Photographer Explores The Beautiful Diversity Of Redheads Of Color

Posted in Articles, Arts, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2015-08-25 17:45Z by Steven

Photographer Explores The Beautiful Diversity Of Redheads Of Color

The Huffington Post
2015-08-25

Priscilla Frank, Arts Writer


Michelle Marshall

Red hair is usually the result of a mutation in a gene called MC1R, also known as a melanocortin 1 receptor. Normally, when activated by a certain hormone, MC1R sparks a series of signals that leads to the production of brown or black pigment. Yet, in cases when both parents are carriers of the recessive MC1R gene and said receptor is mutated or antagonized, it fails to turn hair darker, resulting instead in a beautifully fiery buildup of red pigment.

As previously estimated by BBC News, between one and two percent of the world’s population — or 70 to 140 million people — are redheads. In Scotland and Ireland, around 35 percent of the population carry the recessive gene that yields crimson locks, and the redhead count is around 10 percent. As such, the word ginger often calls to mind visions of Celtic-Germanic attributes — namely, pale, white skin…

White skin and red hair may constitute the stereotypical image of a redhead, but it’s by no means a comprehensive one. French-born, London-based photographer Michelle Marshall is documenting the stunningly diverse manifestations of the MC1R gene, particularly in people of color…

Read the entire article here.

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“Race” is man-made, and much of the scientific enterprise has traditionally supported the myth that racial differences accurately represent real, biological differences among humans.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-08-24 02:25Z by Steven

“Race” is man-made, and much of the scientific enterprise has traditionally supported the myth that racial differences accurately represent real, biological differences among humans. These beliefs limit how scientists, policymakers, and everyday citizens can work together to tackle the real racial inequality of today. By increasing the dialogue of how we can tackle racial inequality regardless of whether we work in a laboratory or not, we can continue to deconstruct the myth that race is found in our genes, and begin to search in earnest for the legal, policy, economic, political, and social forces that make the effects of race all too real.

Matthew W. Hughey, “The Risks of Turning Races Into Genes,” The Huffington Post, August 20, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-w-hughey/the-risks-of-turning-race_b_8010956.html.

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The Risks of Turning Races Into Genes

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2015-08-24 01:25Z by Steven

The Risks of Turning Races Into Genes

The Huffington Post
2015-08-20

Matthew W. Hughey, Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

From 22-25 August, sociologists from around the nation and world will descend upon the Windy City of Chicago to discuss sundry issues as they participate in the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. One issue, however, is quite controversial: do genes or the social environment determine our behavior and health? Precisely, does nature or nurture determine the outcome of racial differences and racial inequality found throughout society?

Many readily acknowledge scientific advances are a necessary part of an improving society. From making cars more efficient on the road and beaming pictures from Pluto across the solar system to Earth, to developing new medical procedures to help us live better and making a longer lasting light bulb. Despite the many improvements science affords, cultural bias and normative assumptions can undergird the scientific methods and lead us down a dangerous path that has plagued American society for centuries. This path relies on a logic about race and difference that was and continues to be shared by many: from Thomas Jefferson to Dylan Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine African American churchgoers in Charleston this summer. What may be even more surprising is that a variation of this same logic can infiltrate science and influences how we understand who achieves better jobs and even who succeeds at professional sports.

In the just released issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science we edited, I have gathered (with Professor W. Carson Byrd) an array of experts on race, science, technology, and society to explain how the fiction of “race” can have very real consequences. By exploring both biological determinism and racial essentialism together–what I and Professor Byrd call the “ideological double helix”–we explain how misunderstandings of race, genes, and inequality frequently creep into supposedly an objective science…

Read the entire article here.

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Stop Denying Me My Blackness: A Latina Speaks About Race

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-08-08 19:26Z by Steven

Stop Denying Me My Blackness: A Latina Speaks About Race

The Huffington Post
2015-08-04

Vanessa Mártir

I’d been in Wellesley for all of a few weeks when it first happened. It was the fall of 1989, my first year in boarding school. I was walking with another ABC (A Better Chance) student back to our dorm on the outskirts of the Wellesley College campus. We were the “scholarship kids”– her a St. Lucian girl from Flatbush, me a BoricuaHondureña from Bushwick. We were walking along Washington Avenue, the main street that runs through the town, past the Town Hall that looks like a castle, and the duck pond. I don’t remember what we were talking about or if we were even talking, but I remember his face, bloated and red and angry. He stuck that face out of the truck that slowed down as it passed, then he threw a lit cigarette at us, two teenage girls, her 16, me 13, and said, “Go home, niggers.” We jumped away to avoid getting burnt and stared at the truck as it sped off. She started crying, a quiet, blubbering cry that shook her shoulders. I stayed quiet the rest of the walk home.

