Aug 5th

Hillary Clinton Calls Out Trump’s Racism While Commiserating With His Supporters

By Yasmin S

Original Source: Roque Planas National Reporter fro the Huffington Post.

Let’s not forget the pain of the white working class, she urged.

WASHINGTON ― Hillary Clinton may view Donald Trump as a racist misogynist, but she feels some sympathy for his supporters.

Speaking at a conference of black and Hispanic journalists, the Democratic presidential nominee walked a fine line, casting many of Trump’s most controversial comments as racist and xenophobic, while declining to extend that characterization to his ardent supporters.

“We have to recognize that, of course, some of the appeal [of Trump] is xenophobic, racist, misogynistic,” Clinton said, while cautioning the audience not to “lose sight of the pain that many Americans are feeling because the economy has left them behind.”

Win McNamee via Getty Images
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists August 5, 2016, in Washington, D.C. 

Clinton recalled Trump’s harsh words against Mexican immigrants and his repeated attacks against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Muslim parents who lost their Army captain son, Humayun, in the Iraq war.

Despite the wide gulf that separates Clinton from Trump’s hardcore supporters, she explained his nationalist appeal as a reaction to the declining fortunes of much of the American middle class with the dwindling of manufacturing and the harsh recession of 2008.

She said she’d met with a coal mining family in West Virginia, a state she expects to lose in November. But in listening to their concerns, Clinton said she became more sensitive to the wider discontent among Trump supporters with the shortage of stable jobs with decent pay.

“We have to reject and stand up against the appeals to the kind of bigotry and the use of bluster and bullying we’ve seen come from the Trump campaign,” Clinton said. “But let’s not forget the pain … all Americans are feeling.”

She added that she would continue to reach out to Americans “of all ethnicities,” a phrase usually invoked to refer to groups other than white males. 

Clinton made the comments at a joint annual conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Trump was invited to attend, but declined.

The GOP presidential nominee has consistently alienated voters of color that the Republican Party sought to reach out to more consistently after Mitt Romney bombed among Hispanics in 2012, winning only 27 percent of the Latino vote.

Instead, Trump’s support base is largely white and male, though a McClatchy-Marist poll released Friday showed that his support among that demographic had dropped from a 14-point lead over Clinton last month to just eight points after the conventions and his public feud with the Khan family.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

Read original post by clicking here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-supporters_us_57a4dee7e4b021fd987893bb

 

 

 

Aug 4th

Cush Jumbo: British TV 'doesn't represent country we live in'

By Yasmin S

Cush Jumbo, best known for appearing in US series The Good Wife, has called for more ethnic diversity on British TV.

Original Source: BBC Entertainment & Arts entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

The London-born actress told BBC Radio 5 live UK television "doesn't represent the country we live in".

She added the US has "huge race problems", but said she could find more work there because there were "more options for you to try".

"I would jump at the chance for there to be more parts for me here," she said, referring to the UK.

"It's not that I think [producers and casting directors] are racist or don't like me," she said.

 

"It's that we have an idea in our heads here of representation on TV, and it doesn't represent the country we live in, and it should."

The 30-year old revealed she had been told her mixed race background made her unsuitable for several roles she had auditioned for on British TV shows.

'Top down' approach

She said: "You get feedback from auditions - and they might say something along the lines of, 'We're only casting fully black or fully white people for this particular project, and because you're mixed [race] that doesn't work.'

"Or I've had, 'You were the absolute best person for the part but you don't fit with the family shade-wise.'"

The actress, whose mother is British and father Nigerian, is well known for her portrayal of lawyer Lucca Quinn in US drama The Good Wife.

She called for change in the UK television industry and referred to the "Oscars So White" movement, which saw several actors boycott the Academy Awards earlier this year in protest over the lack of nominees from ethnic minorities.

"I think we have to start from the top down," Jumbo said.

"If our producers and the people sitting on our boards and trusts and the people writing don't have different experiences, then of course the work that drips down is just of one or two or three experiences... not the experience of anybody else.

"It's a little bit like what happened with the Oscars where they made some huge changes very quickly because they realised they had to."

Nearly 700 entertainment figures have now been invited to become Academy members, with a focus on women and ethnic minorities.

