This post is mainly a link for people in Mestizo Revelations or who want to be a part of Mestizo Revelations. I am helping edit the project.
Mestizo Revelations is a collection of essays, poems, and visual art from mixed-race writers and artists expressing their narratives and perspectives on being mixed race in America. Ms. Allison Mannos, who is Chinese and Jewish, UCLA Asian American Studies and Urban Planning student is the visionary behind this work. This collection is slated to be published with an ISBN-Number through the writing collective, the Undeniables by June 2010.
What do you need to do to be involved?
Since everyone who is receiving this email is starting from scratch, we’ll give you a full month to submit something. Submit in email and/or word doc to me firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31st, 2009.
What are we looking for in the pieces?
People who can write a creative piece about examining the facets of their identity. Write about race, class, gender, sexuality, what those have all meant to you. How has being mixed race helped/hinder you? How has being lower or middle-class helped/hinder you? Maybe being a straight mixed male gives you extra privilege?
What we want to achieve with the totality of your works, Ms. Allison Mannos says in her own words: “the primary objective [of this project] would be to obliterate race and identity while calling out the badness in the world that is based on the reinforcement of these artificial identities. I want [readers of the Mestizo project] to see how mixed people can use their “mixed” status as a platform to destroy racial identity, by not falling under easy boxes, how that is positive, not falling under the trap “non-mixed people” do by calling themselves and really believing in being latino, asian-am, black, etc. Its about being mixed but then again its really more about the bigger question of [racial] identity being/becoming irrelevant.”
Essays, poems, visual representations.
This post and its collection of excerpts, multimedia, and links is about raking your forehead with emotions. This is about making people react! You can choose to react adversely, negatively, or use the emotion to turn things into something beautiful.
The list is by no means finished, if you have suggestions, please comment or email me at bdelasa(at)gmail(dot)com!
Bibliography of Interracial and Multicultural People – lots of sources for late 90s Academic material on being mixed race: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~kdown/multi.html
Mixed Media Watch – Original watchdog site on representations of mixed race people: http://www.mixedmediawatch.com/
Global Census – http://understandingrace.org/lived/global_census.html
Multiracial Americans of Southern California: http://www.mascsite.org/about-2/
Swirl Inc – http://www.swirlinc.org/
Practical Tips for Communication with Mixed Race, Multiracial Individuals
1) “8 Things Never to Say to a Mixed-Race Colleague” by Yoji Cole
“the multiracial group is not a group bound together by race. Our only common element is the way society responds to us–the common ways we’re marginalized.
“On the most basic level, it reminds you that you are the ‘other’ and that you’re outside the norm. The default for this is that if you were white, then I wouldn’t have to ask that question. So really, what they’re asking is about power. They want to know what team you’re on–it’s about power and who has it. They need to know what stereotypes they can apply so they can feel safe.”
2) “What ‘to’ Say to Biracial/Multiethnic Coworkers” by Yoji Cole
Instead of asking, “What are you mostly?”–which can be construed as a confrontational question that tries to pigeonhole a person–ask an open-ended question — “Do you identify with one culture more than the other?”
Lived Experience on Being Mixed, Multiracial
1) Multiracial Identity in America
Is being multi-racial an identity all its own, or a delicate balance of old divides?
2) Where Are the Multiracial Americans? by Lisa Wade
Apparently those who identify, identify mostly in Hawaii.
One might argue that there are many more “multi-racial” people throughout the country if the question were changed to ask if a person knew of having ancestors from more than one race.
I think that a whole lot of “African-Americans” are multi-racial, but identify themselves as “African-American”, and not “multi-racial”. Similarly, I think that many “Caucasian” peoples are likely to be “multi-racial” by descent, but identify themselves as only a single race.
3) Has Multiracial Identity Become More Accepted by Carmen van Kerckhove
In the video at the post, Carmen has really poignant quotes about being mixed race:
“People have to know your race so that they can react to you.”
Honestly, I’d never see that as a bad thing, I’d love messing with people’s heads about what I actually am.
