obama is, in a curious way, putting us behind,” says Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a professor of sociology at Duke and visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania…

…These academics generally agree that the end of slavery, the dismantling of Jim Crow and the election of a black president are all clear signs that things are getting better.
 
But that progress has slanted the mainstream narrative too far into positive terrain, they argue, leaving many to think that racial equality has arrived. Even some young students of color are more skeptical than ever before.
 
That’s dangerous, they argue.
 
“The typical college student will always say ‘What racial inequality? Look at the White House,’” says Charles Gallagher, chair of the sociology department at La Salle University in Philadelphia. “I have to first convince them that inequality exists.”…

Charles Mills says he, too, has a fresh sense that many faculty and students are more skeptical of his work since Obama’s election. Mills is a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University. His first book, “The Racial Contract,” is widely taught in courses on U.S. college campuses.
 
Mills, like other scholars who study whiteness, argues in his courses that whites in particular have a self-interest in seeing the world as post-racial. In that world, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. The advantage of this perspective, he says, is that it allows your success in life not to be determined by race, but by how hard you work.
 
“Obama’s election meant to many white Americans that we’re in a post-racial epoch,” says Mills, even if most indicators show that we’re not…

Read the entire article here.

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Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 3rd Edition

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2011-10-18 02:50Z by Steven

Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 3rd Edition

Cengage Learning
2012
480 pages
ISBN-10: 1111519536; ISBN-13: 9781111519537

Edited by

Elizabeth Higginbotham, Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Criminology
University of Delaware

Margaret L. Andersen, Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor of Sociology
University of Delaware

This engaging reader is organized in four major thematic parts, subdivided into thirteen different sections. Part I (“The Social Basis of Race and Ethnicity”) establishes the analytical frameworks that are now being used to think about race in society. The section examines the social construction of race and ethnicity as concepts and experience. Part II (“Continuity and Change: How We Got Here and What It Means”) explores both the historical patterns of inclusion and exclusion that have established racial and ethnic inequality, while also explaining some of the contemporary changes that are shaping contemporary racial and ethnic relations. Part III (“Race and Social Institutions”) examines the major institutional structures in contemporary society and investigates patterns of racial inequality within these institutions. Persistent inequality in the labor market and in patterns of community, residential, and educational segregation continue to shape the life chances of different groups. Part IV (“Building a Just Society”) concludes the book by looking at both large-scale contexts of change, such as those reflected in the movement to elect the first African American president.

  • Major themes include coverage showing the diversity of experiences that now constitute “race” in the United States; teaching students the significance of race as a socially constructed system of social relations; showing the connection between different racial identities and the social structure of race; understanding how racism works as a belief system rooted in societal institutions; providing a social structural analysis of racial inequality; providing a historical perspective on how the racial order has emerged and how it is maintained; examining how people have contested the dominant racial order; exploring current strategies for building a just multiracial society.
  • Each section includes several pages of analysis that outline the main concepts to be covered, providing a clear initial roadmap for reading and a convenient resource students can use with assignments and while preparing for exams.
  • The text’s unique organization according to overarching themes and relevant subtopics, including identity, social construction of race, why race matters, inequality, and segregation, places the articles into a broader context to promote greater understanding.
  • This innovative text looks beyond a simple black/white dichotomy and focuses more broadly on an extremely wide range of ethnic groups, providing a much more realistic and useful exploration of key topics that is more relevant and compelling for today’s diverse student population.

