Jamelle digs into the Times story on the growing numbers of young people who are self-identifying as “mixed race.”
The great majority of intermarriages take place between Hispanics, Asians, and whites. If there is a great population of multiracial people, it’s almost certain that they will be some combination of Hispanic and white, or Asian and white. Undoubtedly, some of these people will “become” white in our racial discourse. To paraphrase myself, by 2050 or so, we’ll have a large population of white people with Latino or Asian last names, and a cultural understanding similar to the descendants of ethnic European immigrants.
To which Ta-Nehisi Coates adds:
This is a depressing perspective. But it’s not only the likely truth about our future, it’s the truth about our past. The first thing to understand is that race, as we know it, is an invention and a re-invention. You need not go back but a century to see people referring to the “Irish Race” or the“Italian Race.” or the “Hebrew Race.” Indeed, by the standards of the 19th century racialism, today’s “white people” are an unholy, mongrel mix. …Well-meaning neophytes often suggest that if people of different “races” screwed each other, we’d all look the same, and our problems would disappear. Unfortunately, such magical thinking underestimates the abiding complexity of human thought.In fact people of different “races,” have been screwing for over two millenia. Our response–over the past 500 years–has been to invent more races.
To which Channing Kennedy responds:
Looking at these non-white communities is illuminating, because they’re kept “out” of whiteness by many of the same factors that keep black communities poor. In the comments of Ta-Nehisi’s post, he and Jamelle discuss the one-generation grace period that African immigrants experience before their kids are just black; it seems possible, in that same white-nonwhite frame, that children and grandchildren of Chinatown Asian immigrants actually get a bump toward whiteness via the same Americanizing process. But all the memorized Ke$ha lyrics in the world don’t stop cyclical economic, health, and housing disparities, especially in communities with a constant influx of new first-generation immigrants. When we’re talking intermarriage rates, we’re talking community integration, and systemic perpetual poverty is our post-racial society’s most powerful segregator. And thus, perhaps, it’s the real determiner of whiteness.
A grand jury dropped the theft charges against Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Akron, OH, woman who was convicted of felony charges for sending her children to a safer, wealthier school district nearby by using her father’s address as her children’s residence. She still faces charges of tampering with records.
Vanity Fair could only find one person two people of color (Rashida Jones and Anthony Mackie) for the cover of its Hollywood issue. Dodai Stewart: “As before, when it comes to under-representing minorities, it’s tough to say whether Vanity Fair is to blame — or Hollywood and the film industry itself.”
Ta-Nehisi dives into Pride and Prejudice, and comes away smitten with Austen’s language. “This has nothing to do with “ladyhood,” but one of the things I’ve loved about my current pursuit is seeing all the forgotten ways English can be used. You just don’t hear people described as being of “mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper” anymore. A few chapters later Austen describes a character who’s reading–”With a book, he was regardless of time.” There’s something beautiful in that which I’m struggling to name.”
Adam Smith, DC blogger? “He’s a strange man. I mean, he had a reputation for being rather awkward … He wasn’t a good conversationalist. You know, he would sit down and actually switch off … then suddenly he would wake up and go into a great monologue. … He’s an uneasy person.”
Illinois moves ahead with same-sex unions; Alpha Phi Alpha goes to bat for their undocumented fraternity brother; Should NYC install sliding doors on subway platforms to keep people from falling on the tracks?; Idris Elba, Tyler Perry, whatever, yo: same difference.