How Race Is Made in America examines Mexican Americans—from 1924, when American law drastically reduced immigration into the United States, to 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. These years shaped the emergence of what Natalia Molina describes as an immigration regime, which defined the racial categories that continue to influence perceptions in the United States about Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity.
Molina demonstrates that despite the multiplicity of influences that help shape our concept of race, common themes prevail. Examining legal, political, social, and cultural sources related to immigration, she advances the theory that our understanding of race is socially constructed in relational ways—that is, in correspondence to other groups. Molina introduces and explains her central theory, racial scripts, which highlights the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another. How Race Is Made in America also shows that these racial scripts are easily adopted and adapted to apply to different racial groups.
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HT Steven Riley @mixed_race
Augusta County, Virginia, schools shut on sheriff’s concerns about angry calls and emails over a world religion homework assignment on Islam at Riverheads High.
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Over the past 72 hours I have been attacked with lies by the conservative media, lies that have been picked up by the traditional media and spread further. I have kept silent at the advice of friends and mentors, but I will do so no longer.
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By BLAIR FOSTER and MICHÈLE STEPHENSON
Why do so many white people find it extremely uncomfortable to talk about race? Setting out to make the next installment of our Op-Doc video series about race in America, we hoped to address that question. Because we live in New York, where there is no shortage of opinions, we didn’t think it would be too hard to find white people willing to speak publicly on this topic. We were wrong.
…when we dug a bit deeper, the discussion gets tense, and visibly uncomfortable.
With this Op-Doc video, we’ve attempted to lean into that discomfort and prompt some self-reflection. We are all part of this system, and therefore we all have a responsibility to work toward dismantling it. If we’re going to have an honest conversation about race in America, that includes thinking — and talking — about what it means to be white in America. It might be uncomfortable, but it’s a conversation that must involve all of us.
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By Glenn Robinson
The system the authors are referring to is probably the system of disenfranchisement and oppression held up by what Dr. Martin Luther King called the Doctrine of White Supremacy.
Anyone can believe in the Doctrine of White Supremacy; a doctrine that believes that White is right and worthy and that people of color are undeserving of equal opportunities and equal humane treatment.
We see inequality play out in the way immigration laws are written to favor the highly educated, while (im)migrants in labor and agriculture are demonized.
We also see that the U.S. will not offer universal single payer health care – as if all humans do not deserve equal treatment by the health care industry.
And we see the prison industrial complex incarcerate disproportionately high numbers of Black and Latino people; and the military industrial complex recruit disproportionately high numbers of Black and Latino people.
And we see disproportionately high numbers of killings of unarmed Black and Latino people by the police.
Because I appear white to most people, I already get asked the dumbest questions you can imagine about race. Now it’s only going to get worse.
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by Sharon H Chang
Enrolling your child in Seattle Public Schools means choosing their race and ethnicity from a confounding list of checkboxes.
“This is the first time I’ve seen a form that’s so specific and yet not specific enough,” she criticized, “My reaction at first was amused — as in, ‘Oh, Seattle!’ — and then kind of offended.”
“If we’re going to list separate countries, why not also list Bangladesh and Sri Lanka?” She also questioned “African American/Black” being designated as a single category given that our region represents large communities of Ethiopians, Eritreans, and Somalis.
Then look how choices are grouped. “African-American/Black” (as Gupte observes) but also “White” are weirdly devoid of subcategories.
Thank you for sharing Sharon H Chang!
When my daughter started kindergarten I asked what happens if I do not complete the race question. I was told the teacher will complete the question for me.
At that time, one check box was allowed. My daughter is being counted as Latina – now in 5th grade.
My son will be counted as both Latino and White. Now we are allowed to check more than one box.
Some reporting recalculates people’s race based on the social construct of hypodescent, so when we read the student’s test scores broken down by race, I still do not know how accurate that data is.
Plus, wouldn’t it also be valuable to report test scores by zip code? Then we could add a library in zip codes that need it most.
Race has a lot to say about you and me, “us” and “them.” This social construct tells us who we are and will be, where to go and where we are not welcome, whether we are in or out, center or margin. Race tells us where we belong and when. A director of our society, it gives us orders and in so doing, orders us, categorizes us, boxes us up and stacks us up on top of each other.
But, I think it’s time to interrupt, to get a word in, to change the conversation and the direction of our relationships. Frankly, why does race have all the say about my life and the ways in which I live and perceive it? Who says that I can’t butt in, that my life does not have a point to make a part from those stereotypical.
I used to like the social construct of race; that is, before I heard what it had to say about me. I had listened but never fully considered its limitations. And upon learning them, race gave me no other alternative. I knew that our relationship would be different from many who preceded me because I could not agree with the terms.
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The belief in the social construct of race is not up for debate. Clearly, we have believed in it for hundreds of years, sacrificed the identity of our children to it. Race is a god that takes our will, our ability to self- determine. We are who race says that we are and we will do what race says that we will do. Consequently, it is my task here and through my life’s witness to inspire unbelief. I want to make persons race atheists, race eliminativists.
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The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author broke it down.
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.
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.
PS – I read The Bluest Eye. It’s good.
A San Jose State University philanthropy board member and a vice president have resigned after an investigation into anti-Latina remarks attributed to the board member that went unchallenged by the vice president.
Wanda Ginner, a board member on the university’s philanthropic Towers Foundation, and Rebecca Dukes, vice president for university advancement, stepped down on Friday, according to letters university president Mo Qayoumi addressed to the campus community and released to The Huffington Post. Ginner had been accused of saying that Latina students “do not have the DNA to be successful” during a February meeting of the foundation board. Dukes was present at that meeting and allegedly did not condemn Ginner’s comment.
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I wonder who these two racists will work for next though?