Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Damn It! Carolyn Battle-Cochrane Goes To Battle For Biracials

To all you Hip Hapa Homeez in the house, do we have a special treat for you this week! Perhaps you’ve already heard, but there’s a documentary about the biracial experience that is causing controversy on every side of the mixed-race experience. For one, the title “Biracial: Not Black, Damn It” has created huge debates. Below, we speak to director Carolyn Battle-Cochrane about her life and what inspired her to make this movie. Scattered below are photos of Carolyn along with promo pieces for the film.  

Q: Who are your parents and how did you grow up?

A: My father was a cotton-picking, cussing, pool hustling turned professional tailor black man from the South. My mother is a proper white woman from Boston who feels that certain etiquettes are always required. The extreme differences in their life experiences and/or lack of experiences made for an interesting behind-closed-doors-highly-dysfunctional reality show. I was one of the biracial folks who always knew I was walking the tightrope. My community constantly reminded me I had a white mother, and my father reminded me that "the white woman" was my mother.

I recently completed my memoir, "Private Conversations" telling the story of my extremely "different" parents (culturally) and my personal story about being biracial. Currently, I have two chapters on my website:

Q: What’s your filmmaking background?

A: When I decided I wanted to make films, my daughter still lived at home. It was a serious choice to fall back from making the kind of money I was at the time and take a lesser position so that I could go to school. As a single parent, I had a talk with my daughter about cutting back. She said she was down with my choice to work full-time weekends while I took independent studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, as well as workshops and classes at NYU and several other film outlets. I was fortunate enough to make a great student film, which opened doors shortly after I left film school. I got a job as a consultant at Disney and was able to make a film that was used for cross-platforming business units into working together. Before the Disney gig, I had been in and out of Hollywood from NY because of a few scripts I had written. I got a call from an NBA player at the time who had read my script. He thought it was a hit and wanted to get me connected. We took meetings and I realized I had a lot to learn. I was not willing to compromise the storyline when the executives running the show had no idea about the world I was trying to bring to the forefront. Not much has changed. As people of color, we have few storylines. My scripts are about chicks that might be mixed or might not be, but have lived beyond the stereotypes. So the scripts are dusty, but still stories untold. That led me to making my documentary series. I decided I was going to do a project that I bankrolled that no one was going to control, but me. The money ran out, so I started selling a life from the past: LV's, Pradas, mink coats, diamonds. $350,000 later, part 1 and 2 are complete, and I am $150,000 in debt--but, still shooting and editing, still self-financed. 

Q: What’s surprised you the most about the people you've interviewed for your documentary?

A: That almost everyone has the same exact answers, that everyone felt so alone, isolated, even when they had siblings. Often the topic, the confusion, was/is never discussed.

Q: What’s disappointed you the most?

A: I can't think of anything disappointing about the interviews I have done. The closest thing to a disappointment is one chick I interviewed went really personal, dropping info that was shocking. She matter of factly mentioned that feeling so alone being biracial had turned her into a heroin addict. The experience with her after she chose to unleash the demon was a disappointing saga. I have decided that will not be an interview that I will put into the series. I have probably 20-30 interviews I will never use; too dark, too sad. I don't want a series that is only about the blues.

Q: How about what pleased you the most?

A: Pleased me the most is how open, easy and free the flow is when we're talking about "our" story. The element of knowing each other even though often it is a new relationship, and how healing it is for almost everyone that does an interview. Usually what they have to say has been laying heavy on their chest and unloading that burden is amazing to watch. The transformation from being in pain and then not is mad cool.

Q: That title upsets a lot of people who are not mixed. Was that intentional?

A: The title came from a place of pure honesty and frustration. I was tired of the arguments about my identity: 'No, you're black, you look black, your father is black, yada, yada.' I had no idea the impact the title was going to have, both positive and negative. I'd like to say for the most part it has been a much more positive response than negative. I get letters and emails from monoracial folks both black and white that thank me for telling the truth and keeping it real. After really pinpointing who has the biggest problem with the title, I have found that it is a small group that is still living the One Drop lie. There are people who like things the way they are for a number of reasons, and they would still hate the project regardless of the title, but this title got folks talking and that is what is needed. If we are not talking, we are not learning about each other. I do find it hysterical when folks suggest I should change the title because I might possibly hit a broader audience. Part one of this project was done a year and a half before it got any love. It just had another title, and no one was interested. That title opened the door.

Q: You have a huge Facebook following. Is social media a good platform for mixed-race agendas?

