How America will look in 2060, in 7 graphs

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-17 16:22Z by Steven

How America will look in 2060, in 7 graphs

The Washington Post
2014-12-16

Philip Bump

The Census Bureau recently released its 2014 population projections, gaming out the next 45 years of population growth and changes in the United States. For those of us who pay particular attention to the composition of the population (because we are single-mindedly obsessed with the composition of the electorate that results), this is a bonanza of things to pore over. So let’s pore.

Or, actually, let’s first detour. The data collected by the Bureau has changed substantially over time, at first documenting only the white and slave populations of the newly united states. In 1820, the government started collecting data on resident foreigners as immigration increased. By 1870, the Bureau counted whites, blacks, Chinese, Indian (Native American), and people of mixed black and white descent. In 1890, it broke out mixed-race Americans into more categories; in 1930, there were 10 different options.

Today there are five categories of race, per a 1997 directive: “American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White.” There’s an additional delineation of ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino, and not.

That background is useful because the Bureau’s projections through 2060 includes a look at foreign-born-versus-native-born residents and Hispanic-versus-non-Hispanic residents, which are not the same thing. But we get ahead of ourselves. Back to poring…

Read the entire article here.

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In Japan’s Okinawa, saving indigenous languages is about more than words

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2014-12-01 20:53Z by Steven

In Japan’s Okinawa, saving indigenous languages is about more than words

The Washington Post
2014-11-29

Anna Fifield, Tokyo Bureau Chief

NISHIHARA, Japan — Rising in turn at their wooden desks, the students giggled, squirmed or shuffled as they introduced themselves, some practically in a whisper.

“Waa naamee ya — yaibiin . . . (My name is . . . ).” One by one, the classmates at Okinawa Christian University managed to get out their names, a few confidently, but most of them sheepishly.

Teacher Byron Fija waved his arms around, laughed and tried to encourage the class, which looked like a college group anywhere — some in hoodies, others in baseball caps and one guy with green hair.

But it was clear that the language — Okinawan — didn’t come naturally to most of them.

It’s the biggest of the six main indigenous languages spoken in this subtropical Japanese island chain, once the independent Ryukyu kingdom but now best known for hosting most of the American military bases in Japan…

…Fija is almost evangelical in his promotion of Okinawan, poetically called “uchi-naa-guchi” here.

In addition to teaching, Fija, 45, plays the sanshin, a three-stringed Okinawan banjo, and sings. For five years he hosted a radio show in Okinawan.

He sees the language as intrinsic to his identity. A product of the military occupation, he is the son of an Okinawan mother and an American father, a man he has never heard from.

Fija cites two experiences that motivated him to embrace the local language and culture.

First, he learned to play the sanshin.

“Someone told me that my playing was fine but my Okinawan sounded American, even though I don’t speak any English. Maybe it was because I don’t look Japanese or Okinawan,” Fija said after class, wearing a traditional Japanese outfit with an Okinawan pattern. His Okinawan pronunciation, he said, was the equivalent of a Japanese person singing in English “I rub you” instead of “I love you.”.

Then, in the 1990s, he spent a year or so in Los Angeles, hoping to make it as a rock star. But as he discovered how hard that was, he had an epiphany. Because of his Caucasian looks, he said, he had never really been accepted as Japanese. But with no knowledge of his father and little proficiency in English, he clearly wasn’t American, either…

Read the entire article here.

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Privilege is like oxygen: You don’t realize it’s there until it’s gone. As white folks, we can’t know what it’s like to go through life without racial privilege because we literally haven’t.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2014-12-01 19:38Z by Steven

Privilege is like oxygen: You don’t realize it’s there until it’s gone. As white folks, we can’t know what it’s like to go through life without racial privilege because we literally haven’t.

Sally Kohn, “What white people need to know, and do, after Ferguson,” The Washington Post, November 28, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/11/28/what-white-people-need-to-know-and-do-after-ferguson/.