Table of Contents

  • PART I: THE SOCIAL BASIS OF RACE AND ETHINICITY
    • 1. The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 1. Howard F. Taylor, “Defining Race”
      • 2. Joseph L. Graves, Jr., “The Race Myth”
      • 3. Abby Ferber, “Planting the Seed: The Invention of Race”
      • 4. Karen Brodkin, “How Did Jews Become White Folks?”
      • 5. Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “On Racial Formation”—Student Exercises
    • 2. What Do You Think? Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Racism
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 6. Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer, “American Racism in the Twenty-First Century”
      • 7. Charles A. Gallagher, “Color-Blind Privilege: The Social and Political Functions of Erasing the Color Line in Post Race America”
      • 8. Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria”
      • 9. Rainier Spencer, “Mixed Race Chic”
      • 10. Rebekah Nathan, “What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student”—Student Exercises
    • 3. Representing Race and Ethnicity: The Media and Popular Culture
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 11. Craig Watkins, “Black Youth and the Ironies of Capitalism”
      • 12. Fatimah N. Muhammed, “How to NOT Be 21st Century Venus Hottentots”
      • 13. Rosie Molinary, “María de la Barbie”
      • 14. Charles Springwood and C. Richard King, “‘Playing Indian’: Why Native American Mascots Must End”
      • 15. Jennifer C. Mueller, Danielle Dirks, and Leslie Houts Picca, “Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Order”—Student Exercises
    • 4. Who Are You? Race and Identity
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 16. Beverly Tatum, interview with John O’Neil, “Why are the Black Kids Sitting Together?”
      • 17. Priscilla Chan, “Drawing the Boundaries”
      • 18. Michael Omi and Taeku Lee, “Barack Like Me: Our First Asian American President”
      • 19. Tim Wise, “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son”—Student Exercises
  • PART II: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE: HOW WE GOT HERE AND WHAT IT MEANS
    • 5. Who Belongs? Race, Rights, and Citizenship
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 20. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, “Citizenship and Inequality”
      • 21. C. Matthew Snipp, “The First Americans: American Indians”
      • 22. Susan M. Akram and Kevin R. Johnson, “Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration Law After September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims”
      • 23. Peggy Levitt, “Salsa and Ketchup: Transnational Migrants Saddle Two Worlds”—Student Exercises
    • 6. The Changing Face of America: Immigration
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 24. Mae M. Ngai, “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America”
      • 25. Nancy Foner, “From Ellis Island to JFK: Education in New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration”
      • 26. Charles Hirschman and Douglas S. Massey, “Places and Peoples: The New American Mosaic”
      • 27. Pew Research Center, “Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America”—Student Exercises
    • 7. Exploring Intersections: Race, Class, Gender and Inequality
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 28. Patricia Hill Collins, “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection”
      • 29. Yen Le Espiritu, “Theorizing Race, Gender, and Class”
      • 30. Roberta Coles and Charles Green, “The Myth of the Missing Black Father”
      • 31. Nikki Jones, “From Good to Ghetto”
      • 32. Gladys García-Lopez and Denise A. Segura, “‘They Are Testing You All the Time’: Negotiating Dual Femininities among Chicana Attorneys”—Student Exercises
  • PART III: RACE AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
    • 8. Race and the Workplace
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 33. William Julius Wilson, “Toward a Framework for Understanding Forces that Contribute to or Reinforce Racial Inequality”
      • 34. Deirdre A. Royster, “Race and The Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs”
      • 35. Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, “Families on the Frontier”.
      • 36. Angela Stuesse, “Race, Migration and Labor Control”—Student Exercises
    • 9. Shaping Lives and Love: Race, Families, and Communities
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 37. Joe R. Feagin and Karyn D. McKinney, ”The Family and Community Costs of Racism”
      • 38. Dorothy Roberts, “Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare”
      • 39. Kumiko Nemoto, “Interracial Relationships: Discourses and Images”
      • 40. Zhenchao Qian, “Breaking the Last Taboo: Interracial Marriage in America”—Student Exercises
    • 10. How We Live and Learn: Segregation, Housing, and Education
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 41. John E. Farley and Gregory D. Squires, “Fences and Neighbors: Segregation in the 21st Century”
      • 42. Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro, “Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe”
      • 43. Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee, “Historic Reversals, Accelerating Resegregation and the Need for New Integration Strategies”
      • 44. Heather Beth Johnson and Thomas M. Shapiro, “Good Neighborhoods, Good Schools: Race and the ‘Good Choices’ of White Families”—Student Exercises
    • 11. Do We Care? Race, Health Care and the Environment
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 45. H. Jack Geiger, “Health Disparities: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know? What Should We Do?”
      • 46. Shirley A. Hill, “Cultural Images and the Health of African American Women”
      • 47. David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle, “Poisoning the Planet: The Struggle for Environmental Justice”
      • 48. Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright, “Race, Place and the Environment”—Student Exercises
    • 12. Criminal Injustice? Courts, Crime, and the Law
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 49. Bruce Western, “Punishment and Inequality”
      • 50. Rubén Rumbaut, Roberto Gonzales, Goinaz Kamaie, and Charlie V. Moran, “Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Imprisonment among First and Second Generation Young Men”
      • 51. Christina Swarns, “The Uneven Scales of Capital Justice”
      • 52. Devah Pager, “The Mark of a Criminal Record”—Student Exercises
  • PART IV: BUILDING A JUST SOCIETY
    • 13. Moving Forward: Analysis and Social Action
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 53. Thomas F. Pettigrew, “Post-Racism? Putting Obama’s Victory in Perspective”
      • 54. Frank Dobbins, Alexandra Kalev, and Erin Kelly, “Diversity Management in Corporate America”
      • 55. Southern Poverty Law Center, “Ways to Fight Hate”—Student Exercises
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Race in America: Restructuring Inequality: Intergroup Race Relation