A: Social media is good for any agenda, that's where the world lives and plays and learns, but, yes, mixed-race issues can have a platform without asking for permission. It is still a hard knock-knock to get the doors open in mainstream America so this allows the support, the conversations, the unity that wasn't available years ago.  Eventually, the doors in mainstream media will open. It's just still an uncomfortable subject for whatever reason. I personally do not get it, but I am told folks are still not ready. That's why they have deemed Obama the first "black" president. 'Bulloney' is all I can say.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your documentary? Any future plans?

A: Hit mainstream and turn it into a television series. Multicultural/multiracial America is huge (and growing) and the interesting, funny, heart-provoking stories need a forum to breathe, to be told in truth, to be heard, to be documented.

I have plans, blueprints, and I am in constant motion to bring them to light. There is always something on the horizon, but I do not want to shoot myself in the foot by running my mouth before its time. I most recently got my first syndicated film review, which got me on Rotten Tomatoes and that was a great feeling. When I saw the review on the same page as three studio films, it was a ‘wow’ moment.

Thank you, Carolyn. Check out the multiple trailers for the documentary series at the official website:

Also, remember to join our Hip Hapa Homeez group on Facebook where we post info about multiethnic and transracial adoptee communities. You can also “like” our Watermelon Sushi fan page which helps support our film, Watermelon Sushi. Purchasing a Hapa*Teez t-shirt will also assist in the production of our film, and you’ll receive a rear-crawl credit for your help. Just drop us a line a so we can spell your name right.

As always, it’s been real.

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

RAW: Complicated, Controversial, Conspiracy Theorist

Your Hip Hapa meets so many interesting Hip Hapa Homeez everywhere she goes, and Sean Hardin is no exception. We bumped into each other several years ago at a website that promotes vegetarian living. Instantly, I became fascinated with Sean’s raw food lifestyle. While Your Hip Hapa eschews all animal products including suede and leather, taking that one extra step towards a raw diet feels a little intimidating. Below, Sean shares with us some of his other interests, which are numerous as well as complicated and controversial.

Q: What's a nice mixed-race guy like you doing making so much noise about the world?

A: My podcast series Truther is about global public affairs. Most of my podcasts are interviews. Sometimes, I’ll do one where I’m talking by myself, doing an editorial. As to why I deal with public affairs issues, it’s because I still have some hope for humanity. I want to get this information to people, as much as possible, to those who will listen. Most of my audience is people who have been in the truth and freedom movements for a long time. However, there are some mainstreamers, too, and I’m working to increase them because my main motivation for doing what I do is to reach out to them.

I deal with Conspiracy with a capital C. I’ve been investigating the global aristocratic class for about 13 years now, as well as alternative health, and an eclectic mix of other topics that are off the beaten path. I did an interview with Professor Anderlini from University of Puerto Rico who believes in sexual freedom. She’s an advocate for the Gaia mode, as well as Polyamory. I deal with health topics ranging from the AIDS scam, natural ways to reverse conditions like diabetes, and how to get and stay in good health. One of my favorite interviews this year is with Leah Salmon in Luton, U.K., who’s a natural health practitioner. She gives all kinds of eye opening information on how to be healthy. There’s nothing mystical about health, there’s no need for anyone to be in a diseased condition.

My podcast series is aired on one of two hosting providers I use--Blip TV and Vimeo--and I average about 8 podcasts per month. Here are the links:

Prior to my podcast series Truther, I was writing articles online. I’ve been an independent journalist since about 1995.

Q: Who are your parents, and where did you grow up?

A: My mother is Jewish and my father was black although I never got to meet him. I know his name is John Lewis Hardin and mom is Cara Nina Hardin. I have inquired about my father, but my mom always avoids the subject so I gave up inquiring.

I grew up in downtown Minneapolis in an apartment building on Hennepin Avenue, which is no longer there. It was torn down.

Q: Did you grow up with a lot of Jewish culture--customs, food, holidays, rituals and religion?

A: No, my mom was not into religious practice too much although she does believe in a God. I don’t because I’ve seen no evidence to support that theory. I did not grow up going to a synagogue. I don’t practice any religion and I don’t believe in any of the theories of the world’s religions because none of them have any evidence to support their theories. I’m a very clinical thinker and I always demand evidence to support a theory anyone presents. If they can’t support their theory with evidence, than I consider that theory worthless.

Q: How about on your black side?

