…blackness also points to a history of mixed racialization that, although always acknowledged among blacks, is rarely understood or seen among other groups.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2013-09-30 18:21Z by Steven

But blackness also points to a history of mixed racialization that, although always acknowledged among blacks, is rarely understood or seen among other groups. I have argued elsewhere, for instance, that to add the claim of “mixture” to blacks in both American continents would be redundant, because blacks are their primary “mixed” populations to begin with. Mixture among blacks, in particular, functions as an organizing aesthetic, as well as a tragic history. On the aesthetic level, it signifies the divide between beauty and ugliness. On the social level, the divide is between being just and unjust, virtuous and vicious; “fair skin” is no accidental, alternative term for “light skin.” And on the historical level, the divide signifies concerns that often are denied.

Lewis R. Gordon, Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997). 57.

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Race, Biraciality, and Mixed Race—in Theory

Posted in Books, Chapter, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2013-09-29 22:19Z by Steven

Race, Biraciality, and Mixed Race—in Theory

Chapter in: Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age

Rowman & Littlefield
288 pages
August 1997
Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-8476-8447-2
eBook ISBN: 978-0-585-20172-6
pages 51-71

Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and Director of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies
Temple University

“You, who are a doctor,” said I to my [American] interlocutor, “you do not believe, however, that the blood of blacks has some specific qualities?”

He shrugged his shoulders: “There are three blood types,” he responded to me, “which one finds nearly equally in blacks and whites.”

“Well?”

“It is not safe for black blood to circulate in our veins.”

Jean-Paul Sartre, “Return from the United States”

An African American couple found themselves taking their child, a few months of age, to a physician for an ear infection. Since their regular physician was out, an attending physician took their care. Opening the baby girl’s files, he was caught by some vital information. The charts revealed a diagnosis of “H level” alpha thalassemia, a genetic disease that is known to afflict 2 percent of northeast Asian populations. He looked at the couple. The father of the child, noticing the reticence and awkwardness of the physician, instantly spotted a behavior that he had experienced on many occasions.

“It’s from me,” he said. “She’s got the disease from me.”

“Now, how could she get the disease from you?” the physician asked with some irritation.

“My grandmother is Chinese,” the father explained.

The physician’s face suddenly shifted to an air of both surprise and relief. Then he made another remark. “Whew!” he said. “I was about to say, ‘But—you’re black.’”

The couple was not amused.

Realizing his error, the physician continued. “I mean, I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, I know Hispanics who are also Asians, so why not African Americans?”

Yes. Why not?

The expression “mixed race” has achieved some popularity in contemporary discussions of racial significations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is significant that these three countries are marked by the dominance of an Anglo-cultural standpoint. In other countries, particularly with Spanish, Portuguese, and French influences, the question of racial mixture has enjoyed some specificity and simultaneous plurality. For the Anglos, however, the general matrix has been in terms of “whites” and” all others,” the consequence of which has been the rigid binary of whites and nonwhites. It can easily be shown, however, that the specific designations in Latin and Latin American countries are, for the most part, a dodge and that, ultimately, the primary distinctions focus on being either white or at least not being black.

We find in the contemporary Anglophone context, however, a movement that is not entirely based on the question of racial mixture per se. The current articulation of racial mixture focuses primarily upon the concerns of biracial people. Biracial mixture pertains to a specific group within the general matrix of racial mixing, for a biracial identity can only work once, as it were. If the biracial person has children with, say, a person of a supposedly pure race, the “mixture,” if you will, will be between a biracial “race” and a pure one. But it is unclear what race the child will then designate (a mixture of biraciality and X, perhaps, which means being a new biracial formation?).

To understand both mixed race and its biracial specification and some of the critical race theoretical problems raised by both, we need first to understand both race and racism in contemporary race discourse…

…But blackness also points to a history of mixed racialization that, although always acknowledged among blacks, is rarely understood or seen among other groups. I have argued elsewhere, for instance, that to add the claim of “mixture” to blacks in both American continents would be redundant, because blacks are their primary “mixed” populations to begin with. Mixture among blacks, in particular, functions as an organizing aesthetic, as well as a tragic history. On the aesthetic level, it signifies the divide between beauty and ugliness. On the social level, the divide is between being just and unjust, virtuous and vicious; “fair skin” is no accidental, alternative term for “light skin.” And on the historical level, the divide signifies concerns that often are denied…

Read the entire chapter here.

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In Every Tongue: The Racial & Ethnic Diversity of the Jewish People

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2013-01-10 22:34Z by Steven

In Every Tongue: The Racial & Ethnic Diversity of the Jewish People

Institute for Jewish & Community Research
September 2005
272 pages
ISBN-10: 1893671011; ISBN-13: 978-1893671010

Gary A. Tobin

Diane Tobin

Scott Rubin

Foreword by:

Lewis Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and Director of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies
Temple University

2006 Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist for the category “Multicultural Non-Fiction Adult.”

A groundbreaking look at the changing faces of the Jewish people and the implications for the world Jewish community

Jews have always resembled the peoples among whom they live, whether in Africa, Asia, or Europe. Why should American Jews be an exception? In a land where racial and ethnic boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, the American Jewish community is also shifting. In Every Tongue is both a groundbreaking look at the changing faces of the Jewish people and an examination of the timelessness of those changes. Ranging from distinct communities of African American Jews and adopted children of color in white Jewish families to the growing number of religious seekers of all races who hope to find a home in Judaism, In Every Tongue explores the origins, traditions, challenges, and joys of diverse Jews in America.

