HALF, HAPA, MIXED, ONE DROP & ANTI-BLACKNESS: 100% Human

As children, our father used to take my siblings and I to the annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival (DAACF). I remember buying my first Africa-inspired jewelry... a red, black and green continent of Africa on a black leather cord. I think it had beads. I also remember being timid about wearing it in public. I longed to own a "100% Black Queen" t-shirt or a variation that I spotted at the festival, but I was worried that I would be called out as a poser or a fraud. It was the "100%" that troubled me as a child of a Black man and a Korean woman. My young mind couldn't reconcile what I believed was the exclusion of my Korean heritage from the celebration of my Black pride. Our father taught us that we were Black, regardless of what society labeled us. And though I secretly wished that I was 100% Black, the Africa-necklace stayed in my jewelry box and I never asked my daddy to buy me the "100% Black Queen" t-shirt. 

OMMA & DADDY

OMMA & DADDY

My story is not unique. In elementary school, when taking standardized tests, I was sometimes forced to choose a race or instructed to "check all that apply." When I did have to choose one, my teachers and my parents said I had to choose Black. When I was teased by other children, it was because of my "slanty eyes", so Black felt safe...it felt strong. By the time I got to college, I was more militant than mild, to the point that my dad asked that I "tone it down," at least in public. Another layered lesson.  

Years later, with the rise of social media, it became easy to connect with others who shared a similar heritage. At first, it was exciting to connect and swap stories of our bi-racial, bi-cultural experiences. It was a bittersweet mix of experiences... of immigrant parents worried their children wouldn't assimilate and find success in America... shame from not being able to speak our Mother tongue... unique blends of soul/seoul food at family meals... the embracing of our labels of "half" or "hapa"... Then I noticed how some of my fellow "Blasians" felt that by being "mixed" they were somehow the envy of all others. Just enough drops of Black, but not too much cause good hair and all. 

LAURYN HILL

LAURYN HILL

Well, damn. Should I spoil the party and tell them that the "hateration" they feel may not be because of jealousy but due to their anti-blackness and self-hatred? That being called "exotic" was not necessarily the compliment they thought it was...? I did not want to confront the anti-blackness of my Black friends, regardless of their percentage of Blackness. I was not equipped and I was tired, so I pulled back.

 
How you gon’ win when you ain’t right within
How you gon’ win when you ain’t right within
How you gon’ win when you ain’t right within
Come again
Come again, come again, come again, come again
— Lauryn Hill, Lyrics from "Doo Wop (That Thing)"
H/T @DVRYSTER & @THELLAG

H/T @DVRYSTER & @THELLAG

Fortunately, I've discovered some thought-leaders who are working hard to combat anti-blackness and white supremacy in the Asian community, among other battles: 

If you have more to add, please let me know via twitter @onjena

 

So, what have I learned? I am not required to choose. I am 100% human. 

And... I can say it loud. You don't have to be Black to celebrate Blackness. What the hell is 100% Black anyway? No, seriously, is there a test? Do we get a certificate? Is that what the race card is for? Or maybe, the 100% is about keeping it real.

FUTURE TOPICS: Celebrating vs Appropriating Blackness. Queen/King/Monarchy/Imperialist/Colonial shit must end. 

~ Onjena Yo


Share your #MultinationalPATRIOT story with us by participating in our PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS!!! blog series. Click the pic below to learn how to share your story! 

HERITAGE NOT HATE: When Hate is Part of Your Motto

Why we are even debating the displaying of the Confederate flag on public buildings... but here we are. It is 2016, and I came across this classy t-shirt design: 

We fixed their typo. 

Lest we forget:

not a rebel

not a rebel

not heritage

not heritage

KKK

KKK

all heil naw

all heil naw

burn

burn

PRIVILEGE

PRIVILEGE

3959

3959

no service, no protection

no service, no protection

SICk dEM

SICk dEM

not pride

not pride

not militia

not militia

PIONEERS 

PIONEERS 

MURICAN swastika

MURICAN swastika

I don't want to take anything away from Hitler and his Nazis, but I want to give credit where credit is due. 

...the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little-known, role in the American eugenics movement’s campaign for ethnic cleansing.
— SFGate, "Eugenics and the Nazis - the California Connection"

Gives new meaning to "California blonde"... I'm not sure if the American pioneers of eugenics branded their movement so, I suppose the swastika and the confederate flag will have to do for now. [Source: SFGate, November 9, 2003]

[In an effort to make sure some folks #neverforget, all images are available at high res for non-commercial use. If interested, tweet @MultiPATRIOT. Please share.]

