One Drop of Love Q&A: Ask the tough questions

One Drop of Love is a multimedia one-woman show exploring the intersections of race, class, gender, justice and LOVE.

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January 2015 footage:

Direction by Carol Banker

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Music by Carol Doom

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How I Learned about the One-Drop Rule: Thomas (part 2)

President of MASC, Thomas Lopez, continues to discuss mixed race/multiracial and Latino/Hispanic racial categories on the U.S. Census and how these differ from California’s categories.

Watch Part 1 of the video here: bit.ly/28M6AIO

Visit MASC (Multiracial Americans of Southern California) here: bit.ly/28KMb19

If you’d like to share your one-drop rule story, send us an email to onedropoflove at gmail dot com with ‘One-drop Rule’ as the subject line.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

THOMAS LOPEZ:                 Yeah, so society needs to get ready for this change. The multi-racial community needs to get ready for this change. The state of California is gonna have some problems with it because the state of California is also—

DAUGHTER:                 Yeah.

TL:                 – doing this type of one-drop rule, okay. Here’s another funny story for you.

D:                 Explain.

TL:                 Explain.

D:                 [Chuckle]

TL:                 I’ll explain this for you, okay?

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Three years ago in 2013, The California Department of Finance, they did a study looking at California, seeing how the different racial groups are going to grow or change in size between now, all  the way out to the year 2060, okay. They were looking way into the future, where the trends are. They predicted that in 2014 Latinos will out-number whites for the first time since, I guess, the state founded or a long time ago.

D:                 That’s a very long time ago.

TL:                 Yeah. What’s funny about that, though, is that they used census data to come up with these projections and, like I said before, Latinos currently are not counted along as a race. How can you say that Latinos are out-numbering Whites when it’s possible for Latinos to be white? Do you see?

D:                 Good point.

TL:                 Yeah, so it’s kind of confusing. I went and I looked at their study to try and figure out how did they come up with these numbers and I found something very interesting. They actually manipulated the census data. They tweaked the data.

D:                 Umm.

TL:                 Okay?

D:                 That’s not great then.

TL:                 No, it’s not good at all. It wasn’t written into the report. You actually had to look at the table of data that they put there with all the numbers, and when you look at the column headings that they had for each group, then you realize what they did. The first thing that they did that was unlike the census is they created a mixed race category.

D:                 Ah.

TL:                 See, the census doesn’t—

D:                 Is that good or bad?

TL:                 Well, it’s just different. It’s different from the census.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 The census doesn’t have a mixed race category. They don’t call people multiracial or mixed race. They count people as two or more races, right? Say you were mixed white and black, okay?

D:                 Mm-hmm.

TL:                 They would count you as white and they would count you as Black at the same time. Your number would show up under the white column and the black column.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Okay, and so you would end up with a greater number of people counting by races than actual people. For example, say you have three people.

D:                 Alright.

TL:                 Say you had three people.

D:                 Hello three people.

TL:                 One person’s white. One person’s black and one person is mixed white and black.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Okay? We know the total number of people is three, but if we counted the number of white people, you would have two white people and you would have two black people.

D:                 Yeah, right.

TL:                 Two plus two is four.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 Right? How do you end up with more people? Well, obviously the mixed race person is being counted twice. Okay, do you see how that works?

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 Alright. That’s how the census does it. If you total up all the people by race, you end up with a bigger number than the total number of people because mixed race people are being counted more than once.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 California decided not to do that. Instead, what they did is anybody that marked off two or more races they put in a separate column called ‘mixed race.’

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 If you were white and black, you were not counted as white and you were not counted as black, you were counted as multiracial.

D:                 Okay, that sounds a bit easier to understand ’cause you’re doubling it and then they—

TL:                 It is easier to understand, but you lose something because now the mixed race people are sort of being torn away from where they came from. Us being mixed Latino and white, right?

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 We don’t stop being Latino and we don’t stop being white just because we’re mixed. We still hang out with our families, both sides.

D:                 Mm-hmm, yeah.

TL:                 We’re still a part of that, but we’re also something different. By pulling out the mixed race people and putting them in a separate column, it makes the math easier okay, but it doesn’t quite capture with as much detail what’s happening with these mixed people, you know?

