Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Latino Studies, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2022-01-24 18:30Z by Steven

Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality

Beacon Press
2022-08-23
208 pages
5.5 x 8.5 Inches
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN: 978-080702013-5

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York

The first comprehensive book about anti-Black bias in the Latino community that unpacks the misconception that Latinos are “exempt” from racism due to their ethnicity and multicultural background.

Racial Innocence will challenge what you thought about racism and bias, and demonstrate that it’s possible for a historically marginalized group to experience discrimination and also be discriminatory. Racism is deeply complex, and law professor and comparative race relations expert Tanya Katerí Hernández exposes “the Latino racial innocence cloak” that often veils Latino complicity in racism. As Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in the US, this revelation is critical to dismantling systemic racism. Based on interviews, discrimination case files, and civil rights law, Hernández reveals Latino anti-Black bias in the workplace, the housing market, schools, places of recreation, criminal justice, and in Latino families.

By focusing on racism perpetrated by communities outside those of White non-Latino people, Racial Innocence brings to light the many Afro-Latino and African American victims of anti-Blackness at the hands of other people of color. Through exploring the interwoven fabric of discrimination and examining the cause of these issues, we can begin to move toward a more egalitarian society.

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Can You Be “White Passing” Even if You Aren’t Trying?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2022-01-12 15:59Z by Steven

Can You Be “White Passing” Even if You Aren’t Trying?

Mother Jones
January-February 2022 Issue

Andrea Guzmán, Ben Bagdikian Editorial Fellow


Lisa Taniguchi

The phrase has become popular on social media. But there’s a lot left out of the conversation.

When pop star Olivia Rodrigo released her album Sour in May 2021, listeners took to TikTok to debate whether she was “white passing.” The question was not really about how Rodrigo perceives or publicly identifies herself. She is of both Filipino and white ancestry. Rather, it was about whether others see her as white. The Rodrigo discourse soon enflamed more general discussion about who deems one “white passing.” As one Iranian-born TikToker explained, she “did not grow up being white” when she came of age in post-9/11 America, but after others began to associate her appearance with whiteness—partially because of the rise of the Kardashians—she now recognizes the privilege of being “white passing.”

The conversation differed from how “passing” has traditionally been used in the United States. In the Jim Crow era—when “one drop” of Black ancestry subjected a person to segregation—“passing” was a deception to assume the privileges of whiteness. From 1880 to 1940, experts suspect about 20 percent of Black men passed for white at some point. It was commonly an attempt to “access things that wouldn’t have been available to them otherwise,” says Nikki Khanna, a sociology professor at the University of Vermont. But it was also a certain betrayal—leaving behind collective uplift for personal gain…

Read the entire article here.

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The woman defending Black lives on the border, including her own

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2021-12-28 02:20Z by Steven

The woman defending Black lives on the border, including her own

The Los Angeles Times
2021-12-27

Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Houston Bureau Chief
Photography by Gina Ferazzi

Black border activist Felicia Rangel-Samponaro walks along a line of migrants at a border camp clinic Dec. 6 in Reynosa, Mexico. The nonprofit Sidewalk School she founded three years ago provides education and other services. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

REYNOSA, Mexico — So much of her is hyphenated, not just her name: Felicia Rangel-Samponaro. With caramel skin and curly brown hair that’s often tied back, she can pass as Latina.

But she identifies as Black.

On the Texas-Mexico border, she’s emerged as a vigorous defender of immigrants, and that work often forces her to reckon with how race and ethnicity — real and perceived — shape lives on the border, including her own.

“There’s a lot of oppression, discrimination and racism that goes on, on both sides of the border,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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UT students, staff reflect on experiences with racial passing

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Texas, United States on 2021-12-06 03:23Z by Steven

UT students, staff reflect on experiences with racial passing

The Daily Texan: Serving the University of Texas at Austin Community Since 1900
2021-12-05

Sofia Treviño, Life & Arts Senior Reporter


Julius Shieh/The Daily Texan

Disliking her paler skin compared to other darker-complected Hispanics growing up, Rachel González-Martin spent hours lying under the sun willing herself to tan. Only burning and turning red, she grew frustrated. González-Martin wanted others to easily recognize her as Hispanic.

“There’s who we know we are and how we tell our own story, but we can never escape from what people see in us or read from our appearance,” the associate professor of Mexican American and Latina/o studies said.

Racial passing — a term used to describe those perceived as a member of another racial group than their own — can affect how closely people connect to and feel a part of their communities. For UT students and staff, the process of navigating different cultural stereotypes and learning to embrace their identities regardless of their appearance remains a lifelong project.

Growing up in Oakland, California, with very few fellow Hispanics, González-Martin felt she needed to physically show her identity. However, as she’s grown older, she said she’s learned to accept her own meaning of belonging to a community aside from outside biases…

Read the entire article here.

