PROJECT RACE IN MOURNING
The Presidential inauguration is Friday, January 20, 2017. Our country is in trouble in many ways, especially with regard to race and ethnicity. We are not expecting results to be positive for the multiracial community. Signs of minority population repercussions are everywhere, including the harsh attacks between president-elect Donald Trump and Rep. John Lewis D-Ga, longtime civil rights leader.
We will be wearing all black on inauguration day, signifying our feelings of mourning for America and communities of color. If you agree, please join us by wearing all black on Friday. Together we can make our feelings known about the incoming administration. Thank you.
THUMBS DOWN TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
Shame on The New York Times for giving editorial and advertising space to Michael Eric Dyson. He is racist against white people and tries to prove that all white people are members of the white supremacy. Yes, black people can be racist and Dyson proves that. This is not freedom of speech; it is racism loud and clear, but not substantiated. Please think twice before contributing to Dyson or The New York Times in any way. We are.
What will President-Elect Trump do for or against the Multiracial Community?
by Susan Graham
Since November 8th I’ve seen the so called “leaders” in the so called “multiracial community” avoid this question. The majority of them are Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, or something other than Republicans. They are all over the map geographically. They like to call themselves “academics” and give that as a reason to avoid writing real political papers. Now that they have confused what the academics think, they slink back into their tiny university closets and lock the doors.
If you read any of the online community sources like Facebook, Mixed Studies, Swirl. MASC and more, you have a hard time finding anything other than pleas for money, reviews about the “Loving” movie, or pros and cons about President Obama’s personal racial identification. Let me digress for a moments and add my own feelings on this. I would have loved nothing more than for Barack Obama to embrace a multiracial identity, but he just wasn’t feeling it, his reason being what his white mother and black father advised him, how his white grandparents raised him, how politics work best, or any other number of things. Our loss.
We can’t talk about the election without bringing in Hillary Clinton. She never did anything for the multiracial population and trust me, she was asked several times, as was her husband when he was President. So, she didn’t actually cancel out our community, she ignored us, which was worse. The Clintons were so pro-minority that they were clearly in favor of the one-drop rule by default. An office in Harlem and a residential compound in the white area of town. Maybe that makes them think they are some kind of multiracial citizens. And I really do like them!
Speaking of liking people, I believe you can like someone and not have the same political views that they do. Honest. I like a few Republicans because I can pick and choose individuals who I like from groups of people without selecting an entire group.
Let’s look at where things stand for the multiracial community now. Yeah, I’m sharing with the people in the movement who are clueless—you know who you are and so do we. I don’t “report” on what multiracial star is mad at who, stories about families in Zimbabwe, or the history of Thomas Jefferson, so I’ll keep it to policy issues if you know what those are.
OMB, which stands for Office of Management and Budget has a director. His name is Shaun Donovan. He’s never returned our calls, letters, or emails. He would much rather we just didn’t exist. Oh, wait a minute! President Elect Trump has nominated a new OMB Director, along with the new regime. His name isRep. Mick Mulvaney (R.-S.C.). Max Stier wrote in The Hill,
”While OMB has a reputation for being “the agency of no” because of its role protecting the president and the administration’s budget and policy priorities, it can do more to clarify where agency leaders have flexibility to test new approaches, identify areas that are off-limits, provide air cover to test new ideas without fear of reprisals and serve as an incubator for change.”
What might this mean? Actually, your guess is as good as mine with this new president. But wouldn’t it be nice if they did some real housecleaning at the OMB and The Census Bureau?! Can you imagine what life would be like without Nicholas Jones in it? Now that would be a nice indication of smaller government.
By the way, Katherine Wallman at OMB retired January 1st, just in time to make decisions on race and ethnicity issues. She’s the same Wallman who pretty much screwed us over when it came to nomenclature and tabulation of “two or more races” in the 1990s. Could things get better? Nah.
They could actually do away with the Census Bureau if it wouldn’t mean all those lost jobs for Washington demographers and statisticians. But on the other hand, does this government have a real need to know where all the Muslims and Jewish citizens and immigrants live? Maybe, just maybe there will still be a working Congress with some possible roadblocks. Perhaps some checks and balances will work just a bit.
Oh, and one more thing. There is a public hearing this week in Chicago hosted by the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, which is involved in decision making for the multiracial population. Good luck trying to get information on it. If you do, please let us know. After all, we can’t know everything.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Project RACE!
