Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 20, 2015 · Page A9
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A9

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Page A9
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DemocratandChronicle .com Tuesday,October20,2015 Page9A Our society gives a lot o f lip service to the importance of diversity in fields like science, medicine and t echnology because multicultural people bring u nique viewpoints, varied life experiences and new ideas. Rarely do we come upon an ideal example of how this plays out in real life. Karen M. Tabb Dina, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently published a p aper in the journal Ethnicity and Health that found that adults who identified as one race when they were young but now identify as multiracial report being healthier compared with those who continue to identify as monoracial. The idea for this study came 10 years ago when Tabb Dina was a health policy researcher in low-income communities studying how race and ethnicity impact long-term health. She noticed that the way some of her patients identified ra- c ially didn’t always match the way their medical records categorized them. I dentity is a complex and often thorny issue. There are many reasons — including education level, geographic l ocation and gender — why someone w ith a multiracial background would choose to identify as a single race or m ultiracial, and why that could change t hroughout a lifetime. Research has shown that multiracial p eople are likelier than those who are monoracial to change categories over time. For instance, a child of a white a nd an Asian parent would be likelier to change their self-identification from white-only or Asian-only, to mixed- r ace, than the child of two Asian parents. B ut because these identity changes are almost always self-reported, they are often not captured in population health research. Tabb Dina combined this knowledge with the well-documented issue of health disparities for minorities and t he boom in multiracial children after anti-miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional in 1967, and she came up with an interesting theory. “I went in with this hypothesis that people who maintained the same racial identity over time would probably have better health outcomes,” said Tabb Dina, who told me she studied a nationally representative school-based sample of American youth. “I thought the consistency of catego- r ization would say something about other consistencies in the subjects’ l ives and that their health would probably be better. But, no, it turns out that people who go from ‘one’ to ‘many’ are h ealthier.” F or example, Tabb Dina found that adults who identify as multiracial w hite and Asian are healthier than c erns about how to capture and classify race and ethnicity — which are the de facto proxy for many unmeasured factors in the majority of health research — in a country where mixed- race children are becoming a norm. “This is America now,” said Tabb Dina, “and we’re in a bind because right now we’re compartmentalizing five race categories and two ethnic- ities, and we need to broaden that. We c an’t keep lumping people with significantly different experiences into a s mall set of single groups.” We won’t. Public pressure for the U.S. Census to change the way it col- l ects race and ethnicity data is already b uilding. Research like this will hopefully help nudge the process along. those who identify as only Asian or only white. L ike any good research, these findings don’t answer a specific inquiry so much as open our eyes to more quest ions and issues that merit interest. “Of course, everyone wants to know ‘why,’ and I do, too, but I want to do m ore qualitative, interview-based research,” said Tabb Dina, who herself is t he daughter of a white mother and black father. “I want to know about skin color, phenotype, about what it is about certain individuals and what it is about being mixed-race that makes the difference.” Being mixed-race can indeed make a ll the difference in the world. As Tabb Dina provided health care to low-income multiracial individuals who identified as only one race, she learned things leading to this research that others might not have. “I was working on studying hypertension and diabetes and I would talk with individuals engaging in poor behavior and they might, for instance, be mixed-race black and white and they’d say to me, ‘I eat soul food every day b ecause I’m black’ or ‘I smoke Kools because I’m black,’” Tabb Dina said. “ I identify as black and because of that, when working with certain people, they shared things with me that I ’m not sure they shared with other r esearchers. It certainly informed my view.” T his research also brings up con- Race and ethnicity a complex matter We chose our syndicated columnists to present a diverse range of perspectives over the course of each week. Every day, w e will offer a different viewpoint from one of these writers: Esther Cepeda Michael Gerson Charles Krauthammer Dana Milbank BetsyMcCaughey Leonard Pitts Connie Schultz C al Thomas ESTHER J. CEPEDA COMMENTARY Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s trial on bribery-related charges could stretch well into December. Silver, D-Manhattan, is scheduled to stand trial in Manhattan federal court beginning Nov. 2, when he’ll face accusations that he received $4 m illion in illicit bribes and kickbacks he disguised as legal income. The trial, however, is expected to be a lengthy one, with attorneys expecting it to last longer than a month, according to a proposed juror questionnaire submitted in court Oct. 14. “This trial is scheduled to begin November 2, 2015 and is expected to last 5 to 6 weeks,” the proposed question reads. “Is there an important reason why you could not serve on a jury for this period of time?” Silver, 71, stepped down as Assembly speaker amid pressure in January after he was charged by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. JON CAMPBELL VOTE UP BLOG BLOGATORIAL Long trial ahead private funding for some other large- scale project on par with this one, many prospective investors