25,000 Hits for Multiracial Advocacy Blog!

25,000 Hits! THANK YOU!
I would like to thank every one of you who takes the time to read and comment on our Project RACE blog. We appreciate your interest in the multiracial advocacy and the work our Project RACE volunteers do every day!
Susan Graham

Executive Director  

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Thumbs up to Cheerios!

The vice president of marketing for Cheerios released a statement defending the ad after the backlash.

‘Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all,’ Camille Gibson said in the statement.
Source: MailOnline/DailyMail

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Cheerios Ad

This Is The Mixed-Race Cheerios Ad All The Idiots Are Complaining About

Screen shot 2013 05 30 at 4.05.34 PM

A new commercial for Cheerios featuring a mixed-race family has become a target for idiots on the internet.

The anodyne spot features a Caucasian mother, an African-American father and their biracial daughter, but contains no overt messaging, politically correct or otherwise (except that Cheerios are good for you).

Nonetheless, Adweek noted the spot had been propelled onto the front page of Reddit, where it received a plethora of racists remarks. Concreteloop.com noted a YouTube commentator who allegedly called the spot an “abomination.”

Comments under the video have since been disabled — a sure sign they were overwhelmingly negative.

It’s 2013, but apparently some parts of America are still not ready to see miscegenation when it comes to cereal.


Source: Business Insider/Judith Grey

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/multi-racial-cheerios-ad-2013-5#ixzz2UsJzRBKh

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Race and Writers

White Writer, Black Characters: Bad Idea?

Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Alison Janney and Kathryn Stockett from the movie The Help (AFP/Getty Images)
“I’m a well-known writer of women’s fiction. I want to incorporate black characters into my books. How does a white woman write black women correctly? For example, is it disrespectful to have a black woman have a bit of a thing for white men? What’s the best way to introduce a black female character in a book? Do I write something like, ‘Despite being African American, Carissa found blond men attractive’? Or something like, ‘Right or wrong, Carissa loved white boys and had picked one out to take home with her’?

“There’s a sad dearth of people of color in romantic fiction. I doubt it’s racism. I think it’s mainly because so many white writers, like me, simply don’t know how to get it right, so we stay in our comfort zone. Any advice?” –Too White to Write?

If, by saying you want to write black women “correctly,” you mean “in a way that’s guaranteed not to inspire any complaints, constructive critiques or outright criticism,” you should probably just stick to your genre’s safely monochromatic cast of characters.

After all, views on depictions of black women in media are as diverse as their audiences. We aren’t all alike, and our assessments of whether your book should be awarded a Nobel Prize or used for kindling won’t be, either.

Of course, you’re right to anticipate heightened sensitivity surrounding the characters you’re contemplating, and that’s with good reason. Quick background reading assignment: Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman. In it, author Lakesia Johnson chronicles how figures from Sojourner Truth to Gabby Douglas have had to counteract media-fueled negative stereotypes thrust upon them (angry, emasculating, Mammy and sex object, to name a few).

You’re probably familiar with those tropes, and with reactions to works like Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, the novel-turned-blockbuster film about African-American maids working in Mississippi in the 1960s.

“Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers,” the Association of Black Women Historians said in a scathing statement in response to the film, adding that it “makes light of black women’s fears and vulnerabilities turning them into moments of comic relief.”

To be fair, black writers don’t get a pass here, either. The ABC series Scandal, brought to us by Shonda Rhimes (and currently causing between-seasons withdrawal symptoms among plenty of African-American viewers), has been accused of “send[ing] the message through its high-powered protagonist that black women don’t deserve loving and healthy relationships,” and “continuing perpetuation of the stereotype of a black woman whose libido and sexual urges are so pronounced that even with an education and a great job, and all these other things, she can’t control herself.”

And there’s not even room to get into all the ubiquitous teardowns of the work of Tyler Perry. As the Washington Post’s Vanessa Williams put it very diplomatically, his “films are often criticized for their cartoonish depiction of African-American life and, especially, his depiction of black women as either abused, struggling beings who are rescued by good men or ambitious shrews who are brought low by bad men.” Plenty of others take it a step further and call his portrayals flat-out “dangerous.”