Posted in Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2011-08-20 00:20Z by Steven

Race in America: Restructuring Inequality: Intergroup Race Relation

Center on Race & Social Problems
School of Social Work
The University of Pittsburgh
2010
29 pages

Editors:

Larry E. Davis, Dean and Donald M. Henderson Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

Ralph Bangs, Associate Director
Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

The Third of Seven Reports on the Race in America Conference (June 3-6, 2010)

Despite significant progress in America’s stride toward racial equality, there remains much to be done. Some problems are worse today than they were during the turbulent times of the 1960s. Indeed, racial disparities across a number of areas are blatant—family formation, employment levels, community violence, incarceration rates, educational attainment, and health and mental health outcomes.

As part of an attempt to redress these race-related problems, the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Center on Race and Social Problems organized the conference Race in America: Restructuring Inequality, which was held at the University of Pittsburgh June 3–6, 2010. The goal of the conference was to promote greater racial equality for all Americans. As our entire society has struggled to recover from a major economic crisis, we believed it was an ideal time to restructure existing systems rather than merely rebuilding them as they once were. Our present crisis afforded us the opportunity to start anew to produce a society that promotes greater equality of life outcomes for all of its citizens.

The conference had two parts: 20 daytime sessions for registered attendees and three free public evening events. The daytime conference sessions had seven foci: economics, education, criminal justice, race relations, health, mental health, and families/youth/elderly. Each session consisted of a 45-minute presentation by two national experts followed by one hour of questions and comments by the audience. The evening events consisted of an opening lecture by Julian Bond, a lecture on economics by Julianne Malveaux, and a panel discussion on postracial America hosted by Alex Castellanos of CNN.

This report provides access to the extensive and detailed information disseminated during the intergroup race relations sessions at the conference. This information will be particularly helpful to community and policy leaders interested in gaining a better understanding of race relations and finding effective strategies for improving these conditions.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • In the Mix: Multiracial Demographics and Social Definitions of Race
  • Coming Together: Promoting Harmony among Racial Groups
    • Obama and the Durable Racialization of American Politics Lawrence D. Bobo
    • Somewhere Over the Rainbow?: Postracial and Panracial Politics in the Age of Obama Taeku Lee
  • The White Way?: Discussing Racial Privilege and White Advantage
    • Where and Why Whites Still Do Blatant Racism: White Racist Actions and Framing in the Backstage and Frontstage Joe Feagin
    • The Future of White Privilege in Post-Race, Post-Civil Rights, Colorblind America Charles Gallagher

Race: Changing Composition, Changing Definition

Presenter: Howard Hogan, Associate Director for Demographic Programs, U.S. Census Bureau

Moderator: Pat Chew, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

America’s categorization of race is more of a definition of how America chooses to see individuals and less the result of how people categorize themselves. Our concept of race in the United States has evolved over the country’s history. In America’s first census in 1790, the country viewed itself racially as comprising only three groups: Whites, slaves, and others. American Indians were not identified as a distinct group for this census. As immigration increased, our racial composition changed rapidly, and it was for this reason that in 1850 and 1860, the United States felt that it was necessary to gather information on the birthplaces of individuals. The term “Black” was first used as a census race category in the census of 1850, and the term “Negro” did not appear as a census race category until 1930…

