Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America

By Jennifer Hochschild; Vesla Weaver et al. | Go to book overview

3
Multiracialism

O’Leary, O’Riley, O’Hare, and O’Hara
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama.
His mam’s daddy’s grandaddy was one Fulmuth Kearney
He’s as Irish as any from the lakes of Killarney
His mam’s from a long line of great Irish mamas;
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama.
— Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys

I did not have a problem until someone said, “Well, how can you consider
yourself interracial? You are black!” … [The professor in my Black
Awareness class said,] “You can’t be both.” So I said, “Well, I am both, you
can’t tell me I am not.” So he said, “If there was a war, blacks are on one side
and whites are on the other side, which side would you go on?” I said,
“Probably neither, because I would have to choose between my father and
mother and I don’t have a favorite.”
— A student

Our preference is to get a shelter dog, but most shelter dogs are mutts like
me.
— President-elect Barack Obama

SOON AFTER THE 1965 Hart-Celler immigration act was passed, the Supreme Court struck down laws forbidding interracial marriage in the 1967 decision Loving v. Virginia.1 The demographic changes resulting from immigration combined over the next few decades with the new freedom of marital choice to produce a rise in interracial and interethnic marriage. The number of mixed-race children increased as a natural consequence, as did social and emotional commitments to the idea of racial mixture. Advocacy groups politicized these changes in the 1990s by seeking official recognition of mixed-race ancestry and identity. As we discussed in chapter 2, the OMB mandated a new classification system in 1997 for counting and analyzing the rapidly changing American population; the Revisions to the Standards, for the first time in American history, permitted individuals to define themselves in terms of more than one race. By 2000, eight states as well as the federal government recognized self-identified racial mixture, and almost seven million respondents chose more than one race in the 2000 census.2 Multiracial advocacy organizations celebrated the beginning of a new era.

-56-

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Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Figures and Tables xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - The Argument 1
  • 1 - Destabilizing the American Racial Order 3
  • Part II - Creating a New Order 19
  • 2 - Immigration 21
  • 3 - Multiracialism 56
  • 4 - Genomics 83
  • 5 - Cohort Change 113
  • 6 - Blockages to Racial Transformation 139
  • Part III - Possibilities 165
  • 7 - The Future of the American Racial Order 167
  • Notes 183
  • References 213
  • Index 255
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