This book explodes the myth of a single authentic Judaism and shines a bright light on the thousands of ethnically and racially diverse Jews in the United States who live full and rich Jewish lives. It is impossible to read In Every Tongue without coming away with a deeper respect for and a broader understanding of the Jewish people today. In a time when Jewish community leaders decry the shrinking of the Jewish population, In Every Tongue imagines a vibrant and daring future for the Jewish people: becoming who they have always been.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • A Synonym for Jewish
  • Describing the Tapestry
  • Racial and Religious Change in America
  • Jewish Diversity in America and the Politics of Race
  • The Last Taboo: Interracial Marriage
  • Feet in Many Rivers: Navigating Multiple Identities
  • Jews Have Always Been Diverse
  • Who Is a Jew? Ideology and Bloodlines
  • By Choice or by Destiny
  • And for Those Too Young to Ask: Transracial Adoption
  • Patches of Color, Patches of White
  • Toward a More Inclusive Future
  • Who Is a Jew, Really?
  • Be’chol Lashon: A Visual Journey
  • Methodology
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • Selected Bibliography
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The Philosophy of Race

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, Philosophy, Social Science on 2012-11-28 17:05Z by Steven

The Philosophy of Race

Routledge
2011-12-14
1,584 pages
Hardback: 978-0-415-49602-5

Edited by:

Paul Taylor, Professor of Philosophy; African American Studies
Pennsylvania State University

Since at least the early 1990s, philosophical race theory has emerged as a dynamic and fertile area of serious scholarly inquiry, and this new four-volume Major Work from Routledge meets the need for a comprehensive collection to facilitate ready access to the most influential and important foundational and cutting-edge scholarship.

Volume I (‘Philosophy and the History of Race, Race in the History of Philosophy’) brings together the key texts to have shaped the most widely recognized forms of ‘race thinking’. The second and third volumes in the collection, meanwhile, explore the questions that race raises in philosophy’s traditional subfields. Volume II (‘Racial Being and Knowing’) gathers the best and most influential work to unravel the implications of racial practices for metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. And Volume III (‘Race-ing Beauty, Goodness, and Right’) collects the key scholarship to deal with the consequences of racial practices for aesthetics, ethics, and politics.

The final volume in the collection (‘Intersections and Positions’) assembles the most important work to grapple with the methodological and geographical complications that accompany a commitment to racialism. (Race is an inherently contextual phenomenon and some of the material gathered in this volume—in particular, that exploring racialization in Japan, Brazil, and Norway—provides a refreshing counterweight to the philosophical zeal for abstraction.)

The Philosophy of Race is edited by Paul C. Taylor, a leading scholar in the field. The collection is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the material in its intellectual and historic context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource.

