Tributes to Sheldon Seevak

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Resources: Database Race, class, ethnicity, and stereotyping

Abigail Fisher, a 22-year-old White woman hailing from a middle-class suburb, has been afforded a number of class and race based privileges by the sheer virtue of her birth. A graduate of Louisiana State University, a talented cellist and currently employed as a financial analyst, that is not to take away from the fruits of her labor throughout her academic and professional careers…but it is worth noting that the advantages of being White, female and class mobile make certain fruits a little easier to grasp. Alas, these privileges are not enough for Fisher. Despite having graduated from a good college »

Jared Diamond, "Race Without Color," Discover Magazine, November 1, 1994 Basing race on body chemistry makes no more sense than basing race on appearance--but at least you get to move the membership around. Science often violates simple common sense. Our eyes tell us that the Earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the Earth, and that we humans are not animals. But we now ignore that evidence of our senses. We have learned that our planet is in fact round and revolves around the sun, and that humans are slightly modified chimpanzees. The reality of human races is another »

Fifty years ago segregationists trying to keep black students out of Little Rock Central High inadvertently broke up one of the country's greatest football dynasties This picture shouldn't be published. It belongs in a moldy scrapbook in some old man's attic. Its time is done. Its way of life is finished. Even the school these 42 white boys played for a half century ago did away with it. Took it down one day to paint a hallway in the early '90s, and then.... What became of it? Some said it was stowed beneath the auditorium stage and destroyed in a »

On March 17, 1987, I experienced my first American St. Patrick's Day, my first offshore glimpse of my own country, broadcast in psychedelic green. I was a waitress in an Irish-American pub in upstate New York. The night before, I telephoned my parents back home to explain that the pub would be too loud and crowded to call on the day itself. "Why?" My mother asked. "What's all the fuss about?" The "fuss" began the next morning with an 11 a.m. queue outside the pub door. It ended at 5 a.m. the following day as the last taxi drivers waited »

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BERLIN — When a German banker and former government official spoke publicly about a unique “Jewish gene,” when he attacked Islam as a source of violence and stunted development and when he espoused genetic theories that evoked the fright of the Nazi past, the political leadership here quickly condemned him as racist and called for him to be fired. But the banker, Thilo Sarrazin, an executive with the central bank and a former Berlin finance minister, has not emerged as the marginalized hate-monger that the initial condemnation suggested. His book, “Germany Does Away With Itself,” which laments the growing number »

Among the most revealing aspects of life during the Obama presidency is the panoply of responses to a black family in the White House. What made so many of us proud of our country on Jan. 20, 2009, has increasingly provoked expressions of hatred from the far right. That is troubling, but not nearly as troubling as the behavior of conservatives who excuse, embolden or simply pretend to ignore the bigots surrounding them. Last spring, after unruly tea party protesters on Capitol Hill were accused of spewing racial epithets at civil rights hero John Lewis, an African-American congressman from Georgia, »

I'm glad there are more gay characters on TV these days. But I don't want to single the gay ones out, because that would imply that I think gay people are different than everyone else. They're not different! Gay people are just like straight people, only they're smarter and funnier and more interesting. Also, they smell better. They've read more books, sure. And they have more friends -- that part isn't surprising. Because they're better educated, generally speaking, and also a little wiser. Like blondes, they have more fun. When people talk about homos taking over the planet, my heart »

The word "gay" is now the most frequently used term of abuse in schools, says a report. How did it get to be so prevalent and why do children use homophobic insults to get at each other? Every generation of schoolchildren has them, the playground put-downs that can leave a pupil's reputation in tatters among their peers. For the current generation, "gay", "bitch" and "slag" are the most frequently used terms of abuse, according to a survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). They are used by children of all ages, from nursery school upwards. But the worst »

COMPLETE TEXT OF ALABAMA'S SLAVERY APOLOGY May 25, 2007 The complete text of the slavery apology resolution approved by the Alabama Legislature on Thursday: WHEREAS, slavery has been documented as a worldwide practice since antiquity, dating back to 3500 B.C. in ancient Mesopotamia; and WHEREAS, during the course of the infamous Atlantic Slave Trade, millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to the New World, and millions more died during passage; the first African slaves in the North American colonies were brought to Jamestown, in 1619; and WHEREAS, the Atlantic Slave Trade was a lucrative enterprise, and African slaves, a prized »

