PSA: ‘What are you?’ Is Not an Icebreaker

The “What are you?” question is a form of micro-aggression that is an all too common experience for blended/ Mixed (your word of choice) folks. Vocalist and Songwriter Andromeda Turre recently wrote a fascinating post in the Huffington Post about her – What are you experiences. As Andromeda states, “The problem with this question is, for lot of us blended people, that it doesn’t have a a simple answer.” The rest of the paragraph – for that matter the entire posting – is profound, succinct, and relatable. Read it then come back to mixedrootsstories for more sharing.

Loving v. Virginia Strikes Again

Please read Jonathan Capehart’s excellent article in the Washington Post on the recent decision by Mark Herring – the Commonwealth of Virginia’s State Attorney – to not defend the commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage.  The significance of the story to the Mixed community is the reference to the precedent setting 1967 Loving v Virginia decision that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.

Personal note: In 1962 my parents had to marry in Washington D.C. because their other options of Maryland and Virginia had anti-miscegenation laws. Fast forward to today, I get to see some of my dearest friends marry their same-sex partners. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


Is Race Colorblind?

Professor of Law, Osagie K. Obasogie recently (11/2013) published a book titled, “Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind”.  As stated by Professor Obasogie, “Given the assumptions behind this influential metaphor—that being blind to race will lead to racial equality—it’s curious that, until now, we have not considered if or how the blind ‘see’ race.

His research reveals that race is not colorblind. The blind do not “ see” color, but they do have a visual concept of race. Hence, they make choices on friends and relationships using the same construct as the sighted. (link to YouTube interview) 

It is an intriguing thought exercise to contrast Professor Obasogie’s findings with the ambitions of a colorblind society desired by Ward Connerly.

Ward Connerly

Ward Connerly

Ward Connerly led the charge on passage of Proposition 209 (1998) that eliminated affirmative actions in both state schools and in government in California. Again in 2003 he pushed for Proposition 54, which did not pass, to eliminate racial preference or acknowledge racial/ethnic categories at all levels of society in the State of California, believing it would put us on the path towards equality.
The jury is out on the impacts (pro or con) of Proposition 209 here in California and similar legislation in other states, nevertheless a simple truth remains, race is a social construct further evidenced by Professor Obasogie’s findings. The good news is we constructed it, so we can deconstruct it, but using a blunt political instrument like propositions is not the path. 

Mixed Response to Dante de Blasio

Bill de Blasio is one of several candidates running for mayor of New York and since all politics are local most Americans have not paid any attention to the campaign accept political geeks like myself. However, recently the mixed community, then the larger world became aware of the campaign.
Bill de Blasio recently came to the attention of the Mixed community when there was buzz around his son (Dante), because he was featured in a campaign ad. Bill de Blasio is white and his wife is black, and they have two children (see image below). In the old days, you cannot be in a mixed marriage and run for office or if you had “colored” offspring it was kept secret or else no political career. Therefore, to see a politician put his family front and center is very exciting, especially in a high-profile city. Moreover, he is leading in the polls and hopefully he will retain his lead after the electorate goes to the polls today in New York City.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, New York’s termed out Mayor Bloomberg – not a fan of Bill de Blasio – reminded us, there is still work to be done on overcoming ignorance.  A New York Magazine interviewer commented to Mayor Bloomberg that “Bill de Blasio is running a class-warfare campaign.” Mayor Bloomberg interjected with “class-warfare and racist.” Then he back tracks in the article by saying that de Blasio featuring his family is no different than Bloomberg emphasizing his Jewishness to gain the Jewish vote.
I find it fascinating that Bill de Blasio features his multiracial family and that makes him a racist, according to Mayor Bloomberg. I’m not so naive to know there is a political calculus behind the ad, however there is also an argument to be made that Bill is proud of his family and he wants to highlight that he gets it.


The de Blasio Family

The de Blasio Family

New Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti – City Hall Diversity

Garcetti pledges different approach to City Hall diversity — In an interview later, Garcetti said people still think in terms of four broad categories: black, white, Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander. He said that doesn’t begin to touch on the city’s diversity. Frank Stoltze KPCC — 7/10/13


This story of the first segregated prom at a Georgia high school has been eye opening to the continued segregation that happens in this country.

What I want to know is…where did the mixed teens go to prom all these years?  What other stories do you have of cases where societies monoracial boundaries, have left mixed youth having to choose one part of their entire self?