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 They’re sacrificing truer identity or whatever to make the math work out better. You see what I’m saying?

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Here’s the other result, by putting the mixed race people in that column it’s subtracted everybody else’s numbers.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 The number of white people went down. The number of black people went down. Everybody’s race went down, okay, because now they’re counted as mixed race, right?

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Then, they did a second thing that was different from the census.

D:                 Alright.

TL:                 They created a Latino racial category. The way they did that is anybody with mixed stuff.

TL:                 Yeah, they combined the data. Remember, I said that there was two separate questions?

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 California decided to combine them.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Okay, and they did that by subtracting anybody that marked Latino from their category. If you were Latino and white, they subtracted you from white and put you under Latino. If you are Latino and black, they subtracted you from black and put you under Latino.

D:                 Mm-hmm.

TL:                 If you were mixed race and Latino, they subtracted you from mixed race and put you in Latino. In other words—

D:                 Okay, [inaudible 16:25].

TL:                 – they dumped everybody that was Latino into the Latino category and, again, subtracted from the white, subtracted from the black, subtracted from mixed race people too.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 Alright? No wonder Latinos are such a large part of the California population because the state of California ripped them out, put them in their own column and lowered everybody else’s number.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 Alright? Again, that  makes the math a little bit easier, but—

D:                 It’s not exactly true.

TL:                 it’s not exactly true ’cause it makes Latinos seem like they’re very separate from everybody else when they’re not. The Latinos are very integrated in society.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 It’s sacrificing reality for better math, okay. This is where it gets really tricky. In 2020, right, the census, like I said, is going to combine these two questions. Latinos are gonna be able to mark off two or more boxes.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 What is the state of California gonna do when they get this data from the census? They’re gonna have choice. Remember, anyone that marked off two or more races got put into a mixed race column, but if Latinos mark off two or more races is the state of California gonna put them in the mixed race column, or are they gonna continue to put them in their own Latino column?

D:                 We don’t know?

TL:                 We don’t know. Here’s the deal.

D:                 Da-da-da-da.

TL:                 Yeah, here’s the other deal. About one in four Latinos are expected to mark off two or more boxes, so if the state of California decides to count them as mixed race, then the Latino population in California is gonna go down by about 25 percent. If they decide to count them as Latino, then the mixed race population is going to be cut almost in half.

D:                 Yikes.

TL:                 The state of California has some decisions to make, if they’re gonna continue on with their current policy, or are they gonna come more in line with what Census Bureau is doing? Do you see?

D:                 Aren’t they supposed to kind of by law?, As in Congress…

TL:                 That’s a really good question. That’s very astute of you to ask that. Yes!

[Laughter]

TL:                 They should be following federal standards, but they’re not.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 I don’t know, but this is gonna be really interesting, what could end up happening. People’s numbers are very important because it has to do with discrimination, treatment. It has to do with voting districts, how those are set up and everything.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 Okay? It’s really important that they get this right. Because of what California is doing, they might actually be setting the stage for a fight between Latinos and mixed race people—

D:                 I don’t want that to happen.

TL:                 – to get counted properly. Yeah, it’s—

D:                 Not very good.

TL:                 – it’s unnecessary. That’s not very good, no. Fighting is bad and it’s unnecessary. The only reason why it’s happening is because California chooses to do their policy in a particular way. If they choose to instead do their policy more in line with what the census is going to do, then the problem goes away.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 It becomes our responsibility now to go to California and say, ”Hey, let’s talk about this. Let’s get this done right. Let’s do it now before it’s too late,” you know?

D:                 Da, da, da, da, civil war that will escalate into other states. The country falls.

TL:                 Let’s not get crazy, okay.

D:                 Okay.

TL:                 Alright. Well, so I just told you about the one-drop rule. I told you about how it still applies to Latinos today.

D:                 Lots of history applies to today.

TL:                 Yes. I also told you how, in the future, it might be causing problems in the future, unless we solve some problems.

D:                 Yeah.

TL:                 Thank you for listening to our video, and if you wanna learn more about what Multiracial Americans of Southern California are up to you can visit—

D:                 AKA, MASC.