…The concept of race and identification of racial origin continue to serve a role in the United States with regard to monitoring and enforcing civil rights legislation for employment, educational opportunities, and housing. It was for this reason the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1980s, declared Judaism to be a race for purposes of antidiscrimination. Data on race also are used to study changes in the social, economic, and demographic characteristics and changes in our population. But there is no reason to assume that it will get easier for OMB and the U.S. Census Bureau to make the kind of distinctions they need to be able to collect this information…

Obama and the Durable Racialization of American Politics

Presenter: Lawrence D. Bobo, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University

Moderator: Lu-in Wang, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

There are some in American society who are unable to assess issues of racial discord because they accept the concept that the United States has become a postracial nation. There are others who consider postracialism to be a politically neutralizing falsehood that veils how the racial divide is constructed and maintained in American society. The prevalence of racial dissonance has waned over time in comparison to the racial conflicts America faced in the past. However, in order for this recuperation to continue, American society has to be forthright about current race relations conditions and open to developing new ways to improve relations in the future. The United States has adopted a new contemporary form of racism, because the blatant Jim Crow discrimination of years past is not as socially acceptable. The characteristics of this contemporary form, called laissez-faire racism, are the widespread and consequential harboring of negative stereotypes and the collective racial resentment of African Americans. Laissez-faire racism is very prevalent in today’s society despite the belief by many that the United States has transitioned into postracialism, spearheaded by Barack Obama’s presidential election. However, the majority of White voters chose not to vote for Barack Obama for president. An overwhelming majority of minority voters chose to vote for him.

There are several reasons why America has not reached the point where the color line between Blacks and Whites has become blurred beyond recognition. First, only 14.6 percent of U.S. marriages in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and only 11 percent of these mixed marriages were White-Black. Second, only 7 million (2 percent) of the U.S. population in 2000 marked more than one race on the census. One-quarter of these were Black. Third, Black-White wealth gaps have grown, even among educated Blacks.

In order to relieve some of the racial discord in society, progressive dialogue on the current realities of race relations in the United States is needed, as well as structural and cultural change…

…The anti-Black cultural project of “erasing Blackness” has not destabilized the core racial binary. Although many believe that miscegenation—the mixing of races through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation—an overwhelming majority of Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians still marry within their racial group.

Miscegenation

Many Americans buy into the notion that miscegenation is causing the end of the Black and White races and that eventually the color line between Whites and Blacks will become blurred beyond recognition. The data show:

  • African Americans are the least likely of all races to marry Whites.
  • Although the pace of interracial marriage increased more rapidly in the 1990s than it did in other periods, the social boundaries between Blacks and Whites remained highly rigid and resistant to change.
  • Although interracial marriages have increased greatly in recent years, they still only account for 15 percent of marriages in the U.S.
  • Only 7 million Americans (2 percent) identified more than one race when given the option to do so on the 2000 Census. Of those 7 million, one-quarter identified having any mixture with African Americans.
  • Biracial African American-White individuals have historically identified themselves as Black and typically married other African
    Americans…

Read the entire report here.

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(Re)Claiming Rights?

Posted in Barack Obama, Excerpts/Quotes on 2011-07-01 03:19Z by Steven

…Consider the irony of a man so long under fire for his origins, comes to Ireland to celebrate one strand of those origins. He is called black because in the United States, we are messed up about origins. Why not call him “Barack Obama, America’s 44th white president?” Or “America’s third Irish American president” (after Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy)? He is as much those things as its first black president. No? Never happen? Why not?

Charles Gallagher, chairman of the Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice Department at La Salle University, sees the notorious “one-drop rule” of U.S. social attitudes at work: “A single ‘drop of black blood’ negates your ability to reconnect back to Europe. Race trumps all other questions of ethnic origin. Yet we know that 80 percent of all African Americans have European ancestors. Their history, which includes slavery, has cut them off both from Africa and from Europe, from being able to reclaim that great-grandfather in Sicily or Eastern Europe.”…

John Timpane, “In visit to Ireland, O’Bama seeks to reverse U.S. notions of race,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 25, 2011. http://articles.philly.com/2011-05-25/news/29582090_1_ollie-hayes-barack-obama-president-obama.

