Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Meet Glenn Robinson: Settler. Unarmed. Founder of Many Blogs.

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

Since the creation of Watermelon Sushi World, its core intent to address mixed-race issues has moved far beyond its original objective. HAPA-ly, Your Hip Hapa would like to report that today’s blog is more about crossing cultures globally than anything else.

Glenn, his son and daughter
If you’re involved with any multi-ethnic groups on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, this issue’s featured Hip Hapa Homee is a man you’ll recognize. If not, meet Glenn Robinson, a borderless man who refers to himself thusly:

“Settler. Unarmed. 

I love freedom of movement and campaign for (im)migrant rights. Drop the i-word  
I consult about blogging and social media with Clarity”.

Q: Glenn, who are your parents?

A: My mom is mostly of Irish heritage, but also German. My dad is half German from his mom, and half English and Dutch from his dad. 

Glenn and his kids
Q: How did you grow up, and how did your childhood shape your race consciousness?

A: I grew up on the peninsula side of the San Francisco Bay Area in a working class neighborhood located exactly between the million-dollar homes of a white community and the lowest-rent apartments of a Latino community.

Daily, I traveled through both communities on my bicycle while going to school and work. I was always interested in different cultures, probably due to growing up in a very mixed Bay Area, and without ethnic studies taught to me in grade school or high school. 

Q: You have founded four separate blogs and forums. One is specifically about multicultural folks, another about Amerindians, another is designed to bring communities together, and the last one tackles serious political and human rights issues. That's a lot of writing and updating! What inspires you to be so dedicated to these causes?

A: I started blogging to learn the technology. Half, because I find technology interesting and half, because people kept talking about blogs and I figured that sounded like a great way to reach a mass audience.
What inspires me are my children, my wife, our families and society in general. I also get frustrated with all the double standards in the U.S. On the one hand, we learn as youth about the poem at the Statue of Liberty, about the pilgrims invading Native land, then Woody Guthrie's song 'This land is your land'. Who is he singing to in that song? Native Americans, migrant workers, visa holders, immigrants, settlers? When I was little, I truly thought that anyone who set foot in the U.S. could become a citizen. What a rude awakening I have had as an adult. I cannot sit idly while I see xenophobia and hatred from the U.S. every time the news is on.
Glenn's daughter
Q: Mixed American Life is chock full of news and opinions about diverse people--from being mixed to being transracially adopted, or interracially involved. What has surprised you the most since its inception?

A: Two things surprised me. First, on a personal note, the fact that I would have a family feud surprised me. I was tired of dealing with subtle racism so I started a dialog about immigration and border walls, and found out I had a family member who was full-on xenophobic.

Second, what I hadn't understood is just how much rape or 'mixed by force', rather than mixed by choice, has occurred in the U.S. during the times of enslavement. I've also learned that Native women are raped by white men on reservations, and some of the laws have made prosecution difficult. 

Glenn's son
Q: Your 500 Nations site is, according to you, "everything Amerindian". Can you talk a little about the reasons that you created it?

A: I started the 500 Nations blog after seeing the documentary movie 500 Nations.  I thought there would be a website that went along with the movie--to learn more--and I couldn't find it, so I made it myself. I call my 500 Nations blog the keystone of my four blogs because it's the centerpiece that all the stories wrap around. 500 Nations allows me to curate the stories and opinions of Amerindians, about what they think about sovereign rights to their land, and what they think about immigration policies. I also thought it strange to be living on someone else's land and not know much about them. I figured since the public school system did not teach me about Amerindians, I will need to teach myself. 

Glenn's wife, Charo, at center holding son with daughter at her side
Q: Community Village Hub is a great spot to check out all of the work you've been doing. You're quite the Wordpress (and Blogger) expert. Do you find these blogs an effective method for getting important messages out to those who otherwise may be unaware?

A: I do feel like I'm making a difference, however small. I know I'm learning for sure, and I have meet great people like you, Yayoi; and, Steven Riley, Tiffany Rae Reid, Heidi Durrow and Fanshen Cox, to name a few. For me to reach a broader audience, I've been learning about social media marketing, and search engine optimization. 

Q: At Oppression Monitor, you get serious about serious issues. Are you hopeful that change will result from people being informed? Or do you think they just read your articles, and move on? Have you been able to monitor any results?

A: I do hope that people will become outraged and that will prompt them to take action for positive change. What I've noticed, however, is that people can only take so much depressing content, then they will tune it out--probably to maintain their sanity. When I hear of leaps forward in positive change, I document it in an online spreadsheet at (you have to scroll down about half way and look for the word 'progress' or 'solution' or 'fixed'):

Free Tech support, Free Music, Free software

Preview by Yahoo

Settler. Unarmed. Founder...
Q: Immigration seems to be the central theme of your blogs. Whether the diasporas result in multiethnic or multicultural people, or the oppression of others, it is definitely something to consider. Will there be more blogs in your future?

A: I thought I had enough to handle when I had three, then I made four. I have learned that I can maintain them better with a little help from people on Elance. I suspect I will mostly work on improving the blogs I have now.  

Mahalo nui loa, Glenn. See you soon in a borderless cyberspace!

Dear Hip Hapa Homeez, thank you for your continuing support. Please join our Hip Hapa Homeez group page on Facebook so you can take part in discussions about being interracially involved, multiracially mixed, transracially adopted and/or crossing cultures in a borderless world. And, please check out any or all of the following links:

Watermelon Sushi film

Watermelon Sushi on Facebook

Hapa*Teez on YouTube

Hapa*Teez on Facebook

Hapa*Teez on Café Press

War Brides of Japan v.2 on YouTube

War Brides of Japan on YouTube

War Brides of Japan on Facebook

Yayoi Lena Winfrey fan page on Facebook (sorry, but Your Hip Hapa can’t add any more friends to her regular profile page)

Sexy Voices of Hollywood


Your Hip Hapa will return on August 6 with another interview with a Hip Hapa Homee. Drop us an email at to nominate yourself or someone you know.

Your Hip Hapa,