Posts tagged Diversity

Grow Gratitude Returns for Biracial Awareness Month!

Yes, it’s true. Grow Gratitude returns to celebrate Biracial Awareness Month (BAM)! Couldn’t let you carry on without me. We’re a little late getting started with BAM, possibly due to the inherent effects of the bth_2260507778_c5f00b7084CPT culprit. That is, according to the darker-hued half of me.

Who amongst us is not familiar with CPT? If you don’t know what CPT is then this probably isn’t going to make much sense, which defeats the purpose. Somewhere along the slippery stereotyping slope, Black people slid into group notoriety for perceived frequency of lateness to just about everything… including our own funerals!

I’m fairly sure most African Americans (and others) of my generation know what CPT stands for. Before we were “African American”, “Black is Beautiful”, and “Negro”, we were “Colored People”. Combine colored people together with time and you got CPT, “Colored People’s Time”.  Admittedly, I’ve enjoyed some pretty good giggles about CPT and I’ve witnessed some pretty angry “CPR” (Colored People’s Responses) to CPT.

My understanding of CPT originated from other Black people and in the context of some hilarious storytelling or commentary that made light of the CPT stereotype. This stereotype about Black people did not originate with Black people. I imagine some “non-colored people” imagined “colored people” as genetically predisposed to taking our own sweet time Snoop Dogg Style… “Laid back, sipping on Gin and juice…with our minds on our money and our money on our minds”. CPT is a myth, and evidently the myth lives on. Or does it?

To get a sense of CPT transference, I texted my intergenerational guru of all things biracial (aka, my daughter) and inquired as to whether she knew what CPT stands for. She did – she heard it from me…a number of times… in the context of time. What? Given my daughter happened to be with one of her African American friends at the time, I texted back, “Ask your friend if he’s ever heard of CPT”. To which his response was “No”.

Generalizations about a people, while sometimes humorous, have the potential to enlighten through levity, but seemingly have a greater propensity to promote and perpetuate racial stereotypes, which often leads to prejudice, which often leads to discrimination. But enough about CPT…

I’ll take “Biracial Slurs I’ve Been Called Before” for $500 Alex. What is Half-breed, High Yellow, Zebra, Oreo, Half-Caste, White Wanna-Be, and Nigger? The biracial jeopardy game gets played simply because people have a time figuring out who we are (racially) and accepting what we represent. The result: an inaccurate perception of mixed up, racially mixed misfits who become so pervasive that they render the number of “pure race” Americans minorities and destroy the perceived “wholesomeness” of America due to an overwhelming belief that, if this keeps up, one day we’ll all look alike. Maybe it’s frightening. The neat and tidy census categories of days gone by with an “other” catch all for the trouble makers who insisted upon making what “American” was traditionally perceived to look like, look like what America really looks like, are no more. I didn’t fit easily and neatly into a mutually exclusive box and I’m certainly not an “other” who you can’t figure out where to put because I refuse to be swept under the RIG (Racial Identity Rug).

One thing I know for sure: I was born biracial and I’m going to die biracial. I am African American and White. My mother is British and my family was substantially influenced by that culture as well. I identify more with my African American side because that is my American experience and I very proudly proclaim my White, British side. I know that pisses some people off, but I’ve grown to not be too concerned about other people’s perceptions and opinions. I’m proud and grateful that you can’t box me in. I don’t fit in and I wouldn’t want it any other way! We be diversity naturally, and that’s something all Americans should celebrate.

Please join us this month as we once again explore the unique experience and perspectives of being biracial in America. We’re diving deep and shedding light and we couldn’t be more on time!

Next week Grow Gratitude welcomes our first guest blog! Stop back for yet another perspective on being biracial in America. Hot-diggity BAM!

See You Next Time!   Pink Heart     OXOXO

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Brace Yourself for “Branding-Bravery”… Cheerios Brings “Scary” Sequel to the Superbowl!

Yes, that’s right. Cheerios is at it again…and so is the CRAZY controversy!  Whether you plan to watch the Rita ProfileSuperbowl this Sunday for the game, for the commercials, or for the array of party endeavors  that are sure to be plentiful, do plan to catch THIS commercial. Or perhaps you already have. It’s “out there” and so are the haters. Still, clearly, win or lose, Cheerios ain’t backing down. And while it’s evident that they have much support, let me go on record for saying that I, too, have their back! (in case you were wondering)

So in celebration of CHEERIOS (and in light of the Superbowl), I am re-posting the initial Cheerios commercial clips. If you didn’t catch it last time, take just a minute and check it out. The first video clip is the initial Cheerios controversial television ad. The second “commercial” is the parody of that ad after an astounding number of people expressed their hatred while simultaneously revealing their hearts. Isn’t it amazing what the internet and  anonymity can do for those who espouse ignorance and hatred yet lack the courage to stand by what they so seemingly and adamantly are compelled to “openly” convey “world-wide”?

WORD OF CAUTION!!  The last video clip IS the upcoming Cheerios Superbowl commercial. If you, like me, await watching the game with high anticipation of the Superbowl commercials, DO NOT CLICK ON THAT LINK!  I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. On the other hand, given the controversy is running rampant  again, take a peek perhaps and when the ad airs during the game, take note of who surrounds you. If you don’t know, their reactions (or lack thereof), may prove to be more telling than you ever imagined.

