Talk:Passing (sociology)

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Overall, the article as it now stands is excellent, but as a major contributor to the Melungeon article, I have to take issue with some specific statements about that group:

1: "...the Melungeons (the only large group to have self-identified as White over the centuries, rather than as Indians)."

That's not exactly true. The Melungeons have historically self-identified as "Portuguese and Indian", though they were marked as "mulatto" or "free colored" on early records, gradually being counted as "white" on censuses during the 19th & 20th centuries. The racial designation on censuses up until very recently was the choice of the census-taker, not the person or family being counted. This led to some people being counted as different races on different censuses. Individual Melungeons can be found as "white," "Indian", "mulatto," and "black" on different censuses & tax lists.

2: "Today's Melungeons, for instance, consider themselves White but are proud of their tiny—about 5 percent—African ancestry."

Actually, most Melungeons go out of their way to deny their black ancestry. They prefer to claim, again, "Portuguese and/or Indian," or recently, Turkish or Gypsy or even Jewish. They'd like to be anything BUT black.

Whoever wrote the current version, please consider modifying those paragraphs accordingly. S9arthur 14:21, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Is this SJ? I (Frank Sweet) wrote the paragraphs. The historical part is based on the sources cited in the footnotes, especially Brewton Berry. The "present attitudes" is based upon my talks with you and Wayne and Brent. I was not aware that most MHA members deny African ancestry. If this is true, how come nobody at the conferences has a problem with it? If this is not SJ, then what is your source of information? If it is SJ, then you certainly know a lot more about present attitudes than I do, and I shall be glad to change the paragraphs as you suggest. This may be a moot point, however, since others seem determined to remove all mention of Black-to-White passing from the article. -- Frank W Sweet 13:20, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Unfounded assertion?[edit]

"No other country has anything like it.", "it" apparently being the notion that e.g. black mothers cannot have white-phenotype children. I think most people would hold that belief. -k

What sort of evidence would persuade you? Photographs of mothers and their children in other countries? References to accessible peer-reviewed scholarly studies? I can add either or both, but did not want to clutter the article unnecessarily. Still, I would be happy to do so, if it would convince you. Keep in mind that the section is about the United States, where virtually everyone considers Rita Moreno and Halle Berry Black, a majority considers Mariah Carey and Wentworth Miller Black, and a large minority considers Alexander Siddig Black. And yet all have more, some much more, European than African ancestry, -- Frank W Sweet 12:15, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Why the move? Passing now is nothing but a redir, and there are still tons of links to it. -- AlexR 09:31, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Edit history?[edit]

01:05, August 2, 2005 KF m (Reverted edits by KF to last version by

I made the above edit while trying to retrieve some minor edits of mine from a few hours ago. They seem to have got lost. Can anyone help? <KF> 01:24, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

The Factual Reality of Black-to-White Passing[edit]

Why was the following parenthetical clause removed: "(other than the ancient African ancestry shared by all members of our species, of course)"? Even MRE proponents accept that H. erectus (or ergaster) emerged in Africa, to say nothing of H. sapiens. -- FrankWSweet 22:45, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Over the past two months, two nameless editors ( and have made small changes which have cumulatively either introduced serious errors of fact or have neutralized points being made. I have reverted these changes. -- Frank W Sweet 21:02, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Black-to-White passing isn't the only passing that goes on. Black-to-Hispanic passing and Hispanic-to-White passing are VERY common as well. (unsigned comment by on 2006-05-02 00:45:10)

I guess you can say that's technically true, but not really relevant or notable: "Hispanic" is not a race; one can be black and hispanic, or white and hispanic. Your examples would be comparable to saying something like "black-to-gay" or "mormon-to-white". --Cotoco 16:51, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

removed section[edit]

I removed a section of unatributed POV. If some sourcing and a better wording can be found, perhaps something discussing the same subject could replace it. Sam Spade 23:27, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

The two paragraphs removed were:

If asked, most Americans today would say that they would consider it unlikely or even impossible ("genetically impossible," some would say) for a Black mother to have a White child. If pressed, some might admit that several generations of out-marriage to Whites might produce a child that superficially looks White, but that this would be an exceedingly rare occurrence.

To a physical anthropologist such beliefs are nonsensical. Only a dozen or so genes encode for the handful of physical traits that Americans consider "racially" important (skin tone, hair curliness, nose width, and the like). Many studies have demonstrated that those few genes are so ephemeral that they can vanish in just two or three generations, producing physically European-looking individuals even from biracial parents. The mismatch between U.S. popular culture and genetic reality is of interest to anthropologists and historians because it demands explanation. No other country has anything like it. The most widely accepted explanation is that at some time in the past, Americans became so committed to the notion of "racial" purity implied by the U.S. endogamous color line that they turned their backs on the facts in favor of their odd fantasy. Examine this phenomenon in two sub-topics: first, the factual reality of Black-to-White passing; second, the literary rhetoric of Black-to-White passing.

As I understand it, Sam Spade has two complaints. Lack of sources and POV. The first is easy to fix. Give me a couple of hours and I can add footnotes to peer-reviewed sources for every sentence in both paragraphs. The POV compliant is harder to address. The two paragraphs describe the U.S. myth of White racial purity and U.S. society's adherence to the one-drop rule. But they do not suggest that these U.S. beliefs are good or bad, simply that they are part of the culture. Help me out here. Assuming that I add a bunch of sources, what is POV about the two paragraphs? -- Frank W Sweet 23:47, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Okay. I have added footnotes citing scholarly peer-reviewed sources for every sentence in the two deleted paragraphs. I would be glad to address Mr. Spade's POV concerns if he would be so kind as to answer my request (above) for clarification. -- Frank W Sweet 15:14, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I removed the following addition by, "whatever that may mean as Africa below the Sahara varies a lot more than Africa in the Sahara where the people are actually DARKER then the thos in other parts of Africa as well as shifting to almost white on the COASTs." I removed it because the discussion is about DNA markers, not about skin tone. For a simple explanation of ancestry-informative DNA markers, I suggest that use the footnotes. Alternatively, for a brief explanation of admixture mapping, along with listings of specific markers, their location in the genome, and their precision in distinguishing continent of ancestral origin, I recommend -- Frank W Sweet 12:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Wow. I've read a lot of wikipedia articles and this is definitely one of the best. Not sure if this is proper usage of the talk page, but thanks to all contributors. --Josh

Limited scope of race section[edit]

Why is there only Black-to-White Passing and not other passing such as white-to-black passing? Skinnyweed 22:28, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

because not as many whites have passed to black. but there were some. Colorfulharp233 22:43, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Really? I would have thought completely the opposite!

