‘Blaxicans’ photos explore Angelenos straddling two worlds

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-02 23:05Z by Steven

‘Blaxicans’ photos explore Angelenos straddling two worlds

Cable News Network (CNN)

Emanuella Grinberg, Writer/Producer CNN Digital

Blaxicans of L.A. is an Instagram account that grew into a show at Los Angeles’ Avenue 50 Studio during Black History Month. The exhibit includes portraits with captions detailing personal histories and experiences with colorism and self-identity. Ken and Alejandra, pictured here, say they tell their daughter she is black and Mexican. “We will explicitly teach her to be proud of the fact that she is Mexican and to be proud of the fact that she is black,” Alejandra said.

Los Angeles (CNN)—As the biggest names in entertainment converged Sunday on the Oscars red carpet at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, about 10 miles to the east, artists, academics and community leaders gathered in Los Angeles’ historically Chicano community for a different sort of cultural event.

Duality: Blaxicans of L.A.” is a photo exhibit that explores multiracial identity among the city’s two largest minority groups. The show is a Humans of New York-esque portrait series of Angelenos of African and Latino backgrounds accompanied by captions detailing family history, experiences with colorism and self-identity.

The exhibit grew from an Instagram account of the same name started by Walter Thompson-Hernandez, who has a Mexican mother and an African-American father. He launched Blaxicans of L.A. while researching the topic as a graduate student at Stanford University’s Center for Latin American Studies in response to what he saw as a gap in multiracial studies.

“Most multiracial scholarship has been on the black and white binary. I felt it didn’t cover the range of ways that multiracial people identify,” he said…

Read the entire article here.

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Thai beauty ad: ‘Just being white, you will win’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2016-01-09 01:39Z by Steven

Thai beauty ad: ‘Just being white, you will win’

Cable News Network (CNN)

Wilfred Chan

(CNN)—It’s hard to imagine anything more blatant than this.

A new Thai beauty ad claiming white skin is the key to success has unleashed a storm of criticism in Thailand, especially online, where people complain the ad perpetuates damaging, racist ideas.

“Just being white, you will win,” says Cris Horwang, a smiling pale-skinned actress, in the 50-second spot by Seoul Secret, a Thai beauty company.

Without the advertised pill, “the whiteness I have invested in, will just vanish,” she warns.

On screen, the actress’ expression turns despondent as her skin is digitally altered to turn black.

Horwang promises that the product, called Snowz, “will help you not to return to being dark.”

“Eternally white, I am confident,” she adds.

On Friday evening, Seoul Secret pulled the video from its online platforms and issued a statement.

“(We) would like to apologize for the mistake and claim full responsibility for this incident. Our company did not have any intention to convey discriminatory or racist messages,” it said.

“What we intended to convey was that self-improvement in terms of personality, appearance, skills, and professionality (sic) is crucial.”…

Read the entire article and view the ad here.

[Note from Steven F. Riley: See the article, “Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy: By Way of Introduction.”]

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“A columnist examining Obama’s background summed up his racial identity into one equation: ‘white + black = black.’ For me, that said it all.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-12-26 21:09Z by Steven

The media’s metadiscussion explicitly endorsed a definition of Obama’s race that was essentially intersubjective, basing its racial descriptor on a combination of self-identification and ascription by others. Their reasoning, while not to be taken as gospel, explicitly endorsed the use of racial descriptors which were intersubjectively agreed upon. For instance, the Associated Press, whose articles and analysis dominate newspaper discussions of politics and race through both reputation and sheer numbers, endorsed such a view. As Karen Hunter, the Reader Representative at the Hartford Courant, explained in 2008, “Because The Courant relies on the Associated Press for much of its national coverage of the presidential race, the AP plays a key role in how the newspaper presents the candidates.” In accounting for the AP’s decision to use of “black” and “African American” as the proper – and essentially interchangeable – descriptors for Obama, AP Senior Managing Editor Mike Silverman explained, “I would say the answer has to do partly with the way Sen. Obama has defined himself and partly with the way American society defines someone who is biracial.” While Silverman implied a static public definition of black and biracial individuals, and ignored his organization’s own role in creating and shifting these definitions, the AP relied on what it perceived to be the intersubjective consensus in order to determine Obama’s race, rather than any set of facts related to American rules regarding blackness. Nowhere in Silverman’s recapitulation of the AP’s behind-the-scenes discussions does he mention Obama’s parentage, hypodescent, biology, or other American rules of race, although they perhaps form the background of “the way American society defines someone.”

