I was thinking about this last week, but not in the context of the census. Just in the context of "Where the heck did I come from?"
I tried going back but two generations on my dad's side and I hit Mexico. Three generations back on my mom's side and I hit Mexico. I remember my Great-Great Aunt told me her side of the family came through the Canary Islands, to San Antonio. I also know that part of the family came from the Monterrey area. On my dad's side, my grandmother was born somewhere around Reynosa. And he said his great grandmother was an Indian. And that she and my great grandfather sheltered Pancho Villa, who in return for their hospitality, gave them his rifle.
So I'm some sort of Spanish/Mexican/Indian. Some of my grandparents were born here, my parents were born here, and I was born here, and Texas is all that we know. My family is short statured, athletic, dark hair, eyes, and skin. Our family history is lost to time, but I'm proud to be an American.
On all of my paperwork, I've always checked Hispanic or Mexican-American, even though my birth certificate says "White." I don't know my official ancestry, just that it's a mix of people, most from Mexico. My grandparents and great-aunts and uncles spoke Spanish and are Catholic, so Hispanic is fine with me.
You are really blessed if you truly know where you come from. A lot of us are at a loss, and just speculate. I wish I knew.
PS. According to Wikipedia: it says this about the 2010 Census: "The 2010 US Census will have changes designed to more clearly distinguish the Hispanic ethnicity as not being a race."
The preview of the census found here: The Questions on the Form - 2010 Census
(http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php - broken link)
Question #8: Is person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish orgin?
My Answer: Yes. Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano
Question #9: What is Person 1's race?
Answer: White (It's gonna bug me, but oh well.)
I am an american. Not looking for handouts.
Lol, neither am I. I got an Academic Scholarship. Full Tuition. BooYeah.