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freemanjud
Posts: 18

In class today, you reviewed (with your group) a packet of forms, all of which asked respondents to identify themselves by choosing from an array of categories.

As we began discussing in class today, what patterns did you notice in the categories listed?Are there some categories listed or some documents you examined that surprised or startled you?

And the big question (of course): why do you think these race/ethnicity questions are being asked? How do you think they being used?

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clown emoji
Posts: 9

Are Boxes Really Necessary?

While viewing copious amounts of these forms, they all uniformly share certain categories. All of these forms have a “race” section, yet rarely an ethnicity section. This is appalling due to the boxes under the race section containing options that are not indeed races. I saw on several of the forms, a ‘race’ section, and then options such as ‘Chinese’, ‘Hispanic’, or ‘American Indian’. These are not races.


On many of the forms as well, it tended to group Latino and Hispanic together as one. This is interesting as well, since they are not the same thing. Latino means to be a person of Latin American descent or origin, think geography, while Hispanic refers to a Spanish speaking origin, think more cultural. These are not interchangeable terms, although many people think so. I blame several of these forms for that false idea of interchangeability of these terms.


Many of the forms also listed a box for ‘Chinese’, ‘Japanese’, and then another one for ‘Other Asian’. When I saw the ‘other Asian’ box, I was utterly shocked. This seems to belittle other Asian ethnicities, and makes the few actually listed out appear more important.


I also noticed several of the forms containing these sections, in which you could only check one box. What if you are of a mixed ethnicity? What can you do? It seems like you would have to just pick one, but is that really fair?


On one form in particular I noticed it saying that you could pick more than one ethnicity unless you identified as ‘Hispanic/Latino’. What if you’re Hispanic or Latino and mixed with a bunch of other things? It is disappointing that we have to define ourselves by one category, when our country is becoming more and more mixed. Do you think that eventually our planet will become so mixed nobody will be able to only check a few boxes?


I would think that these race/ethnicity questions are being asked for statistics and analysis of a population in a given space. I also think the reason for that, would be to see where a population would need more diversity in terms of race/ethnicity. That is my opinion, but could it be used for negative processes as well?


This segways into my next few questions: if these forms are important for diversity, than why is it limited to diversity of races/ethnicities? If we’re all for a diverse population, then wouldn’t we take into account varying gender identities, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, and common experiences?


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ATH3NA
Posts: 7

The classification of an individual

These small, insignificant, limiting bubbles that are colored in with a few swirls of a pen or pencil hold an indescribable amount of value to us because, with a flick of the wrist, we tell the world who we are. A form forces us to define ourselves, when, if asked that question point blank, our answers would be far from simple. And even then, the range of options for determining who you are exactly with these bubbles is so miniscule that one’s answer could end up being pointless. I for one struggle with any form I come across that doesn’t include a ‘mixed’ option because that means I must choose between the two halves that make me whole, and despite how petulant this may sound, that’s not fair. And the questions themselves (not the answer options) extend so far beyond that. From your household income to your gender.

These questions didn’t surprise me in the slightest, and that is mainly because of my cynicism towards the topic. There seems to be a simple answer to the question of why they are there in the first place, but I believe that there is a far more sinister reason, one that many citizens tend to ignore. Society has this innate desire to classify an individual, to put them in a box, not to better understand this person, but to decide what they can get away with saying and prevent you from doing, be that insulting a part of you or rejecting a job application.

You bubble in ‘black’ so therefore you must be poor or uneducated, another person bubbles in ‘white’ which has to mean that they came out of the womb prejudiced and better-off in life. You want to bubble in ‘other’ for your gender, but that’s too vague for those people that want to generalize every aspect of yourself. It’s these generalizations that poison our world and how we interact with one another, effectively cutting off paths and closing doors to a brighter future.

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Regina Phalange
Posts: 5

Should we be colorblind?

