Meghan Markle is the biracial hero I’ve always wanted

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2022-05-12 20:58Z by Steven

Meghan Markle is the biracial hero I’ve always wanted

Quartz
2017-11-28

David Kaufman, Global Lifestyle Editor

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15: Meghan Markle at the USA Network 2013 Upfront event at Pier 36 on May 16, 2013 in New York.

Barack Obama may have been a hero to “black America,” but for biracial Americans like myself, the former president never quite felt like the champion we’d waited so long for.

Early on, he seemed like he might be: As the son of a white mother and Kenyan father, Obama vocally touted his unique—and uniquely multi-cultural—background throughout his education, writing and early career. Finally, it seemed, folks like me had found a role model.

Yet when it came time for Obama to shift into “candidate” mode, he clearly calculated that positioning himself as black, rather than biracial, was the wisest way to secure the presidency. Little changed once he entered to Oval Office.

Indeed, despite having as much white heritage as black, Obama formally marked himself African-American on his 2010 Census form. The timing was important: That year, for one of the first times ever, the Census Bureau included a multi-racial category. I was thrilled to check the box—and had naively hoped the President would too.

Nearly a decade later, we now have Meghan Markle, the biracial future bride of Britain’s Prince Harry. Born in California to a Caucasian father and African-American mother, Markle is vocal about her biracial parentage. “I’m half black/half white,” she wrote in a piece for British Elle last year—six simple words that honor her background in a way the former president avoided…

Read the entire article here.

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For one year, all the South Asians in the US were considered “white”

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2017-11-20 02:40Z by Steven

For one year, all the South Asians in the US were considered “white”

Quartz
2017-09-02

Preeti Varathan


Stand and be counted. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The history of classifying South Asians in the United States is fraught. For most of the 20th century, the census and courts did not consider South Asians as a distinct race, in part because their numbers were negligible. In 1970, the US census decided South Asians were white.

Racially designating South Asians, especially from the Indian subcontinent, is complicated. India is home to more than 2,000 ethnic groups. In the early 1900s, scholars believed that a major ancestral group, the Aryans, migrated to the subcontinent from Europe. They indisputably integrated into Indian culture—the Mahabharata, one of the most well-known ancient Indian epics, tells the story of Aryan warriors who fought among their families for political and spiritual legitimacy. They grouped into an elite, fair-skinned class, possibly explaining the diversity in skin tones of Indians today.

So what happened in 1970? Let’s go back to 1919…

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One metric shows that race in America is about to experience a dramatic shift

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-27 13:53Z by Steven

One metric shows that race in America is about to experience a dramatic shift

Quartz
2017-06-27

Dan Kopf, Reporter
San Francisco, California


Feel the demographic change. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

The demographics of the United States are changing quickly, and there is no simpler way to understand that than to look at the most common age of each race and ethnic group.

The US Census Bureau recently released its estimates of the US population as of July 2016. Besides an estimate of the total population (325 million), the census also includes estimates of the number of people of every age within each race and ethnicity. For example, the census estimates that, as of July 2016, there were 976,288 Hispanic 15-year-olds in the country.

Jed Kolko, chief economist of jobs site Indeed, combed through this data and came away with a fascinating insight. He discovered huge variation in the most common age—more technically, the mode—between each major racial group in the US…

Read the entire article here.

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Fake news isn’t a recent problem in the US—it almost destroyed Abraham Lincoln

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-04-16 23:15Z by Steven

Fake news isn’t a recent problem in the US—it almost destroyed Abraham Lincoln

Quartz
2016-11-28

Gwynn Guilford, Reporter


Fake news almost brought down Honest Abe. (Reuters/Molly Riley)

Abraham Lincoln was more than just a foe of slavery. He was also a mixed-race eugenicist, believing that the intermarriage of blacks and whites would yield an American super-race.

Or at least, that’s what newspapers in 1864 would have had you believe. The charge isn’t true. But this miscegenation hoax still “damn near sank Lincoln that year,” says Heather Cox Richardson, history professor at Boston College.

In February 1864, Lincoln was preparing for a tough re-election campaign amidst a bloody civil war when he and his Republican party were blindsided.

The attack came from Samuel Sullivan Cox, an Ohio congressman from the pro-slavery Democrats, who gave a fiery speech to Congress condemning Republicans for championing the idea that whites and blacks have children together to create a new “American race,” declaring these views to “have been a part of the gospel of abolition for years.”

Democratic papers around the country reprinted the transcript of Cox’s speech. The Republicans’ “disgusting theories” had gone viral.

Cox was citing a 72-page anonymous pamphlet titled “Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the American White Man and Negro” that extolled intermarriage of races and encouraged Republicans to openly endorse this philosophy by adding it to their official party platform…

Read the entire article here.

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China has an irrational fear of a “black invasion” bringing drugs, crime, and interracial marriage

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive on 2017-03-31 01:15Z by Steven

China has an irrational fear of a “black invasion” bringing drugs, crime, and interracial marriage

Quartz
2017-03-30

Joanna Chiu


Feeling it in Guangzhou. (Reuters/James Pomfret)

Beijing—Earlier this month in Beijing, amid the pomp of China’s annual rubber-stamp parliament meetings, a politician proudly shared with reporters his proposal on how to “solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong.” The latter province is widely known in China to have many African migrants.

“Africans bring many security risks,” Pan Qinglin told local media (link in Chinese). As a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body, he urged the government to “strictly control the African people living in Guangdong and other places.”