TL:                 Yeah, you can visit our website at mascsite.org. M-A-S-C-S-I-T-E dot org. We are also on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. If you wanna learn more about our national advocacy issues, including how to deal with the state of California, you can visit our blog on Tumblr called the Multiracial Advocate.

D:                 I like Tumblr!

TL:                 What are you doing on Tumblr?

D:                 [Chuckling], I’ll tell you later.

TL:                 Okay. We also have a survey where you can hear about our national initiatives and show your support. Thank you very much for joining me in this conversation and hope to hear from you sometime in the future.

TL & D:                           Bye!

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How I Learned About the One-Drop Rule: Thomas (Part 1)


This is PART 1 of a 2-part response to our question: When was the first time you learned about the one-drop rule? Thomas Lopez is President of MASC (Multiracial Americans of Southern California http://bit.ly/28KMb19). He talks to his daughter and focuses on how the one-drop rule affects Latinos, especially when it comes to U.S. Census racial categories.

If you would like to share your One-Drop Rule story, send us an email to onedropoflove at gmail dot com

TRANSCRIPT

Thomas Lopez:             Hello. My name is Thomas Lopez and I am the President of Multiracial Americans of Southern California. I’m here with my giggly daughter to talk about how I first heard about the one-drop rule. I’m just not going to talk about that. I’m actually going to talk about how the one-drop rule is still in work today, but there’s a special version of it for Latinos. The one-drop rule.

Daughter:              Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                Have you ever heard of the one-drop rule before?

 

D:                Nope.

 

TL:                No? Okay, so the one-drop rule goes something like this.

 

D:                Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                Mainly it had to do with blacks, especially living in the segregated south.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                The way it worked was, if you had any amount of black ancestry then that means you would be counted as black. If you had like a great grandparent that was black, but everybody else in your family was white, they would still count you as black.

 

D:                That doesn’t seem very fair.

 

TL:                Well, it was the law at the time and they called it the ‘one-drop rule’ because it was meaning one drop of black blood made you—

 

D:               Oh, that makes sense.

 

TL:                Well, it does, but it doesn’t make sense ’cause there’s no such thing as black blood.

 

D:                Yeah, I know.

 

TL:                Okay. There’s no such thing as white blood.

 

D:                Blood is the same color.

 

TL:                Right.

 

D:                Red [chuckle].

 

TL:                Blood is blood. Anyway, that’s just what they called it, is the one-drop rule. Now the official laws around one-drop rule are more or less gone. There is something that I came across that has to do with the one-drop rule being applied to Latinos.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Okay? It is found in the census itself. The census treats Latino identity different from racial identity. They call Latinos an ethnicity and not a race, okay. They do this by asking two different questions.

 

D:                Wait. Pause. What’s the difference between ethnicity and race?

 

TL:                That’s a whole other conversation.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                It’s a good question, but I’m not going to cover that.

 

D:                Yeah, I always get confused.

 

TL:                That’s fine. There is a lot of overlap there, but we don’t have time to talk about that.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Let’s just suffice it to say that the census considers Latino an ethnicity and not a race.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Okay? They ask two questions, alright. The first question that they ask is a yes or no question, alright. Are you a Latino, yes or no? Okay. The second question they ask is what is your race. They give you six different races to choose from: white, black, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Native- American and some other race, okay? Now, starting in 1997, the government changed the forms to allow you to check off more than one race. It used to be you could only pick one race, alright, but now you can pick as many races as you want. You can have white and black and Asian and have those all combined in one race, but oddly enough, they never changed the Latino question, okay. The Latino still today is a yes or no question, are you Latino or non-Latino.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Okay?

 

D:                Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                If you answer yes, that you’re Latino, then you have a couple more options. You can say Mexican or Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Cuban or some other Latino identity. Actually, the census likes to use the word ‘Hispanic’, so—

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                I might jump between the terms Hispanic or Latino.

 

D:                Latino and Hispanic are the same thing?

 

TL:                Yeah, they’re the same thing. Just for conversation’s sake we’ll use them to mean the same thing.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                What’s funny about that question is that it’s a yes or no question. Are you Latino, yes or no? You know me, my father was Mexican-American from El Paso, Texas.

 

D:                Mm-hmm, yeah.