 

To read original post click link: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36973392

Sep 24th

community

By ANTHONY W

with all the hurt in the world, all the pain and suffering, and rasial tension, i would like to thank Yasmin S, for her hard work in creating this community, and bringing people and groups together, and for caring, thank you

Aug 1st

Rachel Dolezal and racial identification

By Yasmin S

Original Source: Lyle Foster @ News Leader.com

This past Christmas as we gathered around the dinner table, the question was raised that if you could choose the race or ethnic group for your birth what would your choice be? All of the participants were African-American, and we were most interested in the five adults in their 20s and 30s. Three of them stated they would choose to again live as African-Americans, and two chose to be biracial mixed with either white or Latino heritage.

I remember as a child my mother telling me about several families in her home county in Virginia who were very light in complexion and who chose to “pass” as white. This meant that they disassociated from their respective community, moved away and could no longer speak to anyone who was in the black community because that would arouse suspicion that they were Negro. It is not a secret that as recently as a few decades ago many blacks would go through considerable lengths to lighten their skin and do as much as possible to get as close to white in color and lifestyle.

I thought it very interesting to listen to the informal holiday poll to learn that the goal was not to be white necessarily anymore but a greater contentment with who they are and an admiration for a mixed-race identity. In many ways this reflects a national trend. USA Today (June 12) cited a Pew Research Center study indicating that one in every 14 Americans considers themselves multiracial. We also know that in Springfield this is a fast-growing segment of our school population.

The coverage earlier this summer of Rachel Dolezal represents a new and interesting twist in our centuries-old dilemma around race and ethnicity in the United States. Our census allows us to select so many categories of identity that many Americans can check several. Our president, even though his mother is white, identifies as black when it would seem more accurate that he is biracial. Tiger Woods described himself as Casablanasian (a term he made up), refusing to be placed in a single category and by some accounts attempting to not be labeled black.

Ms. Dolezal has introduced the narrative of identifying a race of choice for oneself, even describing herself as transracial. In many respects it has created a firestorm and certainly raises the question: What is race and why is this society so obsessed with it? Of course in the case of Dolezal, it is much deeper because she apparently has changed her appearance to fit the identification to the extent she can. This is an interesting development as many Americans can still remember the days of the minstrel shows and the use of “blackface.” I experienced it myself in a high school variety show when the other performer in my skit showed up in “blackface” minutes before we went on stage. I refused to go out.

Many people I know would prefer the designation of human as a category and less fascination with which race or how many we identify with. What does it mean to identify? I relate and deeply feel the plight of many groups of people. When I visited Cuba I met people that I felt were a part of me. In Malawi I declared I had met my long-lost relatives and this must have been my ancestral home. The stories of Jewish suffering have torn me beyond words, and I will stand with this community and shout “never again.” But I cannot say that I am any of these.

It might be a new realm to declare who we are and want to be. The popularity of hip hop culture has captured many white youths who exhibit many characteristics of traditionally “black” culture. And to be clear, I have seen my share of black folks who have difficulty reconciling their ethnic heritage with their social aspirations.

Which leads me back to that Christmas table conversation of what race we would choose to be. It hasn’t been smooth sailing being black, but I wouldn’t change it on the next ride. But the fact that some want to become black may be a sign of how far we have come, or indicate how much lies ahead of us.

Please visit newsleader.com by clicking here: http://www.news-leader.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/07/30/rachel-dolezal-racial-identification/30908057/

Jul 30th

Interracial Couples Sit Down To Get Real About Stereotypes They Face.

By Yasmin S

Original Source: Taylor Ortega @ Elite Daily.com

In years past, interracial couples faced steep climbs to reach acceptance and live free of judgement, but how much of that judgement remains in the way today?

Complex interviewed five young interracial couples to find out the effect, if any, racial stereotypes have on their relationships.

Throughout the video, some joke about the age-old offensive claims, others suggest love was all that truly mattered and one white woman admits she grew up sheltered and doesn’t understand much about races outside her own.

Sitting arm in arm with her black boyfriend, she confesses,

It’s nice not to feel stupid asking questions to him that are ignorant, but I’m mature enough to know that I don’t know.

While America has not exactly been a bastion of racial tolerance in 2015, there appears to be hope that all couples from varying backgrounds can be appreciated for, say, being outrageously gorgeous together rather than criticized from a place of archaic bias.