Now you can purchase a stylish and wonderful gift for a special someone in your life, while also supporting Project RACE! We could not be more excited to become a part of the BE BRAVE campaign by offering you chance to order a unique piece of quality jewelry through Bravelets! Order through our page on the Bravelets site, and a percentage of the sale will be donated to Project RACE!
But if you think that’s great, because we think this is such a great message to share with your friends and family, we are able to offer a special 10% off promotional coupon on your order! Just enter the coupon code PROJECTRACE10 during checkout for the additional savings!
Get your BE BRAVE bracelet today and BE PROUD to be multiracial!
As we enter the holiday season, it is only fitting to feature one of the queens of holiday music, Mariah Carey. She moved to Manhattan the day after her high school graduation to pursue her career. Carey is an extremely talented singer, producer, songwriter, and actress. She even currently holds the record for most number one debuts on the Billboard Hot 100. She has sold over 80 million records and won several Grammies! Over the course of her career she has accumulated a net worth of over 500 million dollars.
Mariah is 46 years old now and primarily focused on parenting her two children. However, she is still expanding her career. Mariah Carey’s collaboration with MAC Cosmetics recently released, and has already proved to be a fan favorite. Some may argue that there aren’t many things that this woman can’t do! I personally find these words from her particularly inspiring, “You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am, and I’m just going to be myself.’” May we always remember to believe in our true, authentic selves and who we are becoming! Happy Holidays!
Lexi Brock, Project RACE Teens President
Photo courtesy of popbuzz
Lynda Carter is best known to millions of fans for her role as Wonder Woman in the 1970’s television series. Carter is an actress, singer, song writer, and Miss World America 1972. She has been in many Maybelline and Lens Express commercials. Her father had English, German, and Scots-Irish ancestry, and her mother was of Mexican-Spanish descent. Lynda stated “I grew up in a house filled with music. My mother, who is of Mexican Spanish descent used to sing to my English Irish father, and between the two of them I was introduced to a diverse array of music.” Lynda is an advocate and supporter of Susan G. Colman for the cure
, pro choice rights for women, and legal equality for the LGBT community.
Makensie Shay McDaniel
Project RACE Teens President
The leadership team and board of Project RACE are so thankful for all our members, supporters, donors and allies worldwide, inside and outside of the multiracial community. We are grateful for those who advocate for the ever-growing international population of multiracial people to be able to identify as they wish, to be accurately represented and accounted for in critical areas such as medical and educational data, and to REFUSE TO BE INVISIBLE!
Happy Thanksgiving from Project RACE
Most of the world was expecting November 8, 2016 to mark the election of the first female president of the United States. It did not. Many believe, however, that it was the day when America met the woman who could “shatter that glass ceiling”… perhaps as early as 2020.
Kamala Harris is California’s new Junior United States Senator-Elect. Harris is both the second black woman and the first Indian-American ever elected to the Senate. Yes, she is multiracial, the daughter of an Indian-American Hindu mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a breast cancer specialist, who immigrated from India, and a Jamaican-American father, Donald Harris, a Stanford University professor. Before this accomplishment, Harris was the first woman, the first African-American, the first Indian-American and the first Asian-American to become California’s Attorney General.
“My mother had a saying ― ‘you may be the first to do many things, make sure you aren’t the last,’” Harris told CQ Roll Call in June. “We need to work to ensure the leaders reflect the people they are supposed to represent, and until we achieve that full representation, I think we should understand we are falling short of the ideals of this country.”
People have compared Harris to President Obama, who himself is a Kamala Harris fan and endorsed her senate campaign, and many leading Democrats believe she could one day occupy the Oval Office. As Attorney General she has had the opportunity to advocate for the issues that are important to her. She has led on Black Lives Matter, rehabilitating first-time drug dealers, internet privacy issues. Following her election as senator, she vowed to protect immigrants from the policies of Trump.
“It is the very nature of this fight for civil rights and justice and equality that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. So we must be vigilant,” Harris said. “Do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are.”
– Karson Baldwin, President Project RACE Kids
Hundreds of Canadians are waiting for stem-cell transplants, but only half of them will find a donor, according to Canadian Blood Services. For multiracial patients, the chances of finding a match are infinitely smaller. As Vancouver filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns discovers in his new documentary Mixed Match, it is akin to finding a needle in a haystack or winning the lottery.
Stem cells, which are typically collected from blood or bone marrow, are cells that can develop into other types of blood cells, including the white blood cells that make up one’s immune system. For those with blood disorders and cancers, such as leukemia, a stem-cell transplant can be life-saving.
