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#1 of 31 Old 03-19-2010, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH is Venezuelan, born and raised, but has lived in the US for 20+ years, so I'm surprised this hasn't been resolved already.

Essentially, he doesn't know his race.

He, honestly, never thought about it until DD was born and they marked "white" on her birth certificate. It bothered him, though he didn't know what else they should have picked, so he let it slide.

FWIW, DH's entire family identifies as white, but he does not. He's the darkest in the family, affectionately nicknamed "El Negrito"; and when very hard-pressed to 'pick' a race, he goes with Mestizo, thinking that's probably historically accurate if nothing else.

But when the census form came, he didn't want to write in mestizo, but he didn't want to mark "white," and he had no idea what to pick for DD (who's half white and half-whatever-DH-decides-he-is). He ended up just picking white because that's what DD's birth certificate said, but you can tell he's not happy about it.

I don't care, and I don't want to force him to pick something; but every time it comes up on documentation, it makes him frustrated and irritable. Any thoughts/advice?

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#2 of 31 Old 03-19-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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Obviously it isn't free, but he could get a DNA admixture test.

Admixture tells you roughly what percentages of each race you are. Have you been watching Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC the past few Friday nights? Emmit Smith, the football player, had one done on last week's episode, and they told him he was 81% black African, about 12% European, and about 7% Native American, which was a real surprise to him. They said that was one of the highest percentages of black African ancestry they have seen amongst "African-Americans", meaning most black Americans are at least 25-50% not black. Likewise, I'm sure there are a lot of "white" Hispanics who are completely unaware of some percentage of non-European ancestry. Check out ancestry.com and see if they have any links to this type of DNA testing.

Good luck!
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#3 of 31 Old 03-19-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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He can mark multiple boxes. He can check both white and whatever else he feels is part of him (I haven't looked at ours yet, so I don't know if native south american is an option.) He doesn't have to feel like he must choose just one.

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#4 of 31 Old 03-19-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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My husband is Honduran and we didn't know what to put for his race either. We finally decided to mark Native American and wrote in the tribe he's from in Honduras (Lenca). I know that's not what they meant, but I guess we won't jack things up too much.
We spent so much time deliberating on his, that I'm fuzzy on what we put for our DD. We wrote in Honduras, but I can't remember what I we put for race. Hmmmm, spring fever.
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#5 of 31 Old 03-22-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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My husband is also Venezuelan(!!!), born and raised, and is Mestizo as well. Some of his family thinks theyre White but he has a Black grandfather one one side and a White (blonde, blue eyes) grandfather on the other with the rest all Mestizo somewhere along the way. Whenever we have to fill out any census type forms we mark multiple boxes, regardless if they like it or not. I´m as White as can be (Irish-German-etc) and our son is only a tad bit darker than me with brown hair with banana curls and brown eyes. We mark White, African and Indigenous for him as well.

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#6 of 31 Old 03-22-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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DHs is Brazilian and can trace back at least a few generations so we know he's about 70% Portuguese (although that part of his family looks pretty Middle Eastern so we're pretty sure it's not 100% white), 20% Native American and 10% African. So we just mark all three for him and will do the same for DD even though her precentage of African will be pretty small since I'm all white. In Brazil he'd be considered white but anywhere out of S. America people have no clue what he is (he doesn't have an accent in English) and at one point we counted about 20 different countries that people thought he was from.

We also wouldn't have felt comfortable marking white for DD on her birth certificate and would've checked hispanic or something else if there was only one option. Even though he's not hispanic that's probably the closest we could find in the US.
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#7 of 31 Old 03-22-2010, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is so facinating, and is giving me lots to think about. I was thrilled when more people realized that "Hispanic" is not a race, but now here we are, still unsure about what to do. It never dawned on me to do any genetic testing, but I wonder if he might be up for that. We think he has a strong indiginous influence, but looking at his family tree we don't really know anything.

Looking forward to hearing more...

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#8 of 31 Old 03-23-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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I filled out my census form last week, so I might be able to help with this.

