Category Archives: Define Other

Other adjective: [uhth-er]
1. additional or further
2. different or distinct from the one mentioned or implied
3. Different in nature or kind
4. Being the remaining of two or more

“The Race Representative”

Greetings World Wide Web!

The blog part of this project had grown cobwebs.  I’m wiping them away and picking my pen up again.  It’s not without some hesitation.  If you are a dreamer and doer, I think you can attest to the fact that when you give birth to an idea so many things, people and circumstances present themselves to, I assume make sure that you’re serious about the journey.  Today I want to talk about a detriment to the world of peace; the pest to the conversation of diversity and inclusion.  The race representative!  We’ve all met them.  The person who takes it upon themselves to speak for their entire racial, cultural or ethnic classification.  They act as though they are the gatekeepers of what is, what’s accepted and even if you are accepted by their entire classification.  The racial representative is a self-proclaimed job!  You’re not voted in, you just appoint yourself.  When the race representative speaks, they assume the place for all of us, we, them, they, nosotros, vosotros……you catch my drift.  What’s worse is that the majority of the people with this position that I’ve met are extremists.  Their individual representation leaves no room for individualism.  I’d almost given up my dreams over “race representatives”  When I began my journey of discovery; actually trying to experience people of different races & cultures, I was met by many representatives.  I was even confronted by race representatives of my race.  I’ve been told that, “I’m not “black enough” or I was lost or somehow confused about the entire world now because I don’t see things as they do.   Some of the race representatives were amazingly open and welcoming and others were guards with a keep out sign.  I guess you can say I was naïve about what it actually takes to mingle between races and cultures.  My being in an interracial, multicultural relationship carry the worse scars of all, but they made me want to stand up and find solutions.  Had I let some unfavorable experiences be even how I receive or understand an entire classification of people, I probably wouldn’t have acted.   After regaining my courage, and having some rock star experiences with other people of the same racial and ethnic classifications, I realized that I had only met someone who felt in their heart that truly their thoughts, experiences and opinions represented the collective.  This is so far from the truth in EVERY race, culture and ethnic people.  Recognizing that in many countries, especially ones like the US, where there is just a melting pot of people, and so much depends on what group you belong to foster this type of behavior.  You truly HAVE TO pick a side.  As the world is becoming increasingly more and more diverse, in growing numbers you’re finding people wanting to express their individuality.  People want a voice, and they don’t want to be forced or told what to think by the main stream.  What do you do when you have a child that is now both of their very different parents?  History in many countries have made people pick sides, like the One Drop Rule in the US and so many others around the world that are similar.   In my case, I checked the box “Other” on everything that I could find for my children.  I wanted to express and go deeper into who they are.   My journey has introduced me to countless, very diverse people who select the same classification for many reasons.  I listen attentively as they tell me stories about “race representatives” who particularly unfavorable ones, have discouraged them to discover diverse worlds and people.  To the colorful seeker and diverse person, I say, you now have a name for this person.  The next time you meet a “race representative” just smile and know that this too shall pass, and rocking awesome people await!

XOXO,

Others’Mother aka MarjorieIam

Race, Do you REALLY have a choice?

beautiful

 

Hello World Wide Web!  I want to share with you where my journey has recently taken me.  As my children continue to grow and become school aged, I’m really being placed into an atmosphere where I’m actually examining first hand the selection of race and ethnicity.  My daughter is now in kindergarten, and my three-year old has entered a pre-school program.   I know I’ve shared this but just for reference, my children are in my eyes, African-American & Latino.  I didn’t know until recently that a final determination of how our school systems view our children depends on their father’s race or ethnicity.  My children’s father is Latino.  When my daughter started pre-school, I entered her race on her school application as “Other” and proceeded to explain in the area beside that box, my race and her father’s ethnicity.  After reviewing her records, I found that her race was changed to Indian, and her ethnicity, Latino.  I thought, do we really have a choice?  Can we truly give an explanation of our children’s background?  Recently, entering my son into a pre-school program; I was advised of the same information.  That his race was determined in our school system by the race of his father.  In essence, now the system is telling me, as an African-American woman, that my children are now Latino/Hispanic.