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In visit to Ireland, O’Bama seeks to reverse U.S. notions of race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Europe, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2011-06-22 21:30Z by Steven

In visit to Ireland, O’Bama seeks to reverse U.S. notions of race

The Philadelphia Inquirer
2011-05-25

John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer

President Obama’s one-day visit to Ireland was a masterly orchestration of three visuals – one imaginary, two very real.

Imaginary visual: the apostrophe in O’Bama. “My name is Barack Obama,” he said in Dublin, “of the Moneygall Obamas, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way.” Anglo-Irish apostrophe, Kenyan last name, American tale…

…Obama was doing much more than playing to the folks at home, with a wink to Moneygall. He was doing no less than seeking to reverse American notions of race, origin, and ethnicity.

“Clearly, a political bet is being made here that this will make beautiful political theater for 2012,” says Matt Wray, assistant professor of sociology at Temple University. “But that isn’t where the conversation ends. There’s a performance here of race and ethnicity that does suggest the terms are changing in the U.S. These images of Obama quaffing Guinness as a son of Ireland really do strike even casual observers as historically new.”

Consider the irony of a man so long under fire for his origins, comes to Ireland to celebrate one strand of those origins. He is called black because in the United States, we are messed up about origins. Why not call him “Barack Obama, America’s 44th white president?” Or “America’s third Irish American president” (after Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy)? He is as much those things as its first black president. No? Never happen? Why not?

Charles Gallagher, chairman of the Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice Department at La Salle University, sees the notorious “one-drop rule” of U.S. social attitudes at work: “A single ‘drop of black blood’ negates your ability to reconnect back to Europe. Race trumps all other questions of ethnic origin. Yet we know that 80 percent of all African Americans have European ancestors. Their history, which includes slavery, has cut them off both from Africa and from Europe, from being able to reclaim that great-grandfather in Sicily or Eastern Europe.”…

…Obama’s speech in Dublin told of Fulmouth Kearney, his grandfather’s grandfather, who got out of tiny Moneygall in 1850, ended up in Ohio, bought land, and started a line of middling, obscure, working Americans. How was Kearney to know his line would braid with a Kenyan line, to run within an American (yes) president? An American tale.

Gallagher says, “What Obama did is fantastic. He’s telling the truth: that ethnicity is absolutely fluid, and you can reclaim the full spectrum of your identity. It’s further blurring of the color line, and it gives permission to Americans, many of whom have incredibly diverse origins, to explore them all.”

As Wray puts it: “It speaks to the fastest-growing segment of Americans—those of mixed race—starting to rewrite the script. Obama, in his blackness, is free to explore his whiteness.”

The circle won’t be closed, of course, until millions of white Americans embrace the Africa in their pasts. Forty million claim Irish roots. How many will claim African?…

Read the entire article here.

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True Blood: The Vampire as a Multiracial Critique on Post-Race Ideology

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2011-04-17 02:32Z by Steven

True Blood: The Vampire as a Multiracial Critique on Post-Race Ideology

Journal of Dracula Studies
Number 12 (2010)
19 pages

Nicole Myoshi Rabin, Instructor of Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies
Emerson College, Boston. Massachusetts

In the Western consciousness there has been a long tradition of the associations between race and evil.  According to Celia R. Daileader, in her Introduction to Racism, Misogyny, and the Othello Myth: Inter-racial Couples from Shakespeare to Spike Lee, “Before black men were lynched for alleged sex with white women, white women were burned alive for alleged sex with a devil described as black”.  Daileader calls attention to the historical relationship between blackness, sex, and evil that predates the literal transmission of this discourse into “race relations.” Over time this relationship has found its way into many racist fantasies, particularly those manifested within the stories of the horror genre—including vampire tales.  Although race has only begun to be theorized in relation to Dracula, one of the most well known vampire novels published in 1897, there has been some important recent work theorizing the Count within Homi Bhabha’s category of the “not quite/not white” (Daileader 97).  As John Allen Stevenson notes, “the novel [Dracula] insistently—indeed, obsessively—defines the vampire not as a monstrous father but as a foreigner, as someone who threatens and terrifies precisely because he is an outsider” (139).  Dracula, the Romanian Count, is seen in opposition to the rest of the British characters—including the main object of his desire, Mina.  The predatory sexual threat of Dracula is a common racist fantasy where racialized men exude “predatory sexual desire” that “endangers white womanhood and consequently threatens the racial purity of white [American] society” (Hamako).  In most instances, this threat to racial purity manifests itself in the fear of clear racial miscegenation and a necessary drive to eradicate the one attempting to perform this racial contamination—the vampire. 

