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Feeling boxed in

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just have to share my frustration with our government's desire to label people. In some ways I can understand it, and I've even used it to my advantage in the past, but my frustration came to a head with the birth of my child. I was in the hospital and still reeling from the shock of an unnecessary c-section when I was accosted to fill out the form for DS's birth certificate. Whenever I have the option to only check one box, I almost ALWAYS select "Other" because I really dislike being forced to choose one part of my heritage over another. Well, after I did that, the woman who took the papers from me came back and told me I couldn't choose other, because "they don't like that." Such BS! Don't put it on the form if it's not really an option. Anyway, I was in such a fragile state I started to cry, and it still upsets me to think about it. How do other biracial mamas handle this? What do you do for your children? I just wish "Biracial" or "check all that apply" was always an option, but it's not and I can't just start crying every time I'm faced with this issue, especially on behalf of DS.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh0rtchica View Post
I just have to share my frustration with our government's desire to label people. In some ways I can understand it, and I've even used it to my advantage in the past, but my frustration came to a head with the birth of my child. I was in the hospital and still reeling from the shock of an unnecessary c-section when I was accosted to fill out the form for DS's birth certificate. Whenever I have the option to only check one box, I almost ALWAYS select "Other" because I really dislike being forced to choose one part of my heritage over another. Well, after I did that, the woman who took the papers from me came back and told me I couldn't choose other, because "they don't like that." Such BS! Don't put it on the form if it's not really an option. Anyway, I was in such a fragile state I started to cry, and it still upsets me to think about it. How do other biracial mamas handle this? What do you do for your children? I just wish "Biracial" or "check all that apply" was always an option, but it's not and I can't just start crying every time I'm faced with this issue, especially on behalf of DS.
Mama. You're right, she was full of BS. The federal government has revised their racial/ethnic data coding structure which allows for multiethnic reporting.
post #3 of 10
I would have calmly told her that I did not care what "they" like. You were being generous to even fill it out to begin with. i like her nerve! :
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
it's one of those situations where i can think of all sorts of smart responses after the fact, but in the heat of the moment i totally lost it. still bitter about it though. i really, really hope i have a home birth next time to avoid all of that BS!
post #5 of 10
When my son(B/W biracial) was around 1, the nurse at a new dr's office gave me a form to fill out. It included race and did not have multiracial on it, so I left it blank. So when I turned it in, the nurse called me back up to say I forgot it, but not to worry she had marked it. I saw she had marked white and told her that his father was black, so he was actually biracial. Guess how quick my son turned black?! I just bit my tongue on it.

Once he was in school, I told him that he could either choose what he wanted to mark, mark multiracial if it was an option or leave it blank. I told his teacher and the office that if he left it blank, I had no problem with them marking it whichever way would give the school more funding. For me, the problem was not him being marked only one race, it was him being asked to choose only one race.

Marsha
post #6 of 10
I hate the choice thing too. I mark both black and white if given the choice to pick more than one. If not given the choice, I guess I usually pick 'black' just because I figure they want to know these things to know how many "minorities" are involved and usually extra funding is involved for "minority"....

I like the idea of telling them to mark all or leave it blank, whatever they are comfortable with, when they are the ones doing it.
post #7 of 10
So, while in the hospital i think we checked off two boxes, one for caucasian and one African/ African Amer. Can't be sure exactly what they read, but its funny because even as a "caucasian", my great grandparents (even grands) would not have considered themselves all one category. My dad's Irish family used to call my mom "the Italian girl" and the Germans and Greeks, totally different, but then there is me- all of the above! And i know a few of those relatives would be rolling over knowing that they were all lumped togther and there was no more definition to their heritage! So, maybe one day things wont be so split up, or is it mashed together?
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RootsAndMarigolds View Post
So, while in the hospital i think we checked off two boxes, one for caucasian and one African/ African Amer. Can't be sure exactly what they read, but its funny because even as a "caucasian", my great grandparents (even grands) would not have considered themselves all one category. My dad's Irish family used to call my mom "the Italian girl" and the Germans and Greeks, totally different, but then there is me- all of the above! And i know a few of those relatives would be rolling over knowing that they were all lumped togther and there was no more definition to their heritage! So, maybe one day things wont be so split up, or is it mashed together?
ITA! It's not a salad bowl but mashed potatoes!

I'm Mexican and I'm American. But I am not "Latino". I can never fill out those forms that ask for ethnic background because the form never accounts for the likes of us, never mind our *mixed up* children!

Who thought up these categories anyway?
post #9 of 10
I don't care what the form says. I check both Caucasian and African American for my kids. My dh refuses to check African American, and instead writes in "Ethiopian" in the margin. Not technically a race but that's his identity and that's the only label he'll accept.

What can they do to us for not conforming to the boxes? Nothing.
post #10 of 10
I never fill out those forms pigeon holing myself or our kids, I find it rude and intrusive, what does it matter to any government what colour we are, what matters is who we are. Next time I would leave it blank and if asked why say that none of the labels apply to you.
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