Please Visit Elite Daily by clicking here: http://elitedaily.com/news/interracial-couples-talk-stereotypes-video/1153838/

Jul 30th

Seventh-Day Adventists, Muslims And Jehovah's Witnesses Are The Most Racially Diverse US Religious Groups

By Yasmin S

Original Source: Ismat Sarah Mangla @ International Business Times

The American Muslim community is one of the most diverse religious groups in the U.S. Here, Muslims pray at the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at an event to showcase the diversity of Islam. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Just as the general American population is becoming more diverse, so are faith communities within it. The Seventh-day Adventist community, a Protestant denomination, is the most racially diverse, followed by Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

That’s according to new analysis by Pew Research of its 2014 Religious Landscape Data. Pew examined 29 religious groups in the U.S. to determine which ones featured the highest racial and ethnic diversity. The analysis broke down the populations into five racial categories: Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians and a catch-all category that included other races and mixed-race individuals.

In the study, Pew assigned a score of 10 to a religious group if its makeup had an equal share from each of the five ethnic and racial groups (that is, 20 percent each). If a religious group was composed entirely of one racial group, it would be assigned a score of 0.0.

Seventh-day Adventists scored 9.1, the highest among the 29 groups surveyed. Some 37 percent of self-described Seventh-day Adventists are white, 32 percent are black, 15 percent are Hispanic, 8 percent are Asian and another 8 percent are another race or mixed race.

Pew-diversityThe percentage of each religious group in each racial category.  Pew Research

The wide mix may possibly be attributed to the church’s mission to proselytize.

Gary Krause, director of the Office of Adventist Mission for the Adventist world church, said it was the church’s goal to prepare all people for the second coming of Jesus Christ.  

“We’re not an American church. We’re not an African or Asian church. We’re not a European church,”Krause said. “We’re a worldwide movement with a mission to all people groups. We’re all God’s children, and we love to welcome people from all races into our family.”

Muslims (8.7) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (8.6) were not far behind in terms of diversity. In fact, 38 percent of Muslims in the U.S. are white -- an unexpected figure, given that so many Muslim immigrants come from South Asian and Arab countries. Blacks and Asians made up 28 percent each of the rest of the American Muslim population. Jehovah's Witnesses were 36 percent white, 27 percent black, while 32 percent fell into the mixed or other race category.

Among the least diverse communities in the U.S. were Hindus (2.1) and Jews (2.3). And while the overall diversity of Christianity in the U.S. has expanded in recent years, the study also noted that individual Christian denominations were at the bottom of the list. Notably, the National Baptist Convention earned a score of 0.2, indicating that 99 percent of the community identifies as black.

A January survey conducted by LifeWay Research, which focuses on insights into the Christian community, found that 67 percent of Christians in the U.S. believe their church has done enough to promote racial diversity.

“Surprisingly, most churchgoers are content with the ethnic status quo in their churches,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. “In a world where our culture is increasingly diverse, and many pastors are talking about diversity, it appears most people are happy where they are -- and with whom they are.”

To read original post please click here: http://www.ibtimes.com/seventh-day-adventists-muslims-jehovahs-witnesses-are-most-racially-diverse-us-2030165

 
 
May 23rd

Is it time to ditch the term ‘black, Asian and minority ethnic’ (BAME)?

By Yasmin S

ORIGINA SOURCE: Lola Okolosie, Joseph Harker, Leah Green and Emma Dabiri @ The Guardian.com

Trevor Phillips says this is an outdated way to refer to Britain’s racial minorities, and that we should look for new terminology. Here’s our panel’s verdict 

peckham london

 

Do the terms BME and Bame mask the disadvantages suffered by specific ethnic and cultural groups? Photograph: Martin Godwin 

This week, former chairman of the commission for racial equality Trevor Phillips gave a speech in which he suggested that phrases such as black and minority ethnic (BME) and black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) have become outdated, existing purely “to tidy away the messy jumble of real human beings who share only one characteristic – that they don’t have white skin”. He said the acronyms could be divisive, and actually served to mask the disadvantages suffered by specific ethnic and cultural groups. Instead, Phillips suggested, we could potentially adopt terms commonly used in the US, such as “visible minorities” or “people of colour”. Here, four writers discuss the issue.

Lola Okolosie: ‘Focusing on labels is a distraction’

Lola Okolosie

Photograph: Fiona Shaw

Trevor Phillips has a point, albeit one he himself undermines through championing alternative north American terms like “visible minority” or “people of colour” (POC). Quite how POC transcends the generalisation pitfalls dogging language in current use isn’t altogether clear. In any case, white is a colour - facetious, I know, but no less true.