The Washington Post, Hartford Courant, and New York Times editorial boards were among the media to take similar stances. While endorsing and explaining the AP’s use of an intersubjective standard in deciding how to describe Obama, the Hartford Courant stated that,“Obama’s candidacy is a rare and riveting opportunity exactly because it is forcing conversations about issues that have been easier to ignore for centuries.” And in CNN’s “Behind the Scenes” look at it’s coverage of Obama’s race, Jay Carrol somewhat retrospectively summed up the media’s predominate position, writing, “A columnist examining Obama’s background summed up his racial identity into one equation: ‘white + black = black.’ For me, that said it all.” While the piece is entitled “Obama: Black or Biracial?” and Carrol continues with a discussion that claims the answer is complicated, the “accuracy” of the description is treated as an academic exercise attendant to the obvious conclusion based on an assumed social ascription.

Peter Geller, “Making Blackness, Making Policy,” PhD diss., Harvard University, 2012. 42-43. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9548618.

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Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw found guilty of rape

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-13 02:01Z by Steven

Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw found guilty of rape

Cable News Network (CNN)

Michael Martinez, Newsdesk Editor & Writer

Gigi Mann

(CNN) A jury found former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw guilty Thursday of some of the most serious charges against him, including sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and rape.

Holtzclaw faced 36 counts. He was found guilty on 18.

The former officer cried openly in the courtroom and rocked in his chair as the verdict was being read. Jurors deliberated for more than 40 hours over four days.

The Oklahoma City Police Department welcomed the verdict. “We are satisfied with the jury’s decision and firmly believe justice was served,” it said.

Sentencing is set for next month.

His trial touched upon the explosive intersection of race, policing and justice in America.

Holtzclaw, whose father is white and mother Japanese, was accused of assaulting or raping 13 women, all black, while he was on the job. Court records identify his race as “Asian or Pacific Islander.”

The jury was all-white, composed of eight men and four women…

Read the entire article here.

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Love in the face of racism: Being an interracial family

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-12-03 02:29Z by Steven

Love in the face of racism: Being an interracial family

Cable News Network (CNN)

Jareen Imam, Social Discovery Producer

CNN)—When Karen Garsee picked her 5-year-old daughter up from kindergarten in September, she wasn’t prepared for what Kaylee had to say.

The kids at school wouldn’t play with me today.


Because I’m brown.

Those words struck Garsee right in the heart. Being white, she didn’t know what she could say to make her daughter feel better. At that moment, they simply embraced.

“I didn’t think kids at that age really thought about other kids being different,” Garsee says.

That wouldn’t be the last time the schoolchildren didn’t want to play with Kaylee.

“We live in the South and racism is loud and it’s still out there,” Garsee says.

A CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation Poll on race found that about half (49%) of Americans say racism is a big problem in our society. Compare that to 2011 when 28% said racism was a big problem. And in 1995, shortly after the O.J. Simpson trial and a couple of years after the race riots in Los Angeles, 41% of people said racism was a big societal problem…

Read the entire article here.

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Passing for black? Now that’s a twist

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-06-17 19:29Z by Steven

Passing for black? Now that’s a twist

Cable News Network (CNN)

Lisa Respers France, Senior producer, CNN Digital

(CNN)—”In this day and age who in the world willingly wants to be black?”

I jokingly said that to my husband when news about Rachel Dolezal broke.

Dolezal, 37, is president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP whose racial identity is being questioned, now that her parents have produced what they say is her birth certificate. It appears to show that she is white.

They said their daughter, who reportedly earned a master’s degree from the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, began to “disguise herself” as black after the family adopted four African-American children.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud black woman who grew up in a family that is incredibly diverse and has such a heritage of hues that my parents were once questioned in a store as to where they “got that white baby from,” as they carted around my fair-skinned and light-eyed infant nephew.

But with all the heated debate over race relations and the treatment of minorities by law enforcement, which has resulted in unrest and more than a few black mothers burying their sons and daughters, I was both flabbergasted and intrigued by any claim that a white woman would willingly pass as black.

Race isn’t necessarily skin color

The concept of “passing” is something many African-Americans are familiar with. Some members of my own family were so light-skinned, with European features, that they willingly chose to live as white rather than deal with the discrimination of being black in America.

My mother, Patricia, who is fair and has greenish-gray eyes, tells the story of when her grandmother arrived at the bank where my mother worked after it closed. My biracial great-grandmother, Rose Evans, knocked on the window as my mother stood next to her white co-worker, counting out their drawer.

“There’s a woman trying to get your attention,” the co-worker told my mother.

When my mother responded “I know. That’s just my grandmother,” the co-worker continued: “No. There’s a white woman trying to get your attention.” “No. That’s my grandmother,” my mother repeated as her co-worker turned bright red with embarrassment.

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to race, you just can’t tell from looking…

Read the entire article here.

