Important New Multiracial Study

Pew Study: Multiracial Americans Growing 3 Times Faster Than General Population

multiracial bus
A new study has found has America’s multiracial population is younger and growing faster than its general population. In this photo, a multiracial group of students sit next to each other on the actual bus where Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat to a white man 50 years ago in Alabama, during their school visit to Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan on Oct 25, 2005. 

America’s multiracial population is growing three times faster than its overall population, and is likely to be young and proud of its heritage, according to Pew Research Center’s latest study released Thursday. The study, conducted online between Feb. 6 and April 6, 2015, estimates that 6.9 percent of the population of the United States is of mixed-race heritage.

“And when we look at the number of babies being born that are multiracial and the rise in interracial marriage, we can see that not only is it continuing to grow but the growth could accelerate in the future,” Kim Parker, Pew social trends research director, told the Associated Press (AP).

Although the majority of the multiracial population describes itself as being proud of its background and feels that its racial heritage makes it more culturally sensitive, it has also been subjected to racial slurs or jokes, the study found.

However, those of mixed American-Indian and white heritage, who make up half of the mixed-race population of the U.S., were subjected to racism less often than other mixed-race groups. They were also significantly more likely to be conservative Republicans than other multiracial people. The study indicates that the population of this group is likely to decrease as the majority of mixed-race children born in 2012 and 2013 were either biracial black and white, or white and Asian. Pew says that 36 percent of mixed-race children born in 2012 were biracial black and white, and 24 percent were biracial white and Asian, compared to only 12 percent biracial white and American-Indian children.

The multiracial population of America is also significantly younger than the rest of the country, with almost half (46 percent) below the age of 18, compared to only 23 percent of the overall U.S. population. In 1970, among babies living with two parents, only 1 percent had parents with different racial backgrounds. This number rose to 10 percent in 2013.

Although the proportion of people choosing to identify themselves as multiracial is growing, the Pew report finds that racial identity can be fluid for some people over the course of their lives. Thirty percent of multiracial adults said they did not think of themselves as multiracial at some point in their lives.

A 2014 study, published in the journal Cell, found that as many as six million Americans who identify as white have black racial heritage and an additional five million self-identified whites have American-Indian ancestry.

“Being multiracial is not just a sum of the races in your family tree,” Parker told the AP. “It’s also part of experiences and upbringing and it also can be fluid and change over the life course or when an individual is in a certain set of circumstances.”

Source: International News/Reuters/Rebecca Cook

Last Day of Multiracial Heritage Week!

Moon Bloodgood

(Dutch-Irish/Korean) [American]

Korinna Moon Bloodgood was born in Anaheim, California on September 20, 1975. Her mother, Sang Cha, is of Korean descent and her father, Shell Bloodgood, is an American of Dutch and Irish heritage. Her father was stationed in South Korea where her parents met.

 When Bloodgood was 17, she became a Laker Girl. According to Wikipedia: The Laker Girls are an all-female National Basketball Association Cheerleading squad that performs and supports the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team in home matches. They also perform at many other events and venues.

Bloodgood was ranked #99 on Maxim’s magazine’s Hot 100 list in 2005; in 2006 she ranked #53; in2007she ranked #40; she ranked #20 in 2009.

In the movie Daybreak (2006-2007), Bloodgood played Rita Shelten who was the girlfriend of a detective framed for murder. In 2007, she starred as Livia Beale in the science-fiction television series Journeyman, which aired in America on NBC.

Bloodgood had a role in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. In addition, she starred as Blair Williams in Terminator Salvation, number four in the Terminator series and reprised her role in the video game, and the prequel series of short films Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series.

Early in 2009, Bloodgood joined the cast of the show Burn Notice in its third season. She was in a recurring role as Detective Michelle Paxton. She portrayed Dr. Anne Glass in TNT’s ongoing science fiction series Falling Skies since 2011. The show’s executive producer is Steven Spielberg. Bloodgood won the “Special Jury Prize” for dramatic ensemble acting in The Sessions along with John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy. She also voice acts in the role of Uriel the Archangel in the video game Darksiders.