Can Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities be labelled people of colour? If not, does their experience of being an ethnic minority not count? With life expectancy 12 years lower than the general population and infant mortality three times higher, is their whiteness all that matters?

Though I may use BME/BAME, I don’t particularly like these terms. They are unwieldy and lack nuance. No one can deny that. My blackness is informed by whether or not I am Nigerian or Jamaican or half-white, poor or middle class. Blackness is no one thing, and it isn’t experienced as such.

That said, these labels are a necessity. They exist because society recognises that discrimination is a fact which the law must acknowledge and seek to redress. Without these labels, Bame people become separated from our racial/cultural difference and the material disadvantages it makes real are rendered invisible. This is dangerous. For example, it is through keeping a count based on such categories that we know that certain people are far more likely to be stopped and searched on our streets or in our airports.

But we are facing another five years of austerity. Rather than tussling over which words best describe minorities, I am more interested now in the racial implications of much of what the Tories have done and will continue to do. As people from ethnic minorities, we should be asking why unemployment for our young has risen by 50% since 2010. Why do two-fifths of us live in low-income households? Why do we have higher rates of in-work poverty? It is these questions that matter to the ordinary Bame person on the streets. Focusing on labels is just a distraction – a very perilous form of navel-gazing.

Lola Okolosie is an English teacher and writer

Joseph Harker: ‘Our race terminology is struggling to keep up’

Joseph Harker.

Photograph: Linda Nylind

Here are four words I haven’t used in a long time: Trevor Phillips is right. Because, more and more, the differences between our minority communities are growing – including how they are affected by racism – and so it’s becoming increasingly unrealistic to package us all together.

I remember when all minorities were called “black”. It was a hangover from the days of postwar migration, when the first people to arrive here en masse were Caribbeans of African origin. When, a decade or so later, Asians began arriving in numbers, it was natural for them to be tagged on to the black identity. And in those days, when most were migrants to Britain, facing the same sort of colour-based barriers, there was a natural strong solidarity between all of us. But over time the differences, such as religion and culture, became apparent and fed into the experiences these groups had in the UK. Black people integrated more into sport and entertainment, and faced regular harassment by the police; Asian people had stronger family units, set up more small businesses, but tended to settle in areas, including northern towns, where there was more racial separation. In the late 1980s Asians started calling for a distinct, non-black identity. And then east Asians, who’d set roots here well before the Windrush arrived, began raising their voices too.

So what was once a simple black/white thing became multicoloured. And our race terminology has been struggling to keep up ever since. And it’s about more than just labels: because the issues our ethnic-minority populations face are changing too.

It’s becoming clear, for example, that those of Indian or Chinese background are performing better in many areas than those originating from other parts of Asia; and that Africans are outperforming Caribbeans. Indeed west Africans have very different experiences to east Africans in Britain. And that’s before we even talk about those of dual or multiple racial backgrounds.

But if we’re all treated as BAME then an organisation might fix a problem of Caribbean inequality, say, by appointing Indians. Diversity box ticked. But the problem is far from solved. The issue of young black unemployment, which hovers around 50%, won’t be fixed by equality schemes taking on East Asians. Similarly, Islamophobia is an issue which disproportionately affects Asians so, for example, hate crime figures that include all ethnic minorities won’t tell the real story.

And this really matters. Because if discrimination against certain racial groups goes unnoticed, the social issues will grow and grow, and – as we saw following the killing of Mark Duggan, and at various other points over the past 30 years – will eventually explode.

So the black, Asian and minority ethnic classification does have some use in grouping those who are on the receiving end of racism in the UK. But when it comes to addressing the problem, those who are trying to combat discrimination should understand that the term has severe limitations.

Joseph Harker is the Guardian’s assistant comment editor

Leah Green: ‘I don’t feel multiple heritage – I feel mixed race’

Leah Green.

Photograph: Felix Clay

The phrase “visible minority” is, to my mind, no better or worse than black and minority ethnic. Sure, let’s change it. Or let’s not. I really couldn’t care less. You see, this latest so-called issue really isn’t problematic at all. Terms such as BME are acronyms that exist solely in the world of job applications, surveys, and quotas. No one actually uses “black and minority ethnic” to describe the colour of their own skin or their heritage – it is a way of talking about a group in the abstract. Yes, it is simply code for “not white”, but sometimes – to measure representation, progression, or bias – we absolutely must lump all non-white people together. Whatever made-up, meaningless terms you want to use for that are fine by me.

