I am Mixed Race - Other

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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#141  Postby Saim » Apr 08, 2010 6:41 am

Agrippina wrote:
Saim wrote:
Agrippina wrote:
Saim wrote:
Agrippina wrote:I would tick "some other race" and in the bottom write "human."

That question is totally unnecessary. What's the purpose of knowing people's "race" anyway. Why can't they define people by the areas where they live. Obviously if they're doing this to define how many of each group are living in the country for whatever reason, and I'm hoping that the reason is a positive one, why can't they do it based of region, for instance the people living in a poor area of a city are more likely to need funding for their schools, than the people living in Manhattan e.g., so why not simply define areas of cities and so on to define how the population is disseminated.

Defining people by their race and by their region are not mutually exclusive.

Why is 'race' such a big deal?

Why is it such a big deal? Maybe because people use it and identify with it? Maybe because it's relevant to the lives of millions of people?

Because millions of people do something, doesn't give it validity. There has to be a better reason for people to identify themselves other than by the colour of their skin or the shape of their noses.

Why is nationality such a big deal? Why is class such a big deal? Maybe because we're currently living in the aftermath of an era where previously isolated human populations began having greater contact and peoples from opposite corners of the globe started living in the same area? Why is currency such a big deal? Why are national borders such a big deal? Because people believe in them.

Nationality might not be a big deal but it marks the land possessed by the people living in a nation and it identifies people as belonging to the land.

Class is no big deal at all, it is another false construct.

Currency is linked to nationality. If one country is wealthy because it's people produce more and better goods than their neighbours, why shouldn't their currency have more value than that of the neighbours who don't work as hard or who do have the same mineral wealth?

National borders are not important because people believe in then but because they mark geographic areas.

There's not really much to say to that. My examples were irrelevant.

What about this: Maybe because we're currently living in the aftermath of an era where previously isolated human populations began having greater contact and peoples from opposite corners of the globe started living in the same area? - My answer to "Why is race such a big deal?".


But then I suppose for some inane reason they also want to know how many wealthy 'black' people there are. Why not come right out and say "hey dude, what colour is your skin?"

Because race =/= JUST skin color. "Black" Americans don't actually have black skin.

So why call them 'black' is they don't have black skin?

I agree. Color terminology for race is silly.

I agree that "black" Americans don't actually have "black" skin, neither do bantu-speaking people who live in sub-Saharan Africa have black skins. Language differences and national origins are far better ways of analysing the population of a country.
For instance in South Africa, we have "white" people who speak some of the "bantu" languages and Africans who speak beautiful English or Afrikaans. Analysing the population by their language would give a far more realistic statistic for providing resources to different language groups or for perhaps removing some languages from the list of 11 official languages. Notice that Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Greek are not included in our languages for the simple reason that their speakers are very much in the minority. If our government analysed the population by language rather than skin colour, they could possibly include Portuguese because of the numbers of refugees from Angola and Mozambique who settled here during their civil wars in the 1970s and 1980s and instead of included them in the "black" category, by adding to their numbers the "white" Portuguese speakers, they might find that there are more of those than there are say for example Venda speakers.[/quote]
Are there many native speakers of Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique? Do they not use Portuguese as a second administrative language rather than as a first language?

Language, and nationality analysis makes a lot more sense than skin colour.

Once again, race =/= skin colour.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#142  Postby Agrippina » Apr 08, 2010 7:00 am

Skin colour is the first thing people notice about other people, if race is the measure they use to judge.
People who don't judge others by race, don't notice it unless the ethnicity attached to the skin colour is obvious in the contact, well that's how it works for me anyway.

For instance a lot of the people I know openly admit that when they walk into a government department, they'll look for a 'white' person to approach for assistance and if a 'white' person is their point of contact, they'll comment that the 'white' person was a pleasure to deal with "because they know what they are doing!" i.e. judging the level of competence of the clerical staff by the colour of their skin.

This issue has become very obvious in the country since the murder of the white supremacist at the weekend and last night on TV there was a display of racism the like of which we haven't seen in a long time. Two very competent TV anchors were interviewing one of the senor members of the AWB, when he stormed away from the table saying he was not prepared to explain his policies to "kaffirs!"

