Of particular interest is the graph showing that people whose multiracial background includes black and something else are more likely than other groups to have experienced discrimination, especially from the police (see graph below). This is exactly in line with a paper published today in the latest issue of Demography by Andrew Penner and Aliya Saperstein. They used data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) in which respondents were asked about their own racial identity, but in which the interviewer also provided an independent assessment of the person's race, and they didn't always agree. They then compared those differences with self-reports of arrests by the respondents. Although the numbers are small, the results are intriguing and both statistically and substantively significant:
...being seen as black by others is associated with a sizable and statistically significant increase in the odds of experiencing a future arrest (odds ratio = 2.78, p < .01), even among individuals who do not identify themselves black. By contrast, the second bar of Fig. 1 shows that the effect of self-identifying as black is close to null and not significant among respondents who were not classified by the interviewer as black (odds ratio = .97, p = .96).In other words:
Our findings suggest that racial disparities in arrest rates in the contemporary United States are more closely related to how young adults are perceived racially by others, relative to how they identify their own race.Finally, there is the rather unusual situation of the President of the NAACP office in Spokane being called out for not being black, even though she claims to be. Her parents say she isn't, so the self-identification as black is obviously fraudulent.