I want my children to embrace all of their identity.  The fact that they aren’t allowed to and even forced into an institutional box for statistical purposes shows up on my radar with big alarms going off.   Now there are people who have a father that is African-American, and find being placed by their father is ok.  I think the choice should be a personal choice.  The problem is that it is not.

When I take my daughter to school daily, I watch a man enter with his three children.  He has two girls and one boy.  He is white and his children from their appearances seem to be what some would refer to as just “light-skinned” black.  As a white “man” I wonder how he feels that the rule does not apply to him. That the male race rule could never apply just because he is a white man.  I often want to stop and talk to him and just ask.  That’s a unique perspective that I have yet to gather.

We have a box on the US Census called “Other”, that generally Latino, biracial, and even people who fit comfortably with a race, but belong to an ethnicity other than the social norm like Italian, Jewish etc. check to show themselves uniquely.  I’ve even spoken to an African-American man who said he checks the box “OTHER.”  I met a woman who appeared to have African descent, and a man from Haiti, recently at dinner who informed me that they “do not” place themselves as African-American or Black, because they are not.  I find that most people self identify, but do we really have a choice of racial and ethnic identification?  Chime in & share your experiences & information below.

As always, thank you so much for visiting.  Please be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter @wecheckother

Until the next,

XOXOXO,

Others’ Mother

Culture + Culture or Ethnic + Ethnic= Multicultural or Multiethnic

2ndAsiaMap

 

Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  Yes that’s a map.  A really big one.  I’m a visual learner so I like to see  what someone is explaining to me.  It helps for a bit better understanding.  Today we’re going on a virtual voyage.  I’ll be your tour guide Others’Mother and I will offer some perspective for the conversation.  I picked this map because it will help to better understand some points.  Most of us can easily find possible issues between two races coming together in a relationship.  Once they have a child; the child is then bi-racial according to how they look physically.  What happens when two ethnic people have a relationship?  I’ve seen tendencies to assume that someone  who “looks” Asian is “Chinese” or someone who “looks” Latino is “Mexican” where in fact they may not be either.  Of course China, and Mexico are the largest countries in their regions, but their sizes is not what I would say is the reason for the lack of understanding.  Asia is huge and so it Latin America.  One part I’d like to offer & what I’ve seen in my journey is that people in Latin America, speak “Spanish” but feel very connected to the countries they are from.  Each country has their own way of using and saying words in Spanish, different preparations for food, and many more items that make them feel in fact very different and not a collective of “Hispanic” or “Latino” people.  You couple this with race and well, I couldn’t type it all in a few pages.  For simplicity, I won’t go into racial differences; I will just keep it uniform and leave that for the comments.  I just want to stick with ethnic and cultural difference.  In Asia, unlike Latin America, the languages are different even in neighboring countries, along with their food etc.  So let’s just say that someone’s mother is from Columbia, and their father is from Mexico.  They grow in a household with two parents who listen to two different types of music, prepare food differently, and so much more.  It’s the same in Asia, the middle east, Africa etc.  You can have people who have similar features on the outside, born in the same region, yet their countries are different in many ways.   A person could be Cambodian and Laotian or Japanese and Korean.  They grow up with multiple cultures, languages, & cuisine in one home yet seem to someone with just a gauge for race as just that; one race.  In fact they may have a rich heritage of multiple ethnicity or culture to share.  My rule of thumb; I ask.  Even when the carnal part of me wants to think a certain way, I force my self to ask even if I feel sure to gain clarity.  You never know; you may learn something new!  Maps ROCK!