-Sometimes people who hold themselves out as white start claiming their black admixture when they're applying for schools or to get scholarships; maybe that's what you're thinking about.

too long[edit]

this article seems to go way more in depth than any other article ive seen in an encyclopedia, perhaps it should be split, or some of the information curtailed to the essentials

Agreed. While the article does seem all to be relevant, the section on black-to-white passing is so extensive as to require (desperately!) its own page. It is an important topic, yet placing it as a long series of sections in this larger article does it a disservice. Those readers who are simply trying to get acquainted with what the whole term "passing" means are not necessarily going to want this longer segment, especially if they were looking for a variation, such as passing for another sex. I came to the article because I was looking for an appropriate link for a use of "pass" to refer to closeted homosexuals (article on lesbian literature of Ann Bannon). Someone who links for that type of reason is going to get lost in this lengthy discussion and not give it the time it deserves.
I think the best move would be to leave in a section that introduces the concept of "passing" in reference to black-to-white disguise (which is, after all, arguably the most prominent meaning), but then refers the reader to a separate article containing the full discussion of the phenomenon. Lawikitejana 06:33, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

some problems[edit]

1. Most of the article seems to be based on original research, which would violate Wikipedia policy.

2. The para that begins "Joel Williamson suggests yet another approach" replicates a methodological error that was pointed out back in the 1940s. See articles by Burma in 1946 and Eckard in 1947, both in the American Journal of Sociology. It's wrong and should be removed. As a consequence of this error, replicated by Sweet, the article vastly overestimates the prevalence of passing.

3. "Black-to-White passing is seen as reprehensible by most Americans today." This is unproved, and should be removed.

4. Are Melungeons really a large group? My impression is that this is mostly a fabrication of Brent Kennedy. He's taken an archaic pejorative term and misrepresented it as an ethnic group.Verklempt 23:33, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Renaming the article[edit]

I cannot find anything which supports the articles assertion that the term has been used as described popularly since the 1920's. The dictionaries I have access to do not support the use of this one word to mean "pretending to be of a different race". I suggest that either:

  • the article is deleted
  • that this article become a disambiguation page because "passing" is usually used to mean "overtaking".
  • the article is renamed as "passing oneself off as being a member of a different racial group"

And I note the original research points made above. Delete!

Paul Beardsell 18:29, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it was a widely understood slang term for a common phenomenon in American history. While its circulation is more circumscribed today than eighty years ago, it is still current. The historical phenomenon in question is certainly worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia. I think the article needs to stay, and under the current title. I still think the article needs extensive rewriting, away from Frank Sweet's self-promotion and original research, some of which is seriously flawed.Verklempt 19:37, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely with Verklempt. In fact, we still use the term in my family and none of us are above 80.

Ditto. I would be unable to guess that "passing off" referred to racial identity. But when as a child (much less than 80 years ago!) I was told by an older relative, "Don't speak to Cousin Caroline while she's working in the store, because she's passing", this was a perfectly unambiguous and usual locution. When, a couple of years ago I was invited to join a water-cooler discussion when a colleague said to me, "Don't you think Vin Diesel's trying to get away with passing?", that was an equally unambiguous and in no way obscure usage (whether accurate or not). It would have been as superfluous to add, "...for a white person" as it would be to add " an automobile" to the phrase "She's driving", even though "driving" is used to refer to lots of activities other than travel by automobile. I have no doubt that passing originated as a colloquialism -- since it spread from use by members of an underclass who were describing a common strategem for escape from that underclass -- but that suggests that there is some more formal, correct or proper term that can be substituted, and I can't think of any. However, I do see Paul Beardsell's point and why further disambiguation is desirable. I'm just not convinced that:
  1. the alternative definitions for "passing" (as distinct from "passing off" or "passing by", etc) are as encyclopedic as the subject of this article: most seem more like dictionary topics to me.
  2. all of the suggested alternatives are unhelpful, being ungainly ("passing for a member of another race"), ambiguous {passing (race)}, baffling {passing (sociology)} or misleading {passing (racial group)}. The only alternative that would work for me (despite redundancy) would be "passing for white", which is apparently unacceptable for other reasons.
So until a better article name can be found, count me Against this proposal, and in favor of the article's top note redirecting to additional meanings so as to address Paul Beardsell's reasonable concerns. Lethiere 01:23, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

BUT: How do you explain the term's absence from the American Heritage Dictionary? Why should this article not be about overtaking (passing one vehicle in another)? I am NOT saying that there should not be an article documenting the behaviour described, just that it is, at best, ambiguously named. There are lots of things which have localised or slang or informal terms but we don't write articles under those names. I suggest this article should be a disambiguation page, one of the first articles referenced would be Passing (race) or similar, to which this article should be renamed. Paul Beardsell 20:40, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the fault is with your dictionary. The term is universally known among historians who study race. I don't see why an article is needed about cars passing on the road. That is trivial. Racial boundaries, OTOH, are significant in US history.Verklempt 21:15, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

OK, provide the definition from your dictionary. I have now consulted American Heritage, WordNet (all via and itself. Also Merriam-Webster. These are all American sources! Nothing. If we cannot even find the term in a dictionary then the article won't survive with its current name. There is a std of verifiability required for Wikipedia. Paul Beardsell 00:28, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