If I remember this correctly, the way the census forms are formatted, the question asking if you're of Hispanic/Latino heritage is separate from the actual "race" question. Meaning he could check off that he's Hispanic AND white.
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#9 of 31 Old 03-23-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
I filled out my census form last week, so I might be able to help with this.

If I remember this correctly, the way the census forms are formatted, the question asking if you're of Hispanic/Latino heritage is separate from the actual "race" question. Meaning he could check off that he's Hispanic AND white.
I know. He's Hispanic, but he does NOT consider himself white. Or Black. Or any of the other options available, nor does he know what he could write-in. For him, it was almost easier to say "Hispanic or Latino" and then avoid the race thing entirely, but now he can't do that, so he's a little stuck.

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#10 of 31 Old 03-24-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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I was just coming here to post the same thing.
DH is from Peru. I wrote in "Indigenous Andean". I was tempted to mark Native American, since he is native to the americas.. but I got tripped up by "tribe".
for DS I think I marked Hispanic and White. really frustrating, and we've not had to deal with these horrid little checkboxes before!

a friend of mine started a facebook group about it:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...2775143&ref=nf

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#11 of 31 Old 03-28-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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We are in the same situation. There really is no choice that fits for my husband (Mexican). I was surprised that Samoan, Korean, Japanese etc are all individually listed, but there is not a good choice for people of hispanic origin.

I was told when enrolling my son at school that they were told to instruct us to check White and Native American (that NA covers both Americas). So that is what I did. On the census form they wanted a specific tribe listed, but we don't really know that information.
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#12 of 31 Old 03-28-2010, 02:04 AM
 
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#13 of 31 Old 03-29-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting... an article came out about this issue and pointed out other shortcomings with the new forms that I hadn't thought about, either.

Why the U.S. Census Misreads Hispanic and Arab Americans

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#14 of 31 Old 03-30-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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here is a facebook group my friend started on the topic:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/g...05884282775143

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#15 of 31 Old 03-31-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Interesting... an article came out about this issue and pointed out other shortcomings with the new forms that I hadn't thought about, either.

Why the U.S. Census Misreads Hispanic and Arab Americans
Which points out the head scratcher I encountered filling mine out

Quote:
It also includes Spaniards in the "Hispanic Origins" box, when in fact a Spaniard is a European, not a Hispanic.
I'm part Spanish, as in Spain, but certainly never considered myself Hispanic. I just put [x] White for myself and both [x] White, [x] Korean for my son. I'm still baffled as to why Spaniard is included there.

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#16 of 31 Old 03-31-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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I'm planning on just marking "Other" and leaving it at that.
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#17 of 31 Old 03-31-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jaesun's Dad View Post
Which points out the head scratcher I encountered filling mine out



I'm part Spanish, as in Spain, but certainly never considered myself Hispanic. I just put [x] White for myself and both [x] White, [x] Korean for my son. I'm still baffled as to why Spaniard is included there.
Spaniard is included there because Hispanic means "of Spanish speaking heriage." So, Spaniards are Hispanic. That's why it's separate from race on the forms. There are plenty of white (or mostly white) Mexicans (descended from Europeans, but go generations back in Mexico)- they would be White Hispanics. I think it's a little trickier, though, when dealing with people of hispanic ancestry who no longer speak Spanish. Decendants of Spaniards usually don't consider themselves hispanic, while descendants of Latin Americans usually do (even if they don't speak the language).
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#18 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 06:17 AM
 
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Spaniard is included there because Hispanic means "of Spanish speaking heriage." So, Spaniards are Hispanic.
Yes, I know what you mean. But, since there's a difference between coming from a Latin American Spanish-speaking country than having Spanish ancestry from Europe, the term is used inaccurately and just adds to the confusion, I think.

If we follow along that line of thinking: multi-generational Americans and Canadians would all be referred to as Anglos, simply because they speak English.
We don't put the Brazilians and the Portuguese in the same group.
The racial categories in this Census are the worst ever, IMO.
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#19 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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Yes, I know what you mean. But, since there's a difference between coming from a Latin American Spanish-speaking country than having Spanish ancestry from Europe, the term is used inaccurately and just adds to the confusion, I think.

