"My daughter's face is 97% Korean" are Jason Calacanis' words. He is the investor/entrepreneur/blogger behind mahalo.com, launch.co and many others.
In a blog post and a series of follow up tweets on race, Jason Calacanis confronts mixed identity head on. Ostensibly talking about gender roles, and Silicon Valley social inclusion, he abruptly goes headlong into race:
"Now, there’s some truth to me not being able to speak about race. I haven’t experienced racism myself, except when standing next to my wife (who is Asian). I had no idea people were as racist toward Asians as they are — but they are. That makes me sad for my mixed-race daughter, who looks 97% Korean and 3% Irish — let alone Greek or Swedish (sorry, Dad).
But she’s going to live in the post-race world we’re shifting to. Her kids will probably share six or seven heritages — enough so that no one will matter. And that’s awesome."
First, good on you Jason for venturing into the subject. Too often, at least in America, the subject of race is sidestepped by those with a contrarian view because the political consequences are too treacherous. This leads to an echo chamber of political correctness, which is clearly NOT a good thing. This "echo chamber of political correctness" is also why the half-Asian story will ultimately find its voice in Asia, not America (a topic for another month).
We assume his daughter is half-Korean, and Mr. Calacanis himself notes he does not have much awareness of a non-White perspective, much less have a sensitivity to a partially Korean, partially White perspective-- one that might rather be caught between two things rather than shut out from one thing (i.e. Korean vs. White is the main event, rather than being not White). Nevertheless, kudos to Mr. Calacanis-- I applaud him for being candid, something that doesn't come without risk today.
Second, the "post-race world..."
This requires a lot more treatment than a single blog post. I would love to chat with Jason Calacanis on this subject. And I will address him directly: "what do you mean by post-race world?"
I am mixed. My son is mixed. Your daughter is mixed. We all proverbially have a "dog in this fight."
We can swap generalities, sure. But I have enough experience thinking about mixed race and mixed culture myself. I know enough people who really stumble on some of these issues. They get bullied, or they get teased, and it takes a lot longer to work out than might appear at first glance. Maybe we should be specific.
Why don't I thematically hone in on the "post-race world" over 3-5 posts over the next ten days. I have a rebuttal to this concept. Though, maybe I first need to do some listening myself.
Tell me what you think. What is the "post-race world?" Will it come to exist? One day? Do mixed people have a special role in inviting this "post-race world?" Or is it beyond or Ken? More fundamentally, if we could have it, would we even want it?
My sense is that you'll need to answer the question for America first, then to be true to the "world" you'll have to elevate it to make sense outside of America too.
Tell me what you think. Think about it. Write it and submit it.