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Mixed Race Melange

A recent video project on what “mixed race” people think of themselves in a YouTube livestream series.. This first one discusses a group of young people’s experiences…

This is the full series…

 

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Hafu – Mixed Race Experience In Japan

This is a trailer for a movie on how mixed race people are treated in Japan…

This introduction by the authors –

The film is available on VIMEO

To highlight some of the discrimination against mixed race folks and foreigners, there is the case of the first mixed race Miss Japan –

First ever mixed race Miss Japan forced to defend herself after being abused for ‘not being Japanese enough’ because father is African-American

  • Ariana Miyamoto was born and raised in Nagasaki, and is fluent Japanese
  • Mixed race beauty queen born to American father and Japanese mother
  • She has been selected to represent Japan in the Miss Universe pageant
  • But her selection has prompted a storm of criticism in Japanese media
  • 20-year-old has been forced to insist that she is ‘Japanese on the inside’

The first ever mixed race Miss Japan has been forced to defend herself against accusations that she ‘isn’t Japanese enough’ because her father is African-American.

Ariana Miyamoto was born and raised in Nagasaki, speaks fluent Japanese, and has been chosen to represent Japan in the Miss Universe pageant.

But the 20-year-old beauty queen used her first television appearance after her selection to apologetically explain to reporters that while she doesn’t ‘look Japanese’ on the outside, on the inside, there are ‘many Japanese things about her’.

She has faced a storm of criticism that she is ‘not Japanese enough’ to represent the country because although her mother is Japanese, her father is American.

In Japan, Miyamoto is called a ‘hafu’, a Japanese term used to refer to someone who is biracial.

There is a feeling in the country, one of the least ethnically diverse in the world, that mixed-race people are not fully Japanese.

Website Byokan Sunday and Naver Matome report that Twitter users have posted comments such as: ‘Is it okay to select a hafu to represent Japan?’ and ‘Because this is Miss Universe Japan, don’t you think hafu are a no-no?’

Others commented that she didn’t ‘look Japanese’, her face was ‘too gaijin’, meaning literally ‘outside person’, or that the country deserved a ‘pure-blooded Japanese’ beauty.

Elsewhere online, one person commented, ‘It makes me uncomfortable to say she’s representing Japan.’

Miyamoto, grew up in Japan in Sasebo, Nagasaki, close to a major American naval base, but later moved to the United States for high school,

When she returned home to Japan, after a part-time bartending job, she decided to become a model and try her hand at pageantry – not expecting to get far due to her ‘foreigner look’.

Her selection as the first-ever biracial Miss Universe Japan comes at a time when Japanese attitudes about race are beginning to change, NBC reports.

The vast majority of Japan is made up of homogeneous people.

It is one of the least ethnically diverse countries on earth, proudly counting more than 98 percent of the population as Japanese nationals.

Megumi Nishikura, whose film, Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan, looks at the lives of multiracial Japanese citizens, highlights the fact that 20,000 half-Japanese people, including both multiethnic and multiracial people, are born in Japan each year.

Nishikura told NBC that Miyamoto’s selection as Miss Universe Japan ‘is a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese. The controversy that has erupted over her selection is a great opportunity for us Japanese to examine how far we have come from our self-perpetuated myth of homogeneity while at the same time it shows us how much further we have to go’.

Miyamoto is aware of the struggles she faces as a ‘hafu’ beauty queen representing Japan.

In interviews she has called Mariah Carey a major inspiration because of ther multiracial background, according to RocketNews24.

‘She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation,’ Miyamoto said.

‘She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star, so she’s been a big influence on me.’

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Virginia “Racial Integrity” Act, “WINS” and Melungeons

 

This from a movie – “Confederate States of America: If the South Would Have Won”... a “mockumentary”.

However – The Coon Chicken Inn actually existed

Meanwhile, between 1924 and 1950, a Walter Plecker in Virginia sought to “disappear” not only Virginia’s Native American Tribes – but to stop “race-mongering” resulting in the Virginia “Melungeons”. In his infamous 1943 Letter, Plecker specifically called out certain families in Virginia as a threat to racial purity. One of the families he attacked was part of my own.

Obsessed with the idea of white superiority, Plecker championed legislation that would codify the idea that people with one drop of “Negro” blood could not be classified as white. His efforts led the Virginia legislature to pass the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, a law that criminalized interracial marriage and also required that every birth in the state be recorded by race with the only options being “White” and “Colored.”

Plecker was proud of the law and his role in creating it. It was, he said, “the most perfect expression of the white ideal, and the most important eugenical effort that has been made in 4,000 years.”

Walter Ashby Plecker, in charge of the state’s vital statistics records, employed the law to classify all Virginians as “white” or “colored” and to classify the state’s Indians as “colored.” Plecker believed that some African Americans were attempting to pass as Indians and feared that Indians would attempt to pass as white. He obsessively documented each and every birth and marriage registration submitted to his agency and manipulated and distorted records to show that the genealogical heritage of Virginia’s Indians was so intermixed with Virginia’s African Americans that no real Indians existed.

