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What race do you mark on government forms? - Page 2

post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2Amira View Post
hmm.. she probably looks latina and of Indian heritage to me.
I usually put other for myself and dd. since I'm multiracial myself, and cannot see putting down white for being half arab and half somalian, I put other in both of our boxes. dd is half white too so I don't feel comfortable leaving anyone out.

our pics are in my siggy too. People usually assume I'm latina or East Indian too!
I just wanted to say that you and your dd are absolutely gorgeous! My DD used to have curls like that when she was younger, now that she's older she has wavy curls.
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by kJad29 View Post
This is the first time posting in this forum. I'm so happy that it's finally here before I have children. I have lots to learn..

As for your question Absinthia, middle easterners are considered "white" by the USA even if they look obviously African (as in the case of northern Africans, never could wrap my head around that one...). South Asians are considered Asian in the US as well. I know weird. I remember when I was very small and because I had a foreign name (my father is Nigerian and my mother is African American mix-of-a-bunch-of-ethnic-groups) and I had more keen features like my straight nose I was put down as "white" because they thought that I was Egyptian. My mother definitely corrected them and said that I'm Human, but if they wanted to put a designation on me that I shouldn't be considered "white". .
So where is the line drawn, when is it Asia and when the Middle East? Pakistan? Iran? Israel?
post #23 of 65
I always hated that most of the time, it would say "White (non-hispanic)" instead of just "White." I always felt like I was specifically excluding a significant part of my family, but I didn't feel like I could really identify as "Hispanic" either. What a PITA.

As for the Middle Eastern = White thing, my ex was Palestinian and was applying for jobs shortly after 9/11. One application had an option form for things like sex, race, etc. specifically related to discrimination. We were both really annoyed that he was considered "white" for descrimination purposes at a time when he was getting a lot of crap for being an Arab. His obviously Arab name and Arab appearance had no way of being reflected on the stupid form.

It's all BS anyway.
post #24 of 65
I put "other", my kids are black and white, but do look more "white" and people assume they are white (maybe mixed with some latino or something). In the past I put whatever I feel like that day- at my kids school they have so many biracial children that they actually have a "Biracial" selection you can choose and I do that.
post #25 of 65
I either check Biracial, or write it in; or if that's not an option, I check both black and white. I would not feel comfortable checking only one box, because that would be denying either one of us--the kids are both.
post #26 of 65
On dd's is bi/multi-racial. I checked black at birth because that is how she would be viewed by society. On nearly every form since, I check other if I can't check multiple boxes. It's a point of irritation not to be able to check all she is :
post #27 of 65
I've been checking all that apply, too, but I think that some of the underlying themes in the boxes are disturbing. I'm white and dh is east african. Our kids look east african or Indian. Dh has called them african american, and I've felt that the white part should be in there, too. African american, yes. Black, partly.

But then I thought about what blackness means in america. It is a very inclusive group, encompassing everyone from light to dark skin, light to dark hair, eyes... Most african americans are of mixed heritage.

And then what does white mean? What is represented in white? There are quite a few different colors of hair in there, but could my daughters ever be white? Is white ever diverse enough to include people who are mixed?

This thread really doesn't need to "go there", but this has been on my mind lately.
post #28 of 65
I make my own box for race and mark it;

Human [x],

or I write in, "Who the He77 wants to know?"

Honestly, if the government is going to take stats like that, it means that they plan to treat people differently, and that should never even be considered in a country in which every one is supposed to be free. .

So maybe we are not free? Or are some freer than others?
post #29 of 65
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavitha View Post
she is black, and will probably be treated that way in the US

she is definitely not white.

i would put black---or if you are really uncomfortable about that, you could put biracial

EXCUSE ME? maybe it's just late and i'm taking this the wrong way, but did you really just say that "she's black", and "definitely not white", based on a simple description of her parents' race? since when are we back to the 'one drop rule'? her race classification is a personal decision that she will end up making throughout her lifetime based on what she identifies with. to her, that may be black... or white, or multiracial, or none of the above.

ugh, i'm sorry, it just reeks of jim crow sentiment.

which reminds me of this quote-- "The United States is the only country in the world in which a white mother can have a black child but a black mother cannot have a white child."

please don't take this as an attack-- i'm sure you meant well. it's just something i feel very strongly about.

-K
post #31 of 65
i see what you are saying, garden of noise....

it's not really important on govt forms, but practically, in everyday life, in this society that has had such a tragic and horrific history of race, that she will be seen as black and not as white....

i think then it is sometimes easier for a person of color to identify as such, and not as white, because that identity helps with how we experience life in the US....

i understand that we can have diff perspectives on this....
post #32 of 65
we leave them blank. Here in BC questions regarding race are considered optional (ie: none of the government's business).

I am of mostly Scottish descent - very pale, lots of freckles, dark hair
My husband is Filipino
My older son is Scottish/German/French - definitely Caucasian but darker than I and no freckles
My younger son is Scottish/Filipino and although he isn't Caucasian, he also isn't as dark skinned as most Asians.

I refuse to mark half of my family down as Caucasian and the other half as "Visible minority" so I leave that section blank.
post #33 of 65
We check "black". My kids are biracial. They know they're biracial. They know I'm white. If someone asks them about it in detail because mommy doesn't "match" (and, yes, it's happened because people are rude like that), they respond that they're both black and white and they like it like that because they get to be both. They also know that, when they are out, they are seen as black. If they want, they call themselves white. Doesn't change people's perspective, though. And it doesn't make them white. They simply aren't.