But even then there is an issue with assuming only one of many possible meanings of a word and then reserving that word as the title of an article about only one of the words meanings. That this word has more meanings than the one you give it means there is a need for disambiguation, by definition. That a more descriptive article name in the encyclopedia also seems a good idea. Not every word has a Wikipedia article, nor should it. Paul Beardsell 00:28, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Further examining each of the references and footnotes: Each of them either does not use the term passing or uses the term in a context that explains what is meant, passing for a member of another race. The exact same usage of the word could be used for those passing for a member of a profession or passing for a member of the opposite sex or passing for dead. The word "passing" does NOT have the unqualified meaning of "passing for a member of another race". It is to that name I suggest we move the article: New name Passing for a member of another race. Paul Beardsell 00:41, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that you are attempting to conduct historical research by consulting contemporary dictionaries. Type "passing" and "race" into google, and you should get a plethora of hits to scholarly articles on the topic.Verklempt

You leave practically all my arguments unanswered. Note that I address every point you raise. Paul Beardsell 09:30, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

OK. Just produce your 1920's dictionary or your 1920's encyclopedia or your 1920's newspaper which supports your view. Quote it/them here and then your point is supported. Of course, then I would propose that the article be renamed Passing (1920's usage) or similar. Paul Beardsell 09:30, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Your Google argument is spurious: If I search for "passing cars" or "passing dead" or "passing sex" then for each of those I get zillions of results including a "plethora of hits to scholarly articles". So I searched Google for "passing" only. Hit number 4 was Google's link to this article! Otherwise nothing to support your view. The first article returned using "passing" in any of the "passing off" meanings used here is advice on how to pass for a member of the opposite sex. Otherwise I get links for "passing the buck", "message passing interface", "passing the tipping point", "short passing" (soccer), "in passing" (funny things overheard), "passing arguments to the shell", "passing shots" (overtaking photographs), "passing off" (OK! You win! Oh, no: It's about intellectual property). But even if I found some links supporting your view your view is not supported. For this not to be a disambiguation page, a preponderance of references to "passing" would have to be to the "racial passing off" that this article is about. Paul Beardsell 09:30, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

This article will be renamed! Any suggestions? Passing off (racial) is my current favourite. Paul Beardsell 09:30, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

This is one of the problems with Wikipedia. You get people editing on topics that they don't knwo anything about. Have you even read this article? It clearly discusses more types of passing other than race. There are many relevant citations within the article. The etymology of the term is a secondary issue. Its historical meaning is well-established, and demonstrated by the citations in the article.Verklempt 17:27, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
How do you know I don't know anything about the topic? Not that that is even a relevant point: I am not claiming to know anything much about the process of passing oneself off as a member of a different race group. What I am claiming some knowledge of is the English language, how to look things up in a dictionary or at Google, and how Wikipedia works. I am not claiming much expertise in any of these either. But at least I am prepared to make my arguments here. You are not answering them, just resorting to ad hominem attack. Paul Beardsell 13:49, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I have read the article. You are right, other uses of the word "passing" are now noted. But not particularly prominently, and lots of uses are not noted. The article is still almost entirely about passing oneself off as a member of another race group. Not "passing" cars, "passing" a parcel, "passing" counterfeit money, "passing" by, "passing" over, "passing" through". Not "passing" exams. No we have a at best a localised usage of the word "passing" taking primary position over all the other uses. including universally accepted legal terms. Reminder: my proposal is mild: Rename to "Passing off (race group)" or even, if you like, "Passing (race group)". Paul Beardsell 13:49, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Or now that the article does say there other kinds of sociological passing off, how about "Passing off (sociology)"? Or "Passing (sociology)". Although I think with the preposition is better as to pass is not intransitive. Paul Beardsell 14:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
The article contained discussions of various types of passing long before you showed up. Now do you see how I can tell you don't know anything about the topic? You wanteded to rename the article without even having even read it. Incredible.Verklempt 16:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

New name for article[edit]

Proposals: Please add your proposals below.

Rename to Passing off (racial): The current Passing off page will also be renamed to Passing off (law). Then Passing off becomes a disambiguation page with a link to here, of course, and to Passing off (law). Add a link at Pass to Passing off. Passing becomes a redirect to Pass. This would, I believe, be consistent with all WP policies and practices. Comment? Paul Beardsell 09:38, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

You've invented a new term to replace the historical term, and inserted it as the new title even though the commenters on the talk page have all disagreed with you. I think the word for this is "vandalism."Verklempt 17:29, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
where "all" = 1 ? Paul Beardsell 13:51, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

No, that is not the correct word for it, by WP:VAND definition. I am trying to improve the integrity of the encyclopedia by correcting an error in namespace usage. This article reserves a word with many meanings for one purpose only. I disagree about the exclusive use of this "historical term" and note you have not provided a reference or even a dictionary definition to support you view or to gainsay what I have said here, in the previous section. The changes I did, described in the opening para of this sentence, improved Wikipedia by leaving this article in the encyclopedia, still locatable by anyone typing "passing" as an article name. I have argued at length here for what I was going to do: Most of those arguments are not addressed by you and the "all" who have disagreed with could hardly be fewer in number. In any event, WP is not a democracy. I would like to reinstate the change you have reverted but give you another chance to say why not, or to invoke the RFC process. Paul Beardsell 13:37, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Have you read any of the sources cited in this article? Have you even read the article? It discusses three types of passing, but your name change only invoked one of those types of passing. All of the scholarly literature cited in the article uses the term "passing." The only alternative meaning you've raised is one car passing another, which is too trivial to warrant an encyclopedia article. I agree that you've argued at length, but you've also argued from gross ignorance of the topic. You need to actually read some of the literature cited.Verklempt 14:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I have listed a dozen or so different uses of the word, not only the one you cite. Possibly it is you who is not reading what is here? The references that do use the word "passing" - and, yes, I have looked - all do qualify it so as what is meant is plain. And my refutation of your Google argument remains unanswered by you. I do not understand: What is your objection - precisely - to the renaming of this article to passing off (sociology) or passing (sociology) to distinguish this from the many other conflicting uses of the term "passing" I have quoted above? Paul Beardsell 15:19, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

