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Throughout this semester, this blog has taught me some things, while reinforcing other opinions and thoughts that I have had.

The first thing I learned was that a panel was actually held to discuss the multiracial aspect of application forms here in the United States. I did not know that 2000 was the first time that people were able to choose more than one box to identify what ethnicity they are. For the 2010 census, people can for the first time check a box outside the constraints of the six or so boxes one can choose.

Going off of that, I learned about Kip Fulbeck’s book Part Asian, 100% Hapa. This book was a chance for people to say what they are, not having to chose a box. Fulbeck talked about how he did not feel as if checking a box said who he actually was, and that is where his book came into play. I love this idea, because not only does it give people a chance to say what ethnicity they are, but they can also say what they are, ie a mother, father, brother, sister, etc.

Now to the things I knew but were reinforced…

I knew that people of bi/multiracial ethnicity face as much discrimination and racism as women and minorities. It does not matter if you are half white, what matters to America is the color of the skin on the outside, and whether or not the “blood” on the inside is 100% white. It is funny to me how Americans conveniently forget that our country was “founded” by immigrants who mixed with Native Americans and other European peoples, and that no one in America who is white is completely of one ethnicity.

I also knew that bi/multiracial people face an identity crisis, as well as an acceptance crisis. What do we identify as? Will we be accepted? There is a constant struggle between biracial people as to what ethnicity to identify as. One may identify too much with one more than the other, thus not being accepted by the latter. However, no matter how much one identifies with the former, more often than not they still will not be accepted by the former. The only place where biracial people seem to be accepted is within a circle of other biracials.

I plan to keep up on the issues surrounding biracial and multiracial people. Hopefully, in my lifetime, we will be able to see change. But, looking at the history of this country, I am looking at an empty hope.

B Lee and Homies

This dude is talking about how he is ethnically confused, or as he says, insecure about his ethnicity. He is Hispanic and Italian.

He says he does not identify as white and people do not identify him as white due to his physical characteristics being more Hispanic than white, yet he says that he feels white. However, he says that he does not feel like he fits with white or Hispanic people. As he puts it, he feels like he is in Limbo.

What he is saying is something you hear from almost every biracial. Usually, a person will identify with one ethnicity more than the other, but something he did not get to say (I assume because the camera ran out of battery) is that no matter what, the biggest issue facing biracial people is the fact that we will not be accepted fully by whatever ethnicity’s we identify with.

One part that struck me is the comments left by some people who viewed his video. There were mostly people who sympathized with him due to their own mixed racialtiy. However, there were some comments that left me thinking America is stuck in the Jim Crow era.

Take for instance a comment left by user Siclos:

“Multiraciality damages racial diversity. The end result of mixing isn’t a “rainbow”, but a planet with a single race. The diversity experienced while the colors swirl and blend is just a momentary anomaly in the infinity´╗┐ of time. I like diversity and wouldn’t want the planet to be all white, but I certainly don’t want the white race to be destroyed by uncontrolled immigration that is always from non-white countries into currently white ones. Will whites get a reservation or just be killed off?”

Here we see the user trying to justify that they are not racist by saying they like diversity, but we also see where the user feels as if whites are supreme to everyone else by asking if whites will get a reservation or be killed off.

We have definitely taken maybe half a step forward since 1965, and that is all. 43 years later, we still see and hear and feel the same things that minorities went through from Emancipation to 1965.

Hopefully, this dude in the video comes to identify himself as HIMSELF, and not be so worried about identifying with an ethnicity or anything.

This video is two separate interviews with two different biracial students, both being asked the same questions.

One is a Mexi-Pino (Mexican and Filipino) female, and one is a Filipino and Native Hawaiian male.

They are asked a series of questions that deal with their biracial backgrounds and their experiences as a biracial person.

The first asks what impact the cultures have had on their lives. Aubrey says that she identified with her Mexican culture more because she saw her Mexican family a lot more than she did her Filipino family. She does say that through getting older, she has come to appreciate both cultures a great deal and their histories. Raymond, whose parents divorced when he was a baby, grew up with his Filipino mom, therefore identifying with his Filipino side.