I think that when it comes to racism, South Africans are pretty much experts on how skin colour is used to define people's ethnicity. In the old days, even if a person was born in England, went to an English Public School, had never learnt to speak an African language and whose whole culture was English, when they came to SA they were not allowed to stay at our hotels, eat in our restaurants or if they became ill, be treated in our 'white' hospitals if their skin colour appeared to be 'black.' This is why so many American entertainers wouldn't come here because people like Sidney Poitier, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, were 'black' before their were seen to be Americans.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#143  Postby Saim » Apr 08, 2010 7:09 am

[quote=Agrippina]
I wonder if Cher calls herself whatever her ancestry is on her census form?
I understand that aborigine people anywhere want to retain their ancestral ethnic links, and I don't have a problem with that, so why not ask whether people know what their ancestral ethnic links are and if they would like to note them. I think the reason is because it would entail people having to read the responses of the millions of forms rather than simply feed them through a computer reader.[/quote]
They did do that on the 2000 Census, and are going to on the 2011 Community Survey. The largest nominated ancestry ended up being "German" (50 million Americans, as far as I remember).


If you noticed I put the words into inverted commas because that is the official terminology used. It's not necessary to use the term "Indian" "Native American" or whatever new idea they come up with because we now know where they came from originally. I also know that there are dozens of tribal ancestral names but possibly can't they be classified under the tribal names like with Europeans and the national names.

They can. The Census did, to its defense, say "Native American or American Indian: write in principle or enrolled tribe".


How were these people not European if race, and by extension "Europeanness" is a construct?

Because Europe is a place, people who come from Europe are Europeans, as people who come from Africa are Africans.

So what are the indigenous peoples of America? How are they Europeans if their families have been in America for generations? Are they then as American as the indigenous people? Then how are there even indigenous people?


Does racial categorization have to be about superiority? Can't we simply point out these divisions exist without claiming that any group is superior?

In theory no, but in practice, white was superior, everything else was second- or third-class.

Yes, because historically Europeans held the power. How does pretending Europeans don't really exist rectify these historical injustices?


No, because you won't get a proper assessment if you use European, you will if you can say "x number of Americans are of German/Portuguese?Congolese/Chinese etc. origin" rather than "x number of Europeans are African-American" when in fact they are descended from say, for example, Australians but don't know it but because they have a dark skin, they assume they must be "African."

I don't think Indigenous Australians think that they're African just because they're black...

Anyway, I'm not American it doesn't affect me, I just overreact when I see people being classed according to "race," when all it is is a surplus of melanin that makes for the skin colour difference and nothing real.

How is melanin count not something "real"? Besides, skin colour is not all there is to race or ethnicity.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#144  Postby Saim » Apr 08, 2010 7:11 am

Morien wrote:
Saim wrote:
Warren Dew wrote:
Saim wrote:Why is it racist to ask what someone's race is?

Because it means you want to categorize them by race, instead of treating them as individuals.

No it fucking doesn't. Categorizing someone by race and treating them as an individual are not mutually exclusive.

Why else would one want to categorise someone thus unless they were to assign to them certain predetermined characteristics...?

Why would that be the only reason someone would categorize people by race? :scratch:

I do it all the time; i.e., categorize people by their ethnicity but also treat them as individuals.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#145  Postby Morien » Apr 08, 2010 12:28 pm

Saim wrote:
Morien wrote:
Saim wrote:
Warren Dew wrote:
Saim wrote:Why is it racist to ask what someone's race is?

Because it means you want to categorize them by race, instead of treating them as individuals.

No it fucking doesn't. Categorizing someone by race and treating them as an individual are not mutually exclusive.

Why else would one want to categorise someone thus unless they were to assign to them certain predetermined characteristics...?

Why would that be the only reason someone would categorize people by race? :scratch:


It's not a REASON, it's a logical conclusion.

I do it all the time; i.e., categorize people by their ethnicity but also treat them as individuals.



Sooo what is it you do all the time? Categorize them by race or ethnicity? Do you have scientifically valid definitions of either? Or - as you seem to suggest - are they interchangeable?