As I looked through the documents in class on Tuesday, I noticed the obvious: all of them required the person filling out the form to specify their race. Throughout the day, I considered it even more, and I realized that literally everything that you ever fill out asks for your race. As people have mentioned before, this is very limiting because there are people who may identify with more than one race, or there may be inconsistencies between forms as to what the choices are.


I think that there could be many reasons for asking people to identify with a specific race. The most basic one would be identification. Although this is not always true, a lot of people’s appearances can be associated with their race. So, if you are filling out a form or an application, race may just be used as an identifier like height or hair color would.


The more complicated reason is that in America, our past has left race as a centerpoint for almost all discussions. We still see differing graduation rates, employment rates, and pay rates for people of different races. Therefore, a lot of educational and professional institutions want to pride themselves on being diverse and inclusive so, in order to do so, they try to admit applicants from all races. Had our past conflicts not been so fixated on race, we probably would not have such a focus on it, but the resulting racial economic inequality and bias in the minds of institution leaders have left no choice but to consider race in most aspects of life.


One perfectly timed example of this is the Harvard admissions lawsuit that has recently come to a close. Yesterday, the president of Harvard released a statement that included this excerpt:


“Let me close by quoting directly from the final paragraph of Judge Burroughs’s decision:


"For purposes of this case, at least for now, ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions. Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster in that it satisfies the dictates of strict scrutiny. The students who are admitted to Harvard and choose to attend will live and learn surrounded by all sorts of people, with all sorts of experiences, beliefs and talents. They will have the opportunity to know and understand one another beyond race, as whole individuals with unique histories and experiences. It is this, at Harvard and elsewhere that will move us, one day, to the point where we see that race is a fact, but not the defining fact and not the fact that tells us what is important, but we are not there yet. Until we are, race conscious admissions programs that survive strict scrutiny will have an important place in society and help ensure that colleges and universities can offer a diverse atmosphere that fosters learning, improves scholarship, and encourages mutual respect and understanding.”


This leads us to the question: Should we change this? Would people benefit more if institutions were ‘colorblind’? Should we hope to one day live in a world where race is seen as a construct of the past or a world where all races continue to be recognized, but as equals?


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borne
Posts: 8

Check All That Apply

Humans have an inherent need to categorize things. The classification and compartmentalization of everything and anything imaginable makes them easier for us to understand. To put like with like simplifies and expedites the digestion process allowing for a more accurate comparison and assessment of any given situation, and this ability to compare and make connections such as these has allowed the human species to advance as far as it has. Obviously, the most basic way to evaluate something or someone is based on appearance, given sight is the sense that we rely on most and that the way we communicate is mostly through visual cues. This instinct to sort what we see is basically the reason why there is always a question of race and ethnicity, which used to be easily discernible from physical appearance. Now, obviously, that is much harder to do, especially because of colonization, mass migrations, genocides, etc. all contributing to the alteration and eradication of many racial and ethnic backgrounds. For example, take Latin Americans. The extent to which the colonization reached in those countries was such that the immigrant Spanish population interbred with both the native population as well as some of the black slaves, creating a genetic make up so diverse that it would be difficult for one to trace their roots having come from a country down there. And of course we must also take into consideration countries like Belize, which only recently gained independence from Great Britain (1981), and Argentina, which has a really really really high population of white European immigrants (especially Italians and Germans from post WWI and WWII). These two countries would have a very high population of white Latinx. It is important to understand that Latinx is not a race, it's a geocultural classification. This is where the question of race gets a little murky because it's not all just black and white.

Of course, many might say that these questions about race are being use specifically to marginalize the minorities, and, to an extent, that's essentially what ends up happening. I'm not sure I know enough about the ways in which the government actually functions, so I don't feel that I can form a solid opinion that could answer how exactly these questions are being used, but I would like to think that it is solely for statistics. This is most likely not the case. Questions like these are essential to assessing the level of marginalization of one group, especially in our country in this day and age, but I think if race wasn't an issue, we wouldn't ever have to worry about those questions (which sounds a bit more obvious now that I'm actually typing it out).