As always, Thank you for visiting We Check Other!  I love to spark great conversation.  The comments are open to great minds to finish the conversation below!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

*Bonus (Map of Latin America)

latin_america

Cheerios Commercial-Bi-Racial Family “Just Checking – YouTube”

Great Evening World Wide Web!  “Today is a GREAT day.  We are all closer to perfection today than we were yesterday!”  I came across a video that seems to be getting some mixed reviews over the web.

Just Checking – YouTube.

 

 

I was actually surprised to see that it was!  I know that racism and bigotry still exist.  It’s one of the biggest hurdles that we face in the human experience.  This just goes to show that although it has been legal for people to choose to marry outside of their race for over 30 years in most of the U.S., there is still plenty of work to be done with our overall understanding of race, culture, ethnicity and the understanding & respect of individual differences and beliefs.  As for the beautiful, innocent angel in this video I salute her and her actor parents for making a conversation invoking commercial.  Way to go Cheerios!  I think I will go and buy some for my kiddos right now!

Let me know what you think?  Controversy? or It’s about time?  Chime in.  I would love to hear from you!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

You’re NOT Black, White or Mixed Enough!!!

why

 

Greatest Afternoon World Wide Web.  “Today is a GREAT day!  We are all closer to perfection today than we were yesterday!” -Marjorie Molina.  Today as the Carolina Blue Skies shower me with beautiful inspiration, I want to speak to you from my heart.  I own a multi-faceted vision.  My heart beats faster and my being becomes engaged while learning and participating in any conversation or function that encompasses race, culture, ethnicity, identity & diversity.  Honestly, the question that has been posed to me in my travels the most is, “You’re a black woman, why do you care about diversity?”  Really? It doesn’t help that I’m multi-lingual and I’m married to a Latino.  I’ve been written off as a “wanna-be” or not owning my “black.”  I seriously thought about calling L.L. Cool J.  We should collaborate.  I get it.  (I truly plan to) Chris Rock  gave his movie, “Good Hair”  So many have introduced this issue, that has soooo many levels.   I’ve had a few people say they were going to take my “black card”  I’m not “black enough.”  “Black Enough?”  Should I snap and roll my neck, speak improperly?  Maybe that would make you like me.  I should submit to stereotypes and help facilitate the progression of wounded social norms.  But the meat and potatoes is, “You’re NOT multiracial”  But…My children are.   My soul is wrapped around my two children.  I breathe to love them, and create a future for them that will allow their integration as productive adults into our society.  That has been my job since I gave birth and it will be my job until the day that I retire.  I see a gap in our current beliefs and understanding that leaves room for my children and children and adults like them to have questions about their identities. I am seeking to fill that gap.  Recently, in a conversation I had someone tell me I was promoting racial assimilation.  That I’m trying to “whitten the race.”  I could just let my children say they’re black, besides, the one drop rule would apply to make it true.    I could just call them “black” and let them have the privilege of being lighter skinned, and having “good hair.”  Here’s what I understand about multi-racial, cultural and ethnic identity.  It’s not about being “let into a club”  Can I check your box?  It’s not about that at all.  Instead it’s about, I’ve grown up in a house with two people who look differently, believe differently,  share different cultures etc, and personally, I don’t want either of “your boxes.”  I am a unique individual beyond the threshold of your post 1776 German doctor views.”  This is what I get most times I meet someone who is “mixed”  There are some who say, “I am mixed”, “I really don’t know how to answer that question” or they solely identify with one over the other.”

The German medical scientist Johann Blumenbach, whose 1776 book, “On the Natural Varieties of Mankind,” established the five-race model we know  today: “Caucasian, Mongolian (Asian), Malay (Pacific Islanders), American Indian and Negro.”

Their parents go through hell trying to exist in a world of turmoil and petty quarrels over their varying existences together. The movements of interracial acceptance didn’t began in the U.S. until the 1960’s and trickled to a post confederate south that never truly opened up to the understanding until later in the 1970’s.    Imagine that it wasn’t until the year 2000 that people of mixed race were able to check more than one box on the U.S. Census.

