Thank you, readers! Dr. Baker talks about our conversation so far …

thanks to all of you who have posted Comments on OurValues! Your participation
is essential to the success and usefulness of this Web site and this overall research project.
   Each of your
Comments is worthy of a response. For today, I’d like to single
out some of the Comments about race and immigration. These are
contentious, value-laden issues and I’m glad they have been raised
here — because I want to be a place where we can speak about contentious
issues in an open, frank and civil way. You’re helping us to demonstrate that this challenge is attainable.

Eusebia E. Aquino-Hughes observed that Hispanics often feel left out
of discussions of race that frame the issue in terms of Black and White. In another Comment, she argues that Gary Becker’s plan to sell American citizenship for $50,000 is really a thinly veiled “racial immigration plan” that discriminates against those who are poor and “brown” skinned.
Olsen discussed in his Comment the difficulty and arbitrariness
of racial labels and categories, based on his personal experience and
that of his late wife.
in response to the July 4 post on American colors, Eoghan
Farguhar asks, “Since when is Obama black?”
   Allen Barton answers
this question by pointing out that ethnic (and racial) labels are “multi-dimensional
in nature.” He says that Obama is “‘multicultural’ but
may be treated as either ‘black’ or ‘white’ depending on whom
he is dealing with.”
Juan Cole offers an interesting label for Obama — “metro-racial” — in
his June 4 blog. By this he means “Americans of
mixed and ambiguous ethnic ancestry.”

of these comments underscore the fact that race is a social construction. And, it is one of those social constructions with a lot of force and
life-shaping consequences.
for a new post on immigration and race next week!   

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