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borne
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Regina Phalange on October 02, 2019 16:29

As I looked through the documents in class on Tuesday, I noticed the obvious: all of them required the person filling out the form to specify their race. Throughout the day, I considered it even more, and I realized that literally everything that you ever fill out asks for your race. As people have mentioned before, this is very limiting because there are people who may identify with more than one race, or there may be inconsistencies between forms as to what the choices are.


I think that there could be many reasons for asking people to identify with a specific race. The most basic one would be identification. Although this is not always true, a lot of people’s appearances can be associated with their race. So, if you are filling out a form or an application, race may just be used as an identifier like height or hair color would.


The more complicated reason is that in America, our past has left race as a centerpoint for almost all discussions. We still see differing graduation rates, employment rates, and pay rates for people of different races. Therefore, a lot of educational and professional institutions want to pride themselves on being diverse and inclusive so, in order to do so, they try to admit applicants from all races. Had our past conflicts not been so fixated on race, we probably would not have such a focus on it, but the resulting racial economic inequality and bias in the minds of institution leaders have left no choice but to consider race in most aspects of life.


One perfectly timed example of this is the Harvard admissions lawsuit that has recently come to a close. Yesterday, the president of Harvard released a statement that included this excerpt:


“Let me close by quoting directly from the final paragraph of Judge Burroughs’s decision:


"For purposes of this case, at least for now, ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions. Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster in that it satisfies the dictates of strict scrutiny. The students who are admitted to Harvard and choose to attend will live and learn surrounded by all sorts of people, with all sorts of experiences, beliefs and talents. They will have the opportunity to know and understand one another beyond race, as whole individuals with unique histories and experiences. It is this, at Harvard and elsewhere that will move us, one day, to the point where we see that race is a fact, but not the defining fact and not the fact that tells us what is important, but we are not there yet. Until we are, race conscious admissions programs that survive strict scrutiny will have an important place in society and help ensure that colleges and universities can offer a diverse atmosphere that fosters learning, improves scholarship, and encourages mutual respect and understanding.”


This leads us to the question: Should we change this? Would people benefit more if institutions were ‘colorblind’? Should we hope to one day live in a world where race is seen as a construct of the past or a world where all races continue to be recognized, but as equals?


No, I don't think people would benefit from "colorblindness". This only serves to erase any cultural diversity. Instead of ignoring people's race/ethnicity, we should celebrate it. I mean absolutely no offense, but it must be understood that to ignore racial differences is, in fact, an ignorant and ineffective solution that may even do harm when none was intended. For all races to be equal is of course the goal, but to level the playing field we have to bring everyone up, not drag everyone down.

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pannafugo
Posts: 5

Choose One, Please

The documents all had a very limited range of options to choose from for race and ethnicity. For example, often you could only choose one from the list, or just mark “mixed”. Other documents had broad and vague terms for some areas, such as “African”, and very specific ones for others, like “Korean”, “Japanese”, and “Chinese” all being options under Asian. In a way this erases the identities of those from other countries not specifically mentioned, and shoves everyone under a simple umbrella term with which they might not truly identify. Clown emoji also mentioned this and said it makes the countries not specifically mentioned seem as if they are less important, which is damaging to those who are from those countries. In short, it reduces identity down to a box that one has to check, when in reality identity is quite complex, as we saw in our vessel projects.


The document that surprised me, and I think all of us, the most was the BLS attendance sheet with the students categorized by race at the bottom. It honestly made no sense as to what a person’s race had to do with their attendance record, and why they feel the need to enumerate how many people of each race are in a certain class. In our group, one person said it could be to promote diversity, but to me it just seems more dividing than unifying a diverse group of people. And also on that point, diversity shouldn’t have to be monitored and promoted. It should occur naturally. Sadly, this is not the case in BLS due to the ISEE test and lower income students, a majority of which are people of color, are not able to afford tutoring for the exam and as a result do not get entrance to BLS.


