Mixed / Multiracial Me
December 17, 2019 11:20 PM   Subscribe

"All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?"

Lots of people adjust how they describe themselves according to the situation. Even Christine Iijima Hall, the pioneer scholar who popularized the term "multiracial," doesn't have a uniform answer for the question "What are you?" Hall says she often introduces herself in terms of her specific lineage, but it all depends on context.

"In an African-American group, I would say, 'I am mixed' or 'My mother was Japanese,'" Hall says. "I don't need to say the African-American part because most African-Americans know I am part black." But that changes in different groups, and has changed over time.
posted by jj's.mama (33 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Daburu! I just exclaimed it aloud. Double is so much more accurate than half anything. It’s not my word, and I would never use it as none of me is Japanese. But I have never seen that concept expressed before and it is something I didn’t know I needed. Talking about being mixed has been complicated for me, in part, by the complexity of people wanting these things to make up _parts_ of me instead of understanding that they are wholes added to wholes. The desire for us to shave ourselves down to “white with some spice.” (Casual reminder that “mixed” doesn’t mean any part white for many people.)
posted by stoneweaver at 11:35 PM on December 17, 2019 [28 favorites]

Here's a more direct link to the daburu paper by Laurel Kamada cited by Donnellla for easier access.
posted by Gotanda at 3:48 AM on December 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

I've thought a lot about this subject. I suppose my primary involvement comes from being half-Latino, half-Anglo. Not appearing Latino (light skin, brown hair, blue eyes), I've considered myself, with a smirk, to be an undercover agent, sometimes overhearing racist remarks that probably wouldn't have been spoken if the speaker knew my background.

I've extended this to asking the general question: why do people have to be one thing? The insistence of this phenomenon to label things as one thing has come up again and again in the things that I read.

Not long ago in the U.S., depending on the state people were labeled Negro if they had 1/32 heritage, or even to a further extreme, "a single drop" of African-American blood. It seems odd to me, that the person had to be given a single label to discriminate against.

Even the term "mixed" to me seems to be a single label. Why not just call a person by multiple descriptors? If it gets to be a mouthful, two descriptors at least.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:54 AM on December 18, 2019 [11 favorites]

[A couple deleted. If you are not someone who needs to negotiate the complexities of this topic, please don't disrupt the discussion with the reminder that "we're all just people!" (or similar) It's true, and also incredibly frustrating and annoying as an interjection here, since many of our members and / or their families are not allowed to "just be people."]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:32 AM on December 18, 2019 [45 favorites]

I think on the 2008 census I put 3 answers for race? Asian American AND white AND mixed. I remember I read a piece by someone, maybe Jaya Saxena, about how it's sometimes easier to identify with other people who are mixed from other heritages than with the people who share your heritage but are only one race/culture.
posted by arabidopsis at 7:18 AM on December 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

I've mentioned this before, but I'm so white-passing that I feel awkward even claiming mixed Asian heritage, despite the fact that it's absolutely accurate. Even in Hawaii, where "hapa haole" is a well-recognized (and large) category, I had to be weirdly defensive about the yes, I'm quarter Korean part because I really don't look it. On the mainland, it's easier to just not talk about it, even though that in practice reinforces the idea of whiteness as a default.

(And then there's the whole issue of being an adoptee into a family that was also multiracial, but in a different way. At least I still get to mark "Caucasian" and "East Asian" on the census either way.)

I'm starting to think the whole idea of race is kind of flawed, guys.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:56 AM on December 18, 2019 [26 favorites]

This is super interesting, especially since I've kind of embraced the term "mixed-race" as a shorthand, because it's easier than saying "half-Filipino, half Scots-descended caucasian Midwesterner." I hadn't even considered that it might be thought of as pejorative.

I mean, such is the ubiquity of whiteness that I didn't even think of myself as explicitly mixed-race until I was in college. I didn't think of myself as the child of an immigrant until I was well into my 20s. And I wonder how much class played a role in that—my white dad was fairly white collar, we lived in the burbs, my Filipino grandfather was a doctor, I got to go to college, etc. I had a lot of privilege that I had to parse out as an adult before I could start to grapple with my identity. It's something I'm still working through. I just know that I do not fit in _anywhere_
posted by Maaik at 8:00 AM on December 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

I just prepared a poetry manuscript to send to the Andres Montoya prize for a Latinx writer. Am I Latino? Am I half-Latino?