“Mixed people” will end racism simply by existing”
4) Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race by Mireya Navarro
Being accepted. Proving loyalty. Navigating the tight space between racial divides. Americans of mixed race say these are issues they have long confronted, and when Senator Barack Obama recently delivered a speech about race in Philadelphia, it rang with a special significance in their ears.
people of mixed race said their decision about how to identify themselves was deeply personal, not political; it is influenced by how and where they were reared, how others perceive them, what they look like and how they themselves come to embrace their identity.
The mixed-race terrain is full of such bumps and tricky balances. But at least, many multiracial Americans say, they are no longer seen as oddities. Ms. Zaloom expects that her 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son will experience a different journey to self-identity than she did. At times while growing up, Ms. Zaloom recalled, she struggled with questions about whether she was white enough or attractive. She rebelled against Chinese language lessons, her mother’s Chinese food and eating with chopsticks.
- But when her daughter was born, she named her Mei Lan, like her maternal grandmother, to honor her Chinese roots. Then she named her son Kyle in deference to her paternal Irish side. Her wish for her children, she said, is that they realize that the benefits of a mixed identity outweigh any challenges. “Ultimately,” she said, the goal is “to not have to check a box.”
5) MSNBC’s Multiracial in America:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24765917 – Different stories of multi-racial Americans
Surprisingly in-depth and layered videos of being multi-racial in America.
6) I love my mixed race baby but why does she feel so Alien by Lowri Turner
When I turn to the mirror in my bedroom to admire us together, I am shocked. She seems so alien. With her long, dark eyelashes and shiny, dark brown hair, she doesn’t look anything like me.I know that concentrating on how my daughter looks is shallow. She is a person in her own right, not an accessory to me. But still, I can’t shake off the feeling of unease.
I didn’t realise how much her looking different would matter and, on a rational level, I know it shouldn’t. But it does.
7) Bring Back My Body to Me by Thea Lim
it’s freakin’ rude – NOT progressive – to make helpful hints as to how others should identify. So back off already.
Because we live in a racist society where the dominant culture is white, and all sorts of people of colour are asked to deny their backgrounds – except for when it comes to giving tips on the best “ethnic” restaurants and posing for sexy, exotic photos.
I’m proud of who I am. I’m glad that my parents made the choices they did. But stating ownership over my own freakin’ body is tricky in a climate where it seems like everyone, from parents, to journalists, to anthropologists, to constituents, to lovers, to creepy American Apparel CEOs, sees the bodies of mixed people as blank canvases on which to project sickening, racial fantasies.
8 ) Ask Racialicious: Am I Overreacting to Ignorant Assumptions? by Racialicious Team
A load of stories and situations and acting as a mixed race individual
9) New Words for Mixed Race People of Colour – With or Without White Ancestry by Thea Lim
The term “people of colour” was thought up because we needed a way to recognise that all non-white people share a common experience, despite their vast ethnic and cultural experiences. At least as I understand it, it’s intended to emphasise the solidarity we have with each other.
10) Mixed Race People and the Language of Fractions by Thea Lim
- There are no parts of my experience that are solely white, or solely Chinese. I don’t have one compartment for Chineseness in my brain and another compartment for Whiteness, living side by side and sometimes visiting but ultimately existing separately. Every single part of me is a 100% white/Chinese mash-up, all the time. There ain’t no separating these things from each other.
- Many of the issues that plague the mixed race identity have to do with feelings of inadequacy and inauthenticity. Maybe some of that has to do with the fact that people are always telling us (and we often tell ourselves) that we are half of things. I mean, that has to have some kind of impact somewhere.
Media Depictions of being Multiracial/Mixed
1) Maury Paternity Test for biracial Child by Carmen van Kerckhove
It’s an old episode of the Maury show where they do a paternity test to prove what everyone in the audience already thinks: there’s no way this white man can be the father of this mixed-looking child. It’s depressing that to much of America, depictions like these form their impressions of interracial relationships.