CONTENTS

  • Volume I: HISTORY
    • Part 1: Philosophical Historiography
      • 1. Cornel West, ‘A Genealogy of Modern Racism’, Prophesy Deliverance! Towards an Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity (Westminster Press, 1982), pp. 47–68.
      • 2. Robert Bernasconi, ‘Race, Culture, History’ (plenary lecture at Sodertorn University, 28 May 2009), pp. 11–46.
      • 3. David Theo Goldberg, ‘The End(s) of Race’, Postcolonial Studies, 2004, 7, 2, 211–30.
    • Part 2: Early Figures and Moments
      • 4. Harry Bracken, ‘Philosophy and Racism’, Philosophia, 1978, 8, 2–3, 241–60.
      • 5. Richard Popkin, ‘Hume’s Racism Reconsidered’, The Third Force in Seventeenth-Century Thought (Brill, 1992), pp. 64–75.
      • 6. Meg Armstrong, ‘”The Effects of Blackness”: Gender, Race, and the Sublime in Aesthetic Theories of Burke and Kant’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1996, 54, 3, 213–36.
      • 7. Bernard Boxill and Thomas E. Hill, ‘Kant and Race’, in Bernard Boxill (ed.), Race and Racism (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 448–71.
      • 8. Patricia Purtschert, ‘On the Limit of Spirit: Hegel’s Racism Revisited’, Philosophy & Social Criticism, 2010, 36, 9, 1039–51.
      • 9. Tom Jeannot, ‘Marx, Capitalism, and Race’, in Harry Van der Linden (ed.), Democracy, Racism, and Prisons (Philosophy Documentation Center, 2007), pp. 69–92.
    • Part 3: Late Modern Race Theory in/and the Canon
      • 10. Berel Lang, ‘Heidegger and the Jewish Question: Metaphysical Racism in Silence and Word’, in Julie K. Ward and Tommy L. Lott (eds.), Philosophers on Race: Critical Essays (Blackwell, 2002), pp. 205–21.
      • 11. Kathryn Gines, ‘Race Thinking and Racism in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism’, in Dan Stone and Richard King (eds.), Imperialism, Slavery, Race, and Genocide: The Legacy of Hannah Arendt (Berghahn, 2007), pp. 38–53.
      • 12. Jonathan Judaken, ‘Sartre on Racism: From Existential Phenomenology to Globalization and “the New Racism”’, in Jonathan Judaken (ed.), Race After Sartre (SUNY Press, 2008), pp. 23–54.
    • Part 4: Critical Race Theory and the New Canon
      • 13. Diego von Vacano, ‘Race and Political Theory: Lessons from Latin America’, in Jorge Gracia (ed.), Race or Ethnicity? On Black and Latino Identity (Cornell University Press, 2007), pp. 248–66.
      • 14. Howard McGary, ‘Douglass on Racial Assimilation and Racial Institutions’, in Bill E. Lawson and Frank Kirkland (eds.), Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader (Blackwell Publishing, 1999), pp. 50–63.
      • 15. Nancy Fraser, ‘Another Pragmatism: Alain Locke, Critical “Race” Theory, and the Politics of Culture’, in Morris Dickstein (ed.), The Revival of Pragmatism (Duke University Press, 1998), pp. 157–75.
      • 16. Vivian M. May, ‘Thinking from the Margins, Acting at the Intersections: Anna Julia Cooper’s A Voice from the South’, Hypatia, 2004, 19, 2, 74–91.
      • 17. K. A. Appiah, ‘The Uncompleted Argument: DuBois and the Illusion of Race’, Critical Inquiry, 1985, 12, 1, 21–37.
      • 18. W. E. B. Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept [1940] (Transaction Publishers, 1992), pp. 97–103, 114–17, 129–33, 137–40.
      • 19. Frantz Fanon, ‘The Lived Experience of the Black’, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. R. Philcox [1952] (Grove Press, 1967), pp. 78–99.
      • 20. Lewis R. Gordon, ‘Racism, Colonialism, and Anonymity: Social Theory and Embodied Agency’, Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: A Essay on Philosophy and the Human Sciences (Routledge, 1995), pp. 37–67.
  • Volume II: Racial Being and Knowing
    • Part 5: What Races Are, What ‘Race’ Means
      • 21. Charles W. Mills, ‘”But What Are You Really?” The Metaphysics of Race’, Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (Cornell University Press, 1998), pp. 41–66.
      • 22. Lucius Outlaw, ‘Conserve Races? In Defense of W. E. B. Du Bois’, Critical Social Theory in the Interests of Black Folks (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), pp. 139–62.
      • 23. Ron Mallon, ‘Passing, Traveling, and Reality: Social Construction and the Metaphysics of Race’, Nous, 2004, 38, 644–73.
      • 24. Robin O. Andreasen, ‘A New Perspective on the Race Debate’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1998, XLIX, 2, 199–225.
      • 25. Philip Kitcher, ‘Does “Race” have a Future?’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2007, 35, 4, 293–317.
      • 26. David Theo Goldberg, Racist Culture (Blackwell, 1993), pp. 80–9.
      • 27. S. Haslanger, ‘Language, Politics and “the Folk”: Looking for “the Meaning” of “Race”’, The Monist, 2010, 93, 2, 169–87.
      • 28. Joshua Glasgow, Julie L. Shulman, and Enrique G. Covarrubias, ‘The Ordinary Conception of Race in the United States and its Relation to Racial Attitudes: A New Approach’, Journal of Cognition and Culture, 2009, 9, 1–2, 15–38.
    • Part 6: What Racial Identities Are
      • 29. Linda Martín-Alcoff, ‘Philosophy and Racial Identity’, Philosophy Today, 1997, 41, 1, 67–76.
      • 30. K. Anthony Appiah, ‘Synthesis: For Racial Identities’, Color Conscious (Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 75–105.
      • 31. Judith Butler, ‘Passing, Queering: Nella Larsen’s Psychoanalytic Challenge’, Bodies That Matter (Routledge, 1993), pp. 167–86.
      • 32. Paul C. Taylor, Race: A Philosophical Introduction (Polity, 2004), pp. 84–7, 112–15.
    • Part 7: Power, Knowledge, Self-Knowledge, and Experience
      • 33. Charles Mills, ‘White Ignorance’, in Shannon Sullivan and Nancy Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance (SUNY Press, 2007), pp. 11–38.
      • 34. Anika Maaza Mann, ‘Race and Feminist Standpoint Theory’, in Kathryn Gines, Donna Dale-Marcano, and Maria del Guadelupe Davidson, Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy (SUNY Press, 2010), pp. 105–20.
      • 35. Shannon Sullivan, ‘Ignorance and Habit’, Revealing Whiteness (University of Indiana Press, 2006), pp. 17–44.
      • 36. Ned Block, ‘How Heritability Misleads About Race’, Boston Review, 1996, 20, 6, 30–35.
