ATR 33 Pt 2 of 3 – August 3, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –

And we’re back with part 2 of our special anniversary episode. Here’s a round-up of the favorite moments we cover in this installment:

In episode 11 we had an all-out debate over the animated series, The Boondocks. It’s not often that Jen and I disagree so vehemently about something, so we went for it and faced off against one another.

One of our all-time most favorite guests has been Joseph L. Graves, the evolutionary biologist and author of “The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America.” We revisit our interview with him in episode 13.

In episode 5, Carmen ranted about the tragic mulatto archetype that still dominates many of the media representations we see of mixed race people. As a result, mixed folks have to combat the idea that all of us are torn between two worlds, confused, doomed to eternal misery.

It was an honor to have the legendary writer Octavia Butler on our show. Sadly, Ms. Butler passed away earlier this year. She was a trailblazer in the field of science fiction, one of the only black women in the field. We look back at Jen ‘s interview with her in episode 15.

Also in episode 15 was our rant about diversity-speak, the new language that has arisen out of the diversity industry. It’s amazing how an entire vocabulary has developed to avoid talking about race.

Tune in next week for Part 3, the final installment of the anniversary episode! :)

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Duration – 25:02
File Size – 11.6 MB
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2 thoughts on “ATR 33 Pt 2 of 3 – August 3, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –”

  1. Hi, I’ve been a fan of your program since you first started. Though “racial” mixing goes back as far as humans have been breeding, the concept of mixed racial identity is a relatively new idea, and one that I am happy to see gaining prominence. Any movement away from past tendencies to fit people into rigid racial classifications is progress.

    However, the focus should be not only on challenging the idea that humans fall neatly into racial categories, but also on uprooting the classification system itself. To call a person “mixed” implies that he is somehow the product of two unmixed wholes. But contrary to this implication, at no point in history have humans fallen neatly into canonical groupings such as yellow, black, etc. Long before people invented the terminology for various racial groupings, as well as for those falling in between (e.g., “mulatto,” “hapa,” or what have you) the spectrum of human biological diversity (and unity) has shaded imperceptibly across regions and continents. After all, despite having taken separate migration routes out of Africa a few tens of thousands of years ago, human populations have never been truly isolated from each other.

    The classification system that this show takes for granted (black, white, “Asian*,” etc.), which is also the definition that most 20th century Americans (and through our influence, much of the rest of the world) have come to accept, is also the most socially relevant one: if enough people believe a convenient half-truth, it is foolhardy to pretend that that half-truth does not at least exist in people’s minds. But we also have to recognize that definitions of race have been fluid over the course of history, and are still highly culturally dependent in the present day.

    For example, most people living in the industrialized world would hardly bat an eye at the idea that ethnic Swedes and ethnic Zulus belong to different races, but there is no stark boundary where “Swedishness” ends and “Zuluness” begins. And for that matter, it would be a highly Swedecentric or Zulucentric view that Swedes and Zulus are some how the original, pure, primary colors from which all in-between shades are derived. The reverse view, that Swedes and Zulus are the extremes of a “pure” middle population, is no less valid, from a biological standpoint. The whole concept of “mixed race identity” must therefore sound totally inane to anyone who’s neither a Swede nor a Zulu.

    Tearing down the exclusionary, rigid idea that people must belong to a single race is a hard enough challenge, and I commend your efforts; challenging the whole notion of race as an objective fact is probably ten times as hard, if not impossible. I don’t deceive myself: when asked what race I am, I know that answering “the human race” is not going to satisfy most people. But as long as there remains a glimmer of hope, I remain hopeful that we can regain some sanity. I’m not sure how you could proceed, but it would be good to hear your program touching on these kinds of issues, at least sometimes.

    * The very term “Asian,” as used in the United States to refer specifically to eastern Asians, is one I especially hate. It takes a geographic concept and converts it into an artificial grouping based on perceived commonalities in physical traits.

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