I have published under both my Latino name and my Anglo name.

In Puerto Rico, as in most Latin American/Spanish-Caribbean countries, the mother's maiden name is appended to the surname. In my opinion, this seems to be appropriate for everyone: everyone (so far) has been born from a mother and a father. So I am Hill Ortiz.

And perhaps that describes the way I feel about the subject. My parents were male and female. I am half and both: as we all are. I am a Latino male. To use a single identifier is like saying I have a heritage but no sexual identity.

And by the way, there is no good term for Caucasian in contrast to Latinx. Latinx can be Caucasian, black, etc. Anglo sounds like England-derived, which is true for most of my ancestors on my father's side, but not a good descriptor of others. Maybe that's what it gets down: describing race as a limiting thing sucks. Describing identity as a limiting thing sucks. As history shows, humans are not mature enough to handle these matters.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:00 AM on December 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

Psst - this is a double, but I hope it stays up so the discussion can continue - so many great comments! I only point it out because there's more good discussion in the older thread, and to reiterate my position from that thread that "mixed" is not an offensive term, and that part of the subject of this essay is the strangeness of having been taught that it was.

Speaking of doubles (lol), stoneweaver, "double" is a term and a concept that I really wish would catch on outside Japan! Language is powerful, and it would really change the way we think about being mixed, I think, to use a word that assumes that it makes you more, not less. I've had so many conversations with people who clearly hold the underlying belief that I'm somehow to be pitied. I have not yet had the courage to respond to one of them by asking whether it was hard for them to grow up with just one cultural heritage, how sad, how blinkered. But imagine if that was the assumption our language held? (That sounds so needlessly aggressive against people I largely have no beef with that I'm a bit afraid even to post this - but that's how I'm treated all the time!)
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:36 AM on December 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

I (black/white, presenting black, other siblings from the same parents lighter skinned than me and can pass for non-African American) hate, HATE being called mixed. I am not a dog. What my parents did to make me is not base or dirty. In the history of multiracial people in America, so many of the words used to describe us are there to call out that "dirtiness" in our blood, which is not dirty at all, and that our ancestors were kept like animals - legally less than human. I don't know what's worse, that this term persists or that it is other POC who primarily identify me as such - "You're mixed, aren't you?" This is also inextricable from claims that I am "acting white" or "trying to act white" by engaging in such radical, racialized activities as using polite English, professing an attraction to men of other races, getting good grades, and seeking gainful employment (/sarcasm).

I respect that everyone has to do what makes sense and works best for them. The roots of these concepts are so old and so evil that I am profoundly disappointed that they continue to survive.
posted by koucha at 8:54 AM on December 18, 2019 [13 favorites]

As a parent of multi-racial kids, daburu really struck me as a great word, but my kids are Chinese and white. My wife and I just discussed it, and decided that we're going to start using 多倍 / duobei instead of the more standard, but somewhat problematic "mixed blood" / 混血儿 / hunxue'er.
posted by bradf at 9:00 AM on December 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

Thank you for the reality check, koucha - I had no idea about those objections to "mixed" but they make total sense. I don't love the word and mostly have settled on it as the least bad of the options, but I'll rethink that.

(Also seeing the Chinese characters in bradf's comment reminded me that I talk about "blood" a lot when discussing my background in Japanese. HATE that terminology in English, but both my language skills and the ability of the language itself to distinguish between ethnicity and nationality are so limited that I just go with whatever will help me be understood. Which is also why I don't use "double" in English)
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:05 AM on December 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

My child is still small enough that they rarely interact with strangers when we're not around. Our presence makes their ethnic background fairly obvious. But the portmanteau "chindian" is fluent while avoiding a lot of baggage, and we find it hilarious, so we've been going with that.
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 9:09 AM on December 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

A Mefite had mentioned long ago how he really disliked the Japanese term Hafu ("half") being used to describe his kids and I had never thought of what it meant up til then. I've avoided the term since then but my wife, who is Japanese, uses it all the time, even to describe our kids. I'm going to start using the term Daburu and ask her about it too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:52 AM on December 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

