Tag Archives: ethnicity

Afro-Latino or African American & Latino

Good Morning World Wide Web,

The other day I was speaking to a young man. He actually reminded me of my son. He was raised by an African-American mother, and his father who was not a part of his life is Latino. He doesn’t speak Spanish or understand Latin culture much at all and it made me wonder about there being a distinction.  If you’re African-American and Latino mixture, does that just make you Afro-Latino? Are you African-American & Latino?  Comparably, I have a friend who is Latina, that would racially be considered white after she selected her ethnicity of Latina, then her race next.  Her husband is also Latino. If he selected race he could consider himself black by his skin tone and obvious mixed hair texture. Although multiracial and similar to how a child of black and white American heritage would just be considered black or African-American, the off-springs of the couple that are both Latino could be considered “black” and could pass for “black or African-American” The difference is the child of the Latino couple would more than likely speak Spanish, celebrate and understand the Heritage and be able to speak to what would make him or her Afro-Latino. What about the mixed African-American and Latino, raised by the African-American mother without having been introduced to Latin culture? Is he Afro-Latino also? It makes me wonder what truly classifies a person. Is it skin color or culture? Is it skin color & culture? Does it have to be both? What does that do for the person from a two parent household of Latino parents but doesn’t speak Spanish? Could he/she still pass somewhere else outside of their Latin heritage not having a connection to it, with the same measure that someone else could be accepted into the same culture without having a direct connection to it?

My questions just started to stack up once I noticed this. This is the main reason I started this project. As an African-American woman with children from a Latino father, I wanted them to celebrate me as well as their father. Somehow if I just throw them into the box of “Afro-Latino” there are several open-ended questions of racial classifications that would leave my children’s identity up to another person’s experience and perception.  This is also why I chose “other” so many times and then decided to start a conversation for the infinite questions there are about “other.” Who checks this race box and why? If you’d like to chime in with an answer or opinion type away.  You can also email me at info@wecheckother.com.  I always love to hear for you.

XOXO,

MarjorieIam

“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

Diversity! What does it mean to you?

Untitled

Hello World Wide Web.  As I dream about a conversation; one that can entertain the uniqueness of the growing individual.  The one that is not defined by a race box, or cultural description.  Single and Pluralistic in form, I keep dealing with this pretty little word called “DIVERSITY”   I just ask what does it mean to you?  When you hear someone say, they teach or practice diversity.  I even saw a quote that said, “Diversity is not a choice, and inclusion is??” Really? Then why is there always a fight on the adult playground?  It’s amazing, that laws change, and then the expectation of, “go now, and everybody play nice” means that someone is actually being diverse.  When we’re young we go to school; make friends, even develop crushes.  Sometimes they don’t look just like us.  I remember my first crush.  He certainly didn’t look like me but I thought he was dreamy!  We talked in school, hung out….at school, and then went home to separate worlds that would never cross.  Did that make us diverse?  How do you get there?  We have all these divided islands and no bridges.  That’s the vision I have most times when I hear somebody talking about bringing people totally different together.  Where’s the bridge?  The relationship?  It takes more than a conversation to consider ourselves diverse.  It’s listening while the person speaks in passion of what you may not agree with and vowing not to change them.  Accepting their individuality. Interracial relationships; people who don’t fit perfectly into “the norm”  Do we have it?  Can we pass societal norms?   I’d like to know what you think.  Chime in below.  Do you have an idea or a vision to affect diversity?  The world needs you!  The safety of the adult playground depends on it!

Thanks for stopping by.  The conversation is going to start on Twitter and I would enjoy the thoughts of open minds and hearts @wecheckother.  Don’t forget to like the facebook page.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Racism. Can everyone practice it?

racism

 

