Category Archives: General

I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla!

chocolate-vanilla

 

GREAT Afternoon World Wide Web!  Today is a great day!  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday. Here’s a related read!  Enjoy!

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BLACK, LATINO & “OTHER”

Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  Today is a great day!  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday.  Indeed we are.  I want to begin by sharing a personal, true story.  This story is one of many that began to give shape to a reality that I truly lived and learned something that before this milestone I really didn’t understand the dynamics of its reality.  It took place about 5 years ago.  This is based on a real life event so I will skew names just to protect the persons involved.  After the birth of my daughter; I’ll call my daughter Kaitlyn. I was invited to a then long time friend of mine’s house who is Dominican.  For anyone not familiar I will place some definitions in this post to give you as much of a visual as possible.  Let me begin by saying that I am not trying to attack Dominican culture, I am only trying to bring awareness and speaking from a true personal experience.

I entered the gathering with my daughter “Kaitlyn in hand.  The music and food were awesome!  There was great reception among the people who knew that I identify as African-American and there were some who weren’t as open; which was o.k.  After about an hour or so of being there, I was comfronted by a woman, who identified as Dominican.  She asked me, “Who’s baby is that, that you have?”  I smiled and said, “This is my daughter Kaitlyn.”  The woman, I’ll call her Emma gasped,  “hhhhuuuuhhhh!”  She almost scared me.  “De verdad!” She replied to me in spanish.  This means, “For real?”  I replied,” yes she is.”   I looked at Emma almost confused because she knew very well that my husband was Mestizo and from Central America.  The disbelief was the beginning of my awareness.  I tried to soften the blow by beginning to mention my husband.  Emma says, “You still with the Mexican?”  I told her, “Well yes, but my husband is from Honduras”   Emma continues to dig the hole, “Well Mexico, Honduras; they’re the same thing!”  I gave a blank stare.  Emma; “Well how is it that your daughter looks like that?”  I reply to Emma, “What do you mean?”  She goes on to talk about her two daughters and how her grandmother was “white” and her husband’s grandmother had long hair like another guest.  I replied, “Well that’s nice.”  I have to admit, it took me a few moments for the light to turn on but then I realized, that after her series of questions, she really identified me in her mind as though my family had migrated from Africa yesterday.  I honestly looked at her, before becoming more mature and thought, “She’s “blacker” than me.”  What I’m saying is that Emma’s skin was much darker than mine.  If she didn’t open her mouth and speak Spanish I would consider her just another “black” woman.   I have to give you a visual so that you can better understand.  You see, Emma and her husband were Afro-Dominican.

Afro – Dominican is a Dominican of African descent. Most Africans arrived to the Dominican Republic came to this land from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century because of slavery. Most of them came from West and Central Africa. Currently there are also many black immigrants, particularly Haitians, which can be included within of the Afro-Dominican community, if they were born in the country or have Dominican naturalization. Afro-Dominicans are the majority in the country, being mainly mulattos. -Wikipedia

Emma and her family had beautiful rich melanin content, and her hair texture was what I would identify immediately as a “black” or “African-American” woman, and so was her husband and daughters.  My heritage is also pretty interesting, but I didn’t feel the need or thought it would be useful to go down my entire lineage so that she could understand my racial dynamics.  I thought, “Is she really asking me this?”  As I looked around the room I saw every “race” and mixture under the rainbow.  I got a crash course in that visit of the racial dynamics within the “LATINO community.  They also have a very common acceptance of “Other” or “mixed” children, because this was their reality.  “Other” or “mixed” children to them are typical to be Latino.  Just as long as the children came from 2 people who identified as Latino.  It is very similar if not worse to that of American culture, in my opinion.    I even mentioned the incident to my husband who wasn’t there with me and he said, “All Dominican’s are “black.”  Even my husband, whose appearance is that of a typical LATINO; “Indian” or “Mestizo” carried some similar racial bias.

I have to admit, I’ve heard the “she looks hispanic” or “she has indian in her blood” and the long list of others to try to explain race and cultural relations.  What I found in that visit was an unwillingness from a racially black, culturally Latino women-Emma that my Kaitlyn who has a typical look and mixture of a “mulatto” from her own country, simply because I identify was “African-American.”  This is also one of the long list of occurences that birthed in my heart the need for my children and others like mine to have their own identities and not be shoved in or out of a culture or race for an unwillingness to accept their uniqueness and symbolism of unity.

I imagine that this takes place in MOST ETHNICITIES.  Mainly because an ETHNICITY is not a RACE.  It just a group of RACES or RACIAL MIXTURES that celebrate a CULTURE.  I’ve included some definitions for anyone from the eastern hemispehere or just not particularly familiar with the countries I’m mentioning.