The following year, a black girl who was all of a shade darker than me told me I didn’t know prejudice, “because you’re not black.” She pursed her lips and shook her head. I thought back to that lit cigarette and that bloated red face.

In the summer of 1985, my mother took us to Honduras for the first time. One morning, my brother Carlos and I were picking naranjas off the tree whose branch extended out into our family’s patio. We were just kids—I was nine, Carlos was thirteen. We just wanted some oranges. Suddenly the neighbor came running out of her house screaming. She called us malditos prietos, thieves and criminals for picking fruit off her tree. She said she’d rather they rot than have us eat them. My brother pulled open an orange with his fingers, put it to his mouth and sucked on it while he stared at that woman. She sneered and called him, “un prieto sucio.” My brother laughed, juice dripping down his chin, grabbed my hand and walked off. I gave her the universal fuck you sign—the middle finger…

…I’ve been thinking a lot about race, as a Boricua-Hondureña who identifies as BOTH black and indígena, because I am both and neither is mutually exclusive. Here’s the thing, I’m all for conversations about blackness. They are necessary. But to have a complete conversation, we need to talk about how some people, African American and even my own Latino people, have denied me my blackness because “you don’t look black,” they’ve said. The issue is that people like me do not fit into their construct of what race is…

Read the entire article here.

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It’s Impossible to Lie About Your Race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science on 2015-07-26 15:13Z by Steven

It’s Impossible to Lie About Your Race

The Huffington Post
2015-07-01

Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York University

There’s an important question being left out of the furor over charges that Rachel Dolezal, the former head of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter, has been “lying” about her race: How can you lie about something that doesn’t have any objective truth to it in the first place?

The frenzy over Dolezal has erupted because her claim to black identity defies a longstanding American belief that human beings come in three or four or five flavors called “races,” which are linked to the geographical areas from which our ancestors came, and which are characterized by physical characteristics that are passed down from one generation to the next. According to this dominant view, Dolezal is objectively white because her parents are white Americans whose recent ancestors were from Europe.

But instead of being a matter of natural, objective facts, race is more like astrology. It’s a way of dividing human beings up into different categories, and we are the ones who invent those categories, not Mother Nature. The idea that there are “black” people and “white” people is no different than the belief that there are Geminis and Scorpios. Indeed, astrology and racial classification both claim to be grounded in nature. Race ostensibly reflects our biological constitution, while sun signs are meant to capture planetary forces that imprinted us at birth. But it’s not too hard to see that a whole lot of human cultural thinking has gone into both. The reality is that scientists are far from any agreement on what race has to do with genes. And the racial classifications so familiar to Americans today are actually products of the 1700s, when they were forged by Europeans who were trying to explain the physical, social and moral qualities of peoples they had come to colonize across the world.

So when Rachel Dolezal says she is black when we consider her white, it’s akin to her claiming to be a Virgo when by our lights she’s a Leo. Would it really be a lie to say you’re a Virgo instead of a Leo when both of those categories are made up in the first place?…

Read the entire article here.

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What It Really Means To Be Transracial And Black

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2015-07-09 02:32Z by Steven

What It Really Means To Be Transracial And Black

The Huffington Post
2015-07-08

Zeba Blay


Photo by Luke Ratan

It’s been weeks since the nation became obsessed with — then subsequently forgot about — Rachel Dolezal. In choosing to identify as a black woman, Dolezal introduced the concept of being transethnic or “transracial” into the mainstream. Faulty comparisons to Caitlyn Jenner and the transgender community abounded, and many commentators (including myself) rejected them, arguing that being transracial “is not a thing.”

I’ve since learned that being transracial is a thing — just not in the way Dolezal interpreted it. The first known use of the word dates back to the 1970s. Transracial applies to those adopted by parents of another race. It’s an experience often overlooked, and a vibrant community of transracial speakers, writers, and activists have come forward in the wake of Dolezal to take back ownership of the word and their unique identities.

What have their experiences been, not only in the wake of the scandal, but in their day to day lives? What does it mean to be transracial?

For many transracial adoptees, to reclaim “transracial” is to reclaim themselves…

…Transracial identity, like all identity, can be such a nebulous thing. Some adoptees feel untethered, or as if they’re forced to choose between sides. Many experience an intimate, insider relationship with whiteness and white privilege while simultaneously experiencing racism. Blogger Katakasrainbow described that in-between plainly as the word “transracial” began to trend. “I wasn’t really black due to a lack of present black parents and family, but I could never ever ever really be white either,” she wrote…

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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New Bill Would Let New Yorkers Identify As Multiracial On Official City Forms

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-05-12 20:44Z by Steven

New Bill Would Let New Yorkers Identify As Multiracial On Official City Forms

The Huffington Post
2015-05-12

Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias), New York Reporter

New York City has the largest population in the United States of people who identify as multiracial. Even its mayor, Bill de Blasio, and its first lady, Chirlane McCray, have two multiracial children.

