The Super Bowl and Multiracial Trivia
Musician Lenny Kravitz will make an appearance during Super Bowl 2015s halftime show. Kravitz was born to a white father and a black mother. This is what he says about being multiracial:
“My mother taught me: ‘Your father’s White, I’m Black. You are just as much one as the other, but you are Black. In society and life, you are Black.’ She taught me that from day one.”
“You don’t have to deny the White side of you. If you’re mixed…Accept the blessing of having the advantage of two cultures, but understand that you are Black. In this world, if you have one spot of Black blood, you are Black. So get over it.”
We disagree with Lenny. We are not just getting over it. Enjoy the Super Bowl!
A new report from Excelencia in Education, an organization that advocates for higher educational achievement for Latinos, provides a snapshot of enrollment and educational achievement for the fastest-growing population in K-12 public schools
The report, “The Condition of Latinos in Education: 2015 Factbook” pulls data from a number of sources to give a state-level look at Latino K-12 enrollment and shed light on national advances and challenges.
The report dispels the perception that most Latino students are English-language learners. Among students ages 5 to 17, the report found that 84 percent who speak a language other than English at home speak English with no difficulty.
Latinos represent the fast-growing segment of all students in U.S. public schools. In 2011, they represented 24 percent of public school enrollment. Within a decade, they are projected to represent nearly one-third of all U.S. students in K-12 public schools.
Between 2003 and 2013, Latino students, as a group, showed marked improvement on National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and math tests for elementary and high school students. During that same time period, the high school dropout rate for Latino students decreased by nearly half, but remained higher than that of their black and white peers.
The report shows that recent Latino high school graduates enrolled in college at a higher rate than their white and black peers, but were more likely to attend highly racially segregated high schools.
The report also notes that Latino students were the second-largest racial group represented in both special education and gifted and talented programs.
Multiracial marriages now account for 15% of all U.S. marriages.
Genetically Speaking, Americans Really Are a Melting Pot of Diversity
In the outstanding science fiction novel, Lathe of Heaven, racism is solved by turning everyone’s skin color to the same light gray shade. It turns out that if we peel away the skin and pay attention to just the DNA, we might not need this magical solution. At the DNA level, people in the U.S. are more similar than their outward appearance might suggest.
That is the conclusion of a new study that used genetics to trace the ancestry of over 160,000 U.S. customers of 23andMe, a personal genomics company located in Mountain View, CA. The researchers found that most people who self-identified as European-American, Latino or African -American actually had DNA from the one or both of the other groups as well.
For example, people who self-identify as African-American had, on average, 24% European and 0.8% Native American ancestry. And people who self-identify as Latino had, on average, 6.2% African, 18% Native American and 65% European ancestry. Although the numbers were not as large for those who report themselves to be European-American, they still had on average around 0.2% African and 0.2% Native American heritage.
We are all way more similar than our cultural labels might imply.
This doesn’t sound like a lot but if we extrapolate the results with European Americans to the U.S. population, it means that more than 6 million of these folks carry some African ancestry and over 5 million carry some Native American ancestry. We are all way more similar than our cultural labels might imply.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the labels are totally wrong. Another finding is that self-reporting lined up very well with the majority of people’s ancestry. For example, if you are mostly of African ancestry, odds are you have self-identified as such.
This last result does not change the fact that scientists can see in people’s DNA there has been a whole lot of mixing since Europeans and Africans came to the U.S. The U.S. really has been and still is a great melting pot.
Moms Not Dads
Scientists are able to tease out how much of a certain ancestry came from mom’s side of the family and how much from dad’s by comparing a person’s X chromosome with his or her other chromosomes. Remember, men have an X and a Y chromosome and women have two X’s.
By doing such an analysis, the scientists in this study concluded that the non-European ancestry tended to come more from mom’s side of the family. For example, European-Americans might have ten times as many female Native American ancestors as male ones. And African-Americans have four times as many.
There are a couple of possible explanations for this. One obvious one is exploitation. European men may have taken advantage of Native American women meaning that Native American ancestry would flow in from the maternal side of the family.
Another possible explanation has to do with there being more men than women on the frontier. In that situation, many of these men needed to turn to Native American women if they wanted a partner. We can see the results of their successful searches in modern DNA.
As companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA amass more and more genomes in their database, they will be able to parse out everyone’s genomes more and more precisely. For example, in this study the researchers were able to see that the European part of the ancestry of Latinos tended to come from Spain and Portugal as we might expect.
They were also able to see that most of the mixing we see in the U.S. population happened over the last 500 years or so. They are not seeing some ancient mixing of African and European populations back in the Old World. No, they are seeing the results of everyone coming together in the New World.
There is lots more in this study too that you can peruse at your leisure (it is open access which means anyone can read it.) And these sorts of studies are just a start. I can’t wait to learn even more about our ancestry in the future.
No More Bullying: Biracial, multiracial and ethnic minority kids more likely to be bullied
Bullying is a form of aggression used to gain power, and targeting peers based on racial differences is another misuse of power. Biracial and multiracial youth are more likely to be bullied than youth who identify with a single race, according to the National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment. Twice as many ethnic minority youth in elementary school report being bullied because of their race.
Types of bullying
There are three main types of bullying, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
1. Physical (hitting, kicking, tripping/pushing, spitting, taking/breaking belongings, making rude or mean hand gestures)
2. Verbal (name-calling, teasing, taunting, inappropriate sexual comments, threatening to cause harm)
3. Social/Relational (spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public, purposeful exclusion, telling others not to be friends with someone)
What can parents do?
Talk to the principals, teachers and school counselors about ways to prevent and intervene with racially prejudiced bullying in classrooms by peers. Does your child’s school celebrate cultural diversity? Does the preschool or kindergarten class have toys and books that represent all ethnic groups?
It is important for parents to discuss the challenges that biracial and multiracial children may experience at school. Give them positive answers to the questions they may be asked by other students; “What are you?” or “Why is your skin different from mine?”
Research indicates that biracial and multiracial kids that are allowed to embrace and celebrate all aspects of their heritage instead of being forced to choose a single-race identity “have the best chance of success.” Talk to your children about successful Americans of mixed races: President Obama; actors such as Halle Berry and Keanu Reeves; the athletes Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter; and news anchors Soledad O-Brien and Ann Curry.
Books for children
Mixed Me: A Tale of a Girl Who Is Both Black and White
by Tiffany Catledge and Big Hair, Don’t Care
by Crystal Swain-Bates.
Dolls for children
to find biracial and Hispanic dolls.
to find multicultural dolls.
When Kids Face Racism at School
is a national adoption magazine with information for caregivers regarding racial bullying experienced by adopted children. Visit www.adoptivefamilies.com
for key research findings about bullying.
Stop Bullying Now!
is a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
To listen to an episode of “Mixed Race Radio” with a discussion on biracial bullying and when children are bullied due to skin color, hair texture, eye color or accents, click here
and type in biracial bullying.
Is That Your Child?: Mothers Talk about Rearing Biracial Children
is a book by Marion Kilson and Florence Ladd. They both are parents of biracial children.
Dr. Heather Harrison writes a blog about her biracial son at www.themommypsychologist.com
Talking to Our Children about Racism & Diversity
is a booklet written to help parents and children (between 5 and 8 years old) talk together about diversity and racism. It includes examples of children’s questions and some suggestions for answering them. Click here
If your child is experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression along with self-rejection due to bullying based on race, please contact a child therapist.
RACIAL IDENTITY STUDY
You are being invited to participate in a research study. If you have one biological parent who identifies as White/Caucasian American and one biological parent who identifies as Black/African American, you qualify to participate in a research study exploring the relationship between one’s racial identity and one’s self/body esteem. If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete a short demographics questionnaire, participate in one in-depth phone interview, and complete a follow up questionnaire. Your involvement in the study is expected to last about 2 hours. Some of the risks associated with the study include potential discomfort from recalling personal experiences dealing with race. The questions may also bring up negative feelings related your racial identity, self-esteem, or body-esteem. However, the questions may also help you become more aware of your personal beliefs regarding your identity, and bring forth positive attitudes you have about yourself. For your time, you will be entered into a drawing to receive a $25 Visa gift card. If you decide to withdraw from the study at any point, you will still be eligible to enter the drawing. Your chances of winning are 1 out of 25. If you have questions about this study, please contact the primary researcher, Dr. Nikol Bowen, PCC, via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click the link below to participate
Ethnic groups wary of proposed 2020 census changes
Civil rights groups warned Monday that a possible change to how the Census Bureau asks about race and
ethnicity in 2020 would end up clouding the picture more than it helps, and could skew the way the government
distributes aid or enforces discrimination laws.