 

Dominicans (Spanish: Dominicanos) are people inhabiting or originating from Dominican Republic. The majority of Dominicans reside in Dominican Republic, although there is also a large Dominican diaspora, especially in the United States, Puerto Rico and Spain. The population of the Dominican Republic in 2007 was estimated by the United Nations at 9,760,000.[2]—                 -Wikipeidia

Racial issues

As elsewhere in the Spanish Empire, the Spanish colony of Hispaniola employed a social system known as casta, wherein Peninsulares (Spaniards born in Spain) occupied the highest echelon. These were followed, in descending order of status, by: criollos, castizos, mestizos, Indians, mulattoes, zambos, and black slaves.[9][10] The stigma of this stratification persisted, reaching its culmination in the Trujillo regime, as the dictator used racial persecution and nationalistic fervor against Haitians.

According to a study by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, about 90% of the contemporary Dominican population has West African ancestry to varying degrees.[11] However, most Dominicans do not self-identify as black, in contrast to people of West African ancestry in other countries. A variety of terms are used to represent a range of skintones, such as morena (brown), canela (red/brown; literally: “cinnamon”), India (Indian), blanca oscura (dark white), and trigueña (literally “wheat colored”, which is the English equivalent of olive skin),[12] among others.

Many have claimed that this represents a reluctance to self-identify with West African descent and the culture of the freed slaves. According to Dr. Miguel Anibal Perdomo, professor of Dominican Identity and Literature at Hunter College in New York City, “There was a sense of ‘deculturación’ among the West Indian slaves of Hispaniola. [There was] an attempt to erase any vestiges of West Indian culture from the Dominican Republic. We were, in some way, brainwashed and we’ve become westernized.”[13]

However, this view is not universal, as many also claim that Dominican culture is simply different and rejects the racial categorizations of other regions. Ramona Hernández, director of the Dominican Studies Institute at City College of New York asserts that the terms were originally a defense against racism: “During the Trujillo regime, people who were dark skinned were rejected, so they created their own mechanism to fight it.” She went on to explain, “When you ask, ‘What are you?’ they don’t give you the answer you want … saying we don’t want to deal with our blackness is simply what you want to hear.”[14] The Dominican Republic is not unique in this respect, either. In a 1976 census survey conducted in Brazil, respondents described their skin color in 136 distinct terms.[9][14]

-Wikipedia

As always, I sincerely appreciate your time and attendance.  If you can identify, live in, or love someone who checks “OTHER” or is outside of 1 box, please show your support my liking @wecheckother on facebook and twitter.   Thank you!  Until the next.

XOXOXO,

OthersMother

 

Happy New Year from WE CHECK OTHER!

new year

Happy New Year World Wide Web!  2013!  I would like to begin by extending a personal invite for each of the members, subscrbers, and viewers to follow on facebook, and twitter:  @wecheckother.   New content for this brand new year is on the way.

I look forward to working with and interacting with each of you in the future!  I forward blessings and prosperity through the World Wide Web  to each of you in this upcoming year ahead of us all!  Cheers to learning, growing, sharing, giving, loving, living, life, and happiness!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

The “SINGULAR” Fight for RIGHTS

Good Morning World Wide Web!  I would like to extend a special appreciation and Welcome to the new members of the We Check Other Community and Forum!  I look forward to learning, evolving and exciting new events in the future as we grow together!  Today is a beautiful day.  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday!  If you are visiting this site for the first time, please be sure to become a member so that you can contribute feedback to the blog post, and or take part in the forum.  We are also growing up on Facebook and Twitter.  Please be sure to check out our page www.facebook.com/wecheckother or www.twitter.com/wecheckother.  You may also find links to both locations at the bottom of the page.

The “Singular” Fight for Rights!  We see it everywhere; there’s Tea Partying & Rallying, Civil Rights Fighting, Immigrant Rights Fighting, and a multitude of others.  Sometimes the celebration of interracial,  multiethnic  and multicultural people are drowned out by the noise as the active fights are like a trigger with an angry, passionate person behind it to “choose a side.”  Looking at major news broadcasts I see the 3 main census of black, white, and latino social classification groups fighting, “This is one of your many forms of racial suppression, we want change” or “1/2 of minorities want hand outs and government assistance. Get a JOB!”  and the Latino community, well yes the “illegal” immigrants broke the law by coming into the U.S. with no prior checks or permission, but they are hard working non-citizens and deserve reform!”  I often imagine a Group of Asian and Indian Americans sitting back with popcorn and their drink of choice watching this exchange of racial bias and hatred take place, & they seem to be just waiting for the smoke to clear to step up and actually state their petitions if any.  I’m not saying that there aren’t valid points in the message of each group.  I live in the Southern part of the United States & there are people who hang confederate flags in their front yards and paste them all over their cars and belongings celebrating an era in U.S. history where racial hatred was not only legal, but a way of life.  Ultimately this is part of A larger problem.  If you live in America or any part of the world where racial classifications and social hierarchy is measured then fair skin has been king.

A quick story.  I went to an attorney’s office.  The attorney and I were talking about the reason that I was there with my husband.  She classified herself as “white” American and of course I as “black” American.  We’re talking and in her attempt to make me comfortable she says to me, “If the 14th amendment was reversed or taken away, then I would be the first on to fight.”  I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad.  The 14th Amendment:

The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.

Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that had held that black people could not be citizens of the United States.[1]

Its Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognizesubstantive and procedural rights.

Its Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in United States education. In Reed v. Reed (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that laws arbitrarily requiring sex discrimination violated the Equal Protection Clause.

The amendment also includes a number of clauses dealing with the Confederacy and its officials.

-Wikipedia

I immediately thought, well should it be?  I was absolutely surprised that she considered it.  If I’m honest, I hadn’t paid much attention to it, less knew exactly what it said so I done some research.  This was an attorney that was going to “represent” me.  In a what I considered a failed attempt to make me comfortable, she was subtly reminding me that I was not a part of the original plan and she was.  WoW!  What a way to reel in the dough and fight for equality?  It’s sad to say but it took from1860 ish until a Civil Rights Movement that started in 1955 and went up until 1968 and beyond for any measurable change to take place in the U.S.  That’s a Hundred plus year difference!!!!  When I was on a visit to one of my in-laws house in NY some years ago, my aunt in-law, who is LATINA asked me, “Why are “Black” people so stuck on slavery?”  It’s over let it go!  I’m sure this is something that she had wanted to ask me since she met me.  Being that she was born outside of the U.S. she was really only familiar with what had been taught to her by the people around her.  I said Well, it’s more than slavery, It’s the Civil Rights Act of 1968, The Fair Housing Act, Desegregation of Schools,  The Right to marry interracial, which she is now,  just to name a few.  Although her closed mind still didn’t grasp the concept that there was a 100 year difference in these amenities that she now enjoys as well as her children, that was the “Black” Civil Rights Movement, and it happened in our lifetimes. It was much to her benefit and EVERY person who doesn’t classify themselves as “white” American.  After I calmed down the fire and tendency to want to whip out a chalk board and teach, I walked away.

There are definite points in the “Singular Fights” of the many races and ethnicities that I understand and can personally relate to, but where does that place the people who have already integrated their lives and looking to build a bridge through these present, long-standing issues.  Imagine going to the home of a person who is passionate on one of the pressing issues and your face represents the “Enemy!!!”  Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving, because that is going to be a mess!!!  The truth is when families have integrated, and especially when there are innocent children involved, there has to be a line drawn in the sand.  Children who check OTHER in their racial classification boxes, 2 or multiple boxes, trying to integrate into a system that exists on racial and social classification, find themselves on multiple sides of issues because they love all sides of the table.  They aren’t truly considered.   They can’t be affected by the past or the present, because they are the future.  People have always been mixed as I stated in an earlier blog, but it is now with barriers being removed for racial segregation and the ability to “legally” marry beyond your racial classification,  that this subject can really began to be explored by people and science.  Can a child that classifies as both Black and White fight for both issues?  Is it even possible without one being the defendant and the other, the plaintiff?  Could they inadvertently represent a solution?   I feel this is a good foundation in understanding some of the barriers that some families face with having “mixed” children.   The Constitution has 27 amendments and counting…..Please reference below for anyone interested!  It’s literally a timeline of history unfolding.

The Amendments to the US Constitution are:

  • Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
  • Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms
  • Amendment 3 – Quartering of Soldiers
  • Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure
  • Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings
  • Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses
  • Amendment 7 – Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
  • Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution
  • Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People
  • Amendment 11 – Judicial Limits
  • Amendment 12 – Choosing the President, Vice President
  • Amendment 13 – Slavery Abolished
  • Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights
  • Amendment 15 – Race No Bar to Vote
  • Amendment 16 – Status of Income Tax Clarified
  • Amendment 17 – Senators Elected by Popular Vote
  • Amendment 18 – Liquor Abolished
  • Amendment 19 – Women’s Suffrage
  • Amendment 20 – Presidential, Congressional Terms
  • Amendment 21 – Amendment 18 Repealed
  • Amendment 22 – Presidential Term Limits
  • Amendment 23 – Presidential Vote for District of Columbia
  • Amendment 24 – Poll Taxes Barred
  • Amendment 25 – Presidential Disability and Succession
  • Amendment 26 – Voting Age Set to 18 Years
  • Amendment 27 – Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay

What do you think?  I urge positive participation.  If you’re from outside of the U.S. and your experience is similar or even different I would love to hear from you as well.  Thank you for visiting!  Until the Next!

XOXOXO,

OthersMother

The Story of 2 Thanksgivings!!!

Good Morning World Wide Web!  Today is an OTHER day!  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday.  I want to begin by welcoming you to the best community on the web.  A community where we can come together share, learn and laugh about an experience that is new to us.  One that is challenging yet rewarding.  If you are visiting and you are outside of the United States and visiting, this post will be geared towards a recent holiday celebrated in the USA called Thanksgiving.  Here is a little paragraph history.  If you’re familiar you can skip over the paragraph.