"Passing off" is your personal neologism. It has no basis in the scholarly literature. You haven't "refuted" anything. You don't know enough about the topic to discuss it competently. This is not personalizing the argument. It is a simple statement of fact. You really need to read some of the scholarly literature, and learn at least a little bit about the field, before you start in renaming the entire field of study. I would note that of dozens of editors on this article, you are the only one who thinks a new name is required for this phenomenon. What gives you the authority to unilaterally rename an entire field of scholarly inquiry? I've seen a lot of displays of hubris and ignorance on WP, but yours takes the cake.Verklempt 15:58, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, ignoring the repeated ad hominem nature of your responses, what is your argument against "passing (sociology)"? Paul Beardsell 21:52, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I have several objections: 1)You haven't demonstrated any need for a name change. You haven't demonstrated that there is any confusion about the term in anyone's mind but your own. 2) "passing (sociology)" sounds like a cheat sheet for an undergraduate college class.Verklempt 22:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
At to (2) I have asked you to suggest alternatives. As for (1) I have made several arguments which you neglect to address except by criticising me personally. To repeat: No dictionary I have found or you are prepared to produce supports your view. All references quoted have to immediately do some disambiguation, usually in the same sentence. What might be understood by the term in Birmingham Alabama (or wherever) would not be what people in Birmingham England would understand by the term. The meaning of the word which you seem to be claiming is the most commonly accepted use of the word (are you claiming this or not?) just is not that in English speaking places I have lived, which are several. So, you do not like my suggestions, and you do not like the way I make them, but you seem to deny there is an issue to be addressed at all. Paul Beardsell 22:14, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Now you've got it: I deny that there is a pressing issue to be addressed, and challenge you to show evidence that there is a pressing need for disambiguation. Your dictionary research is superficial and imcomplete, and relates to an online dictionary, not an online encyclopedia. You appear to know nothing of the scholarly literature on the topic. You have yet to show evidence that there is any need for another article with the same title but a different meaning. Why don't you go write some articles on the other meanings of passing, and see if they survive deletion? If they do, then disambiguation might become necessary. But right now, it's not necessary.Verklempt 22:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Once again you do not address all the arguments I raise. You say something. I refute it. You ignore the refutation. And, coming to where you now divert us: The article says already that etymologically the word "passing" is short for "passing as" or "passing for". We are using a shorthand, a colloqial and localised use of the word "passing" in an encyclopedia which is supposed to be universally useful and applicable throughout the English speaking world. Let's, in an encyclopedia, not use the colloqial shorthand. The lawyers could have nabbed "passing" for themselves and I would be every bit as against that as I am this. Have you not seen "overtaking" where, in the first sentence they use "passing" as a synonym for that term. And that usage of "passing" is not colloqial and not slang. I have now repeated some of the examples of WP articles you say do not exist. Paul Beardsell 22:40, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed name change (2)[edit]

My proposal is to leave the title of the article alone. The term has been used well past the 1920s, though as pointed out, not as often as it once was, particularly since the advent of the 1990s where it became less necessary to "pass" as a member of a socially more acceptable group. The term describes a real social phenomenon that still occurs today. True, it is not just limited to Black to white, though contextually, that is where the term occurs many times. In fact, Nella Larsen used it as the title for her second novel "Passing" and those who read it, even today, are not confused by what the book is about.

I was the one who stated above that it was a term still used amongst family and friends and that we were definitely not all born or lived during the 1920s (but forgot to sign). In fact, when it was "discovered" that junior Senator John Kerry was not Irish but had been attending the ST. Patrick's Day breakfast in Boston and had not mentioned the fact, commentators used the word frequently to describe what he did. John Stoessel of 20/20 in fact covered this subject and again mentioned the term frequently. (That show aired about a couple of years ago)

I also mentioned that I agree with Verklempt in that there is no real need to rename the article.

