I am Mixed Race - Other

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I am Mixed Race - Other

#1  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 2:04 pm

(Resurrecting a thread from the Old Country)

Some time ago I decided that I will no longer identify as a "white" person.

My "race" is the Human Race. I am tired of being asked to tick boxes defining which section of the Human Race I wish to be lumped together with. I am tired of seeing Race defined, literally, in black and white terms.

The Human Race is a remarkably genetically similar species, yet we persist in dividing ourselves into categories based on the ability of our skin to resist ultra-violet light and manufacture Vitamin D, purely on the basis of a reaction against the Racial politics of the last 500 years.

We are all Africans, simply because that is where our species arose. When our African ancestors happened to leave Africa is a mere detail. All humans were dark-skinned until between 50,000 and 30,000 years ago and they were equally the Ancestors of all humans now alive.

The next time you are asked to define your ‘Race’ I urge you to tick the box labelled ‘Mixed Race – Other’ . You are entitled to do this, as the only logical reason why people are allowed to define their own race is due to the possibility that they might encounter new information that leads to their changing their mind on how they should be defined.

And should a government ever arise that wishes to “repatriate” all non-“white” people, insist that you are repatriated to your nearest alternative country of origin.

Possible objections to the above:

1) Renouncing your status as a White person is just a way of trying to abdicate the responsibility of your Ancestors for slavery.

No it isn’t. My Ancestors still did the things they did, regardless of how I define my Race.

2) Renouncing your status as a Black person is a betrayal of the suffering of your Ancestors.

No it isn’t. That is just another hangover of the understandable reaction against the racial politics of the Imperialist era of the last 500 years. That reaction had its time and it is time to move on.

3) By defining yourself as ‘Mixed Race – Other’ you will skew the statistics that enable organisations and governments to ensure fair treatment.

This misses the whole point. If a large number of people define themselves as ‘Mixed Race – Other’ then by definition they are a part of those statistics and their chosen ethnic origin must be taken into account. Do we define the statistics or do they define us?

4) You cannot deny the genetic differences between populations, based on their racial origins. These are relevant to such areas as medicine.

Yes. But so are all kinds of differences between people. This does not mean that those differences have to become a part of my own identity.

Become a MRO and celebrate your common humanity!
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#2  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Mar 23, 2010 2:07 pm

I don't consider myself 'white' with respect to race. I consider myself 'white' with respect to the hue of my skin. It is more a statement of fact than a judgement on the validity of the concept of different races within the all encompassing human race.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#3  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 2:09 pm

Yet all it is is an adaptation to vitamin D deficiency in colder climates. In and of itself "white" skin is not an indicator of a "race". Like certain strands of politics like to make out.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#4  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Mar 23, 2010 2:18 pm

cursuswalker wrote:Yet all it is is an adaptation to vitamin D deficiency in colder climates. In and of itself "white" skin is not an indicator of a "race". Like certain strands of politics like to make out.


I agree with you. All I am saying is, if someone asked me what race I am, I am much more likely to just say white. This is a measure of convenience more than anything else. If I take the time to properly explain the superficial differences between supposed races the person I am talking will most likely just say 'But that's just how it works. Answer the question properly.' I understand your point, I may even support it. To be honest, it isn't something I think about a lot. I just don't think that answering 'white/caucasian' to a question of what my race is will engender any racism in the asker of the question.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#5  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 2:20 pm

It really is quite interesting putting MRO on these forms. no one contradicts you, but on one hospital visit I did get a visit from a nurse trying to find out more about my birth name, which is quite unusual. She was trying to figure out which non-white pigeonhole to put me in :)
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#6  Postby keypad5 » Mar 23, 2010 2:28 pm

Hey, stay out of my statistic box. :lay:



:lol:

Haven't heard the term MRO, but I guess that's what I am. :dance:
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#7  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 2:35 pm

keypad5 wrote:Hey, stay out of my statistic box. :lay:


Will NOT!

It's mine now too, bacause I decided it was :stir:

:lol:

Haven't heard the term MRO, but I guess that's what I am. :dance:


MRO's RULE!
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#8  Postby katja z » Mar 23, 2010 5:22 pm

Cursuswalker, that's a good point. I don't usually have to identify my race, except on the internet, and there I simply put "human". But choosing mixed/other is also a good way of rejecting racial categories.

I also agree with most of the answers you give to possible objections, except with point 4 as regards medicine. As far as I know, descent (not particularly race) IS relevant here - certain conditions are more likely in certain groups (such as sickle-cell anemia in African-descended people - uh, African in the conventional sense of course), and that is potentially valuable information in a medical context. It's like being asked if there is any history of cardiac diseases in your family. Of course, it has no relevance for your identity, why should it?
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#9  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 5:39 pm

katja z wrote:Cursuswalker, that's a good point. I don't usually have to identify my race, except on the internet, and there I simply put "human". But choosing mixed/other is also a good way of rejecting racial categories.

I also agree with most of the answers you give to possible objections, except with point 4 as regards medicine. As far as I know, descent (not particularly race) IS relevant here - certain conditions are more likely in certain groups (such as sickle-cell anemia in African-descended people - uh, African in the conventional sense of course), and that is potentially valuable information in a medical context. It's like being asked if there is any history of cardiac diseases in your family. Of course, it has no relevance for your identity, why should it?


