Interracial Marriage

I wanted to choose the topic of multiracial families, even though there was only one small little paragraph about it in my book. I am not only apart of a blended family (post nuclear) I am also apart of a multiracial family. I’m 3 races, and on top of my mom being a Japakin, and my dad being a full Haitian, my step mother is Bulgarian, and step dad is Hispanic.  I think, being apart of so many different cultures, really opens your tolerance for others as you become more accepting to different things. Or as Mrs. Patino says,”A multitude of cultures, living in close quarters with each other and learning to accept and appreciate their differences and similarities.”

The book didn’t say much about the effects of multicultural families, just primarily the history if how it used to be forbidden, so I wanted to find something more closely related to the heart. What better way than a blog of a white woman married to a Hispanic man? She explains the difficulties she faced (faces) with joining an entirely new culture. “..his parents gave him the talk…you know…the one where they tell him that a woman who isn’t Mexican (or at the very least, Latina) isn’t suitable for marriage.  He was told that he could only marry a Latina…period…and it was preferred that she be Mexican.  His mother would harp on him again and again that he’d better NEVER marry a black woman (that’s saying it politely).  And of course, I got the same speech from my mother (at age twelve no less!)”, says Mrs. Patino. There is always this pressure, not always in that form, but maybe in stereotypes or crude humor with smart remarks, it feels like it’s a sort of judgement that is always given, as if the other person isn’t “one of us”.

I can’t even imagine how it was for my great grandparents and grandparents. My great grandparents were immigrants from Japan, both full Japanese. All three of their kids (my grandma being one), married to someone not of Japanese decent. My grandma Nancy to a Mexican, and my aunt Taki to a Mexican as well, and an uncle to a white woman. I’m sure there were arguments  but why would there need to be any in the first place? Who’s to say marrying outside of race is bad?

Our good ol’ history of course. As Conley states,”…from 1913 to 1948, 30 states enforced antimiscegenation laws, primarily aimed at black-white unions.” Slowly after the unconstitutional ruling of the laws, mixing races has become more accepting. However, that doesn’t mean everything is fine and dandy, I recall one hilarious moment; it was a track meet and I was walking with my bf (now ex), he was a lighter Mexican, who could easily pass as white, and this black couple passing us slowed their pace and stared at us, with the most distraught and confused expressions on their face. I couldn’t help but laugh after I passed them, but it’s funny how it’s still seen as such a shock.

I even discussed this problem with an old team-mate, and she said she gets looks all the time, with her being white and in a relationship with a mixed African-American, I don’t think she had it that bad since he was pretty light, but    she still expressed the same sort of feelings that I had. People need to be more accepting of differences and stop being so hostile when something new comes along.

” There needs to be more transparency and education about true diversity…not just the ‘token’ acknowledgement.  Throwing a black character into a television show does not create diversity or multiculturalism.  In order to find understanding, we must be clued in to the experiences of people of color.” When I read this statement by Mrs. Patino, I couldn’t agree more. This especially caught my eye because of the analyzing media project I’m doing for my class, in commercials, you’ll see dominantly more white people, and occasionally a few black people, like 4 white girls and one black girl in the back. It isn’t full acknowledgement.

I usually don’t open up about this frequently, but I’m attempting to be apart of those rare exogamy relationships. Not necessarily speaking in marriage, but just a relationship. I have been talking to a native Hawaiian for a few months now, although I’ve known him for years, it is now taking a different turn as we constantly talk. And I swear I thought I had the culture thing down, being so that there’s so many different ones in my family, but it is just completely different. It was a shock to me, but I’m not saying it was bad. I enjoyed discovering something so new. Almost everyday I would bug him to tell me a story, a Hawaiian story, or what we call myths or legends. I was so into how even everyday life was completely different. Him and his family are so kind and accepting, they’re willing to take me in, a complete stranger. My mother, on the other hand, isn’t as accepting. She even thought that he would be turned against if I bought him a California shirt to wear.

I don’t mean to look at it and always analyze things, but I do, and in a sociological way. I even considered blogging about it, and how it progresses  just to help others in a similar situation, and also for my interest. “As another blogger puts it, “…people in an interracial marriage or bicultural marriage [can be] ambassadors or diplomats…I think we have a responsibility to use our marriage as a teaching tool for others who haven’t had the learning opportunity that we’ve had“.  Well said!  This should be our goal as interracial couples“, I couldn’t agree more, and I believe if I get my story out there, that it actually can affect people in a positive way to help people be more open-minded and accepting to multicultural families and interracial marriages.

The ‘Good’ & ‘Bad’ of Interracial Relationships | Bicultural Mom              


Poverty & feminism

I found an article that tied in not only poverty, but hidden feminism as  well. It started off by talking about the past, when the narrator herself grew up with a girl. Right away her friend, Chrissie, gets eaten and swallowed by poverty. Chrissie couldn’t afford the small school fee so she ended up having a bunch of kids at an early age and is still struggling. As Chrissie stayed behind, the narrator became the second female president of Malawi.

