Posts filed under ‘Stereotypes’

Being Biracial: Videos

Here are the videos I promised about being biracial from a different perspective.
These are from people who see it as negative and [like I mentioned in the post ] deny one side of themselves due to some of the reasons I listed.

Preconceived Notions About Race

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

This one is just shocking
http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh1s789DJjzH2Z3qG5

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January 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

Being Biracial

Biracial is defined as someone who has parents from two races; for instance they may have a black mother and a white father, or an asian mother and a black father etc. [I’ll mainly be talking about those who are mixed with black and white, but there’ll also be mentions of other mixes]

People are used to being categorized as one race, and in a country like America, there has been rules to keep things that way; the most common being the One Drop Rule. It stated that if you were partially black (whether you’re 1/2, 1/4. 1/8 or even 1/16) you were still considered black. This meant that even if someone looked white but had a black great grandmother, they would be considered black and at the time, not be accepted by the white race [in America] It’s because of such rules that there have been constant debates on what to classify biracial people like Halle Berry, Lou Jing and Barack Obama.

As well as black people having various complexions, certain aspects can come out stronger from one parent, meaning biracial people vary in appearance. Believe it or not, the following people are all of the same mix (one black parent & one white parent):

Jael (ANTM contestant)    Emily King (Singer)

Charley Uchea                                     Slash (Musician)
(Big Brother UK Contestant)

Lenny Kravitz (Singer)              Rashida Jones (Quincy Jones’ daughter)

As you can see, some of them look mixed while others only look black (Charley Uchea) or only look white (Jael or Rashida Jones). Although I’m not biracial myself, I know many people who are. While many of them embrace both of the races, just as many prefer one half of themselves, leading them to be ashamed of the other half if not deny it completely.

This could be for many reasons [not only with those I know, but generally], one is discrimination they face from friends and even family. Many within the black community automatically dislike them for stupid reasons; they assume that those who are biracial think they are better than them because their skin is lighter etc. when most of the time, that is not true.

Many within the white and Asian community don’t approve of biracial people, especially if they’re half black, and they’re not afraid to admit it. That’s how derogatory terms such as “half breed” developed (just look at what happened to Lou Jing)

Another reason is their perceptions of the denied race is based on either a bad experience or stereotypes. Say a biracial girl (black and white) was only in contact with the white side of her family and the only exposure to black people she had was the negative perceptions of us as rapists, gangsters, drug dealers etc. through the media. Not only could she deny her black side, but she may try and do anything she can when she’s older to not associate herself with black people, even if that means talking in a certain way, listening to a certain type of music, or even straightening her hair and bleaching her skin to look more white.

She may even be forced to deny one side. On the Tyra Banks show singer Kimberley Locke spoke about how in High School her black friends tried to make her choose one side of her as they believed she couldn’t be both black and white. Although she refused to choose between the two, that’s unfortunately not the case for many other biracial people in the same position. Many are proud of only one when they really should be proud of both. Being biracial doesn’t make them “dirty” or “unpure”, if anything it makes them more diverse and unique.
If they’re surrounded by those who don’t accept them for who they are, then they’re not the people they should associate with, there are millions of people out there who will embrace their mixed heritage.

January 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Addressing The Misconceptions of Vegetarianism

The following are general misconceptions or stereotypes about vegetarians. These are the main ones I know about, meaning there are probably more that won’t be addressed.

1. We don’t get enough protein
This seems to be one of the most common misconceptions about vegetarians.
The list of foods is too long for me to put on here w/o going over my word limit, so [click here] for the list. Meat may be an easy source of protein, but it isn’t the only source. Just like oranges aren’t the only source of Vitamin C. There are probably those who aren’t getting enough protein, however that’s down to a bad diet, it has nothing to do with the fact they are vegetarian. If you look at the list of foods containing protein, you’ll see that vegetarians have more than enough ways to get the amount they need. Whether they choose to eat those foods or not in the right quantities is up to the individual.

2. We are pale, weak, super skinny and malnutritioned
People’s body have a certain build due to things like metabolism or genetics, it has nothing to do with whether they do or don’t eat meat. People cut out a certain item of food rather than a whole food group when not eating meat, meaning that those who become vegetarians have pretty much the same body type they had when they ate it [unless they purposely gain or lose weight]. I personally haven’t become any skinnier, my weight has remained the same. This also applies to those that I’ve seen/known to also be vegetarian.

