Tag Archives: check US census

Bi-racial Black, The New Face of Black America?

Mulatto-collage-2

 

Hello World Wide Web,  Welcome to We Check Other.  I tried to find a picture that had as many bi-racial Americans on it as possible.  Don’t quote me on each of them, but they look pretty accurate.  Each person on the collage above is bi-racial.  Taking the focus briefly away from well-known bi-racial Americans to just regular popular culture and media.  Visiting a store in America and I’m sure maybe around the globe in some instances, if you pick up a Pampers box, cereal box or just any normal item that a person buys; normally there is a fair-skinned child with large soft looking curls on the front.  I visited a beauty supply store recently and while walking down the natural hair aisle with products for “black women”, observing the front of most of the bottles, even perms, I noticed there were fair-skinned young woman with large loose curls that are more parallel to the face of someone who is actually biracial.  Just from a preliminary look at what’s popular in music, time after time there are women and men, who are quite popular who are daughters and sons of white mothers and black fathers and even vise versa.  What makes the post topic  relevant is that MOST if not all of them, proudly proclaim they are ONLY black.

I’m not saying that the people above or even in popular culture are wrong in their affirmations.  Most people are aware of something called the One Drop Rule.  It’s not a fantasy.  It’s real.  In most states it was enforced by law at least until the 1980’s or so.  A person owning up to 1/32 black heritage was qualified has black only regardless of father or mother race.

The One-Drop Rule is a historical, colloquial term in the US that a person with any trace of sub-Saharan ancestry, however small or invisible, cannot be considered White unless the person has an alternative non-White ancestry they can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, Australian Aboriginal; they must be considered Black.

What a blow! So anyone else can mix with white and even become “white”?  The answer in plenty of cases is yes, or at least enjoy white privilege.  Of course this law is applicable for claiming “white” as your race but what about Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern with a mixture of black?  Are the rules the same rules? Can you no longer solely belong to the parent group now being mixed black? Then there’s the component of ethnic & features; such as Middle Eastern, or Asian. The strength of their exclusive features can exclude them as well. Passing?  Depends on how you look? Maybe? If you look too ethnic no, if not; lucky you? Maybe. I’m not sure but I would love someone who knows to chime in.

Bringing it all in, so most of the people above were born before 1980.  Their reality was the one drop rule/law.  They didn’t have a choice.  Of course these ideas are also the baby boomer generation and the ones that follow who have the majority of wealth and control in the US and abroad.  This keeps the ideas of what was and how it should be is alive and well.  If you’re mixed black, then you’re black.  Mixed is a concept that doesn’t exist, of course until the Census threw it into the Algebraic human salad in the year 2000 saying, yes you have a choice.

What about the Y generation and beyond? Which is 1980 births and beyond it I might add.  The new census? People being able to at least describe their full heritage, even if they aren’t yet recognized that way by the world.   Will generation Y be the trend setters? “Big dreamers!”   Most people in this generation aren’t exposed to the realities that once were.  If they are it’s because they’re  being taught.  From a sociological perspective we all learn from our parents and environments.  Now with record immigration, and the official striking down of the one drop rule, and Loving vs Virginia, the opportunity for people to love, marry, simply have relationships and even adopt across racial borders are a reality.   We see the world changing and becoming more and more diverse before our eyes.  As a matter of fact a few of the people listed above have children that no longer even “look” black at all because of who they love and married.

What do we do?  Is the solution to continue to pass off bi-racial people as black only?  Even after the rules are no longer applicable.  I think there’s a universal fear of all bi-racial people being carted off to misfit land and not being able to claim how they feel in their soul.  If a person feels black only then by all means they should be allowed to live there.  In fact if they were born before the rules changed, lets not go reversing rules.  BUT if we are to move forward as a country, then we should start having real discussions about the new rules and the identities of children and adults that now hang in the balance because of them.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please join the conversation.  Every Tuesday night @ wecheckother on Twitter beginning at 9pm EST we will hold a one hour chat discussing topics like this and so many others.  Please use hashtag #wecheckother & #letstalkrace to participate and join in.

Until the next,

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

Pride, Prejudice, and Egocentrism

 

pledge

Greatest Evening World Wide Web!  Today is a wonderful day!  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday.  The words that are coming from my fingers have been inside my mind for some time.  I didn’t really know how to speak on the subject without seeming like I would offend anyone.  Then I realized the very existing of children that are mixed offends some people so I won’t make everyone happy.  Well…here it goes.