People get so confused when they meet my father, who is unmistakably black, because no one would ever guess that I'm not fully Caucasian. I even have blue eyes and my hair was a dark blonde before going grey in my twenties. Most folks assume I was adopted or that he's my stepfather, and if I claim otherwise (I'm a biologist, and I've had genetic analysis performed so I am 100% certain of his paternity) they think I'm deluded or in denial. I never bring it up for that reason, but sometimes I feel like I'm hiding part of my identity. My sisters are much more clearly multiracial and don't have the same issue, so I don't know anyone else who's had the same experience.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 11:15 AM on December 18, 2019 [10 favorites]

My father is Anglo-Saxon white and my mother is Chinese, and my mother’s family always referred to my brother and me as “mixed.” It’s how I still think of myself. I remember one of my big fears as a child was that people wouldn’t think my dad was my dad because I didn’t think I looked like him, and there just weren’t many mixed race kids around where I was growing up, so it wasn’t “normal.” Weirdly, I never worried that people wouldn’t think my mom was my mom because it seemed so obvious to me that we looked alike. However, looking back at childhood pictures, I realize I look much, much more like my mother as I get older and it wasn’t so clear when I was younger.

I have been lucky enough to be emotionally close with both sides of my extended family, but geographically I grew up closest to my mom’s side...The way I was raised I was immersed in her culture (Singaporean Chinese) and I am so grateful for that. Whiteness is everywhere in Canada, and I was fortunate enough to be raised with my Asian family’s point of view and racial and cultural framework.

I’m quite sensitive to whether people understand that I’m not 100% white and that I also identify closely with my Chinese heritage. It’s not just about how I look—some people think I look white, some think I look Asian, some people can’t quite put their finger on my particular racial mix—it’s about the context I was raised in, who raised me, the experiences and expectations my family had, the expectations white society had of my family...

It’s hard to explain. I appreciated this article; obviously it brought up a lot of feelings for me. Thank you, jj’smama.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:46 AM on December 18, 2019 [10 favorites]

I remember I read a piece by someone, maybe Jaya Saxena, about how it's sometimes easier to identify with other people who are mixed from other heritages than with the people who share your heritage but are only one race/culture.

I feel this. My cousin was basically my best friend growing up. Both of us have Puerto Rican mothers, but his dad is black and my dad is white, and we both respectively resemble our dads in terms of how people who don't know us would peg our ethnic backgrounds. We both grew up primarily around our Puerto Rican family and I think that shared experience of feeling like you have one foot in and one foot out (neither of us were taught Spanish from childhood) was part of our bond. Super weird, too, to have an experience like Thoughtcrime's where we would introduce each other as cousins and have people think we were lying or meant it metaphorically.
posted by invitapriore at 12:42 PM on December 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

This thread also reminded me of a memory that I hadn't thought about in years. I was playing some salsa music at a house show in college, and was talking to some people after, and one of them (a white person) made mention of my being white and playing salsa, and I mentioned that I was part Puerto Rican. It was kind of a flirty conversation and they responded with something like, "ah, that makes sense, I thought maybe by your face that there was something else in you." I still can't articulate how that comment made and makes me feel, with the weird swirl of being creeped out at the sense of whiteness-as-default and vague race science aura of it, then to feeling bad because it wasn't intended that way, then to feeling creeped out again by being fetishized, and then again to feeling bad because in presenting as white I can totally circumvent the issue by just not mentioning it in a way that others can't, and etc.

In spite of that one instance, because of my whiteness I categorically do not experience micro-aggressions like that in general, and I share that anecdote not to imply as much but just to depict some of the weird situations you end up in when someone puts you in the "fellow white person" bucket and lets fly with that kind of stuff. It really messes with how you conceive of your own identity.
posted by invitapriore at 2:06 PM on December 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

There's no way a white person can ask me about my heritage without being rude. This is not a rule I have, just an observation from many years of experience. (Some nonwhite people who ask are also probably being rude, but I'm ethnically ambiguous enough that most of them get a pass because they're plausibly trying to see if our grandparents came from a similar place.) I've gotten less forgiving over this lately. Reason #12,650 that the Trump era sucks is that I'm very creeped out now when middle-aged white men ask me where my family is from. If I know you probably voted for Trump, "what is your family history" feels less like an annoying microaggression and more like a threat.