2) Spotlight on Mixed Actors by Jen Chau
Fictional characters is a different story, though many white men were angry that Halle played Catwoman. I wasn’t happy that she was cast in “Nappily…” either, because it was supposed to be about black womens experiences in life, not 1/2 black, which can be and might usually be different although maybe not entirely. Still, she was able to tell the story in both movies. But what about when we start to see more bi & multiracial and minority cartoons, comics, and other fiction works? Just when we start to see an increase in them, would we then want to see these stories turned into movies by non bi & mutiracial and minoriy people? You can’t say “Oh, let Halle play Catwoman” now, then get mad when 20 years from now, a non-biracial woman plays Halle in a movie about her, when an East Asian plays Selena, when a Latino plays Collin Powell, an Indian plays Bruce Lee.
3) Kanye West Calls Mixed Girls Mutts by Anthony Springer Jr.
In the December 2006 issue of Essence magazine, West sounds off on video girls and “race mixing”.
“If it wasn’t for race mixing there’d be no video girls. Me and most of our friends like mutts a lot. Yeah, in the hood they call ‘em mutts”.
4) Biracial Women Who Hate Their Identity by Latoya Peterson
The video features Jenna, who is half black and half white, who denies her blackness; Tabitha, who is half latina and half white, who denies her whiteness; Jaselle, who is black and Puerto Rican, who denies her PR heritage; and Sohn (her segment was not included in the video I watched.)
But as the children of that first generation of mixed-race marriages now come of age, their moves to gain acceptance in society – like Lou’s participation in the TV show – have exposed a deep-running vein of xenophobia in Chinese society.
6) Exploring Mixed Race Through Mixed Messages by Crystal Carter
The mixed-race Simpson (she’s Black and Filipina) took this as inspiration for her newest performance piece, Mixed Messages, featured this weekend at ODC Theater in San Francisco. Simpson wants to convey through the dance the emotional tug-of-war that mixed-race people often experience.
7) Jon & Kate Plus Race by Lisa Wade
Commentary on a popular interracial couple.
Obama and Mixed Race Identity
Obama, Jenkins points out, positioned himself in the primaries as a man “at home with both blacks and whites, someone whose mixed racial background has forced him to become a cultural translator.
Interracial people can be “cultural translators?”
2) I Love Fake Interviews: About Obama and Race by Jen Chau
This brought up the question of who Obama identifies as.
While your appearance may help to construct your identity, it typically isn’t the only thing that determines identity. Barack has every right to identify as he is identifying. Any mixed person who is mad at him for identifying as a black man is a serious hypocrit[e] in my eyes. If we have had such a hard time with people demanding we pick ONE box in the past, we shouldn’t demand that others pick more than one box. Mixed people should understand better than anyone else that identity is a personal thing, and is a complicated thing. It isn’t as easy as color-coding each other.
1. Give more credit to mixed race people and to Obama.
2. Mixed race people should not have to defend the way that they identify. Those who are mixed are always up for public scrutiny, and this is problematic.
3. One-person solutions to racism are not reasonable or realistic. We all have a lot of work to do together (whether Obama is our next President or not).
3) Stigmatizing Obama by Gwen Sharp
Key in on “half-breed”
Studies in Academia About Being Mixed Race
1) Psychological Well-Being of Multiracial Individuals by Dienekes Pontikos
With high school kids in Long Beach, being multiracial is a positive thing!
Results showed that, compared with multiracial individuals who identified primarily with a low- or high-status group, those who identified with multiple groups tended to report either equal or higher psychological well-being and social engagement.
2) Does It Matter If Black Plus White Equals Black Or Multiracial?
Some evidence from social psychology about how Americans will assess you based on your looks.
Should such racial characterizations of people like Obama — who have one black parent and one white parent — really matter?
According to a new Northwestern University study, they do matter.
The findings suggest that the immediate response of non-black study participants is to categorize a racially ambiguous person as black when it was known that one of the person’s parents was black and one was white.
Most people think that unstable or changing racial self-identification is an issue largely confined to a small group of multiracial individuals. This is a country, after all, of the one-drop rule. But research, including our own, shows that that isn’t so.
In a supplementary analysis of the 2001 Census Quality Survey (CQI), we showed that the racial self-identification of “whites” is also surprisingly unstable.
