Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Multiracial Movement Suicide? Part 1

Sometimes I wonder if the academics ever get tired of taking pot-shots at me, but then I remember they have to “publish or perish” and I stop wondering for a little while. I had been putting off reading one of the latest, “’Founding Mothers:’ White Mothers of Biracial Children in the Multiracial Movement (1979-2000),” a thesis by Alicia Doo Castagno. It’s all over the Internet, just google the author.

I agreed to two telephone interviews for this thesis. She must have asked me on a day when I wanted to set the record straight from another academic’s misquotes and inaccurate portrayals of me.

It turns out that it was really helpful for Alicia that I agreed to be interviewed because her other two interviewees were the following:

1.     Mandy (no last name) who wasn’t a “founding mother” that I know of, but was the mother of an adopted multiracial child and went to a play group.
2.     Anonymous interviewee—I-Pride. Really? Yes, and Anonymous answered six questions, but guessed at most of the brief answers.

I remember when students and academics used to really be accountable. They strove for accuracy and integrity. They welcomed interviews with credible people and using anonymous sources was simply not acceptable. Then came the multiracial advocacy academics and their poor, unsuspecting students.

Alicia misquoted me throughout the thesis, but just as bad, she drew conclusions out of thin air, added old debunked stories for effect, and even added her own emphasis to my already misquoted quotes. I managed to read through it and even laugh at a few completely erroneous items. However, there is one such “item” that has wound its way around multiracial mythology and makes such a juicy tidbit that no one wants to let it go.

Look! Here it is again on page 80 of young Alicia’s paper:

Unlike [Rainier] Spencer, Kim M. Williams does not criticize multiracial identity politics. She does, however, specifically lambast Graham:

Susan Graham did not respond to the [anti-multiracial] NAACP address, probably because she held out hope that, through the “Tiger Woods Bill” (H.R. 830), she had found a way to avoid dealing with the venerated civil rights organization altogether. (At her home in 1998, I noticed a photograph of Graham and Newt Gignrich (sic) on the living room wall…)

I will say it one last time for the slower academics among you: I have never had a picture of Newt Gingrich in any home I have ever lived in. Period.

Kim Williams may have become confused by a photo I do have in my office, which shows 18 people at our bill signing in 1993 in Georgia with former Governor, Zell Miller. I believe he had a bigger desk than Newt Gingrich at the time. Oh, and they look nothing alike! Anyway, it’s right next to the framed letter I received from President Bill Clinton, dated October 12, 1995.

Kim Williams was also very, very angry at me because she wanted free-access to look through all the Project RACE files and copy whatever she liked. During the mid-nineties there was a lot of CONFIDENTIAL

Information passed back and forth between multiracial groups’ leaders, policy-makers, legislators, etc. When something is marked CONFIDENTIAL, I go out of my way to see that it is kept CONFIDENTIAL. Perhaps Williams made up the “Newt Gingrich Fairy Tale” because she was upset with the confidential way I do business.  

Stay tuned for Part 2.
-Susan Graham


  1. Most of those so-called scholars are not part of the multiracial movement but working to destroy it. They know that multiracial identity and the end of the "one drop" nonsense sound totally sensible to the vast majority of the country, so they are using the inflated moral authority given to anyone who claims to be "black" and speaks in the name of "blacks" to contain the damage that the multiracial movement has done to the racist notions of forced hypodescent and the "one drop rule." These phony scholars are always whining (in intellectual gobbledegook) that there is too much racism against blacks and NOT ENOUGH RACISM against multiracial people, especially those who are part-black. As we all know, not a single black-identified opponent of the multiracial movement would have a problem with it IF it EXCLUDED those of acknowledged part-black ancestry (Hispanics and Arabs get a free pass on this "one drop" business). Our foremost enemies include Steven F. Riley, Rainier Spencer, Jared Sexton and several others. Riley is using his blackness and the liberal guilt attached to it to fool white liberal academics (via his so-called mixedracestudies.com web site) about the nature of the multiracial movement.