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What white people need to know, and do, after Ferguson

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-30 19:13Z by Steven

What white people need to know, and do, after Ferguson

The Washington Post
2014-11-28

Sally Kohn

Benefiting from white privilege is automatic. Defending white privilege is a choice.

In the days before the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon decided to impose a pre-emptive state of emergency, a white relative posted on my Facebook page, “Better to be prepared for the worse, than to have racially charged riot. [sic] At that point, no one cares what your political view points are, who you married or what God you pray too, only that you are White and you are Wrong.” This essay is for my cousin and every other white person who is well meaning but somehow feels hopelessly polarized in a racially polarized debate. It doesn’t have to be that way.

When black people are protesting in Ferguson and across America, they’re not protesting against white people. Maybe this seems obvious, but it’s worth stating. In fact, in the case of Ferguson, the protests weren’t (primarily) about one white cop. Black communities are ultimately protesting systems of injustice and inequality that structurally help white people while systematically harming black people. Just because you’re white and therefore generally benefit from those systems doesn’t mean you inherently support those systems — or need to defend them. Benefiting from white privilege is automatic. Defending white privilege is a choice.

Privilege is like oxygen: You don’t realize it’s there until it’s gone. As white folks, we can’t know what it’s like to go through life without racial privilege because we literally haven’t. You may have heard stories about black friends being monitored in department stores or seen the research that black names on resumes get half as many job interviews as white names on the same resumes. Maybe you know that a black man or boy is killed every 28 hours in America by police or vigilantes. Maybe you’ve read the studies on implicit “shooter bias” — how we’re all more likely to pull a simulated trigger on unarmed black men than unarmed white men — and maybe you know that even the most egalitarian Americans harbor unconscious negative attitudes about black people. The studies and the stories are overwhelming. Just this week, police shot and killed a black 12-year-old for holding a BB gun

Read the entire article here.

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Racial divide: It’s a social concept, not a scientific one

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2014-11-23 17:43Z by Steven

Racial divide: It’s a social concept, not a scientific one

The Washington Post
2014-11-03

Nancy Szokan

Most scientists agree that race is not a biological concept.

As Wikipedia defines it, in an extremely lengthy and extravagantly footnoted entry that surely has been edited and re-edited many times, “Race is a social concept used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation.”

Yet race undoubtedly affects government policies, pervades our social interactions, creates alliances and sets off wars.

We are asked to specify our race (or races) on census forms, medical questionnaires, job applications, college applications, opinion surveys and so on — and the very act of asking the question, sometimes to be answered by just checking a box, can seem to imply that there is a clearly definable, provable answer.

As Robert Wald Sussman puts it in “The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea,” many if not most people would be surprised to learn that race is a social rather than a scientific construct. In his new book, Sussman, a professor of physical anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, explores how race emerged as a modern social construct, tracing its origins to the Spanish Inquisition and its legacy as a justification for Western imperialism and slavery…

Read the entire review here.

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When whites are guilty of colorism

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-09 21:51Z by Steven

When whites are guilty of colorism

The Washington Post
2014-11-08

Lance Hannon, Professor
Department of Sociology and Criminology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Robert DeFina, Professor
Department of Sociology and Criminology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” However, in our public discourse, the second of those categories — “color” — is rarely mentioned as a source of discrimination distinct from “race.” And when “colorism” — discrimination based on skin shade — does get discussed, it is framed almost exclusively as something that occurs only within a racial group — “black-on-black discrimination,” as a 2005 segment of ABC’s “20/20” program put it.

But is that correct? There are two common reasons colorism by whites gets overlooked. First, social science seems to bolster anecdotal evidence that white people see variation in skin tone in a narrower range than African Americans do. Second, given that one’s racial category has always been of such great importance in the United States — think of the infamous “one-drop rule” — any impact of skin-tone differences within racial categories is assumed to be minuscule in comparison. While both of these rationales may seem to make sense on the surface, on close inspection neither provides justification for ignoring clear, real-life consequences of white colorism.

