Seattle Is Becoming More Mixed Up

Comments

1
I an so called white but I am sick of white supremacy and want it destroyed. End white supremacy!!!!!
2
Hi Charles.
I'm the parent of multiracial children. Well, they're all adults now actually, the youngest just turned 19 today.
I certainly hope that the "one drop rule" finds Its way to the Dustbin of History sooner rather than later.
I'd also like to see the ridiculous concept of race abandoned. Who wants to think of themselves as white or black when you could be Irish or Nigerian or Nigerian-Irish?
Ethnicity speaks to culture and history, race speaks to nothing.
3
I'm for African ape supremacy.
4
we white people know we are african apes that's why we've been all too glad to take what we want from africa, our homeland, that we've been calling africa for millions of years.
5
Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!
6
I'm old and mixed, and I really hope this will cause a shift, and for certain groups, I think there has been already, but assholes gonna asshole, so we'll figure out some other reason to be terrible to each other.
7
I really do think we're seeing a panicked backlash against a real ongoing positive change. Of course sometimes the backlash wins if the society doesn't care as deeply about the positive change. See Reconstruction.
8
Even if i wasn't already mixed thanks to my parents, i'd still be able to identify as part Neanderthal-American.
10
People are no longer "designated" black in America (at least not by law). There's no enforceable law anywhere in the country that would consider the one-drop rule. People self identify, including mixed race people, as black for a number of complicated and personal reasons.

But anti-black racism by white people is not why Barack Obama is called the first black president. As far as I know, the man self identifies as black. He's called himself black on TV. And black people tend to appreciate that.

People who have insisted on calling him the "first mixed race president" have been more often (or at least more vocally), racist right wingers looking to water-down Obama's blackness for their own racist ends. To credit his success to his white ancestry and his upbringing by white family members at the expense of credit to his blackness.

I also think you're off the pulse on who gets called "black" and who gets called mixed race. Mixed race people with black ancestry who look white are often confused for white people until they self-identify as black or as mixed race. See for example, Meghan Markle, Wentworth Miller, et al. So I don't think the statement "mixed race people who look more white than black are called black" is generally true.
11
Makes me wonder if there is a racial component to the "old Seattle is dying" complaint
12
White folks in Seattle have long known minority/majority status was coming eventually. None of my white friends have ever expressed any apprehension at the prospect. Why should we? Most white Washingtonians have a Hawaii fetish and it has been minority/majority forever. California has managed to transition to minority/majority without missing a beat. I'd be curious as to what percentage of white families now have at least one non-white member in the extended family somewhere. My sense is that percentage is really high, perhaps even a majority of white families with one non-white member once you get to cousins and uncles.
13
@12
> Most white Washingtonians
> have a Hawaii fetish

What?
14
@13: we like to go to hawaii. kind of like everyone else.
15
@15 Ah. So it's like how most white Washingtonians have a breathing fetish.
16
@17 Numbers are hard
17
the perception of whites losing majority status actually sounds a bit more like an accounting error. Of course there are fewer and fewer whites when the definition of whiteness is increasingly narrowed while more and more whites renounce their racial heritage out of guilt. We'll know how many white people there are once you idiots stop ranking people according to the amount of melanin in their skin.
18
@10
Agree. I think Charles is a bit off. The "one-drop" rule is no longer relevant.

Terms like "whiteness etc." & "blackness etc." are being narrowed. The fact is that Barack Obama's mother is white and his father is black, Kenyan and Muslim. That makes him the nation's first bi-racial or multiracial and multicultural American president. Obama himself identifies as "Black American".

All of this is irrefutable. And perfectly fine.

Seattle like America whether under Trump or Obama, is becoming more diverse. This isn't big news. I read Balk's piece yesterday and wondered why it made the front page.

19
Yes, @10, and @18. Keep in mind, this is census data. Census data is entirely about self identification. You fill out the form and can put down whatever you want.

Until recently though, "mixed" was not an option. I think Charles missed that. It is entirely possible that Seattle was just as mixed fifty years ago as it is now, even when people were asked to self identify. Our current mayor, Bruce Harrell, has considered himself mixed for quite some time. Yet until 2000, he didn't have that option on the census form. Speaking of which, Charles -- you write about mixed race Seattle, and don't mention the fact that our current mayor is mixed race? Come on man -- you are better than that.

Anyway, when it comes to self identification, there are a lot of factors. For Obama, appearance as well as racial attitudes at the time of his upbringing probably had a lot to do with it. People essentially treated him as black, even though he was raised largely by white people. But he also hung out with a lot of black people and, for various reasons, embraced the designation.

I also think that the more marginalized the group, the more likely you are to embrace it. I am only about a quarter Irish, but if asked about ethnicity, that is all I can come up. Because they have had their ass kicked worse than other Europeans. Except, of course, for the Jewish Europeans, who often self identify as Jewish, even when largely secular. This idea has lead folks who are half white in America to identify more strongly with the part that isn't white -- because it is the ethnicity that will get your ass kicked in this country.

My guess is that there are several trends, all happening at once. First, you can now identify (on the census form) as mixed. This has also lead people who leaned a bit one way or another to put down mixed. You also have -- in various parts of the country, especially in the big cities -- substantial parts of the population that don't want to put you in a box. So growing up, you are treated like someone whose ethnicity is not assumed, as opposed to being labeled black or Asian, just because of your looks. So when asked the question, you can ponder it for a while, and put down "mixed". Finally, of course, the country is inevitably becoming more mixed. This is again way more likely to happen in big cities, or smaller cities on the coast (like Seattle). There is a lot of mixing, and eventually, well, just about everyone will be mixed.
20
@17 then why do you call yourself a PROUD alt WHITE guy? Aren't you proud because you have less melanin in your skin? Or are you proud because you are more prone to become a victim of skin cancer?

And since I'm sure you are wondering, proud white whatever: no, I'm not black!