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Old 04-01-2010, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Espoo, Finland
26 posts, read 46,605 times
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It is all SO subjective. I have even heard that race does not exist. I have hear the theory or 3 main races, ans other variations. On top of that, people's individual perceptions are very different.

It the government DID make all the choices very consistent and scientific, how many people would know what to mark properly? Even if they did an advertising campaign about it, some would still be confused or hang on to old ideas about race.

I STILL think it's valuable information, especially if you know it accounts for the way people self identify, and maybe you would categorize them another way. Isn't it nice to know who is in this country, and some idea how many, etc?

I agree with DAS, fill out your form with as much specific info as possible, in case future generations seek to read it. I'd never thought of that perspective.

As for me, I look white, and I guess I was raised culturally white, but I have some other races in my ancestry. Would or should I fill those in? I don't know. I am not sure if I need to even fill out a census, since I live outside the US. (I'm a US citizen)
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:18 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,171 posts, read 2,635,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
That's what I want to know. Clearly those in power understand that the methodology is wrong, but they let it persist. I have no idea for what purpose however. The fact that 80% of the population identify themselves as white (either by choice or more likely because they don't have more appropriate choices) means that the census is clearly flawed and the stats are not useful.

If the census chose not to count blacks, but instead only allowed them to choose multiracial, would this be ok? An argument can be made to assert that a significant portion of the black population is multiracial, so what would happen to the black identity if it disappeared and was invalidated by the census? What purpose would that serve? Hmm....
Yes, it would, IMO. And, if it kept the current format, a person would still be able to self-identify as black. They'd just write it in. From your comments it sounds like you are hung up on the old definitions of race, which are limiting and (really) wrong.

As a black/African America/Negro person, I would be pleased if one day we are recognized as being multiracial ... just like the Hispanics. I'd prefer to state what I am rather that being forced into choosing what someone else has decided I am. Stating that I am ethnically African-American and that my race is multiracial is probably the best definition of me.
What purpose would that serve ... it would be the truth and something I would want my future generations to know, just as I learned about my family when I looked back.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:20 AM
 
8,752 posts, read 9,044,079 times
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Das I think there is definitely a "white" indentity as much as there is a "black" identity in America...which may be why they chose "white" and "black" versus caucazoid/caucasian and negroid. Not many people can understand or identify with caucazoid..but they do with 'white."

There is no doubt I am reading too much into this, and I have stated I simply checked white and wrote in caucasian, but I think there is a better and more accurate way to do this, but I am not sure why they are not doing it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:26 AM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 21 days ago)
 
30,319 posts, read 35,014,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgrl View Post
1) Yes, it used to be on birth certificates but I think that practice lasted longer in the South (e.g, on my dad's - born in VA; not on mom's - born in NYC).

2) Nope, I was reviewing Census records from 1870 - 1930 and at least all of these classifications were there: black, white, colored, mulatto.

Interestingly, from year-to-year, one's classification could change (e.g., my great-grandfather was black in 1880, mulatto in 1900 & 1910, and black in 1920. Check him & his family in the photo (he's the guy on the top left). His wife (my great-grandmother was biracial (black & white). Those are her parents in the center. In 1910 the children were all "mulatto." But later my grandmother was considered "black." Go figure.

Please answer something for me ... Could this be the photo of a Hispanic/Latino family?
This can be complicated because I've looked at old census forms and noticed that you could have instances where say one parent is Black and the other is "mulatto" and they would consider the children to be mulatto too. So, I can see how it changed and from looking at the picture, that seems to be the case, if those are her parents.

Also, they could be a "Hispanic/Latino" family due to the fact that you can be of any race(or combination of races) and be such. Any American could be "Hispanic/Latino" if the European basis of their culture is in realtaion to Spanish origin.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:30 AM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 21 days ago)
 
30,319 posts, read 35,014,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgrl View Post
Yes, it would, IMO. And, if it kept the current format, a person would still be able to self-identify as black. They'd just write it in. From your comments it sounds like you are hung up on the old definitions of race, which are limiting and (really) wrong.

As a black/African America/Negro person, I would be pleased if one day we are recognized as being multiracial ... just like the Hispanics. I'd prefer to state what I am rather that being forced into choosing what someone else has decided I am. Stating that I am ethnically African-American and that my race is multiracial is probably the best definition of me.
What purpose would that serve ... it would be the truth and something I would want my future generations to know, just as I learned about my family when I looked back.