 You will find more information about Ms Bloodgood at:




Multiracial Americans on the Rise

Fitting Into the Right Box: Multiracial America on the Rise

As swimmer Michael Phelps knows, one of the highest priorities of food corporations is maintaining their squeaky clean mainstream appeal. This usually involves companies giving wide berth to any manner of controversy, but Cheerios ignored this policy four months ago. In June, the cereal company released a 30 second television commercial that featured a mixed race married couple. The only detail of the ad that deviated from standard cereal advertisement conventions was black man and white woman actors playing the parents in the all-American family.

Whether or not Cheerios predicted the commotion their commercial would cause, we don’t know. Regardless, the ad first met backlash –negative reactions drove YouTube to disable comments on the online video– but then an overwhelming show of support from Americans. The multiracial community applauded Cheerios for depicting a family on television that looked more like theirs.

Aside from generating good publicity for Cheerios, the advertisement has drawn attention to the growing number of mixed race marriages and multiracial children in the United States. In 2010, 8.4 percent of all marriages were between individuals of a different race or ethnicity.

Though this number is only a small fraction of the married population, it marks an all time high for American intermarriage. These numbers will likely bloom in coming years: 15 percent of new marriages in 2010 were interracial and more than one-third of Americans claim that a family member or close relative is married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. Nearly one quarter of new marriages in Western states are interracial (the percentages dwindle moving East, but mixed marriages in the Midwest and Northeast are 11 and 13 percent respectively.)

The increasing prevalence of mixed marriage is accompanied by a growing number of Americans who identify as multiracial. 2000 marked the first year the Census allowed citizens to mark more than one box indicating race, a significant development given approximately 9 million Americans identify as multiracial. Comparing the 2000 and 2010 polls reflects the complicated territory of racial identity and categorization in the United States: the number of Americans who identified as both white and black increased by 134 percent from the 2000 census.

Obama and his mother. Flickr. Creative Commons License Obama and his mother. Flickr. Creative Commons License

Nine million, or three percent, of Americans currently identify as more than one race and in the coming decades this number is bound to soar. “The crop of students moving through college right now includes the largest group of mixed-race people ever to come of age in the United States,” according to the New York Times. “They are only the vanguard: the country is in the midst of a demographic shift.”

Multiracial children are the fastest growing youth demographic in the country. According to the 2010 census, their population increased by 50 percent since 2000. But the jump signifies more than many births of multiracial babies. It also indicates that increasing  recognition of mixed ancestries is freeing Americans to embrace their multifaceted roots (heritages that don’t necessarily fit into one box).

“I think people are more comfortable in identifying themselves, and their children, as mixed race,” William H. Frey, a demographer from Brookings Institution said. “It’s much more socially acceptable, more mainstream, to say, ‘That’s what we want to identify them as.’”

This trend indicates the changing face of America in the coming decades. Older Americans tend to identify as one race; their identities are more strongly influenced by an era when race was a factor that separated and subordinated. Now, Frey says, “One out of six kids who used to be thought of as just black will now grow up thinking of themselves as white and black. This is a huge leap.”

Growing acceptance of mixed ancestries is not without its  special challenges. Singer Beyoncé Knowles was accused of trying to distance herself from her African-American roots by some in the black community after she starred in a L’Oreal commercial that boasted her Native American and French, as well as African American, roots. And though President Obama’s election was a landmark event in America’s racial legacy, it also provoked debate in the minority community, ‘is he America’s first black or biracial president?’

Multiracial families and individuals are also sharing their struggles in a society that is not yet accustomed to racial ambiguity. Featured in NPR’s “The Race Card Project,” Wilma Stordahl, a white Seattle resident of Norwegian heritage, discussed her experience with strangers who have asked her about her biracial sons. ”In my 20s, I wanted to call them mixed-race. I wanted to say that they were some other thing, some other category than what was listed on all the forms that you fill out,” Stordahl said. “But I was repeatedly corrected.” Many reacted to Stordahl’s unambiguously dark, half Norwegian half African-American, children by telling Stordahl, “No, honey — your son is black.”