Anyway, I agree that "mixed" is weird. It implies that non-mixed is pure, which, eek. If you want to be more specific about heritage, embrace the template my mom is ________ and my dad is ________. Or my grandparent's history is ________. Maybe we can all just use a few more words for everything, and be specific.
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:18 PM on December 18, 2019 [8 favorites]

When I was growing up the term was half-caste, which we used without any real awareness of caste in Hinduism. There wasn't another word and the concept, in that time and place, itself was new. I'm conscious that the terms naming this thing that we are have in my lifetime always seemed uncomfortable. Nowadays I might say bi-cultural, dual-heritage, bi-racial, mixed race. There's still that discomfort, perhaps because it's always a doubly marked category, like, marked by both or all the cultures that have produced the individual. In the UK I'm black, but UK people get very surprised at the notion that this is kind of a symmetrical situation and in Nigeria I'm most definitely oyinbo. Of course Nigerian people are surprised at the versa of this vice too. (About a passport problem for a family member, needing a trip to the UK Embassy: "When you get there and they see you're white, it will all be ok." "Weeell, actually ...")

People are just very unwilling to see nuance. They're very ok with seeing Other.

A woman once asked me at a party "What blood are you?" She was a Russian woman going out with a guy from DRC so she was trying earnestly to be woke. That really set my teeth on edge, with it's deterministic flavour.

Thoughtcrime, genetics throws up some interesting variables, doesn't it? I think if my family had been based in America when my kids were young they would have had a much more painful and confusing time, what with the base level of prejudice and the phenomenon of passing and things like that.
posted by glasseyes at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

This personal narrative of identity, migration, family, and language passed through my Twitter feed this morning and might also be of interest.

Christine Kim, "To not be or feel “enough” denotes a sense of inadequacy and deficiency, which oddly in my case stems from my unruly excessiveness. I may not feel enough, but I am also too much.

I have always been too Spanish for my Korean side, too Korean for my Spanish side, and a little too brown for everyone. When I was little, I dreamed of going somewhere and having someone claim me as their own. To hear someone call out to me, “Hey, you are one of us,” and in the moment have a sense of who “us” might be."

posted by Gotanda at 5:39 PM on December 18, 2019 [8 favorites]

A Mefite had mentioned long ago how he really disliked the Japanese term Hafu ("half") being used to describe his kids and I had never thought of what it meant up til then. I've avoided the term since then but my wife, who is Japanese, uses it all the time, even to describe our kids. I'm going to start using the term Daburu and ask her about it too.

Well, everyone is different. I am a hafu who has always hated the term double/daburu.

People are just very unwilling to see nuance. They're very ok with seeing Other.

If being a mixed-race person has shown me anything, it's this.
posted by mustard seeds at 5:47 PM on December 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm going to need to mull over double/daburu for a while. I remember joking as a kid about being half-half ("Which half is where? Top and bottom? Left and right?") To think of being mixed as being more than... Hmm.

Is anyone here "invisibly" mixed? I'm ethnically half Korean and half Chinese but to most people I probably just register as Asian and I've often felt like the distinction is not exotic enough to count.
posted by Rora at 6:56 PM on December 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Casual reminder that “mixed” doesn’t mean any part white for many people.

Wow, the word mixed has so many different connotations. Like, when I first encountered the word "mixed", it was used to refer to people with one black parent and one non-black parent. I remember the first time I was called "mixed" (my mom is Filipina, my dad is white) was when I was teaching 4th grade and one of the kids in class said "I'm mixed, like Mr. 23skidoo". And in my head I was like "wait a minute", but then I thought "Okay, there is no way someone thinks one of my parents is black, so mixed must have a more expansive meaning than I originally thought".