Her family could afford the school fee so she continued her journey up, while her friend Chrissie stayed back, with a burden. So this would be a great addition to the Susan Mayer’s work as in her findings, poverty was associated with “..teenage pregnancy, dropping out of school, and ultimately continued poverty as  an adult.”

Also, in order to strike down and fix poverty, the president knows that one key to ending poverty is to hit where it exists. But unlike Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority one cannot simply just relocate into a better community. So she will try to do the best in fixing Malawi as a whole, “start small businesses and participate actively in society”, as she says.

But her primary goal focuses on women and children. She believes that they are key to ending poverty. She sees the health of women as one of the primary steps, if she reverses the poor access to reproductive health services, then she could help keep teenage girls in school, instead of them bearing children at 15 or 16. She wants to provide support and family planning education, which could help prevent young pregnancies, but also nurture the ones that are occurring so they won’t end up with hardships like Marlin had to deal with.

If she focuses on women and reproductive health and education, she can uplift her nation as one thing leads to another like a positive chain reaction, from providing resources and education to raise awareness that could help keep girls in school as they can move up as they continue their education and have children when they are better prepared. This way they can move forward in society and help the economy.

Racism in Texas legislation

With voting, Texas has always held racial discrimination. This goes back into the history of Texas and “their immigrant histories”, as Jennifer Lee (Conley) states. Now, majority of the population in Texas consists of the minority groups, Latinos, African Americans, and Asians. Conley even points out that Texas is one of the four states where whites are not the majority. So what could the problem be? A three-judge panel found that GOP members have been manipulating the district lines so they can weaken the power of the minorities. They have been helping bring power to white Republicans but take away from black Democrats, so that the voting power of the Latino community is basically useless. For example, a  city business center was removed from a district held by a black Democrat, and was moved to a district held by a white Republican.

Due to the population growing rapidly, the state was issued four more seats in the House of Representatives. However, 10 of the 32 representatives are minorities. “…Latinos and blacks were not likely to win even one more seat in Congress under the plan drawn by the Texas Legislature, the judges said.” There is a gap growing between the Latino voters and the Latino lawmakers, so the judges know that something has to be done. It’s a parallel to the wealth gap that is discussed in the book, because that has historic ties as well. It seems that the racism today is only due to racism in the past. People are continuing to discriminate which doesn’t allow any room for improvement, or a chance to break free from the old.

Now, Texas has a chance to redraw those lines, literally. If all goes well, Texas lawmakers will have to redraw the district lines more equally, and elect more minority legislators. This levels the playing field and gives the minorities a chance to govern.

The gay gene

I wanted to share my view on homosexuality, because I believe that most of the time, those who realize that they are gay, can’t really help it. Some parents can notice it since from when their kid is little. Some don’t realize it until they become teenagers. It really bothers me when I hear stories where the fathers of gay sons basically lose it, or force them to be straight, thinking that it is by choice, but sometimes it isn’t. Yes, some homosexuals choose to be gay. I have an older cousin who is a lesbian because she chose to be. She told me that she was tired of heart breaks from guys and had enough of them, so now she only chooses girls. I may not agree with it, but like prop 8, it’s not my decision, let them do what they will without others restricting peoples’ lives just because we feel it’s wrong. I grew up being a tomboy, but I wasn’t ever gay. Since I was little you could tell, I’d play sports with the guys, I would play with Bionicles instead of Barbies. No one ever influenced me, I didn’t have an older sibling, I just lived how I did. My little sister’s Nina has a grandson who I noticed was different. He would play with Barbies, he would be more sensitive, and was reserved at times. That’s when I realized, that some people are just born that way.

So when i read about David Reimer and how he went under sex reassignment surgery, it made me think about how some people have to hid that they are homosexual. Gender benders, I guess there really is “other” when you choose “male” or “female”, you might be both at one point!

An article I found talked about a new finding supporting the gay gene. They found that the mothers of gay men were basically better off in terms of reproduction and fertility. “Not only are the maternal relatives of gay men more attractive, more fertile and subject to fewer complications during pregnancy, the study also found these women are extroverts and generally happier. In other words, if you’re the mother of a gay man, you’re pretty awesome.” It it shown that there is something going on genetically involving homosexuals. I think it’s great because it might actually save some lives, help parents understand that it isn’t their kids’ “fault”.

It might be a little different than majority of society, but I don’t believe we should judge on it, or pass laws restricting their rights. We are all human, and people need to understand what being different, or an individual, means. In T.V. shows, I noticed media is trying to make a difference, the new family comedy shows, can’t recall off the top of my head, they have gay parents involved now.