But BME and Bame are simply the latest politically correct terms to be cast aside as no longer good enough. In secondary school, I attended a half-day session for people with parents of different races. I learned two things: a) that someone like me (a mixed-race female being raised by a single mother) is in the group most likely to become a “dysfunctional adult”, and b) I am no longer to refer to myself as mixed race, because that has become racist. I am now Leah Green, multiple heritage.

The thing is, presenting people with a new term with which to refer to themselves, or other individuals, does not inject meaning into that term. Personally, I don’t feel multiple heritage, I don’t feel like a visible minority, or of dual parenthood – I feel mixed race. It’s very hard to replace something that feels like your real identity with something that doesn’t, and why should I have to?

Of course, language always changes and progresses as we become more politically aware, and that is a good thing. Terms like half-caste have always had racist connotations, so we are right to rid our language of them. But when we are worrying that a phrase which doesn’t really mean anything, that no one has ever used to talk about an actual human being, is racist, I think we need to chill out.

Leah Green works for the Guardian as a video producer

Emma Dabiri: ‘I do not identify with others on the basis that neither of us is white’

Emma Dabiri

I am in full agreement with Trevor Phillips: the acronyms BME and BAME are unsuitable. Phillips’s claim that they can “mask the real disadvantages suffered by some ethnic and cultural groups” would, alone, be significant enough to justify the abandonment of these terms. However, replacing these acronyms with “people of colour”, as he suggests, immediately sets alarm bells ringing. While this phrase is widely used in the US, and is gaining popularity on these shores, it is even more vague than BAME and I have many reservations about its usefulness.

I understand its origins in the US, where it was first used to extend discussions about rights beyond black American feminists, to include Latino and indigenous women.

However, it is applied to completely different populations here in the UK. Even more so than BME or BAME, it conflates the differences of radically diverse peoples, lumping them together by virtue of non-whiteness. I do not identify with others on the basis that neither of us is white. Identities should not be forged out of experiences of racism alone, but also through a sense of shared cultural references.

“People of colour” erases huge cultural differences, manufacturing an alleged sense of “solidarity”, which I see little evidence of when it comes to concrete and practical gains for people of African descent.

We need policies and strategies that directly address the needs of people of African descent. I understand the limitations of the word “black”, but when so many are being murdered in the streets by virtue of being black and black alone, it is not the time to be vague in our language. Furthermore, people of colour masks the virulent anti-blackness that exists in many so-called people of colour communities. It also obscures the racial hierarchy wherein whiteness is arguably placed at the top, while black remains firmly at the bottom.

For other minority groups, located somewhere between the two, there can be very real gains in promoting and sustaining anti-blackness, as it distinguishes them from the bottom of the pile. If the language that we use conceals the differences between black and non-black minority groups, it paves the way for a continued silencing and suppression of the voices of people of African descent.

Emma Dabiri is a writer and a teaching fellow in the Africa department at Soas

What do you think? Are the acronyms BME and Bame redundant? And if so, are “visible minorities” or “people of colour” a good replacement?

 

Please visit theguardian.com by clicking here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/22/black-asian-minority-ethnic-bame-bme-trevor-phillips-racial-minorities

May 23rd

The Psychological Advantages of Strongly Identifying As Biracial

By Yasmin S

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Lisa Miller @ New York Magazine

Photo: Dana Hursey/Corbis

As I reported in the most recent issue of New York, a new program at an elite private school in New York aims to combat racism by dividing young children, some as young as 8 years old, into "affinity groups" according to their race. The program has been controversial among parents, many of whom believe it is their job, and not the school's, to impart racial identity to their kids. This feeling is particularly strong among parents who have multi-racial kids. Their identities, many of them say, don't fit into any established racial category but instead live on the frontier of race. 

These sorts of questions about racial identity are only going to become more prominent given ongoing demographic changes in the United States. Multi-racial births are soaring — to 7 percent of all births in the U.S., according to the last Census — a result of more inter-racial coupling and also a broader cultural acceptance of the tag “multi-racial.” (Only as recently as 2000 did the Census even offer a “multi-racial” category — for hundreds of years, stigma has compelled multi-racial people to choose one or the other of their parents’ racial identities, both on government forms and in society.)