WRITING IN ESSENCE MAGAZINE, ""AMISTAD'' midwife Debbie Allen described the Joseph Cinque saga as ""a little drop in a big bucket of blood memory we need to share with the world.'' Allen's implicit assumption is that ""Amistad'' is not enough, that we need to reach deeper into that bucket if we are to understand America. S. Allen Counter, neurophysiologist, Harvard University professor and head of the Harvard Foundation, believes that nothing less than a national monument to slavery can transmit the essence of those blood memories across the generations. For years he has sought backing for a memorial on the »

THERE IS a simple reason American presidents will not apologize for slavery. An apology for the past means asking white Americans to take responsibility for the present. One hundred and forty years after the Emancipation Proclamation, that remains a task too heavy for presidents to perform. The truth remains too terrible for Americans to bear. Twice in five years a president has gone to Africa. Both said how terrible slavery was. In 1998, Bill Clinton said, ''going back to the time before we were a nation, European Americans received the fruits of the slave trade. And we were wrong in »

For nations, like people, distant memory of trauma can be submerged and repressed but never extinguished. It surfaces in words, in politics and sometimes in the movies. In the middle of Steven Spielberg's new film, ""Amistad,'' which opens next week, comes ""the Middle Passage''--the journey of Africans to the New World. Like the Nazi rampage through the Jewish ghetto in ""Schindler's List,'' these spare scenes are among the most wrenching ever put on film. They take us closer than we have ever been to a realistic depiction of slaves being beaten, whipped, shot to death and thrown overboard, of African »

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama opposes offering reparations to the descendants of slaves, putting him at odds with some black groups and leaders. The man with a serious chance to become the nation's first black president argues that government should instead combat the legacy of slavery by improving schools, health care and the economy for all. "I have said in the past _ and I'll repeat again _ that the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed," the Illinois Democrat said recently. Some two dozen »

Reparations for American blacks was a sideline issue for most African Americans until the publication of Randall Robinson's The Debt. The book helped bring the reparations debate to a larger audience, introducing the wider black community and general American population to a notion long discussed at black nationalist meetings. Others began taking action. Deadria Farmer-Paelmman, a legal activist, conducted extensive research finding that Aetna issued policies on slaves in the 1850s; she has since filed suit against the insurance giant and other corporations, requesting that they compensate African Americans for "stolen labor" and "illicit profits." Another group, headed by Harvard »

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help. * White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay. * White privilege »

A few years ago, I sat down to read Back Then: Two Literary Lives in 1950’s New York, by the novelist Anne Bernays and her husband, the biographer Justin Kaplan. I was cruising along, as calmly as you please, when I came to an eye-opening passage about the once-famous New York lunch-counter chain, “Chock full o’ Nuts.’’ The passage read: “The owner of Chock full o’ Nuts, a white man named William Black, advertised in the tabloids for ‘light colored counter help,’ an example of nth-degree discrimination.’’ I knew that employers had once ruled out black applicants with ads that »

The year-long 50th-birthday party for this pioneering suburb on Long Island is winding down. The parade drew 5,000 marchers. Crowds came for candlelight church services, an antique-car show, exhibits, seminars and tours of the fabled Levitt houses that started it all. There were even Potato Day festivities honoring the flat farmland here where Levitt & Sons began mass-producing single-family tract homes in 1947, heralding the wave of migration from cities that lasted for decades. But not everyone touched by the Levittown experience has been celebrating. ''The anniversary leaves me cold,'' said Eugene Burnett, who was among thousands of military veterans »

Review of GIVE ME MY FATHER'S BODY: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo. by Kenn Harper. Foreword by Kevin Spacey. Illustrated. 277 pp. South Royalton, Vt.: Steerforth Press. $24. Given the arrangements of power on the planet in the last few centuries, white men have had lots of chances to override the rights of other people with indifference. This does not mean that white men have a particular talent for oppression, but it does mean that they have had peculiar historical opportunities to develop, exercise and refine that talent. Writing about this state of affairs can be risky. »

Deep inside a data dump by the Census Bureau last week was a startling racial projection: By midcentury, the United States will be home to 80 million more white people. Never mind, for a moment, that the bureau also predicts that Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American-Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will constitute a majority of the population by 2042. The number of people who say they are white is projected to rise by about two million every year. At that rate, even while the Hispanic and Asian populations expand enormously, the proportion of Americans who »