Pan, who lives in Tianjin near Beijing—and nowhere near Guangdong—held his proposal aloft for reporters to see. It read in part (links in Chinese):

“Black brothers often travel in droves; they are out at night out on the streets, nightclubs, and remote areas. They engage in drug trafficking, harassment of women, and fighting, which seriously disturbs law and order in Guangzhou… Africans have a high rate of AIDS and the Ebola virus that can be transmitted via body fluids… If their population [keeps growing], China will change from a nation-state to an immigration country, from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country.”

On social media, the Chinese response has been overwhelmingly supportive, with many commenters echoing Pan’s fears. In a forum dedicated to discussions about black people in Guangdong on Baidu Tieba—an online community focused on internet search results—many participants agreed that China was facing a “black invasion.” One commenter called on Chinese people (link in Chinese) not to let “thousands of years of Chinese blood become polluted.”

The stream of racist vitriol online makes the infamous Chinese TV ad for Qiaobi laundry detergent, which went viral last year, seem mild in comparison. The ad featured a Asian woman stuffing a black man into a washing machine to turn him into a pale-skinned Asian man…

…Paolo Cesar, an African-Brazilian who has worked as a musician in Shanghai for 18 years and has a Chinese wife, said music has been a great way for him to connect with audiences and make local friends. However, his mixed-race son often comes home unhappy because of bullying at school. Despite speaking fluent Mandarin, his classmates do not accept him as Chinese. They like to shout out, “He’s so dark!”…

Read the entire article here.

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America’s obsession with multiracial beauty reveals our ongoing bias against blackness

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-10-09 23:58Z by Steven

America’s obsession with multiracial beauty reveals our ongoing bias against blackness

Quartz
2016-10-06

Robert L. Reece, Ph.D. Candidate
Duke University

Last month, rapper Kanye West posted a controversial casting call for his clothing line, Yeezy, mandating “multiracial women only.” Many objected, arguing that West had insulted darker-skinned black women.

But Kanye was only adhering to something fairly common in a society that still operates under a racial hierarchy: the belief that multiracial people are more attractive—what sociologist Jennifer Sims has termed the “biracial beauty stereotype.”…

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Can we choose our racial identities? Should we?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2015-12-23 01:33Z by Steven

Can we choose our racial identities? Should we?

Quartz
2015-12-18

Marcie Bianco


One human race, divided. (Fanqiao Wang)

Can we choose our racial identities? Should we?

In 2015, race as an identity has seemed more malleable than ever. As Bonnie Tsui, author of American Chinatown, wrote in this week’s New York Times Magazine, Americans will necessarily develop more nuanced readings of race as the country becomes more diverse.

“Multiracial Americans are on the rise, growing at a rate three times as fast as the country’s population as a whole, according to a new Pew Research Center study released in June,” Tsui writes. This means that “the need to categorize people into specific race groups will never feel entirely relevant to this [younger] population, whose perceptions of who they are can change by the day, depending on the people they’re with.”

Yet even as Americans recognize the fluidity of identity, it’s crucial to remember the complex, systemic inequities that continue to be tied to racism. To call for an end of “race” as a category that divides us is hopeful. But to suggest that America is a “post-racial” country would be outright delusional…

Read the entire article here.

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The complicated relationship between Asian Americans and affirmative action

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography on 2015-08-13 19:58Z by Steven

The complicated relationship between Asian Americans and affirmative action

Quartz
2015-07-17

Lauren Gurley

In most places, my hair and my skin color don’t stand out in a crowd. In the past, people have mistaken me for Mexican, Italian, Hawaiian, and Israeli. Although sometime this has felt like a privilege and a reason for pride, at other times it has become a source of confusion and guilt. This is the reality of my mixed race identity: half-Japanese and half-white, I still couldn’t tell you whether I technically qualify, or even identify, as a person of color.

Five years ago, I applied to college in the US and was forced to face this confusion head on during the university admissions process. 2010 was the first year that the Common Application offered the option for applicants to select two or more races. This has been both a blessing a curse for schools that have long wrestled with students who identified as multi-racial. A decade ago, such applicants at Emory University would have had their race literally chosen for them by an admissions officer.

But my problem was first and foremost a personal one: How did I identify? Growing up in a very white, yet liberal-leaning community in Southern California, I always wanted to identify with my Asian half in order to stand out. I would squint my eyes in photos to appear more Asian, and ask my mother to pack me bento-box lunches. On standardized tests, I always checked the “Asian/Pacific Islander” box…

Read the entire article here.

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Imagining a future where racial reassignment surgery is the norm

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2015-03-06 00:32Z by Steven

Imagining a future where racial reassignment surgery is the norm

Quartz
2014-09-27

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Communications Professor
University of Southern California, Annenberg

Jess Row’s haunting new novel, Your Face In Mine, is an invitation to the future, an era bound only by the limits of imagination, money, and technology. It’s a time when you can edit anything about yourself—your location, occupation, your status and even your race—if you are a part of the right network.

In the future Row casts, some of us have grown accustomed to the sights and sounds of diversity and the ideal that law and culture treat every person equally. While others are experiencing “racial dysphoria,” or significant discontent with the racial identities we’ve been assigned at birth or the stereotypical roles associated with those racial identities. Row’s novel argues that racial dysphoria stems from the failure of racial assimilation in our techno-driven world. It’s a sign that racism persists even as race no longer seems to matter. The future Row casts is eerily reminiscent of what many cultural critics call our “post-racial” present, a time in which real racism persists without any real racists to blame…

Read the entire article here.

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