Clearly, there’s no box to check and no source of permission that will guarantee your work doesn’t offend a single reader. But does that mean you should abandon your interest in making black women your protagonists and even — gasp — protagonists who are attracted to white men? (I can assure you, that’s probably not as controversial as you think it is, Scandal being one example.)

No way, says Marita Golden, author of a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction, including Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About Race. “White people, because of the emotional legacy as well as the historical and political legacy of racism, often feel that they do not have access to the black soul and the black spirit,” she told me, “but I think writers have the right to write about anything.” In fact, she said, “I really feel that white people should write about black characters.”

But the key is that “comfort zone” you mention. You have to get there well before you put pen to paper.

The best way for you to do that, said Golden, is to “stop saying to yourself, ‘I’m writing about a black woman.’ Just write about a woman.”

Easier said than done, surely. That’s the reason “write what you know” is a literary cliché. And also the reason that Girls creator Lena Dunham decided to skip including women of color in her show altogether (she stopped short of renaming the show White Girls as some have recommended), telling NPR in 2012 that “there has to be specificity to that experience [that] I wasn’t able to speak to.”

So here’s a start. Develop relationships that will allow you to become confident that can begin to speak to that experience, because you know African-American women as individuals. “Usually, white people who write meaningful books with black characters, they do have black people in their lives who they know deeply and respect,” said Golden. To be clear, that’s “as friends, not as research. Serious, meaningful, complete friendships with black people.”

This is your first step toward allowing your new characters to emerge more naturally. Not as science projects, in which you’re cautiously throwing in different ingredients and trying to predict the public reaction. And not through some sort of literary quota system. But by keeping their individual dilemmas, not demographics, in the front of your mind as their stories evolve. By seeing them as humans as complex as your real-life friends.

“Once you’re ready to write a story that doesn’t start with labels and stereotypes,” Golden said, “don’t worry about race, and don’t worry about the reception of readers. Just write.”

Source: The Root/By: Jenée Desmond-Harris

Source URL: http://www.theroot.com/views/white-writer-black-characters-bad-idea

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Crossing the River

We at Project RACE are very pleased to announce the West Coast Premier of “Crossing the River.” This is an amazing film–a must see! 

  Dances With Films schedule and ticketing

michaela_5x3_300dpi_croppedDances With Films has released their lineup, schedule and ticketing! Here is the “Crossing the River” page with a link to ticketing.
CTR will screen on Saturday, June 1st in the 2:45 pm shorts block
Chinese Theatre
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

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Another reason to boycott Walmart. This comes a week after they refused to allow multiracial people to mark more than one race on their survey forms. -Susan 

Father in Biracial Relationship Accused of Kidnapping His Own Children

Credit: FOX 5 News
White Father Accused of Stealing His Own Kids
Joseph took his three girls to Walmart recently to cash a check, but he got more than he asked for upon leaving, and we don’t mean he scored extra cash. After Joseph left the store and picked up his wife Keana, the family arrived back at home to find a cop car waiting.

“He asks us very sincerely, ‘Hey, I was sent here by Walmart security. I just need to make sure that the children that you have are your own,’” Joseph told FOC 5 News.

Joseph is white, Keana is black, and their three girls look more like their mom than their dad.

“Well, the customer was concerned because they saw the children with your husband and he didn’t think that they fit,” Keana said she was told. “And I said, ‘What do you mean by they don’t fit?’ And I was trying to get [the officer] to say it. And she says, ‘Well, they just don’t match up.’”

The couple has been married for 10 years and has a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old twin girls. They say they have experienced their fair share of racial insults before, but this accusation that their kids were stolen by their own father takes the cake.

Walmart issued a statement in which they claim to be looking into the situation, but Joseph and Keana say they’ve already decided never to shop at Walmart again.

Source: Fox 5 News 

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Racism on Rise in Europe

Fear of a black Europe: Racism rises on the Old Continent

Analysis: Economic pain is bringing out the worst in some Europeans.