I am a Mother!  I was born to change my future, my children’s & anywhere that my arms can reach.  I know that’s what I was born to do.

Thank you so much for tuning in.  As always if you would like to reach me; my email is always open.  I’m always looking to connect with like minds.  email me at DiverCityInc@hotmail.com.  I’m on Twitter @MarjorieIam  @wecheckother.   Make your day GREAT!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Are WE ALL BIAS? RACIST?

flags

“Greatest Evening to you World Wide Web.  Today is a beautiful day.  We are closer to perfection today than we were yesterday.”-Marjorie Molina   Today I am asking a question.  Are WE ALL BIAS!? RACIST!? Just plain don’t like that black guy who cut you off in traffic the other day.  He’s like all the other rapper thugs who want a hand-out from the government.  Or the Spanish guy who lives in a house with 3 families and has too many children waiting for his handout too. The Cauc-Asian serial killer.    I honestly tried to think of a negative bias for other races and ethnicities but I don’t have a long list.  I even asked 7 people and nothing.   The dynamics could be different around the world.  Whatever the numbers, I’m sure when one is honest in a closed circle, they’ve heard at least one negative association to a race or culture.  This post isn’t to help self conviction.  This is not even to blast a race or talk about the MANY negative associations to one or another.  I really just want to know how connected are we?  How diverse is our dinner tables?  Can we truly tackle the obstacles of another’s shoes if we haven’t walked in them?  How open are we to being totally wrong about what we think is right?  These are all questions that have to be asked of one self when we expect to overcome which ever diagnosis we may have.

Why am I asking this question?  Honestly,  I see too many inadequate attempts to tackle the issue.  Bias that people hold seeping into words.  The unwillingness to open the UN at their dinner table.  The lack of real life experiences sharing that this is not just a walk in the park where the answer magically appears.  Post racial integration which was oh just 30 or 40 years ago, people have started to openly accept well the integration of race.  We have ALL been influenced by the world in which we were bred.  Anyone who denies this fact is dangerous.  They aren’t truly dealing with an issue, they are denying there is a problem.   Can just 2 minorities tackle the issue?  My opinion, absolutely not.  Everyone needs a seat at the table even the majority.  A ticket to the open-minded.  People who are willing to be absolutely wrong, and right sometimes, to tackle an issues that are long overdue.  The willingness to let ego stand down and let the soul, LOVE and human logic take the vote.  The willingness to be open and allow your soul to be shaped in love.  Can we do this?  Who needs a seat?  I don’t want a seat.  I want to lead the project team.  I was born to do so.  My circle is a mini UN in progress.   I openly seek out each opportunity to shake the hand of someone who looks and speaks differently than me. What can I learn? How does that fit into the big picture?  So many questions that can be fit into one post.  The truth is the two biggest minorities aren’t the have all end all.  Black & Latino I mean.  “The beautiful burden of being the land free to the brave and home of the rich where opportunity is opened up to all that knock is the grand diversity of our issues”-Marjorie Molina

If you are a 1%er living tastefully diverse, I salute you!  I admire your resolve.  I have an idea of what your path of growth was and still is like and I would like to share that gift with the world someday.  The ability to funnel LOVE.  To see the world through open eyes in a world that is segregated still from everything to churches to the grocery store, we have work to do.  Every person alive and loving outside of the box is doing all of humanity a great service.  I salute you.

Thank you for your time.  Please share my work if you would like.  I LOVE fans!  I’m on facebook and twitter.  @wecheckother.  LIKES help me grow in my dream and as a writer.  Join me.  Let’s connect LIKE minds.  wecheckother@yahoo.com

I am a “FACTS HUNTER”  Below are some definitions for all who like to stand on concrete.  Enjoy!

Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of (possibly equally valid) alternatives in reference to objects, people, or groups. Anything biased generally is one-sided and therefore lacks a neutral point of view. Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous withprejudice or bigotry.-Wikipedia

Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered. The term “media bias” implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed.

Practical limitations to media neutrality include the inability of journalists to report all available stories and facts, and the requirement that selected facts be linked into a coherent narrative (Newton 1989). Since it is impossible to report everything, selectivity is inevitable. Government influence, including overt and covert censorship, biases the media in some countries. Market forces that result in a biased presentation include the ownership of the news source, concentration of media ownership, the selection of staff, the preferences of an intended audience, and pressure from advertisers.

Political bias has been a feature of the mass media since its birth with the invention of the printing press. The expense of early printing equipment restricted media production to a limited number of people. Historians have found that publishers often served the interests of powerful social groups.[2]–Wikipedia

 

 

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

 

I’ll Create My Own Identity!

enterlove

Great Evening World Wide Web!  Today is a wonderful day.  We are closer to perfection today than we were yesterday.  On this very first Sunday in 2013 I want to blog about a subject that I think most people who are of multiple races, ethnicities & cultures have heard.  I wouldn’t say it’s right or wrong.  I think personally that it is all about the “user” and how comfortable they feel in creating their own personal identity.  I’m sure there are many feelings on how this subject should be approached.   I think all identity is personal even if you identify with a singular box.  I realize that it really doesn’t begin to touch the issues that so many of the people who are “mixed” heritiage or couples in interracial or intercultural relationships have to deal with, but again these are a personal choice.    We’ve all heard these terms or similar ones: blaxican, blasian, blatino, blacknamese, blacklaos, blackapino, Caurean, Casian, ChexMex, Chigro, Filitina, Japorican, Mexipino, and the list goes on and on.  The attempt to find a box for a child of direct “mixed” heritage, where a new name is created.   Could you imagine a census with soooo many choices?  I think the boxes would be the entire questionnaire.  I’m not trying in any way to make light of the subject, but I am trying to make a point.  Maybe there will never be a way to identify all the beautiful uniqueness that humanity has created.  I do think however that the simple box OTHER will began to let that light shine.  I know that OTHER is one box, but it’s the hippest, most inclusive, colorful box in the list.   Atleast that’s what I tell my two beautiful kids.  They have friends and loved ones who identify with just one and have pride in one.  My 5 year old has even began to be pitched into why she is just “one” race based on her melanin content.  (That’s another blog)   It simply means that you have the priviledge to explain instead of just robotically checking a box.  It’s kinking the “norm” to the curb, and redifining the integrations of LOVE and the beginning of understanding what is unique.  OTHER!  WE CHEK OTHER.  If you hadn’t become fully aqauinted with the idea of wecheckother.com,  I really hope this begins to explain why this blog is here.  I’m excited to hear from you and look forward to learning together.  Let me know what you think.  How should “mixed” race, culture and ethnicities identify themselves?  Until til the next.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

The RACE of Trees! Fall Inspiration: Defining RACE!