So, let's talk heritage. I read this on @aboutdotcom about the origins of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

SOURCE: ABOUT.COM

SOURCE: ABOUT.COM

*Unreliable* Native Americans. Unsuitable climate for Europeans & lazy Africans... *correction. Africans that could be "worked very hard." Damn Natives kept dying of European diseases. [Who wrote this mess?] 

HARRY BELAFONTE on THE CONFEDERATE FLAG

HARRY BELAFONTE on THE CONFEDERATE FLAG

I read that prenatal care included digging a hole in the ground to accommodate pregnant bellies during whippings (If my memory serves me correctly, Toni Morrison wrote about this). And "special needs" children were abused [even more than the average enslaved baby and child] (e.g., used as alligator bait). #childcare And what happened to the people who "aged out" of slavery? #eldercare? At least our ancestors could rest in peace after death, right? #africanburialgrounds

Some female slave owners only whipped female slaves because it was seen as "unladylike" for them to whip male slaves. Oh, these Southern Belles... #legacy #mindyourmanners #butnothumanity

The decision to abort or to give up one's child for adoption is hard for any parent. And to sell your own child into slavery? I can't. And before there was "take your child to work day," there was "take your child to a lynching." I guess it was work for the lynchers. #Howarethechildren? 

EJI  documented 3959 racial terror lynchings

EJI documented 3959 racial terror lynchings

Is it true that the origins of "policing" were rooted in American slavery? So any person with Black skin was targeted to protect the ruling class...back then... #massincarceration

But why focus on race, some argue. Why's it gotta be about being Black or anti-Black? Don't other efforts to combat the ISMs of the world include the fight for the rights of Black people?

2015 #oscarssowhite

2015 #oscarssowhite

#amovieoftheirown

#amovieoftheirown

Ok. It's just a few misguided but well-meaning actors, you say. Not a good example to use as evidence of an agenda to invalidate our movement or in general as "people of color," right? [Prince of Persia, Exodus, Gods and Kings, Goku: Dragonball: Evolution, Akira (no, a backlash after the leaking of a whitewashed cast made Hollywood reconsider)... *sigh... more at ScreenRant]. #oscarssowhite #itsnotdiversification #itsnormalization (h/t Shonda Rhimes) [And for the white supremacists, "diversification" is not code for "white genocide"... one of few instances where "white" is not the default...]

Message heard, but not always loud and clear. Erasure from history, the present and the future... signed #multimedia

And what's that popular presidential slogan? "Make America Hate Again"... Yeah... that's it. #2016

Similar to other deniers/revisionists, I am tired of having to prove the continued impact of our dark histories. Many would like to move on to discussing solutions but it must begin and continue with acknowledging the truth(s). Some say we inherit trauma in our DNA (here and here). Black history did not begin in America, however, 400 years of "trauma" in one of the most powerful countries in the world must have a lasting impact... #neverforget

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.
— African Proverb

I will not be silent no matter how much it pains me and I will try and support those who do it everyday. #notmad #woke #teachthebabies 

As my friend, Corey Godwell would say, "It's hate waiting for an excuse." #spreadLOVE #stayWOKE #noEXCUSES

~ Onjena Yo


RELATED TOPICS: If you liked this, you may be interested in the following:

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THE NEW JIM CROW BY MICHELLE ALEXANDER

SISTER CITIZEN BY MELISSA HARRIS PERRY

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MY SONG BY HARRY BELAFONTE

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ZOE SALDANA ON RACE: When you say that race is a social construct does that imply that it is insignificant?

Zoe Saldana on race:

 
I literally run away from people that use words like ethnic. It’s preposterous! To me there is no such thing as people of color cause in reality people aren’t white. Paper is white. People are pink, it’s a bit ridiculous when I have to explain to a human being, that is an adult like I am, that looks intelligent but for some reason I have to question his intelligence and explain to him as if he was a two year old, my composition in order for him to say, ‘Oh I guess I can chill with you, I can work with you.’

I will not underestimate a human being and I will not allow another human being to underestimate me. I feel like as a race, that’s a minute problem against the problems we face just as women versus men, in a world that’s more geared and designed to cater towards the male species.
— Zoe Saldana
 

So being referred to as "Black" is an underestimation of what she is or has become... and then, problems "we" face as "women versus men"...
"... minute problem..."

Didn't she grow up in Queens?

What happened to this sister over there?