4) Adopted Multiracial Children by Contexts Graduate Student Editorial Board
White parents of adopted multiracial children often believe that racial identity is not a big factor in their children’s lives. The children disagree.
Gina Miranda Samuels “Being Raised by White People”: Navigating Racial Difference Among Adopted Multiracial Adults
Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume: 71, NO: 1, PG: 80-94, 2009
AD: University of Chicago
a study by Thoburn, Norford, and Rashid (2000) indicates that Black children with one White biological parent are most likely to be placed with White adopters in the United Kingdom. Further, these same children dominate the sample populations within U.S. studies on transracial adoption of Black children (Miranda, 2004).
Multiracial children are more likely to be adopted?
Parents typically indicate one or more of four primary beliefs that support adopting children with a White biological parent even over African American children with lighter complexions: (1) they will have “more in common” with a multiracial child, (2) they feel a more legitimate (i.e., biological) tie to a child with whom they partially share a racial heritage, (3) they feel less guilt about “taking the child away” from the Black community, and (4) a racially mixed child will be less visibly different and “easier to explain” to relatives, neighbors, and friends (see McRoy & Grape, 1999; McRoy & Zurcher, 1983; Steinberg & Hall, 2000)
respondents described parental colorblindness as having the opposite effect, causing them to feel racially alienated with an unavoidable experience of racial stigma that was invalidated by parents.
The comments were full of discussion.
the “tragic” part in tragic mullato and in IR couples (it’s only tragic with a Black partner) is the continued demonization of anyone with visible African ancestry…no wonder a “mixed child” is goin’ through it. He or she may have a white parent, but the social “benefits” of whiteness are denied to them. On the other hand they are being penalized daily because of the so-called “taint” of their blackness…who wouldn’t go crazy under that kind of psychological/emotional assault!
the idea of “mixed” is a new term embrased by white people, in my opinion mainly white women with children by men of other races, to “protect” their children from being merely grouped with their darker ancestry.
i believe things like “mixed” races would be obselete if people just READ. geeze, this whole country is comprised of people who would be considered mixed in many contexts whether it’s catholic/protestant, anglo/german, yankee/dixie, or black/white. it’s all a matter of perspective, it’s as old as adam, and hardly worth all the drama.
Everyone is mixed, yet conversely, why do people hold onto this idea of “pureness?” Is there a such thing as being a “pure” American? A “pure” European? Idea of being a ‘pure’ anything smacks of Nazi ideology.
6) It’s Misconception That Opposites Attract by Dr. Ellen Weber
In reality, it’s often painfully difficult for people who choose differences. Just look at stigmatization of Amerasian children often lead to severe poverty and a lifetime of prejudice, according to Congressional Record. Daily ed. 4 May 1994 p.S5179-5194
1) Mixed-race kids grow up in households that are similar along many dimensions to those in which black children grow up: similar incomes, the father is much less likely to be around than in white households, etc.
2) In terms of academic performance, mixed-race kids fall in between blacks and whites.
3) Mixed-race kids do have one advantage over white and black kids: the mixed-race kids are much more attractive on average.
The really interesting result, though, is the next one.
4) There are some bad adolescent behaviors that whites do more than blacks (like drinking and smoking), and there are other bad adolescent behaviors that blacks do more than whites (watching TV, fighting, getting sexually transmitted diseases). Mixed-race kids manage to be as bad as whites on the white behaviors and as bad as blacks on the black behaviors. Mixed-race kids act out in almost every way measured in the data set.
Retort by Racialicious who say that the study is more stereotype than reality.
Holy bucket of stereotypes, Batman! Number three is really killing me though – how the fuck did they measure that? By panel survey? Researchers opinion on hotness?
8)Bi-racial Asian Americans more likely to suffer pyshological disorder by IANS
Biracial Asian Americans are more than twice as likely to suffer from psychological disorders as their monoracial counterparts, according to University of California study. “We cannot underestimate the importance of understanding the social, psychological and experiential differences that may increase the likelihood of psychological disorders among this fast-growing segment of the population,” said Nolan Zane, a professor of psychology and Asian-American studies at University of California (UC) Davis.