Furthermore, if anyone is seeking another definition of the term "passing", that is as it relates to the noun or verb, then that is what the Wikitionary is for. I doubt that anyone who is seeking that version of "passing" would be looking in an encyclopedia. Also, about the online dictionaries or any dictionary for that matter: they are not always all inclusive. I did search "passing" them as had been done before, and encountered some of the same definitions. I also searched for the "Great Migration" and found nothing, which means that not all historical terms are included. Ladydayelle 16:50, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Events such as the "Great Migration" are not usually found in dictionaries. In what way is the "passing" as in the phrase "passing as a member of the opposite sex" different from passing as in the phrases "message passing", "passing off (legal term)"? Why does your meaning of "passing" take preference over the computer science meaning, the legal meaning? All the other meanings? Imagine that the computer scientists or the lawyers or the counterfeiters had got here first and monopolised the word "passing". I am simply suggesting that the sociological phenomenon of "passing as a member of a different group" be filed here as "passing (sociology)" and that "passing" become a disambiguation page. Paul Beardsell 22:29, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Ladydayelle, what about all the various groups of people to whom "passing" means something else and have just exactly the same expectation of seeing an article about their default understanding of the word as you do for your default but different understanding? What about people to whom the issue is a pressing one or even a personal one but who live in English speaking countries where the natural meaning of the term is not yours? It is a legal term (trademark law), a technical term (message passing), a motor racing term (as in overtaking), an education term (passing examinations), and others! In ordinary WP practice one of two things happen in such a case to cope with disambiguation. (i) Almost everyone has the same expectation as to the meaning of the word. In such a case that meaning is paramount and the article with that name references at the top a disambiguation page. E.g. CIA and CIA (disambiguation). (ii) There is no one overwhelming meaning understood by the term. In this case the disambiguation article is named the word itself and it refers to the other meanings. E.g. CSU. I am suggesting that Passing becomes a disambiguation page with Passing (sociology) or anything else you like as the title of this page. You say there is no real need to rename. Can I ask you to admit there is at least no real harm either? (I understand you will not be voting for any any change.) Paul Beardsell 21:52, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Have a look at WP:NOT. WP is NOT a dictionary.Verklempt 23:09, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
And I don't think it should be either. But it IS a place where articles should be filed properly, and not under under their colloqial abbreviations. Paul Beardsell 23:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
How do you know it's a colloquial abbreviation? You haven't read any of the relevant scholarly literature. You don't know anything about the term's historical use or significance. The present title is perfectly correct. The alternate meanings you gave are dictionary entries, and not encyclopedic. They don't compete with this article, or at least they should not.Verklempt 23:41, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
How do I know? The article says etymologically the word "passing" is short for "passing as" or "passing for". I have lived in SA, in the UK and NZ: And if you asked anyone in the street in those countries: "What do you understand by the word passing?" you would get overtaking. The concept of passing for a member of the opposite sex, another race etc is understood but the word "passing" is certainly not used on its own to mean that. So, we are using a shorthand, a colloquial and localised use of the word "passing" in an encyclopedia which is supposed to be universally useful and applicable throughout the English speaking world. Let's, in an encyclopedia, not use the colloqial shorthand. The lawyers could have nabbed "passing" for themselves and I would be every bit as against that as I am this. Have you not seen "overtaking" where, in the first sentence they use "passing" as a synonym for that term. And that usage of "passing" is not colloqial and not slang. Paul Beardsell 23:51, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
First, you keep coming back to arguments from dictionaries. This is not a world english dictionary. You're making an irrelevant argument. Second, you need to read the source cited in fn2, in the para you're referring to. Note the title. Learn something about the topic first, and then perhaps you won't make as many foolish errors.Verklempt 00:05, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I tell you what. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that until the para 2 paras up (23:51 10 Oct) I have never commented before in this discussion, you'll note that my first contribution to this discussion (let's pretend) does not even mention "dictionary". As I have never commented before in this discussion, for the sake of argument (let's pretend), then you do not yet have reason (real or imagined) to insult me at every turn or to consider me as stupid as you obviously do; so once again: Consider the argument presented two paras up, and answer that. What is so privileged about your colloquial abbreviation "passing" that allows this article to occupy this slot in the namespace and not some other more universal "passing"? Psb777 04:34, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
An intelligent person will understand the limitations of his ignorance. A stupid person will proceed without considering the implications of his ignorance. The title of this article is not an abbreviation. This article addresses the predominant historical and scholarly meaning of the word. Well-educated people already know this. Poorly educated people who are not stupid will take the trouble to learn about the topic before attempting to radically rename the field. The alternative meanings you are concerned about are either dictionarial, or variations on the term but not precisely the same. There is no other field of inquiry by the same name. "Passing off" is not the same term as "passing," and thus not competing for the same title. "Overtaking" is dictionarial, not encyclopedic. I see no competing meanings that could warrant equal access to this title.Verklempt 18:15, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
In that case it seems I "understand the limitations of my ignorance" and do not "proceed without considering the implications of my ignorance". Thank you. The article itself says that the term derives from "passing as" or "passing for" and so the article's name is indeed a shortened version of the original term. Abbreviated, by definition. The term is localised as "passing" does not have the "race/gender passing for" resonance outside of some parts of the USA, if at all. Colloquial, therefore, by definition. "Dictionarial" is a term with which I am unfamiliar and for which I can find no reference and so, fully "understanding the limitations of my ignorance" but guessing, that argument is without force or merit as the existence of the overtaking article is evidence that the term is not merely "dictionarial" (sic). OK, all points dealt with. Continuing: There are several good articles already long established at WP which deserve to have a link to them from a "passing" disambiguation page. These I have named before and somehow are repetitively ignored by Verklempt and include overtaking, passing off (legal term), counterfeiting, message passing, etc. I understand that "passing for" is not what Verkrempt wants this article called. Fair enough. Passing (sociology) it will be unless another sugestion is forthcoming. Paul Beardsell 21:20, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
The fact the the term is abbreviated does not mean that it is incorrect. Had you bothered to read any of the relevant literature, you would not have headed down this dead end. The fact that the term is colloquial to US English is relevant for a dictionary, but irrelevant for WP policy. "Passing off" is a different term from "passing," obviously. There is no competing article entitled "passing." If you rename this article "passing (sociology)" I will revert your name change. This article deals with literature, history, and demography as well as sociology. Had you bothered to read the article and learn something about the topic, you would already know that.Verklempt 21:40, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
You acknowledge it is a "fact that the term is abbreviated". That means there exists an alternative correct and more full name. But that isn't really important so don't get wound up! All I am proposing is disambiguation because "passing" is ambiguous. Whereas you might consider the natural meaning of the term "passing" is that which relates to "passing as a member of a different sociological group" others most certainly do not, even many of those in the USA and certainly all those outside it. (Hence my use of the term colloquial which is merely factual not derogatory.) I have repeatedly given examples of other uses for which there exist several WP articles so I won't repeat those again. How do you think we should cope with the disambiguation issue? Or would you rather we should invoke the RFC process? Paul Beardsell 21:59, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
The term is abbreviated from an alternate usage. That does not mean there is a more correct version. Had you read any of the cites you would know that, and it's shameful that you would argue from such wilfull ignorance. The alternate meanings of the word are relevant for a dictionary, not for an encyclopedia, unless those alternate meanings require an encyclopedia entry. Since there are no other articles entitled "passing," nor are there any such articles on the horizon, the alternate meanings are irrelevant to WP for now. It's amazing that you have spewed forth this much verbiage and expressed so much ignorance on the topic at hand, and yet are only now getting around to asking for an opinion on alternate solutions from people who actually know something about the topic. A separate disambiguation page is unnecessary for the word "passing," since there are no competing articles by the same title. You're inventing an issue where none exists. Why don't you go work on something more productive and less trivial? You're wasting time here.Verklempt 22:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Outdent. I remain surprised that anyone would not agree that an unabbreviated and non-colloquial naming of the article would benefit the article and WP but I am prepared to let that particular point go for the time being. The way WP works is that there can only be one article with one specific name. There can only be one article called "passing". That is why there are no other articles called precisely that. So disambiguation is necessary for all the other existing articles that people could attempt to find by typing "passing" and pressing GO. The std WP solution is a disambiguation page. So, repeating, again: There are several good articles already long established at WP which deserve to have a link to them from a "passing" disambiguation page. These I have named before and somehow are repetitively ignored by Verklempt and include overtaking, passing off (legal term), counterfeiting, message passing, etc. I understand that "passing for" is not what Verkrempt wants this article called. Fair enough. Passing (sociology) it will be unless another sugestion is forthcoming. Paul Beardsell 22:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed name change (3)[edit]

Paul Beardsell, I don't think you are stupid. I do however think you are making circular arguments about something that really is not a problem. Let's assume that someone comes to this as the initial page. Then upon finding that it is not what they are seeking, they would either do a search or go to the disambiguation page and find the article they are seeking. Even if your scenario about the computer scientists setting up an article entitled 'passing' that discussion the term in the context of prgramming took place, I think that the next person who wanted to write an article defining the term 'passing' and the context it is used in would simply differentiate the term in the title rather than campaign to change the title of the original article.

