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Race and society

  1. Jul 5, 2011 #1
    Why are biracial people who have one African parent or decadent always considered black. why does black seem to override all other races
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  3. Jul 5, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    In biracial children, race is usually assigned by predominant features. If a person that is considered white has a child with someone considered Asian, and the child looks predominatly Asian, then they are usually considered Asian. But racial lines are blurring. The US census allows people to pick their race and ethnicity. I dated a guy whose father was irish and his mother was Japanese. He really had no Japanese features, so he claimed to be white only.
  4. Jul 5, 2011 #3


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    Tiger Woods would disagree with your premise.
  5. Jul 5, 2011 #4

    George Jones

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    What does "looks" mean. My daughter has the skin and eye colour of her South Asian mother, and her hair colour is very close to her mother's hair colour, but my daughter's facial (and some other physical) features are similar to mine. Despite the different colourings, most people can immediately see that my daughter "looks" like me.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  6. Jul 5, 2011 #5


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    That's what I am saying. You can now decide which 'race' you wish to claim, or other, or multiple, or whatever.
  7. Jul 5, 2011 #6
    Historically racism accounted for the bias initially. A hundred years ago, if you had as little as 1/16 black heritage you were not considered "white anymore."

    Today it's reverse racism in the form of affirmative action that keeps this notion going, though justifiably so according to what our society has decided about it as a remedy.

    Today you get advantages in terms of education and employment or social welfare benefits by checking the box next to Black. I know that the same historical proportion 1/16 applies to whether you are considered native American or not on a financial aid application. Probably being black is still a 1/16th proposition for such purposes.
  8. Jul 6, 2011 #7
    Without wanting to fall into stereotypes, biracial people who have 1 black parent usually hang out more with blacks and behave more like blacks do, so people consider them black.
  9. Jul 15, 2011 #8
    I think that's accurate.
  10. Oct 3, 2011 #9
    I think, in part, this goes back to the European colonization of the Americas, and the different ways those European cultures treated other races.
    The Spanish, who colonized Latin America, had more of a mind to integrate and assimilate the indigenous population. They established categories and concepts for people who were of mixed ancestry, and they were more likely to think that someone with a substantial portion of "white" (Spanish European) blood was "white."
    The English, on the other hand, who dominated the region that is now the United States, believed much more firmly in segregation. There have even been laws forbidding the mixing of different people.
    These attitudes were carried over onto the Africans who were brought over as slaves.
    In order to accommodate white, male slave owners having sex with female, black slaves, and ensuring that the offspring would have slave status, any black was seen as black, and having a black mother meant the offspring was black. (Whereas if a white woman gave birth to a black child it meant bad news for everyone involved)

    Now, of course, all this has been changing (thankfully), and the color lines are becoming blurred.

    But I think that your question can be somewhat answered (especially if the context is the U.S.) if you look back at the English colonizers, their attitudes toward non-white races, their customs established around slavery, and how these lines of thought can be carried over by certain generations and institutions into the present.
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