For Mixed Match, which is showing at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival on Nov. 15, Chiba Stearns spent six years filming multiracial recipients, donors and families who’ve searched the world over for a match. The Globe spoke with Chiba Stearns about why patients’ chances of survival are linked to their lineage.
Why is it so hard for people of mixed race to find suitable donors?
A lot of people think of it as blood. You know, like, I have type O-negative blood. But this has to do with your genetic background, what you would call a “genetic twin.” Basically, when you’re trying to find your genetic twin, a lot of times, it’s someone who has similar ancestry, so someone who comes from the same place you came from because that would mean your immune systems would be very similar.
So, say, in Japan, which is a very homogeneous country, they have a very small pool of people in their registry, but you can still find a match most of the time. What happens when we start mixing is our genetics get a little more complex.
What happens when you receive a transplant from someone who isn’t a perfect match?
You’re taking a chance because people can develop what’s called graft-versus-host disease, which is when the body attacks it because you’re introducing a foreign substance. There are drugs that will help suppress that, but chances are that’s the next battle after, say, you’re rid of cancer. You need to hope the immune system you’ve received, just like any kind of organ, your body doesn’t reject.
Why do some people object to recruiting donors by specific ethnic groups?
When it comes to race and ethnicity, the idea of filling out the box and categories can be a little challenging to some people because maybe they don’t want to be labelled or put in boxes.
But at the same time, this is how we categorize people because we need to know, if I am part Japanese and part European, where do we need to start looking? Do we look in Japan’s registries? Do we look overseas?
And sometimes these categories may not be as accurate as people think because it’s self-identified race and identity. We don’t always know. Sometimes it opens up skeletons in the closet, like people may not have realized their great-grandma was Korean, for example, and nobody talked about that.
The idea of race in medicine is sometimes controversial because there have been drugs targeted specifically to African-Americans. Or when people say cystic fibrosis is mainly a “white people” disease, or certain types of diseases are more common in certain races, I think that’s when you get racial scholars coming up in arms because it’s dividing people by race.
It gets complicated, though. As you showed in your documentary, someone with Latino heritage might end up being a good match for someone who’s Asian.
This is why it’s tricky because we often say, if you’re Chinese, you need to find another Chinese donor. But there are rare cases, where, let’s say, an African-American person has donated to someone who’s Caucasian. It may not be a perfect match, and that’s probably what’s happening: These probably aren’t perfect matches.
That’s why I think we always encourage anybody and everyone to sign up. And because registries ask for self-identified race, sometimes you just don’t know whether there’s some kind of mixing in one’s heritage.
You spent some time with donors as well as recipients. What did you learn about what it’s like to give?
Alexandria Taylor, who’s in the film, was really keen on wanting to donate, which for us was kind of shocking because it’s a procedure, and she actually went through the whole bone-marrow harvest, rather than peripheral blood stem-cell collection, which is as easy as giving blood. I think it’s scary for a lot of people. But the whole time, she was so positive and excited to do it. She would do it again, as many times as she could. I think when you have someone who’s positive and goes through a positive experience with this, people feel more at ease and it becomes less scary.
In terms of what we learned from donors, you’ve given your life to someone but this person now carries your genetics. Part of you is in them. You’re going to feel this sense of connection to them. So when these donors are allowed to actually reach out and meet their recipients, there’s this really huge life-long bond that happens. They become family almost.
How might babies’ cord blood offer an alternative solution?
After children are born, you have this placenta and this umbilical cord that are filled with this life-rich cord blood that basically is medical waste. But you can harvest stem cells out of there and bank them.
Because it’s cord blood, there might be less chance of graft-versus-host disease because it’s basically brand new, so it has a chance to develop into your body. At the same time, some doctors are still a little bit on the fence about it right now. Some doctors really champion it, while others are like, “no, we don’t want to use it.” So I think it’s up to the patient to decide. If you don’t have any options, and cord blood is your only option, are you going to take that risk?
Like anything in medicine, it takes some time for the true tests to reveal themselves. But it gives hope where there wasn’t before.
What do you hope audiences will take away from this film?
At the end of the day, we want a film that’s inspiring and at the same time that educates. We’ve really enjoyed hearing people’s reactions after that they feel inspired, they feel like they want to help in any way that they can.
Some people have not even seen the film, but they saw the trailer years ago and signed up for the registry. And they’ve let us know they’ve since been called to donate. If one person is saved, then the six years it took to make this film will have been completely worth it.