 

TL:                My mother was German-Polish from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

 

D:                Uh huh.

 

TL:                Okay? You—

 

D:                Yes?

 

TL:                – being my daughter—

 

D:                Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                – okay, your mom is Latina and I’m mixed Latino, so you too are also—

 

D:                Latina.

 

TL:                – mixed. You’re Latina, but you also have some German-Polish ancestry too.

 

D:                You can say that you’re Latino and I’m also mixed too.

 

TL:                Right, so you’re two things at the exact same time, right?

 

D:                Mm-hmm, awesome.

 

TL:                If I asked you which are you, are you Latino or are you German-Polish, yes or no.

D:                Both. Well.

 

TL:                Yeah, but now you have to pick one. You have to say yes or no. Can you say yes and no at the same time?

 

D:                Not really.

 

TL:                Not really; that makes no sense.

 

D:                It’s a paradox.

 

TL:                Right, that’s a paradox.

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                It makes no sense. When the census changed to allow people to mark one or more categories in 1997, they did not change the Latino ethnicity question and to this day it’s confusing. You might ask what happens if you check off multiple boxes, right?

 

D:                Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                What will the census do? Do you know?

 

D:                No.

 

TL:                Who knows, right? I asked this question for a long time, and it took me awhile to get an answer, but I eventually got a report sent to me from a friend of mine—

 

D:                Yes.

 

TL:                – who was involved with the census, and what the report said.

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                Prior to 2010, okay, the census had this really elaborate procedure—

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                – for trying to figure out what ethnicity people are if they marked off multiple boxes or they left it blank. I’m not gonna go into that because it’s long and involved. It’s really interesting, but it is long and involved.

 

D:                Alright.

 

TL:                Then they simplified it and this is straight from the report, okay. I’m gonna read this straight from the report. Okay, now in this report, they’re talking about the American Community Survey or ACS.

 

D:                ACS?

 

TL:                Yeah, ACS. That’s a different study that’s done from the census, but the Census Bureau does both of these studies. If the census adopts a certain methodology for one study, they apply that same method to all of their studies, including the census.

 

D:                If they do this process for one thing, they’re gonna use it for another thing?

 

TL:                Right.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                This report is talking about the ACS, but we can assume that it is gonna apply to the full census.

D:                Alright.

 

TL:                Which is done every ten years, right?

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Okay, so here we go. It says, “Beginning with the 2010 ACS, the way multiple origin responses are handled in the Hispanic origin question will undergo some changes. Multiple origin responses will continue to be collected that will be edited to a single response as the Office of Management and Budget mandates. A single origin will be randomly selected from the original reported origins for multiple Hispanic or multiple non-Hispanic responses. On the other hand, part Hispanic responses will be edited differently. All part Hispanic responses will be coded as Hispanic.” In other words, say you marked off two Hispanics like Mexican and Cuban at the same time.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Alright? They are gonna randomly assign you to only one. You will be Mexican or Cuban. You can’t be both of them at the same time.

 

D:                That’s not very fair.

 

TL:                Doesn’t sound very fair. If you mark both non-Hispanic and Hispanic at the same time, like you marked yes and no at the same time, then they will assign you to the Hispanic category only.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                Remember what I was telling you about how the one-drop rule worked with black people—

 

D:                Yes.

 

TL:                – and, how if you had one black ancestor they counted you as black and ignored all your other ancestry?

 

D:                Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                Right? They’re doing the same thing with Latinos.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                If you or I were to mark off more than one box in the Latino question, they would assign us to only one.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                This is the exact same thing as the one-drop rule, except it’s being applied to Latinos, and that’s as recent as 2010, so it’s still happening today.

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                Yeah.

 

D:                Almost a decade later.

 

TL:                Right, so there’s really nothing—for people like us—

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                – that have this kind of mixed identity, Latino with non-Latino, there’s no real solution for us right now, you know? There’s a problem.

 

D:                Yeah, that’s sad.

 

TL:                Yes, but things are changing.

 

D:                Yay!

 

TL:                Things are changing. Right now the census is considering changes for the 2020 census that’s gonna be coming up in like four years.

 

D:                Okay, yeah.

