It is not uncommon for transnational adoption to double as transracial adoption, and in those instances families must strive to reconcile a new set of cultural, ethnic, and geographic concerns. A persisting race-conscious and race-critical American society inadvertently forces some adoptees to confront not only why they look different from their parents, but also why they are subsequently treated differently. Nonetheless, the American tendency to adopt from abroad is higher than ever, and our already diverse nation is witnessing the addition of many newly diverse households. The arduous process of upholding an adoptees’ multicultural identity relies on the proactivity of the parents, the community, and of course the adoptee him or herself.
“Who cares?” says Jerry Seinfeld about diversity in comedy.
I do. In early February, Jerry Seinfeld made remarks about his role in increasing diversity in media. He states: “People think [comedy] is the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America, who cares?” I believe complaints about minority representation in media are not particularly calling for creators to diversify as an obligation, but question how the media is not reflexive of our diverse society. Continue reading
It wasn’t until I found myself in Le Marais over spring break, engrossed in a three-hour heart-to-heart over strong Parisian coffee, that I realized how fulfilled I was. There were no meetings to run to, no career plans to lose sleep over, and no seemingly endless to-do list to check off. Being a spontaneous tourist was a refreshing change from stretching myself thin with overcommitments and my own unrealistic expectations.
My roommate and I have a running joke, the perfect encapsulation of our on-going dialogue about our place in society as the children of immigrants. What do white people eat for dinner? She is Korean and I am Sudanese and we are visibly otherenough so that when someone looks at us, they automatically bring with them a set of assumptions and act out a set of prejudices.
In his article “Black Heritage: A Fight For Identity”, The Stripes’ Kovey Coles outlines a few encounters where people have inquired of his heritage. Most of the encounters that he lists occurred abroad, between him and a nonnative English speaker. However, the article was mainly focused on Mr. Coles’ feeling that because many Blacks in American do not know their true heritage, any inquiry into their ancestry is insensitive.
As a Black person, I agree that it is somewhat insensitive, and I admit that I too have felt a twinge of envy when my lighter complexioned friends are able to claim certain percentages of German, Italian, Swiss, Portuguese, and perhaps even Native American descent. But the fact that he is discomforted by this question suggests that he sees our history as a source of shame, as something that needs to be covered up.
During the spring of my senior year in high school, I remember making a series of pro/con lists as I tried to decide where I should spend the next four years of my life. On each of the various drafts of my list, I remember writing “diversity” as a pro for Princeton. I felt, and still do feel, that one of the most valuable opportunities offered to college students is the chance to meet people from a variety of different backgrounds. I wanted to go somewhere where I could find people whose lives had been different from mine. According to the University’s website, Princeton offers this opportunity. A 2013 report by the Trustee Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity states, “Princeton places a policy of diversity and inclusion at the core of our educational mission.” However while Princeton students are diverse in many ways, from our ethnicities to our academic interests to our hometowns, the Princeton community is also a surprisingly homogeneous one in that the majority of us come from a background of privilege.