Monday, October 20, 2008

The Race Card

I found it! After hearing all this talk about the race card, someone actually sent it to me. The illustrious school district to be exact. Here it is (don't adjust your eyes, it's a little crooked):

My favorite part is that they ask for a Primary Ethnicity - and you can only choose one. Me being me, of course I called the Assistant Director of Research and Program Evaluation down at the school district and left a message asking him which parent should be secondary - me or my husband? As he hasn't called me back, I'm assuming he doesn't have a good answer.

Our community has a large number of biracial and multiracial kids of every possible combination. This just goes to show that the government is still choosing to ignore the fact that for many people there is no primary identity. They insist on collecting the information so that they can divide test scores along racial lines, except that no matter how I answer this, it will be wrong. In the past, I've always put "declined to state", but that is no longer an option.

Our next president has the same basic genetic background as my boys. Despite the fact that his mother was white, he's still almost universally classified as black. No matter what the talking heads say, race will play a big part in this election. I heard a woman interviewed on the news today say: "I'm not voting for that black guy because he doesn't believe in the flag." Uh huh.

My kids are varying shades of tan and they identify with both my husband and I equally. Maybe sometime in the next four years the government will get it through their thick heads that for my kids and many others, identity means only one thing: American.

As an aside: I also heard a (different) woman on the news today respond to someone who said they couldn't vote for a black man with : "Well, he's half black and half white. Go ahead and vote for the white half."

On this date: In 1882, Bela Lugosi is born.


Natalie said...

Ha! Love that last woman's comment. I heard a woman interviewed on NPR say that if Obama were elected, he'd do things that were good for "his people" and who would be looking out for this woman's "people"?? Yuck. I can't believe there are still people like that in this country.

Linda D. (sbk) said...

This is the first I've ever heard of Race Cards (I'm Canadian). HOLY! It's none of their business. What on earth would I put for my kids who are so mixed up with different cultures, we're starting to talk in eighths and and sixteenths. Where is the primary ethnicity there? We're Canadian. Plain and simple.

Slightly off topic, but my daughter (grade 1) had to do a little presentation last year about an artifact from our family's history. I picked one of her great great grandmothers' old books that's been passed through our family. She was born and raised in Quebec back in the 1870's, but my daughter was told she couldn't do that presentation because her family had to be from "somewhere." Apparently, none of us are from Canada unless we're Native Americans.

I was so frustrated.