  2. When You're Mixed Race, Just One Box Is Not Enough

    by NPR Staff
    April 02, 2013


  3. Let's note that forced hypodescent advocate Steven F. Riley is very black (though he is trying to promote the false and racist idea that "black" and "multiracial" are synonymous - excluding Latinos and Arabs, of course) with a "white" wife and no children, despite over two decades of marriage. He has no dog in this fight. Why is he so obsessed with defaming and destroying the multiracial movement?


    Here's an example of the intellectual gobbledegook so typical of Riley and his ilk:

    "For all of the current discourses on a utopian future filled with mixed or blended identities, these identities are still defined within same outdated and hierarchical social topology of the past 400 years. Thus the consequences of the memberships within this multi-tiered topology still has the life altering outcomes—though not as extreme—as in the seventeenth century Virginia that Sharfstein describes. Without a drastic altering or the elimination of this topology, individuals and families who can, will continue to make the journey from a lower tiered racialized status to a higher one and heap misery and scorn upon those who cannot."

    It sounds to me like Steven F. Riley is miserable being "black," is jealous of part-black multiracial people, and wants to have the sadistic pleasure of dragging others down to share his misery.

    Also note that Riley repeats an inane thesis of our opponents that is reprinted ad nauseum in all their books and blogs- the notion that the multiracial movement has "failed" by not somehow constructing a paradise of racial harmony (left undefined) overnight. This ridiculous thesis is complemented with the equally ridiculous assertions that (1) Part-black multiracials who refuse to call themselves "black" are by definition hurting and insulting blacks (a racist standard applied to no one else) and (2) a "multiracial" identity is bad because it implies that there are "pure races." Note that the old system, which treated "races" like separate species that never mated and produced offspring, was perfectly fine with Riley and his hypocritical ilk. They were happy to go on like that forever.

  4. It's not surprising that PhD students like Alicia Doo Castagno are so unethical when their professors are the same way:

    Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism [Review: Spickard]

    Paul Spickard, Professor of History
    University of California, Santa Barbara

    "Some writers and social activists do tend to wax rhapsodic about the glories of intermarriage and multiracial identity as social panacea. A couple of not-very-thoughtful activists (Charles Byrd and Susan Graham) have been co-opted by the Gingrichian right (to be fair, one must point out that most multiracialists are on the left). And, most importantly, there is a tension between some Black intellectuals and the multiracial idea over the lingering fear that, for some people, adopting a multiracial identity is a dodge to avoid being Black. If so, that might tend to sap the strength of a monoracially-defined movement for Black community empowerment."



  5. All true, Anonymous, but Steve Riley has never had an original thought about the multiracial movement. He is merely a mouthpiece for Rainier Spencer and others. Meanwhile, he's piggy-backing on THEM to be the "go to guy." Pure ego trip.

    Let's not forget that Riley spews venom for Spencer and often for lesser-known G. Reginald Daniels, who goes whichever way the wind blows at the moment. It's so interesting that Daniels is so comfy-cozy with the likes of Spencer and Riley when he USED to be against exactly what they are about. Anyway, the academics have figured out a way to get their hate more mainstream by using a librarian for mostly outdated thinking about multiracial issues. I really appreciate your insight and your comments. -Susan

  6. Nope, Susan Graham was never "co-opted" by Newt Gingrich or anyone else. This was always about children being able to embrace all of their heritage, whatever their "mix." It was not about passing or negating any side of themselves.

    Being an academic does not, unfortunately, provide one with practical knowledge.
    -Susan Graham

  7. Here's an idiot law professor trying to make Newt Gingrich a multiracial activist and attribute to him ideas and actions that are completely untrue:

    "Newt Gingrich endorsed adding a multiracial category not only as a step toward overcoming racial division but also as an effort to get rid of race categories altogether. Gingrich’s push toward ultimate color blindness has gained many allies in the 1980s and 1990s who have wanted to deracialize American law and culture."


  8. I used Newt Gingrich and he used me. I knew exactly what was going on and it worked beautifully.

    The academics are so busy trying to re-write history that just don't get that it was a political move that cemented our getting the ability to check more than one race. By the way, I was never against the check more than one scheme. -Susan

  9. This really is comical. But, despite all the misinformation, I think you should be flattered. Clearly, if someone wants to write about multiracial advocacy, they have to write about you. They can criticize if they like, but if there was anyone else who had accomplished a fraction of what you and Project RACE have, they'd be writing about them.