In September 1620 a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth England with 102 passengers–an assortment of religious separates seeking a new home lured by the promise of prosperity and the freedom to openly practice their faith in the “New World”  They dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, eventually passing the Massachusetts Bay where the “Pilgrims” as we now know them today settled establishing the Village at Plymouth.  Only half of the plagued settlers survived the trip and brutal winter season.  In March of the following year the remaining settlers moved to shore and were met by an Abenaki Indian who greeted the settlers in English.  Several days later he returned with another “Native” American Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been captured the an English sea-captain, sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an expository expedition.  This beautiful, forgiving soul Squanto taught the settlers (Pilgrims) weakened by illness and malnutrition how to cultivate corn, extract maple syrup, catch fish in the rivers, and avoid poisonous plants.  He helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which endured more than 50 years and TRAGICALLY remain ONE of the SOLE examples of harmony between Native Americans and European Settlers.  In November 1621 the corn harvest was successful.  Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit.  The festival lasted 3 days, and is now known as what is celebrated today in the USA each years as “Thanksgiving.”

-History Channel

Every third Thursday in the month of November, Thanksgiving is celebrated with family and loved ones by coming together and having a humongous feast of all the delectable foods that one can imagine.  It’s not always the pillar of health in homes, but the food is super yummy!  The tale of 2 Thanksgivings is two separate experiences.  My story:  This year my husband and I went to my family’s house.  My older sister cooked a beautiful meal and we spent the day eating, talking and catching up. I had my brother, mother, uncles, cousins, in-laws, friends and a few family friends present.  There was turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, potato salad, candied yams, beans, pies, cakes, collard greens, and I’m sure I forgot some things but you get the picture.  For me it was such a wonderful experience.   I was in one of the most comfortable places possible.  I looked in a corner on the couch as I’m talking, smiling & laughing at my husband who was glued to the football game and hadn’t really said much to anyone.  My mind is thinking, “Is he uncomfortable?”  “Did someone say something to him?”  I walk over with my extremely loving, very supportive sister to ask was he okay or can I get him something?  I just really wanted to see him enjoying this celebratory time just as I was.  For this very reason, I have to be honest in saying that I have neglected going home to my family to “keep him comfortable” in the past.  After all, I speak Spanish and I am familiar with his culture where I have to integrate myself.  We live closer to people within his culture and family where we share a great majority of our time and holidays.  I enjoyed the entire day.   I was happy that I was with my family, but a little distracted by the fact that I can see my husband is completely outside of his comfort zone and it showed.  At about 11:30 I kissed all of my family and pulled off with my husband and children to go back home.

The next day we decided to go over to a close friend of my husband’s house to continue the celebration.  Around 6 we loaded up.  My husband’s best friend, his child and mother, my husband’s other friends were all present.  There was tamales, arroz con pollo, salchicha, pan.  These are Latin American dishes.  In Latin America there is not a celebration of Thanksgiving, but the people who live in the United States celebrate with the dishes that they feel most comfortable with.  I saw the shell bust open.  My husband was mingling, talking, eating, laughing and sharing.  I’m doing so as well.  I have to admit, I didn’t know whether to be upset with him or happy for him.  He was a totally different person from the day before.  He was in the place where he felt most comfortable.  I’ve endured some not so nice comments over the years.  In this feast, of course the typical, only American in the room, I’m paying for all the sins of the American White Race and Black Race combined.  This is something that I have become accustomed to tuning out and times, but there have been other seriously rude interactions where I haven’t been so quiet.  This was one of them.  I’m listening to the great beauty of Central America, and how it triumphs that of America; how the food is better, the culture is better, the kids are better quality, my daughters straightened hair is so beautiful, and a myriad of all the other bias in this EPIC FAIL of an attempt to try to communicate with me and I guess make me comfortable.  I’m completely convinced that it is the opposite.   At times I wish I hadn’t learned Spanish so I could sit quietly in a corner and they wouldn’t talk to me.  I could eat and imagine a world where racism, ignorance, and bias didn’t exist.   By the last comment, my top was about to blow and I just said, “I don’t want to hear this”  I’m almost ready to just scream at  my husband, because of his happiness I’m miserable.  I missed my family!  Once everyone seen that I had come to my point of this is enough, they started to explain.  I of course wanted to go into a full course of explaining to them a history of race and culture, but I knew I would be wasting my breath so, I left that part of my answering out.  I finished out the night, eating and calming my frustrations.  At the end of the night, we loaded up and went home.

As a member of a multiracial and multicultural family, I have to say that this is one of the more difficult parts of existing beside having children that don’t fit in one box in our social classification of hierarchy.  We both were forced outside of our comfort zones to attempt to make each other happy, but ultimately ended up sad ourselves.  I imagine that this is one of the biggest obstacles for so many others and this is one of the many reasons I’m creating this page and community.  To share, learn, unite and succeed at being married and having children with someone who is different in any way from you.  Tell me what your Thanksgiving story was like.  I would love to hear your reaction or anything that you would want to share.  Thank you for tuning in.  Until the next time.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