When you say that race is a social construct does that imply that it is insignificant?
Language can be described as a social construct. 
To say that there is no such thing as a black race is actually inaccurate. The terminology of "Black Race" is a description that means that you can be readily defined as having indigenous African roots. While the biology, the genetic classification can be debated, one's family lineage is significant... as significant as being able to see yourself in the face of your children. 
After the construction of race as a term to separate Blacks from the rest of society (that is why the other classifications take on different meaning) the descriptions of those that fell under that classification, in an attempt at invalidation, were ridiculous. The cultural practices that have been built based on those attempts ( ie: the biblical curse of Ham, Darwinish classification of Blacks as a lessor evolved species) were just psychological tools of war... and as such, as successful as they were, can never be called ridiculous.
Centuries later that classification "Black Race" is still being distorted and used as a war identifier.
The classification, meaning the defining and separating.. and the subsequent treatment of those that fell under that category, created a culture in response. Culture being another social construct that has existed at the foundation of civilizations for tens of thousands of known historical years.
Therefore Black culture becomes as significant as any "religion"... and therefore lies the danger. 
That is what those are on both sides are frightened of and align themselves against. They are afraid of being persecuted by, or for being part of a "religion". 
Historically powerful... and dangerous.

Saying race is nonsense becomes just one more tool to dilute that power and invalidate a people, in the same way the Australian aborigines were driven toward extinction.
It is not just how the world sees us and treats us but is as real as any identification of "family"...
... Which I admit can sometimes be ridiculous.


SAY IT LOUD: Black Power in Every Language by Onjena Yo

These concepts have evolved over many late night conversations... born out of pain and love and laughter. As a Black woman and a Spanish language teacher, it was quite natural that my sister would translate "Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud" to Spanish. This and that 30 Rock episode starring Tracy Morgan, prompted me to research how to say "Black" in every language.

I’ve learned the word ‘black’ in every language, just so I know when to be offended. Russian “tcherny,” Korean “heug-in [hooking],” dolphin “eeee eeee eee eeee.”
— Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock: Season 4: Episode 17

Source: UnlikelyWords.com [*hooking edited to "heug-in" or "흑인"]

I came across an abundance of enthusiastic databases of ethnic slurs (for the sake of academic research, of course..). Digging a little deeper, I found that Black people were often called a term that was rooted in racist etymology by the "majority" of that country (e.g., derivative of slave, non-believer). I was on the hunt for what we called ourselves around the globe...a color in some cases... a tribe in others. The time frame deliberately spanned beyond the "transatlantic slave" era. This activity led me inward to a memory of my father, who, during parent's weekend, drove around my small New England college campus blasting James Brown's song, "Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud!" I've only begun to scratch the surface on what identifying and celebrating Blackness means to me, as an American, as a woman and as a person raised in a third culture *mix of Black and Korean.

Our translation of "Black" in our "Black in Every Language" design: 

Black – English
Negro – Spanish
Noir – French
Nwa – Haitian Creole
Oji – Igbo
Dudu – Yoruba
Preta – Portuguese
Nyeusi – Swahili

Whatever the language, we encourage all to #sayitLOUD! We would love to hear your thoughts! Connect with us on twitter at @MultiPATRIOT or @populistdemand

OUR DADDY

OUR DADDY

Thank you for your time.

~ Onjena Yo

[For the folks in the cheap seats passing notes, you can be proud, too... Black is beautiful, too... Black lives matter, too... Black girls rock, too... but it ain't always about you, too...]

 


BLACK: SAY IT LOUD Design Series by Onjena Yo

Sold exclusively on Redbubble

WWW.ARISE.POPULISTDEMAND.ORG


SAY IT LOUD:

ARABIC: 'AQUL DHLK BISAWT EAL

FRENCH: DIS LE BRUYANT

HAITIAN: DI LI BYEN FȮ

IGBO: EKWU YA OKÉ

PORTUGUESE: DIGA ALTO

SPANISH: DILO ALTO

SWAHILI: SEMA NI KUBWA

TAGALOG: SABIHIN MO MALAKAS

YORUBA: SO Ọ TI NPARIWO

 

 

I'M BLACK:

'ANA 'ASWAD 

JE SUIS NOIR

MWEN NWA

ADḷ M OJI

EU SOU PRETA

SOY NEGRO

MIṂI NYEUSI

AKO ITIM

DUDU NI MI

 

AND I'M PROUD:

WA'ANA FAKHUR

ET JE SUIS FIER

AK MWEN FYĖ

NA ABU M MPAKO

E TENHO ORGULHO

Y SOY ORGULLOSO

NA MIṂI MPAKO

AT AKO MAIPAGMAMALAKI

ATI EMI LI AGBERAGA


Do you speak any of the above languages? How did we do on our translations? Want to add a new language? 

Let us know via twitter @MultiPATRIOT & @populistdemand


Designed by Onjena Yo

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