      • 37. Michael Root, ‘The Problem of Race in Medicine’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 2001, 31, 1, 20–39.
      • 38. Ronald Sundstrom, ‘Race and Place: Social Space in the Production of Human Kinds’, Philosophy and Geography, 2003, 6, 1, 83–95.
  • Volume III: Race-ing Beauty, Goodness, and Right
    • Part 8: Racism
      • 39. Kwame Anthony Appiah, ‘Racisms’, in D. T. Goldberg (ed.), Anatomy of Racism (University of Minnesota Press, 1990), pp. 3–17.
      • 40. Lewis R. Gordon, ‘Racialism, Racism, Racialists, Racists’, Bad Faith and Anti-Black Racism (Humanity Books, 1999), pp. 67–77.
      • 41. J. L. A. Garcia, ‘The Heart of Racism’, Journal of Social Philosophy, 1996, 2, 5–45.
      • 42. Tommie Shelby, ‘Is Racism in the Heart?’, Journal of Social Philosophy, 2002, 33, 411–20.
      • 43. L. Faucher and E. Machery, ‘Racism: Against Jorge Garcia’s Moral and Psychological Monism’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 2009, 39, 1, 41–62.
      • 44. Robert Bernasconi, ‘The Policing of Race Mixing: The Place of Biopower within the History of Racisms’, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 2010, 7, 2, 205–16.
    • Part 9: Race, the Right, and the Good
      • 45. Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (Cornell University Press, 1997), pp. 1–19.
      • 46. Anna Stubblefield, ‘Races as Families’, Journal of Social Philosophy, 2001, 32, 1, 99–112.
      • 47. L. Blum, ‘Three Kinds of Race-Related Solidarity’, Journal of Social Philosophy, 2007, 38, 53–72.
      • 48. Linda Martín Alcoff, ‘Latino/as, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary’, Journal of Ethics, 2003, 7, 1, 5–27.
      • 49. Howard McGary, ‘Psychological Violence, Physical Violence, and Racial Oppression’, in Lewis R. Gordon (ed.), Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy (Routledge, 1996), pp. 263–72.
      • 50. Samantha Vice, ‘How Do I Live in This Strange Place?’, Journal of Social Philosophy, 2010, 41, 3, 323–42.
    • Part 10: Selected Issues in Racial Politics
      • 51. Richard Wasserstrom, ‘Preferential Treatment, Color-Blindness, and the Evils of Racism and Racial Discrimination’, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 1987, 61, 1, 27–42.
      • 52. Howard McGary, ‘Achieving Democratic Equality: Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Reparations’, Journal of Ethics, 2003, 7, 1, 93–113.
      • 53. Angela Y. Davis, ‘Racialized Punishment and Prison Abolition’, in Tommy L. Lott (ed.), A Companion to African-American Philosophy (Blackwell Publishing, 2003), pp. 360–9.
      • 54. Glen Coulthard, ‘Subjects of Empire: Indigenous Peoples and the “Politics of Recognition”’, Contemporary Political Theory, 2007, 6, 4, 437–60.
    • Part 11: Aesthetics
      • 55. Monique Roelofs, ‘Racialization as an Aesthetic Production: What Does the Aesthetic Do for Whiteness and Blackness and Vice Versa?’, in George Yancy (ed.), White on White/Black on Black (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), pp. 83–124.
      • 56. Dan Flory, ‘Spike Lee and the Sympathetic Racist’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 2006, 64, 1, 67–79.
      • 57. Mariana Ortega, ‘Othering the Other: The Spectacle of Katrina for our Racial Entertainment Pleasure’, Contemporary Aesthetics, 2009, 2.
      • 58. Robert Gooding-Williams, ‘Aesthetics and Receptivity: Kant, Nietzsche, Cavell, Astaire’, Look, a Negro! Philosophical Essays on Race, Culture and Politics (Routledge, 2006), pp. 43–68.
      • 59. Falguni A. Sheth, ‘The Hijab and the Sari: The Strange and the Sexy Between Colonialism and Global Capitalism’, Contemporary Aesthetics, 2009, 2.
  • Volume IV: Intersections and Positions
    • Part 12: Intersectionality
      • 60. Nira Yuval-Davis, ‘Intersectionality, Citizenship and Contemporary Politics of Belonging’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 2007, 10, 4, 561–74.
      • 61. Patricia Hill Collins, ‘It’s All in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Nation’, Hypatia, 1998, 13, 3, 62–82.
      • 62. Jorge J. E. Gracia, ‘The Nature of Ethnicity with Special Reference to Hispanic/Latino Identity’, Public Affairs Quarterly, 1999, 13, 1, 25–42.
      • 63. Ladelle McWhorter, ‘Sex, Race, and Biopower: A Foucauldian Genealogy’, Hypatia, 2004, 19, 3, 38–62.
      • 64. Stuart Hall, ‘Race, Articulation and Societies Structured in Dominance’, Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism (UNESCO, 1980), pp. 305–45.
      • 65. Étienne Balibar, ‘Uprisings in the Banlieues’, Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 2007, 14, 1, 47–71.
    • Part 13: Mapping Racial Imaginaries: Inventing the Other
      • 66. Edward Said, ‘Introduction to Orientalism’, in Moustafa Bayoumi and Andrew Rubin (eds.), The Edward Said Reader (Vintage, 2000), pp. 67–74, 78–81, 90–3.
      • 67. David Haekwon Kim, ‘Orientalism and America Enlarged’, Newsletter on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies, 2003, 2, 2, 30–4.
      • 68. V. Y. Mudimbe, ‘Discourse of Power and Knowledge of Otherness’, The Invention of Africa (Indiana University Press, 1988), pp. 1–23.
      • 69. Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers (Princeton University Press, 2001), pp. 41, 56–9, 73–5, 80–90, 98–102.
      • 70. David Theo. Goldberg, ‘Racial Europeanization’, Ethnic & Racial Studies, 2006, 29, 2, 331–64.
      • 71. Nadia Abu El-Haj, ‘Racial Palestinianization and the Janus-Faced Nature of the Israeli State’, Patterns of Prejudice, 2010, 44, 1, 27–41.
    • Part 14: Positioning Critical Identities: Inventing Self and Community
      • 72. Sonia Sikka, ‘In What Sense are Dalits Black?’ (presentation to ‘Beyond the White–Black Binary’, conference held at Pennsylvania State University, 12 November 2010).
      • 73. Linda Martín Alcoff, ‘Mestizo Identity’, in Naomi Zack (ed.), American Mixed Race: The Culture of Microdiversity (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), pp. 257–78.
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Critical ‘Mixed Race’?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2012-07-07 01:07Z by Steven

