Is George Zimmerman white, Latino or mixed race? Depends on who you ask.

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-08-02 04:46Z by Steven

Is George Zimmerman white, Latino or mixed race? Depends on who you ask.

The Seattle Globalist: Where Seattle Meets the World

Leilani Nishime, Assistant Professor of Communications
University of Washington, Seattle

It’s been nearly two weeks since the George Zimmerman verdict was handed down, and the conversations in my Facebook feed have shifted from outrage and sorrow to more nuanced discussions of the state of race in the U.S.

Many of these conversations have focused on Zimmerman’s racial identity and, more recently, the identity of the lone “non-black” juror.

Zimmerman’s mixed ethnicity has stirred up conversation about how much his race “counts”: To what extent does he identify as Latino, and does it make a difference in how he saw himself and how he saw Trayvon Martin?…

Read the entire article here.

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You don’t have to be mixed-race to have a mixed identity

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2013-06-25 04:30Z by Steven

You don’t have to be mixed-race to have a mixed identity

The Seattle Globalist: Where Seattle Meets the World

Maggie Thorpe, Graduate student in Japan Studies
University of Washington

Editor’s note: Laura Kina, who is quoted throughout this post, disagrees with the representation of her perspective here. You can read her response in the comments.

A new exhibit at the Wing Luke museum is part of a growing movement that says our racial identity is a personal choice, not a fact of birth.

“Aren’t you insulted by that?”

Michael Tenjoma, 23, set down the rolled-out slab of Japanese noodle dough and looks at the blackboard specials beside him in the Seattle restaurant.

“What?” asked the fifth-generation Japanese-American from Hawaii.

“That!” The irate customer pointed at the words “Jap. Satsuma Potato.”

Tenjoma let out a chuckle.

“It has a period after the word ‘Jap’. There’s nothing insulting about it.”

The customer stormed away, irate.

“I’m not Japanese,” Tenjoma said after telling this story. “Whenever I was in Japan, everyone kept asking me what I really was. But I’d just answer that I’m American. It seemed to bother everyone that I couldn’t give them a straight reply. But when I’m in Hawaii, I’m Japanese. It all really depends on where I am.”

In 2000 the U.S. Census allowed Americans to identify themselves as being two or more races for the first time. According to National Journal, people who identify themselves as multiracial have risen from 9.2 percent in 2000 to 32 percent in 2010.

“Under My Skin” — a recently opened exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum — discusses the issues of race and identity through art. Each piece weaves an intricate story evoking introspection, whether through modern art installations or traditional oil paintings. It is a quiet place with all 26 artists’ emotions and perspectives prodding into each attendee as they view each display.

Laura Kina, a contributing artist to the exhibit, is mixed. Her father’s side of the family is from Okinawa, Japan and her mother is of mixed-European ancestry with origins in small town Washington…

Read the entire article here.

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