 

TL:                The official recommendation will be made to Congress in April 2017 and then a final decision will be made in April 2018, okay.

 

D:                Okay.

 

TL:                What they’re thinking of doing is—remember how I told you there were two questions, there was the ethnicity question and a race question?

 

D:                Mm-hmm, yeah.

 

TL:                They’re gonna take those two questions and put them together into one question.

 

D:                I can’t wait for 2018 [chuckle].

 

TL:                There’ll be only one question, right?

 

D:                Yes.

 

TL:                Now Latino is not gonna be a separate ethnicity anymore. It’s gonna be considered a race.

 

D:                Alright.

 

TL:                Now you’ll have seven races to choose from, possibly more, but at least Latino is gonna be there. Now, what’s interesting about that, remember how I said that on the race question they allowed you to mark off more than one box?

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                That means that Latinos are going to get the ability to mark off more than one box.

 

D:                Umm.

 

TL:                You see, so this policy that they had before—

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                – forced me to pick Latino only is not gonna happen. They’re gonna allow Latinos to mark Latino and white, Latino and black, Latino and Asian. Now people like us will be able to mark off Latino and White at the same time—

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                – and they will continue to count that.

 

D:                Yeah.

 

TL:                Now, that’s gonna cause all kinds of other changes, okay.

 

D:                Mm-hmm.

 

TL:                Right now, the number of the percentage of the people in the country that mark two or more races is just under three percent of the total population, okay. When they allow Latinos to mark off two or more races, that number is likely gonna jump from three percent to almost seven percent. That’s a little over 100 percent increase in the 2 or more populations.

 

D:                Mm-hmm. Yeah. It doesn’t sound that big, but it actually is.

 

TL:                Yeah, so that’s gonna be a huge change. What people think of as multiracial is gonna totally change in this country, and now we’re gonna have all this data coming in about people that are mixed Latino and non-Latino, and they’re gonna be counted as multiracial.

 

D:                I get it.

 

TL:                Yeah, so society needs to get ready for this change. The multi-racial community needs to get ready for this change. The state of California is gonna have some problems with it because the state of California is also—

 

D:                Yeah.

(Please see Part 2 of this interview – which will be posted on Wednesday June 29, 2016)

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One Drop of Love Q&A: Ferguson, Police Brutality, Anger

TRANSCRIPT:
PATTI: You’ve been doing the show a lot. You’ve gone to a lot of different places. Last weekend you were in San Antonio. In the wake of the Ferguson non-indictment, and the ensuing civil protest, what has it been like to do the show? Has it even come up?

FANSHEN: Definitely. I have to say that scene with Winston. With my brother. It’s a whole different level of feeling, both for me and in the audience. And I got really angry. Particularly because I’ve witnessed police brutality against a family member, but also because I am just so constantly aware of race and racism in my life.

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How I Learned about the One-Drop Rule: Ken Tanabe, Founder of Loving Day

Ken Tanabe is the Founder of Loving Day (www.lovingday.org) Please visit the website to learn how you can participate in or create your own celebration of Loving Day.

Please SIGN and SHARE the petition to make #LovingDay a federal observance: http://bit.ly/LovingDayPetition

TRANSCRIPT:
0:00:00.000,0:00:04.230
FANSHEN: Recently I asked my friends when was the
first time that they heard about the

0:00:04.230,0:00:08.460
one-drop rule and their answers were
really incredible so we’re sharing them

0:00:08.460,0:00:10.590
here and we’d like to hear yours.

0:00:10.590,0:00:15.089
So send us an email, tweet us,
anything and let us know: when was the

0:00:15.089,0:00:18.089
first time you learned about the
one-drop rule?