The second question was how is their relationship with their parents. But the third question is what drew my ire.

The question asked if being biracial affects the relationship with the outside world. Both Aubrey and Raymond said no because neither of them have ever faced any discrimination or racism. When I heard that I laughed, but not because it was funny, but because it was sad. These two may not think they have faced discrimination or racism, but that is because we live in this so-called “color-blind” society. Just from being biracial and having darker skin they have faced it but they themselves are ignorant and blind to the fact. Sure, it is not overt racism or discrimination, but it is not difficult to see that you are treated differently because you are darker and a biracial.

I appreciate these two for putting their voice and opinion on record. But for them to not be able to see everything that is going on just blows me away. Maybe they will begin to see everything a little clearer as time goes on. At least, for their sake, I hope they do.

This video, posted by the New York Times youtube page, explores the experience of biracial people.

The video asks each person to identify themselves as what race they are. We go from black and white to black, white, and Native American to Arab and Filipino to Korean and white. Some of the people talk about how people seem to be apprehensive about asking them what race they are, and how people just assume.

Another part of the video explored the argument that mixing races dilutes culture and customs. This is one big argument you hear from white supremacists, who think mixing white with anything taints white people. Also said is how people think that being biracial means you do not have as strong values as your parents did.

Later, they talk about how biracial people do not fit into any “box” and how that seems to be a reason people hold resentment towards biracials.

To me, the resentment towards biracial is more of the fact that we are not white in this white dominated country. Even if we are half white, for some reason, most biracials tend to hold features of their non-white side more prominently than their white side. Nearly every biracial I know who has white in them look nothing like a white person. I myself do not look white. Most people tell me that I look Filipino or Mexican, but I am Korean! Weird huh?

I like the fact that there are support groups, such as the one shown in the video, to bring biracial people together to share their experinces. It is difficult trying to tell people who are not biracial people the experiences that I have gone through as a biracial person because my experiences as a biracial person are different from those who are white or a minority, so these groups are very nice to have.

Kip Fulbeck is a half Chinese and half white author of Part Asian, 100% Hapa. His book has given hapa (part Asian or Pacific Islander descent) people a chance to show themselves and answer the question of “what are you?” in their words.

This nearly 10 minute collage of video shows Fulbeck being interviewed on CNN, MTV News, and him giving a short presentation. He explains that his family was all Chinese except him being the only hapa. He also said that he gets mistaken for Filipino, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and others. He also received unlikely help for his book from adult film star Asia Carrera, POD lead singer Sonny Sandoval, and the foreword written by Sean Lennon. In the last part of the video, he adamantly sates that he wants to live in a world with no boxes (in reference to race on applications). People in the MTV News segment talk of how they hate being asked the question “what are you?” and how they would respond by saying things like “I’m from Canada” and they would get a response like “No, what ARE you?”

Being hapa haole myself (part Asian and white), I appreciate what Fulbeck is doing. As I said in an earlier post, as a multiracial person, we could not state that until the 2000 census. Even now, being hapa is difficult to find an actual identity, which is part of what Fulbeck is trying to do. By having everyone state what they are, it gives people a chance to create an identity. As Fulbeck has experienced, I also get mistaken for other ethnicities, particularly Filipino and Mexican. I have even had a Filipino girl I know refuse to believe I was Korean and not Filipino due to “my nose being Filipino.” If I were chosen to be in the book, my sheet of paper would have stated that “I am a Korean male; I am not Mexican, I am not Filipino, I am not good at math or science, I am not good with computers, I can’t dance. I am Bruce Lee Hazelwood.”

A blog I found related to my issue is this blog called My Sky. The blog deals with multiracial family life and gives tips to parents on how to talk to their children about their multiracial background. The blog also talks about the system and privilege, but on how it impacts children.

The most recent post gives parents ideas on how to talk to their children. It even provides a “Multiracial Sky Glossary” to help parents choose their words and phrases. The post also shows books that parents can get their children to deal with this issue, as well as books parents can get for themselves (two, of which, I have read). This post is very constructive, especailly to those parents who have young children. Providing a glossary helps immensely, and providing books for children and the parents helps in the development of the thoughts of the children as they grow up.