Critical ‘Mixed Race’?

Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture
Volume 1, Issue 2, 1995
pages 381-395
DOI: 1080/13504630.1995.9959443

Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and Director of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies
Temple University

An African-American couple found themselves taking their child, a baby of a few month’s age, to a physician for an ear infection. Since their regular physician was out, an attending physician took their care. Opening the baby girl’s files, he was caught by some vital information. The charts revealed a diagnosis of ‘H level’ alpha thalassemia, a genetic disease that is known to be among two per cent of Northeast Asian populations. He looked at the couple.

The father of the child, noticing the reticence and awkwardness of the physician, instantly spotted a behaviour that he had experienced on many occasions.

‘It’s from me’, he said, ‘She’s got the disease from me’.
‘Now, how could she get the disease from you?’, the physician let out.
‘My grandmother is Chinese’, the father explained.

The physician’s face suddenly shifted to an air of both surprise and relief. Then he made another remark, ‘Whew! I was about to say, ‘But — you’re black’.

Silence.

Realizing his error, the physician continued. ‘I mean, I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, I know Hispanics who are also Asians, so why not African Americans?’

Yeah. Why not?

The expression mixed-race has achieved some vogue in contemporary discussions of racial significations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is significant that these three countries are marked by the dominance of an Anglo cultural standpoint. In other countries, particularly those marked by Spanish, Portuguese, and French influences, the question of racial mixture has enjoyed a great deal of specificity and simultaneous plurality. For the Anglos, however, the general matrix has been in terms of ‘whites’ and ‘all others’, the consequence of which has been the rigid binary of white and non-whites. It can easily be shown, however, that the specific designations in Latin and Latin-American countries are, for the most part, a dodge and that,…

Read or puchase the article here.

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While Goldberg and Gilroy have alluded to mixed-race metaphors in their recent work, Lewis Gordon has written more extensively about the attempts to establish ‘critical’ mixed-race studies…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-07-05 23:08Z by Steven

While Goldberg and Gilroy have alluded to mixed-race metaphors in their recent work, Lewis Gordon has written more extensively about the attempts to establish ‘critical’ mixed-race studies. Reflecting on the historical discrimination and colourism in an anti-black world, Gordon has argued that it is understandable – if not morally justifiable – for working-class individuals and darker-skinned individuals to be distrustful of middle-class individuals and lighter-skinned individuals who claim to be progressive. Gordon’s use of slime to describe the aims of a wide variety of mixed-race activists and ‘sensitive’ scholars – who talk politely about racial transcendence while denying the facticity of their privileged position in an anti-black world – is a particularly interesting term since it evokes animalistic behaviour, infantile play, salesmen pitching new, hip commodities for a polyethnic culture. It also offers a transracial, transdisciplinary and transnational engagement with Francophone theory. Aside from adapting Fanon’s critique of European man, Gordon’s analysis of multiracial celebration draws on Sartre’s ontology of slime (a sticky, viscoelastic material that resists shear flow and strain linearly with time when a stress is applied,) and reminds us of Barthes’s famous description of neither-norism (a ‘mythological figure which consists in stating two opposites and balancing the one by the other so as to reject them both… It is on the whole a bourgeois figure, for it relates to a modern form of liberalism… one flees from intolerable reality … one no longer needs to choose, but only to endorse.’)

Daniel McNeil, “‘Mixture is a Neoliberal Good’: Mixed-Race Metaphors and Post-Racial Masks,” Darkmatter, Volume 9, Issue 1, (Post-Racial Imaginaries), July 2, 2012. http://www.darkmatter101.org/site/2012/07/02/mixture-is-a-neoliberal-good-mixed-race-metaphors-and-post-racial-masks/

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As Racist as We Wish to Be: Project RACE, “The Talk”, Obama and the Fear of Blackness

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-27 00:48Z by Steven

As Racist as We Wish to Be: Project RACE, “The Talk”, Obama and the Fear of Blackness

MixedRaceStudies.org
2012-04-10

Steven F. Riley

Late last year, I opined about the inability of some activists in the multiracial identity movement to combat racism.  It is difficult to combat racism if you are not anti-racist and quite impossible if you—or at least your rhetoric—is actually racist. Such is the case in a March 29, 2012 blog post by Susan Graham at Project RACE titled “Walking While Black,” (also here) that epitomizes racist anti-black ideology.