0:00:18.660,0:00:23.670
KEN TANABE: I’m a huge nerd. I have been a nerd from
the whole time and that means that I

0:00:23.670,0:00:27.660
paid attention in school, so when I was
in elementary school and high school

0:00:28.260,0:00:32.910
I definitely learned about the one-drop
rule, like so many other students,

0:00:32.910,0:00:36.809
but i have to say that I got a
whole new dimension of understanding

0:00:36.809,0:00:42.210
from working on the Loving Day project
and connecting with so many people in

0:00:42.210,0:00:47.190
the multiethnic community. So hearing hundreds thousands of stories,

0:00:47.190,0:00:53.969
watching films, reading books, listening
to academics, meeting people like Fanshen –

0:00:53.969,0:00:57.690
and just hearing the
collective experience of everyone and

0:00:57.690,0:01:02.129
thinking about my own experience –
because I don’t have African

0:01:02.129,0:01:08.790
heritage, but I feel like the one-drop
rule applies in other countries. They may

0:01:08.790,0:01:14.490
not call it the one-drop rule, but they
have some like the one-drop rule

0:01:14.490,0:01:20.640
outside of the US. So I feel like my
identity and the identity of so many

0:01:20.640,0:01:25.560
other people have been affected by the
one-drop rule and things that are very

0:01:25.560,0:01:30.450
similar to it. So I I just
encourage everybody to get out there and

0:01:30.450,0:01:36.000
connect with the multiethnic community. Learn so much about our history, our

0:01:36.000,0:01:41.220
shared experience, your own identity as
well. I think that

0:01:41.220,0:01:45.060
celebrating Loving Day is a really great
way to expand the conversation

0:01:45.869,0:01:50.460
past the one-drop rule and get into a
more nuanced conversation about

0:01:51.190,0:01:58.420
race and identity and who we really
are. So that’s my perspective on the

0:01:58.420,0:02:02.590
one-drop rule and I hope see you out
there in the community and hopefully

0:02:02.590,0:02:07.180
celebrating Loving Day. Happy Loving
Day and yeah let’s keep the conversation

0:02:07.180,0:02:08.290
going.

0:02:08.290,0:02:13.690
Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel
to keep up with the latest One Drop news

0:02:13.690,0:02:15.270
and other videos.

0:02:15.270,0:02:19.830
Do you have ideas for more video content? Tell us what you’d like to see. We’ll see

0:02:19.830,0:02:23.610
you next time to share more drops of love. Be sure to tell us by commenting here

0:02:23.610,0:02:27.840
and on Twitter and Facebook how YOU are spreading drops of love.

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One Drop of Love Q&A: What is a ‘Fanshen’?, From Discomfort to Evolving

TRANSCRIPT:
(clapping) CHANDRA: I’d like to introduce Dr. Lester. Dr. Lester is a Foundation Professor of English and one of the Founding Directors of Project Humanities at Arizona State University. Welcome Dr. Lester. (clapping)

DR. LESTER: You do a lot with naming. And I mean not just YOUR name and what it means, but it starts fundamentally with: How do you pronounce it?

FANSHEN: My pronunciation is an American pronunciation of a Mandarin Chinese word. So when I teach ESL and I have Chinese students, they’re like “No. That is not how you say your name.” (laughing) And also they’re like, “So your parents named you ‘turn over’? What is that about?” (laughter)

DR. LESTER: And notice how much we get in terms of racializing names. They’ve done all those bias tests where you have the same application with the same details, but one is Joe and the other is Jose. And Joe gets all the call backs. We start constructing biases around that.

FANSHEN: And we even do it to ourselves. When we have to write our own name, we do worse on the exam. When we have to tell our race, when we have to tell our gender – if we’re women – we do worse on the exam. It’s all internalized as well.

DR. LESTER: So let’s pronounce that. How would you prefer, because that to me seems an appropriate and respectful way to ask. How would you like to have your name pronounced?

FANSHEN: I call myself Fan-Shin. Kahks. Dee-Joe-VAH-nnee.

DR. LESTER: Ok. 1-2-3

AUDIENCE: FAN-SHIN

DR. LESTER: One more time:

AUDIENCE: FAN-SHIN

DR. LESTER: Is that good?

FANSHEN: Yes!

DR. LESTER: Has anyone ever done that before?

FANSHEN: No. Thank you!

DR. LESTER: See!?

(audience claps, laughter)

DR. LESTER: Other comments from the audience?

WOMAN: There was a trigger point for me, during my upbringing it reflected that at one point it was a requirement to be critically responsible but you must be critically invisible.

DR. LESTER: Now what does that mean exactly? Because that sounds really deep.

WOMAN: You have to pay your taxes, make sure that your lawn is correct and so forth…but you could not speak of any indifferences or frustration as a Black woman. As a Black American because then it looks like you’re complaining for all the privileges that you have that others don’t.

FANSHEN: The most frustrating thing of all is to tell someone your experience, and them to question that. And that is happening over and over and over and that’s a big part of the problem. If YOU didn’t have that experience, don’t question whether that is true for me. That’s where White folks have to go. That’s where men have to go for women. That’s where wealthy people have to go for…

DR. LESTER: Straight people for…

FANSHEN: Exactly. You have to start believing the person who’s speaking to you.

MAN: So, how do you address that? I see that situation on a regular basis. How do you address that and bring it to someone’s attention without insulting and understanding what it is that they’re doing?

FANSHEN: We have to be uncomfortable. If they’re not uncomfortable, if you do it the nice way? They – it went like this (in one ear, out the other). And this is the final monologue is the only way I could get to evolve through self-reflection was to have these really uncomfortable conversations and it’s not easy, it took me seven years with my own father, but I think we have to prepare our young people for the discomfort.

DR. LESTER: The best learning and discovery can come falling in a trap and then getting out of it. But the human experience is that we WILL fall into the trap, but it’s how you handle it that determines the content of the character.

FANSHEN: Yes. Definitely.

(clapping)

CHANDRA: Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with the latest One Drop news and other videos. Do you have ideas for more video content? Tell us what you’d like to see. We’ll see you next time for more drops of love. Be sure to tell us by commenting here and on Twitter and Facebook how you are spreading drops of LOVE.

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How I Learned About the One-Drop Rule: Betsy

TRANSCRIPT:

FANSHEN: Recently I asked my friends, when was the first time they heard about the one-drop rule – and their answers were really incredible, so we’re sharing them here, and we’d like to hear yours. So send us an email, tweet us, anything and let us know: when was the first time that you learned about the one-drop rule?

BETSY: I first read Absalom, Absalom! in high school back in 1965, which began my love of Faulkner. As a 15-year-old, I could not believe that discovering your child is 1/16th Black would be grounds for abandoning your child. Also I’d never heard the word ‘octoroon’ so…that meant one of your great grandparents was Black. It also seemed like anyone at any time could be accused of having one drop of ‘negro’ blood. Sort of like being accused of being a witch in Salem. It made no sense. Charles’ half brother, who was 100% white, kills him on his father’s orders when he is told of his brother’s tainted history. He kills the half brother that he loves because of this One-Drop Rule.

CHANDRA: Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with the latest One Drop news and other videos. Do you have ideas for more video content? Tell us what you’d like to see. We’ll see you next time for more drops of love. Be sure to tell us by commenting here and on Twitter and Facebook how you are spreading drops of LOVE.

One Drop of Love is a multimedia one-woman show exploring the intersections of race, class, gender, justice and LOVE.
Please SUBSCRIBE to support our work and to get updates on our channel
Sign up for the One Drop of Love newsletter and see our upcoming appearances: http://bit.ly/1OQHy86
Follow us on twitter: @fanshen @onedropoflove
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One Drop of Love Q&A: Colorism and Being Biracial

TRANSCRIPT:

BRIGETTE: Did you find that; I am not of biracial heritage in that sense immediately but when we talk about Colorism and regardless of whether you’re biracial or not where you fall on that line are those things that come up that came up for you in your work, but really acknowledging our light to darkness and what does that mean regardless of whether you’re biracial or not; the question really becomes what is the real issue as far as one’s aesthetic and how they are then treated based on that it goes beyond the biracial instance biracial can be dark or light so I’m saying how we’re viewed and how we’re treated is really an aesthetic difference are we addressing that wholeheartedly.

FANSHEN: Yeah. The hardest part about this show, y’know, is that I have this amazing opportunity to share this story about my family and about my experiences, but I’m also extremely aware that if I literally told this exact same story but were darker-skinned, didn’t have this eye color, that people might not…no, people wouldn’t listen. And that’s painful and it’s like, so, yeah, I’m constantly struggling with exactly that kind of privilege. We all have the right to share our story, but I think we have to constantly acknowledge privilege and acknowledge that this is not about my being any more evolved or better than someone else – this is my story, this is what happened, hopefully you can learn some things about forgiveness and about treating people the same no matter what it is you think they are. In San Antonio someone asked why they think my brother didn’t get killed, like why is it that my brother stayed alive because in many instances he gets this man in a headlock, he should have been killed. And I think it has to do a lot with skin tone and even in the court proceeding that we had white friends with resources who were character witnesses. So. Yes.

