Newly Minted

Newly Minted
Right after I was hooded

Monday, March 18, 2013

It has been over a year mixed race bloggers. I have to say that I visited my site many times and just couldn't write anything. A good part of my writing energies end up in the dissertation these days as I enter my final stages. Dr. Mixed Race! I don't think that is going to stick. Anyway, I have reached out to a couple subscribers to see if they can help me continue blogging as it seems more people have been visiting this site. If you are interested in generating mixed race content, let me know! That said, one of the reasons I have not been writing is because there is simply too much to say. I am equally frustrated that for some there is a sense that the time to talk about race and mixed race has passed. Ladies and gentlepeople… breaking news… we are NOT a post-racial society. I have tried to focus directly on mixed race on this blog, but the conversation about race overall has been really occupying a large chunk of my scholarly mind (much to my committee's chagrin). I told my introduction to Africana Studies class the other day that we are in our third Reconstruction. We looked at the parallels between the first reconstruction immediately post-emancipation and now. We looked at the upward mobility of African Americans in that moment, and how we have a black president now. We also looked at the backlash of mass incarceration and violence along with legislative restriction that resulted from African Americans, and certainly mixed race Americans as well, joining the United States social and political competition (and winning). With the 2013nSupreme Court reconsidering affirmative action and voters’ rights laws IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP because the retrenchment of the rights of people of color is in progress. How might this impact mixed race identity? Let us remember that one of the products of black codes and jim crow was a reinforcement of the anti-miscegenation laws. We are already restricting the right to marry who we love for LGBTQI families. How long do you think it will take before our rights as interracial families are also restricted? Our right to identify has already begun to be squeezed back into mono-racial boxes by the federal government or so it seems. You may have encountered my rant about the NCLB tracking characteristic that restricted self-identity to mono-racial categories and disallowed choosing more than one category. Additionally, the NCLB tracking had school administrators and support staff reassigning students' races without ever contacting their families. My children were recategorized: one as white, one as black, and one as Hispanic. That was in 2006. Just the other day I found out my racial identity had been reclassified by my employing institution. I always self-identify as close to my intimate reality as possible. Mixed race, multi-racial, black, white, Native American, and finally if nothing else is available I will identify as other or abstain if the options are not there. Well don't you know I show up as African American in our staffing report? Do I deny being African American? No, I certainly do not. Do I denounce having another human being reclassify my race without even talking to me AND I AM THE DIVERSITY OFFICER... yes, yes I do. When I brought my concern forward I was told "under the affirmative action codes it is lawful to observe and document race (and gender as I asked that question too) based on what you observe". Slavery was lawful too. For those of us who have intimate realities outside of normative, binary, majority identity classifications ... it is time for us to wake up. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted by two consecutive censuses that asked the multi-racial question, or college applications that ask the multi-racial questions, or even employment applications that appear inclusive. We must pay attention to every form that we are asked to fill out and follow up on what they say six months to a year later. I sound like a broken record but WE KNOW WHAT AND WHO WE ARE. We know who are intimate others are. I am running out of steam... but I really just wanted to share what head space I have been in. While stewing, steeping, and being assaulted by racial injustices via forms and categories, my mixed raceness becomes even more real. The intimate reality that allows me to be the child of black/white/Apache parents; the daughter of a white couple; the wife of my Irish husband; and the mother and grandmother to my aesthetically variant progeny... dictates a socio-racial identity that is non-binary. Period. I am all of these things and none of these things. I want to celebrate the people who love me and the people I love. I want to be in relationship with all of the communities that my ancestors have hailed from. This is not about passing, ignoring, or circumventing any part of me or any piece of my history. I am self-identifying in a way that allows me to claim all of it. I am the child of the oppressed and the oppressor. Last but certainly not least, to our allies. Your silence has gotten the best of me. When you sit in a meeting and hear other people's identities being screwed with SAY SOMETHING. Imagine if your mono-racial or normatively gendered child were told she could no longer identify THE WAY YOU TAUGHT HER TO. What would you do? How would my silence impact you? ...more soon (sooner than a year)

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