Thursday, February 17, 2011

so turns out Harvard hapa has a blog on tumblr that's a continual update on mixed stuff info :) anyways I am glad. I think something like this needs to be bigger though, like Angry Asian which is also an asian american blog (AA though, not mixed), like more public. I totally would subscribe to it lol. only prob though is I don't want to be a non-Harvard creeper... though I suppose I already am.... oh well :) I went to SWAYA and got on their mailing list and now that's how I get most of my hapa news updates! anyways this is their blog:
MuLtIrAcIaLs mixing it up :) - news article in SF Chronicle about redefining Asian American Identity

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apolo Ohno

Just a shout out for Apolo Ohno, I heard the name and thought Japanese at first but I wasn't sure (my friend's obsessed lol) but then I got an email from HAPA (I am on the list though probably the only non-harvard person on the list haha) that confirmed his hapa-ness. Yeah! Hapas owning in the olympics!!! ^_^ He was actually raised by his Japanese dad, so he probably speaks Japanese I'd think (and the article said his father didn't have a lot of family in the states, making it sound like he's 1st generation) but maybe not. But anyway here he is!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another article

I saw this and thought it was interesting, it was more about white women-black men relationships but its still multiracial relationships. Now, I haven't read all of it but I think that what I did read was about how womens menstrual cycles reflect in partner choices. I have heard of that before in attractiveness services - like choosing a more masculine or feminine face depending on the cycle. I will read it more fully later but till then I will store it here :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

So this is random thoughts on racism and my own dealings with it and by writing, maybe making a clearer picture. I am not writing to be eloquent or to be perfectly efficient, and I repeat myself and this is a ROUGH argument, but it was more a brainstorming activity then a actual finalization of ideas. I still am thinking things through and may change my mind tomorrow on the subject. But no one really reads this lol and its more a journal then anything and who needs to be perfect in a journal? so its ok if I put it out there.

"Having a colored friend makes me not racist"

Thinking about it, I suppose having a black friend is not a TESTAMENT to you not being racist, but if you are not racist, it is a CONSEQUENCE of you not being racist (and by simple nature of exposure, if you are in a diverse neighborhood and are not racist, more likely you will have a friend who is colored, however if you are in a neighborhood with ONLY white people, you still could not be racist, but by situational conditions, you may not have a colored friend) Cause lets examine a case like this, OK you have a friend who is black, now you are friends with them but still are nervous around other blacks cause you think they may have friends in the ghetto, or Case #2 you have a friend who is black, but you wonder if they have friends in the ghetto, or case #3 you have a friend but more as a trophy you invite to parties as the “token” black person, or case #4 You have a black friend and you really want drugs but you’re normal drug dealer is caught, so you ask your black friend if they know anyone or same kind of case if you ask them if they own a gun, curious cause you just happen to be curious if you actually know anyone with a gun (this case is void if you ask EVERYONE, it is only applicable if you are discriminatory). There could also be #5, if you have a black friend cause you take their demeanor and you admire them cause you had assumed they had had a hard life, like poor or whatnot. Maybe even #6 you find out that your black friend was part of a gang and now isn’t and you think “oh that makes sense”. Ok let’s break down the cases

1 – you allow blacks as friends after they have proven themselves to be “safe”, unlike other blacks
2 – Allow blacks in but superimpose preconceived ideas on them, but this is the toughest on and I think it may be one I struggle with a lot, like I don’t ASSUME they have friends in the ghetto, but I always wonder. Is that racist? Should I assume that they don’t? Probably.
3 – This is the most obvious and it’s in cases in which the 2 are not so close, like “party buddies” but no further
4 – Kind of like #2, but more extreme cause it involves ACTION, like actually asking the other if they have drugs or a gun
5 – also a tough one, in a weird admiration-kind of way you are racist, which is another one I think I deal with. I assume blacks I know may have grown up in difficult circumstances such as poverty and I automatically admire them though they may not have experienced it so I think I should assume they have not
6 – interesting one. More like, a confirmation of something you expected, even if it had not crossed your mind really before, saying something like “that makes sense” I think is racist, cause its like #2 but backwards, like the thought didn’t cross your mind till it came up. Not sure on the legitimacy of this case.

But the point is, since having a colored friend may be often used as testament or proof of a non-racist person, it should not be used in arguments. It’s like a cause-effect thing. “I am not racist therefore I have a black friend” is far better logic then “I have a black friend therefore I am not racist”.

So how can you prove you are not racist?
THIS is a HUGE toughie. Cause really the only proof is repeated actions and personal self-reflections that prove (and prove TO you) that you are not. Well first off, EVERYONE is racist in one way or another, in some things they are racist in others they are not maybe. I think really the only thing you can do is agree that you are racist in some way or another but the real testament of character is in how you deal with your racism and the self-reflection you apply to yourself and your racism. So I guess I should say my belief is that everyone is racist, and there is only levels of “dealing with it” if you understand my meaning, it is only by consistently telling yourself “No, I should not think that way” whenever a racist feeling or prejudice arises that you can feel that you are doing your best at not being racist. But then there is this hypersensitivity and in cases like mine, a kind of shame in feeling a racist behavior and a desire to defend oneself against being “branded” racist. If I am in a group of black people I am ashamed if I realize one of the people I thought had grown up in difficult circumstances turns out to have lived a life not unlike my own as a relatively privileged child of the middle class. And I feel like if I said out loud “oh, sorry! I thought you grew up in a impoverished environment" I will be turned on and looked at as “racist”, although I actually am, although I consistently attempt to maintain and train myself against these prejudices and stereotypes. It just seems ingrained pretty deeply from a childhood not growing up in a multicultural-educated and diverse environment, cause in those stories and myths catch like wildfire and they leave a big imprint.