Race, Ethnicity & Our Census

Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  Today is an OTHER day!  We are closer to perfection today, than we were yesterday. WE CHECK OTHER is here to bring attention to mixed race children coming out of outdated boxes, to educate you when possible, and eventually lead up to a real discussion about race and cultural relations in the US and around the world.  I want to begin by acknowledging that I realize this idea has many facets.  There are social class items and minority relationships that have to be considered.    I have to admit that among some of even the same people who check the singular box that I check seem to think that I am betraying the “black” race with my project.  That I am not proud of my “African” heritage.  I think most of our subcultures are guilty of extremism.  I’ve seen it in every culture that I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to.  We don’t have race problems; we have people problems.  Stereotypes and bias are road blocks.  Can we truly move forward as a nation focusing on the past?  I’m reminded of a couple that makes it 60 or 70 years together.  By this time they’ve either grown bitter or they’ve learned to take the present as the most valuable asset that they own.  We are in the present everyday.  There’s no one who can go back and change our past.  If there is, I want to meet them, only to marvel at them, but not to change a single solitary thing.  Most of us know our tests make us who we become and our resilience exemplifies our talents.  An opposite side mentality of standing your ground will not work.   The notion of standing on your side of the line and daring someone to cross it and refusing to never cross yourself.   This mentality will lay into the other side (racially) all of what you think about them, and attempt to change their mindset by forcefully displaying your own.  If you’ve ever been the only person of your racial classification in the room with a group of people of another who unsuccessfully try to relate but fail you know what I mean.  The bias, things that they like and don’t like about your race can sometimes come out in a failed attempt to relate to you.  There isn’t one race or culture that is guilty of this.   Racism is a problem in all colors of the rainbow because of the many years of forced separation, and frankly ignorance about the other side.  It’s the person who calls all Latinos Mexican, or all Asians Chinese.   A person who has never had someone at the dinner table who doesn’t a least resemble them has an extremely long way to go before grasping this concept or any other.  That problem doesn’t have a race tag on it.  Those people are only left to draw a conclusion from what main stream media gives them.       I want to share with you two articles in the NY Times that I thought you might find interesting.

NY Times Talking!!

NY Times Build Your Own Family Tree

In the late 1800’s the census included spaces for  1/4th black and 1/8th black.  There was even at points a  place for people to check mulatto with any percentile of black. The most common choices in that time were White, Black, Chinese, (the category to include all Asians) and American Indian.  That’s it.  Of course these marks were all in a turbulent time of America, where the grounds to stand on weren’t very equal.  We haven’t moved much further except for OTHER.  I would say it’s an acknowledgement that we realize that there are mixes that are going beyond our boxes but we don’t know how to describe them.  Even the boxes from the early 1800s acknowledge mixing with some of their choices, but again it was dismissed.  The “which one” are you tendency has become apart of the American culture that is deeply embed.

Someone might choose to ask me, why did you choose the name “We Check Other?” Aren’t you talking about your children?  I would reply yes,  I am talking about my children and the children of millions of other Americans and people around the world.   I’m not looking for a platform to just marvel over the “cuteness” of mixed children.  Although that is a perk, I really want to lay a true dialogue on the table.  America as we know it has changed and the more I research and look around, I see people from all walks of life trying to facilitate the conversation and brainstorm on how to move forward.  This yellow brick road will lead to DNA testing I feel.  Maybe then we can resolve some of the medical issues that puzzle us all.    Right now I CHECK OTHER for my children.  To me, the demographics themselves can’t seem to figure out the difference between race, culture, and ethnicity.  People are checking Ethnicity for race.  An Ethnicity is a group of people who collectively identify themselves as a distinct group based on various CULTURAL features such as SHARED LANGUAGE, CUSTOMS, & TRADITIONAL BELIEFS.  This has no mention of color.   I never realized this myself until I married a man who is ethnically Latino. I noticed that everyone knew the color spectrum but collectively they share pride in their ETHNIC heritage, just as American’s do.  The problem is that RACISM within their ethnicity still exists as it does in several cultures around the world.  Most commonly we equate a race to skin color, with hair texture running in a close 2nd.  Melanin is responsible for our skin tones.  Melanin ( Greek work Melas meaning BLACK) is the chemical responsible for dark pigmentation that helps protect against damage from ultraviolet radiation.  Melanin production is increased when exposed to the sun causing the skin color to deepen.  For this very reason people of darker skin are less likely to get sunburn or skin cancer than those with less melanin.  Who would have ever thought that divine creation would have created the skin to protect itself.  Popular culture makes it as though this is a curse.  I’ve always thought that the answer to some of our most puzzling medical questions are somewhere in the middle of all of us.  The place where we meet and cross.  That’s another blog post!    I’ve checked the box for BLACK my entire life and I gave birth to two children that are on 2 totally different sides of the color spectrum.  Their hair textures are even different.  There are so many really smart people scientific facts that go into explaining how and why this happens.  Unfortunately, if I go into learning and explaining the specifics I will have to charge tuition.  I’ll leave you there.  Until the next!

XOXOXO,

OthersMother

 

Back to Business! Our President Checks Other!

 

 

Map of Interracial Law Prohibition in the US.