I think these questions are being asked because of a desire to promote diversity as well. One’s race and ethnicity is a basic an integral part of their identity. To me, it is similar to the questions that ask what gender a person is or how old they are. In general, they want statistics on who is, in the case of the SAT, taking the test, or filling out an application. They could also use this information for scholarship purposes, as certain scholarships are geared towards women or certain ethnic groups.


Regina brings up a good point when they wrote that race in America has always been a centre point for discussion. It really didn’t surprise me to see the questions being asked, but it did to see how limited the options were, when often we want to promote diversity, here it is being diminished.

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dummkopf
Posts: 7

Facing Our History (because it is the root of all modern problems)

During our class time, we were given various testing forms, attendance sheets, and other important or official papers. All of these papers had the same thing on them: a way to categorize yourself in terms of your race/ethnicity. Some of these papers were quite confusing and did not seem to know how to ask certain questions or what they were even trying to ask. For example, when it came to whether a person was ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino” or something in between, the papers would often use these words interchangeably, which is not valid.


While reading the documents, I questioned why all of this race data was even necessary. Why do they want to know what race you are? In some cases they will not even let you define yourself if the paper reads ‘pick one only’. What if you are of mixed race? Why do these organizations even care so much about this irrelevant data? Your race should have nothing to do with how late you arrived at school on Wednesday or how well you did on a test. I can agree with the fact that there are minority groups that did not have access to a good or any education in the past, so finding out whether those groups are still struggling is a good thing, because it enables the rest of society to focus on improving education for them. Figuring these types of things out is beneficial to society, since we can work towards creating a more equal world.


One thing still bothers me though. How do we know if the organizations want to help people learn better at all? They technically have no obligation to do so. The answer is racial profiling. These operations want to know which race does what and how well they do that. As we saw today in the Frontline documentary, the world is not free of racism or extremism by any means.


Yet, when we categorize people by their race, it makes it seem like we have barriers between us, when there is no such thing. It makes me and I’m sure many others feel as though I should think I am different from people of other races, even though we are all the same inside. I do not actually feel like this, but seeing such a question everywhere I turn makes me question our society and its motives. We should acknowledge that people look different and come from places that we are not familiar with, and that is just the way things are. Judging someone based off of their looks is one of the worst things that a person can do, especially when it is often false.


If this question was not asked on every test you took and was not brought up by everyone around you, you would not feel like it was an important thing. You would feel indifferent (as in you would not care what color your skin is) about your race, because everyone would be judged equally. Sadly, that is not the reality we live in. The world has a history of racism that stems from when the Europeans took the reigns of the world by force after “discovering” North America and even farther back.


In conclusion, I do not think this question is necessary to ask, because it enforces stereotypes and the feeling of being different from people who are literally the same species as you.


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Regina Phalange
Posts: 5

Originally posted by borne on October 02, 2019 18:44

Originally posted by Regina Phalange on October 02, 2019 16:29

As I looked through the documents in class on Tuesday, I noticed the obvious: all of them required the person filling out the form to specify their race. Throughout the day, I considered it even more, and I realized that literally everything that you ever fill out asks for your race. As people have mentioned before, this is very limiting because there are people who may identify with more than one race, or there may be inconsistencies between forms as to what the choices are.


I think that there could be many reasons for asking people to identify with a specific race. The most basic one would be identification. Although this is not always true, a lot of people’s appearances can be associated with their race. So, if you are filling out a form or an application, race may just be used as an identifier like height or hair color would.


The more complicated reason is that in America, our past has left race as a centerpoint for almost all discussions. We still see differing graduation rates, employment rates, and pay rates for people of different races. Therefore, a lot of educational and professional institutions want to pride themselves on being diverse and inclusive so, in order to do so, they try to admit applicants from all races. Had our past conflicts not been so fixated on race, we probably would not have such a focus on it, but the resulting racial economic inequality and bias in the minds of institution leaders have left no choice but to consider race in most aspects of life.


One perfectly timed example of this is the Harvard admissions lawsuit that has recently come to a close. Yesterday, the president of Harvard released a statement that included this excerpt:


“Let me close by quoting directly from the final paragraph of Judge Burroughs’s decision:


"For purposes of this case, at least for now, ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions. Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster in that it satisfies the dictates of strict scrutiny. The students who are admitted to Harvard and choose to attend will live and learn surrounded by all sorts of people, with all sorts of experiences, beliefs and talents. They will have the opportunity to know and understand one another beyond race, as whole individuals with unique histories and experiences. It is this, at Harvard and elsewhere that will move us, one day, to the point where we see that race is a fact, but not the defining fact and not the fact that tells us what is important, but we are not there yet. Until we are, race conscious admissions programs that survive strict scrutiny will have an important place in society and help ensure that colleges and universities can offer a diverse atmosphere that fosters learning, improves scholarship, and encourages mutual respect and understanding.”


This leads us to the question: Should we change this? Would people benefit more if institutions were ‘colorblind’? Should we hope to one day live in a world where race is seen as a construct of the past or a world where all races continue to be recognized, but as equals?


No, I don't think people would benefit from "colorblindness". This only serves to erase any cultural diversity. Instead of ignoring people's race/ethnicity, we should celebrate it. I mean absolutely no offense, but it must be understood that to ignore racial differences is, in fact, an ignorant and ineffective solution that may even do harm when none was intended. For all races to be equal is of course the goal, but to level the playing field we have to bring everyone up, not drag everyone down.

I completely agree actually. The idea of being 'colorblind' is interesting, so I thought that it would be relevant to bring it up. I personally feel that in trying to solve racial discrepancies, we shouldn't just do away with the idea of race; we should reconcile the past and recognize the state of the present. However, other people on the thread have expressed that they dislike the presence of racial categories in everyday life, so I wonder what they think about it.

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fatimazraibi
Posts: 6

Identity Crisis

I personally have been confused my whole life as to which box I should check off. I don’t know if I fit in black, Asian, or white. I fall under white legally but not ethnically. I spoke to a few friends and they had the same issue. The way these documents and questions are set up make some people dread having to fill it out. Of course certain people, such as black/subsaharan African, European white, or East Asian people aren’t as confused because it is straight forward. However people in between are not always represented, and have to check off the other box, if there even is one. The most common races listed are Black/African, White, Asian, and Hispanic. Sometimes Hispanic is listed as an ethnicity, separated from the race question, and sometimes it’s broken down into countries, which adds to the complexity. I think I was most confused by the fact that absences and tardies were documented by race. I thought it was the most random thing, and it made no sense to me. After putting some thought into it, and remembering some video on a similar topic I watched a while ago, I came to the conclusion that it is human nature to put people into boxes. It is satisfying to us naturally to divide things into groups. It allows us to be more organized. With humans, it is easiest to do it based on race and gender, so as to more easily identify the person. It also comes in handy for censuses and research on race topics, especially topics like gentrification or economic status.
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ghostchicago
Posts: 6

It Comes Down to Perspective

I think that the idea of racial checkboxes is inherently limiting, but there is some use for it in terms of census taking or data collection. I think having racial and/or ethnic data is important for something like the US census, where it isn’t being used to categorize people but simply to gain information on the demographics of a certain population.


However, there seem to be some issues with how limiting these checkboxes can be. I think the idea that a person should be expected to check only one box is not reflective of the ethnic diversity that exists in the US. There are many people who don’t identify with only one checkbox.


While reviewing the documents, it struck me how individual these identities could be. For example, not every racial or ethnic identity is fixed as one thing, or even a combination of different checkboxes. Two people from the same country or town with the exact same ethnic/racial background could consider themselves to be different races, depending on their own perspective.