Over the past two years there has been a resurgence of vampire stories in U.S. popular culture. These new vampire stories conveyed on-screen —True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and Twilight—promote specific ideologies about race, class, and gender that are specific to our cultural moment. In “Color Blindness: An Obstacle to Racial Justice?” Charles A. Gallagher states that: “since the mid-1990s there has been a change in the way race, race relations, and racial hierarchy have been depicted in the mass media…the media now provides Americans with an almost endless supply of overt and coded depictions of a multiracial, multicultural society that has finally transcended the problem of race” (109).  As examples of contemporary media, these new vampire shows also promote a society “beyond” race; so, with the historical tradition between race and vampires, what happens when the victims of vampires—in these new vampire tales—are no longer racially homogenous?  Can the vampire still be read as racially other?  I argue that the vampire of these contemporary stories actually becomes a symbol of multiracial identity as it is seen within the multicultural discourse that pervades American popular consciousness.  For the purpose of this paper, I will be focusing specifically on issues of race and sexuality (only as they are concerned with racial purity) in the first season of HBO’s series True Blood—encapsulated within the first two episodes, “Strange Love” and “The First Taste.”  While the series deals with a greater range of issues—gay rights, American slavery, terrorism, war, religion, etc.—these issues remain outside the scope of this particular paper.  I hope that these issues will be theorized in subsequent work on the series, but for this paper I will have to limit my consideration to the ways in which these beginning episodes of True Blood portrays a multicultural society on screen that undercuts the reality of still pervasive racist currents in our own society; how the show creates a multiracial identity that is at once feared and championed within the American society; and, how the show while depicting multiculturalism actually works to subtly critique this ideology…

Read the entire article here. (Rich Text Format)

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Diversity in ads not reflected in real life

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-19 19:36Z by Steven

Diversity in ads not reflected in real life

St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg, Florida
2005-02-21

Associated Press

Advertisers are filling commercials with a mix of races and ethnicities, but critics contend such utopian situations rarely exist.

Somewhere there’s an America that’s full of neighborhoods where black and white kids play softball together, where biracial families e-mail photos online and where Asians and blacks dance in the same nightclub.

And that America is on your television…

…But critics say such ads gloss over persistent and complicated racial realities. Though the proportion of ethnic minorities in America is growing, experts say, more than superficial interaction between groups is relatively unusual.  Most Americans live and mingle with people from their own racial background.

Advertising, meanwhile, is creating a “carefully manufactured racial utopia, a narrative of colorblindness” says Charles Gallagher, a sociologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta [2004-2008; now at La Salle University].

Only about 7 percent of marriages are interracial, according to Census data. About 80 percent of whites live in neighborhoods in which more than 95 percent of their neighbors are white, and data show most Americans have few close friends of another race, Gallagher said.

“The lens through which people learn about other races is absolutely through TV, not through human interaction and contact,” he said. “Here, we’re getting a lens of racial interaction that is far afield from reality.” Ads make it seem that race doesn’t matter, when real life would tell you something different, he added…

Read the entire article here.

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The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the United States (2nd Edition)

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-17 19:19Z by Steven

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the United States (2nd Edition)

Prentice Hall
2001
525 pages
Paperback ISBN-10: 0130283231; ISBN-13:  9780130283238

Edited By:

Joan Ferrante
Northern Kentucky University

Prince Brown, Jr.
Northern Kentucky University

For undergraduate courses in race and ethnic relations.

This groundbreaking collection of classic and cutting edge sociological research gives special attention to the social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States. It offers an in-depth and eye-opening analysis of (a) the power of racial classification to shape our understanding of race and race relations, (b) the way in which the system came into being and remains, and (c) the real consequences this system has on life chances.

I. THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF CLASSIFICATION SCHEMES.
Patricia Riley, Adventures of an Indian Princess. Timothy Egan, Expelled in 1877, Indian Tribe is Now Wanted as a Resource. Lawrence Otis Graham, Black Man with a Nose Job. Garrett Hongo, Culture Wars in Asian America. Andrea Kim, Born and Raised in Hawaii, But Not Hawaiian. Yolanda Adams, Don’t Want to Be Black Anymore. Mitzi Uehara-Carter, On Being Blackanese. Joan Ferrante, Six Case Studies. Dympna Ugwu-Oju, What Will My Mother Say. Paul Andrew Dawkins, Apologizing for Being a Black Male. Judy Scales-Trent, Choosing Up Sides. Marilyn Halter, Identity Matters: The Immigrant Children. Sarah Van’t Hul, How It Was for Me. Joseph Tovares, Mojado Like Me. Yuri Kochiyama, Then Came the War.

II. CLASSIFYING PEOPLE BY RACE.
Paul Knepper, Historical Origins of the Prohibition of Multiracial Legal Identity in the State and the Nation. Federal Statistical Directive No. 15 THE U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, OMB’s Decisions: Revisions to Federal Statistical Directive. Prince Brown, Jr., Biology and the Social Construction of the “Race” Concept. Ian F. Haney Lopez, The Mean Streets of Social Race. Jack D. Forbes, “Indian” and “Black” as Radically Different Categories. Michael Granberry, A Tribe’s Battle for Its Identity. Madison Hemings, The Memoirs of Madison Hemings. Ariela J. Gross, Litigating Whiteness. Laura L. Lovett, Invoking Ancestors. Angelo N. Ancheta, Race Relations in Black and White . Time Magazine, How to Tell Your Friends From the Japs.

III. ETHNIC CLASSIFICATION.
The U.S. Bureau of the Census, Questions Related to Ethnicity. Luis Angel Toro, Directive No. 15 and Self-Identification. Himilce Novas, What’s in a Name? Julie E. Sprott, The Mingling of Alaska Natives with “Foreigners”: A Brief Historical Overview. Mary C. Waters, Choosing an Ancestry. David Steven Cohen, Reflections on American Ethnicity. Yen Le Espiritu, Theories of Ethnicity. Rudolph J. Vecoli, Are Italian-Americans Just White Folk? Peter D. Salins, Americans United by Myths.

IV. THE PERSISTENCE, FUNCTIONS, AND CONSEQUENCES OF SOCIAL CLASSIFICATION.
Judy Scales-Trent, On Being Like a Mule. Article XIX, Chinese, Constitution of the State of California, 1872; Repealed, November 4, 1952, State of California. Howard Zinn, Persons of Mean and Vile Condition. Stephen Jay Gould, Science and Jewish Immigration. J. A. Rogers, Remarks on the First Two Volumes of Sex and Race. Prince Brown, Jr., Why “Race” Makes No Scientific Sense: The Case of Africans and Native Americans. Albert Jacquard, Science, Pseudo-science and Racism. Charles A Gallagher, White Reconstruction in the University. Trina Grillo and Stephanie M. Wildman, Taking Back the Center. The U.S. Supreme Court, Plessy v. Ferguson. Cheryl I. Harris, Plessy. Albert Jacquard, Declaration of Athens: Scientists Speak Out Against Racism.

V. TOWARD A NEW PARADIGM: TRANSCENDING CATEGORIES.
Vivian J. Rohrl, The Anthropology of Race: A Study of Ways of Looking at Race. Letter from Thomas Jefferson: Virginia’s Definition of a Mulatto. Cruz Reynoso, Ethnic Diversity: Its Historical and Constitutional Roots. Erich Loewy, Making Good Again. Stephen H. Caldwell and Rebecca Popenoe, Perceptions and Misperceptions of Skin Color. Selected Discrimination Cases Handled by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999. Nicholas Peroff, Indianess. K.C. Cole, Brain’s Use of Shortcuts Can Be A Route to Bias. Richard T. Schaefer, Talking Past One Another. Ward Churchill, Let’s Spread the “Fun” Around: The Issue of Sports Team Names and Mascots. Lawrence Otis Graham, The Rules of Passing. Anthony S. Parent and Susan Brown Wallace, Childhood and Sexual Identity Under Slavery. Patricia Hill Collins, Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection. Bruce N. Simon, White-Blindness. Robert Jensen, White Privilege Shapes the U.S. Robert Jensen, More Thoughts on Why the System of White Privilege is Wrong.

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