Race and Suffering

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2018 by jerlina

Tonight I went to a dharma talk at Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City. It was my first time visiting the center and I was excited. The excitement was extinguished as soon as it was announced that the focus of the evening would be on race. Are you kidding me? I came here to talk about absolute truths! Not… race! Well actually, I am drawn to IMC because of the work that they do around the non-duality of the infinite and the finite. It was suggested tonight that race is a particular experience and manifestation of suffering. We broke into small groups and talked about our first experiences with race and how we have used our dharma practice to navigate issues related to race. We were also asked to discuss fear and vulnerability as it relates to race.

I started thinking about this perspective, that race is a form suffering and it resonated with me deeply. In fact, it seemed to resonate with everyone in the room. We all related to race as an experience or manifestation of suffering.

Something I thought about on my drive home, is that I have created a duality in my mind between ‘noble’ areas of interest that are universal and absolute and those that are ‘trivial’ to the point of embarrassing. Race falls into this later category. However, what I got out of this talk was that the absolute only appears as the finite. the universal only shows up as the particular. Anyway, I’m excited about exploring this path more deeply.





Meghan Markel: Our Biracial Hero AND Princess

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2018 by jerlina

Meghan Markle is doing what Barack Obama refused to do: claiming her biracial identity with pride. I won’t speculate on their different approaches to their identities here, but what I will say is that Meghan is turning out to be the biracial hero that we all wished that Obama had been. We thought that he would lift our complicated issues and identities into the spotlight of American culture. Nope. He wanted to focus national attention elsewhere (and gain support of Black voters who were probably already weary of this light skinned man who was half-white, half-kenyan and raised in Hawaii). Meghan, however, doesn’t need to win votes. She does not need to adjust how she identifies to please anyone. Ok, look at me speculating when I said I wouldn’t.

Meghan is doing one very concrete thing for biracial people: she is a reference point that we can all point to. ‘Im biracial’ I can now say with pride, ‘like meghan marble.’ Ha-lle-lu-ja. That said, it seems like the next generation of biracial women have plenty of celebrities that they can reference to justify their choice of identity: Zendaya, Amandla Steinburg and Yara Shahidi are just a few. Meghan is a woman of my generation, the ‘Loving Generation’ who is doing what I need her to do: claiming her biracial identity loud and proud. You. Go. Girl.

And, I found this really good essay on Meghan:

The Problem with Calling Meghan Markle the “First Black Princess”



Biracial Media

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 by jerlina

I watched this tonight, interesting but definitely with an east coast bias:



I haven’t watched this one yet but look forward to it:



Biracial Privilege

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 by jerlina

This is an amazing article about the “Loving Generation” or biracial (black/white) adults born between the late 60s-mid-80s. It is my generation! WOOOOT! Here are a few highlites:

“what did it mean about race and opportunity in the United States that many of the most celebrated black people in American cultural life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries happened to have been born to one white parent? What if my and my cohort’s achievements as African-Americans, especially in fields to which we historically had little access, were more about how we benefited from having one white parent in a racist society than our hard work?”

…But my early inquiries into the Loving Generation showed that people with one black-identified and one white-identified parent seem to be disproportionately represented among black leaders and luminaries. Are our achievements impossible to separate from the benefits that, in this country, have always come with whiteness?…

The common denominator in the Loving Generation wasn’t necessarily so much white proximity as white acceptance and, in many cases, familial love and close connection to white people. It seemed as if this could indeed have created real opportunities for us. It’s likely, for example, that Barack Obama was able to imagine himself as president not just because he saw himself reflected in the white people around him, but because they saw themselves reflected in him….

I knew, even as a young adult, that I moved among and around white people with relative ease, in a way that my blackness — and my own perception and self-consciousness of it — wasn’t at the foreground. What I didn’t know is whether that had something, or everything, to do with what I’d accomplished…

Black With (Some) White Privilege


NYT Article: What Biracial People Already Know

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2018 by jerlina

…What’s true of groups is also true for individuals. A small but growing body of research suggests that multiracial people are more open-minded and creative. Here, it’s worth remembering that Barack Obama, son of a Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, wasn’t only the nation’s first black president, he was also its first biracial president. His multitudinous self was, I like to think, part of what made him great — part of what inspired him when he proclaimed that there wasn’t a red or blue America, but a United States of America.

As a multiethnic person myself — the son of a Jewish dad of Eastern European descent and a Puerto Rican mom — I can attest that being mixed makes it harder to fall back on the tribal identities that have guided so much of human history, and that are now resurgent. Your background pushes you to construct a worldview that transcends the tribal.

You’re also accustomed to the idea of having several selves, and of trying to forge them into something whole. That task of self-creation isn’t unique to biracial people; it’s a defining experience of modernity. Once the old stories about God and tribe — the framing that historically gave our lives context — become inadequate, on what do we base our identities? How do we give our lives meaning and purpose?…


Curly Hair Links

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2018 by jerlina

Well it turns out social media is great for something… Connecting curly haired people!

Check out these two links to curley vloggers:


you’re welcome!


Black AND Biracial Article and Biracial Mental Health Blog Link

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2018 by jerlina

Two interesting links:

Biracial and Also Black (article on CNN)



A blog and link to articles about the mental health of multiracial people
most likely to suffer