Then, like without missing a beat, the same kid goes "Yeah, I'm a mulatto" and I have to stop whatever we were talking about and explain to him the history of the word and the words "quadroon" and "octaroon" and how "mulatto" is a very old word that lots of people will be bothered by. I wanted to ask "where did you learn the word mulatto without learning that it's kind of an offensive word" but I don't think I did.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

jj's.mama, you've been posting some good stuff and I'm reading and using it (relevant to my kids' school). Just wanted to say thanks.
posted by away for regrooving at 11:16 PM on December 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh wow. I had no idea it was like this. I cannot imagine asking anyone about their genetics. I do sometimes notice an accent that is not Australian, and if I need to make small talk, I might ask them where they came from and why they chose here, but I would never say "but where are you really from?" Thank you OP, for the article, and thank you, Mefites, for giving me an insight into your experiences. I always appreciate an opportunity to improve on my courtesy.
posted by b33j at 1:07 AM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

When people ask me what my race is, it's usually a neutral question on their part (usually...) but really I wish I could just say "none of your business!" Why do you need to know if not to make a bunch of unwarranted assumptions about me or my family. And the follow up questions are so predictable they've become like a script
posted by picklenickle at 8:54 AM on December 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

I've had the fortune of growing up with lots of multiracial cousins and had good conversations with multiracial college friends. I get to discuss these sorts of things with my multiracial wife, including trying to figure how to give our unambiguosly brown children a solid foundation for navigating their heritage. I worry sometimes that I'll end up prejudiced against monoracial people in my old age. It's not their fault their parents married within the group. Intraracial relationships are perfectly natural.

Context and comfort are really important. I freely give info about myself when I feel someone is struggling with their own identity. When it's nosy brown people I'll give the, "my mom/dads's side is..." explanation. When it's nosy whites, I usually say, "American." When being more charitable, I say, "Texan." Nuclear option is, "what do you think I am?"
posted by Mister Cheese at 9:23 AM on December 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Well, everyone is different. I am a hafu who has always hated the term double/daburu.

I had an ... interesting chat with my wife about this:
Me: What do you think of the term Hafu for people like our kids?
Her: Oh, it is such a discriminatory term. You should say multiracial instead.
Me: So what term would you use to describe them in Japanese then?
Her: Hafu (I'm going to assume she heard me saying Hafu as half)
Me: What about this term Daburu?
Her: I've never heard of it before. Where did you hear that?
Me: Just something online.

We'll need to have some more conversations about this because I don't get how you can see 'half' being bad in English but 'hafu' fine in Japanese.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:26 PM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

My 23&Me map is grey in two spots, let's put it that way. I'm not double or half anything, I'm multiple!

As for what I call myself, I have said a mixed-race African-American. I was raised to consider myself African-American. I've never thought about "mixed" not being a good word to use as a descriptor. I see where her mom's coming from, though it's an uphill battle to get others to not compartmentalize you for their own mental ease.
posted by droplet at 2:27 PM on December 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had a history teacher from Hawaii. In his yearbook, people who were of more than one ethnicity (quite often 2-3) were called "Cosmopolitan." I always thought that was pretty interesting.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 11:23 PM on December 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I've had quite a few difficult situations to navigate as a result of being hapa--my mom's Filipina and my dad is mostly German.

The big one overall is that, as I've aged, I have gone from looking very Filipino to looking very German. When I was a kid, I got to experience all that anti-Asian racism in the Midwest and Texas had to offer. But now, people seem almost offended when I point out that I'm not white, as though the rule is that if I can pass for white, I ought to claim it.

I had a sort of funny encounter this year. I was dating a guy who was, himself, not entirely black... I forget his family heritage exactly, but there were a few white folk in there somewhere. But not surprisingly, his friend group was mostly black. And his best friend, to him, blurted out in front of me one time, "Why are you coming around with this white guy?!"

My response was, "I'm actually half Filipino."

To which he replied, "Asian people are white."

And I came back, "Not according to white people. I checked." His face reconfigured instantly into that right-sorry-you-are-one-of-us-after-all faces that seem to be most recognizable to multiracial persons, because it seems to me we are the most likely to be forced to have that argument with another person of color.