Regarding the first point: Our recent analysis of data from the National Opinion Research Center’s long-running General Social Survey confirms that African Americans and whites judge skin tone quite differently. In particular, white observers perceive the skin tones of black individuals as much darker than black observers do. This is consistent with other data showing that, to use one example, roughly 42 percent of whites describe Tiger Woods as having “dark” or “very dark” skin, while only about 14 percent of African Americans say the same. But such results do not mean that white people are “tone-blind.” In fact, there is solid evidence that white people do indeed see significant variation in African American skin tones. It is just that this variation is concentrated at the darker end of the scale…

Read the entire article here.

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Republican Larry Hogan wins Md. governor’s race in stunning upset

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-11-05 21:16Z by Steven

Republican Larry Hogan wins Md. governor’s race in stunning upset

The Washington Post
2014-11-05

John Wagner, Maryland Political Reporter

Jenna Johnson, Maryland Political Reporter

Republican businessman Larry Hogan pulled off a stunning upset in heavily Democratic Maryland on Tuesday, winning the governor’s race against Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown by relentlessly promising to roll back tax increases and chart a new direction for the state.

Shortly after midnight, Brown conceded a race that he lost despite the strong support of the state’s Democratic establishment and visits to Maryland in the closing weeks of the campaign by President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton

…With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, Brown was winning handily in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and he was well ahead in the city of Baltimore. But turnout appeared fairly low in those populous jurisdictions. And Hogan led everywhere else, including in the Baltimore suburbs. That was the region that in 2002 paved the way to victory for Ehrlich, who hired Hogan as a member of his Cabinet.

“Tonight, we fell short of our campaign goals,” Brown told supporters at what turned out to be a subdued gathering at the University of Maryland at College Park. “It was a tough campaign. But it was tough because there’s a lot at stake, a lot worth fighting for.”

Brown, the son of a Jamaican father and a Swiss mother, was attempting to become the first African American governor of Maryland and only the third elected anywhere in the nation. He would also have been Maryland’s first lieutenant governor to ascend to the state’s top job…

Read the entire article here.

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Iowa memorial for six brothers who died as Union soldiers

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-13 23:07Z by Steven

Iowa memorial for six brothers who died as Union soldiers

The Washington Post
2014-05-07

Linda Wheeler

A site was approved Tuesday for a memorial to honor six brothers of an African American farm family of Toolesboro, Iowa, who died as Union soldiers during the Civil War.

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors choose a site near the tiny crossroads community where the brothers were raised in southeast Iowa on the Illinois border.

In 1840, James and Martha Littleton moved from Maryland, via Ohio, to Iowa where they raised their nine children including three girls. In the1860 census, the family is identified as mulatto, a term used during that time period to mean they were of mixed race. Research determined Martha was white and her husband, James, was mulatto.

The men served in white military units, volunteering between 1861 and 1862. By 1864, all had died—some in battle and others from disease– and were buried far from home…

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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Study reveals the mysterious ancestors of modern Europeans

Posted in Articles, Europe, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2014-09-18 20:24Z by Steven

Study reveals the mysterious ancestors of modern Europeans

The Washington Post
2014-09-18

Gail Sullivan, Reporter

Some had dark skin and blue eyes.

Some had light skin and brown eyes.

And no one is sure what some others looked like.

But, according to a new study of ancient human genomes, three very different populations got together seven millennia ago and made modern Europeans.

“The surprising finding was that present-day Europeans trace their ancestry back to three and not just two ancestral groups as previously thought,” said study co-author Alan Cooper, the director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, in a press release.

Until now, scientists couldn’t fully explain the gene pool of modern Europe. Clues from archaeological research and previous genetic comparisons suggested most Europeans descended from Middle Eastern farmers who migrated to Europe about 7,500 years ago and interbred with local hunter-gatherers.

“Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans,” said the article, published Thursday in the journal Nature

Read the entire article here.

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