Plecker’s obsession with racial integrity is well in evidence in this December 1943 letter and list of surnames by county of families that he believed were trying to “pass” for white or Indian. As State Registrar of Vital Statistics, he wrote many letters and directives to county officials were about specific individuals whom he felt were trying to pass as white. He often asked for evidence from the county clerk to prove the people in question were of African American descent. Plecker also regularly sent out alerts to the county officials, hospitals, doctors, midwives, and other healthcare workers and record keepers about families that he considered suspect. He instructed that these families were not to be allowed to be listed as white in any record or to be treated as white in any way, including attendance at white schools.

The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 recognized only two races, white and colored. The act required that a racial description of every person be recorded at birth, and made marriage between white persons and nonwhite persons a felony. Plecker developed the racial criteria behind the act and adhered strictly to the one-drop rule, a historical term originating in the South that holds that a person with any trace of African ancestry is considered black. The Racial Integrity Act was subject to the Pocahontas exception. Since many influential Virginia families claimed descent from Pocahontas, the legislature declared that a person could be considered white with as much as one-sixteenth Indian ancestry.

 

 

Much of Plecker’s belief system was “supported” by the eugenicist movement.

Those of you interested in historical research can read this book here.

In 1935, Plecker corresponded with Walter Gross, Hitler’s Bureau of Human Betterment and Eugenics director, asking to be kept abreast of their actions. In mentioning the Nazi sterilization of children born to white German mothers and black French fathers, he added, “I hope this work is complete and not one has been missed. I sometimes regret that we have not the authority to put some measures in practice in Virginia.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Dolezal Doubles Down….”I’m Black!”

Going to start this one with a picture…

By the infamous one drop rule, every kid in this family is black. Their mother is Jewish. and the father is black.

These girls are twins…

When Lucy and Maria Aylmer tell people they are twins, disbelief is one response. The 18-year-olds from Gloucester, U.K. are two of the five children born to their Caucasian father and “half-Jamaican” mother, World Wide Features reports.

So…In my view, if Rachel Dolezal wants to be black…I can see no reason to reject her assertion. I have cousins who look like the girl on the left, and right – and there are kids in the family who look like the ones in the top picture.

Ex-Washington state NAACP leader Dolezal: ‘I would say I’m black’

A civil rights activist who drew national attention for self-identifying as a black woman despite being the child of white parents, told magazine Vanity Fair she did not lie, but her critics are limited by their views of race: “I would say I’m black.”

Washington state activist Rachel Dolezal, 37, resigned in June as president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a leading civil rights organization, amid reports she was falsely claiming to be black.

Dolezal came under intense scrutiny when a white couple who identified themselves as her estranged biological parents told U.S. media she has Caucasian roots. She was raised in a home with adopted black siblings, attended historically black Howard University, and has produced art work and taught classes about black culture.

“It’s taken my entire life to negotiate how to identify, and I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of studying,” Dolezal told Vanity Fair in an interview published on Sunday.

“I could have a long conversation, an academic conversation about that. I don’t know. I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody,” Dolezal said, according to the magazine.

“If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms,” she said.

Her self-expression triggered a national debate over the bounds of racial identity and self-identification.

After she stepped down as local NAACP president, Eastern Washington University did not re-new her teaching contract, and the Spokane City Council ousted her from a municipal police oversight commission over conduct violations…

 

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Bi-Racial…Tri-Racial… And the American Melting Pot

Herman Cain says that racism isn’t a significant factor in America anymore. Unfortunately, like much of what Mr Cain claims about race (and politics) in America, that isn’t true.

What is true is that race, and racism in America, sans a few Tea Party bigots, has become far less “in your face” – thanks to the many black and white folks (unlike Mr Cain) who marched, and after the marching was over – chose to live their lives rejecting one of the the very core premises of the founding America…race.

This family’s experiences aren’t any different than a majority of mixed race families in America, where their children struggle with a sense of belonging, acceptance – and sometimes the racism of their peers and peer’s parents.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In Strangers’ Glances at Family, Tensions Linger

The question tore through Heather Greenwood as she was about to check out at a store here one afternoon this summer. Her brown hands were pushing the shopping cart that held her babbling toddler, Noelle, all platinum curls, fair skin and ice-blue eyes.

The woman behind Mrs. Greenwood, who was white, asked once she realized, by the way they were talking, that they were mother and child. “It’s just not possible,” she charged indignantly. “You’re so…dark!”

It was not the first time someone had demanded an explanation from Mrs. Greenwood about her biological daughter, but it was among the more aggressive. Shaken almost to tears, she wanted to flee, to shield her little one from this kind of talk. But after quickly paying the cashier, she managed a reply. “How come?” she said. “Because that’s the way God made us.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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