Cheerios BoxCome on America, get it together and let it go…and better yet, embrace it. Clearly, that’s really the only choice we have. You might as well embrace it , and ideally with open arms. It’s not going anywhere, but it is coming everywhere. We Be Diversity…that’s just who we be. Like it or not, it’s reality. We be diversity, the “we” is essential, you see,  ’cause we wouldn’t be We without You AND Me. But I digress.

Enjoy the Game and/or the commercials! Oh, and by the way, “Go EAGLES”…oops, my bad. Never mind…bring on the commercials and/or half-time!

The link below is growgratitude’s original blog about the Cheerios Controversy, FYI.

https://growgratitude.com/2013/06/19/how-heart-healthy-cheerios-harvested-hate-filled-hearts/

See You Next Time!  Pink Heart             OXOXO

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Being Biracial in Black and White

I’ve decided to declare May “Biracial Awareness Month”. May is as good a month as any. From Rita Profilewhat I’ve gathered, no such month exists and I think it’s high time one did! It needs to be a month, not a week or a day. Being biracial is an experience! In fact, it’s one I highly recommend you include on your Bucket List or among the top 100 things to try before you die. Everyone should have the experience of being biracial in America. It most definitely has its moments, is insightful, can be wildly entertaining, and touts a very interesting vantage point and perspective. Sounds like a sales pitch, but it’s not. Knowing that most of you will never personally know the experience of being biracial, coupled with my expertise on the subject, compels me to devote the month of May to “Being Biracial” and increasing awareness about that experience in America. But why should you care?

The current rate of growth of the biracial American statistic, which shows no signs of slowing down, appears to be on track for becoming one of the fastest growing racial demographics in the United States. Pretty powerful potential from a plethora of perspectives! Which means that your chances of coming in contact with “one of them” is increasing even as I type! If you don’t see it coming, it’s simply because you don’t want to. If you don’t want to see it, I’m afraid you’re in the wrong country or will need to relocate to some remote area of uninhabited humans or perhaps less drastic, find the nearest beach and bury your head in the sand. head-sandAside from that, brace yourself, we’re coming… to a community near you! After all, our President is biracial. So you are aware, but you may not have been up close and personal like you would be with someone in your community, whom you interact with or see on a regular basis.

Personally, I love being biracial although it wasn’t always that way. Being biracial in America can be complicated, challenging, and confusing. The number of biracial babies born in the U.S. has sky-rocketed during the past decade. The number of Americans identifying as two or more races in the 2010 census, increased from 6.8 million to 9 million since the 2000 census. Americans identifying themselves as black-and-white increased 134% to 1.8 million and there are now more black/white Americans than any other multi-racial category. The number of white-Asian Americans grew second-most by 87 percent.1

At the time of my parents’ marriage, the majority of states considered the union between my African-American father and white mother, illegal.  Talk about illegitimate kids! I always had a huge problem with that label, and that was when I thought “illegitimate” referred to children born out-of-wedlock. But I guess if my parents’ marriage was considered illegal then their children must have been considered illegitimate. Wow, Illegal, Illegitimate and “Mixed”. You know there’s a story that comes from securing that status. Now, let’s throw into the “mixed”, being bi-cultural as a result of having a British mother and you’ve got the makings for muses, memories, mishaps, and misunderstandings!

In the year 2000, Alabama became the last state to officially legalize inter-racial marriage2. And no, 2000 is NOT a typo. Interracial marriage remains controversial in the Deep South, where a 2011 poll found that a plurality of Mississippi Republicans still support anti-miscegenation (race-mixing) laws3. Oh, bother.th_winnie_the_pooh_49What’s it like being biracial? In the upcoming weeks, I will address some of the commonly Biracialasked questions for biracial Americans. And I welcome any questions that you might have as well. We’ll also go international by journeying “across the pond” to discover my “other half” or the Brit in me and their response to my mixed family.

Join me this month as we journey into the world of the biracial American. I’ll tackle topics such as how to respond to the most frequently asked biracial questions:  “What are you anyway?”, “Mixed or Mixed-Up?”, and Is Being Biracial Really the Best of Both Worlds?” I’ll also explore “Why Fresh Air Kids Love the Outdoors”, “Growing a Spotted Rose”, and “A Teenager’s Dying Devotion to Being Biracial”. Finally, I’m going to divulge “The One Question I Would Ask Oprah”. You may think it’s a crazy question, but it has plagued my mind for years!

So, arm yourself with whatever questions, comments, and experiences you might have because this time we’re going deep and I would absolutely love to hear what you think!

See You Next Wednesday!     Pink Heart   OXOXOXO

References:

  1.  http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-13.pdf  via

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-number-of-bi-racial-americans-is-exploding-2012-9

2.  http://civilliberty.about.com/od/raceequalopportunity/tp/Interracial-Marriage-Laws-History-Timeline.htm

3.  http://civilliberty.about.com/od/raceequalopportunity/tp/Interracial-Marriage-Laws-History-Timeline.htm

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