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You read my mind DoDo... I had half a diary on this sort of brewing, prompted slightly by some of Helen's musings on group identities:

It's been a good year for "us": We've won an F1 world championship (Lewis Hamilton), the now usual round of golf tournaments  (Tiger Woods) and even made it to President of the USA (Barack Obama.)

Wait? What's that... they're black and I'm just half-Indian... where's the connection?

Well... the little secret is that Lewis, Tiger, Barack and me share something... as Barack said in his press conference "a mutt like me..."

Now why does it matter? In a way it doesn't. Throw in some others of mixed descent and you can easily construct a group that stretches across every social and economic class, every interest and belief. You certainly would have a hard time building a "mixed descent" political coalition.

If you look at the demographics of the USA "mixed descent - two races" clocks in around 3% where major groups like African-American or Hispanic are at around 15%. In the UK however, White (other) is around 5%, Indian and Pakistani are about 1.7% each, the Black Caribbean 1.0%, Black African 0.8% and "mixed race" around 1.2%.

Noting that "mixed race" can be all sorts of mixes, a spread of names and skin tones, when it comes to issues of race, identity and culture - we tend to just be part of other groups. But not completely part of them... half-part and half-not.

Society as a whole in the US and the UK remains "white at heart" at this moment and so famous types tend to be classified by the media as completely "other."

As such, the "mixed descent" identity is pushed into some kind of "choice" - and that from both sides.

But it's quite hard to talk about these issues, without getting into lots of complexities of identity, race and culture. The personal is political, but when it is so, it's usually in the form of societal critique. And in the end to Lewis, Barack, Tiger or myself have so much to complain about? Probably not.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:19:13 PM EST
Ack, I'm so sorry I shot down a good diary idea of yours...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:26:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's good... I don't think I could have really written about it in the end. It's too complex.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:28:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you look at the demographics of the USA "mixed descent - two races" clocks in around 3%

Actually, that should read 'non-Hispanic mixed descent'.Just as white is actually 'non-Hispanic white' and black is 'non-Hispanic black' Because of America's way of classifying Hispanic as ethnic group but also quasi race, if you're part Hispanic you're simply classified as Hispanic.

by MarekNYC on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 12:50:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes... I performed a rough and ready calculation to account for that (there are some figures on the composition of "Hispanic"), but it's very rough, so I couldn't claim any great accuracy.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 05:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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