SUSAN SAULNY “Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/us/30mixed.html


One in seven new marriages is between spouses of different races or ethnicities, according to data from 2008 and 2009 that was analyzed by the Pew Research Center*1 . Multiracial and multiethnic Americans (usually grouped together as “mixed race”) are one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups. And experts expect the racial results of the 2010 census, which will start to be released next month, to show the trend continuing or accelerating.

Many young adults of mixed backgrounds are rejecting the color lines that have defined Americans for generations in favor of a much more fluid sense of identity. Ask Michelle López-Mullins, a 20-year-old junior and the president of the Multiracial and Biracial Student Association*2, how she marks her race on forms like the census, and she says, “It depends on the day, and it depends on the options.”


No one knows quite how the growth of the multiracial population will change the country. Optimists say the blending of the races is a step toward transcending race, to a place where America is free of bigotry, prejudice and programs like affirmative action.

Pessimists say that a more powerful multiracial movement will lead to more stratification and come at the expense of the number and influence of other minority groups, particularly African-Americans.

And some sociologists say that grouping all multiracial people together glosses over differences in circumstances between someone who is, say, black and Latino, and someone who is Asian and white. (Among interracial couples, white-Asian pairings tend to be better educated and have higher incomes, according to Reynolds Farley*3, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan.)

Along those lines, it is telling that the rates of intermarriage are lowest between blacks and whites, indicative of the enduring economic and social distance between them.

Prof. Rainier Spencer, director of the Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the author of “Reproducing Race: The Paradox of Generation Mix,”*4 says he believes that there is too much “emotional investment” in the notion of multiracialism as a panacea for the nation’s age-old divisions. “The mixed-race identity is not a transcendence of race, it’s a new tribe,” he said. “A new Balkanization of race.”

しかし、当事者(特に若者)にとっては、そんなことよりも”freedom to identify as they choose”の方が重要である。

Long ago, the nation saw itself in more hues than black and white: the 1890 census included categories for racial mixtures such as quadroon (one-fourth black) and octoroon (one-eighth black). With the exception of one survey from 1850 to 1920, the census included a mulatto category, which was for people who had any perceptible trace of African blood.

But by the 1930 census, terms for mixed-race people had all disappeared, replaced by the so-called one-drop rule, an antebellum convention that held that anyone with a trace of African ancestry was only black. (Similarly, people who were “white and Indian” were generally to be counted as Indian.)

It was the census enumerator who decided.

By the 1970s, Americans were expected to designate themselves as members of one officially recognized racial group: black, white, American Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Korean or “other,” an option used frequently by people of Hispanic origin. (The census recognizes Hispanic as an ethnicity, not a race.)

Starting with the 2000 census, Americans were allowed to mark one or more races.

The multiracial option came after years of complaints and lobbying, mostly by the white mothers of biracial children who objected to their children being allowed to check only one race. In 2000, seven million people — about 2.4 percent of the population — reported being more than one race.

複数の人種的或いはエスニックなアイデンティティを持つ人の増大というのは制度的には2000年の国勢調査から複数の人種を選べるようになったことによる。また、そのような人々は2000年から現在まで約35%増えているという。1970年代までの状況では人種の混合は各人種集団内におけるスティグマであったが、それが「ポジティヴなしるし(positive cachet)」になってきている。

The faces of mixed-race America are not just on college campuses. They are in politics, business and sports. And the ethnically ambiguous are especially ubiquitous in movies, television shows and advertising. There are news, social networking and dating Web sites focusing on the mixed-race audience, and even consumer products like shampoo. There are mixed-race film festivals and conferences. And student groups like the one at Maryland, offering peer support and activism, are more common.
臓器は「商品」か―移植される心 (講談社現代新書)

臓器は「商品」か―移植される心 (講談社現代新書)