Race: None Selected.

Whenever I fill out an application or survey, there is always the optional section to indicate my race. I usually refuse to disclose this information simply because they refuse to allow me to answer honestly.  It is frustrating when the boxes to mark are either 1) Hispanic, non-White or 2) White, non-Hispanic. What if I am exactly both? I’ve noticed that this isn’t an issue for any other race included on there, and Asians even have several options from which to specifically declare, yet Spanish, Caribbean, South Americans are all lumped under the “Hispanic” umbrella.  Anyhow, marking your ethnic heritage means what, exactly? Culture is not always directly tied to race.
I find it so curious to know why on race surveys they make the clear definition of a Caucasian:

Caucasian (not of Hispanic origin): Persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.

With a definition like this, it is impossible to be Caucasian, although half my genes are inherited by my pure Caucasian father. Yet other races are allowed to include Caucasian as part of their ethnic makeup, so long as they have no Hispanic origin. However, to mark that I am Hispanic non-Caucasian is unfair to my White side. Is it inconceivable to be both?

Some applications, like this one I filled out, makes sure that the applicant can only chose one race:

Additionally, there is a parenthetical note for every race but Hispanic that clarifies that what you are claiming as your sole race is not Hispanic. It’s like saying, “Don’t worry, we won’t mistake you for them.”

Honestly, identifying race is kind of a silly thing to do. Sure, I tell people I am Hispanic, but in the same breath I tell them I am White (that is, for people who are curious to know why I am “ethnic” looking but speak English perfectly without a trace of an accent). I am a blend of multiple worlds. I am a typical person. Hardly anyone is purebred, even if they are straight up from Asia, Africa, or Europe. So what’s the point of this questionnaire? Thankfully, I have the option to be “none selected”.

  1. July 5th, 2010

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