Pride, Prejudice and Egocentrism.  Once I learned another language and interacted with people outside of my cultural comfort zone I started to see the world that I lived in from the outside in.  I see black differently.  I think at the same time I started to see all people and culture differently. Ladies. Have you ever walked into a nail salon with Asian employees and asked the employee to maybe change your nail polish like three times? Gentlemen. Maybe you’ve gone into a business where you’ve made a similar petition.  You can tell they are upset, and they immediately convert to speak to the person beside them in their native language.  What if it was a racial slur?  What if it was a comment that if it were in English would be illegal and enforceable by law?  Have you ever gone into an Authentic Latino, African, Middle Eastern or any other restaurant or business and right in front of you, the person started to speak in their native language?  Do you assume?  Take your business elsewhere?  Now let’s switch the scenario.  A person whose nationality is from a country outside of the USA comes into a business that is owned by an US Citizen of US Nationality.  The client upsets them  and the owner or employee says in English a derogatory comment about a protected status; race, color, religion, national origin etc.  Would it be fair to say that just because this is America and the national language is English that this is now a CRIME?  Why wouldn’t it be the reverse?  I’m not saying that we need a translator in every business where someone is speaking another language, but there should be a common ground.  I’m not saying now that people can not practice their languages of their heritage in their homes either.  What does this mean?

I am raising children that check OTHER.  They are of Latino and African-American descent.  That is two ethnicities; Latino and African American, marrying themselves IN the beautiful United States of America.  This is of course multiple races.  (Latino/Spanish is NOT a RACE; it’s an ethnicity/culture)  It’s also the largest classification other than color on the Census, assuming that everyone is an American and understanding that the country is filled with immigrants from all over the world.   Here is where my question gets sticky.  Flags, language, cultural shift etc.  I am an American and I speak, read and write Spanish as a 2nd language.  I want my children to be proud of both of their heritages.  I want them to appreciate America, immigration, and understand the WHY in all of their future questions.  Opportunity is what called most immigrants to the United States.  Teaching them about racism is important.  This is a real issue in our world.  Children of multiple races and ethnicities are perfect, little ambassadors to bridge a racial conversation that is long overdue.  My children are bilingual; learned at home.  They speak and understand BOTH languages well.    Being bilingual is important.  All too often, I’ve heard people tell me, you should speak only SPANISH in your home and let “the teachers at school” teach your child English. ” They will learn fast, my children did.”  Is that the teacher’s responsibility?  In an already stressed economy where poor teachers are loosing their jobs based on performance, and plagued by variables such as language being one that are beyond their control.   I just feel that this subject can be explored more.  The refusal to learn English by some.  Is this Egocentrism.  The expectation of a translator?  The demand that laws are enforced when they are broken in English only?   How far does this go?   Realizing that as an African-American it’s NOT normal in the SOUTH for me to hang an American flag to show patriotism to my country of origin; America.  America is the only country embedded into my being.   Can I be Patriotic?  Am I Patriotic?  Is my allegiance to the Africa that I’ve never known? When I’ve asked people from outside of the country that come as immigrants, “Who is American?”  The answer provided normally is Caucasian.   Black American is “Black”, and Caucasian is American.  I almost drifted off into another blog, but I won’t press backspace because it’s necessary.  I couldn’t properly discuss this subject without at least mentioning that  “I” am not completely recognized on a consensus as an American.  What is patriotism?  Lack of Inclusion? I’ve often wondered why “Black” people who were brought as slaves more than a century ago are kept from their heritage and all flags because of broken records etc. BUT everyone else who came voluntarily can proudly say where their lineage comes from and even waive flags of other countries of origin. I’ve met people who mark “Caucasian” as their classification, yet the only LOVE that flows from their mouth is that of ITALY, IRISH, SCOTTISH, EUROPE etc.  The people from around the world who are aware of their heritage and proudly waive their flags.   Are we guilty of looking at ethnic groups and based on their physical appearance keeping them in a country of origin?  One can not LOOK Latino, because it is not a race, but we take part in racial profiling.  The culture also practices similar racism to that of America’s past and present.  If you look Asian, (which is a valid uniform ethnic group) then you are Asian, and not an American and etc….  Can one have pride without having EGOCENTRISM?     Egocentrism? Possibly.  Prejudice?  Could be.  Pride?  I’m sure it may be….  But where is the Red, White, and Blue line?

Patriotism is a cultural attachment to one’s homeland, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term’s meaning upon context, geography and philosophy. In a generalized sense applicable to all countries and peoples, patriotism is a devotion to one’s country.[citation needed]-WIKIPEDIA

Let me know what you think.  Shares are recommended!!!  I would love to hear from you.   As always I would like to thank you for tuning in.  Please find me on facebook and twitter @wecheckother.  Thank you!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

For your reading pleasure…..