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Rachel Dolezal has a right to be black

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-06-17 19:16Z by Steven

Rachel Dolezal has a right to be black

Cable News Network (CNN)

Camile Gear Rich, Professor of Law and Sociology
Gould School of Law
University of Southern California

(CNN)—When it comes to identity, America takes one step forward and two steps back.

On Monday, Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, resigned in shame because she had posed as a black woman even though she is biologically white.

The outing of Dolezal seems ironic given the recent public embrace of Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner. Jenner seems to have ushered in an era of greater tolerance about the constructed nature of identity. After all, when a transgender woman is elevated to the cover of Vanity Fair, it’s as though we have reached a tipping point. We can accept the idea that one’s social identity can be radically transformed if it doesn’t match with what one feels in the heart…

…In my view, hate the sin but love the sinner. Dolezal lied. She should not have lied, but she lied for reasons with which we can sympathize.

I admire the way she chose to live her life as a black person. Advocating for anti-racism efforts is ethical and admirable if she wanted to claim blackness as a social identity. Those quick to throw stones well know that there are costs to living life as a black person, and once Dolezal made the switch she seems never to have looked back. I will not indict her for her choice to link herself to this community, and I would consider her claim no greater if she identified a long lost African ancestor…

Read the entire article here.

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I’m a person of color from a biracial marriage… I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety from the bias and privilege and violence that accompanies it.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-05-21 17:06Z by Steven

“I’m a person of color from a biracial marriage… I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety from the bias and privilege and violence that accompanies it.” —Ismael Ozanne

Michael Martinez, “Who is Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s prosecutor in Tony Robinson’s death?,” Cable News Network (CNN), May 12. 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/12/us/ismael-ozanne-wisconsin-district-attorney-tony-robinson-case/.

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Who is Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s prosecutor in Tony Robinson’s death?

Posted in Articles, Biography, Law, United States on 2015-05-20 21:52Z by Steven

Who is Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s prosecutor in Tony Robinson’s death?

Cable News Network (CNN)

Michael Martinez, Newsdesk Editor & Writer

(CNN) Ismael Ozanne wiped a handkerchief across his forehead, nervously tapped a stack of papers on the podium and slowly cleared his throat.

It wasn’t the first time he’d made history; that happened in 2010 when he became Wisconsin’s first black district attorney.

Still, the Dane County district attorney seemed acutely aware of his role on the national stage Tuesday as the man who would decide whether an officer should be charged for the March 6 shooting death of an unarmed biracial man, 19-year-old Tony Robinson.

Eventually, Ozanne told reporters that he’d cleared Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department, declaring that the officer’s gunfire was “a lawful use of deadly police force.”

But before he revealed his long-awaited decision Tuesday, the prosecutor also made it a point to talk about his past…

…Wisconsin’s first black DA

Ozanne became the first African-American district attorney in Wisconsin history in August 2010, when former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, appointed him as Dane County district attorney.

Ozanne’s appointment filled a vacancy created when the prior DA was elected as a Court of Appeals judge…

…Ozanne’s grandfather, Robert Ozanne, was a high school teacher, a labor organizer, an author and a professor of economics at University of Wisconsin at Madison in the 1950s, according to Ismael Ozanne’s biography.

His parents are also teachers: His father taught at Tuskegee University in Alabama and in Madison public schools, and as of last year, his mother was still in the classroom, teaching reading at a middle school.

Ozanne describes himself as biracial.

“I’m a person of color from a biracial marriage. … I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety from the bias and privilege and violence that accompanies it,” he said Tuesday…

Read the entire article here.

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Why mixed-race comic was ‘born a crime’

Posted in Africa, Articles, Arts, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2014-12-29 22:35Z by Steven

Why mixed-race comic was ‘born a crime’

Cable News Network (CNN)

Jessica Ellis

Teo Kermeliotis

London (CNN) — When it comes to getting ready for a show, fast-rising South African comedian Trevor Noah has it all figured out.

“My ideal setting is I walk from the streets, backstage and straight onto the stage,” says Noah, who last year became the first African comedian to perform on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show in the United States.

“Two minutes and I am on the stage. That way in my head I have gone from my world and then into a social setting with my friends. I want my audience to be my friends — that is when they will get the best comedy. If they see me as a performer, they won’t get the best show.”

At just 28 years old, Noah is already a big name in his country’s fledgling standup scene, as well as a cover star for Rolling Stone South Africa. But despite treating the audience as friends, he’s not afraid of provocative subject matter, with his latest show called “The Racist.”

he son of a black South African woman and a white Swiss man who met when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa, Noah jokes that he was “born a crime.” On stage, he draws upon his particular life experiences to tackle thorny issues with his funny, and sometimes trenchant, punchlines…

Read the entire article here.

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