If we follow along that line of thinking: multi-generational Americans and Canadians would all be referred to as Anglos, simply because they speak English.
We don't put the Brazilians and the Portuguese in the same group.
The racial categories in this Census are the worst ever, IMO.
Oh, I agree. I think Hispanic is just sort of a weird term. I think it's hard to classify Latin Americans because, although most of them have indigenous ancestry, they also mostly don't identify with that ancestry because it has been stripped away through generations of oppression. I think, racially speaking, most Latin American immigrants should put white and Native American (since most have European and NA history), but then they throw in that request for tribal affiliation, and they have no way of knowing what their tribal roots are. It's sort of like asking African Americans to list what tribe in Africa their descended from before they can claim themselves as having African heritage. I understand why the census asks these sort of questions, but I wish it were asked with more sensitivity toward the people who have to fit themselves in the boxes.
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#20 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-po...racial-society

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#21 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-po...racial-society

(I'll keep it short and sweet- I'm talking like the sweedish chef today!)
Great article - thanks.
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#22 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I was surprised they used the word "Negro" on it . . but anyway . . .

You are what you think you are- and if you don't know and it only matters more to the Census Bureau than to him then he should just try his best. Wasn't there one on there for "don't know"? If not he could check "other" and write in "don't know" and check off whatever else applies to him.

I was glad they did have multiple boxes to check! My half-Indian/half-white kids usually have to choose one or the other. My oldest always checks "Indian/Asian" but my youngest so far is officially "white" since that's what is on her birth certificate. She can decide to change that when she's older if she likes.

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#23 of 31 Old 04-02-2010, 08:00 AM
 
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My roomate and I had an easier time filling this out last time they really made some mistakes this time.They assumed if you are Native American you only belong to one tribe,my "primary" would be Cherokee and DH is Apache so ummm our kids are mixed but there is only space for one tribe.the Negro line ticked me off neither my Great Grandma nor my Grandma considered themselves Negro who were they trying to include/exclude?I crossed it out everywhere I saw it.
Guess the cranky pregnant lady shouldn't have filled it out but geesh where I live now it's assumed you are mixed and it's not a big hassle to aknowlege it.

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#24 of 31 Old 04-03-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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I was surprised they used the word "Negro" on it . . but anyway . . .
I don't remember if it was an article I read, or a news story I saw on TV, but the intent of using the word Negro is apparently to target some of the older generation of black people, they thought that some self-identified as Negro, so they added it in. I don't know what different category people would've ended up in instead, maybe some folks would've skipped the question altogether? They weren't clear on that, but they felt it was a generational issue.
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#25 of 31 Old 04-06-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Which points out the head scratcher I encountered filling mine out



I'm part Spanish, as in Spain, but certainly never considered myself Hispanic. I just put [x] White for myself and both [x] White, [x] Korean for my son. I'm still baffled as to why Spaniard is included there.

Hispanic is not a race, and the reason that many of the countries we think of as hispanic are hispanic due to Spaniards conquering these areas. Most of the places we are looking at were ruled by Spain.

So since hispanic is not a race, you can be both European and Hispanic.
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#26 of 31 Old 04-06-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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Yes, I know what you mean. But, since there's a difference between coming from a Latin American Spanish-speaking country than having Spanish ancestry from Europe, the term is used inaccurately and just adds to the confusion, I think.

If we follow along that line of thinking: multi-generational Americans and Canadians would all be referred to as Anglos, simply because they speak English.
We don't put the Brazilians and the Portuguese in the same group.
The racial categories in this Census are the worst ever, IMO.
But many Brazilians speak Portuguese, it's the official language there, and their racial classifications are significantly different than in America. There I'm a completely different race than I am here in America.

In America anything European is white, and that is only a fairly recent definition. Think about it, most black people are mixed race, but we just use the American definition of black, completely ignoring that most black people with slave ancestry are on average between 25% and 50% other (be it native american, caucasian, etc.). Our racial designations here are kind of strange. It is essentially a "white vs. other" type dichotomy, where folks vie to become part of the mainstream, explaining why Irish and Italian people went from being minorities to being simply "white" in a relatively short period of time.

Since hispanic is not a race, but rather a term used to denote culture and people of various countries, why would Spain not be included, considering the strong influence Spain has had on the countries we typically think of as "hispanic"?
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#27 of 31 Old 04-07-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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According to the Census, the term "Hispanic" as specifically excludes Spain. But the form is worded "Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin", so they would still check 'yes' for that one.

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#28 of 31 Old 04-07-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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The specific question is

Code:
Is person # of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin 
[_] No, not of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin
[_] Yes, Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano
[_] Yes, Puerto Rican
[_] Yes, Cuban
[_] Yes, another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin - Print origin, for example
          Argentinian, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard, and so on
So I guess technically I am the last box ... or 1/4 of the last box ... which gets even more confusing ... and my son is 1/8 Spaniard so do we count him too?

I work with demographic data for a living and this confuses the heck out of even me. For our employment data we have these classifications under "Ethnicity/Race": Asian, Black/African American, Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander/Hawaiian Native, and Two or More Races.

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#29 of 31 Old 04-07-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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But many Brazilians speak Portuguese, it's the official language there, and their racial classifications are significantly different than in America. There I'm a completely different race than I am here in America.

In America anything European is white, and that is only a fairly recent definition. Think about it, most black people are mixed race, but we just use the American definition of black, completely ignoring that most black people with slave ancestry are on average between 25% and 50% other (be it native american, caucasian, etc.). Our racial designations here are kind of strange. It is essentially a "white vs. other" type dichotomy, where folks vie to become part of the mainstream, explaining why Irish and Italian people went from being minorities to being simply "white" in a relatively short period of time.

Since hispanic is not a race, but rather a term used to denote culture and people of various countries, why would Spain not be included, considering the strong influence Spain has had on the countries we typically think of as "hispanic"?
Yes. That's what I'm saying. Just because the official language of Brazil is Portuguese, doesn't mean that all Brazilians have Portuguese ancestry. Just like all Americans don't have English ancestry. All Hispanics don't have ancestry from Spain.

So, even though Hispanics come from (or their ancestry comes from) Spanish speaking countries and Spain has greatly influenced Latin-American culture, it's not one in the same.
The same way we don't call the British -Americans- simply because we Americans speak English due to their historical influence on the US. Our English is American English and our culture is unique to that of England.

Yes, there's no international definition of race. The definition of race is dynamic and everchanging.

Regarding the definition of White in the US, the last Census' definition was that if 75% of your ancestry comes from the geographical regions of Europe, the Middle East, or Northern Africa, then you can identify as white. Even though, in conversation, most people define white as fully European.

Keep in mind that historically in the US, there have been many court cases that have tried to determine a person's race. (esp. when schools were legally segregated by race and there were anti-miscegenation laws that prevented biracial marriages. During those cases, the definition of white wasn't always defined by the one drop rule or having to be 100% European background (even from state to state). You could cross state lines and suddenly be a member of a different race.
Aren't there people who self-identify as white who have some Native American ancestry.
So, yeah, it's hard to wrap one's head around the whole thing.

There are many factors to racial identification, trying to put everyone into a nice little box just doesn't work well.

I personally agree with USMamma, that each person (esp. the "mixed" race) should be allowed to identify as they want to.
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#30 of 31 Old 04-09-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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This topic takes me back to my days as a graduation student in anthropology, when we discussed how race is not a biological fact, but a cultural invention. That's why the categories and dividing lines vary so much and are so disputed. When the U.S. acquired what's now the American Southwest from Mexico, it suddenly found itself in the dilemma of having a large population that was clearly neither white nor black. At first, Mexicans were legally defined as white, but that meant they could own land and enjoy all the other privileges of being white, so that categorization was rescinded, and things only got more and more complicated after that.

My DD is half Latina (1/4 Cuban, 1/4 Peruvian) and half Tswana (southern Africa), so I had a field day checking off boxes on the census form. My pen just about ran out of ink!

RE: Should "Spaniard" be included under "Hispanic"? I say no. In my interpretation, "Hispanic" is an umbrella term for every racial combination that resulted from Spanish colonization of the New World. Spaniards themselves are Europeans, ie, non-Hispanic whites.

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