Those who are pale, weak, super skinny etc. are like that due to not eating much/any food at all. It’s not down to cutting out a single item of food.

3. People are only vegetarian for ethical purposes (In other words, we do it as we think it’s “wrong to kill animals for food”)

You’ll find more people doing it for health, environmental and religious purposes rather than to “save the animals”. Nevertheless, ethical reasons are still an important factor for many vegetarians. Alot of people just don’t feel comfortable eating meat after realizing how it got there

4. All we eat is salad
Vegetarians [including myself] aren’t necessarily big salad fans, meaning we don’t each it much if not at all. We’re vegetarians not rabbits

5. We eat fish. If we don’t, we are no longer vegetarian, but vegan
Meat is defined as flesh that comes from an animal, making fish another subgroup of meat, those who call themselves vegetarian but still eat fish are not vegetarian.
By definition, they are Pescatarians, something that has no relation to vegetarianism. Vegans don’t eat meat [including fish] AND animal products [dairy, eggs, honey etc.] while most vegetarians still do. Calling vegetarians vegans because they don’t eat fish just shows how little people generally know about vegetarianism.

6. We are generally unhealthy
We actually have lower risks of getting heart disease, high levels of cholesterol, blocked arteries or even certain types of cancer by not eating red meat and have lower risks of getting mercury poisoning by not eating canned tuna [to name a few], so if anything we are healthier than those who do eat meat as our risks of getting the things listed above are significantly lower.
Here’s a question to those who think eating meat’s healthier:
Why are millions of doctors ordering so many of their patients to lay off things like red meat if “it’s good for you”?

Vegetarians are more health conscious. We simply don’t care about “how good it tastes” because in the long run, we know it won’t benefit us. We realize that we’re contributing to a longer healthier life rather than possibly shortening it by something like a “sudden” heart attack


January 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of A Single Story

The video that inspired my last post:

January 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

The Dangers of a Single Story

Single stories are everywhere. They are one sided stories that give people the wrong idea about a certain place, thing or group of people.
What makes them such an issue is that they create stereotypes. Instead of highlighting how similar people or places are they highlight the differences. We have all believed a single story at one point in our lives, some of us still do.

My Grandmother believed a single story when she left St. Lucia for the UK. People there convinced her she would have no difficulty getting a job, and that England was a wonderful place where the streets were literally paved with gold. Despite this, no one told her that England had areas below the poverty line and that most of the time she would be refused a job as the colour of her skin was an issue. One example of me personally believing a single story is when I went to America for the first time. I found it strange to see poor areas and homeless people living on the streets everyday as beforehand, I didn’t believe that such a thing existed in America. It was nothing like the way I’d seen/heard of it before.

While there’s some truth in single stories, they all have one thing in common, they leave important things out. A good example can be seen with the author Chimamanda Adichie. Raised in a Middle Class family in Nigeria, she decided to go to College in the US. When meeting her American room mate, she was surprised that Chimamanda could speak English so well, despite being told that English was Nigeria’s official language. She was surprised that Chimamanda knew how to use a stove as she didn’t think that such basic facilities existed in Africa. When she  asked if she could hear some of her “tribal music”, she was pretty surprised when Chimamanda pulled out her Mariah Carey CD.

Like mentioned before, single stories leave vital bits of information out, making it very similar to propaganda as they’re used to manipulate people into thinking a certain way about a various noun. In the case of a continent like Africa, vital bits of information are constantly left out. While it’s true that there are people there who suffer from things like AIDs, conflict and poverty this only happens to some of them, not everyone, (in the same way that AIDs and poverty only affect some people in Britain and the United States rather than the whole nation). What’s left out is the fact that there are just as many there with average lives. There are middle class people who work and do things like drink coffee and read newspapers daily just like their counterparts in places like America, however many people will never know or believe this due to them hearing single stories that leave all these factors out.

While we all can’t control what is being said in these single stories, we can control whether to believe them or not. We also have the choice to look more into the topic and find out those vital parts of information that are being left out.
There are two sides to every story, in the case of a single story, we have to option to hear that other side and know the truth rather than one’s misconceptions.

January 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm Leave a comment


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