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Majority of Latinos Say Skin Color Impacts Opportunity in America and Shapes Daily Life

Posted in Census/Demographics, Economics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2021-11-05 01:18Z by Steven

Majority of Latinos Say Skin Color Impacts Opportunity in America and Shapes Daily Life

Pew Research Center
Washington, D.C.
2021-11-04
63 pages

Latinos with darker skin color report more discrimination experiences than Latinos with lighter skin color

The perceived impact of skin color in the lives of U.S. Latinos is broad. From impacting their ability to get ahead in the country to shaping their daily life experiences to dealing with discrimination, skin color is seen by Latinos as an important factor affecting their lives and life chances.

A majority (62%) of Hispanic adults say having a darker skin color hurts Hispanics’ ability to get ahead in the United States today at least a little. A similar share (59%) say having a lighter skin color helps Hispanics get ahead. And 57% say skin color shapes their daily life experiences a lot or some, with about half saying discrimination based on race or skin color is a “very big problem” in the U.S. today, according to Pew Research Center’s National Survey of Latinos, a bilingual, national survey of 3,375 Hispanic U.S. adults conducted in March 2021.

Colorism is a form of discrimination based on skin color, usually, though not always, favoring lighter skin color over darker skin color within a racial or ethnic group. While it can be tied to racism, it is not necessarily the same. (Racism is prejudice directed at members of a racial or ethnic group because of their origin.) For example, Hispanics in the U.S. may face discrimination because they are Hispanic (a form of racism), but the degree of discrimination may vary based on skin color, with those of darker shades experiencing more incidents (a form of colorism). And because of colorism’s deep roots in the histories of Latin America and the United States, discrimination based on skin color can occur among Hispanics just as much as it can be directed at Hispanics by non-Hispanics.

To measure this dimension of Latino identity in the United States, the survey asked respondents to identify the skin color that best resembled their own using a version of the Yadon-Ostfeld skin-color scale. Respondents were shown ten skin colors that ranged from fair to dark (see text box below for the images and scale used). Fully 80% of Latino adults selected a color between one and four, or lighter skin colors, while 15% selected a color between five and ten on the scale, or darker skin colors.1

Table of Contents

  • Majority of Latinos Say Skin Color Impacts Opportunity in America and Shapes Daily Life
    • Discrimination and skin color
    • Impact of race, skin color is a topic of conversation with relatives and friends for Hispanics
    • Half of Latinos say there is too little national attention on racial issues concerning Latino people
    • Hispanics often hear other Hispanics make racially insensitive comments and jokes about Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike
    • While Hispanics say skin color affects their ability to get ahead in America, other factors are seen as important as well
    • For Latinos, discrimination experiences and views about skin color and race are linked
  • 1. Half of U.S Latinos experienced some form of discrimination during the first year of the pandemic
  • 2. For many Latinos, skin color shapes their daily life and affects opportunity in America
  • 3. Latinos divided on whether race gets too much or too little attention in the U.S. today
  • 4. Measuring the racial identity of Latinos
  • Acknowledgments
  • Methodology
  • Appendix: Additional tables

Read the entire report in PDF or HTML format.

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The Truth About White America

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-27 16:09Z by Steven

The Truth About White America

The Atlantic
2021-10-25

Morris Levy, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations
University of Southern California

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dowell Myers, Professor of Policy, Planning, and Demography
University of Southern California


The Atlantic

The Census Bureau wanted to gather data about a changing nation, but ended up reinforcing old racial categories.

If you paid attention to the news this summer about the release of 2020 census data, you probably heard that America’s white population is in free fall. Big, if true.

The statistic that launched a thousand hot takes and breathless voice-overs about racial change was a supposed 8.6 percent, or 19 million, drop in the number of white Americans since 2010. Headlines cast this decline as unprecedented in census history and signaled that the nation’s majority-minority future loomed even closer than previously forecast. Pundits spun it as a harbinger of policy change and partisan realignment, for better or worse. Some wisely cautioned against demography-as-destiny assumptions in a country where the definition and public understanding of race can change rapidly. But few observers questioned whether the reported differences between the 2010 and 2020 censuses reflected real demographic change or simply statistical noise.

Commentators should have read the fine print before rushing to trot out their favorite narratives. If they had, they would have discovered that the eye-popping figure at the center of this summer’s hoopla is an illusion. The apparent decline in the white population is a result of changes to the Census Bureau’s protocol for measuring and classifying racial identity. The changes aimed to more accurately gauge the expansion of the country’s mixed-race population through new and more sophisticated data collection and classification techniques that capture the nuances of Americans’ multifaceted racial and ethnic identities. But a combination of bureaucratic constraints and messaging failures paved the way to public confusion…

Read the entire article here.

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MASC presents The U.S. Census Data [Online Event]

Posted in Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2021-10-25 17:46Z by Steven

MASC presents The U.S. Census Data [Online Event]

Multiracial Americans of Southern California
2021-10-06 18:00-19:30 EDT, (22:00-23:30Z)

Let’s talk 2020 U.S. Census results and how they illuminate the U.S. population as more multiracial (from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020)

The U.S. population is much more multiracial and more diverse than recorded in the 2010 U.S. Census. Research and data from “2020 Census Illuminates Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Country” by Nicholas Jones, Rachel Marks, Roberto Ramirez, Merarys Ríos-Vargas showed the improvements and changes on the U.S. Census questionnaire enabled a more thorough and accurate depiction of how people self-identify, yielding a more accurate portrait of how people report their Hispanic origin and race within the context of a two-question format.