But even as multi-racial people take prominent and visible places in all the nation’s hierarchies — golf, pop music, cinema, finance, and, of course, in the executive branch of the United States government — very little psychological research has been done on what it means to have a multi-racial identity, and how that identity is different from having a “mono-racial” one. Now a new literature review, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science by Sarah Gaither, a post-doc at the University of Chicago (who is herself biracial), assesses the psychological landscape of multi-racial identity and points to new directions for research. 

Here are some of the key findings:

More than “mono-racials,” multi-racial people have to answer the question, “Who are you?” This can lead to feelings of identity crisis and social isolation, especially if in answering the question people feel they have to choose between their parents. “By the age of four they understand skin color, and they tend to worry about rejecting one of their parents,” Gaither told me in a phone call.

But if they are raised to identify with both parents and to understand their complex racial heritage, multi-racial people can have higher self-esteem than mono-racial people. They are adaptable, able to function well in both majority and minority environments. “They are more likely to reject the conception that race biologically predicts one’s abilities,” which may, in turn, insulate them from the negative impact of racism or bias.

In studies, for example, “priming” a black person to remember he or she is black, or priming a girl to remember that she’s a girl, results in lower performance on tests, an internalization of negative stereotypes known as “stereotype threat.” But multi-racial people “may not believe believe the stereotypes applied to monoracials apply to them,” Gaither explained. The key point here is that multi-racial children should be raised with a full understanding of both their parents’ stories and be allowed, over time, to identify with both. “As long as the choice is left up to the individual, that’s where you see the more positive outcomes,” Gaither said.

Multi-racial people have flexible identities. As adults, they say they change their racial identity or affiliation more than they stay constant. As infants, they spend less time than mono-racial babies scanning familiar faces, a signal that they are confident as members of a number of different groups. Priming biracial children to affiliate with one of their racial identities makes them more responsive to teachers of that race, prompting questions — as yet unanswered — about whether multi-racial kids learn more easily from teachers and authority figures at different points along a racial spectrum.

Multi-racial people are proud to be multi-racial. This is especially true if they’re affluent. “Multi-racials who identify as multi-racial experience decreased self-esteem when asked to choose only one racial identity,” says the paper.

Multi-racial people tend to identify more with the minority part of their identity. “In general, the more minority you look, the more minority you self-identify,” Gaither told me.

As is clear from the review, researchers have begun to unpack the psychological complexities of having mixed racial heritage. But there are so many remaining questions. Most of the studies conducted so far have been done on mixed-race people of Asian and white or black and white descent — and the world of this research is exceedingly small. Gaither told me how happy parents of multi-racial children were to let her ask their kids questions, because there are so few resources out there for them, so little guidance for how to teach healthy identity. And almost no research has been done on people with two or more minority identities (black-Latino or Latino-Asian, say). How does a person navigate between two minority cultures?

There's also a dearth of research on how gender cuts across questions of racial identity. Is a black-white person more inclined to identify as black if he’s male? And is an Asian-white person more inclined to identify as Asian if she’s female? These are questions at the frontiers of racial-identity research, and as the population of mixed-race kids explodes they’ll demand answers. 

 

Please visit NYMAG.com by cicking here: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/05/psychological-advantages-biracial.html

May 22nd

This Mocha-Caramel-Honey Post-Racial Fantasy Is Making Me Sick

By Yasmin S

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Sharon H. Chang @ Buzzfeed.com

Illustration by Judith Kim for BuzzFeed

As a mixed-race woman, the defining question of my life has not been “Who am I?” but “What are you?” I get it everywhere, from all races. Recently it’s been mostly from Asian immigrants. You Chinese? Last month a black guy walked up to me while I was pumping gas. Man! How do you people do that international thing?

It’s an invasive line of questioning, under the guise of a friendly compliment. “You know how you could look more Asian?” my white boss once asked as I clocked out of work. “If you cut your bangs like this and did your makeup like this…” My acupuncturist, meanwhile, thinks I look more Asian in a ponytail.

Most women are accustomed to having their physical appearance treated like public property up for consumption. But when it comes to mixed-race women, our looks are quantified, measured and divvied up, all the way back to conception. How we were cooked up, what our ingredients are, and why we taste so good — people are entitled to know all of it.

“It’s a suitable time to think of all the sexy ladies who’ve come about thanks to people of different races procreating,” wrote Josh Robertson in his preamble to Complex’s “The 50 Hottest Biracial Women,” “And it’s not just blacks and whites. Hispanics with Asians! Asians with blacks! Whites with Hispanics! American Indians with other kind of Indians!” These pairings yielded a slideshow’s worth of unique female flavors. “So here, enjoy these mocha-colored, honey-tinted, caramel-complected babes.”

