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Slightly off topic: The advantages of identifying as biracial

May 22, 2015
With so many biracial kids in Mandarin immersion programs, I thought this might be of interest.

My own kids, who are Chinese and Irish-German-English, are pretty fluid and calm about the whole thing, which I in part attribute to their having grown up in classrooms where being biracial is almost the norm.

from New York Magazine:

The Psychological Advantages of Strongly Identifying As Biracial

By 

Photo: Dana Hursey/Corbis

As I reported in the most recent issue of New York, a new program at an elite private school in New York aims to combat racism by dividing young children, some as young as 8 years old, into “affinity groups” according to their race. The program has been controversial among parents, many of whom believe it is their job, and not the school’s, to impart racial identity to their kids. This feeling is particularly strong among parents who have multi-racial kids. Their identities, many of them say, don’t fit into any established racial category but instead live on the frontier of race.

These sorts of questions about racial identity are only going to become more prominent given ongoing demographic changes in the United States. Multi-racial births are soaring — to 7 percent of all births in the U.S., according to the last Census — a result of more inter-racial coupling and also a broader cultural acceptance of the tag “multi-racial.” (Only as recently as 2000 did the Census even offer a “multi-racial” category — for hundreds of years, stigma has compelled multi-racial people to choose one or the other of their parents’ racial identities, both on government forms and in society.)

Please read more here.

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