Good Sunday Afternoon!  Today is an OTHER day!   Today we are closer to perfection than we were yesterday.   Today I’m sitting outside looking at Carolina Blue skies, and trees, that are green, yellow, red; all hues and everything in between.  How majestic.  It’s amazing how just sitting outside on a beautiful day, and all the colors are just so uplifting. With keeping with all that wecheckother will represent, today  I want to talk about race.  I feel that many people don’t understand why some people’s approach to race has been so counterproductive.  To begin RACE is a BIOLOGICAL term.  Race actually does not exist .  There are only species.   All the beauty in the US and the trees changing color is a gift.  One from nature that looks beyond the barriers of color and realizes that in chorus color is life changing.   We are still talking about the species of TREES!  There are so many different types of tree, but in the season of fall here in the US, they all turn hundreds of different colors.  This is an adaptation to this environment perhaps.  In the winter, here in America, almost all trees lose all of their leaves.  Maybe this gift was given to the U.S., because the DIVINE creator of all things knew that the people here would need to understand it most.  To be of nature and in nature are two different things as well.  I heard someone once say species stick with their kind.  Well KIND is a species not a RACE.  We are the HUMAN KIND: A species! In nature, two trees of the same species can turn two different colors.  It doesn’t change the tree’s kind at all.   Plant nurseries know this and combine roots of different colored plants to manipulate colors and create beautiful bouquets.   Extremist believe it or not have battled with the very notion over the decades of skin color equalling  a different species.  It’s like saying if two trees of the same species start out green in the summer and turn two different colors in the fall, then they are no longer of the same species.  That is false.   RACE is in Biology, a population of species differing geographically or genetically from other populations of THE SAME SPECIES.   Science KNOWS that race is not applicable to people because the division of humans into discrete types does not represent the true nature of the human biological variation.  Race has become nothing more than an important social class.  European scholars began their systematic study of worldwide human variation in the 18th century.  It ultimately created a hierarchy of the human kind into “better types” of humans.   The most notable that I found was that of German physician Johann Blumenbach (1752-1840)  Blumenbach concluded that all “light-skinned” people in Europe and adjacent pasts of western Asia and northern Africa belonged to the same race.  With this, he dropped the “European” race label and replaced it with “caucasian”  Ok.  So I am going to STOP here.  For the first time in my life even I noted that ASIAN is incorporated into this word.  Here is what Wikipedia gave me when I dug deeper.

The term Caucasian race (also CaucasoidEuropid, or Europoid)[1] has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of EuropeNorth Africa, the Horn of AfricaWestern Asia,parts of Central Asia and South Asia.[2] Historically, the term has been used to describe many peoples from these regions, without regard necessarily to skin tone.[3]

That’s 3 continents that science supporting race says are the origins.  If race were true, then  White, Black, and Asian would be  the geographic origin of all the ethnicities we know today.   I have to resist my urge to want to teach, but honestly I have to allow my flesh to stand down for better understanding.  The only thing that you can stand on and ever be understood is the facts.  You give the knowledge and allow everyone to come to their own conclusions.

Although he continued to distinguish American Indians as a separate race, he regrouped dark-skinned Africans as “Ethiopian” and split those Asians not considered CAUC-ASIAN into two separate races: Mongolian (referring to most inhabitants of Asia, including China and Japan) and “Malay” (indigenous Australians, Pacific Islanders and OTHERS)  Yes OTHER existed in the beginning.  It more over supports that racial purity is rare, yet the movement forged forward to breed racial separation and hatred and we’ve come to know and understand today.

This physician was convinced that Caucasians were closest to the ideal original humans supposedly created in GOD’s image.  In vanity be basically noted the symmetry of the skulls, and the “pretty features.”   He then ranked them as the supreme human being.  He noted that all other races were the result of degeneration, by moving away from their place of origin and adapting to different environments and climates had degenerated them both physically and morally.    In other words, this scholar was saying that different race is only the result of adaptation to different environments.  It’s hard to believe that this study and countless others of this kind saturated Europe and were brought to a brand new America to found the nation.  How can you fix a house where the foundation was built improperly?  A painter built the hundred story building, when THE ARCHITECT & ENGINEER were  needed.  To compound this, there were test created that supported this theory that were completely bias, and honestly apart of a school system that failed so many.  This is RACE, and how it was born.  How it came to be.  Why classification into a box is so important.  It’s really to see where and how you fit into the social hierarchy.  Thanks for stopping by.  Until the next.  Let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear from you or just any exciting ideas or brainstorms you’d like to share about celebrating the people who have moved beyond these barriers to find and define the universal LOVE.

 

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

 

Information from:

-Lwwontin, R.C. (1972) The appointment of human Diversity

-T. Dobzhansky et al. (eds) Evolutionary biology New York

-Shreeve, J. (1994) Terms of Estrangement

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