My husband is descended from a white confederate general. Damn sure doesn't make him white and he'd gag a little if somone suggested it did. Our last name is that of one of the largest plantation owners in the state. Probably has a little of that blood, too. Still doesn't make him white, and, looking at him, no one could guess any of his ancestors were white. He is very dark. He has cousins, however, who are lighter than our children. His mother, who is even a little darker than he is, has cousins who are lighter than me. And then there are the cousins who "passed". They decided they were white, and they disowned their black families and disappeared into a world where their darker-skinned cousins and siblings and parents weren't welcome. Because being white was easier. Others were white during they day so they could get a good job, and were black when they went back home in the evening, and the stress of this double life was incredible.

My kids couldn't actually pass, even if they wanted to, but I don't see anything shameful in acknowledging that they are not white. So what? That doesn't make them any less a part of me. And the reality is, they can call themselves white until the moon turns purple, but it doesn't make it true. What's my son going to say when he's pulled over for DWB? "Officer, you seem to have made a mistake. I'm actually white." 'Cuz that'll fly real well.

Obviously, I feel very strongly about this. I know the history of this region and I know the current reality, and my children have already been confronted with it. Again, my children's skin color doesn't make them any less a part of me, no matter what it's labeled. They aren't denying me. However, mislabeling them as "white" isn't going to change the very real impact of their race, and they've felt that already. The simple fact is, I can't pass my privilege on to them. It doesn't work like that. There are things they will face that aren't a part of my experience, and I can't change that with a different label.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
We check "black". My kids are biracial. They know they're biracial. They know I'm white. If someone asks them about it in detail because mommy doesn't "match" (and, yes, it's happened because people are rude like that), they respond that they're both black and white and they like it like that because they get to be both. They also know that, when they are out, they are seen as black. If they want, they call themselves white. Doesn't change people's perspective, though. And it doesn't make them white. They simply aren't.

My husband is descended from a white confederate general. Damn sure doesn't make him white and he'd gag a little if somone suggested it did. Our last name is that of one of the largest plantation owners in the state. Probably has a little of that blood, too. Still doesn't make him white, and, looking at him, no one could guess any of his ancestors were white. He is very dark. He has cousins, however, who are lighter than our children. His mother, who is even a little darker than he is, has cousins who are lighter than me. And then there are the cousins who "passed". They decided they were white, and they disowned their black families and disappeared into a world where their darker-skinned cousins and siblings and parents weren't welcome. Because being white was easier. Others were white during they day so they could get a good job, and were black when they went back home in the evening, and the stress of this double life was incredible.

My kids couldn't actually pass, even if they wanted to, but I don't see anything shameful in acknowledging that they are not white. So what? That doesn't make them any less a part of me. And the reality is, they can call themselves white until the moon turns purple, but it doesn't make it true. What's my son going to say when he's pulled over for DWB? "Officer, you seem to have made a mistake. I'm actually white." 'Cuz that'll fly real well.

Obviously, I feel very strongly about this. I know the history of this region and I know the current reality, and my children have already been confronted with it. Again, my children's skin color doesn't make them any less a part of me, no matter what it's labeled. They aren't denying me. However, mislabeling them as "white" isn't going to change the very real impact of their race, and they've felt that already. The simple fact is, I can't pass my privilege on to them. It doesn't work like that. There are things they will face that aren't a part of my experience, and I can't change that with a different label.
i love you Missy. Really, I do
post #35 of 65
Those race boxes make no sense at all. I'd keep checking all of the boxes or none at all. Genetically we are all mixed up. If your daughter is 50% white and 50% black (whatever "white" and "black" are supposed to be...), then IMO both boxes must be checked. To give a correct answer, we'd all need genetic testing.

Oh, wait, they are not asking for race at all. They are asking for social identity and happend to use the word "race".
post #36 of 65
I hate those forms. They don't exist in France where I come from but here in UK you have to say your race even to join your local library! crazy!

well, DD's father was born in Morocco, so don't know the race he's supposed to e - It's on the African continent yet he's not black....

I just ticked boxes at random.....
post #37 of 65
I'm getting in late for this conversation, but thought it was pretty interesting. I was shocked that WE had to mark a box on DD's birth certificate application for race. I was like, "Can we pick any race we want?!?" I'm white, DP is asian/native american, and we were also totally confused which ONE box we were supposed to choose. I think we ended up with native american for the birth cert, but I've probably chosen a different box for every form we've filled out since... Really, what is the point of those boxes when you can mark anything you want? Is that really how they are gathering race statistics? stupid.
post #38 of 65
It depends on how feisty I'm feeling! lol

Usually I put Black. I accept that that is how the US sees me and I am not overly bothered by that. I just don't see why it matters.

My name is Carmen though and people often assume I am Latina (at least part), but I'm not. I've been asked if I'm Indian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander...You name it. I need an "Ambiguously Brown" box to check
post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by clowds View Post
I usually mark both boxes (I am hispanic, DH white). Until the goverment catches on and makes a box for biracial or simply stops asking, I figure I would go for accuracy and mark both boxes...
I will probably do this from now on, it sounds like a good idea. I'm white, Dh is Hispanic... I guess I'll just mark the white and Hispanic boxes and they can do the math.
post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaleidoscopeeyes View Post
I need an "Ambiguously Brown" box to check
A friend of mine who is white/black/Colombian is living in South Carolina and had someone tell him "I don't know what you are, except you aren't white".

For my dd, I check the Multiracial box if there is one, otherwise I check both White and Asian.
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