Toni Morrison to Colbert: ‘There’s No Such Thing As Race’ – COLORLINES

The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author broke it down.

Source: colorlines.com

The audience was dead silent when she said there is no such thing as race. 

I bet there were confused as hell. 

‘Cause they and we all know racism is real, and how can racism be real without race? 

I think when we oversimplify ‘race as a social construct’ – only – then we confuse the hell out of people.

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Disambiguation and the answer to why all this talk about race

Ice, water, and steam are all forms of water. Race also needs to be understood in different ways and through different lenses. 


The  lens of society


Society racializes us. A race label is applied to us regardless of our true ethnic heritage. 

The lens of sociology

Race is the label that the census and school applications require of us to self identify  in order to track discrimination, a requirement since the 1964 civil rights. Race (phenotype) is based on our outward appearance, whereas race (haplotype) takes into account our whole physical identity – inside and out.

The lens of medical science

Most anthropologists describe race (phenotype) as a social construct, often used to discriminate and segregate. Whereas most medical scientists, who are curing diseases, will describe race (haplotype) as real. Medical institutions collect data on self identified race (phenotype). As dangerous as the slippery slope of race-base medicine is, there has been success in finding bone marrow donors through race based donation drives for groups who find it challenging to find a bone marrow match for example.

The lens of hate

Humans are tribal by nature. Wired into us is a fear of the new that we do not understand and therefor a fear of the other. The word for this is xenophobia. Having unchecked fear and living in a society that normalizes the doctrine of white supremacy leads to the normalization of racism.

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PS – I read The Bluest Eye. It’s good. 

  

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America

Diversity Explosion shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades, and the more globalized, multiracial country that U.S. is becoming.


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Source: www.mixedracestudies.org

HT Steven Riley of MixedRaceStudies.org @mixed_race 

Latinas For Latino Lit: Remarkable Children’s Books of 2014

It’s the holiday season and the end of the year, with its accompanying “best of” lists, including book lists. Viviana Hurtado and Monica Olivera, the creators of Latinas For Latino Lit (L4LL), have compiled the Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2014, a wonderful collection of Latino-themed books, many of them written and illustrated by Hispanic authors and artists.


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Source: www.nbcnews.com

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation – Kindle edition

From School Library Journal

Gr 2–5—When the Mendezes moved to Westminster, CA, in 1944, third-grader Sylvia tried to enter Westminster School. However, the family was repeatedly told, “‘Your children have to go to the Mexican school.’ ‘But why?’ asked Mr. Mendez……’That is how it is done.’” In response, they formed the Parents’ Association of Mexican-American Children, distributed petitions, and eventually filed a successful lawsuit that was supported by organizations ranging from the Japanese American Citizens League to the American Jewish Congress. Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later. Back matter includes a detailed author’s note and photographs. The excellent bibliography cites primary sources, including court transcripts and the author’s interview with Sylvia Mendez, who did attend Westminster School and grew up to earn the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Tonatiuh’s illustrations tell a modern story with figures reminiscent of the pictorial writing of the Mixtec, an indigenous people from Mexico. Here, the author deliberately connects his heritage with the prejudices of mid-20th century America. One jarring illustration of three brown children barred from a pool filled with lighter-skinned children behind a sign that reads, “No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed,” will remind readers of photographs from the Jim Crow South. Compare and contrast young Sylvia Mendez’s experience with Robert Coles’s The Story of Ruby Bridges (Scholastic, 1995) to broaden a discussion of school desegregation.—Toby Rajput, National Louis University, Skokie, IL
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Source: www.amazon.com