|What to do when your race
falls within two?
Image by M.Adcock
Elaine, a Chinese-American mother of two married to a Caucasian man, encountered a dilemma when registering her son for kindergarten. The New Jersey mom noticed that the race section of the form allowed parents to choose only one race check box.
“I found myself facing my first cultural dilemma,” Elaine explained. “Do I check Caucasian, Asian, or Other? I didn’t like that I had to choose ONE. I polled my Facebook friends who are mixed and got answers like, ‘I check other’ or ‘I check what will benefit my situation the most.’ Some identified with one race more than the other depending on how they were raised.”
I have not had to deal with this situation yet as my toddler is only 2 years old, but I know one day a similar situation will occur. In my previous post The Minority Majority Future of America I included stats that indicated minorities were growing at a faster rate than Whites. The stats also showed the growth of interracial marriages. With these trends apparent, why do forms still force people to choose one race box?
The good news is that the U.S. government has acknowledge this growth. Since 2000 the Census has allowed respondents to check all races that applied. The Census takes place only every 10 years so we’re not talking about everyday forms, but it’s a start.
How do you handle the race check box if you’re biracial?