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(Article): "The New Racial Phantom"

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  • multiracialbookclub
    The New Racial Phantom (Article) By Mary Ann French BARBOURSVILLE, VA. - Racial and Ethnic watchdogs tightened patrol of their perimeters as the Census
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2006
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      The New Racial 'Phantom' (Article)

      By Mary Ann French
      BARBOURSVILLE, VA. -

      Racial and Ethnic watchdogs tightened patrol
      of their perimeters as the Census Bureau
      released new numbers that add up to an
      acceleration of 'the browning of America'.

      With "blacks" reproducing nearly three times as fast
      as 'Whites', there was already increasing concern that
      'Whites' will be a minority in the US by mid-century.

      But the Hispanic population is expanding even faster:
      Their numbers increased by 57.9 percent during
      the 1990s, while "blacks" grew by 15.6 percent,
      and 'Whites 'by only 5.9 percent.

      And if more Hispanics choose to call themselves
      white in the next census - as many already do,
      despite many having Indian and African roots
      - they could tip the balance of cultural
      power back toward European-Americans.

      An ill-defined and undercounted "Phantom"-Folk
      of Mixed-Race Origins may end up causing the
      most confusion, however, as we Americans
      seek to label and sum ourselves up.

      Born to parents of differing races, they want
      to be all they can be - or at least `not be
      reduced to any single one of their parts'.

      Presumably that's why the census now offers 63
      possible combinations of racial and ethnic identity.

      Granted, it matters what we call ourselves.

      But for `African-Americans' like me, it's not as much
      a question of *specificity* as it is one of *history*.

      After all, like many "black" Americans, I am
      tri-racial - having African, European,
      and Indians in my background.


      The chief 'difference between my ancestry and that
      of the newly "multiracial" crowd - whatever the
      combination of their races - seems to lie in
      the `chronologies' of our amalgamation.


      There have been no 'White' people in my line since
      slavery, when my blood was mixed under *duress*.

      By insisting on 'a new name and identity 'for
      "the same blend" of blood that has pumped
      through my people's veins for generations,
      are the modern Multi-Racialists trying to
      `distance themselves' from [a] stigma' of slavery
      ?

      And relatedly, is this also about volition?
      Are the new breed `attempting to contrast'
      the *circumstances* of their procreation?

      To make clear they are not the product of rape,
      as was so often the case during slavery?

      Is this really about `contractual arrangements'
      between parents, as opposed to the
      `racial components' of children?

      Because `both' the Unreconstructed African-American
      and the new Nameless-"Phantom" are 'Multi-Racial'.


      If inventing' a new category of identification' is their way
      of avoiding our country's badly bungled past, I have to
      wonder where, in their minds, that leaves `the rest of us'

      - we who remain "black", who emphasize our African
      origins in our appellation, and who acknowledge
      the enslavement of our ancestors as the source of
      America's deep-seated patterns of discrimination.

      Slavery - the building block of early America, the
      paradox of our democracy, the shame of our heritage
      - is what ties us together, for good and for bad,
      to each
      other and to the Newly Multi-Racial kid on the block
      .

      Such "Multi-Racial" children - who are often the fruit of
      *idealistic unions* - should know that when America turns
      its eye on them, it sees them as "black", just as it sees me.

      There is no way to visually distinguish between the two
      of us - either in the nation's sight or in our own mirrors.

      Such is the crudity of our racial codes and the legacy
      of our race-based system of chattel slavery.

      Rather than try to `split the differences' between
      us, why not unite and attack racism together?


      Rather than separate "The Modern Multi-Racial"
      from "Historically `Colored' People" like me,
      parents would better serve their children's futures
      by battling discrimination across the board.


      For the ugly truth is that a parent can try to shelter
      a child from racism with all kinds of artificial
      categories constructed at the hearth.

      But when that child leaves the house,
      reality will still be out there.

      Instead of fashioning a new identity for "some",
      why not work toward a better world for *all*?


      Copyright © 2001
      The Christian Science Monitor.
      All rights reserved.
      from the August 20, 2001 edition
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0820/p9s2-coop.html

      Mary Ann French coordinated the recent
      Slave Commemoration at James Madison's
      Montpelier plantation in Orange County, Va.
      She is a veteran of journalism and a student of history.

    • tlbaker1
      This is interesting as well. I would never state that my Multi-Racialness does not stem from slavery as I do not know that for sure (to be honest w/myself, I
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 2, 2006
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        This is interesting as well. I would never state that
        my Multi-Racialness does not stem from slavery as I
        do not know that for sure (to be honest w/myself,
        I would say some of it does), we were sold like cattle
        from plantation to plantation who knows who we are really
        related to - kinda of where it really all began, I think.