Again, many of your arguments are centered around what I would classify as things that belong to a discussion about a Wikitionary entry, not Wikipedia. It is an article about a term that was and still is used by many people. If someone wants to find the American English equivalent of 'overtaking,' then they can go to Wikitionary and be satisfied.

My point in using "The Great Migration" as an example is that you were a dictionary definition for an occurrence that would not necessarily be included in the dictionary resources that you used online, many of which offer certain basic definitions for free and more in depth information if you pay for their premium service. However, in the large Webster American Collegiate that is here at the office, both "The Great Migration" and the definition of "passing" as it relates to this article are included.

To me this is a dead subject. No one else who feels strongly that this title should be changed has chimed in. It looks like it's 2-1 in favour of leaving it alone. Ladydayelle 16:41, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Whereas events such as the "Great Migration" are not in a dictionary, concepts such as "passing" (and "overtaking") are, and your usage of the term and the predominant use here, seems to be missing from all the dictionaries I have access to! I think you mischaracterise my dictionary point but, if not, and if my dictionary argument is flawed, that isn't a central plank of my argument. Just disregard it. For the record, I am not saying WP is or should be a dictionary, just that the meaning of words used in the encyclopedia should ordinarily be in agreement with dictionaries. So even if you found a dictionary that had your definition there remains an issue: This is an encyclopedia for the entire English speaking world, and the vocabulary of a region or even one country should not be used when determining article names. Also, the article makes the point early on, "passing" as used here is an abbreviation of "passing for" or "passing as". So, it is correct for me to characterise the usage as a "colloquial abbreviation". I do not understand why doing so seems to annoy anyone here. Paul Beardsell 17:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
But please disregard all that if you continue to disagree with it, as I suppose you do. Just consider from this point forward: All I am suggesting is a renaming of this article to "Passing (sociology)" or whatever you like, freeing up this article's name "Passing" for a disambiguation page which will point to this article and to overtaking and to pass and to passing off (legal term) and to counterfeiting and to message passing and all the other uses of "passing" already documented in this encyclopedia and mentioned by me above. Standard WP practise. I'll make the 1st entry on the disambiguation page the reference to this page, if you like. Paul Beardsell 17:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I just found this article and cam by to strongly urge its renaming. Since passing is a common English word a single usage (unknown to me and not found in dictionaries) should not be at the title. It should instead be at a disambiguation page with links to Overtaking (by far the most common meaning of the term) and the like. Nothing against the article, just the title. 19:36, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed name change (4), split and disambig[edit]

I believe that the question is not whether to change name, but what name to change to.

I believe that we must rename the existing 'Passing' page to make space for a disambig page at Passing. The new disambig page would include:

  • Passing (gender)
  • Passing (race)
  • Passing (sociology)
  • Passing (vehicle)

and any others that anyone might want to suggest. There would also, of course, be a wiktionary link on the disambig page.

Having renamed the existing page to 'Passing (sociology)' or whatever other name might be chosen, that page would then have the 'race' and 'gender' sections split out onto separate pages, with the main page retaining a one sentence or so entry to link to each. The 'ability' and 'class' sections could either stay in that page for now or be turned into stubs.

'Passing', in a transgender context, is never used in the form of 'passing off'. Renaming to that is not an option.

It might also be worth a name change of the existing 'Passing Off' section to allow for a disambig page, which would contain, for example:

  • Passing Off (police)
  • Passing (racial)

Oh, and 'passing' in Australian road usage means going past a vehicle that is travelling in the opposite direction. Completely different to overtaking. --AliceJMarkham 08:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm in favour. Presumably you've read the aforegoing? Paul Beardsell 20:41, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I've read all the aforementioned. That's why I spelt out my proposal as I did. From the point of view of a transgendered person, my interest in the term 'passing' is only in regards to the gender related meaning. I absolutely do not believe that the other forms of passing belong on the same page. If I saw links to them, I might look at them briefly but they are not the same subject!
I came to look at the page on passing in a gender context and found something totally different that left me thinking that I had found the wrong page. It took me several seconds to realise that the gender stuff was further down the same page, out of alphabetic order (and incorrectly using 'sex' instead of 'gender', but that's fixed now). Others may well come to the same page, not realise this and think "wikipedia is useless, it links to the wrong page!" This is, by definition, precisely why there should be a disambig page here. If the page is not renamed, spilt and disambiged, it simply won't be of encyclopeadic quality.
An alternate approach would be if someone familiar with page splitting wants to split out the sections 'Race', 'Class', 'Gender' and 'Ability' out of the existing page to first. --AliceJMarkham 00:02, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

PassingPassing (sociology) — Make room for disambig page. Page will be split later AliceJMarkham 00:50, 26 October 2006 (UTC)


Add  * '''Support'''  or  * '''Oppose'''  on a new line followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~.

Oppose. This article touches on demography, history, and several other disciplines other than sociology.Verklempt 01:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Support This is the first step in a significant restructure. The existing page contains several articles and will be split after moving, leaving a short page explaining the sociological concept of 'Passing', and referencing types of passing, including 'racial' and 'gender', which will move to separate pages. The disambig page will also separately reference the separate types of passing and the sociology page. If opposing this new name, please suggest an alternative. I believe that the page will get moved because there is a clear need for a disambig page at 'Passing'. If this move is defeated, we need a different name to move it to. Of course, if 'Passing (sociology)' does not appear to fit the article remaining after the split, that article could be moved again later to a better name. --AliceJMarkham 01:36, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. This article touches on demography, history, and several other disciplines other than sociology. Alice's reasoning is flawless. Paul Beardsell 08:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - per nom. --Yath 11:04, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No one attempting to find information about this subject is likely to look for or find it under Passing (sociology), and the other topics for which it is being shoved aside seem better suited for Wiktionary than Wikipedia. Lethiere 05:10, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. And make sure any dab page has a link to overtaking which is the meaning of passing for Americans. —  AjaxSmack  08:03, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Add any additional comments:

There are indeed demographic and historical and other issues within the articles contained within the page. These are parts of the study of Sociology.