From http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Morning/ Published on: Jun 07, 2006 Ann Morning, assistant professor of sociology at New York University, has published a number of articles having to do with race and ethnicity, especially racial classification. Her most recent work is "From Sword to Plowshare: Using Race for Discrimination and Antidiscrimination in the United States" (with Daniel Sabbagh), forthcoming in International Social Science Journal. In 2001 and 2002, I interviewed over 40 university professors in biology and anthropology about their definitions of the term “race.” Their views varied widely. Almost 40 percent of these academics took what can be called an “essentialist” view: »

From http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Marks/ Published on: Jun 07, 2006 Jonathan Marks is a molecular anthropologist who teaches at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is author of Human Biodiversity and What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee. Introduction Anthropologists have been studying race for over 200 years now, and contrary to what seems to be conventional wisdom (at least as articulated in Leroi’s New York Times essay), they have learned quite a bit about it. Perhaps the most significant discovery is that human groups, however constituted, are fluid, bio-cultural units. They run a broad gamut from more-or-less biological to more-or-less cultural, »

From http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Lewontin/ Published on: Jun 07, 2006 R.C. Lewontin, Alexander Agassiz Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Harvard University, has written a number of books and articles on evolution and human variation, including Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA and The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment Over the last thirty five years a major change has taken place in our biological understanding of the concept of human “race,” largely as a consequence of an immense increase in our knowledge of human genetics. As a biological rather than a social construct, “race” has ceased to be seen as a fundamental »

from http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Kaufman/ Published on: Jun 07, 2006 Jay Kaufman is an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and a fellow of the Carolina Population Center. He has written a number of articles on the ways in which health status varies by race, class and other socioeconomic quantities, and has co-written an important essay for the New England Journal of Medicine called "Race and Genomics." There are countless instances in the history of science when widespread and uncritical embrace of a myth or fallacy has retarded progress, sometimes for centuries. For example, following »

from http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Hammonds/ Published on: Jun 07, 2006 Evelynn M. Hammonds is professor of the history of science and of African and African American studies at Harvard University. Her current work focuses on the intersection of scientific, medical, and socio-political concepts of race in the United States. She is completing a book called The Logic of Difference: A History of Race in Science and Medicine in the United States, 1850–1990. Until Armand Marie Leroi’s New York Times Op-Ed of March 14, 2005, it is unlikely that many Americans, even among the daily readers of the paper, knew that we are living »

from http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Graves/ Published on: Jun 07, 2006 Joseph L. Graves, Jr. is University Core Director and Professor of Biological Sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His research concerns the evolutionary genetics of postponed aging and biological concepts of race in humans. He is the author of The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994. Even the devil can quote scripture: genetics for the human race “A Family Tree in Every Gene” »

Two Questions About Race By Alan Goodman from http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Goodman/, published Jun 07, 2006 Alan Goodman is professor of biological anthropology at Hampshire College and co-editor of Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science Beyond the Cultural Divide and Building a New Biocultural Synthesis: Political-Economic Perspectives on Human Biology. He is president-elect of the American Anthropological Association. The billion or so of the world's people of largely European descent have a set of genetic variants in common that are collectively rare in everyone else; they are a race. At a smaller scale, three million Basques do as well; so they are a race »

London — Shortly after last year's tsunami devastated the lands on the Indian Ocean, The Times of India ran an article with this headline: "Tsunami May Have Rendered Threatened Tribes Extinct." The tribes in question were the Onge, Jarawa, Great Andamanese and Sentinelese—all living on the Andaman Islands—and they numbered some 400 people in all. The article, noting that several of the archipelago's islands were low-lying, in the direct path of the wave, and that casualties were expected to be high, said, "Some beads may have just gone missing from the Emerald Necklace of India." The metaphor is as colorful »

Race and Reification in Science Troy Duster[HN12]* Alfred North Whitehead warned many years ago about "the fallacy of misplaced concreteness" [HN1] (1), by which he meant the tendency to assume that categories of thought coincide with the obdurate character of the empirical world. If we think of a shoe as "really a shoe," then we are not likely to use it as a hammer (when no hammer is around). Whitehead's insight about misplaced concreteness is also known as the fallacy of reification [HN2]. Recent research in medicine and genetics makes it even more crucial to resist actively the temptation to »

