Bill De Blasio Responds To Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-12-03 23:56Z by Steven

Bill De Blasio Responds To Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

The Huffington Post
2014-12-03

Sam Levine, Associate Politics Editor

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said Wednesday that a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner was a decision “that many in our city did not want.”

The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, put Garner in a chokehold that was captured on video during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes in July. In the video, Garner can be heard repeating, “I can’t breathe.”

In a statement, de Blasio called Garner’s death “a great tragedy” but said that any protests following the decision should be peaceful. He said that his administration was working with police to make sure that similar incidents did not happen in the future. De Blasio also noted that there would be a NYPD internal investigation as well as a separate investigation by the U.S. Attorney…

…During a press conference on Staten Island Wednesday evening, de Blasio called for peaceful demonstrations and spoke in personal terms about Garner’s death. Mentioning that he had met with Garner’s father, de Blasio said that he couldn’t help but think of his own son, Dante, who is black.

“I couldn’t help but immediately think what it would mean to me to lose Dante. Life would never be the same for me after,” de Blasio said. “Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face,” he added.

“No family should have to go through what the Garner family went through,” de Blasio said…

Read the entire article here.

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Being a White Latina: A Reflection on Racial And Ethnic Identities

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-02 21:15Z by Steven

Being a White Latina: A Reflection on Racial And Ethnic Identities

The Huffington Post
Latino Voices
2014-12-01

Nicholle Lamartina Palacios, Writer, activist, and community organizer

We live in a country where race is a dichotomy and people are literally separated into categories of black and white — but human identities are not that simple. When speaking about my own racial identity, it is impossible not to also talk about my ethnic identity. These two concepts go hand-in-hand. How one regards themselves ethnically and the cultural background that one has grown up with, will inevitably shape the way one sees themselves through a racial lens; it will also affect the way they are perceived from the outside. When talking about my own racial identity I cannot just speak about the color of my skin nor the box I check off on applications. Not only would that would be an injustice to myself, but it would also negate the reality of the complexities and nuances that arise when we try to essentialize and simplify people’s ethnological narratives.

My racial and ethnic identification have been majorly affected by the fact that I grew up in New York City, “the central diasporic location for [many] transnational communities historically and in our times” according to scholar Juan Flores, the director of Latino Studies at NYU. I was born and raised in Queens to an Argentine mother and an Italian-American father, but spent my formative years with my grandmother and mother in a Spanish speaking home. Growing up in Queens, the most diverse borough of New York, almost every single one of my friends was either an immigrant or the child of immigrant parents. Because of the wide variety of races and ethnicities, while living in Queens “where are you from?,” “what’s your nationality?,” and “what are you?” are common questions to receive and to ask starting at a very young age. Even if the person’s nationality is American and they were born in the States, they automatically connect themselves to their parent’s or grandparent’s countries, since this is what is expected. I have never heard anyone say “I am American” even if they technically were…

…Although I certainly cannot complain about being in a position of privilege when it comes to my skin color and Anglo features, I have realized it has shaped the way in which I connect to my latinidad and to the community at large. After a few Latino studies courses, I became aware that in order to be regarded as “Latina” I have to assert my latinidad and constantly prove it — either through my use of Spanish, my ability to dance to Latin dances, or by explaining my family history. This contrasts greatly with the lived experiences of many other Latinos, especially those of color…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Did Somebody Say “Mulatto”?’ Speaking Critically on Mixed Heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-23 19:51Z by Steven

‘Did Somebody Say “Mulatto”?’ Speaking Critically on Mixed Heritage

The Huffington Post
The Blog
2014-11-21

A. B. Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Photograph: Ken Tanabe

One of the main characters in the award-winning film Dear White People is a mixed “black and white” college student who works to make sense of her life and relationships. The movie addresses several thought-provoking subjects, and the storyline around this character raises the question: Should people of mixed heritage have to choose one part of their ancestry over another?