I think that it is important not to confuse an article that is going to be split out of the page with the entire page. From the POV of tracing changes, it is far better to move the page to the new name before cutting and pasting the 'race' and 'gender' articles from that page to separate pages.

Following the history of the text within an article if the split happens first would look like this:

  • history of 'Passing (race)' -trace-back-to-> history of 'Passing' -it's-not-there-so-need-a-note-there-pointing-to-> history of 'Passing (sociology)'

Whereas following the history of the text if the move happens first, history of 'Passing' will have become history of 'Passing (sociology)', making the trace back:

  • history of 'Passing (race)' -trace-back-to-> history of 'Passing (sociology)'

I know which I'd prefer to see! --AliceJMarkham 00:55, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

It is an elementary mistake to conflate sociology, demography, history, and the study of human sexuality. They are distinct disciplines. Anyone who cannot tell the difference should not be editing in these areas.Verklempt 02:07, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
As I transgendered person, I take exception to the suggestion that passing (in a gender context) has anything to do with sexuality. It is very much a sociological issue. I think that your logic is saying that you are disqualifying yourself from editing in these areas. :) --AliceJMarkham 08:00, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Having your cock chopped off doesn't improve your understanding of scholarship, does it? If the page is to be split, then the sub-categories should include "passing (racial identity)", "passing (gender identity)", etc. To lump them all under sociology does not help a user find the article he/she/it is looking for.Verklempt 02:19, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to point out the smiley, just in case you missed it. Also, I suggest that you go and read WP:EQ, WP:NPA and WP:CIV. Also, you might like to have a look as the 'Passing' page. You'll find that one of the categories that it is in is 'Sociology'. --AliceJMarkham 03:50, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I do see why some disambiguation is desirable. I'm just not convinced that:

  1. the alternative definitions for "passing" (as distinct from "passing off", "passing by", "passing on", etc., each of which could become article titles for some of the other topics) are as encyclopedic as the subject of this article: In fact, most seem more like dictionary entries to me.
  2. All of the suggested alternatives are unhelpful, being ungainly ("passing for a member of another race"), ambiguous {passing (race)}, baffling {passing (sociology)} or misleading {passing (racial group)}. The only alternative that would work for me would be "passing for white", which is apparently unacceptable for other reasons. So until a better article name can be found, I favor the current article's top note redirecting to additional meanings so as to address Paul Beardsell's reasonable concerns. I note with dismay that the attempts to reason over this issue have now been co-opted by a determination to hijack the article: We are informed here that this article will be moved, regardless of differing opinions. The subject matter of this article is an important but seldom addressed issue that is historically painful, politically minimized, and increasingly relevant (in conjunction with the ongoing revisionist dispute raised at One Drop Rule and Multiracial#Categorization and censuses which challenges the classification among Black people of such renowned figures as Frederick Douglass, Homer Plessy, W.E.B. Du Bois, Tiger Woods, Sally Hemings, Michael Manley, Shirley Bassey, Halle Berry, Lena Horne, Charles Drew, Oona King, Sarah Culberson, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and even Colin Powell and Barack Obama. To re-marginalize information relevant to that debate now by burying it where few will find it strikes me as unfortunate. Controversy is best dispelled by the light of knowledge. Light can't be seen when hidden under a bushel. What cultural controversy about impatient highway drivers is so significant that it can't endure being re-directed by notation to Overtaking? Lethiere 05:10, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I get the impression that the majority of people here are thinking that this is a single article about 'black' people passing as 'white'. It isn't. What it is is 4 distinct articles about the sociological activity of 'passing' one's self off as a member of a different racial, gender, ethnic or ability grouping. That sociological grouping is the only link between the articles. The section on race is not even just about 'black' and 'white'. For example, it contains a photo of a 'white' man who passed as native american.
If I (or others) get enhusiastic about filling out the content of the article on gender, it will be easily longer than the current size of the article about racial passing. Transgendered people, myself included, consider passing as the gender of choice is the most important form of 'passing'. A transgendered person might just as validly argue 'Why should the page on passing by obfuscated or obstructed by a lengthy article on race?'
When a page reaches a 32K, it is normal practice (Wikipedia:How to break up a page) to move articles onto separate pages, splitting them off the existing page. This is what I was alluding to when I said 'will move' (although perhaps I was a bit vague on articles or the page moving and my wording was a little stronger than intended and for that I apologise). That's not hijacking, that's stating a self evident fact based upon wikipedia policy. What I am proposing is that the existing page be moved first, to make space for a disambig page, which will clearly point to the existing page at its new location, to other meanings of 'passing', and to new pages in the future that will contain articles split off from the existing page. I am also suggesting pre-emtive splitting of the page to resolve the fact that the articles presently on the pages are not really closely enough related to each other and so that they don't continue to cause confusion as I've described above.
As those pages are split off, there will be brief summaries left behind, with a link to the new page. Taking that to the extreme, if every present article was split off and the summaries made extremely brief, this page would, in fact, evolve into a disambig page. That is an option if you'd prefer it.
Renaming or splitting to a new page does not constitute 'burying it where few will find it'. The beauty of wikipedia is the ability to link directly to the page you are aiming for. A disambig page at the present location would point directly to the intended article, whichever it is. --AliceJMarkham 08:00, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Your apology is accepted and, although not entirely convinced, for the sake of not publicly pitting the interests of one historically discriminated-against minority group off against another's (even absent evidence of reciprocal concern), I withdraw opposition to your proposal. Good discussion, Good luck! Lethiere 23:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much for withdrawing your opposition. It is appreciated. I do realise that I tend to be a little heavy handed in my stating of arguments at times but I can assure you that I was not intending to try to pit different minority groups against each other and I apologise if I gave that impression. --AliceJMarkham 01:13, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Page is large enough to need splitting. Need to decide on naming of articles to be split off[edit]

I feel that the discussion on the naming of articles to be split off needs to be separated from the above vote on renaming the page to make space for a disambiguation page.

