Great article from IHT on the changing attitudes of young people on being MultiRacial or BiRacial in America. Many interesting parallels to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as they face a generation of MultiRacial/multicultural children from the numerous marriages between Koreans and foreigners.
“Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans
Choose All of the Above”
By SUSAN SAULNY January 29, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — In another time or place, the game of “What Are You?” that was played one night last fall at the University of Maryland might have been mean, or menacing: Laura Wood’s peers were picking apart her every feature in an effort to guess her race.
“How many mixtures do you have?” one young man asked above the chatter of about 50 students. With her tan skin and curly brown hair, Ms. Wood’s ancestry could have spanned the globe. “I’m mixed with two things,” she said politely.
“Are you mulatto?” asked Paul Skym, another student, using a word once tinged with shame that is enjoying a comeback in some young circles. When Ms. Wood confirmed that she is indeed black and white, Mr. Skym, who is Asian and white, boasted, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” in affirmation of their mutual mixed lineage.
Then the group of friends — formally, the Multiracial and Biracial Student Association — erupted into laughter and cheers, a routine show of their mixed-race pride.
The crop of students moving through college right now includes the largest group of mixed-race people ever to come of age in the United States, and they are only the vanguard: the country is in the midst of a demographic shift driven by immigration and intermarriage.
One in seven new marriages is between spouses of different races or ethnicities, according to data from 2008 and 2009 that was analyzed by the Pew Research Center. Multiracial and multiethnic Americans (usually grouped together as “mixed race”) are one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups. And experts expect the racial results of the 2010 census, which will start to be released next month, to show the trend continuing or accelerating.
Many young adults of mixed backgrounds are rejecting the color lines that have defined Americans for generations in favor of a much more fluid sense of identity…They are also using the strength in their growing numbers to affirm roots that were once portrayed as tragic or pitiable.The KWB Notes: As Korea adjusts to the growing numbers of Multicultural Marriages and the Mixed-Blood children perhaps they too will affect change in the society. It is happening in the rural areas of Korea where the number of mixed-race children are soon to be twenty percent. Let the Change begin!
“I think it’s really important to acknowledge who you are and everything that makes you that,” said Ms. Wood, the 19-year-old vice president of the group. “If someone tries to call me black I say, ‘yes — and white.’The KWB Notes: YES, YES, YES, I myself am all of the race/ethnicities of my Korean birth/natural mother and my birth father (Spanish/Mexican/Apache) but also my ADOPTIVE PARENTS cultures. By Adoption I be Scottish/English/Norwegian as well. I can and do celebrate all of these as Part of ME! See This Link "Long Struggle for Multicultural Stars in Korea
No one knows quite how the growth of the multiracial population will change the country. Optimists say the blending of the races is a step toward transcending race, to a place where America is free of bigotry, prejudice and programs like affirmative action.
“The mixed-race identity is not a transcendence of race, it’s a new tribe,” he said. “A new Balkanization of race.”Long ago, the nation saw itself in more hues than black and white: the 1890 census included categories for racial mixtures such as quadroon (one-fourth black) and octoroon (one-eighth black). But by the 1930 census, terms for mixed-race people had all disappeared, replaced by the so-called one-drop rule, an antebellum convention that held that anyone with a trace of African ancestry was only black. (Similarly, people who were “white and Indian” were generally to be counted as Indian.)The KWB Notes: Part of the article discusses the difficulty that some have though with “One-drop rule, he’s black.” Pres. Barrack H. Obama chose to mark his census with only one mark, Black and not acknowledging his White mother. So some people may in Korea have similar ‘rules’ that are the opposite. One Drop of Foreign blood, does it make you a foreigner? In Korean mindset this is being challenged today with the growing presence of mixed racial marriages and their children. There will probably always be some who are prejudiced against such mixing of ‘gene pools’, but as the Korean War Baby crudely says to these narrow minded folks…Kiss my Multiracial BUTT, just Deal with it! LOL.
Starting with the 2000 census, Americans were allowed to mark one or more races. The multiracial option came after years of complaints and lobbying, mostly by the white mothers of biracial children who objected to their children being allowed to check only one race. In 2000, seven million people — about 2.4 percent of the population — reported being more than one race.
At one meeting of the Multiracial and Biracial Student Association, Ms. Wood shared a story about surprises and coming to terms with them. “Until I was 8 years old, I thought I was white,” she told the group. “My mother and aunt sat me down and said the guy I’d been calling Dad was not my father. I started crying. And she said, ‘Your real father is black.’ ”