9) Mixed Race Looks by Ronald Sundstrom
Engaging the topic of mixed-race looks in this way is significant because it illustrates issues at the heart of the ethics of identity, such as recognition, authenticity, autonomy, individuality, and solidarity, and their interaction with self-presentation and aesthetic standards formed around major social categories.
Redefining America and “American”
1) Younger Generation to Define “American” by Dom Apollon
This one is a very short blurb, but asks this important question about the “Average American”:
Klein is also correct to point out the generational divide that exists in “a country that is struggling to be born – a multiracial country whose greatest cultural and economic strength is in its diversity.”
The question on my mind is: How soon and how hard will the younger, multiracial generations fight to redefine what it means to be an “average American”?
The positive progressive answer to that question: the change starts now!
Key in on the word “unselfconsciously multiracial.”
Orlando Patterson, a professor of sociology at Harvard, argues that the one arena where black grievance is acceptable is in music, particularly in hip-hop, where an estimated 70 percent of listeners are white. But the generation exposed to hip-hop, mostly under 40, are part of what Mr. Patterson calls a growing “ecumenical” American culture that is unselfconsciously multiracial.
This Obama Generation came of age in the post-civil-rights age when color, though still relevant, had less impact on what one read, listened to or watched. It was the common crucible of popular culture, he said, that forged a truly American identity, rather than the “salad bowl” analogy cherished by diversity advocates.
How did we even get to this point of unselfconsciously multiracial? I take unselfconscously multiracial to mean “blending. “How does this blending happen in a space like Silver Lake but not as much as a place like Monterey Park? How does it happen in certain enclaves but not others?
This post at Rachel’s Tavern about the most and least segregated cities might help.
3) Making the 2010 Census Count by Lynda Turet.
Mixed race literature is bound to mention something about “not being able to check off multiple boxes in the Census till 2000.” How will things be different for 2010?
Counting race matters because it makes visible the ways in which race determines haves and have nots. Without hard numbers, advocates and communities are not equipped with the “evidence” they need to paint the picture of what’s really happening. I leave the following yet unanswered questions for those of us in the multiracial community: will we play into the hands of those arguing that our increasingly complex racial rainbow means that race is irrelevant and thus shouldn’t be considered? Or will we stand in solidarity with others in communities of color working to ensure that we are counted and thus get our fair share of resources and political power? So long as our communities get shuffled to the bottom, it’s more than racial imagination we need. It’s justice.
4) Portrait of a New American Family: Mixed Race Children Suppress Part of Heritage by Marisa Moldonado
Rosy piece about ups and downs of kids being biracial in New England high school.
Despite the challenges, Michael and Margeret Cronin said being biracial can be an advantage. Margeret Cronin said she is better able to see multiple points of view and does not immediately judge people based on stereotypes, such as all blacks drink Kool-Aid and eat chicken.
“When it comes to the ignorance that some people have, you’re right in the middle,” Margeret said. “You don’t have to think down to either level.”
5) Veganism and Cultures of Origin by Johanna
As a mixed-race Filipina, I have often felt like I was being implicitly judged by Filipin@s & found wanting: I don’t speak Tagalog (much)? I don’t go to church? I don’t… eat adobo??? To me, veganism is just one other thing to add to the list of things that make me feel awkward at times. It’s not enough to make me forsake the way I eat, of course, but I can sense the pressure, & can imagine how it could be even more intense for people who are more culturally connected than I.
As the offspring of two US Immigrant Filipino parents with Spanish grandfathers, I find myself eating “Filipino food” and find it a bit difficult to break into Veganism. I view it as kind of a white guy hippie kind of thing. None of my networks of Filipino friends engage in this.
6) Is a Burrito a Sandwhich? Exploring Race and Culture in Contracts by Marjorie Florestal
Florestal, Marjorie, Is a Burrito a Sandwich? Exploring Race, Class and Culture in Contracts (September 1, 2008). Michigan Journal of Race and Law, Vol. 14, Issue 1, Fall 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1430206
- When people in America refer to class, they usually mean status rather than economic relations of power.
