19.1.10

It would seem we are still talking about this

Speaking of "mixed race" issues, here are some old but relevant links that I meant to blog, um, months ago.

If you missed them:

1. "Mixed-Race TV Contestant Ignites Debate In China" (via nimbupani)

The only thing I wish the article had gone on to parse is the extent to which the racism in question is directed at the woman for being part African-American, as opposed to being merely mixed-race. Likewise someone still needs to take a hard look at the dimensions of racism and attitudes towards race in Singapore – how different "mixtures" of race are viewed differently. Even though the government's now decided to allow parents to include both races in the child's registration information, that doesn't get around the fact that there are different social or cultural implications in Singapore to being legally identified as, say, Caucasian-Chinese vs. African-Chinese.

2. "Ward Helps Biracial Youths on Journey Toward Acceptance" (via my friend Peter on Facebook)

The "Ward" in the headline is American football player Hines Ward, who is of Korean and African-American parentage. Korea has its own murky history of dealing (or not) with people of mixed-race parentage and it's becoming a more prevalent issue as many Korean men in rural areas are marrying women from Southeast Asia. (No doubt one of the reasons why most people guessed I was Filipino or Vietnamese when I was travelling there last year.)

3. And just to round up the trifecta, "Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race", which was written in the wake of Obama's presidential campaign.

Things from this article that seem to me to be stating the obvious, but that obviously haven't been absorbed by modern mainstream thinking yet:
  • “There’s this notion that there’s an authentic race and you must fit it,” said Ms. Bratter, an assistant professor of sociology at Rice University in Houston who researches interracial families.
  • “When you’re mixed, you see how absurd this business of race is.”
  • “Ultimately,” she said, the goal is “to not have to check a box.” [the last two said by people of mixed-race parentage]
Less angst about sorting people into skin-colour-driven/parentage categories, more rational discussion about what people think those categories mean and how that affects their behaviour, please. Drawing up the longest checklist of politically correct racial categories is not going to help any society make a more sensible decision when it comes to figuring out, for instance, how words like "Allah" should be used.

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