"Southern Discomfort" A journey through a troubled region. Christopher Dickey NEWSWEEK Aug 2, 2008 For as long as I've been alive the old Confederacy has been a land without closure, where history keeps coming at you day after day, year after year, decade after decade, as if the past were the present, too, and the future forever. Cities grew and populations changed in the South, but the Civil War lurked somehow in the shadow of mirror-sided skyscrapers; the holocaust of slavery and the sweet-bitter victories of the civil-rights movement lingered deep in the minds of people on both sides of »

None of the Above What I.Q. doesn’t tell you about race. by Malcolm Gladwell December 17, 2007 Text Size: Small Text Medium Text Large Text Print E-Mail Feeds If what I.Q. tests measure is immutable and innate, what explains the Flynn effect—the steady rise in scores across generations? If what I.Q. tests measure is immutable and innate, what explains the Flynn effect—the steady rise in scores across generations? Related Links Audio: Malcolm Gladwell on race and I.Q. Keywords I.Q.s; Race; Flynn, James; “What Is Intelligence?” (Cambridge; $22); Flynn effect; Intelligence; Racism One Saturday in November of 1984, James Flynn, a »

The White Negro (Fall, 1957) By Norman Mailer Norman Mailer ran in the Democratic primaries for mayor of New York City in 1969 with journalist Jimmy Breslin as his running mate (Breslin sought the nomination for President of the City Council). Their program called for New York City to secede from the state of New York. Political power was to devolve to the city's neighborhoods. The Mailer-Breslin slogan was "The Other Guys are the Joke." Dissent published many of his controversial articles, including "The White Negro" (Fall, 1957), which is reprinted below, and Mailer served on Dissent's editorial board for »

Stars and Strife A clash of cultures at Boston's City Hall in 1976 symbolized the city's years-long confrontation with the busing of schoolchildren * By Celia Wren * Smithsonian magazine, April 2006 The incident on Boston’s City Hall Plaza took no more than 15 seconds, Ted Landsmark recalls. He was set upon and punched; someone swung an American flag at him; his attackers fled; he glanced down at his suit. “I realized I was covered with blood, and at that moment I understood that something quite significant had happened.” What had happened was partly an accident of timing—a collision between »

The Geometer of Race In the eighteenth century a disastrous shift occurred in the way Westerners perceived races. The man responsible was Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, one of the least racist thinkers of his day. Interesting stories often lie encoded in names that seem either capricious or misconstrued. Why, for example, are political radicals called "left" and their conservative counterparts "right"? In many European legislatures, the most distinguished members sat at the chairman's right, following a custom of courtesy as old as our prejudices for favoring the dominant hand of most people. (These biases run deep, extending well beyond can openers »

Jena incident highlights racism in U.S. By Jon Lange About a year ago, on a particularly hot day in the small Louisiana town of Jena, a student named Justin Purvis asked if he could sit in the shade of a tree in the schoolyard at Jena High School. This modest request was not merely another example of the Byzantine politics of high school cliques, because this particular tree was universally referred to as the "white tree" and it was an unwritten rule of Jena’s racial politics that people who look like Purvis are not welcome. Purvis’ transgression did not go »

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- By most measures, Monta Vista High here and Lynbrook High, in nearby San Jose, are among the nation's top public high schools. Both boast stellar test scores, an array of advanced-placement classes and a track record of sending graduates from the affluent suburbs of Silicon Valley to prestigious colleges. But locally, they're also known for something else: white flight. Over the past 10 years, the proportion of white students at Lynbrook has fallen by nearly half, to 25% of the student body. At Monta Vista, white students make up less than one-third of the population, down from »

School Standards Are Probed Even as Enrollment Increases; A Bias Claim at Princeton By DANIEL GOLDEN November 11, 2006; Page A1 Though Asian-Americans constitute only about 4.5% of the U.S. population, they typically account for anywhere from 10% to 30% of students at many of the nation's elite colleges. Even so, based on their outstanding grades and test scores, Asian-Americans increasingly say their enrollment should be much higher -- a contention backed by a growing body of evidence. Whether elite colleges give Asian-American students a fair shake is becoming a big concern in college-admissions offices. Federal civil-rights officials are investigating »

The Argo, Spring 2003 "Cultural Clubs Promoting Diversity...or Division?" By Erin Durkin, ‘04 Integration. They marched for it on the streets of Selma and Montgomery. They sat in at lunch counters and boycotted buses. The NAACP filed lawsuits, and Martin Luther King led a march on Washington. And they succeeded—segregation has been legally abolished for years. The halls of BLS teem with students of all races. Yet take a look around the cafeteria during any given lunch period, and you will see that precious little integration exists. Eight Asian girls sit around a table at one end of the room, »

