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Growing Up Multiracial in America
Growing Up Multiracial in America

AIR DATE: April 22, 2011

The recent 2010 Census revealed that 9 million people are of mixed race.  That's a 32% growth rate over the past decade.  And when it comes to multiracial kids, they're the fastest-growing youth demographic in America.  But how do people of mixed race identify themselves?  On his census form, President Obama identified himself as "black" - not biracial.  How do you self-identify?  How do others see you?  Do you look like others of your race, and does that matter?  Las Vegans share their stories of growing up multiracial in America.
Su Kim Chung, manuscripts librarian, UNLV
Judah Zakalik, attorney, Peters & Associates, LLP
Rainier Spencer, prof. interdisciplinary studies, UNLV
Jennifer Diaz

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For your information: Just because you're black does not mean that you're African American! Also, Judaism is not a race. It's a religion!
MattApr 21, 2011 20:30:33 PM
I'm half Korean, part White and part Native American. But I'm perceived as being Hispanic. I've been yelled at by Spanish speaking persons for not speaking Spanish, I've been refused service at Mexican restuarants for not ordering in Spanish, and been shamed by older Korean ladies for not speaking Korean. I have long brown hair, honey colored eyes, and high cheek bones. When people ask me what am I, I usually tell them I'm Korean and Native American, and they respond, "oh.." and leave me alone. I think that by checking what I'm percieved as on a survey would be misrespentational considering I'm not Hispanic in any manor.
MaryApr 21, 2011 09:59:34 AM
Perhaps a useful angle to view this issue is to look at the gender block on these forms. Should an outward viewed male check 'male' even if he is internally 'female'? Should people check the box that people see and relate to society with, or what they feel inside? Seems like a similar way of thinking of the race questions on these forms.
PeteApr 21, 2011 09:48:56 AM
I am adopted of unknown mixed raced brought up by 2 black parents in a mostly white area. I have always strife with what to check off on the "boxes". I also constantly have people asking me what I am and even though I have gotten a little use to it, it still hurts because I don't truely know what I am. Mostly because after I tell I don't know, I am asked why? Isn't it rude to ask these questions of a stranger? I am an american and that's all that matters to me.
BreaApr 21, 2011 09:41:17 AM
Thank you for this discussion. Growing up multi-racial was not a question until I moved to Texas in the 60's where I was asked many times "what are you". It made/makes me angry. I also answer American, or female or if I'm particularly angry I ask them what difference does it make. Like your guests I check other, or write American. People have viewed me as many different races. I view myself as Seleucia, a mature woman that does not have to explain her heritage.
Seleucia SivadApr 21, 2011 09:37:06 AM
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