Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tiger Woods May Be Role Model for Media in Multiracial Issues

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tiger Woods May Be Role Model for Media in Multiracial Issues

Article excerpt

When writing about the golfing prodigy, Tiger Woods, the first

African/Asian-American to win The Masters, how should his race be


B.J. Winchester, president of Unity, a local multi-racial

social group, protested that Woods is sometimes described only

as an African-American.

A good summary of the issue can be found in the April 28

Newsweek magazine with Colin Powell on the cover. The following

quote is an excerpt from the book Tiger by John Strege to be

published in May by Broadway Books.

"Tiger has a diversified ancestry, with his father half-black,

one-quarter American Indian and one-quarter Chinese and his

mother half-Thai, one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter white.

"To simplify matters, Tiger generally claims that he is

African-American and Asian-American. To simplify matters further,

most of America calls him black.

"This is most offensive to his mother, Kultida, whose own

heritage is slighted. `I've tried to explain to people,' she

said. `They don't understand. To say he is 100 percent black is

to deny his heritage. To deny his grandmother and grandfather.

To deny me.' "

Tiger clarified the issue on the Oprah Winfrey Show last week.

When asked to indicate a race on forms, he has checked both

African-American and Asian-American. "Those are the two I was

raised under and the only two I know," reported The Associated


There are other issues worthy of note:

The Times-Union does not mention race unless it is relevant to

the story. Most of the references to Woods, for instance, don't

need to mention his race.

The U.S. Census Bureau is considering a multi-racial category

for identification.

The entire concept of race has little scientific credibility,

reports The Los Angeles Times. Race is more a social and

cultural label. Researchers have uncovered enormous genetic

variations between individuals who have similar racial features.

For instance, sub-Saharan Africans and Australian aborigines

would seem to be closely related due to the color of their skin. …

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