I think the thing people need to think about though is that there is a social reality to race and that has to be very impotant when discussing this because it is a social construct in the first place. If we went to that set up, I would find it hard to believe that Whites would do the same thing, eventhough about 30% of American Whites have African ancestry that ranges from 2-20% in the US. I say that due to social realities in regards to race that are still evident in this society today. This doesn't even get into the socio-historical impact that is real for those of African descent in the US.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
7,780 posts, read 13,223,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Das I think there is definitely a "white" indentity as much as there is a "black" identity in America...which may be why they chose "white" and "black" versus caucazoid/caucasian and negroid. Not many people can understand or identify with caucazoid..but they do with 'white."

There is no doubt I am reading too much into this, and I have stated I simply checked white and wrote in caucasian, but I think there is a better and more accurate way to do this, but I am not sure why they are not doing it.
What do you suggest?
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:31 AM
 
8,752 posts, read 9,044,079 times
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Well, instead of a "white" category, it should be caucasian, and subsets of European, Arab, Hispanic, Indian (from India), and whatever other groups fall under this category. The same way it is done for Hispanics. That would have made me happy, it would have clarified and made it easier for 99% of people to fill out the proper box, and made the stats far more revealing and accurate than they are now. Seems so simple, it's already done for Hispanic and Asian, but not white. Hmm..makes you wonder why.

I suspect America is not prepared to know that America's version of "white" (European) is actually significantly smaller than alleged, mostly because of this "white" category that so many people are forced to choose. But this is just a guess.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:56 AM
 
3,369 posts, read 7,337,403 times
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Jason:

You're right that Caucasian is a race and that "white" is merely a subset of that race. For all practical purposes, "white" means "of European origin and arguably some light-skinned Caucasians in the Levant or Persia." Darker-skinned Caucasians are very rarely called "white."

Why are you claiming that you are not white? You are not only Caucasian, but of European origin. You aren't even visibly mixed, and even if you were, that would merely justify you checking additional race boxes and wouldn't affect whether or not you would the "white" box. That your grandparents are from Puerto Rico is not important when saying whether you are white. I know white people from all over Latin America who live in Miami, New York, Boston, and Europe and are accepted as white, not as racial "minorities." Before anyone jumps on me, I expressly recognize that most Latin Americans in the United States are racially mixed and that some are completely or almost completely non-white.

Though the census did a fantastic job of making it clear that race and Hispanic culture/ethnicity are separate matters, the drafters made a serious faux pas by including all of those Asian countries/groups under the race question. Previous censuses asked about race and then had a subsection to describe the exact country or region of the world from which one's family came.

In past censuses, at least the term "White/Caucasian" was used under race. Though not all Caucasians are "white," at least both terms were present in the description. With the new "white" category, it is highly possible that darker-skinned Caucasians will be confused and won't know what to choose. I understand your valid concern, but it's just not one that applies to you personally. I think that you choosing "white" and writing next to it "Caucasian" was fine, as Caucasian is the true racial term, but that was the point you were proving, and not that you aren't white... as it seems quite ridiculous to me that you are trying to say that you aren't. Quite frankly, the whole "no person who identifies with Latin-based culture is 'white' in the United States" idea is pretty narrow-minded and wholly inconsistent with this country's historical obsession with race over ethnicity, culture, or religion.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Queens NYC/ Southwest Michigan/ Miami Beach Miami
1,575 posts, read 1,318,377 times
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I have a very odd mix but I marked Black/African American on the census because that's how I was raised. My aunts on my fathers side are mostly black but has the skin tone of Jessica Alba two of them have blond hair and brown eyes and the other three are brunette they all picked black because how they were raised as well. Most of my father side of the family are very fair skinned almost white looking people but we all say we're African American.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:29 PM
DAS
 
2,251 posts, read 3,576,006 times
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Originally Posted by theother View Post
I have a very odd mix but I marked Black/African American on the census because that's how I was raised. My aunts on my fathers side are mostly black but has the skin tone of Jessica Alba two of them have blond hair and brown eyes and the other three are brunette they all picked black because how they were raised as well. Most of my father side of the family are very fair skinned almost white looking people but we all say we're African American.
That is the same for my paternal grandmother from SC. Her people come from what historians consider the tri-racial areas of NC, SC, TN and Georgia where most people are mixed with Black, Irish, Native American and Scottish ancestry to varying degrees. A lot of these people just moved to areas where they were not known after slavery or a generation later, and just crossed over to being White. My grandmother and her siblings looked very white and had mostly straight hair, but considered themselves Black. In the area of SC where they lived it was very rural at that time, and they went to what was considered colored schoools, churches etc. But when she came to NYC most people could not tell by looking at her that she was Black. My Grandmother didn't cross over but used it to her advantage, to gain better employment.

The descendants of my Grandmother and her siblings range from being very dark skinned to White. Some that crossed over, have descendants that now attend family reunions, but they live basically as White people.
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