In the last national census taken in 2010, people were asked to identify their race and to report separately if
they were Hispanic. But Census officials are considering lumping those two queries into a single question
that deals with both race and ethnic origin.
Advocacy groups said they feared important information about individuals could be lost with the change.
The current two-question system, for example, allows respondents who identify as “Asian” to check off a box
signifying whether they are Chinese, Japanese, Filipino or a variety of other origins. But the new proposal
would have them check Asian, then offer a spot for them to write in a specific origin if they want —
but they wouldn’t be prompted by check boxes.
If people don’t report their origin, it’s not as useful when it comes to programs such as language assistance
for elections, said Terry Ao Minnis, director of census and voting programs for Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
“The Census Bureau must ensure we do not move backwards,” she told reporters Monday.
“For our community, this means a maximum number of check boxes should be included for
‘Asian Americans’ and the ‘Native Hawaiian\Pacific Islander’ subgroup.”
The 2010 census gave respondents 14 options for ethnicity, as well as a place to write in another ethnic group
with which they identified. Under the two-question set-up, however, respondents only have seven options,
according to the Census website. Each of the options must be written in to indicate the place of origin.
The Census Bureau said a lot of people currently check “Other” when asked their race in a two-question system,
but offering a single question pushes them to answer — suggesting they found a label that
suited their identity, Census officials say.
“Overall, when a Hispanic category is provided as a response option within the combined approach,
some other race becomes one of the smallest response groups, demonstrating that our combined question
is more in line with how Hispanic respondents view themselves,” Nicholas Jones, director of race and ethnic
research and outreach at the Census Bureau, told reporters last month.
On Monday, the Bureau said it is still studying the issue.
The decennial census is politically charged, with interest groups arguing over how the count is done and how
people are categorized. Some conservatives balk at what they say are intrusive questions, while liberal groups
argue the questions need to be targeted to better find out communities’ needs for government help.
Arab-Americans want their own identification option on the next census, saying they currently are classified as white,
leaving no accurate way to count their community.
Samer Khalaf, national president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said that’s a problem
when they need to ask for funding for problems specific to Arab-American communities in the post-9/11 world.
Mr. Khalaf said it’s especially difficult for people from countries like Sudan or the Nubian region of Egypt who
are dark-skinned but come from Middle Eastern countries technically classified as white by the census.
“We cannot be defined by one single color, we have a rainbow of people,” he said. “They’re confused about what
they should indicate. Do they say they are black, or do they say they are white because they technically come from
a country designated as ‘white’ by the census?”
Latinos from Caribbean countries who also identify with an African heritage face a similar problem of not
knowing which box to check, said Rosalind Gold, senior director of policy, research and advocacy for the
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.
Most people who end up checking the “Other” box for ethnicity are of Hispanic heritage, and Ms. Gold said limiting
options for race and ethnicity questions could end up providing less information about these respondents.
“Some are concerned that by eliminating that other category, we are going to lose some kind of information about
Latinos who don’t necessarily see themselves in the standard racial categories,” she said.
Source: Washington Times
Genetic Mutations in White and Black Patients With Lung Cancer
- Journal of Thoracic Oncology
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The reasons for higher incidence and poorer survival rates among black compared to white lung cancer patients have not been defined. We hypothesized that differential incidence of somatic cancer gene mutations may be a contributing factor. Previous genomic studies of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have not adequately represented black patients.
A MALDI-TOF mass-spectrometry approach was used to analyze tumor DNA for 214 coding mutations in 26 cancer genes previously identified in NSCLC. The samples included NSCLC from 335 white patients and 137 black patients. For 299 of these, normal matched DNA was available and analyzed. >RESULTS:: EGFR exon 19 deletions were only detected in female cases, with increased odds for black women compared to white women (odds ratio=3.914, 95% CI: 1.014-15.099, p=0.048). Beyond race, variations in mutation frequencies were seen by histology. DDR2 alterations, previously described as somatic mutations, were identified as constitutional variants.