When I get everyone's favorite question, "What are you?" I try to pivot the question to something inclusive of the person asking. My go-to response now is, "Oh, my mother moved to the US from the Philippines in the early 1950s, so I'm the first generation born here on that side, but my dad is the 4th generation to live in the US having come from Germany. How many generations has your family been in the US?" As it turns out, this challenge, in most cases, magically reminds the questioner that, at some point in the recorded past, their family was also "other" and not "us" and it would be perfectly valid for me to ask what they are, but I didn't, because it's a jerky thing to ask. On rare occasion, learning happens in that moment, and it's delicious.
posted by kochbeck at 10:48 AM on December 20, 2019 [8 favorites]

I had a sort of funny encounter this year. I was dating a guy who was, himself, not entirely black... I forget his family heritage exactly, but there were a few white folk in there somewhere.
I swear I'm not trying to pick on you or your comment, kochbeck, but the part that I bolded has to do with what's been rubbing me wrong about this whole idea. I've been reading the comments in here, and I can see the validity of other people's viewpoints, BUT I'm still-- wait, let me just quote the article, and bold up the part that I most identified with:
Some resist any terminology for multiracial people, period. "All this talk is disturbing," says Rainier Spencer, director of the Afro-American Studies Program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and self-professed racial skeptic. "What drives my antagonism is that people are coming in and saying, 'We're new, we're different, we are the answer to race problems in America,'" says Spencer. "Population mixture has been going on for hundreds of years. Calling people 'mixed' erases the history of race in the U.S."
The history of the United States is horrible, if you think about it for half a minute. But I guess many people do not. (Let me point out here that for most African-descended people this is a long-running field of study, and people should really start consulting us more about, well, EVERYTHING.) I don't believe for a second that she's doing it on purpose, but Leah Donella is absolutely eliding many of the specific elements of the country's-- I'll be direct here-- relentlessly rapey past, and the emergent properties that carry that past into the present, and threaten to persist into the future. She brings up Loving v. Virginia, which seems to be a common focal point for this type of essay. Apparently less publicized is the story of Lena Baker, even though there was a movie about it. (Content warning: if you're not up for two minutes of a disturbingly abusive "relationship," then just forego the last few links. If you want to tell yourself that I'm just dredging up the ancient past for no reason, however, then I guess you also want to skip over this next link, from The Washington Post: "He was sexually abusing underage girls. Then, police said, one of them killed him." [December 17, 2019])

Donella does reference the past: the "tragic mulatto" stereotype and a seventeenth-century "mixed race milestone" when a Maryland law "forbade 'racial admixture' between English women and Negro slaves."

Well, Frederick Douglass was born in Maryland too, and within the first chapter of his Narrative he lays out a point that I'd otherwise be struggling to put my finger on here: U.S. history is racist, sexist, cruel, arbitrary, illogical and horrible in ways that Donella's article does not seem willing to acknowledge at all. As Douglass says [bolded emphasis mine]:
My father was a white man. He was admitted to be such by all I ever heard speak of my parentage. The opinion was also whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness of this opinion, I know nothing; the means of knowing was withheld from me. [...] The whisper that my master was my father, may or may not be true; and, true or false, it is of but little consequence to my purpose whilst the fact remains, in all its glaring odiousness, that slaveholders have ordained, and by law established, that the children of slave women shall in all cases follow the condition of their mothers; and this is done too obviously to administer to their own lusts, and make a gratification of their wicked desires profitable as well as pleasurable; for by this cunning arrangement, the slaveholder, in cases not a few, sustains to his slaves the double relation of master and father.
The history of the United States is packed full of brazen injustice. Some people have the privilege of not having to think about this too often, but that's not a real possibility when random strangers sometimes stop you and ask you about, say, your eye color. There is a ton of context here that I'm not seeing any comment on at all.

I don't even fully agree with the Rainier Spencer quote and its built-in false dichotomy premise that one side must silence the other. (I would be cynically willing to bet that's what this movement will end up getting channeled into, though.) Calling people whatever you choose (Although even the post's title is loaded: hopefully, we directly ask the people in question what they want to be called, right? This whole topic is an absolute minefield!) logically should have no bearing on history or the past, nor should it be beholden to such things. I guess I just want people reading this thread to recognize two things: one, there is no one pat answer here, so I don't think that anyone should prescribe a stance on this subject to others; and two, that logic doesn't always counter illogic. People have been trying that particular tactic with regard to race for centuries. If it somehow works for you personally, or inexplicably finds purchase and creates lasting change this time, I will be sincerely happy for all of us, but I think where (Dr?) Sinclair and I agree is that we're not exactly holding our breath for it this time. This is much less of an individualized, personal-choice driven field than it may appear, I think. The topic feels improperly framed.
posted by tyro urge at 8:08 AM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

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