And when you categorize them by ethnicity, what purpose does it serve, if not to assign them some predetermined characteristics...? I think you'll find that when you do so, you are treating the person as part of a group; and, subliminally if nothing else, are expecting certain characteristics to emerge to confirm what you EXPECT from this ethnicity...If you don't, then there's absolutely no reason for the characterisation in the first place....
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#146  Postby Agrippina » Apr 08, 2010 3:44 pm

I've just seen one of out racists (the ANC youth leader who is a racist of note) kick a BBC reporter out of a press conference because he commented that when Zimbabwe's MDC hold press conferences they "do it in Sandton" (an elite suburb of SA). The BBC guy called him a hypocrite because he lives in Sandton, at which Malema called him A "white bastard" and threw him out. It would've been interesting to see what he would call him if his skin had been 'black.' I shudder for SA if this guy ever gets any real power, he's very keen to start a race war.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#147  Postby Segundo » Apr 08, 2010 3:46 pm

cursuswalker wrote:Explain why the human race did not speciate during the 15,000 years during which the most remote population was isolated (Tasmanian aborigines). That was more than enough time for several speciations. Yet Homo sapiens is so genetically undiverse that it did not happen. Which is why the only surviving Tasmanisn aborigines also have european ancestry.


First of all, there is no "human race". Race is a taxon below the species level. So if all extant humans are members of one race then where the hell is the rest of the species? The phrase "the human race" is not a biological classification - there is no debate on this point. Currently all extant humans are classified as a single species and some biologists have expressed that this is a dodgy classification.

15,000 years might be a long time but it is not that that one needs to look at when talking about speciation. Given 15,000 years there would be approximately 937 - 750 generations - just for the record.

Now you ask why given 15,000 years population A (Tasmanians) did not diverge sufficiently to become a species then say that all humans are so similar that population A could not be a species. This is erroneous thinking. The heterogeneity of all humans combined would not tell us whether or not population A has a sufficiently high endogamy to be awarded species status.

Regarding your last sentence in the quote above: All pure Tasmanians are extinct, the last pure breed Tasmanian died circa 1975. There are now only European-Tasmanian hybrids left.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#148  Postby katja z » Apr 08, 2010 3:58 pm

Segundo wrote:
First of all, there is no "human race".

It's a fairly common way of referring to the whole of the humanity.

Race is a taxon below the species level.

A taxon? So race is a valid category of biological classification?

The phrase "the human race" is not a biological classification - there is no debate on this point. Currently all extant humans are classified as a single species and some biologists have expressed that this is a dodgy classification.

References? Who are these biologists and what are their objections to this classification?

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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#149  Postby Segundo » Apr 08, 2010 5:08 pm

katja z wrote:
Segundo wrote:
First of all, there is no "human race".

It's a fairly common way of referring to the whole of the humanity.
It may be but it is not a biological classification.

Race is a taxon below the species level.

A taxon? So race is a valid category of biological classification?
You can check a textbook for that answer.

The phrase "the human race" is not a biological classification - there is no debate on this point. Currently all extant humans are classified as a single species and some biologists have expressed that this is a dodgy classification.

References? Who are these biologists and what are their objections to this classification?
I've said enough. I am not here to write some kind of scientific paper on the topic or engage in petty intellectual masturbation. Ok?
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#150  Postby Tyrannical » Apr 08, 2010 5:16 pm

Hmmmm, I suppose he does have a bit of a point. It's not like Mixed Race Other was thinking mixed up social construct other :lol:

Besides, I bet a decent forensic anthropologist could examine your X-rays and identify exactly how mixed up you are.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#151  Postby katja z » Apr 08, 2010 9:47 pm

Segundo wrote:
The phrase "the human race" is not a biological classification - there is no debate on this point. Currently all extant humans are classified as a single species and some biologists have expressed that this is a dodgy classification.

References? Who are these biologists and what are their objections to this classification?
I've said enough. I am not here to write some kind of scientific paper on the topic or engage in petty intellectual masturbation. Ok?

Thank you for your very helpful and illuminating answer.