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shorty123
Posts: 3

Let the Past Stay In The Past

Something that I noticed while looking at the forms in class were that they mostly had race and not really ethnicity options. When people think of who they really are, I think they focus on ethnicity more than race. There are also a wide array like Chinese, Jamaican, etc, and they did not include options for that, which made it feel like you were being boxed into one thing that you may not even identify with. It also shocked me that for tardies and absences they tallied that by race. It just seemed like they were trying to use stereotypes that are known with colored kids to prove a point, which is so wrong and disrespectful. In the past, race questions were asked so that they could better categorize others. This census started in the late 1700s. Back then the census was used to tell who were free white people, who were free people of other races, and who were slaves. Mixed race was not even an option to put until almost the 1900’s. But, now in today's age, you have to fill out your race with almost every form. Yes, the forms have improved since the 1700s, but there still are not enough options. On a form the races normally stated are white race, black, asian, hispanic, latino etc. They even make it an option to --sometimes-- choose more than one. In my opinion they are trying to specifically distinct racial groups by asking this question. Because they do not provide a lot of options, they want you to pick what race you would most define yourself by, but this simply does not work for everyone. Firstly many people in today's society especially, are mixed. For example, a person could identify as white and Dominican, but only put white because the forms do not have a Dominican option. This is because most of the time they are asking for race and not ethnicity. Race is the color of your skin, but ethnicity refers to the cultural characteristics of one. A lot of people, including myself, identify closer to their ethnicity than their race. But it is very difficult to do this when they mainly only provide race options. A specific question that is ALWAYS asked is if a person is hispanic or have any origin there and I think they do this for a positive and negative reason. I think they ask this question, often in current times, because unfortunately the president thinks coming to U.S for a better life is a criminal act, which is outrageous. The positive reason I think they ask this question is to make sure that people of hispanic race are getting treated as fairly as everyone else under laws, and are not being discriminated. In general census’ are used in a negative way to see how many of what race does this and how many of another race does that, which is how we get all the racial stats from colleges and schools. Whenever you look on a website and they have percentages of races in that school or workplace.. etc it's because of these census forms. They are just used to organize everyone into groups, and if you look at the past, that is what they did as well and it had a very negative connotation. In 2020 rumors have been made about removing the race questions and I think they should, because there is no way to improve our world if we are still seperating people by the color of their skin.
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fatimazraibi
Posts: 6

Being Colorblind Doesn’t Solve Anything

There is no benefit to ignoring race. There wouldn’t be as much profiling and assumptions, sure, but race is a major identifier. At police stations, when placing a report, if you don’t know the name, the next best identifier is gender and race. In some censuses, race is important to understand the demographic. The cultures tied to each race are rarely ever the same. Sure stereotypes are rarely, if ever, completely true, but different races almost never share the same culture. White Americans, for example, will usually feel a closer cultural connection to and share circumstances and problems with White Americans rather than Latino Americans, Arab Americans, or Asian Americans. It is pointless to pretend race isn’t there because groups of people are so similar within themselves and different from each other that if race isn’t used as a way to start conflict and division, it will be ethnicity, or gender, or ability, which already ARE ways people discriminate. My point is this: Race allows for a better understanding in countries like the United States with such different circumstances and levels of privilege for each race.
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fatimazraibi
Posts: 6

Being Colorblind Doesn’t Solve Anything

There is no benefit to ignoring race. There wouldn’t be as much profiling and assumptions, sure, but race is a major identifier. At police stations, when placing a report, if you don’t know the name, the next best identifier is gender and race. In some censuses, race is important to understand the demographic. The cultures tied to each race are rarely ever the same. Sure stereotypes are rarely, if ever, completely true, but different races almost never share the same culture. White Americans, for example, will usually feel a closer cultural connection to and share circumstances and problems with White Americans rather than Latino Americans, Arab Americans, or Asian Americans. It is pointless to pretend race isn’t there because groups of people are so similar within themselves and different from each other that if race isn’t used as a way to start conflict and division, it will be ethnicity, or gender, or ability, which already ARE ways people discriminate. My point is this: Race allows for a better understanding in countries like the United States with such different circumstances and levels of privilege for each race.
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ghostchicago
Posts: 6