Abuse against Asians may be rising, data suggest Brooklyn high school credited with moves against harassment By Erin Texeira, Associated Press | November 14, 2005 NEW YORK -- Eighteen-year-old Chen Tsu was waiting on a Brooklyn subway platform after school when four classmates approached him and demanded cash. He showed them his empty pockets, but they attacked him anyway, taking turns pummeling his face. He was scared and injured -- bruised and swollen for several days -- but hardly surprised. At his school, Lafayette High in Brooklyn, Chinese immigrant students like him are harassed and bullied so routinely that school »

Race Without Color Basing race on body chemistry makes no more sense than basing race on appearance--but at least you get to move the membership around. By Jared Diamond DISCOVER Vol. 15 No. 11 | November 1994 | Science often violates simple common sense. Our eyes tell us that the Earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the Earth, and that we humans are not animals. But we now ignore that evidence of our senses. We have learned that our planet is in fact round and revolves around the sun, and that humans are slightly modified chimpanzees. The reality »

Cartoons offensive, but so is violence, Canadian Muslims say By COLIN PERKEL Thursday, February 2, 2006 Posted at 6:03 PM EST Canadian Press Toronto Cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist are deeply offensive, but so is the violent reaction to the drawings from Islamic extremists, Canadian Muslims said Thursday. Outrage over the cartoons, first published in Denmark in September and reprinted in other European countries, has been spreading along with ominous threats throughout the Islamic world. The protests in the Middle East have proven that the cartoonist was right, said Tarek Fatah, a director of the Muslim »

Firestorm over Danish Muhammad cartoons continues Newspaper that published cartoons received bomb threat a day after issuing apology. By Arthur Bright | csmonitor.com A Danish newspaper that ran a series of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad is still feeling the heat from their publication, having received a bomb threat one day after printing an apology to the Muslim world. The Independent of London reports that Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's largest newspaper, evacuated its offices in Copenhagen and Arhus after the threat was phoned in Tuesday. It proved to be false. The bomb threat comes in the aftermath of the September 2005 publication »

BERLIN Flags burned and protesters chanted as outrage over satirical cartoons of the prophet Muhammad spread today from the Pakistani parliament to the streets of Gaza to a meeting between Danish leaders and Muslim diplomats. The cartoons reprinted this week in European newspapers lampoon Muhammad, with one showing him as a jihad warrior wearing a turban shaped like a bomb. The caricatures have been condemned by imams as an attack on Islam and have underscored the widening suspicions between Europeans and millions of Muslim immigrants. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with ambassadors from Middle East countries in »

Hollywood has had a consistent record of Arab stereotyping and bashing. Some in the Arab American community call this the three B syndrome: Arabs in TV and movies are portrayed as either bombers, belly dancers, or billionaires. Thomas Edison made a short film in 1897 for his patented Kinetoscope in which "Arab" women with enticing clothes dance to seduce a male audience. The short clip was called Fatima Dances (Belly dancer stereotype). The trend has shifted over the years and was predominated by the "billionaires" for a short while especially during the oil crises in the seventies. However, in »

Where lynching still lives By Daniel M. Goldstein | June 22, 2005 ALTHOUGH THE US Senate has apologized to the victims of lynchings that occurred in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, US-backed policies in Latin America are today contributing to a new rash of lynching violence that claims hundreds of lives each year. Acknowledging its failure to enact legislation that might have put a stop to the extrajudicial killings of African-Americans at the hands of racist lynch mobs, last week's nonbinding Senate resolution expresses ''the deepest sympathies and most solemn regrets of the Senate" »

Published on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 by CommonDreams.org Moral Hysteria and the Persecution of Difference by John Buell In 1692, the city upon a hill faced unprecedented crises. The Crown had revoked its charter and ordered the arch-Puritan colony to tolerate dissenting faiths. Puritans were engaged in a bloody war with Native Americans, who had decimated Casco (Portland) and York. A military expedition to Quebec returned to Boston with heavy losses. A small pox epidemic spread outward from Boston to outlying communities like Salem and its rural offshoot, Salem Village. Salem Village, part of the larger, richer community, was straining »