A: I only know a couple of relatives on my father’s side; two cousins, Angie, and Cara (named after mom). I have not heard from either of them for a long time. I often think about Angie and Cara, and I hope they’re doing well. My mom always had a lot of black friends though, so I was surrounded by black people--mostly intellectual black people.

Q: When and how did you first become so interested in politics and the global picture?

A: I’ve been studying the global aristocratic (Illuminati) for about 13 years now. I got into this area of research because in the 1990’s I began to realize that things are not right with humans around this world. We are plagued with problems that virtually no other species has that I’ve ever heard of.

I met my friend, Brother Ptah, who’s a very intelligent brother from Kenya, who’s been studying this for longer than me. He turned me on to books by David Icke, Dr. John Coleman, Coast to Coast AM, and many other sources. From there, I intensely researched to verify as much of the information I was gathering as possible, and since then I have not been able to get away from this research. I have made my life following the Illuminati.

Q: You don't seem to focus much on racial groups, but on the bigger human race.

A: I do periodically delve into race issues when I deem it called for. I bring race up, for example, when I’m covering the AIDS fraud because I suspect that there are aspects of it that are racially motivated. There are more AIDS testing facilities in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Western countries than in white neighborhoods by far. Those billboard and poster ads at bus stops and trains stations that says things like “AIDS, get tested, know your status”, etc.; you see those in black and Hispanic neighborhoods overwhelmingly and hardly at all in white neighborhoods in cities like London, Chicago, Paris, etc.

Since Canada became the first Western country to implement criminal laws based on this scientific fraud, nearly all of the people who have been convicted in court in Canada and sentenced to life prison terms are men, and of all the cases I’ve researched out of Canada, all except one are black. That leads me to suspect that this is racially motivated.

What, one might ask, is the purpose for something like this? A possible answer is the money interests from the pharmaceutical cartel. Here’s the ultimate answer though; control of sexual activity, which leads to population control (of the population of people they look down on, that is). Of everything this global cabal has perpetrated upon humanity, the AIDS fraud just about tops everything else. Western countries now have criminal laws predicated on this fraud. That’s right, criminal laws! A person can be locked up in a cage for life if they’re found guilty in a Kangaroo Court for giving their sex partners so-called AIDS.

One question that demands addressing pertaining to the AIDS scam is how in the world is a black woman 20 times more likely to get a positive result from those testing devices than a white woman. Is there a precedent for a pathogen behaving like that? No!

I’m in this to reach out to humanity, to help and benefit humanity; that’s what I will continue to do with my life unless I end up in a FEMA camp. My goal is to plant as many seeds as possible to hopefully make a better world for all humans in the future. As a member of humanity, I value all of it including mainstreamers although they’re dumbed down and gullible. Hopefully, that can be changed.

My hope is that with the efforts of myself and others in the alternative media who are doing all we can to expose the psychopaths, people will not only learn about the criminal global aristocratic cabal, but also learn to tap into the infinite knowledge of how things in the Universe work that we all have programmed in our DNA.

 Q: Why is having a raw vegan diet so important to your beliefs?

A: I’ll never forget in 2000, my friend Peter Arneson and I were at a wedding of a couple of mutual friends of ours. At the reception, I noticed that of all the kinds of food they had to offer, the only thing Peter was eating was the salad. I asked him why, and he said he practiced a raw food diet, and we started talking about that. Everything Peter said made so much sense that I decided at that point to give a raw diet a go, and have stuck with it ever since.

Humans are the only species that cook its food, and there are different theories about why that is. Not all raw foodists are vegan like me. There are some who eat flesh. However, the vast majority of people could never imagine eating flesh raw, so that demands a question: Should humans be eating flesh at all if it can only be palatable cooked?

Cooking fruits, vegetables, and seeds is no good because it destroys the life-giving properties in the food, and creates a lot of carcinogens. That’s what causes all of the disease problems we have because people, whether they realize it, are in a constant state of malnutrition. I’ve been practicing a raw-vegan diet for about 10 years now, and am not having any thought of going back.

Thank you, Sean. That’s some pretty heavy stuff to take in all at once and we appreciate you breaking it down for us.

On another note, remember to join our Hip Hapa Homeez Group on Facebook where we post info of interest to blendies, mixies and multi-cultis. You can also “like” our Watermelon Sushi Fan page on Facebook, which supports our Watermelon Sushi film. And, your purchase of a Hapa*Teez t-shirt, like the one Julia Baker wears below, gets you a rear crawl credit once our film is produced.

Until we meet again, here's a shout-out and big-up for being you!

Your Hip Hapa,