Good Morning World Wide Web.  Today is a beautiful day.  We are closer to perfection today than we were yesterday.  Today we are getting back to business.  Meeting the need for our fellow human beings.  We meet that need by attempting to resolve the issues that could potentially make the world a better place for us all.  The vehicle has to be driven by passion.  That of diversity, education, and equality is what I carry in my soul.  Let’s take a drive! We check other is birthed from my passion as a mother of biracial children, from different cultural backgrounds, to draw attention to a reality that decided the Presidential Race.  Diversity.  Our nation is diversifying.  Yet the ideals of the past are still haunting us.  Interracial Marriage was prohibited by law until the 1970’s in most of the states in the U.S.A,    particularly the southern states that were represented in the confederacy.  Take a look at the election map and compare to the map above.

 

The voting trends can even be predicted from an old map of America based on the demographics.  It was right on point.  It almost looks like the maps are describing the same subjects.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other or some other time.  We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek” ~Barack Obama 44th President of the United States.

We are one day post Election Day in America.  Barack Obama was re-elected as the president of the United States.  This of course will make some inside and outside of this country both happy and sad.   A year of campaigning and countless ads by both parties to illustrate their stand on the issues that they felt most passionate about.  What we saw was a wounded America.  One that has not healed from past racial tensions, and an attachment to founding ideals of a superior race.  One that would like to have segregation and the financial élite remain the sole heirs to the thrones of victory.  There is healing to do on both sides.  Wouldn’t it take a man who can meet you in the middle to get there?  Well America spoke up last night and said “YES WE CAN.”   Barack Obama is bi-racial.  No matter how you look at it, whether you call him black, or see him as black, he still loves a mother that the United States considers a white woman.  He love grandparents that the United States consider white.  I’ve heard some accuse him of racial hatred, but how could it be so?  He loved and was nurtured by someone who looks different from him.  He can’t be accepted by their race, because of barriers.  For a Harvard educated man, I would conclude that it would make him want to learn more about the barriers and attempt to mend them.  His loved ones are on the other side.  He has a black America, that of course has accepted him with open arms.  In somewhat of a vain society he looks like the census.    I am a student of my studies!  I am always learning.  I am not perfect, but everyday I am getting closer.  We all are.  We check other is looking through my children’s eyes at the world around them.  Eyes that a child like President Barack Obama saw through.   My children love meatloaf and carne asada.  Why should our world continue to go in a direction that is not forward?  I understand the principles of the founders of America as do many of its citizens.   Checking Other opens a door, to explain that we have met at the barriers of our differences and found love.  We continue to create with the hope that it can make a difference in our world and the ones around us.  People have to deal first with what they can actually see.  What we see and have to admit, is that according to where you live, you see people who look different coming together and sharing their lives together.  One day, my vision for wecheckother.com is a community.  A community for everything from sharing recipes from diverse backgrounds to having diverse meet and greets.  Thank you for tuning in.  Please let me know of any feedback or great new ideas you have.  I’d love to hear from you.

XOXOXO,

OthersMother

 

Race Deciding the VOTE; Election Day in America

Good Morning World Wide Web!  It’s always a beautiful day.  Today we are one step closer to perfection than we were yesterday.  If you’re not a mainstream media follower or outside of the U.S.A. then you may not know today is Election Day.  There are elections here every 2 and 4 years.  The election of the 4th year increment is where the president of the United States is selected.  There are two contenders; Republican candidate Governor Mitt Romney and democratic candidate President Barack Obama.  As I turn to every channel, I hear a dialogue.  One that doesn’t particularly focus on the candidate, or the issues.  I haven’t even heard much about the voters.  I’ve really only heard about the color of the voters and who will likely vote for who.  “President Obama will likely gain the black and latino vote!” I heard someone say.  “In the key state of Ohio Governor Mitt Romney will likely gain the white vote, although the vote is divided” I heard another say.  If that doesn’t SCREAM WE ARE A NATION OF RACIAL DIVIDE then I don’t really know what else can.  Imagine the very color of someone’s skin being the deciding factor as to whether they can maintain a seat in the highest office in the land.  A politically correct way to play up or down racism I assume.  It completely dodges one of the most sensitive issues of the American existence.  Well I never once heard, what about the black and white home?  What about the black and white child?  What about the asian and white or asian and black child?  Of course that of a double minority background would choose a bi-racial president.  Although I have never even once heard him referred to as a bi-racial president.  He is the “black” president according to main stream media.  It completely trumphs the fact that a white woman and a black man came together and made a child, no matter where the father is from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican Candidate                                                                                              Democratic Candidate

Governor Mitt Romney                                                                                           President of the United States

Barack Obama

 

 

Honestly I don’t see the colors black or white on the skin of either candidate.  I actually see something completely different.  I see the candidate on the left Governor Mitt Romney who is classified as “white” american here in the U.S. as a beige.  He proudly proclaims that he was born in Mexico.  I was watching Univision 2 days ago and found a complete Romney family in Mexico who is waiting in anticipation to meet their distance cousin.  They proudly showed the cameras a wall of a long line of people with the last name Romney there in Mexico!!!