Egocentrism is characterized by preoccupation with one’s own internal world. Egocentrics regard themselves and their own opinions or interests as being the most important or valid. Self-relevant information is seen to be more important in shaping one’s judgments than do thoughts about others and other-relevant information (Windschitl, Rose, Stalkfleet & Smith, 2008). Egocentric people are unable to fully understand or to cope with other people’s opinions and the fact that reality can be different from what they are ready to accept.-Wikipedia

 

The word prejudice refers to prejudgement: i.e. making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case. In recent times, the word has come to be most often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people or a person because ofgendersocial classagedisabilityreligionsexualityrace/ethnicitylanguagenationality or other personal characteristics.-Wikipedia

Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one’s personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris. With a positive connotation,pride refers to a satisfied sense of attachment toward one’s own or another’s choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people, and is a product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging. Philosophers and social psychologists have noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the mastery of relevant conceptual distinctions (e.g., that pride is distinct from happiness and joy) through language-based interaction with others.[1] Some social psychologists identify it as linked to a signal of high social status.[2] In contrast pride could also be defined as a disagreement with the truth. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine: “the love of one’s own excellence”.[3] In this sense, the opposite of pride is either humility or guilt; the latter in particular being a sense of one’s own failure in contrast to Augustine’s notion of excellence.-Wikipedia

 

“Some OTHER RACE”

Census2010HispanicRace2-252x300

 

Great Evening World Wide Web.  Today is a great day!  We are all closer to perfection than we were yesterday.   As I searched the internet to find the real measure of how our Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census tracks our human population, I wanted to make sure that I could offer an actual example.  I want to begin by drawing your attention to question #8 that leads into #9.  This is important because Hispanics or Latinos are the nations largest minority group and growing.   I realize how important it may be to keep up with these growing statistics, but most people don’t.  I’ve heard, well, I’m not “Black” I’m African-American or vice versa.   There are Latinos who don’t know their race or races, if you ask them “What is your race?” They will proudly tell you Latino.  As I’ve reiterated, this is a cultural classification.  The problem is, MOST Latinos are “Mixed” or OTHER.  I would go as far as to say PLENTY of African-Americans or Blacks are also, but because of the history of this country, that dialogue is far off.    The thought processes behind the ideals that created and maintained the idea of racial segregation is why the Ethnicities are skewing the stats.  Here’s how I would answer these questions.   My children would check the box that say “OTHER” Latino origin,  Black, and American Indian.  That’s three boxes!!!  Alternatively, I may just CHECK THE BOX that says “SOME OTHER RACE” attempting to show my children are a mixture. A New Creation. Then I could attempt to explain by saying something like BLACK and LATINO or Blaxureno.  That’s a real head scratcher.  The problem with that answer is that one is a RACE and the OTHER is a culture.  My children are CULTURALLY AMERICAN.  I am an American, my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother on both maternal and paternal sides were all born right here in America.  I married an immigrant, in the land of immigrants.  This is a growing dynamic in America.   Is melanin the issue? Precious cancer fighting, sun protecting melanin. (another blog)  What a way to skew some stats!  This is a sensitive yet important issue that we must work on….together.  This is a small lesson on how items are offered through our government.  You see, the results of these federal forms are used to decide civil rights laws, funding, & even redistricting of congressional districts.  Is it the form’s problem or do we need to add more boxes?  Will it stop the mixtures?  I really don’t think so unless we enact some older laws from the 1960s and 70s.   The problem is who I’m trying to tell you I am doesn’t fit our typical understanding anymore.   For this very reason the US Census Bureau is working to change some of the questions that we now use to track our current racial demographics.  Read more at the link below.

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/08/07/census-bureau-considers-changing-its-racehispanic-questions/

Is the answer to add more questions?  Is it just LATINOS who check other?  What about the people who prefer one racial name for a classification over another?  Could it be that PEOPLE have changed and don’t fit into our BLACK, WHITE, ASIAN rules?  Science says this is the base of all ethnicities and race.  Could it be race is completely evolving?  The “concept” that doesn’t exist, but we’ve all come to understand as our realities around the globe?  What do you think?  I would love to hear from you.  Share any comments or answers to these questions that you’d like.

As always, I appreciate your time.  I’d like to thank you for stopping by.  Please show your support by finding my Facebook and Twitter page @wecheckother.  LIKE the page to show your support.  I’m always looking for guest bloggers and people willing to share their stories.  Please contact me at wecheckother@yahoo.com.  Until the Next!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

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 “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

 

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