The arguments for the dodginess of the classification of humans as a single species that you have put forward are, indeed, irrefutable.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#152  Postby cursuswalker » Apr 08, 2010 9:49 pm

Tyrannical wrote:Hmmmm, I suppose he does have a bit of a point. It's not like Mixed Race Other was thinking mixed up social construct other :lol:

Besides, I bet a decent forensic anthropologist could examine your X-rays and identify exactly how mixed up you are.


Not 'mixed up', just 'mixed'

In that I have human ancestors from Africa, the Middle East, mainland Europe, Ireland AND Britain. Therefore, by definition, my current make up is a mixture of previous 'races' and one that has no name.

Hence 'Mixed Race-Other', which is what I put on all ethnic monitoring forms.

If the BNP ever got into power I would become a part of their repatriation scheme and demand to be deported to my nearest alternative nation of origin: Ireland in my case (one 4 Greats grandmother).

Bascially I refuse to be classified as 'white', which current policy allows me to do.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#153  Postby Saim » Apr 08, 2010 11:13 pm

Morien wrote:
I do it all the time; i.e., categorize people by their ethnicity but also treat them as individuals.



Sooo what is it you do all the time? Categorize them by race or ethnicity? Do you have scientifically valid definitions of either? Or - as you seem to suggest - are they interchangeable?

And when you categorize them by ethnicity, what purpose does it serve, if not to assign them some predetermined characteristics...? I think you'll find that when you do so, you are treating the person as part of a group; and, subliminally if nothing else, are expecting certain characteristics to emerge to confirm what you EXPECT from this ethnicity...If you don't, then there's absolutely no reason for the characterisation in the first place....

Well, I don't. It's the same with people's religions, hair colors, national origins, etc... I don't "expect" anything from any given ethnicity.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#154  Postby jparada » Apr 09, 2010 2:02 am

Tyrannical wrote:If you really want to talk about race as a social construct, Hispanic / Latino / Chicano is a perfect example.

And what exactly makes the Hispanic race a special case?
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#155  Postby Tyrannical » Apr 09, 2010 3:26 am

jparada wrote:
Tyrannical wrote:If you really want to talk about race as a social construct, Hispanic / Latino / Chicano is a perfect example.

And what exactly makes the Hispanic race a special case?


Hispanic isn't an ethnic group. It encompasses all ethnic groups of the former Spanish empire, regardless of race.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#156  Postby Agrippina » Apr 09, 2010 3:55 am

What makes Hispanic different from Latino and Chicano? Why not simply Americans of Spanish descent?
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#157  Postby Tyrannical » Apr 09, 2010 4:02 am

Agrippina wrote:What makes Hispanic different from Latino and Chicano? Why not simply Americans of Spanish descent?


:scratch:

I assume for reasons similar to the personal preference between Negro / Colored / Black / Africa-American? I never really thought of it too much.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#158  Postby Warren Dew » Apr 09, 2010 4:05 am

Agrippina wrote:What makes Hispanic different from Latino and Chicano? Why not simply Americans of Spanish descent?

It does include central and south American natives who have no Spanish blood, so they're not all of Spanish descent.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#159  Postby Agrippina » Apr 09, 2010 4:07 am

Warren Dew wrote:
Agrippina wrote:What makes Hispanic different from Latino and Chicano? Why not simply Americans of Spanish descent?

It does include central and south American natives who have no Spanish blood, so they're not all of Spanish descent.


But if they're "Indians" i.e. pure aboriginal Americans, surely they're not "Latino."
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#160  Postby Tyrannical » Apr 09, 2010 4:11 am

Agrippina wrote:
Warren Dew wrote:
Agrippina wrote:What makes Hispanic different from Latino and Chicano? Why not simply Americans of Spanish descent?

It does include central and south American natives who have no Spanish blood, so they're not all of Spanish descent.


But if they're "Indians" i.e. pure aboriginal Americans, surely they're not "Latino."


They are. That's why I call Hispanic / Latino a social construct.

Black, White, Asian, Red, Mixed, what ever. If you are from the lands of the former Spanish Empire, you are Hispanic / Latino. Even if you don't speak a lick of Spanish. Usually, I'm sure there are exceptions.
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