In another entry titled What Are You?, Sky, the author, talks of the dreaded yet common question of what are you? She says that when people of color ask her the question, she lets her guard down a little, but when a parent of color asks her, her guard is pretty much gone. She recalls an experience when she had her two adopted daughters with her, and other parents were also there with her. They asked “what is she?” is regards to one of her daughters, Jaja. Sky replied with she is half black and half white. She then talks about how parents of color in cities with high populations of people of color seem to know that children are multiracial, but that white parents do not.

The question of what are you is something that people of color do not like to hear. We do not go up to white people and ask them what they are. We do not ask them “are you Italian or German or Dutch?” So why do white people feel it is ok to ask people of color this question? Would white people not be annoyed if we kept asking them what they were, although they are clearly white? I know how the author feels, although I do not have children. The question annoys me to no end and I just feel as if it is not acceptable. Rather, maybe one should ask “what is your background?” or “what ethnicity are you?” not what are you..that sounds like you are asking someone if they are even human.

Many of you may know Hines Ward as the Pro Bowl, Super Bowl MVP Wide Receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many of you may also know him as one of the most physical players in the NFL. Ever since winning the Super Bowl with the Steelers, the general populous knows that Ward is half black and half Korean. However, what has not been talked about is Ward’s foundation and the work he is doing in South Korea.

The Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation is truly a landmark foundation in South Korea, where my mother is from. Because I am half Korean and understand the way the Korean society views biracial children, Ward’s foundation hits home with me. In Korea, the view has always been that a homogeneous society is the best. Biracial children and couples have always been looked down upon, scorned, ignored. Many of my friends in high school who were Korean told me that their parents said that they HAVE to marry someone who is Korean. Even in this day and age, this shows the degree to which homogeneity is viewed in Korea.

The thing for me that was fortunate is my family did not shun my mother. They accepted me and when I visit Korea, they treat me like one of their own. Ward has said he was ashamed of his biracial background due to ridicule he received as a child. Said Ward in an article from 2006 in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, “I was black, but I wasn’t black. I was Korean, but I wasn’t Korean.” (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_483924.html) However, he remembered what his mother had always told him and that was “Never forget where you came from.”

With Ward, his visit to Korea after winning the Super Bowl opened his eyes to the plight of biracial children in Korea. “There is nothing I can do about the past. The future is what it is really all about,” said Ward. His foundation raises money to help biracial children and families in Korea and also bring the situation to light to the Korean public. His success gives hope to those of biracial Korean descent, and his example impacts the lives of those he helps. Hines Ward, thank you bringing this situation to light, thank you for using your resources to help us, and thank you for embracing your Korean background.

http://www.browndailyherald.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticlePrinterFriendly&uStory_id=976d5c21-e8de-430f-a257-62c7a2def46d

In this article from The Brown Daily Herald, a panel was held and headed by noted scholar Evelyn Hu-DehartBarack Obama. that discussed the challenges facing multiracial people and, particularly,

In the case of Obama, Kimberly McClain DaCosta, a professor at Harvard, said that in France, Obama is seen as a mixed-race candidate. Oscar Brookins, an associate professor of economics at Northeastern University, said that blacks and whites both do not see Obama as one amongst them. This statement shows the complexity of being a multiracial person in the United States. In the case of being black and white, you are too black to be accepted as white but too white to be accepted as black. For myself, being Korean and white, I am too Asian to be accepted by the whites, yet since I am only half Korean, many full Koreans do not accept me fully as well.

The latter part of the article talked of how the panel discussed how multiracial people are seen in the national census. Hu-Dehart said that in 2000, people had the choice of choosing more than one race for the first time. In 2010, Hu-Dehart said that for the first time, people will be able to identify themselves as outside the constraints of categories offered in the past. However, not everyone at the panel thought that this was a major step. Kohei Ishihara, a multiracial activist, said he was stuck when he had to choose a box. Others said that the issue of multiracial identity could not be solved so simply by making changes to government forms.

I guess it can be seen as a small victory that in the next census, multiracial people can now check a box outside of what was in the past. This shows that at least the government has taken notice. However, I also agree that a change to governmental forms will not do much to progress the issue of multiracial identity. More panels like the one at Brown need to happen, and the issue will hopefully come to the national perspective if Obama is elected as President.