I mean I didn’t even really understand racism and I thought it didn’t really exist still or so I convinced myself (thank you contemporary society for this myth) until college and my eyes were opened wide unto this world of diversity and multiculturalism. I mean even as a biracial person and undergoing my own difficulties with my multicultural heritage which I still grapple with from time to time (though proudly I must say I am much more comfortable now then ever before) I would tell myself that I was imagining things cause no one was TALKING to me about being multiracial. They were telling me whites were African American slave oppressors and Asians were humiliated by whites and Latinos to this day face discrimination and hostility and all the history lessons of white power reigning over minorities, but NO ONE was telling me “when you felt like people would make fun of you cause you felt no claim to Asian culture by lacking physical appearance and language, that is racism in its most insidious form: ignorance” and THAT'S what I had to figure out on my own. And its terrible, its not people’s fault they didn’t include me, that they didn’t realize I was Asian, it was my own fault for not telling THEM, but still it was hurtful and painful to deal with. I mean look at the mess I am in today? I tell myself often it was my own fault for this, cause I never spoke of it either, and I think if I had just CLAIMED my heritage it would have been accepted, but then I hear that this is the trick - society tricks you into thinking its your own fault. Lol I hear that all the time I'm a sociology minor after all. Anyway, its very... whats the word... well it creates immense self-doubt anyway. So I guess I will have to write another post on my musings and find an answer that will satisfy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

random tangent

So I was writing the post above and got into a tangent, it went on way too long but I figured I would put it as a separate post.

There is an interesting experience with a friend of mine. She is fully Brazilian, born there, speaks Portugese and everything, goes back on vacations, is still close to family there. But she looks more white, like, you can tell from her hair, but otherwise she doesn't look stereotypical Brazilian like what is expected around here. She also has always been a perfect white suburbia child (just to clarify, love her, and have nothing against the white suburbia product, I'm maybe 75% of that make as well) but when I asked her what she id's as on census reports, she says "sometimes just white, sometimes Hispanic, I don't really know" I feel like a lot of mixed people are like that, but what is striking is that she is so Brazilian in so many other ways I long to be Asian, but she still says that. And you know, I think its a great deal cause she looks far more white than others so she has always felt mostly included in the white community.

That was the random thought, wanted to put it up.

Mixed Race, Pretty Face?

So in this article in Psychology Today it was all about how mixed race people are more beautiful. Now I have heard this before and I have discussed it before in the "bi-racial doll project" blog post but I think I can revisit it a little. I was analyzing the concept of the "beautiful mixed race" stereotype as it is seen in parts of China (probably not everyone has the same views). I mean, this stereotype is brought up a lot, and I mean it really should be a compliment but it also puts pressure on the mixed person, as I have said before. I just thought it was also interesting to see it as I have experienced it in America, not as if I have pictured it to be in China. So in the good old US of A I'd have to say that I have heard this a lot from people who know anything about mixed race or bring it up, but otherwise I haven't really until I just got into "How I Met Your Mother", man... good series I am kind of obsessed, but then, in one of the first episodes Barney says "you know how I was into half-asian girls? Now its lebanese girls!" Or something to that effect. That was the first time I heard it in a TV show though I could just have not seen the right TV shows or movies. Now don't get me wrong, I still LOVE HIMYM but I was unsure how to take that. Like I said I think that this kind of thing can definitely (after hearing it over and over) get into the psyche and mess around with body image (for better or worse). Now I was very sheltered about it, there were few half-asian kids I knew growing up, and if there were maybe I didn't recognize them (now its automatic if I even get a faint feeling that they are halfies that I find out) although I suppose there were a few. Even then I remember being really excited about meeting them. But of the maybe one I knew it was the half-but-looks-far-more-asian type. The ones like me that blend in (my younger brother once called it "camouflage" which I thought was really clever) clearly did not flaunt that they had an asian parent. They were full-on white suburbia children lol.Who knows that maybe very important :) but anyway I also thought it was interesting because its in "psychology today" and they are now talking about how mixed race is so much healthier then other pure races. I feel like just a day ago we "had greater tendency to depression" and other health issues then pures. I don't know, its how fast things change I guess. Just a generation ago we were considered "weird-looking". There was a testimony of a half-japanese lady I got an email from (kinda, was a friend of a friend, my friend emailed her testimony to me) that she had major body issues because guys wouldn't go out with her cause she was exactly that "weird-looking" and now we are the next fashion trend? Body image is so messed up in general in the world that this probably doesn't help, these conflicting messages. Like I said, I was very sheltered from all this for most of my life and now its a continuous journey learning more and more about mixed race history. All very interesting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Really interesting...

I thought this was really interesting because I will be in China next semester (Ireland/Irish heritage this semester, China/Chinese Heritage next! I even made it to CA last summer to reconnect with my only other Asian family in the US - rest in thailand - I'm doing pretty well ;) ) but anyway its on mixed race views in china. I haven't fully read it yet but I plan on it soon. For now I'll just post it here: