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What race do you mark on government forms? - Page 3

post #41 of 65
Thread Starter 
Well from now on I am just going to cross through all the answers and write "why do you ask?"
post #42 of 65
If your dd is dark-skinned, I would put black as her race. Like a pp said, that is exactly how she is viewed by society, and frankly, it will probably inform her own view of herself.

For example, consider Barack Obama. While he describes himself as the son of a Kenyan father and white mother , he holds no illusions to the fact that he is a black man.

If there is an option for ethnicity, that's where I would double check african-american AND caucasian/european.
post #43 of 65
I don't want to just put "white" for my kids, just based on their looks. I either want to make a point not to put any race, or I want to honor all the parts of them.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder what the box-checking is for. I don't want my children to receive special priviledges for being white or non-white. I also don't want them to be discriminated against.

I think knowing this sort of thing is useful if you have a program or product, and in looking at the statistics almost all the people who are participating/buying it are of a certain race... that would be an indicator to do some research into why you were missing other "groups." The same as when you're selling a product and you realize only middle aged people buy it, you would then look into why you're missing the teen, young adult, or elderly people who could benefit from what you've got. I love our UU church but they are very much missing the black/Latino demographic, and I think that knowing that is important. Or I did. Maybe not so much now... ??

But just random statistics, on government forms... not too sure about that. Does anyone know what they might be used for?
post #44 of 65
I believe very strongly that we are all one race: Human.
If I can leave it blank, I do. If there's an other box with a write-in line, I check it and write "human". If I have to pick one, I usually just choose one at random.
post #45 of 65
Black, Multi-racial, or Afro-Caribbean.
MOst gov't forms in Florida have Multi-racial as an option. If Afro-Caribbean is an option, that's the one I check.
post #46 of 65
My kids are bi-racial, white and black. We've always checked African-American as their race. But you need to do what's right for you.
post #47 of 65
I am "white" American (Native American, northern European) and my husband is North African (Arab= "white"?????) but to make a mockery of those race questions I put African-American for our DD because I look at from the continental view (him Africa, me American)...I hate those questions!!
post #48 of 65
I have been known to write up long explanations about how race is not a biological but rather social concept that has no basis in genetics or any other physical markers and that I find it very disturbing that such criteria are included in any kind of form. Even in medical settings, the 'racial' factors in disease have nothing to do with black or white or whatever but with regional factors from the country of origin of ancestors. For example, sickle-cell is supposed to be a 'black' disease when it is in fact related to exposure to malaria in some (not exclusively black) regions of the world. The gene is an adaptation to protect against malaria, but becomes sickle-cell when 2 copies of the gene are present. Nothing to do with skin colour or facial features or 'blackness'. There is no way that a form asking if someone is white, black, asian, hispanic or other can account for those subtleties.

There are a few instances where the socially constructed notion of race can be relevant, but they should only be in sociological studies where the question is formulated as 'What 'race' do you identify with, if any?' or 'What 'race' are you generally perceived to be?' and even then, it has to have some relevance for the study.

I get really angry over things like that. Same thing for gender or sex. It is completely irrelevant in most instances where it is asked so I usually either leave it blank or write another angry paragraph asking why whether or not my kid as a uterus had anything to do with going to a daycare or whatever.
post #49 of 65
I mark Black and never really think about it. Its what DS calls himself, so we roll with it.
post #50 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
I have been known to write up long explanations about how race is not a biological but rather social concept that has no basis in genetics or any other physical markers and that I find it very disturbing that such criteria are included in any kind of form. Even in medical settings, the 'racial' factors in disease have nothing to do with black or white or whatever but with regional factors from the country of origin of ancestors.
Just came across this site, and it seems pretty relevant to this thread: Understanding Race
You all may have seen it before, and a lot of it isn't news to anyone whose thought about "race" before... but it's nicely illustrative of the illusion of race. I am NOT checking any boxes anymore. What a silly construct.
post #51 of 65
Not mulitcultural, just lurking:

My MIL, a white woman from Wisconsin, marks Other and writes in Human.
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevaehsmommy View Post
Part of me wants to put black to put her in line for scholarships later on ( is that wrong?)
I used to think this as well, but I think by the time our children are college age, any kind of race-based scholarship or admission might be illegal.