 
This is only the cheapest version of a palatably post-racial fantasy that is surprisingly popular. Slate featured Stunning Portraits of Mixed-Race Families, designed to facilitate comparing and contrasting family members’ traits. Last year, National Geographic published photos of mixed-race people to suggest what Americans will look like in 2050. The portraits (some of which were of models shot by a fashion photographer) went viral, sending some readers into paroxysms of horny idealism. “In a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OkCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race,” Mic writer Zak Cheney-Rice wrote. “2050 remains decades away, but if these images are any preview, it’s definitely a year worth waiting for.”

If 2050 is the year that 400 years of racism ends in one fell, photogenic swoop, then sure, I can’t wait. But forgive me if our collective crushes on Rashida Jones, Lolo Jones, and Norah Jones don’t inspire hope. Beauty is a cultural value whose definition has changed dramatically over time. But science and society have a long history of justifying our shifting tastes when it comes to race. White supremacy has been bolstered through race-based compulsory sterilization, anti-miscegenation laws, and likening people of color to animals.

We know race is not biological and humans are 99.9% similar genetically. Nonetheless, U.K. psychologists recently claimed that mixed-race people are more attractive and successful than nonmixed people. Cross-breeding, the authors of the 2010 study hypothesized, produces people who are more “genetically fit” and beautiful — a matter of Darwinian survival. Guess who else used Darwin to argue their superior, stronger, “better evolved” race was advancing the human species? White people.

In the meantime, for every expression of nonwhite beauty we celebrate in a mixed-race model or actress, there’s still a corresponding set of structural disadvantages affecting the rest of us. Black and Asian? Over-imprisoned and suicidal. Native American and Hispanic? Less likely to finish high school and high rates of discrimination in the workplace. And it shouldn’t escape notice that the most popular presented mixed-race blend, so to speak, trends light or white-passing. If racism were over, nonmixed nonwhite people would also be considered beautiful too, which by and large they’re not.

This is the problem with racialized beauty compliments: Saying mixed-race people are “better” or the “best” because of the way they look hardly breaks from racism’s insidious tradition of “racing” the group at the top at the expense of all others’ humanity. Resistant, antiracist beauty movements do exist, like Black Is Beautiful. Born in the 1960s to counter mainstream beliefs that common African features were inherently undesirable, the movement liberated blacks by empowering collective self-love in the face of widespread discrimination.

By contrast, the future mixed-human look National Geographic anticipates has been leveraged by media and advertising companies to sell movie tickets and lingerie to the broadest demographic possible. Diversity is being compressed into something easier to swallow: pretty, part white, with distinctive features (an eye shape, hair type, or skin tone) that might inspire identification in the nonwhite consumer — and will signal a welcome, “comfortable” worldliness to the white one.

This is where the relentless comparison of mixed-race women to food starts to make a sick kind of sense to me. The more beauty is linked to ambiguous racial identity — to images of women in media we visually consume — the more admiring them feels like guilt-eating: bingeing on mocha-honey-caramel prettiness in order to postpone the hard reality of how much needs to change with regard to race. It’s not that I expect ad campaigns for Old Navy and Verizon to end racism. But it sure would be a nice start if we could stop congratulating ourselves for finding mixed-race women attractive. The progressive back-patting that follows every “You’re beautiful, what are you?” risks making us complacent to the effects of racism today. None of it will matter in 50 years, when we co-exist in sexy racial harmony. For the sake of our offspring — who, as any parent can tell you, are all beautiful — I’d rather not wait around to find out.

 

Please visit buzzfeed.com by clicking here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/sharonchang/this-mocha-caramel-honey-post-racial-fantasy-is-making-me-si

 

Want to read more essays from Inheritance Week? Sarah Hagi wrote about paying remittance. David Dobbs explained the genetic research industry’s exaggerated picture of genetic power. Susie Cagle wrote about the difficulty of selling her grandmother’s clothes and the worth of vintage. Syreeta McFadden reflected on what it’s like being brown in a world of white beauty. Chelsea Fagan compiled lessons on love and money from our parents. AJ Jacobs wrote about planning the world’s largest family reunion. And finally, Rosecrans Baldwin wrote about reciting poetry at public gatherings, something he inherited from his grandfather.