Letter to Secretary, Board of Regents, University of California re: Multiracial Category

November 16, 2004
George Winkel
Letter to Leigh Trivette
Secretary, Board of Regents
University of California

November 16, 2004

Ms. Leigh Trivette
Secretary of the Regents
1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607

Dear Ms. Trivette:

I wish to convey my thanks to the Board for receiving my March 18, 2004, letter supporting UC Regent Ward Connerly’s RE-52 proposal. It proposes the UC collect data from potential students using a “multi-ethnic” or “multi-racial” (multiracial) check box. A few organizations (AMEA, HIF, MAVIN, SWIRL) claiming they represent “mixed race” (i.e., racially blended) persons have come forward opposing the RE-52 multiracial classification.

These “mixed races” organizations against substituting racial modifier words for the institutional classification of individuals in zoo taxonomic “different races” are misguided. Essentially, they ask the UC to perpetuate an invidious antebellum caste system. In the sense of hierarchal caste, “blood races,” “mixed” or not, lend names to false “difference.”

The anti-Multiracial objectors argue, among other things, that Regent Connerly’s RE-52 multiracial/multiethnic identifier will limit the University’s ability to gather accurate data on its diverse student population. Opponents further argue that RE-52 will limit respondents’ choices, thereby denying their right to identify with multiple ethnic communities Ä if their choices are limited to a generic multiracial/multiethnic category.

The objectors are incorrect. The UC ethnic programs remain available to multiracials. Moreover, the RE-52 proposal does not propose to defy the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or prevent anyone marking one or more racial boxes. The opponents’ objection to a multiracial identity shows them denying self-identity rights to others.

Continued institutional classification of individuals into “races” is defended as “data” needed for the many government and institutional health care, equal, and civil rights monitoring and enforcement programs. The UC, of course, will comply with laws mandating data-collecting. Nonetheless, the UC Regents and the UC President retain some discretion. Also, rationalizing “races” which are nothing but unfortunate social constructs in order to re-rationalize their perpetual existence is pernicious circularity. “Different races” (inequality labels) are plainly harmful to the University community the Regents oversee.

As the opposition surely will agree, one purpose of racial data-monitoring is combatting racism and discrimination historically perpetrated by “whites.” However, California now is a state with no “majority white race.” What better time to start de-constructing “races” (e.g., with multiracial identity) then now when none is empowered with “majority”?

What passes for “races” are extremely heterogeneous worldwide geographical groups. California is a major melting pot where these are blending. Meanwhile, other large, significant ethnic groups are never classified. (E.g., Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals.) Hispanic defy classification into “races” (notwithstanding OMB trial balloons). Hispanic are blended Ä irretrievably multiracial. California’s already multiracial populations undermine the meager validity of OMB “different race”-data. Therefore, the “accuracy” of such token “data” ought not shoulder aside the UC’s realistic concerns.

Almost certainly the UC Regents will hear objections that the multiracial identifier will needlessly graft a new “race” onto the census list of “races.” It can be shown that the “black,” Hispanic, and “minority races” are “mixed,” making them already multiracial. Moreover, a multiracial classification, emphasizing (flouting) racial “amalgamation” revitalizes the “unfortunate” biological connotations Ä it will be argued Ä that in the past have stirred up “white” racism.

These objections are certainly spurious. The so-called “races” label as “different,” something that cannot objectively be defined. One human race is certain. But two cannot be proven. Circular, recursive fractional “blood” rules have variously defined “the races” since the eighteenth century. The OMB recently has resuscitated the Jim Crow “One-Drop rule” (O.D.R.) Ä now “white” versus all “minority.” (See OMB Bulletin No. 00-02, Guidance on Aggregation and Allocation of Data on Race for Use in Civil Rights Monitoring and Enforcement; .) Between the years 1910 and 1967 several states enforced the Jim Crow O.D.R. Ä found unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). This head-in-sand method of hiding human racial blending made the “colored race” “black” by O.D.R. fiat. Today the situation is different. Opponents of proposal RE-52 are conflicted with interest in their OMB Bulletin No. 00-02 reclassification that lately is O.D.R.-collapsed to “just black,” Hispanic, or other “minority.” They cannot have it both ways. Their self-interest would unfairly deny other racially blended people’s right to multiracial identity free from stigmatization as “mongrel” hybrid half-breed “mixed different races,” and so on.

The multiracial identifier is not a “new race.” Instead it recognizes one human race that can be any hue. Multiracial is not a noun or a verb, it only describes human reality. Multiracial identity will be the only racial classification not labeling zoo taxonomic “difference” circumscribing an endogamous, named caste. The United State’s antebellum racial caste names (i.e., “the races”) are not truer than a multiracial identity.

Opponents arguing against multiracial try to deny facts. In California our formerly endogamous castes (aka: “the races”) are intermarrying, blending themselves, faster than all but “white” and Hispanic, themselves a racially blended people. The weapon that fights racism is truth. One human race does not “mix” with itself. We have no “mongrels.” Opponents of multiracial and of Regent Connerly’s proposal RE-52 are conflicted with their interest in preferences institutionally funneled into the spurious “races” which they propose make them “different” in nouns and verbs.

I support UC adoption of Regent Connerly’s proposal RE-52 for a multiracial/multiethnic category.

Thank you,

George A. Winkel, Esq.

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