From Nov. 13 to Nov. 15, over 600 people came together at DePaul University in Chicago to explore this question and other issues surrounding ideas of race, perceptions of racial mixture, and the experiences of mixed-heritage people. The goal of the 2014 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, titled “Global Mixed Race,” was to “bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines around the world to facilitate a conversation about the transnational, transdisciplinary, and transracial field of Critical Mixed Race Studies.”

As the number of people who identify as “mixed” increases, discussions around various topics concerning people of mixed ancestry are also expanding and challenging our perceptions of race and racism. Both critical mixed-race studies and films like Dear White People accomplish the same goal of furthering conversations regarding race — dialogues that we can engage in with friends, family, and those in our communities at large…

…CMRS Asks: Is There a “Global Mixed Race”?

Activists, artists, and scholars who compose critical mixed-race studies (CMRS) are complicating questions beyond “What are you?” and combating the myth of the “tragic mulatta/o.” In past decades, CMRS has expanded over a number of academic fields spanning several disciplines.

While CMRS has fought over the years to gain legitimacy within scholarly circles, one of its greatest attributes is that the coalition is not made up of solely academics but includes community activists, students, educators, families, visual artists, independent filmmakers, and others interested in the varied experiences of mixed-heritage peoples. Of course, not all these categories are mutually exclusive, as many of the activists, artists, etc., are also scholars.

Laura Kina and Camilla Fojas of DuPaul University organized the third CMRS conference, “Global Mixed Race,” which featured a variety of people telling their own stories, sharing the stories of others, and dissecting theories that surround notions of ethnoracial mixture.* In the opening keynote address, sociologist Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, co-editor of the book Global Mixed Race, explored the idea of a “mixed experience,” where she discussed the commonalities that people of mixed descent share widely across the globe.

King-O’Riain noted that people of mixed heritage have had to learn how to live and operate within their respective societies, often finding themselves ostracized by individuals within their local communities and battling exclusive national definitions of citizenship. King-O’Riain explained that people of mixed ancestry therefore have often had to skillfully create a flexible hybrid identity, one where they develop a keen ability to operate among several groups…

Read the entire article here.

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Raven-Symoné, Oprah, and What it Means to be (African) American

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-15 00:50Z by Steven

Raven-Symoné, Oprah, and What it Means to be (African) American

The Huffington Post
Black Voices
2014-10-13

A. B. Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Last week entertainer Raven-Symoné appeared on Oprah: Where Are They Now? and proudly stated that she was in “an amazing, happy relationship” with a woman, yet what she followed up with turned out to be more surprising for some. After telling Oprah that she did not want to be labeled “gay” yet simply as “a human who loves humans,” Raven continued: “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American.”

As Oprah shook her head, she responded, “Oh girl, don’t set up the Twitter on fire.” She then threw up her hands and yelled jokingly, “Stop, stop, stop the tape right now!” Twitter and the blogosphere certainly did blow up in response to Raven’s remarks, which many felt were blasphemous, not regarding her sexual orientation, but because she rejected being identified as African American.

Everyone has the right to identify as they please, and if she wants to, Raven-Symoné can certainly refuse labels surrounding her sexuality and ethnoracial background. However, she didn’t dodge all labels as rigorously as she claimed, for Raven still enthusiastically and without hesitation embraced the national label of “American.”

What might be more problematic is that Raven and Oprah both came to agreement on the point that “America” is supposed to be a “melting pot.” While their version of the “melting pot” may be that everyone is equally included in the melding of cultures that make up the United States, this has not been the case in the past and is still not the case today. (If we truly considered every culture as equal contributors to the U.S. “melting pot” then why in 2014 do we still have a sports team called Redskins and continue to celebrate Columbus Day as a national holiday?)

Oprah and Raven-Symoné are two models of excellence who deserve recognition for their achievements in media, entertainment, and life. Still, their recent conversation concerning ethnoracial identity and what it means to be “American” may have been misdirected in places and requires further discussion. These revealing comments provide us with a place for further conversation as we reflect on our views concerning the important topics of race, culture, and identity…

…While Raven never expected her personal comments would “spark such emotion in people,” those claiming mixed descent need to understand that speaking openly about their blended heritage can still be controversial, especially when they are perceived to be favoring their mixture over an identity of color.

