I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I was bussed to a magnet school. I went to a high school where about 70% (I think I remember that correctly) of the 3000 person population was black.
Yet most of my classes were white.
I always say that going to Heights high taught me classism as opposed to racism, because I remember going through certain hallways and feeling nervous, despite the white faces I saw around me.
And I defintely have my fair share of white guilt and nervousness.
But the difference between me now and high school me is that in high school I thought the answer to racism was color blindness.
See, the few black kids in my classes truly didn’t register on my radar as “black.” And it wasn’t until years later that I realized that they probably had issues with acceptance from both whites and blacks.
Now, married to a Japanese man with two biracial children, I think that answer is to be blunt and open about differences in races and cultures.
But whenever I talk about my “gaijin” wife friends, I feel this residual shame because I’m making a big deal of race.
I’ve always said that the white woman/asian man combo was the rarest. It turns out I was wrong. white man/black woman is the rarest, and then white woman/asian man.
The most prevalent combo being the white man/asian woman.
I’m getting my data from the American Inequality Lab which I found through the Freakonomics blog. (Yes, I read freakonomics. They make economics sexy and exciting) This graph shows the trends over time.
But if you scroll down the page, you see that if you exclude foreign born people (such as my case with Naoto), that the white woman/asian man combo is the second highest.
Very interesting. I guess that means to me that once you are Nikkei, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore what your race is.
Which would make sense to me, because, to be blunt, I think it is the cultural conceptions of Japanese maleness expressed in manner and clothing and hair that make them seem feminine to me. If you are Nikkei male and grow up in the states, you’ll adopt US male hair, clothes, etc.
Hmmm. Interesting thought.