…REALLY? Wow, I would never have guessed that. Really now, I figured multiracial people are accepted by everybody, which means there should be no problems!

No seriously though, for a study to have to be done for this to be acknowledged is downright absurd. The study, “Black + White = Black,” showed respondents pictures of blacks and whites, with some of the pictures of the blacks accompanied by something indicating multiracial descent. According to the research, respondents were more likely to consider multiracial people as black than they did for the racially ambiguous people.

As a person of multiracial descent, I have known for such a long time that we face discrimination. I did not need a study to tell me that we are categorically excluded to a certain racial category even though we are a part of multiple categories. When people see me, they do not see me as part white or even white at all; I am seen with brown skin, therefore I am either Mexican or Asian.

Also, as I have posted before, as a person of multiracial descent, we are even discriminated against within our own racial category. In my post about Hines Ward and his foundation, I discussed how the Korean society looks down upon any child or couple that is not 100 percent Korean. Though this is dissipating a little bit as time goes on, the fact is still that multiracial children in Korea are still scorned. Here in America, we are automatically categorized by what we appear to be on the outside, but not what we are on the inside.

The future does not look as if anything will change soon, at least not in my lifetime, in regards to the discrimination that multiracial people face. The fact is that everyone who is not 100 percent white, or not 100 percent of their own ethnic background, will be discriminated against, and all we can do is work towards making things as equal as possible.

…is a multiracial golfer by the name of Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. Not only is Tiger Woods the highest paid athlete, he is the most recognizable and respected athlete in any sport.

Woods refers to himself as Cablinasian, deriving from his Caucasian, black, (American) Indian, and Asian backgrounds. For someone who the media has always portrayed as black, it was refreshing to hear him embrace his entire multiracial background.

The meteoric rise of Tiger Woods began as a child, when his father took him on to The Mike Douglas Show, where he putted against the late, great Bob Hope. Ever since then, he was called the next child prodigy and lived up to the billing.

Tiger Woods won the Junior World Championships six times, four straight from 1988-1991. At the age of 15, he became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in 1991, and became the first multiple winner when he defended that same title the year after. He then went on to to defend his title again, thus winning three straight years and is still the only multiple time winner of the event.

As soon as Tiger Woods turned pro in 1996, he signed a $40 million endorsement deal with Nike and another $20 million endorsement deal with golf brand Titlist. In 1997, Woods became the youngest ever to win the “Green Jacket” by winning The Masters by a record twelve strokes. After only 42 weeks as a pro, he rose to the number one spot in the Official Golf World Rankings, the quickest ascent in history. He was also named PGA Player of the Year, the only player to be named POY the year after his rookie campaign.

In 1999, at the age of 24, Woods became the youngest golfer to achieve the career Grand Slam, winning the four major tournaments: The Masters, The British Open, The U.S. Open, and The PGA Championship. In 2001, Woods became the first golfer to hold all four major titles at once, a feat that is now named after him, “The Tiger Slam.”

This past June at The U.S. Open, Tiger Woods returned from surgery to somehow go on and beat Rocco Mediate on the first playoff hole. Two days later, Woods revealed that he had been playing with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a double stress fracture in his left tibia. For anyone who knows how much a golfer needs his legs to swing and putt, this feat has been hailed as one of the greatest feats ever. For a right-hander, like Woods, his front leg is his left leg, which handles most of the pressure from his back-swing to his follow-through. He had reconstructive surgery and the typical time table for a return is six months to one year.

Tiger Woods has become the face of the sports world. He has achieved so much, yet the media and Woods himself have said that until Woods surpasses Jack Nicklaus’s career major number of 18. Woods is currently at 14, and barring more injury, Woods should surpass that number and get to at least 20. Woods has also been name the AP Athlete of the Year four times and PGA Player of the Year nine times.

Woods opened the door for multiracial children to pursue their dreams. He became the idol for so many children, multiracial or not, and is still going. The sky is the limit for Woods, and because of him, many people now see the sky as the limit for themselves as well.