Graham, a white woman who purports to represent the interests of multiracial Americans, has written the most inane commentary on multiracialism you will find anywhere.  Her  pseudo-scientific commentary reads as if it were written in the early part of the previous century, deploying ideologies long since abandoned by anthropologists and biologists alike. For instance, in “The Obama Racial Identity Factor and Saving Multiracial Lives” (June 7, 2008) she opens with, “Barack Obama can call himself black, white, magenta, green, or whatever he wants, it really does not matter socially. However, genes are genes and his genes are multiracial.” Seven months later, when millions of Americans have moved from doubting that a black man can become president and actually electing one, Graham continues with her mindless foray into genetics in “January 2009 – Is this President Obama’s Post-Racial America?” (January 20, 2009) where she says, “We have our first multiracial president, Barack Obama, and even if he does self-identify as black, he cannot deny DNA.”

Three years later and not a day wiser, in a still pre-post-racial America, Graham uses the tragic and racially motivated shooting death of Trayvon Martin as an entree into her racist “Walking While Black” about the travails of the lives of African American males.  She partially describes the concept of “Driving While Black” and the so-called “Black Male Code” of conduct when one is confronted by the police.  She neglects to mention that “Driving While Black” also involves being targeted to be pulled over in the first place. Graham goes on to describe her then-husband’s habit of always carrying identification no matter where he went just in case he was confronted by police. Finally, she describes how when her son reached driving age, she and her then-husband had “the talk” with him about what to do when confronted by police.  Graham says, “she gets it.”  She does not.

Despite the death of Trayvon Martin, the indignities and civil rights violations of “Driving While Black,” and the “Black Male Code,” Graham is neither, angry, concerned or even bothered about the daily aggressions directed at black men in American as they try to live as decent citizens.  She is unwilling to speak out against even the most explicit forms of racism that still exist in America.  So what does bother her? What “bothers” her is the fact that President Obama, chooses to proudly identify as “black.”

While many view the multiracial identity movement in America as a way to transcend race and to remove the proverbial millstone of racialized identities off of all our necks, scholars like Jared Ball, Minkah Makalani, Lewis R. Gordon, Ralina L. Joseph, Jared Sexton, Rainier Spencer and others, see a movement with a primary goal of transcending blackness. As blogger Summer McDonald eloquently states in her essay “Canon Fodder: ‘The Girl Who Fell From the Sky’ and the Problem of Mixed-Race Identity” (August 18, 2011),

Accepting and embracing a mixed-race identity hardly reveals racial progress. As it is currently constructed, mixed-race identity does not dismantle racial hierarchies. Rather, it reiterates white supremacy by attempting to etch a space for itself somewhere under whiteness–which it knows it can never access–and definitely above blackness.

Susan Graham and Project RACE, without a doubt, prove these writers correct. When her son asks “what does ‘driving while black’ mean to me?” She explains, “self-identification is one thing, but how he appears to someone can be completely different and yes, someone could assume he was black, so he had to act accordingly. Be on the safe side, son.” Again, what bothers Graham is not that black men are “perceived as a threat,” but rather, that her son will be perceived as a black man. Thus in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin tragedy when multitudes of commentators of all racialized identities proclaim  “We are Trayvon,” Graham and Project RACE, proclaim “We are not black.”

While Graham does seem to accept the fact that one’s self-identification can be different from how one appears to someone else, she refuses to grasp how one’s appearance to others can and does influence one’s self-identification. Scholar Nikki Khanna’s excellent article, “‘If You’re Half Black, You’re Just Black’: Reflected Appraisals and the Persistence of the One-Drop Rule” describes the role of self-reflected appraisals—how we think we are seen by others—on the identity of those of mixed-ancestry and shows how these identity choices, like one made by President Obama, are honest, common—and despite Ms. Graham’s continual protestations—valid. Phil Wilkes Fixico said it best when he stated on Mixed Chicks Chat (September 14, 2011), “Racially, I’m an African-Native American. Culturally, I’m an aspiring Seminole Maroon descendant. But to the people of America who see me on the street, I’m just another flavor of Black.”

As countless commentators continue to appropriately condemn the prevalence of white supremacy that demonizes people of color (like Trayvon Martin) and white privilege that provides license to the demonizers, Graham says nothing whatsoever about these evils, but rather chooses to take offense exclusively President Obama when he suggested that if he had a son, “he would look like Trayvon.” Though she is correct in stating that the President “doesn’t know that his son would look like Trayvon or anybody else,” it is clear that her anger at Obama is magnified, not just by his identifying as a black American, but now, identifying with black Americans. Furthermore, the resemblance of Obama’s imaginary son to Trayvon Martin is irrelevant because more importantly, it is Obama himself who would “look like Trayvon” if he were seventeen. As Leila McDowell put it so aptly in Associated Press columnist Jesse Washington’s “Black or biracial? Census forces a choice for some,” “Put a hoodie on him and have him walk down an alley, and see how biracial he is then.”

Susan Graham fails to see that the things we ultimately pass down to our children are more important than genes; they are our values and attitudes, hopes and fears, our love and our hate. In short, these are the things that define us. Hopefully, one of those things won’t be race. Until then, Graham may discover that in passing down the “Black Male Code” to her son, he may one day choose to identify, like President Obama and Phil Fixico, as “just a another flavor of Black.” In the meanwhile, perhaps it’s time someone had “the talk” with Ms. Graham and suggest she move on to a new project.