When Raven-Symoné said, “I have lots of things running through my veins” she was being honest about her ancestry further back on her family tree. Still, some people of mixed heritage have used statements like these to distance themselves from stigmas associated with “blackness.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Privilege of White Hispanic: Leaving Out the Rest

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-21 17:32Z by Steven

The Privilege of White Hispanic: Leaving Out the Rest

Latino Voices
The Huffington Post
2014-09-09

César Vargas, Writer, director, activist

People talk so much about Latinos denying their Blackness, but bring up the term “white Latino” and you will see an extreme reaction, visceral attack from white Latinos themselves. Tactics such as (and I’m pretty sure you’ve read this a lot from racist Americans): Stop talking about race, Latinos aren’t racist, white and Black Latinos are still treated the same, your language is divisive. They love to pretend they don’t enjoy privileges afforded to them when they identify as Latino or Hispanic.

Embracing Latino or Hispanic has not benefitted Indigenous folks, Chicanos or Afro-Latinos because it has been robbed from the rest of us by white Latinos for their own agenda: money and political powers with brands, sponsors, the government, publications, grants, you name it.

We are here to demand to be included in Latinoness and not just with a label so we can be targeted for political and monetary gain: with positions in the government, with positions as brand ambassadors, with positions in both the film industry and TV networks. With jobs…

Read the entire article here.

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Light-Skinned Latinos Tend To Vote More Republican. Be Careful How You Interpret That.

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-09-19 18:14Z by Steven

Light-Skinned Latinos Tend To Vote More Republican. Be Careful How You Interpret That.

Latino Voices
The Huffington Post
2014-09-18

Roque Planas, Editor

Lighter-skinned Latinos are more likely to vote Republican, according to polling data analyzed by the Washington Post.

The data highlights rarely recognized racial divisions within the Latino community that have perplexed the U.S. Census Bureau and tripped up mass media. But don’t expect it to change too much about the way you understand the Latino vote.

Writing for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog on Wednesday, professor Spencer Piston analyzed a sample of Latino citizens interviewed for the 2012 American National Election Studies. Interviewers measured the respondents’ skin color.

…The predictions Piston makes based on the data, however, are questionable. He writes that the analysis should make us rethink projections suggesting that the growth of the Latino electorate will dilute the Republican vote, which are based on the premise that Latinos tend to vote Democrat. …

…As a multiracial ethnicity, Latinos view race differently than non-Latinos because so many Hispanics come from a mixed-race background. While racial division and discrimination are undoubtedly part of the Latino experience, Latinos have less fixed ideas about race than non-Latino Americans. Our communities, our social groups and our families are racially mixed in a way that doesn’t exist to the same degree among non-Hispanic white and black Americans. …

Read the entire article here.

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Black In The Dominican Republic: Denying Blackness

Posted in Anthropology, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Social Science, Videos on 2014-06-11 20:11Z by Steven

Black In The Dominican Republic: Denying Blackness

HuffPost Live
The Huffington Post
2014-06-10

Marc Lamont Hill, Host

In Latin America and Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic many deny being of African decent, despite 90 percent of the population possessing black ancestry. Where has the blackness gone in the region?

Guests:

  • Biany Perez (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Graduate Student at Bryn Mawr College
  • Christopher Pimentel (New York , New York) Finance Student at Baruch College
  • Robin Derby (Los Angeles, California) Associate Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kimberly Eison Simmons (Columbia, South Carolina) Associate Professor, Anthropology and African American Studies, University of South Carolina
  • Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse, New York) Professor of English, Syracuse University

 

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Are Latinos Really Turning White?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-05 14:50Z by Steven

Are Latinos Really Turning White?

Latino Voices
The Huffington Post
2014-05-29

Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies
University of Southern California

Writing for The New York Times, Nate Cohn recently reported that more Hispanics are identifying as white. The piece—which even includes a cute graphic in which a (presumably Latino) man steps from one square to another, miraculously becomes white, and then rises up to the sky—suggests that this may be “new evidence consistent with the theory that Hispanics may assimilate as white Americans, like the Italians or Irish….”

