Check the box: Black, White, Other?
Have you ever wondered why on virtually all applications/forms there is a box regarding race? We're told it's for statistical purposes to help provide adequate funding or some other such explanation. Does it make me a conspiracy theorist to believe that it's all to keep "us" separate and in our "places"? And dare I say that maybe we'll move closer to being "equal" when we stop allowing others to divide us?!
So, you've found the love of your life right here on our site. Everything is great. The families and friends get along and wedding bells are ringing. As the rhyme goes, "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes (insert the little woman's name here), with a baby carriage. Baby arrives and you are faced with the first of perhaps many unsettling questions. No, not what to name your new bundle of joy. No, not who's going to be the god parents. You and the love of your life must fill out a form that will invertible ask what is the "race" of your child. What do you say? Here are some of the choices being offered on forms today:
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There are many arguments why the "race" box is important and should remain on most government forms. In a dating site, like this it's necessary in identifying people who have a preference and are looking for someone of a "different" race. Other reasons given are for research in regards to health issues in a particular ethnic group, as well as being able to monitor profiling, employment, fair housing issues and discriminations.
Now even though I understand that argument, here's another point of view on the subject. First, we must understand that there are some companies and bodies of government that still have Negro as a box choice. So, it's pretty safe to assume that these forms will not have a choice for biracial or multiracial people to check. It's not fair to that individual to have to choose only one race to "belong" to. And somehow, "mixed" or "other" just doesn't cut it.
A few years ago in California there was an Initiative that banned the state from classifying people by race, ethnicity, color or national origin. It was called the "Racial Privacy Initiative". As you may or may not know, throughout American history, the federal and state governments have divided our "melting pot" into groups. Therefore making it easier to identify and some may say "target" racial and ethnic groups. Civil rights laws were enacted to help put an end to discrimination. As we continue to fight that battle, the box issue continues to be another fight that we fight. It makes perfect sense when it comes to regulating and controlling civil rights and making sure that everyone is treated equally and fairly. However, it's when it's used to separate and divide us by making us "choose sides" that many multiracial people take issue with.
Perhaps when we do become a nation of one, we will no longer look for ways to put each other in our proper place. Maybe we'll even look for other ways to identify ourselves, by name, social security number or DNA testing. I'm just looking forward to the form that says check which box applies:
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