Tag Archives: Interracial Children

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

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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

“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

 

Let’s Talk Race?

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Greatest Afternoon World Wide Web.  Today is a beautiful day!  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday.  I am going to spread my wings and type today.  Most of the time, there is this thought out idea, attempting to not step on any toes, offend, and omit bias.  I check once, twice and have my friends to proofread before pressing publish.   I have this vision of education,community and arts but there are days that I am just discouraged.    When I met my husband; we fell in love and our relationship has been an adventure.  We dated 2 years with a family language barrier for the 1st year.  I learn fast, so we were up and communicating in no time.  I even hopped on a plane and left the country to meet his family with all the broken Spanish that I could take with me.   I wondered what my friends would think.  How we would integrate our very different upbringing and beliefs?  We were married and our first child was born in 2007.  I wondered, “How would she be perceived?”  Even I wondered “What was her race?”  How would I describe my beautiful baby to the world?  Her name was a challenge; my in-laws don’t speak any English.  My mother doesn’t speak Spanish.  Now I have my children with their first name that my in-laws can’t pronounce, and their 2nd name, that my mother can’t.  Problem solved!  They call them by which name they can pronounce and everyone is happy.   Learning to live within and integrate this new existence that is as delicate as a feather.  I’ve had so many challenges and triumphs.  In certain parts of the world, this isn’t an important conversation.  There are plenty of major Metropolitan cities that are as diverse as a tropical paradise.  Unfortunately, there are so many more that are beyond that horizon that have not arrived yet.  There is not true respect and understanding for racial identities in so many places.  Stereotypes, racism and bias plague the futures of our diverse little pioneers who will go out into the world with multiple perspectives on cultures and race.  Why did my life have to touch on one of the super sensitive subjects?  You know the ones you’re never truly suppose to discuss without expecting an argument; religion, politics, race.  The most sensitive ones in the pack.   These subjects are all tied to culture.  With everything considered,  I know it’s where I’m suppose to be going.    It helps that I’ve always been the person that’s really hard to tell “be quiet” to.  I enjoy speech that is  relative to issues that I am passionate about.  Right now I am the director, founder, CEO, funder, fundraiser, grant research/writer at We Check Other.com/org.   Today I am PR /Outreach.  If you are interested in connecting, to partner with and or partnership opportunities you can reach out to me at letstalkrace@live.com.  Have an idea?  Are you a individual or organization with a passion for race, culture, diversity, multi- racial, cultural, ethnic issues, conversations, arts, research. etc? Sponsor?

If you have a general inquiry, you can always send your email to wecheckother@yahoo.com.  As always thank you for tuning in.  Your support is always welcome on facebook and twitter @wecheckother.  Until the Next!

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

 

Multi-ALL Must READS

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Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  Today is a wonderful day.  We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday!  I am sending out some great options for every person living, loving, raising children or just simply interested in diversity.  I’ve said this to so many people in my life; my children (2) are my greatest teachers.  Their actions, and minds allow me to attempt daily to better understand our world.  I’ve included two children’s books with great material that are wonderful to share with our children.  Please enjoy!

Please find @wecheckother on Facebook and Twitter!  Thank you!

Others’Mother

 

Are WE ALL BIAS? RACIST?

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“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

 

 

I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla!

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

I’m on facebook and twitter @wecheckother.  Join me!  Thank you for your time!  Happy Reading.

“Some OTHER RACE”

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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