This study is among the largest comparing somatic mutations in black and white patients. The results point to the molecular diversity of NSCLC and raise new questions as to the importance of inherited alleles. Genomic tumor testing will benefit both populations, although the mutation spectrum appears to vary by sex, race, and histology.
Source: Daily Practice
Below are the abbreviated comments from Project RACE in response to the current Federal Register notice regarding the 2020 Census. The comments were submitted on January 14, 21015. We are awaiting confirmation notification. Staying current with the planning for the 2020 Census and drafting responses to official notices is just one of the things Project RACE does for the multiracial community.
January 14, 2015
Re: Comments on 2015 National Content Test
Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally) respectfully submits the comments below regarding the 2015 Optimizing Self-Response and Census Tests. We are the national advocates for multiracial children and their families. We are often rendered invisible by federal agencies in the discussions and planning for racial and ethnic classifications. We are concerned with ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected in the 2020 Census regarding race and ethnicity.
As you know, the 2000 Census partially accommodated multiracial respondents by allowing us to check more than one racial box. The request by the multiracial community to use the preferred term “multiracial” was denied then and for the 2010 Census. As a result, multiracial respondents who checked more than one race are called “MOOMs” (Check One Or More), “Two or More Race People,” or “In Combination” respondents for purposes of tabulation. Tabulation wording does influence common usage because it is a descriptor of the total numbers.
OMB advised federal agencies to utilize “in combination” in its guidance for federal data on race and ethnicity in December, 2000. However, there has been much confusion about the nomenclature since 1997 when OMB specified, “When the primary focus of a report is on two or more specific identifiable groups in the population, one or more of which is racial or ethnic, it is acceptable to display data for each of the particular groups separately and to describe data relating to the remainder of the population by an appropriate collective description.”
Our requests for utilizing the word “multiracial” on the federal forms has been denied, even though it is important for multiracial children to see a descriptive word for themselves that is correct, respectful, and accurate. We work with many schools, medical facilities, clinical trials, etc. that do use the term “multiracial” on the forms with these directions: If you are multiracial, you may select two or more races. We would like to see testing of this wording on the instructions for the 2020 Census. Census Bureau personnel have indicated that will not happen. We have not been given any reason and our suggestion was not tested.
The instructions for indicating a person’s races are critical to the clarity of the category, which can affect the total numbers of people across all racial classifications. The multiracial population needs assurance that we will not lose numbers based on how the question is asked. “Mark X one or more boxes” proved to be confusing. Our hope is that the testing of “Mark all boxes that apply…note, you may report more than one group” will prove more effective for the multiracial population.
It would be very meaningful to the multiracial population if the appropriate term is at the very least used for tabulation, replacing “in combination.” Ironically, the Census Bureau often uses the term “multiracial” when discussing this population and in presentations, but not in its “official” data collection. If you seek clarity, the term “alone” should be dropped or changed to “racial,” and the term “in combination,” should be changed to “multiracial.” To give an example, consider that the decisions of the OMB and Census Bureau are often reflected by the media. When we see a racial and ethnic pie chart in a newspaper or Internet story, we want to see the multiracial community represented as “multiracial,” not “combination people” or “other.” Both OMB and Census personnel know perfectly well that proper nomenclature is extremely important when used to describe race and ethnicity, yet it is completely disregarded when it comes to only one population group—multiracial.
Additionally, it is reprehensible that OMB Bulletin No 00-02, Guidance on Aggregation and Allocation of Data on Race for Use in Civil Rights Monitoring and Enforcement (March 9, 2000) sets forth racially insensitive instructions in its EEO Enforcement instructions, whereby a person who checks more than one race is assigned to one of their minority races. Discrimination is often the result of a person designating more than one race, and to be reassigned to one race only defeats the purpose of enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unfortunately, we see cases where multiracial children are bullied because they are multiracial, and they have no protection in that eventuality under the OMB guidelines.
We ask that these issues be revisited in testing for the 2020 Census. Changing “in combination” to “multiracial” would mean government acceptance of a word that is very widely used by non-governmental entities. It would also indicate sensitivity for proper nomenclature that is given to other racial groups, which we have been asking for since 1990. Any consideration that can be given to this demographic group that is rapidly and substantially increasing would be appreciated by the multiracial community.