Good Morning, Afternoon & Evening World Wide Web!  Today I’m going to look at briefly the concept of racism and give an opinion on a conclusion as the result.   In a world where privilege is attached to capital and finance, and good fortune is directly misfortune for the rest of the population, racism and equality become a variable in the equation.  Federal taxes for the wealthiest .01 percent have fallen from 51% to 26% over the past 50 years.  Class place has a significant impact on all well-being, & it is directly tied to racism.  The disparities in performance metrics shown everywhere from the public school systems to the distribution of wealth and access support that racism is by design the system where by access is afforded to one group.   By definition racism is a system of advantage tied directly to race.  In the U.S. racism perpetuates an interlocking system of institutions, attitudes, benefits and rewards that are designed to serve “white” people.  This is also piggybacks “white privilege.”  where some otherwise would be minorities are given opportunities by just claiming race & not ethnicity just because of skin color.  Identity is always a subject of discussion that can go down a man-hole, but overall white privilege is one of the main components of racism.   The standard of beauty where Disney literally just created a princess that black & brown little girls can even remotely compare features & even skin color with puts every person other than white at a disadvantage for even beauty and self-image from the beginning of their being rendered and liking the “girly doll”   Anyone who is afforded white privilege grows without the mental disparity of being taught they are a “minority” or “less than” their entire lifetime.  When someone is told, or even tells themselves something enough, the thought takes occupancy.  So I’m led to believe that the term racism becomes obsolete when used to describe minorities.   Can one practice racism without the benefit of the opportunity that is automatically given?   The very construction of race is a system of oppression that determines how power, privilege, wealth and opportunity are spread.    We’re talking about the most genius mind game of all times.  Better than any gaming system ever created.  The very existence of “racism” bestows an advantage that not everyone can take part in.  If you’re not a party to the given advantage, are you actually practicing racism?  Now let me just say, I know there are mean-spirited people of all races and ethnicity.   This is not my go scream at someone that you’re not a racist but say something derogatory permission slip, but this is saying how can the system of privilege by which racism and white supremacy; that is a system of advantage, be practice by all when the advantage was created for white people?  That was a mouth full.  Let me sum it up.  It is my belief, based on this information, that minorities are incapable of practicing racism when there is no direct benefit for doing so.  I would agree with bigotry, egocentrism, even hatred in some instances, or possibly the lashing out towards inequality; but racism? I’m not so sure.  Let me know what you think.  Chime in below.

As always thanks so much for stopping by.  Remember to find the public page on Facebook & Twitter @wecheckother

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

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

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

What Makes Diversity Possible?

world baby boy girl

“Great Morning World Wide Web!  Today is a beautiful day!  We are all closer to perfection than we were yesterday.”  I’m going to do something totally out of the ordinary today.  I’m going to ask after you read this content, to exercise your imagination.  It’s going to be hard because most people who are not physically limited, see the entire world with colors.  The greens that protect our vision, the blues both above us and below us that inspire us to dream and even LOVE.  There are all the beautiful hues of flowers that in the western world are currently in full bloom.  My yard now has about 10 different hues that balance me every time I look at them.  Now imagine a world where those gifts didn’t exist.  The human experience with every single person was the exact same size, same color; eyes, skin hair etc.  That the beauty in nature was uniform and without color.   Hair was always the same texture, no variety in eye, nose or mouth shapes.  You look out on the world and the colors that ignite you and even bring you happiness didn’t exist.  I don’t know about you, but I just imagined myself right out of the joy of living.  I think if the rules applied where humans were uniform it would have to apply to nature as well.  Just try it.  You’ll see.  For anyone who feels that, “well yeah…that’s the world I want”, then this blog may not be for you, and that’s okay.  There is a blog and a world for everyone.  But for those of you who are in the right place, my point is to engage your mind.  I understand that I can’t change the world or the people in it.  Besides, the diversity of thought and physicality is truly what makes the experience.   I severely enjoy these gifts of nature.  All of the colors, beauty, and differences of existence.  I don’t want to live without them, I am working for a solution to exist and love within them.  There is a RESPECT: an act of giving particular attention to what is.  Then there is working together to find out what makes peace possible?  How can understanding happen?  What makes diversity possible?  DIVERSITY: understanding that everyone is unique.  It recognizes individual differences and encompasses RESPECT.  This is a collective effort and I feel there is not a right or wrong answer.    So after you have taken a second to visualize, please share.  What do YOU think makes diversity possible?