On October 6, 2021 at 3pm PDT (6pm EDT), join MASC as we present a virtual event that will bring experts from the U.S. Census, Nielsen and MASC to discuss these changes and what the results revealed.

Expert Panelists:

  • Nicholas A. Jones, Director & Senior Advisor of Race and Ethnic Research & Outreach in the Census Bureau’s Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Rachel Marks, Chief of the Racial Statistics Branch, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Stacie M. de Armas, Senior Vice President Inclusive Insights & Initiatives, Nielsen
  • Thomas Lopez, Treasurer, MASC
  • Moderator: Sonia Smith Kang, President, MASC

Watch the discussion (01:28:30) here.

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‘People Assume I’m White. This is The Racism I See’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-10-15 00:14Z by Steven

‘People Assume I’m White. This is The Racism I See’

Newsweek
2021-10-14

Nikki Barthelmess

Nikki Barthelmess’ parents were Mexican American and Jewish, but people often assume she is white, not Mexican American. Nikki Barthelmess

A few months ago, I answered a knock at my door. My neighbor, James*, launched into a complaint. “That silver Honda is parked in front, and we have a friend coming over who wants to park there,” he said. He was referencing the car belonging to Ana*, a family friend who I hired days before to help with childcare for my toddler.

Ana appeared behind me to see what was going on. James looked at Ana and then at me, and despite Ana being only a few feet away, he nodded at Ana and spoke as if she wasn’t there. “Cleaning crew?” he asked me. My head snapped back in shock.

My eyes darted to Ana to see if she’d heard, and somehow it seemed she hadn’t. I stammered, unsure of what to say. She was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. She wasn’t holding a mop or dusting rag or anything that would indicate she was cleaning. After a moment of gaping, I closed the distance between Ana and me and put my arm around her. “James,” I said, looking at Ana, rather than at him, “this is Ana. She just started coming to the house to babysit Hadley while I write.” I squeezed Ana’s shoulder. “Ana is a long time family friend. She used to be my husband’s grandparents’ caregiver years ago before they died, and we’ve stayed in touch,” I said.

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial Americans could represent America’s future, some say

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2021-10-08 21:27Z by Steven

Multiracial Americans could represent America’s future, some say

The Washington Post
2021-10-08

Silvia Foster-Frau, Multiculturalism reporter
Ted Mellnik
Adrián Blanco, Graphics reporter


Steve Majors, in Takoma Park, Md., who is half-Black and half-White, grew up in an all-Black household but is often perceived as White. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

While still a relatively small part of the population, more Americans than ever identify as multiracial, according to the census

Tony Luna was once again being asked to choose one of his racial identities over the other.

He firmly believed in the anti-racism training his workplace was offering. But the instructor told him he had to pick a group for the program — either the one for White people, or the one for people of color.

Luna is biracial, Filipino and White, a combination that defined his upbringing and sense of self. He has always felt he was either both identities, equally — or in some settings, not fully one or the other.


Multiracial populations increased faster than any single race across the U.S. in the last census. Gains were highest in major metro areas, but the number of people identifying as multiracial also tripled in non-metro areas. Source: 2020 Census

“I felt like it was a false choice, because you’re saying which one are you more comfortable with, your mom or your dad?” Luna, 49, said. “Identity can be based on how people see you, but that can be wrong for mixed people. It’s really based on how you identify, what your experiences are — so many variables go into that.”

More than 33 million Americans — about 1 in 10 — identify as being of two or more races, a number that grew by nearly 25 million people in the past decade, according to the 2020 Census. Multiracial people span all different combinations of races and ethnicities and make up the fastest-growing demographic in the country.

In some cities, the growth is stark. Almost 1.4 million more people each in Los Angeles and New York identified as multiracial in the 2020 Census compared with a decade ago, according to a Washington Post analysis. In Miami, nearly 1.6 million more did so…

Read the entire article here.

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We Are Owed.

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Poetry, Texas, United States on 2021-09-22 17:56Z by Steven

We Are Owed.

Grieveland
2021-07-29
98 pages
6 x 0.21 x 9 inches
ISBN: 978-1-7353527-6-3

Ariana Brown

We Are Owed. is the debut poetry collection of Ariana Brown, exploring Black relationality in Mexican and Mexican American spaces. Through poems about the author’s childhood in Texas and a trip to Mexico as an adult, Brown interrogates the accepted origin stories of Mexican identity. We Are Owed asks the reader to develop a Black consciousness by rejecting U.S., Chicano, and Mexican nationalism and confronting anti-Black erasure and empire-building. As Brown searches for other Black kin in the same spaces through which she moves, her experiences of Blackness are placed in conversation with the histories of formerly enslaved Africans in Texas and Mexico. Esteban Dorantes, Gaspar Yanga, and the author’s Black family members and friends populate the book as a protective and guiding force, building the “we” evoked in the title and linking Brown to all other African-descended peoples living in what Saidiya Hartman calls “the afterlife of slavery.”

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