Life at the Top in America Isn't Just Better, It's Longer By JANNY SCOTT Jean G. Miele's heart attack happened on a sidewalk in Midtown Manhattan last May. He was walking back to work along Third Avenue with two colleagues after a several-hundred-dollar sushi lunch. There was the distant rumble of heartburn, the ominous tingle of perspiration. Then Mr. Miele, an architect, collapsed onto a concrete planter in a cold sweat. Will L. Wilson's heart attack came four days earlier in the bedroom of his brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. He had been regaling his fiance with the details of »

An excerpt from Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, 1989 "I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group" .I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" »

Race is a biological fiction, but it is a social fact. The white race consists of those who enjoy the privileges of the white skinfreedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the inside track for jobs and careers, not having to fear for their lives every time they leave the home, expecting, if they are female, that the state will protect them from strangers. Its most downtrodden members enjoy a social status above any person defined as "non-white." From the standpoint of the working class, the white race is an attempt by some workers to cut a separate deal with capital, »

Beverly Daniel Tatum ,Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? (1999) In racially mixed settings, racial grouping is a developmental process in response to an environmental stressor, racism. Walk into any racially mixed high school cafeteria at lunch time and you will instantly notice an identifiable group of black students sitting together. Conversely, there are many white students sitting together, though we rarely comment about that. The question is "Why are the black kids sitting together?" It doesn't start out that way. In racially mixed elementary schools, you often see children of diverse racial backgrounds playing »

Ker Than LiveScience Staff Writer LiveScience.com Thu Oct 6, 3:00 PM ET Americans are assertive, Italians are very passionate, and Germans are the picture of efficiency. Right? Such national stereotypes are common, but they are highly mistaken, a new study shows. There's an old joke that goes something like this: How do you get three Canadians out of a swimming pool? The answer: You ask them. "Meaning they'll do what they're told," says researcher Robert McCrae, a psychologist at the National Institute of Aging. Yet the stereotypes of Americans as assertive and Canadians as submissive are illusions, McCrae said. Both »

Colorblind Racism By Sally Lehrman African Americans with a college diploma find themselves unemployed almost twice as often as whites with the same education. Hispanics must get by on only about half of the individual income that Asian Americans and whites divvy up among the bills. And when blacks and Latinos are hospitalized with a heart problem, they are less likely than European Americans to receive catheterization, be sent home with beta blockers or even be advised to take aspirin to protect their health. While many Americans agree that open racial bigotry is generally a thing of the past, stark »

Heather Lewis-Charp, "Breaking the Silence: White Students' Perspectives on Race in Multiracial Schools," Phi Beta Kappan, December 2003 Many white students feel uncomfortable talking about "racial" topics, Ms. Lewis-Charp reports. She shares the findings and implications of a study of how students in multiracial schools relate to one another across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. SITTING IN A SMALL discussion group after seeing a film on race, Danielle Channing (a pseudonym to protect the identity of the student) is silent. A white, middle-class freshman at a multiracial high school in California, Danielle is unable to find the language to talk »

Blood Feud These are boom times for the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma. But bad times for thousands of black Indians battling for tribal citizenship. Now the Freedmen are turning to genetic science for help. By Brendan I. Koerner Wired (September 2005) Even by the pancake-flat standards of Middle America, Stick Ross Mountain is an unimpressive peak. It's more of a gentle hill, really, poking out from behind the Wal-Mart just west of Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. But to the Cherokee, the 900-foot crest was remarkable enough to be named for a revered 19th-century member »

What Happens to a Race Deferred By Jason DeParle The New York Times Sunday 04 September 2005 The white people got out. Most of them, anyway. If television and newspaper images can be deemed a statistical sample, it was mostly black people who were left behind. Poor black people, growing more hungry, sick and frightened by the hour as faraway officials counseled patience and warned that rescues take time. What a shocked world saw exposed in New Orleans last week wasn't just a broken levee. It was a cleavage of race and class, at once familiar and startlingly new, laid »

What Makes People Gay? The debate has always been that it was either all in the child's upbringing or all in the genes. But what if it's something else? By Neil Swidey | August 14, 2005 With crystal-blue eyes, wavy hair, and freshly scrubbed faces, the boys look as though they stepped out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. They are 7-year-old twins. I'll call them Thomas and Patrick; their parents agreed to let me meet the boys as long as I didn't use their real names. Spend five seconds with them, and there can be no doubt that they »

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