And yet, on the various official city documents New Yorkers often have to fill out, there are only five racial categories: “white, not of Hispanic origin”; “black, not of Hispanic origin”; “Hispanic”; “Asian or Pacific Islander”; and “American Indian or Alaskan Native.”

In testimony submitted at a City Council hearing Monday, a New Yorker named Daniel Reckart explained why this can be a problem.

“You see, my mother is half Jamaican and half British-Caucasian,” he said. “My father is half Mexican, half German.”

“My siblings and I — as siblings do — look both alike and, at the same time, a spectrum of our multiple races,” he continued. “Some of us look more Latino and some of us look more white and some look more black. But the fact is that we have all always identified proudly as multiracial, and to ask us to choose just one box is like asking us to choose allegiance with just one of our grandparents.”

Reckart is one of more than 325,000 New Yorkers who identify as multiracial. His testimony Monday was submitted in support of a piece of legislation that would require “city agencies to amend their official forms and databases to accommodate multiracial identification where racial identification is required.”

Those forms include applications for after-school programs, public housing and taxi licenses, as well as discrimination complaint forms and registration with the Department of Small Business Services — not to mention all the paperwork filled out by the 300,000 or so city employees.

The new multiracial designation, say the bill’s supporters, would help the city collect more accurate demographic data. Such information is important for crafting legislation and policy, and for keeping track of how various policies affect people of different races. In some cases, that data can also help determine how much state or federal funding the city will receive.

Council member Margaret Chin, lead sponsor of the bill, told The Huffington Post that it’s “important for government to recognize multicultural heritage.”

“We wanted to allow individuals to celebrate their heritage and be able to identify themselves as they want to,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Gorgeous Black-And-White Portraits Explore The Meaning Of Multiracial Identities

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-01 01:35Z by Steven

Gorgeous Black-And-White Portraits Explore The Meaning Of Multiracial Identities

The Huffington Post
2015-03-30

Katherine Brooks, Senior Arts & Culture Editor

“I began this project because I recognized that I was part of a underrepresented group of people,” artist Samantha Wall explained in an email to HuffPost. “It’s difficult to talk about multiraciality with individuals who can’t understand our perspective. It’s not as simple as being part this and part that, our identities can’t be so easily divided. But art is a language that lends itself to communicating experiences too difficult to comprehend through words alone.”

For her project “Indivisible,” Wall explores the meaning of multiracial identities in Korea and the United States through a series of black-and-white portraits. The images show models staring fearlessly at the viewer, flashing a smile, a laugh and sometimes even a grimace. Wall’s charcoal and ink illustrations attempt to convey, as she notes, a feeling that words cannot. “Through this work I am exposing the plurality of emotions that sculpt human subjectivity,” she writes on her website. “The drawings of these women are portals into the human psyche, a place where emotions call out and perceived racial boundaries dissolve.”…

Read the entire article here

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Hispanic Journalists To Survey Race In Spanish-Language TV After Univision Incident

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-18 15:15Z by Steven

Hispanic Journalists To Survey Race In Spanish-Language TV After Univision Incident

The Huffington Post
2015-03-17

Roque Planas

Carolina Moreno

The National Hispanic Journalists Association applauded Univision’s decision to fire host Rodner Figueroa, after he compared first lady Michelle Obama to a character from “Planet of the Apes” during a segment of “El Gordo Y La Flaca” last week.

In a statement published to NAHJ’s website on Tuesday, the organization’s President Mekahlo Medina called Figueroa’s comments “racist” and said that Univision made “the right decision” by dismissing him.

“Univision, the fifth largest network in the U.S., took a stand against racism and we are all better for it,” Medina’s statement said. “But I keep wondering, what was Figueroa thinking when those words came out of his mouth? Why was it okay for him, at that moment, to compare the First Lady of the United States or any person to an ape? And why, still today, does he think that was not racist?”…

…Medina also highlighted the lack of racial diversity within both the Spanish-language and English-language news media, saying it helps perpetuate a “hierarchy of skin color and race.”

“How many dark-skin or afro-Latino anchors do you see on Spanish language newscasts?” Medina said in the statement. “How many indigenous Latinos do you see on any newscast, English or Spanish? There isn’t a single Latino/a anchoring an 11pm English language newscast in Los Angeles, despite the market being 53% Latino and overwhelmingly English speaking or bilingual.”…

Read the entire article here.

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