would surely look at how well — or how poor- l y — we did with AIM Photonics. Think about it, you squabblers! CAROLYN MAURO ROCHESTER Qualifications are what matter Halloween is not the scariest part of October; it is election signs. They demonstrate the absurdity of our present election process. Advertising people k now that people will vote for the n ames that they heard or saw. Each roadside sign, each TV or newspaper ad, each mailing, has a significant cost. This means that the candidate with the most advertising is i ncontrovertibly under the control of t he person/parties that supplied the advertising funding. So if you vote for the person with the most signs, you will be rewarded with an elected official who is beholden to someone other than c onstituents. What should happen in October is for political parties to present their candidates to voters in public question- and-answer venues. Voters should attend these sessions and decide which c andidates have an actionable platform and reasonable qualifications for the office. We should vote platform and qualifications rather than advertising d ollars spent. KENNETH BUDINSKI GREECE Who do they really represent? In a true democracy, we would vote directly for what we want. Unfortunately, we have a representative form of government. We elect people to the H ouse and Senate, hoping they will v ote and give us what we want. Article on bullying well done As far as I am concerned, “Without Warning,”the story researched and w ritten by Justin Murphy on youth suicide, is the most crucial content I have seen in a newspaper in quite a while. Thank you for sharing this story. Ibelieve it will change lives, and p revent tragedies. Special thanks to t he courageous Cady family. As a school bus driver, I am surrounded by children every day. The story of Kennis Cady will make me even more vigilant to signs of bullying and children s truggling with the challenges of life. BILL PORAY PERINTON Educator, teach thyself Schools with no reported cases of b ullying? This is tragically similar to colleges and universities with few or no reported cases of sexual assault. Incredible. If these institutions, administered b y the most highly educated among us, choose to ignore these extremely serious problems, what chance does our society as a whole have to solve them? Educators, at all levels, should be leading the efforts in their communities to i ncrease awareness and develop effective solutions. If the programs that already are in place were working at all, reports would have been received. H as it been the practice of administrators to conclude that the absence of reports indicated that incidents of bullying and sexual assaults did not ever occur? Some very intelligent people should be very ashamed and embarrassed. Our community has to chal- l enge educators to demonstrate the leadership skills themselves, that their educational institutions profess to be teaching to their students. JOHN RABISH President, Retiree Council, Federation of Social Workers Yes, honor the 2nd Amendment Memo to those who would honor the S econd Amendment by repealing the S .A.F.E. Act: If you truly want to honor the Second Amendment, you should go to the nearest well-regulated militia and volunteer your services. If you cannot find a well-regulated m ilitia, perhaps you should start a m ovement to create one. (Don’t forget “well-regulated.”) And if this does not make sense to you read the (entire) Second Amendment. ROGER DOUGLASS PERINTON Bickering could hurt our future Bravo to “Stop fighting, start talking”in Friday’s editorial page. A llow me to add that much more may be at stake for greater Rochester if there are more hiccupsin the establishment, running, flourishing, and s ustainability of AIM Photonics here. If, for some reason in the future, Rochester expects to secure public/ Many times they ignore our wishes and vote for what is best for them and their interests. This may have worked for our forefathers, but not now. Lobby- i st and special-interest groups dictate their wishes, not ours. Very sad. STAN DERNOGA GREECE Political cartoon missed mark Your Oct. 16 editorial cartoon was funny and sad. Depicting the misogynist GOP as offering vegetables when they are trying to cut food stamps is a total m isrepresentation. Ignoring their at- t acks on immigrants and women is another misrepresentation. Depicting the Democratic efforts to obtain income equality, universal health coverage, family leave and a living wage a s “candy” shows a total lack of under- s tanding of the difficulties faced by a majority of Americans. DOUGLAS ROBB PITTSFORD PAT ON THE BACK Thank you, good Samaritans Ifound myself in a pickle last Saturday morning when I turned down a w rong street in Irondequoit. In my panic while backing up, I managed to get my car wedged in between two large stones. Icalled AAA, but before they arrived, e ight friendly neighbors stopped and asked if they could help. Among them was Maria, who managed to succeed in f reeing my car with only a steel bar and some coaching from her husband. Thank you for your kindness, Irondequoit, and especially Maria, for turning a potentially bad day into an amazing one. CARY MCIVER BRIGHTON LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Opinion “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.” FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION EDITORIAL BOARD Michael G. Kane, President and Publisher Karen M. Magnuson, Editor & Vice President/News Julie J. Philipp, Senior Engagement Editor Sheila Rayam, Community Engagement Editor Len LaCara,Erica Bryant Anna Valeria Iseman and Jim Ryan Jr. Community Members CONNECT WITH US All submissions must include your name,address and daytime telephone number. Limit letters to fewer than 150 words; essays to 450 words. Readers are limited to one published letter every 30 days. Send to Letters to the Editor,Democrat and Chronicle,55 Exchange Blvd.,Rochester NY 14614; email Call (585) 258-2250. Fax: (585) 258-2356. All letters and essays chosen for publication are subject to editing for length,clarity and accuracy. CARTOONISTS’ VIEW

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