That’s interesting (and colorful), to be sure. But as I often tell my data staff, when you discover a surprising fact, you could be on to something—but you could also just be wrong.

Cohn’s analysis is actually a few steps removed, which may explain part of the problem. He bases his discussion on a summary offered by the Pew Research Center, which was in turn reporting on a presentation given at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America.

The underlying research is novel in several ways, one of which is that it links individual answers on the 2000 Census with the answers those same individuals gave when administered the Census in 2010.

It turns out that 2.5 million Americans who marked Hispanic and “some other race” in 2000 indicated that they were Hispanic and white a decade later; while another 1.3 million people flipped the other way, it’s still a large net gain—about 3.5 percent of the Latino population in the year 2000.

So what happened? Perhaps assimilation is indeed alive and well? Maybe the racial threats posed by anti-immigrant rhetoric led some Hispanics to become defensively white? Maybe it’s young people who became adults over the course of the decade and finally got a chance to choose their identity rather than have it chosen by the head of their household?

Or maybe the question changed…

Read the entire article here.

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Stunning Self-Portraits Make You Think Twice About Interracial Identity In South America

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2014-04-29 16:48Z by Steven

Stunning Self-Portraits Make You Think Twice About Interracial Identity In South America

The Huffington Post
2014-04-25

Katherine Brooks, Arts & Culture Editor

Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão has been exploring themes of interracial identity through an unlikely medium—self-portraits. To confront and challenge concepts like colonialism and miscegenation in her home country, she turns her own visage into a canvas and translates the many skin colors that populate Brazil into a palette of paint. The result, “Polvo,” presents racial diversity through the face of one woman, daring the viewer to lose themselves in her nebulous color wheels.

Varejão sought inspiration from the 17th and 18th century practice of Spanish casta paintings, portraits that aimed to document the variety of skin colors in Latin America and reframe them in ways that sliced and diced mixed-race ethnicities into far more than black and white. “Mixing was the norm,” The Economist asserted in 2012, referencing the interracial mixing that occurred even during Brazil’s days of slavery. “The result is a spectrum of skin colour rather than a dichotomy.”

Defining the spectrum was a Euro-centric obsession, one that resulted in an elaborate system of castes—white Spanish at one end and those of African or indigenous descent at the other—that had social, cultural and economic implications. The lighter skinned individuals existed at the top of the socio-economic pyramid, with better jobs and higher standards of living, while their darker skinned counterparts sank to the bottom.

The legacy of this classification persists in Brazil, a country seen less as a “racial democracy” and more as a purveyor of segregation. And interracial identity remains a potent issue, particularly since black and mixed-race people officially outnumber white citizens, according to a 2010 census. “Brazil is a country where non-whites now make up a majority of the population,” NPR’s Melissa Block reiterated in a 2013 story. “It’s one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world; home to 97 million African descendants—the largest number of blacks outside Africa…

Read the entire article here.

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Stephen Colbert Is Confused About G. K. Butterfield’s Race In Latest ‘Better Know A District’

Posted in Interviews, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-03-25 20:33Z by Steven

Stephen Colbert Is Confused About G. K. Butterfield’s Race In Latest ‘Better Know A District’

The Huffington Post
2014-03-25

Carol Hartsell, Senior Comedy Editor

Stephen Colbert unveiled a new edition of “Better Know A District” on Monday’s show, and it was chock-full of racial misunderstandings, confusing questions and barbecue taste tests… like all of his best segments, really.

Sitting down with North Carolina Representative G. K. Butterfield, things got off to an awkward start when Colbert was confused by the congressman’s race (Butterfield is the son of mixed-race parents and identifies as African-American). But once that was over, Colbert got right to the tough questions: why Butterfield is prejudiced against the 1% (the real minority in America) and why he wants to make six-year-olds pay more for cigarettes.

Watch the full segment above or here.

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