- the law, by protecting the unequal distribution of property, does nothing to prevent freedom of contract from becoming a one-sided privilege.
- The sandwich is unhesitatingly American, while the burrito is perceived as a hybrid Tex-Mex concoction that is neither fish nor fowl
- Interestingly the wrap seems to have jumped the fence in a way the burrito cannot; despite their similarities a wrap is considered both American and a sandwich while a burrito is not
- While Mexicans and their culture have become part of the American experience, their incorporation is as a hybrid rather than a seamless integration.
The last three quotes. Need. Commentary. We consider the burrito a “hybrid” of cultures, but the American is not. Hybrid seems to mean “newly made.” Everything blends together, but two strong different elements coming together need to be emphasized.
7) Proposal Adds Options for Students to Specify Race by Elissa Gootman
As immigration and intermarriage are redefining race across the country, a growing number of people who cannot easily place themselves in one category have become increasingly frustrated with having to do so.
1) The Brazil Files: Race &; the Runway – São Paulo Fashion Week Dabbles in Color by Wendy Muse
Despite Brazil being a nation with nearly 50% of its population composed of people with African descent (according to the 2007 study conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (O Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, or IBGE)), the catwalks were snow white.
I would like to co-sign everything that Ana said and agree that Brazil is a lot like 1950’s US but more discrete, as Wendi said. Although it may be more discrete, a waiter not speaking to you to serve you is on par with someone telling you to leave the establishment in my opinion. Despite the differences in the delivery, the feeling is the same .. you are not welcome. Unfortunately, instead of fully fighting the discriminatory practices in Brazil, many Black Brazilians choose to avoid places/situations of contention simply because they don’t see the benefit of fighting.
In Brazil, the term “black” (“negro/a”) is often relegated solely to people of African descent who have much darker skin and/or used for political purposes (i.e. as a unifying, symbolic reference by people with invested interests in community building among blacks/Afro-descendants). So whenever I discuss race with my students (which occurs a lot considering that a discussion of race is inseparable from a discussion on American history and culture) and I declare myself as black, they get confused.
I am going to go with option two. Of course, the States has a long way to go in terms of improving its domestic state of race relations, yet one has to be careful not to read those in Brazil as being utopian, as they, too, have a complex and somewhat dark past, one of them being the goal of ethnic cleansing by way of miscegenation to which I often reference.
3) Apartheid in Brazil – Will We Ever See Past Brazil’s Pretty? by Malena Amusa
Here’s the telling part: despite the majority of Brazilians having more than 10 percent Black African blood, only 6 percent claim “black.” Because in Brazil being Black is a poverty sentence.
Postracialism and Transcending Race
1) Ill-Doctrine.com on Asher Roth via Post-Racial Hip-Hop by Hatty Lee
We start to act as if coming close together means not having to care how our words affect each other.
When people come closer together, the boundaries change, but you never stop have any boundaries in any healthy relationship.
In any healthy relationship, the closer you get the more you care about how you affect each other…
And yet somehow in our racial interractions, we tend to forget that, and start thinking that coming close together means we can care less about how we affect each other.
2) Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty: There Will Never be a Post-Racial America if the Wealth Gap Persists by Darrick Hamilton and William Darrity Jr.
We’ll Never Be Post-Racial as Long As the Racial Wealth Gap Persists by Victor Corral
Economists, Marcus Alexis, found that, after accounting for household income, blacks historically have had a slightly higher savings rate than whites. In 2004, economists Maury Gittleman and Edward Wolff also found that blacks save at a moderately higher rate than do whites, again after adjusting for household income. This indicates even greater black frugality because many higher-income blacks offer more support to lower-income relatives than do whites, further reducing their resources to save.
3) Racial Profiling in a Post-Racial America by Tony Muhammad
According to CNN, a 2004 Gallop Poll revealed that 67 percent of African Americans and 63 percent of Latinos believe they have experienced police discrimination. Amnesty International estimates that in the United States 32 million people (approximately the same amount of people that live Canada) have been subjected to racial profiling.