©2012, Steven F. Riley

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Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age

Posted in Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy on 2012-03-05 02:41Z by Steven

Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age

Rowman & Littlefield
288 pages
August 1997
Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-8476-8447-2
eBook ISBN: 978-0-585-20172-6

Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and Director of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies
Temple University

Winner of the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America.

In this exploration of race and racism, noted scholar Lewis R. Gordon offers a critique of recent scholarship in postcolonial Africana philosophy and critical race theory, and suggests alternative models that respond to what he calls our contemporary neocolonial age; an age in which cultural, intellectual, and economic forms of colonial domination persist. Through essays that address popular culture, the academy, literature, and politics, Gordon unsettles the notion of race and exposes the complexity of antiblack racism. An important book for philosophers, political theorists, sociologists, cultural critics, and anyone concerned with the overt and subtle ways of injustice.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 Foreword
  • Chapter 2 Introduction: Her Majesty’s Other Children
  • Part 1
    • Chapter 3 Philosophy, Race, and Racism in a Neocolonial World
    • Chapter 4 Context: Ruminations on Violence and Anonymity
    • Chapter 5 Fanon, Philosophy, and Racism
    • Chapter 6 Race, Biraciality, and Mixed Race—in Theory
    • Chapter 7 Sex, Race, and Matrices of Desire in an Antiblack World
    • Chapter 8 Uses and Abuses of Blackness: Postmodernism, Conservatism, Ideology
    • Chapter 9 In a Black Antiblack Philosophy
    • Chapter 10 African Philosophy’s Search for Identity: Existential Considerations of a Recent Effort
  • Part 2
    • Chapter 11 The Intellectuals
    • Chapter 12 Lorraine Hansberry’s Tragic Search for Postcoloniality: Les Blancs
    • Chapter 13 Tragic Intellectuals on the Neocolonial—Postcolonial Divide
    • Chapter 14 Exilic “Amateur” Speaking Truth to Power: Edward Said
    • Chapter 15 Black Intellectuals and Academic Activism: Cornel West’s “Dilemmas of the Black Intellectual.” Right-Wing Celebration, Left-Wing Nightmare: Thoughts on the Centennial of Plessy v. Ferguson
  • Part 3
    • Chapter 16 Aisthesis Demokrate
    • Chapter 17 Sketches of Jazz
    • Chapter 18 Aesthetico-Political Reflections on the AMTRAK: Rap, Hip-Hop, and Isaac Julien’s Fanon along the Northeast Line
  • Chapter 19 Epilogue: The Lion and the Spider (An Anticolonial Tale)
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Reflections: An Anthology of African-American Philosophy, 1st Edition

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Law, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, United States, Women on 2012-02-06 05:26Z by Steven

Reflections: An Anthology of African-American Philosophy, 1st Edition

Cengage Learning
2000
464 pages
Paperback ISBN-10: 0534573932  ISBN-13: 9780534573935

Edited by:

James Montmarquet, Professor of Philosophy
Tennessee State University

William Hardy, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Tennessee State University

This anthology provides the instructor with a sufficient quantity, breadth, and diversity of materials to be the sole text for a course on African-American philosophy. It includes both classic and more contemporary readings by both professional philosophers and other people with philosophically intriguing viewpoints. The material provided is diverse, yet also contains certain themes which instructors can effectively employ to achieve the element of unity. One such theme, the debate of the “nationalist” focus on blackness vs. the many critics of this focus, runs through a great number of issues and readings.