Catching Up with Romney’s Mexican Cousin, Previously Aired on Univision

That’s a super interesting video.  At least I found it to be.  Could it be?  Could it be that the one drop rule is ruled out on one side and not on the other, as long as the skin tone remains fair?  That’s another blog post.  I promise that it’s coming!  Stay tuned!

Back to politics, Of course, president Obama is of a European American Mother, and an African born father.  In America thus far we don’t call that multi-racial.  I feel that the problem is that there are millions of Obama’s that have been born in America, but most people just call them “light skinned” or “red bone” in the black community.  In some cases it becomes where lighter skin has been favored over that of dark skin.  This is yet again another blog post.  I promise it will come also.  Please stay tuned!

So fundamentally today who we are voting for, if race is based on what the eyes can see, are two men, who’s color seem to be in the same color spectrum.  It’s like deciding to paint your home and you tweak your color by a percentage to make that color that resonates in your soul.  Of course the ability for melanin to be affected can play a role on the color according to what season you’re in, but it takes you right back to the same truth; I still don’t see the color white or black.  I see two totally different colors, that are almost in the same family.  Hair colors are both black, and neither have blue eyes.   I see both candidates have a nose that’s not so small, and both have very small lips.  Hair texture; well that is where we’ll change the man.  Governor Romney has straight dark black hair with grey highlights.  I have also see this on Indian, Asian, Mexican men as well.  The hair is almost identical.  On the other hand President Obama has hair that appears to be courser.  If he could be in the white house and grow his hair out to any length beside low then his natural curls would probably display themselves.  Indeed this is another blog post.  Not all mixed children have the hair texture that would automatically distinguish them.  In this case he does.

I just took you on a journey of complete generalization, with a few facts.  That’s how we do it here in the USA.  We look at you, size you up, and which ever one you “LOOK” the most like we’ll just place you into that box.  Unfortunately, children are being born in multiracial families that are challenging this choice system for us all.  What to do about it.  Will a child from a black father and a white mother, who is born with mostly white features then become white and be able to cross racial barriers because they are white now?    Has this happened already for decades?  Yet again another post.  My goal is to raise awareness for the children being born within the group first.  Then the rest can come.  Today is an important day in America, as the commander and chief will be selected in the United States.  Unfortunately, in the current climate the choice will be made with racial bias, ignorance and hatred being factored into the vote for some in both parties.  Will more people who want to or are willing to make a difference step forward?  I would love to hear from you.  Your ideas, feedback and comments for a SOLUTION are welcome.

Thank you for tuning in.  Until the next!  MAKE sure you go and VOTE!!!!!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

 

 

 

 

Love’s First Experience in a Box

How much heart goes into these first words to the opposite sex?  It is our first real experience with expressing emotions to someone outside of our comfort zone.  We look at the person, day in and day out mustering up every tiny piece of adrenaline inside of our little bodies.  Finally after 3 weeks of contemplation, it’s finally down on paper;  “Do you like me? Check yes or no?”  Yes is cut and dry. You like everything; even when I wore my shoes backwards to school yesterday.  No is just heart-break and possibly the biggest blow to our little tiny self-esteem that we’ve ever felt.   We are then forced to go home and find re-enforcement among those that we know love us the most.  Our mother or father who will comfort us, puts our shoes back on the right foot, wipe our tears and then give you the best little pep talk that our little 5-year-old heart can handle.  It probably went a little something like this, “Well baby, there will be many more” or “That’s not what they really meant, maybe they were just afraid.”  No matter how this fundamental first self-esteem pep talk went, we became familiar very quickly with the power of what was inside of a box.

On the other had, let’s say, this creative little child decided to place their own answer.  It went a little something like, “I like you but I also like Bradley because he smells like strawberries when he comes to school.”  We’d go home and find every strawberry in the house and rub it on your clothes.  Our mom would have washed a load of laundry before she realized what was even going on.

It’s amazing how such fundamental principles began to shape our reality.  To think that it all begins in a box.  The answer has to fit within them, and the answer can change our experience with the outside world for time to come.   I know this isn’t exactly as multi-faceted as race, but it does lay the ground work and begin to stress the importance of a box and the answers that lie within them.  It’s always been my opinion that there should be some sort of small science class to integrate the little minds of children at a young age.  Instead of shoving a turbulent history class into their souls, it would be more beneficial to lay a foundation of relation as the human race first and then expound maybe mentioning the past.  Until we remove our focus, true healing can never take place.  With relation to race and its many obstacles, children are taught at home what will eventually shape their realities about other people who look differently.  Bias are formed mostly from lack of exposure.  Most importantly, an outdated US census only includes 5 boxes for a humanity that has evolved and migrated around the world into a land that boastfully proclaims, “A land of immigrants.”  We are advanced in science and technology, yet the common sense of knowing the DNA is so complex escapes us.  We know deep down racial purity is almost non-existent, and even in places where it is, there is DNA in that group that would still tie all humanity back to one place of origin.  Religion talks about one origin.  “How did western civilization, and humanity reach across the globe?  This idea of checking other will only open a dialogue to feed us baby food.  It will help to understand that the answers we seek are beyond one box, but in baby steps.  Hopefully one day in the future, the true answer and perhaps a truth that no one has escaped will be a more popular answer.  Until then, the people who love each other who don’t look exactly alike, and have children that don’t fit into a box can check other.  They can check other and let the census know that the boxes are outdated, and love has busted out of the barriers once set.  A new reality, one that has always been, has been birthed, but now visible and able to be realized by all.