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How I Learned about the One-Drop Rule: Tish

We’re looking for stories from EVERYONE about the first time they learned about the one-drop rule. If you’d like to share yours, send us an email with ‘One-drop rule’ in the subject line and we’ll send you instructions: onedropoflove(at)gmail(dot)com

TRANSCRIPT:

FANSHEN: Recently I asked my friends, “When was the first time they heard about the one-drop rule.” And their answers were incredible, so we’re sharing them here. And we’d like to hear yours, so send us an email, tweet us, anything and let us know: when was the first time you learned about the one-drop rule?

TISH: My freshman year of college when I took my first Black experience class. I think that was when the light bulb went off and there was actual words that could describe what had been put in front of me my whole life. I grew up in a white household. My mother married a white man and they had two children that were blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and while I saw them and because I lived in that world thought of myself as a ‘white girl with a good tan,’ I was constantly told in not-so-subtle ways that I was different and I was not white – either people just blurting it out like, ‘Honey, you’re Black’ or just saying ‘What are you mixed with?’ or ‘What are you?’ and so hearing ‘What are you?’ let me know that, whether I chose to acknowledge it or not, people were seeing something. It really hit home my freshman year when I got my first speeding ticket and when the cop came back to the car, he had his little write up and with all of the pressure that man could’ve mustered, he had written a big, bold ‘B’ in the race column and I remember seeing it and having this moment of – no matter what I was thinking before, or thinking that people weren’t seeing that I was a mixed person, they were seeing it. They were seeing that Black side of me and that was it.

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One Drop of Love Q&A: Boundaries

Tatiana asks what happens when family members don’t want to share about the past – and how to overcome these obstacles.

“One Drop of Love” is a multimedia one-woman show exploring the intersections of race, class and gender in search of justice and LOVE.

Please SUBSCRIBE to support our work and to get updates on our channel

Sign up for the “One Drop of Love” newsletter and see our upcoming appearances: http://bit.ly/1OQHy86

Follow us on Twitter: @fanshen @onedropoflove
and Instagram: @onedropoflove

We appreciate your ‘likes’ on Facebook too: http://on.fb.me/1NelJz8

Tumblr: http://fanshen.tumblr.com

Bring the show to your school/college/conference/event: http://bit.ly/1GqPG7b

Direction by Carol Banker
Q&A Host Patti Lewis
Camera by Katie Walker http://bit.ly/1FSOtea
Music by Carol Doom
Editing and logo graphics by Alex Regalado http://bit.ly/1Lh73wE in association with SarafinaProductions http://bit.ly/1OkzzQD
The “One Drop of Love” logo was designed by Zerflin http://zerflin.com/

TRANSCRIPTION:

TATIANA: It honestly blew me away. But I’ve tried this journey myself of self-discovery, and I was completely stopped. My uncle stopped me and was like, “You’re opening up a can of worms we don’t want to discuss.” And so as you were going through this process of finding yourself, what obstacles did you reach where your family was like, “No, we’re not going to go there.” Or they were saying, “This is as far as you’re going to go.” or you were like, “No. We need to discuss this. We need to get beyond this.” How were you able to really push through.

FANSHEN: I have to say, first of all, obviously if you are in physical or spiritual danger around confronting family members – I don’t want you to think that I’m like, “Just call him,” like, I get it. Really. It’s really important. Especially when I talk to young people, I’m like, “I know this is not something that’s easy,” and Girl, it took me 7 years. It took me 7 years and a lot of people, when I stopped talking to my father a lot of people said, “Just come on, you can…come on, call.” And I was like, “Nope. I don’t need him, I don’t want him.” And so for me it took my Grandma getting sick and almost dying. So sometimes it might take some catalyst that you can’t even conceive of right now. Because you’re right. Not everybody’s ready to do that. But certainly if you feel safe? Then keep trying.”

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