Originally posted by Regina Phalange on October 02, 2019 19:30

Originally posted by borne on October 02, 2019 18:44

Originally posted by Regina Phalange on October 02, 2019 16:29

As I looked through the documents in class on Tuesday, I noticed the obvious: all of them required the person filling out the form to specify their race. Throughout the day, I considered it even more, and I realized that literally everything that you ever fill out asks for your race. As people have mentioned before, this is very limiting because there are people who may identify with more than one race, or there may be inconsistencies between forms as to what the choices are.


I think that there could be many reasons for asking people to identify with a specific race. The most basic one would be identification. Although this is not always true, a lot of people’s appearances can be associated with their race. So, if you are filling out a form or an application, race may just be used as an identifier like height or hair color would.


The more complicated reason is that in America, our past has left race as a centerpoint for almost all discussions. We still see differing graduation rates, employment rates, and pay rates for people of different races. Therefore, a lot of educational and professional institutions want to pride themselves on being diverse and inclusive so, in order to do so, they try to admit applicants from all races. Had our past conflicts not been so fixated on race, we probably would not have such a focus on it, but the resulting racial economic inequality and bias in the minds of institution leaders have left no choice but to consider race in most aspects of life.


One perfectly timed example of this is the Harvard admissions lawsuit that has recently come to a close. Yesterday, the president of Harvard released a statement that included this excerpt:


“Let me close by quoting directly from the final paragraph of Judge Burroughs’s decision:


"For purposes of this case, at least for now, ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions. Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster in that it satisfies the dictates of strict scrutiny. The students who are admitted to Harvard and choose to attend will live and learn surrounded by all sorts of people, with all sorts of experiences, beliefs and talents. They will have the opportunity to know and understand one another beyond race, as whole individuals with unique histories and experiences. It is this, at Harvard and elsewhere that will move us, one day, to the point where we see that race is a fact, but not the defining fact and not the fact that tells us what is important, but we are not there yet. Until we are, race conscious admissions programs that survive strict scrutiny will have an important place in society and help ensure that colleges and universities can offer a diverse atmosphere that fosters learning, improves scholarship, and encourages mutual respect and understanding.”


This leads us to the question: Should we change this? Would people benefit more if institutions were ‘colorblind’? Should we hope to one day live in a world where race is seen as a construct of the past or a world where all races continue to be recognized, but as equals?


No, I don't think people would benefit from "colorblindness". This only serves to erase any cultural diversity. Instead of ignoring people's race/ethnicity, we should celebrate it. I mean absolutely no offense, but it must be understood that to ignore racial differences is, in fact, an ignorant and ineffective solution that may even do harm when none was intended. For all races to be equal is of course the goal, but to level the playing field we have to bring everyone up, not drag everyone down.

I completely agree actually. The idea of being 'colorblind' is interesting, so I thought that it would be relevant to bring it up. I personally feel that in trying to solve racial discrepancies, we shouldn't just do away with the idea of race; we should reconcile the past and recognize the state of the present. However, other people on the thread have expressed that they dislike the presence of racial categories in everyday life, so I wonder what they think about it.

I definitely agree with the idea that we shouldn't do away with the idea of race as a concept. Obviously we need to consider all races and ethnicities to be equal, but being colorblind isn't the way to solve the deeply rooted racial issues in our country. In order to solve these historical issues, it's important to realize the ways that they impact our interactions with others, and work to combat them. Colorblindness I think erases the uniqueness of cultural and racial identity, which can offer diverse perspectives in everyday situations.

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