Elizabeth Warren and the Politics of Racial Passing | Marcia Dawkins

See on Scoop.itMixed American Life

“This year’s election season is “the battle of the racial passers.” While many have fixated on the authenticity of a multiracial President Obama and a Latino Mitt Romney, questions of racial identity and passing have taken center stage in the Massachusetts Senate race between GOP incumbent Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren as well.

To put it bluntly, Brown is accusing Warren of “passing,” or representing herself as a member of a different racial group than the one to which she belongs. These accusations are to be expected, as I wrote in my new book, Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity, which deals with how people from all walks of life reconcile who they are with who society tells them to be in a society where racial definitions are constantly changing.

When the votes are counted this November, Warren’s racial identity will be less significant than the fact that questions about her identity persist as means of disqualification. Such questions demonstrate the ongoing problems of racial identification in the twenty-first century.

But, if we’re willing to get past the noise and listen to Warren, we may also find some answers. Answers to questions like: What are you? Who is most qualified to respond? What evidence can be considered? Warren’s identity also provides a new answer to the old question about the definition of race. Is race real? Is it biological? Is it sociological? For Warren the answer is complicated. Race is clearly invisible — a fact of life that may also be, to some degree, a fiction.”

See on www.huffingtonpost.com

Clearly Invisible | Marcia Dawkins | available 8/1

See on Scoop.itMixed American Life

“Everybody passes. Not just racial minorities. As Marcia Alesan Dawkins explains, passing has been occurring for millennia, since intercultural and interracial contact began. And with this profound new study, she explores its old limits and new possibilities: from women passing as men and able-bodied persons passing as disabled to black classics professors passing as Jewish and white supremacists passing as white.”

“We are lucky to have rising public intellectual, Marcia Alesan Dawkins, bring critical conversations about the Mixed experience into broader scholarship. Her work confirms that an understanding of the Mixed experience is essential to understanding who we are as Americans.”
—Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

See on www.clearlyinvisiblebook.com

Marcia Dawkins Author of Clearly Invisible Racial Passing

See on Scoop.itMixed American Life

“Marcia Dawkins’ book, Clearly Invisible (Baylor University Press, 2012), is the first to connect racial passing and classical rhetoric to issues of disability, gender-neutral parenting, human trafficking, hacktivism, identity theft, racial privacy, media typecasting and violent extremism.

By applying fresh eyes to landmark historical cases and benchmark popular culture moments in the history of passing Dawkins also rethinks the representational character and civic purpose of multiracial identities. In the process she provides powerful insights called “passwords” that help readers tackle the tough questions of who we are and how we can relate to one another and the world.”
See on www.blogtalkradio.com