The page is already 51 kilobytes long. As discussed above, it appears appropriate to split this page into smaller, more specific articles in accordance with Wikipedia:Article size.

The 'Race' section is likely to still be over 32 kilobytes long even after it is split off, and may need to be further split in itself.

There is mixing of 'Ethnicity' in both the 'Race' and 'Ethnicity and class' sections and I feel that this needs to be addressed, possibly by the creation of separate sections on 'Ethnic group' and 'Social class'. Presumably, the 'Race', 'Ethnic group' and 'Social class' sections would be cross-linked to each other.

Given that Race, Ethnic group, Social class, Gender and Disability are the names of articles on the relevant subjects, I propose that we maintain consistency with those existing names by lowercasing and bracketing them after 'Passing' to form:

  • Passing (race)
  • Passing (ethnic group)
  • Passing (social class)
  • Passing (gender)
  • Passing (disability)

If is noted that only the size of the article on 'Race' is presently large enough to warrant splitting it from the main page but I believe that this discussion can help guide the future naming of the other articles if and when they grow large enough to be split off in the future. --AliceJMarkham 04:40, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree with all that. Again. Alice's is the most constructive approach possible, in my view, and will result in a set of articles which will improve the encyclopedia by providing for easier access to information by the provision of shorter and more relevant articles and also by easier disambiguation. Paul Beardsell 08:34, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I think "Passing (race)" to be too broad to be clear or helpful. I suggest that Verklempt's recommendation be adopted: "Passing (racial identity)". Lethiere 17:05, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Fine by me. Paul Beardsell 22:26, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
If that is the consensus, I'm fine with that. I was going to ask whether (for consistency) you would also be proposing that Race be moved to Racial identity, then I checked and found that that redirects to Race, so it's sorta consistent. :) --AliceJMarkham 00:18, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Moved and split[edit]

The page has now moved to Passing (sociology). The former "Race" and "Gender" sections have been split out into separate articles Passing (racial identity) and Passing (gender) respectively. the "worldwide" tag has stayed with the race article.

The 'Passing' section of the disambig page from Pass has been shifted to become the new disambig page at Passing. I believe that I have updated all of the links that pointed at Passing that were relevant to change.

There are presently redirects at Passing (disability), Passing (ethnic group) and Passing (social class) which all point back to this article. I'm undecided whether to split those out into stubs or leave them in here for now. Opinions? --AliceJMarkham 22:59, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Bad biased example?[edit]

Usage of examples in certain context make it seem as though the article is written from a biased point of view, as in the first paragraph regarding the Muslim suicide bomber. This turned me off to the validity of the entire article once reading it. Other examples would certainly be more effective to a broader audience, regardless of your personal belief on whether or not that particular one should be valid. Just a bit of feedback. Thanks! Trisweb 19:46, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I picked up on this too. Regardless, I feel that it demonstrates an example of plain disguise as opposed to passing. To me, passing is a long-term thing, not just whether you can get into a hotel or not. (talk) 16:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


I've rewritten the Ability section to give a more indepth discussion of visible and invisible disability. I've never actually seen it referred to as 'passing', that may be a purely US usage, but whether a disabled person has a visible disability, an invisible one or both (I fall in the latter category) makes for a fairly complex and varying web of advantages and disadvantages which I've tried to briefly summarize while retaining some of the original section. --Dgillon (talk) 19:06, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

The paragraph on disabilities and additions were removed by an anon for an asinine reason.

Socially, invisible disabilities can choose not to self-identify as a "disabled person" and incurable disorders are considered visible disabilities, therefore society (i.e. government policy and workplace regulations) should always provide needed assistance for them.

Asperger's syndrome isn't much a "visible" disability but Asperger's is marked with serious issues in socialization, but autism seems to be "invisible" and "Low" functioning autism is a more pronounced sociobehavioral disability but so is the "high functioning" kind.

Also some people considered Yuppies a form of upper-income class (which is the case of the 1980s cultural trend of what was back then considered "successful"), others said yuppies are more in the middle when they are office workers, and lately more white collar urban professionals find themselves feeling "poorer" from current economic conditions (the late 2000's and 2010's recession) but yuppieism is considered passe in the 2000s when it became more common in life to hold an office professional career than 20 or 30 years ago.

Then to explain why Mischlinge and Tzedek are previously mentioned: For people to identify with the Jewish religion and culture even when practicing another religion, but have one Jewish parent (according to Halakhic Law, Jewishness is past one only by the mother or matriarchal lineage) ... and Tzedek means a convert to Judaism from a previous different religion with or without Jewish heritage.

And about the "Hapas" = The Hawaiian term for persons of part-Asian (mostly East Asian ethnic-national groups like the Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos and Koreans), part-Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and other race (white European-American) ancestries. (talk) 07:26, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Assimilation and segregation[edit]

In the USA, to have any European ancestry and white ethnological traits: the person will become part of the "white" majority society, while those of African and other non-Caucasian ancestries due to lacking lighter skin, hair and eyes: have remained a class apart and lived in a segregated part of society. The sad fact of American history is rooted in a high level of racial classification categories and anyone who is African-American yet have lighter tone of skin wishes to become a "white" person in the days of Jim Crow segregation, and they know "passing white" might open doors to opportunities denied to Black people or African-Americans at the time. But the tendency for most Latinos and Asian-Americans to become more accepted among their "white" or Anglo-American peers, but they remain "minorities" in the eyes of most white/Anglo-Americans and placed under the minority umbrella term or as "people of color" to a certain extent. (talk) 03:58, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

New Contributions[edit]

I've been making additions to this page as part of a class assignment. I've included additional citations, expanded and/or reorganized sections, and added a section on Disability Passing. I would welcome any suggestions or feedback as I proceed. Ah728213 (talk) 03:11, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

I performed some copy editing. I think what is there is pretty good. You might think about referencing McRuer (if he fits) in the disability section. You might also make sure that titles are included when they are referenced. I can think of one place specifically where two people are referenced as saying something but no context for the quotation is given. YbGrrl (talk) 16:37, 7 March 2016 (UTC)