Table of Contents

  • Preface.
  • Introduction.
  • PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS-RACE AND RACISM.
    • 1. W.E.B. DuBois: From The Souls of Black Folk.
    • 2. Molefi K. Asante: Racism, Consciousness, and Afrocentricity.
    • 3. Kwame Anthony Appiah: Racisms.
    • 4. J. L. A. Garcia: The Heart of Racisms. Contemporary Issue: Views on “Mixed Race”.
    • 5. Naomi Zack: Mixed Black and White Race and Public Policy.
    • 6. Lewis R. Gordon: Race, Biraciality, and Mixed Race-In Theory.
  • PART TWO: MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY-NATIONALISM, SEPARATISM, AND ASSIMILATION.
    • 7. Martin R. Delaney: The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored Peoples of the United States.
    • 8. Frederick Douglass: The Future of the Negro, The Future of the Colored Race, The Nation’s Problem, and On Colonization.
    • 9. Marcus Garvey: From Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey.
    • 10. Maulana Karenga: The Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles): Their Meaning and Message.
    • 11. Molefi K. Asante: The Afrocentric Idea in Education.
    • 12. Cornel West: The Four Traditions of Response. Contemporary Issue: “Ebonics”.
    • 13. Geneva Smitherman: Black English/Ebonics: What it Be Like?
    • 14. Milton Baxter: Educating Teachers about Educating the Oppressed. Feminism, Womanism, and Gender Relations.
    • 15. Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?
    • 16. Patricia Hill Collins: The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought.
    • 17. bell hooks: Reflections on Race and Sex.
    • 18. Angela P. Harris: Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory.
    • 19. Charles W. Mills: Do Black Men Have a Moral Duty to Marry Black Women? Contemporary Issue: Women’s Rights and Black Nationalism.
    • 20. E. Francis White: Africa on My Mind: Gender, Counterdiscourse, and African American Nationalism.
    • 21. Amiri Baraka: Black Woman. Violence, Liberation, and Social Justice.
    • 22. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
    • 23. Malcolm X: Message to the Grass Roots.
    • 24. Howard McGary: Psychological Violence, Physical Violence, and Racial Oppression.
    • 25. Laurence M. Thomas: Group Autonomy and Narrative Identity. Contemporary Issue: Affirmative Action.
    • 26. Bernard Boxill: Affirmative Action.
    • 27. Shelby Steele: Affirmative Action. Ethics and Value Theory.
    • 28. Alain Locke: Values and Imperatives.
    • 29. Michele M. Moody-Adams: Race, Class, and the Social Construction of Self-Respect.
    • 30. Laurence M. Thomas: Friendship.
    • 31. Cornel West: Nihilism in Black America.
    • 32. Katie G. Cannon: Unctuousness as a Virtue: According to the Life of Zora Neale Hurston. Contemporary Issue: A Classic Question of Values, Rights, and Education.
    • 33. Booker T. Washington: Atlanta Exposition Address.
    • 34. W.E.B. DuBois: The Talented Tenth.
  • PART THREE: PHILOSOPHY AND RELATED DISCIPLINES.
    • 35. Patricia J. Williams: Alchemical Notes: Reconstructing Ideals from Deconstructed Rights.
    • 36. Regina Austin: Sapphire Bound!
    • 37. Derrick Bell: Racial Realism-After We’re Gone: Prudent Speculations on America in a Post-Racial Epoch.
    • 38. John Arthur: Critical Race Theory: A Critique. Contemporary Issue: Racist Hate Speech.
    • 39. Charles Lawrence and Gerald Gunther: Prohibiting Racist Speech: A Debate. Aesthetics.
    • 40. James Baldwin: Everybody’s Protest Novel.
    • 41. Larry Neal: The Black Arts Movement.
    • 42. Angela Y. Davis: Billy Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”: Music and Social Consciousness.
    • 43. Ralph Ellison: Blues People. Contemporary Issue: Rap Music.
    • 44. Crispin Sartwell: Rap Music and the Uses of Stereotype.
    • 45. Kimberle Crenshaw: Beyond Racism and Misogyny: Black Feminism and 2 Live Crew. Philosophy and Theology.
    • 46. David Walker: David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United stated.
    • 47. James H. Cone: God and Black Theology.
    • 48. Victor Anderso: Ontological Blackness in Theology.
    • 49. Anthony Pinn: Alternative Perspectives and Critiques. Contemporary Issue: Womanist Theology and the Traditionalist Black Church.
    • 50. Cheryl J. Sanders: Christian Ethics and Theology in a Womanist Perspective.
    • 51. Delores Williams: Womanist Reflections on “the Black Church,” the African-American Denominational Churches and the Universal Hagar’s Spiritual Church.
  • SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING.
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Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism [Review: Spickard]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-05-10 03:04Z by Steven

Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism [Review: Spickard]

American Studies
Volume 50, No. 1/2: Spring/Summer 2009
pages 125-127

Paul Spickard, Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism. Jared Sexton. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2008.

One of the major developments in ethnic studies over the past two decades has been the idea (and sometimes the advocacy) of multiraciality. From a theoretical perspective, this has stemmed from a post-structuralist attempt to deconstruct the categories created by the European Enlightenment and its colonial enterprise around the world. From a personal perspective, it has been driven by the life experiences in the last half-century of a growing number of people who have and acknowledge mixed parentage. The leading figures in this scholarly movement are probably Maria Root and G. Reginald Daniel, but the writers are many and include figures as eminent as Gary Nash and Randall Kennedy.

A small but dedicated group of writers has resisted this trend: chiefly Rainier Spencer, Jon Michael Spencer, and Lewis Gordon. They have raised no controversy, perhaps because their books are not well written, and perhaps because their arguments do not make a great deal of sense. It is not that there is nothing wrong with the literature and the people movement surrounding multiraciality. Some writers and social activists do tend to wax rhapsodic about the glories of intermarriage and multiracial identity as social panacea. A couple of not-very-thoughtful activists (Charles Byrd and Susan Graham) have been co-opted by the Gingrichian right (to be fair, one must point out that most multiracialists are on the left). And, most importantly, there is a tension between some Black intellectuals and the multiracial idea over the lingering fear that, for some people, adopting a multiracial identity is a dodge to avoid being Black. If so, that might tend to sap the strength of a monoracially-defined movement for Black community empowerment.

With Amalgamation Schemes, Jared Sexton is trying to stir up some controversy. He presents a facile, sophisticated, and theoretically informed intelligence, and he picks a fight from the start. His title suggests that the study of multiraciality is some kind of plot, or at the very least an illegitimate enterprise. His tone is angry and accusatory on every page. It is difficult to get to the grounds of his argument, because the cloud of invective is so thick, and because his writing is abstract, referential, and at key points vague…

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