Yes, and I agree that ones race/descent does have relevance in such areas. As does age/sex etc.

But that this does not mean that it has to become an inherent part of your self-identity.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#10  Postby kiore » Mar 23, 2010 6:02 pm

cursuswalker wrote:
katja z wrote:Cursuswalker, that's a good point. I don't usually have to identify my race, except on the internet, and there I simply put "human". But choosing mixed/other is also a good way of rejecting racial categories.

I also agree with most of the answers you give to possible objections, except with point 4 as regards medicine. As far as I know, descent (not particularly race) IS relevant here - certain conditions are more likely in certain groups (such as sickle-cell anemia in African-descended people - uh, African in the conventional sense of course), and that is potentially valuable information in a medical context. It's like being asked if there is any history of cardiac diseases in your family. Of course, it has no relevance for your identity, why should it?


Yes, and I agree that ones race/descent does have relevance in such areas. As does age/sex etc.

But that this does not mean that it has to become an inherent part of your self-identity.


Actually it is not that important to define your race 'medically' despite the differences that do exist, maybe this is useful for drug trials to ensure variation etc, but on an individual level people are (or should be) treated on their presentation, should you have an unusual presentation you maybe asked if your ancestry could include say Portuguese antecedents or recent sub Saharan African etc. Why this is important is that people defining themselves white/black is not individual enough. Identifying key at risk groups is useful for population health issues but these groups are much more likely to be identified on a more local level, such as people from a certain locality are more prone to diabetes, but diabetes is not diagnosed by ethnicity or locality.
Questions might be asked up to the grandparent level and provide useful information in medical history taking but already we know that parentage can be 'uncertain' and this uncertainty increases at every generation you go back.

Arguments that this information is useful to ensure diversity is still served by self identification as 'other' as it encourages more targeted analysis of what should be targeted, such as direct disadvantage.

To identify yourself as 'mixed race' is probably accurate for most people a some level even using some of the rigid definitions of race that have been used in the past, maybe not in the last generation or even the one before but it seems unlikely that 'racial purity' could survive a large number of generations except in very isolated locations with no outside contact.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#11  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 6:07 pm

And the point is that many people in an area identifying as MRO would not have any dmaging effect on policy. After all we define the statistics. They do not define us. If you say you are MRO then you declare yourself part of that group and only subject to the policies defined for that group.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#12  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 23, 2010 6:11 pm

I don't get what you're trying to achieve though. The fact that the race of employees can no longer be measured doesn't mean that racism will stop, or that people will stop seeing it as an issue, just that we won't know about it.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#13  Postby Agrippina » Mar 23, 2010 6:14 pm

The whole idea of 'race' is ridiculous because it is incorrect. There is no such thing as race and we are more divided by our culture than we are by race. Because of the way people have moved around in the past 300 years, there has been so much mixing of ethnicity since the "voyages of discovery' and from what the NatGeo project has shown, the only 'pure' people left are the San who live in the Kalahari desert, everyone else is MRO. So you are quite right in saying that.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#14  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 6:15 pm

I'm With Stupid wrote:I don't get what you're trying to achieve though. The fact that the race of employees can no longer be measured doesn't mean that racism will stop, or that people will stop seeing it as an issue, just that we won't know about it.


Well my theory is that this identity will rise as racism diminishes. In other words the other way around from what you say above.

It is a way of looking forward to a post-racist world. Especially considering the gradual homogenising direction in which Homo sapiens is moving. As time goes on "black" and "white" will become increasingly meaningless.
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#15  Postby Agrippina » Mar 23, 2010 6:27 pm

cursuswalker wrote:
I'm With Stupid wrote:I don't get what you're trying to achieve though. The fact that the race of employees can no longer be measured doesn't mean that racism will stop, or that people will stop seeing it as an issue, just that we won't know about it.


Well my theory is that this identity will rise as racism diminishes. In other words the other way around from what you say above.

It is a way of looking forward to a post-racist world. Especially considering the gradual homogenising direction in which Homo sapiens is moving. As time goes on "black" and "white" will become increasingly meaningless.


Yep, and everybody will be a light coffee colour. :cheers:
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#16  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 8:21 pm

Agrippina wrote:Yep, and everybody will be a light coffee colour. :cheers:


And let's face it. They are disproportionately gorgeous!

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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#17  Postby katja z » Mar 23, 2010 8:29 pm

cursuswalker wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Yep, and everybody will be a light coffee colour. :cheers:


And let's face it. They are disproportionately gorgeous!

:thumbup:
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#18  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 23, 2010 8:33 pm

And can I just add:

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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#19  Postby NineBerry » Mar 23, 2010 9:03 pm

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:
All I am saying is, if someone asked me what race I am, I am much more likely to just say white. This is a measure of convenience more than anything else. If I take the time to properly explain the superficial differences between supposed races the person I am talking will most likely just say 'But that's just how it works. Answer the question properly.' I understand your point, I may even support it. To be honest, it isn't something I think about a lot. I just don't think that answering 'white/caucasian' to a question of what my race is will engender any racism in the asker of the question.


So, please tell us, do you belong to the square toed people or the round toed people?!? :think:
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Re: I am Mixed Race - Other

#20  Postby Warren Dew » Mar 23, 2010 9:21 pm

cursuswalker, welcome to our overly broad and previously useless category. Finally you've found a good use for it.
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