What do you think?
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The appointment of Italy’s first black cabinet minister was a cause for celebration for anti-racism campaigners in Europe.
Their joy was cut short by reactions to Congo-born Cecile Kyenge taking office.
“This is a bonga bonga government,” said Mario Borghezio, a member of the European Parliament representing Italy’s Northern League party. “It seems to me she’d be a great housekeeper, but not a government minister.”
Borghezio’s comments were widely condemned within Italy and across Europe.
Yet in the days that followed, more outbreaks of racism illustrated what activists denounce as a trend of growing intolerance fueled by Europe’s economic crisis.
Hungary’s third-largest political party warned the country was being “subjugated by Zionism” as it protested against the World Jewish Congress holding a meeting in Budapest.
In Athens, authorities clashed violently with a Nazi-influenced party whose electoral support has soared.
Fans shouting racial abuse of black players halted a match between two of Italy’s top soccer teams.
“There is definitely an exacerbation of negative perceptions of migrants, and ethnic and religious minorities, with the current economic crisis,” said Georgina Siklossy, spokeswoman at the European Network Against Racism, formed by campaign groups from 26 countries.
“It’s become common to accuse migrants and ethnic minorities of stealing jobs, benefiting from social services and abusing the welfare state,” she said.
Pan-European figures on racism are hard to come by, due to differences in definitions and reporting among national authorities. Support for openly racist or anti-immigration politicians is on the rise in several countries, however, and activists report a rise in hate crime and discrimination.
Greece, the country hardest hit by the euro zone crisis, has emerged with serious racism problems linked to the rise of the Golden Dawn party.
The Nazi-inspired movement saw its support rise from 0.3 percent in 2009 elections to 7 percent last year — winning 21 seats in parliament with the slogan: “So we can rid this land of filth.”
Its black-shirted followers are blamed for several of the 154 incidents of racist violence documented last year by Greece’s Racist Violence Recording Network, which was set up in 2011 with support from the United Nations’ refugee agency.
In the latest high-profile case, a 14-year-old Afghan boy was left with severe facial scaring last week after a beating from a group of men dressed in black, one of whom attacked him with a broken bottle, Greek media reported.
“Democracy in Greece is seriously threatened by the upsurge of hate crime,” Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, said after a study visit to the country early this year.
“Rhetoric stigmatizing migrants is widely used in Greek politics.”
Greece is a special case, says Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, who rejects the idea of a generalized increase of racism across Europe resulting form the economic crisis.
“The economic crisis does feed into a variety of reactions and racism is one of them [but] it’s quite localized and depends on specific local conditions,” Dimitrakopoulos said from the agency’s headquarters in Vienna. “The data we have does not indicate a general movement across Europe.”
He points to the lack of a Greek-style backlash against migrants in Spain or Portugal, where the economic crisis has also taken a heavy toll.
In northern Europe, he says, anti-immigration parties have suffered losses in recent Dutch and Danish elections.
Traditionally a country that exported emigrants, Greece attracted an immigrant influx during good economic times in the 1990s and 2000s. Its location on Europe’s southeastern flank has also made it an entry point for undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers from Asia, Africa and Middle East heading into the EU.
The sudden arrival of newcomers combined with the economic collapse since 2009 have created a perfect storm for racism to develop in Greece. But there are warnings the prolonged recession is whipping up prejudice against minorities elsewhere.
“In Europe we see rising intolerance; growing support for xenophobic and populist parties; discrimination,” Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino warned in speech this month.
“Fear and prejudice are being spread across Europe mainly by nationalistic and demagogic groups, who are exploiting the current malaise and social despair,” Bonino told a conference on the state of the European Union.
GlobalPost in-depth: Echoes of Hitler
Data published last year by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights showed ethnic minorities face a high level of hate crime in countries across Europe.
Eighteen percent of sub-Saharan Africans and a similar number of Roma Gypsies suffered assault, threats or serious harassment, according to the agency’s survey carried out in 2008across the 27 EU nations.
Beyond far-right parties like Golden Dawn or Hungary’s anti-Semitic Jobbik, anti-racism campaigner Siklossy says more established politicians are increasingly scapegoating migrants and minorities.
She says that ignores the positive contribution migrants make to European economies, particularly in countries where declining birthrates are leading to a growing number of pensioners dependent on a shrinking labor force.
Without new immigrants, the labor force would have contracted between 2000 and 2010 in Britain, Luxembourg and Italy, according to a report last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Siklossy cites studies showing migrants in France make a net contribution of $15 billion to state tax revenues and that Germany’s Turkish community adds $49 billion a year to the country’s economy.
Sourch: Global Post.com http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/130524/european-racism-greece-italy

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Racial Profiling Used by Sheriff

Arizona sheriff illegally used racial profiling, judge rules

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration law enforcement violated the Constitution by using racial profiling, a judge rules.