Another mother of biracial children, Thien-Kim Lam runs an online blog “I’m Not the Nanny.” The title is a reference to Lam’s experiences repeatedly being mistaken as the nanny of her half Vietnamese half African-American children. Her blog discusses teaching race to children, recommending books, toys and movies that teach diversity, in addition to handling more common Mom-blog fare like crafts for kids and tech tips.

In its commercial, Cheerios’s  recognized that many American families (like many more in the future) don’t fit into the mainstream mold. The publicity for intermarriage and multiracial Americans was doubtlessly beneficial, but the conversation it generated – even the exposure of widespread bigotry – did even more. For most Americans racial identity will never be as simple as checking off a box, but if conversation continues to be encouraged by initiatives like “The Race Card Project,” America will grow more gracefully into it’s multiracial future.

Source: Brown Political Review

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Profile America Facts for Features
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2013
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a month long celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Thus, this Facts for Features contains a section for each.
18.2 million
The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2011 who were Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more additional races. 

5.8 million
The Asian alone or in combination population in California in 2011. The state had the largest Asian population, followed by New York (1.7 million). The Asian alone-or-in-combination population represented 57 percent of the total population in Hawaii. 

Percentage growth of the Asian alone or in combination population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, which was more than any other major race group. 

4 million
Number of Asians of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the U.S. in 2011. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.4 million), Asian Indians (3.2 million), Vietnamese (1.9 million), Koreans (1.7 million) and Japanese (1.3 million). These estimates represent the number of people who reported a specific detailed Asian group alone, as well as people who reported that detailed Asian group in combination with one or more other detailed Asian groups or another race(s). 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey 

American Voters Are Getting All Mixed up

Leighton Woodhouse

Finally, a journalist who gets it! -Susan

American Voters Are Getting All Mixed up

As anybody with a TV, radio or newspaper subscription can affirm, the big story coming out of the 2012 election is the long feared/eagerly awaited arrival of the Latino vote as a national political force capable of deciding a presidential contest. Latinos accounted for a record ten percent of the electorate this year, and something north of 70 percent of them cast their ballots for Obama. Meanwhile, fewer Latinos than ever before voted for the Republican candidate.

With the Latino segment of the electorate poised to continue expanding for many election cycles to come, leaders of both parties are tripping over each other to position themselves on immigration reform, and even in blood red states like Texas, GOP strategists are warning of imminent doom for their party if Republicans fail to break their cycle of addiction to racism, xenophobia and pandering to border-guarding lunatics.

The story is both accurate to a point and incomplete, as conventional wisdom is wont to be. Tavis Smiley, for instance, has highlighted the grating irony of black voters being left out of the punditocracy’s post-election anointing of the “new governing coalition,” following the second presidential election in a row in which African Americans broke records turning out to support Barack Obama. And when it comes to speculating about long-term electoral prospects, there’s another demographic category of Americans that’s getting glossed over in this mechanical extrapolation of the present into the future. Interestingly, it’s the one that Obama himself belongs to: multiracial Americans.

That’s not to say that mixed-race voters were a big electoral force in this election or any other national election in history. Nor is “mixed race” really much of a coherent ethnic identity in the first place (then again, neither arguably is “Latino” or “Asian”). As a demographic category, however, it’s going to be a significant factor for both parties to grapple with in future elections. It’s simply inevitable: About fifteen percent of new marriages nationally in 2010 were interracial, according to a Pew study published earlier this year. That’s more than double the proportion of the 1980s.

Those couples are having kids, and those kids are growing up to become voters. Moreover, according to the study, quaint taboos against interracial coupling are pretty close to completely breaking down, with nearly two-thirds of Americans fine with the idea, so we can expect the phenomenon to continue and accelerate going forward: more multiracial couples, more mixed race kids. And in politics, as they say, demography is destiny.