        The mixed parts of me that I am aware of didn't
        come from slavery, people with faces and names.

        We are all Multi-Racial......

         

        Lynne


        From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
        On Behalf Of
        multiracialbookclub
        Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 11:34 PM
        To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Generation-Mixed] (Article): "The New Racial Phantom"

         

        The New Racial 'Phantom' (Article)

        By Mary Ann French
        BARBOURSVILLE , VA. -

        Racial and Ethnic watchdogs tightened patrol
        of their perimeters as the Census Bureau
        released new numbers that add up to an
        acceleration of 'the browning of America '.

        With "blacks" reproducing nearly three times as fast
        as 'Whites', there was already increasing concern that
        'Whites' will be a minority in the US by mid-century.

        But the Hispanic population is expanding even faster:
        Their numbers increased by 57.9 percent during
        the 1990s, while "blacks" grew by 15.6 percent,
        and 'Whites 'by only 5.9 percent.

        And if more Hispanics choose to call themselves
        white in the next census - as many already do,
        despite many having Indian and African roots
        - they could tip the balance of cultural
        power back toward European-Americans.

        An ill-defined and undercounted "Phantom"-Folk
        of Mixed-Race Origins may end up causing the
        most confusion, however, as we Americans
        seek to label and sum ourselves up.

        Born to parents of differing races, they want
        to be all they can be - or at least `not be
        reduced to any single one of their parts'.

        Presumably that's why the census now offers 63
        possible combinations of racial and ethnic identity.

        Granted, it matters what we call ourselves.

        But for `African-Americans' like me, it's not as much
        a question of *specificity* as it is one of *history*.

        After all, like many "black" Americans, I am
        tri-racial - having African, European,
        and Indians in my background.


        The chief 'difference between my ancestry and that
        of the newly "multiracial" crowd - whatever the
        combination of their races - seems to lie in
        the `chronologies' of our amalgamation.


        There have been no 'White' people in my line since
        slavery, when my blood was mixed under *duress*.

        By insisting on 'a new name and identity 'for
        "the same blend" of blood that has pumped
        through my people's veins for generations,
        are the modern Multi-Racialists trying to
        `distance themselves' from [a] stigma' of slavery
        ?

        And relatedly, is this also about volition?
        Are the new breed `attempting to contrast'
        the *circumstances* of their procreation?

        To make clear they are not the product of rape,
        as was so often the case during slavery?

        Is this really about `contractual arrangements'
        between parents, as opposed to the
        `racial components' of children?

        Because `both' the Unreconstructed African-American
        and the new Nameless-"Phantom" are 'Multi-Racial'.


        If inventing' a new category of identification' is their way
        of avoiding our country's badly bungled past, I have to
        wonder where, in their minds, that leaves `the rest of us'

        - we who remain "black", who emphasize our African
        origins in our appellation, and who acknowledge
        the enslavement of our ancestors as the source of
        America 's deep-seated patterns of discrimination.

        Slavery - the building block of early America , the
        paradox of our democracy, the shame of our heritage
        - is what ties us together, for good and for bad, to each
        other and to the Newly Multi-Racial kid on the block
        .

        Such "Multi-Racial" children - who are often the fruit of
        *idealistic unions* - should know that when America turns
        its eye on them, it sees them as "black", just as it sees me.

        There is no way to visually distinguish between the two
        of us - either in the nation's sight or in our own mirrors.

        Such is the crudity of our racial codes and the legacy
        of our race-based system of chattel slavery.

        Rather than try to `split the differences' between
        us, why not unite and attack racism together?


        Rather than separate "The Modern Multi-Racial"
        from "Historically `Colored' People" like me,
        parents would better serve their children's futures
        by battling discrimination across the board.


        For the ugly truth is that a parent can try to shelter
        a child from racism with all kinds of artificial
        categories constructed at the hearth.

        But when that child leaves the house,
        reality will still be out there.

        Instead of fashioning a new identity for "some",
        why not work toward a better world for *all*?


        Copyright © 2001
        The Christian Science Monitor.
        All rights reserved.
        from the August 20, 2001 edition
        http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0820/p9s2-coop.html

        Mary Ann French coordinated the recent
        Slave Commemoration at James Madison's
        Montpelier plantation in Orange County , Va.
        She is a veteran of journalism and a student of history.

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