I was very surprised when my DD's teacher marked her as "white" on the standardized test form. My DD was surprised too and didn't know what to think.
post #53 of 65
Thread Starter 
The whole "scholarship" thing always got me, seems like reverse discrinmantion BUT if they are willing to give a child a scholarship for being whatever race, it would be silly to turn it down imho
post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevaehsmommy View Post
The whole "scholarship" thing always got me, seems like reverse discrinmantion BUT if they are willing to give a child a scholarship for being whatever race, it would be silly to turn it down imho
I think that race-based scholarships probably served a purpose at one point. I am not for them now. I am for certain scholarships that help demographics that historically may not consider higher education (for instance, those in rural Appalachia, or inner city). BUT those shouldn't be based on race.
post #55 of 65
Depends on the boxes available on the form. If there is only an Asian option I'll check that. If it's a local form I might mark "Part Hawaiian". Both of those fit DD. If there are a lot of boxes and I'm feeling whimsy I click all the boxes that apply. So far no one has made an issue of it.
post #56 of 65
My DH is Chinese and I am White. I mark other or biracial if at all possible, but if not I mark Asian. DS is a pretty good mix of the two of us, but has an Asian last name.
post #57 of 65
I always check both boxes if they divide it that way. If it says to check only one box I put other if given , my mother is Jamaican and my father irish-welsh-british mutt. I do the same for my children. My boys father also has a black mother and white father. One is dark, two are quite light skinned. People are often shocked to realize that they are brothers.
post #58 of 65

QueenSheba's Mom, I Liked What You Said

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenSheba'sMom View Post
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.
I agree with you and don't blame you for checking all that apply. DH and I don't have children together yet but I believe when we do I will mark the child as both or other. (DH is AsAm, I'm AfAM) I'm not sure what my dss marks but I suspect it has to do with where he is or who he's with.

Quote:
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.
That is very true. More than half of African Americans have caucasian ancestry which is why we are of varying hues. Years ago the government instituted the one drop rule to help to segregate us and now AfAm's use the one drop rule to unify.

Quote:
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?
Hmm.... white is whatever the definition will allow.

In 1922 the landmark case of United States vs. Bhagat Singh Thind helped to exclude East Indians from the white fold. The case helped to establish that although Thind was caucasian under the classification of races he was definitelly not white. I think that slowly, but surely, the definition of white will expand enough to include those of mixed heritage who look white. In the early 20th century the Irish and Italians were discriminated against and white was only WASP but now here in at the beginning of the 21st century white includes Dean Cain and Jessica Alba. Even with the one drop rule Heather Locklear who has black ancestors is considered to be white, not black.

Quote:
This thread really doesn't need to "go there", but this has been on my mind lately.
It's kind of going there and actually is a few of the things I have pondered myself.
post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamanthaJ View Post
My DH is Chinese and I am White. I mark other or biracial if at all possible, but if not I mark Asian. DS is a pretty good mix of the two of us, but has an Asian last name.
Same for us. My DH is Hispanic and I'm White. However, DH is 50% Mexican and 50% Spanish. I consider DD Hispanic (although she looks White), but is she technically? She is only 25% Mexican, 25% Spanish, and 50% English/Italian/German/Polish. So techinically she is 75% White and 25% Hispanic. She also has a very Mexican last name.

I guess it really doesn't matter to me in the long run. Perhaps we'll let her self-identify as she gets older.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevaehsmommy View Post
The whole "scholarship" thing always got me, seems like reverse discrinmantion BUT if they are willing to give a child a scholarship for being whatever race, it would be silly to turn it down imho
My DH always checks the Hispanic box on applications for schools/jobs/etc. He said if it gives him an edge, why not?
post #60 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
I have an issue with this one... I am white, my girls' father is African.

I think they are just as much white as black... I want them to embrace their Ashanti culture... however I believe that they should be able to choose whether they are considered black or white... It just bugs me that society will choose this for them.

mama to 2 dds ages 2.5 and 3 mos
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