Among the states in which interracial marriages are above twenty percent are, not surprisingly, deep blue states like California and Hawaii. But some of the most conservative states in the country are also on the 20 percent-plus list, including Alaska, Arizona and Oklahoma. Texas and Kansas aren’t far behind. Also above average are new and perennial swing states like Colorado, Virgina and Florida. The highest rates of interracial marriage skew west, where three of the four states with the fastest-growing populations in the country are located (or four of the four, depending on whether you consider Texas a Western or a Southern state).

The bottom line is that mixed-race matrimony is a national phenomenon that cuts across the red-blue divide. As the children of those couples come into voting age, there will be more and more Americans in every part of the country who don’t fit into the tidy racial boxes that form the basis of the long-term electoral prognostications being offered up by the dozens in the aftermath of Obama’s re-election.

Will mixed race voters help the Republicans or the Democrats? That’s a murkier question than you might assume, since Pew’s data shows sharper differences in terms of income and education between various mixed-marriage demographic sub-groups (the parents of those voters-to-be) than between mixed couples and non-mixed couples as a whole; there’s little in the way of a uniform set of characteristics of interracial households to grasp onto.

But it’s also the wrong question. The political effect of mixed race voters on future elections will probably be one of obfuscation rather than of party advantage, comparable to the effect of the growing prevalence of independent voters on partisan contests. Multiracial Americans will make simple questions about single issues more complicated, and facile assumptions about voter sympathies more tenuous. Where does a half-Mexican, half-black woman from Texas come down on immigration reform? What does a quarter Chinese, quarter Filipino, half-Jewish male from Florida think about affirmative action? What does either voter think about expanding charter schools, gay marriage, abortion rights, cutting Medicare, or raising taxes on the rich? These questions are difficult enough today, as racial sub-groups become more diversified by class. As the mixed race population of Americans expands and renders ethnic identities less categorical, more subjective, and more abstract, those once-easy categories will lose even more of their value as predictors of political behavior. They may even start to lose some of their personal relevance in the lives of multiracial Americans themselves.

My girlfriend and I are both of mixed racial heritage. I’m half Japanese and half Anglo. She’s half Salvadoran and half Jewish. If and when we have children, they’ll be a quarter Asian, a quarter Latino and half white, with the white side split WASP/Jewish. When our kids become 18 and fill out their first voter registration forms, the only ethnic category that will make any sense for them to check off is “Multiracial.” Today, checking off that box feels pretty close to checking off “Other” or “None of the above” on a questionnaire on any given topic; it’s a throwaway category for misfits that has little if any analytical value to the researchers who review the data, but that has to be in there to get the respondent to the next section. When enough Americans start checking off that box, however, it’s going to be impossible to ignore — and difficult to integrate into existing statistical models. Like “Other,” “Multiracial” isn’t an actual, distinctive population with a common culture and history that you can add into the mix as another subgroup to track; it’s just a heuristic catch-all term for everyone who doesn’t fit into the conventional taxonomy. Once it becomes statistically meaningful — perhaps meaningful enough to impact election forecasts — pollsters and demographers will have to scrap the mechanical models they’re working with and start devising more fluid and subjective analytical approaches that reflect the fluidity and subjectivity of increasingly porous ethnic and racial categories.

That’s not to suggest that the age of the generation that follows the Millenials will be some sort of post-racial paradise. Countries like Brazil have had broad racially mixed populations for generations; that hasn’t lessened their citizens’ propensity for bigotry (though it has shaped their racism differently than that of Americans).

However, it is to suggest that the crude schematics political analysts use to lump voters together, make
educated guesses at their preferences, and forecast their behavior will start to butt up against the complicated reality of race in 21st-century American society, and those analysts will have to adapt their models to better fit the lived experience of voters. That might not change the electoral fortunes of either major party, but maybe it will help force our dumbed-down political process to live up to the nuance and complexity of a changing American electorate.

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SOURCE: Huff Post