 

Thank you for tuning in.  Happy Monday November 5.

CULTURE; OUR FOUNDING DIFFERENCES

Good Morning World Wide Web.  Another beautiful day at We Check Other.com.  Another day where we’re are closer to perfection than we were yesterday.  If this is your first time viewing this site, please take a tour, and tell me what you think.  I am open to great new ideas, and I would love to hear from you.  You can contact me at wecheckother@yahoo.com or find me on facebook   https://www.facebook.com/wecheckother and twitter  http://www.twitter.com/wecheckother

CULTURE: A SOCIETY’S SHARED AND SOCIALLY TRANSMITTED IDEAS, VALUES, AND PERCEPTIONS, WHICH ARE USED TO MAKE SENSE OF EXPERIENCE AND GENERATE BEHAVIOR AND ARE REFLECTED IN THAT BEHAVIOR.

Since the Web is world-wide, I want to lay the foundation and let you know I understand cultures have different issues.  I want to use general examples to reach the seed of an issue.  Inter-racial relationships  are a sign of the times right?  Maybe.  Or maybe it has always happened, and just not dealt with.   One of the most valuable and powerful references that I know is the Holy Bible.  In my research I found some 20 versus that didn’t seem to agree with inter-racial mixing in Galations, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Exodus, and the list goes on and on.  I remember thinking, “WoW! I understand why some people are so up in a bunch about this issue.”  I even found on the internet a radical CHURCH site that was literally screaming instant death to all mixes.  It was not the one that most would assume, it was actually a CHURCH!  Why couldn’t they?  It’s in the book of reference.  Most certainly they can.  There are tons of references though and this is the issue.  I also found John 3:16 that made my heart smile again.   Like most everything in the Human Existence there are several ways to approach this.  Beliefs that shape a society; so lets talk about a vastly different example serving the same purpose.  An example are the beliefs of the Nez Perce, American Indians native to east Oregon and Idaho where their Genesis is humanity is the creation of the Coyote, a trickster transformer inhabiting the earth before humans.  Coyote chased the giant Beaver monster Wishpoosh over the EARTH leaving a trail to form the Columbus River.  When coyote caught Wishpoosh, he killed him, dragged his body to the riverbank, and cut it into pieces, each body part transforming into one of the various regions.  The Nez Perce were made the Wishpoosh’s head, thus making them the master of this RELIGION or BELIEF SYSTEM.  What stood out to me in this belief system is that it never mentioned a color or race.  It simply mentioned a species.

Belief systems in every case depict our connection to the world and how we relate to it.  In America the U.S A. Constitution was written and founded based on the religion of Christianity.  Which takes me back to the 1st statement of finding verses  in the Holy Christian Bible that didn’t agree with Inter-racial mixing.  Similarly I found that Jews, Christians and Muslims share a similar genesis of humanity, but nothing specifically about races or cultures.  Hinduism deals more with the spirit , life cycles, and reincarnation.  For Hindu, the diversity of life on earth come from 3 GODS.  There are hundreds of belief systems around the globe, and no 2 are alike.  Can you imagine what it is to live within a household where two cultures are trying to co-exist and the outside world is in dis-array?  I’ve heard horror and success stories alike.  As a matter of fact, I’ve had a few of my own; both horror and success.

Now I want to place this here because I realize that assumptions can be made.  I have no particular affiliation or want to make you explore or join any of the fore mentioned religions.  I am simply exploring our world and trying to offer an understanding of how someone can arrive at some of the obstacles that are faced within people of different races and cultures coming together and uniting.  I am also considering what it means to American.  There are multiple ethnicities that make this unit.  Latino, Indian, Asian, Several people from middle eastern regions and islands alike were all born in America and are American citizens.  This subject is indeed multi-faceted.  This has happened as well around the world in places where naturalization is allowed.  There are different races and cultures mixing and making creations that don’t look like either of the two involved.  Ones with and without features that society would place them into a box of demographics.  It has been cultural beliefs that have completely prevented some from realizing there is a topic of discussion that must be fostered at some point.  I think the most valid point is that in the U.S.A. marrying inter-racially was prohibited by law in most of the land until the 1970’s.  Post 40 years integration from everything from schools to people, the climate of this culture is evolving to yet another reality that may be on the horizon.  Race as we ACCEPT it, is evolving.  Changes of rules and amendments within our culture have removed barriers, that prevented growth.  Just like all existence evolution is the inevitable result.  My children are OTHER.  A beautiful creation of two people who dared to look beyond racial and cultural unions and forge a lasting union.  Tell me what your other is.  I welcome your opinion.

Thank you for your attention.  Until the next!