As always, I would like to thank you for your time & attention.  Please connect with me on Twitter @MarjorieIam.  There is also a growing audience of emerging like minds @wecheckother on Twitter and Facebook.   I look forward to growing towards a solution collectively.  Please share your thoughts.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

“I AM” Who I Say I AM!!!

stereotypesGreatest Afternoon World Wide Web!  Today is a beautifully blessed DAY!  Today We are ALL closer to perfection than we were yesterday!  I want to begin by acknowledging that I am not perfect at this!  I fight daily bias, and racism inside of my journey just to try to effectively address the subject of mixed races, cultures and ethnicities.  Because I dare to cross the line into other cultural worlds for better understanding; what I find more times than not is a force of opposition.  Collective people and bias who have seen the news, or heard from one person who told another a racial stereotype.  Then I pay in their minds for the entire black race.  I’ve been known before maturing to not go down without a fight.  Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I am passionate about “black” racial issues and sensitive to all issues of race, racism, ethnicities and culture.   I’d come out with facts and great argument in opposition of bias to “defend” the negative connotations of my race and culture or even that of others.  But…to no avail, the next time they see me; it’s the same issue over again, only this time, they’ve got a different stereotype or bias to throw out there.  I’m coming to understand this is the climate of human kind.  We watch nationally syndicated shows that have a view, and they invite one poor little soul with an opposing view and verbally tear them apart.  This is today’s news and overall environment.  I love the people who say,”Why do you care what others think?”  or “I’m a complete being no one’s outside views bother me.”  We are all STILL on the playground.  All of us still want to be the coolest, most fashionable, highly sought after prom king or queen.  Our playgrounds now are mainstream media and social networking is all.  We are ALL influenced by our environments. The question then only becomes how to process the racism and bias.  What other ways do we have to live and channel to support a healthy emotional state when EVERYONE has an opinion.  TOO MANY are just hateful and cruel.  Just yesterday, a “friend” of my husband’s placed a posting on my husband’s page.  My husband purchased a motorcycle.  This “friend” found a picture of a very unattractive over weight  “black” woman with a two piece bathing suit and a blonde weave placed sideways on her head and posted it to my husband’s face book page.  I’m  truly just now processing the emotions.  I’ve fought back emotions for two days.   This guy is Latino, and his wife is white American, which is one of the reasons why they could be viewed as a worthy couple two engage with and our children expose themselves to.  It has been totally contrary.  Most of the time, when we’ve been in their company, the conversations always find themselves steering to my children’s skin colors and hair textures.  My children have two different skin tones and hair textures.   This “friend” has also gotten both myself and his wife in a room and boastfully voiced what he “thinks”  about Americans both black and white.  Of course he enforces that he thinks “I’m not an American” and his wife is.  This was another confirmation for me that being “black” and Latino was an issue as well.  I’ve heard often from Mestizo Latino and other tri-racial ethnic mixes the reference to Black Latino as not Latino.   It’s actually interesting, relative and parallel to some of the same racial dynamics in the USA and all over the world.  This isn’t the first or the 100th time that I’ve had to withstand the brunt end of  such ignorance.  I’ve often considered that this “friend” being an “undocumented” Latino immigrant influences his opinion.  It could be that, or it just could be his lack of true understanding for this country and the history of the culture and dynamics.  I’ve even leaned towards him having only “T.V.” education which is just all together bad.   There is a comment in Spanish that states, “por uno paga todos” which simply translates to, “Everyone pays for one.”  It’s amazing how a person’s interactions, or understanding of one person or incident can completely shape what and how they perceive an entire race, culture, or ethnicity of people.  I can’t guarantee you that I don’t slip into the wanting of completely withdrawing myself, or even utter dislike.  I’m growing.   I am also mature enough to understand that one person’s words or actions can not speak for an entire group.  This is one of the biggest reasons that I have decided to start this project.  There are too many misconceptions, stereotypes, bias and racism. Bringing attention to some of them and engaging in a fact based dialogue to reverse the 16th century studies of socialism can really be a leap in understanding.  As long as we stand in the ways of old;  checking one box, and segregating ourselves; change will never come to us or our children.

 

 

As always, thank you so much for tuning in.  Please leave your positive feedback as it is always welcome.  Please find my public Facebook and Twitter page to LIKE and FOLLOW the discussions.  Until the next,

XOXOXO!,

Others’Mother