Suicide: A complicated problem

Suicides have been growing in the United States, and Sharon Bopp believes that there isn’t enough awareness being spread about it. The rates have been growing, although car crashes have been decreasing.  One thing in particular caught my eye that related to the reading about Durkheim and his theory on suicides. There was a comparison that was made between the rates and the people who live in Washington county and Ohio county, as Ohio has higher rates of suicides that Washington does. Carolyn Givens, executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, believes that there is more than one factor contributing to the difference, just as Durkheim believed that suicide was the result of social forces. “There is a strong sense of community spirit that is prevalent (in the county). There is also connection to extended family which we consider to be a protective factor,” said Givens. She is referring to the Washington county, and this provides a more socially integrated community than that of Ohio. This helps provide a low risk for suicide, according to Durkheim, because they are involved in the community, not too much, nor too little. This was an excellent example of Durkheim’s theory. In addition, Givens also stated that the residents have a high sense of spirituality. But if it is too much, it could result in altruistic suicide, as they may feel meaningless from the strain of a religion. However, this seems to not be the case as in 2010, 9 people committed suicide from the Washington county, and 1,420 Ohioans committed suicide.

I think in order to prevent suicide, from Durkheim’s teachings, you need to be lukewarm, not too hot, and not too cold. You should be involved with the community, but not to the point where it is too much and you feel meaningless. Everything can’t be to the extreme or else you’ll end up too much on either end of the axis and be more prone to suicide.–no-one-is-talking.html?nav=5002

Group study > lone wolf study?

After reading about the differences between small groups, parties, and large groups, I had a question about the example given. The example to show the difference between the groups larger than a dyad and triad was a study group vs. a cocktail party. In my opinion, I love working in groups, is seems to be more interesting, fun, and has less stress, also you can learn more by getting more input from mutliple sources. So I always wondered is it better to work in a group, or alone? I supposed it all depends on your specific preference on whether you like to be around new people or not. If you’re a keep to yourself kind of person, alone would probably work best for you. But I like to work in groups, particularly, groups that I choose on my own, with people that I know, or would like to know. I somewhat feel weird being put in a group with people I don’t know, but I never turn down the opportunity to meet new people.

For my article, I searched if studying in a group is better than studying alone. I ran into an article that did research to see if people studying on their site did better than those who didn’t study together. Now the generalized assumption about working in groups is that no work gets done because everyone is messing around and no one focuses on what they are supposed to. According to Simmel, this would be a party, as the main focus gets lost and the handful of students begin to become multifocial and do their own thing. However, the research proved that this assumption is wrong and that people tend to be more efficient studying together in a group. There were three main results that supported this.

One was that the students that were in a group studied longer than those that studied alone. This is because studying with others makes studying more fun and enjoyable. The second was the students took on more questions when in groups than when alone. This was a great addition as it helps show that the learners aren’t just taking longer to answer questions by messing around and getting off task, but spending more time “studying”. Third was that the learners were able to answer more questions correctly in a group. Now this could be from sharing answers in a group, but regardless, you get the right information and are able to learn from it so when the test comes, the material is already acknowledged.

Thus, studying in groups is better than studying alone. This supports Simmel’s theory or small group, parties, and large groups. The study group puts emphasis on the studying, staying unifocal. Because they intereact with each other, face-to-face, and have one general focus, the studying becomes better as they engage with each other and help one another learn. It also eases the stress off just plain book study, as the interactions between the group help studying be more enjoyable.

Socialization: Media and violence

Recently, media has been to blame about violence, deaths, and murders in youth. Such as if a teenager commits suicide, the police search for answers, and sometimes will blame anything they can find; if they see a video game on the bed, they’ll state that the violent game caused him to take those actions. This isn’t always the case, when people draw accusations or assume so quickly that media is the scapegoat. Other things come into play, maybe his parents were abusive, or he was being bullied at school, and so on. However, for years, there has been on going research about if media is actually to blame.

There has indeed been findings of influence by media to cause some acts of violence. For example, there has been research specifically focusing on children and how they interact with their peers in violent manners. ” Before age 4, children are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy and may view violence as an ordinary occurrence”, states Eugene V Beresin, M.D. This made me go back and think of “the looking glass self” theory, how children are slowly realizing themselves, and others. So it seems as if the violent shows that the children watch distort this “self concept” as they try to realize the difference between self and other. In You May Ask Yourself the example used for when children begin to move along in social development was when Joey plays a game, and recognizes the other as he makes one person the bad guy, and himself the good cop. Tying this example with media and violence, is a quote from the article,”They become role models for youth. It is ‘cool’ to carry an automatic weapon and use it to knock off the ‘bad guys.’ The typical scenario of using violence for a righteous cause may translate in daily life into a justification for using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers. Hence, vulnerable youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems.” Overtime, children will accept violence as a common thing, as they see it so much in media, and will think of it as a normal way to solve problems 

I think that there is truth to media affecting how children socialize. I see it every time with my two brothers, anytime they watch a movie, show, or even a commercial, they will mimic a line, or action, and replay it exactly repeatedly. If it is a movie, they will memorize lines of it, and walk around the house reenacting parts of the movie. For this reason, and others, my dad tries to make them watch only educational shows, at the most, a silly show like Spongebob. So I do think that media takes its’ toll on children, but I don’t believe it is to blame for every thing violent, because many other factors do tie into violent behavior.

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