ATR 20 – Apr 3, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –

The “mixed olympics” is the subject of Jen’s rant today. Yes, we believe strongly that people should be able to self-identify however they want. But if you’re listing 8 or 15 different ethnicities, are you for real? Or are you just trying to “out-mix” everybody else?

Carmen discusses four recent news stories. An article about single women who are using sperm donors to have babies on their own quoted one white woman as saying that she wanted to make a mixed baby. Her reasons for this? A attraction to multiculturalism, a belief that a mixed child wouldn’t need as much sunblock and a parallel to mixed dogs, who are always more friendly and don’t bark as much. The principal of a magnet school in Hartford, CT coerced mixed students to change their official racial classification to white so that the school could qualify for more funding. Yet another nation-wide study on interracial relationships oops! forgets to include Asians in the mix. An article on the treatment of mixed identity on “The L Word” sets off a firestorm of anti-mixed feedback.

We finally debut this brand-new segment! Carmen shares a story about trying to explain a racist incident to her boss, only to be labeled a bigot herself. And Marsha writes in with a story about a misguided attempt at celebrating multiculturalism at her office.

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Duration – 1:03:53
File Size – 29.4 MB
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11 thoughts on “ATR 20 – Apr 3, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –”

  1. Wow! I just think that this podcast is great, and I would love to see it turn into a more advertised event. But now that I have listend to this, it has ruined my ignorance tward the topic.
    I am white but, I have a mixed cousin who identifies as black. I am so often taken aback by the things that she says. For example, I was talking to her on the phone and we began to talk about celebrities who are black. We got on the topic of Queen Latifa (someone who I think is pretty awesome), and she said “Oh, she’s not black.” I was mortified. When I asked her what she meant she justified what she had said with “Well, being black is about how you talk.” As I quiestioned her she said “Well, ya just gotta talk ghetto. I mean like, ‘Sup my ni****,’ and ‘I ain’t cho b****.’” I was mortified. “So, some one who speaks more…Eloquently is no longer black?” I asked.
    She responded blatantly with “Yea.”
    I was so surprised. Not only was she playing into stereotypes, but she was almost defending them. How do you feel about this? Do you share my sickly surprise?
    I would just like to end this by thanking you two for having such an interesting podcast. It is a relief from the Death Metal my friends stick me with.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Well i got the your in Oreo, because you speak proper english crap. Gettho english has apparently become the standard language for Blacks. Mind you i’m not even from this country and french is my first language. It’ is igorant for her to say that. it’s like lumping all blacks together. It makes no sense.

  3. Nice one.I especially liked the very end whiched focused on black biracial and historical issues.

  4. I remember discussing race in a sociology class several years, and I noticed then that Asians were usually not mentioned. When I questioned my professor, his answer was that Asians are frequently left out of social science studies because their population is so low compared to other groups. Basically, it all boils down to numbers and statistics; I seriously doubt it has anything to do with the researchers believing there aren’t enough English-speaking Asians.

    In order to make definitive statements in their results, social scientists have to have a certain number of respondents in each group, and there usually aren’t enough Asians in a random sample of all Americans to compare them to other groups. All the studies that I’ve come across that do discuss Asians either focused on Asians exclusively, compared them with only one other group, or had sample populations that were purposely taken from urban areas with high Asian populations.

  5. Any chance of you two interviewing Kerry Rockquemore & Tracey Laszloffy? They are the authors of a book titled “Rasing Biracial Children”. I checked it out from the library and have found it quite compelling.

  6. To follow up on the point about why Asians are left out of many survey results. The goal of statistics is to use sample information to make inferences about populations. If Asians are not questioned in a survey about racial group preferences then you are right to criticize the survey. However, if they are not reported this does not mean they were not asked. The reason that estimates involving group differences in small scale studies seem to leave Asians out is because the random sampling procedures used to collect information on populations in these studies typically yields small numbers of Asian respondents. This occurs because their numbers are relatively small in the population and overall they tend to be clustered in particular geographic locations. The key to getting good estimates in statistics is randomness and sample size. Assuming that the study design is good (a tenuous assumption at best) then alot of what you worry about as a researcher is response rate. If the response rate was 100% or close to it among Asians, I’m sure you would see Asians represented in many of these studies but for most surveys an 80% response rate would be about the best we can hope for any group. Likewise, if you only ended up with Asians involved in interracial relationships this introduces selection bias, whic is another problem. Thus, when your within group sample size is small, the standard errors (dispersion) and other properties associated with any estimates leave you with relatively uninterpretable (meaningless) results. Possible solutions include either make your overall sample size much larger or to alter your research design to oversample Asians-many government sponsered surveys do this with various groups- but maintain the the preferred features of the sample. Both of these things are more expensive and the second solution entails a bit more sophisticated analysis if they want to say something about the country as a whole. These issues will cease to be a problem as both the Asian population as a whole increases and continues to disperse. You will definitely see Asian representation in more carefully done studies in the future.

  7. This is my first time posting and I know it’s not related to the show, but I had a question about the proper way to refer to someone’s race in a short story and thought somebody on the boards might have the answer. The short story is set right after the Civil War and a character refers to black people as “negroes” while speaking to someone else. I know that in the present day, “Negro” should be capitalized, but since the character speaking is living in the 1800s, should or shouldn’t “Negro” be written as “negro”?

    Thank you for your thoughts

  8. Re: capitalization check this out from the MLA Style Sheet:

    * The names of ethnic or racial groups are capitalized if they represent a geographical region or language group. For example, Hispanic, Asian, African American, Appalachian.
    * Designations based only on color, direction, size, habitat, customs, or local usage are often lower cased.

  9. Hey Carmen!
    I just wanted to say Thank you again for coming to speak at our conference! I am starting to listen to your podcast, looking forward to my shoutout! Thanks again.

  10. Hey Shonda,

    I had so much fun at the conference! It was really great meeting you – and thanks to you and everyone else for taking such great care of me! Your shout-out is coming tomorrow ;) Look out for it.

    Take care,


  11. No need to throw up. We understand what she is trying to say, and the ‘it’ and the ‘mutt’ is nothing more than just poor vocabulary. She is most probably thinging out loud looking for encouragement before taking the step towards a ‘mixed’ pregnancy. Some of the comments I read are more unacceptable than the article itself. Please stop being silly and grow up.

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