TUCSON — A federal  judge has ruled that the immigration enforcement policies of the man who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff” violated the Constitution by using racial profiling.
For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered his deputies to detain people they suspect of residing in the country illegally and to hold them for federal authorities.

The 142-page ruling issued Friday by Judge G. Murray Snow came as part of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Latino plaintiffs who asserted that race was a major factor in initiating immigration enforcement stops.

Snow wrote that the sheriff’s practices did in fact rely heavily on race, violating the Constitution’s 4th and 14th amendments. The 4th Amendment guards against unreasonable search and seizure; the 14th Amendment was created to cement the rights of U.S. citizens.
Attorney Tim Casey, who represents the Sheriff’s Office, said the agency would comply with the judge’s order but pursue an appeal.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office “is disappointed in the decision reached today,” Casey said. “The position was and always has been that race is not used to make law enforcement decisions.”
He also suggested that if there were problems, they arose from training deputies received from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency. “There was some bad training,” he said.

ICE officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday evening.

Maricopa County is home to Arizona’s biggest city, Phoenix, and has significant Latino and immigrant populations.

In his ruling, Snow took issue with many of the six-term sheriff’s actions. The judge noted that deputies frequented places where day laborers gather. In four day-labor sweeps he cited, none of the 35 people arrested was detained for violation of state or local laws, and all were passengers in vehicles, not drivers.

Snow issued an order immediately and permanently barring the Sheriff’s Office from detaining or arresting Latinos or stopping Latinos in vehicles simply because of a suspicion they may be in the country illegally.

Snow noted that at one time the federal Department of Homeland Security — which oversees enforcement of immigration laws — had authorized the Sheriff’s Office to use race as a factor in determining who should be detained. However, Homeland Security officials have since retracted that right, an act that formed the basis for most of Snow’s decision.

Friday’s ruling was cheered by immigrant rights activists.

“Today’s decision vindicates the rights of Latinos in Maricopa County who’ve been terrorized by discriminatory [Sheriff’s Office] practices and have had their communities torn apart,” Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, said in a statement. “The court recognized that racial profiling within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is a pervasive and widespread problem that can only be addressed through substantive, meaningful changes to eradicate this egregious practice and begin rebuilding public trust.”
Source: nation@latimes.com/By Michael Mello, Los Angeles Times

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Project RACE Kids President Recognized by Kohl’s Cares

Project RACE Kids Founder and President, 11 year old Karson Baldwin, has been recognized by the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program for his great work with Project RACE on behalf of multiracial kids. We are proud of Karson who, despite his young age, has demonstrated dedication and creativity in leading this growing organization.

AS PR Kids President, Karson has helped with a minority-focused bone marrow drive and has created a wonderful on-line presence where kids can find stories on multiracial role models, positive books with multiracial characters, relevant news and feature stories, and much much more. Along with Project RACE Teens representatives, he held a family picnic for Project RACE members in his home state and has also selected the first Project RACE Kids Krew to join in these important efforts.

With multiracial kids making up the fastest growing youth group in the country, we applaud Kohl’s for recognizing the significant impact of this work! We also appreciate that Kohl’s support of the multiracial community goes beyond this recognition, as Kohl’s regularly includes a multiracial category on its forms that inquire about an individual’s race.  We like that! 🙂

Congratulations, Karson!

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Multiracial People Needed

Multiracial People Needed for Study

Lisa Giamo at Simon Fraser University is looking for participants for a study dissertation about multiracial experiences. If you are interested, please go to the link below.


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Meet our Presidents

Makensie McDaniel