4) Why Are They So Biased by The Situationist Staff
In every field, it seems, people from underrepresented groups must prove themselves able to transcend their identity. “A person of color is immediately suspected of bringing bias and perspective into their decisions,” observes Luis Fraga, a political scientist at the University of Washington.
5) Reasons Why Only White Males are Supreme Court Material by Terry Keleher
- White people are color-blind and can transcend race. Today’s racists and sexists are actually people of color and women who cling to their identity politics just for their own gain.
- White American-born straight men have secure identities and don’t need identity politics.
- Indeed, whites don’t even see race because they don’t really have a race. They’re just part of the human race. They prefer to blend in without calling attention to themselves. And they know that if we’d all just ignore race, then racism would disappear.
6) Filipino America’s Best Dance Crew by Ninoy Brown
Was the Jabbawockeez success based on a somewhat visible/invisibility of the crew’s race?
7) Race and the Social Contract by Eduardo Porter
Eduardo Porter writes in an editorial in the New York Times that racial and ethnic differences have always and continue to make it difficult for the country to unite around social welfare. He argues that the country should “transcend group interests for a common national cause.
In one study, Mr. Alesina, with Reza Baqir of the International Monetary Fund and William Easterly of New York University, found that the share of municipal spending in the United States devoted to social good — roads, sewage, education and trash clearance — was smaller in more racially diverse cities.
“Tens of thousands of people are living in a legal no-man’s land within our borders, and the government wants to keep it that way” – Michelle Chen
The novel, set in late ’90s Manhattan, is about anti-racist college student, Macon Detornay. Macon could best be described as the characterization of Jus Rhymes from ego trip’s The (White) Rapper Show, a middle class white hip-hop head ashamed of whiteness and white privilege. But more than this is the irony of Macon’s Jewish-American identity and the the numbers he has tattooed on his arm. The numbers: 042992, the date the Los Angeles riots broke out in reaction to the acquittal of the police officers who beat down Rodney King.
Having reached the breaking point, Macon begins robbing yuppie white businessmen in an attack on whiteness. After gaining notoriety, and after false media reports identify the robber as a black man, Macon haphazardly decides to stage a national Day of Apology for white people to say sorry.”
10) Can you be Racist and Vote for Obama by Isaiah Thompson
via Racewire, Bigots for Obama by Dom Apollon, http://www.racewire.org/archives/2008/11/bigots_for_obama.html
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking to people in Fishtown, and I’ve found much the same thing. Obama’s skin color is a problem for many white voters in Philly — but with the economy in ruins, they’re turning to Obama anyway. Call it the Fishtown Effect.
Would race be an obstacle?
“Not at all — not for anybody who’s a working man paying taxes,” he assured, adding: “First of all, he’s not all black. And maybe if a black person gets in there to be president, it’ll keep all the crybabies from crying discrimination.”
McGowan, like many of the Fishtowners I spoke with, was ready to assess Obama on his merits as a candidate, even as he viewed blacks in general as a monolithic, possibly hostile group.
11) Optional Ethnic Identities by Gwen Sharp
In her book Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America, Mary Waters discusses the ways in which White Americans are able to pick and choose among their various ancestries, deciding which (if any) ones to actively claim and in what context. Certain White ethnicities tend to be quite popular, so that people are likely to actively identify themselves as, say, Italian or Irish, whereas others, such as Scottish or Scots-Irish, are relatively unpopular and people are likely to drop those ancestries from their ethnic identity.
Whereas non-Whites often cannot get others to ignore or forget their race, Whites generally have the option of going unmarked–as just “plain” Americans, if you will.
This might make a good contrast to the ways in which Barack Obama’s race has been discussed in the presidential election. Whereas he has had to actively address issues of race, and try to downplay it and portray himself as a “post-racial” candidate, Delaney can actively bring attention to an ethnicity that would otherwise probably go unnoticed by most voters, and she clearly thinks that doing so isn’t going to harm her chances of getting elected.