Multi-Racial in America

Race, skin color, and religion - nothing wrong discussing these, right?

Over 6 million US adults could be considered multiracial by 2015. pew multiracial

Some 6.2 million U.S. adults – or 2.4% of the country’s adult population – report being two or more races, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of 2018 U.S. Census Bureau data. Of these Americans, 22% are White and American Indian, 21% are Black and White, 20% are White and Asian American, 4% are Black and American Indian and 2% are Black and Asian American. About three-in-ten (31%) are some other combination, including 9% who select three or more races. The 2000 census was the first time Americans were able to choose more than one race to describe themselves, allowing for an estimate of the nation’s multiracial population.

This fascinating article describes key points about multiracial identity in the U.S. I strongly encourage all to read. Some highlights:

1.         Racial identity can change over the course of one’s life.

2.         Most adults with a background that includes more than one race do not consider themselves “multiracial.”

3.         Multiracial adults see themselves as more open to other cultures and more understanding of people of different backgrounds.

4.         For multiracial adults, experiences with discrimination are often tied to racial perceptions.

5.         Most Hispanic adults see being Hispanic as part of their racial background.

In an article titled Children Are at the Forefront of U.S. Racial and Ethnic Change prb multiracial kids the authors Mark Mather and Amanda Lee drill down on the percentages and numbers, but the paragraph that grabbed my attention the most is

The multiracial population in the United States—those who identify with two or more races—is also increasing with the rise in interracial couples. The children of these interracial unions are forming a new generation that is much more likely to identify with multiple racial groups. In the period from 2012 to 2016, about 10 percent of married-couple households were interracial or interethnic, up from 7 percent in 2000. [4] Among newly married couples, about one in six included spouses who identified with different racial or ethnic groups in 2015. [5]

I have enjoyed personal and intimate social interaction in and with multiracial and diverse groups of adults and children my entire life: my family, some of whom had much darker skin and features than I; my parent’s friends and work associates throughout my life; my own groups of school friends; my dating life (my type is Latina); and of course, my professional life.

My mom’s second husband is Hispanic. His first wife was Caucasian Jewish. My step-brother and my two step-sisters are therefore multiracial. All three married Caucasians. My uncle married a white Jewish woman. My brother and I are married to Mexican-American women, both for over 30 years. Only my sister married two white guys (not at the same time - she wasn’t that white trash), although one was an Austrian – so I count him as an immigrant, illegal at that!

Obviously, my children are multi-racial, Mexican-American and white. The twist here is that my wife and I are both second-generation Americans. Both sets of our great-grandparents were immigrants. That kind of makes us equals on that front. Also, the Catholic Church played important roles in both of our childhoods. I also had a 2nd cousin from England who was deported from Mexico during a visit because he was an illegal alien working in the US.

Our two daughters have suffered both outright racism and reverse racism. Our oldest is very fair skinned and has auburn hair. Her sister looks more like their mom; olive skinned and brunette hair. The fair-skinned daughter speaks fluent Spanish. The youngest does not.

During outings after giving birth to our oldest, my wife and newborn red-head would be followed by security, and questioned on more than one occasion about who and where was the mother of the baby. Rich white women would attempt in broken Spanish to inquire the whereabouts of the mother. Other times at the park, Latina nannies would ask her in Spanish about which house she worked in as a domestic. The youngest, by nature of her appearance, is thought of as a native Spanish speaker. The discovery that she does not speak the language causes others to discount her as not faithful to the race.

A few words about Jewish people, and the issue of race vs. culture and/or religion, according to Who is Jewish

Are Jews a Cluster Group?

Indeed, scientists continue to argue whether the term race has any useful meaning when classifying human beings. Racism as a sociopolitical ideology died with the Holocaust and was laid to rest by the civil rights movement for all thinking people. It should be obvious to all who have learned the history of the last century that humanity can no longer afford to discriminate by race or genetic makeup if we are to survive on this planet.

That is the crux of the argument, and the core of this extended essay you are reading. Race and skin color are obsolete and inconsequential measurements of human beings. I highlight the racial identity question of Jews and Hispanics as a jumping off point to explore why we have this need to separate by skin color. I contend it is because skin color is an easier decision to make than trying to decide if you want to share a culture with “outsiders.” It is an ignorant and lazy world-view.

 My cultures are bullet-pointed below: the ones I lived in, thrived in, suffered in, escaped from, and are now at peace with. Not necessarily in that order towards the end. These are wide open categories, and are subject to some degree of interpretation. Interpret differently. The cross migration of cultures is the only way we can make it. It was the way of the founders.

•           Family Culture

•           Hick Culture

•           Cowboy Culture

•           Surfer Culture

•           Bull Rider Culture

•           Stoner Culture

•           Redneck Culture

•           White Trash Culture

•           Mexican Culture

•           Prison Culture

•           C-Level Executive Culture

•           Blue Collar Culture

•           Hippie Culture

•           Bohemian Culture

Look at the Washington Crossing painting image to discover how far back our American Culture goes. Examine each and every person on the boat. Take a look at their uniforms and outfits. Scrutinize their weapons and tools. Notice the extreme differences between each of them. No two look alike, other than maybe Washington and Monroe. But even in their splendor, their uniforms have subtle disparities.

This is because each of them came from a different culture. Not a different race. Not always the same color. All working for the same goal. All disagreeing with each other about the facts of life as they knew them. But all rowing together in sub-zero conditions. All marching barefoot over ice-crusted ground for nine miles. Both ways. In the dark. Crushing the Hessians - the greatest mercenary force on earth at the time. And recrossing the Delaware River. To create the American Nation. Nice days’ work. Could we do it now? I doubt it.