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Post Reply Are You Ambiguously Ethnic?
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23 / M / erhhhh
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Posted 4/24/15 , edited 5/6/15
I'm a white dude who can pack on a pretty good tan. One of my friends still has the idea that I'm mexican. Also, when ever I have to fill out a census I say I'm Pacific Islander, cause fuck it.
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30 / M
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Posted 4/24/15
I'm half German and half everything-else. I suppose it's to be expected that my ancestors working as soldiers and mercenaries liked to partake in the local... flavors. I tend to be attracted to anyone who seems exotic myself, perhaps it's hereditary.

Even though I am half literally-just-about-everything-even-a-drop-of-Chinese-that-I-have-no-idea-how-it-got-in-there, I just mark that I'm white on forms since I look like an ordinary white guy.
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Posted 4/25/15
I have some Native American(great grandmother),and most likely some white, but I just consider myself black(probably at least 66-75%). My mom didn't really look black at all and my family is muslim. She had redish/brown straight hair, green eyes,heavily freckled and was very light skinned. She was always mistaken for any other race except black(she was substantially more mixed than me). Are facial features are very similar and I've inherited the freckles big time(all over my face). I have an arabic name and have been asked if I was Egyptian at least 10 times before.Also, people always walk up to me talking Spanish under the assumptions that I speak it. The one thing thats always annoying is that people never believe that i'm not an immigrant and only have dna of races who lived in the U.S. since slavery.When I say that i'm African American, they think i'm ashamed of some other country. Most people see me as black though.
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F / United Kingdom
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Posted 5/6/15
ambiguously ethnic? One can only have two parents so how does that even work?
xxJing 
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30 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 5/6/15

PencilPoosh wrote:

I'm a white dude who can pack on a pretty good tan. One of my friends still has the idea that I'm mexican. Also, when ever I have to fill out a census I say I'm Pacific Islander, cause fuck it.


Same here. I am 100% Polish but I do have dark hair and dark eyes, so when I am tan I look latino.

I take after my father and he was the same way.
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37 / M / USA
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Posted 5/6/15
I'm just white. I look white. Boring, I know.
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Posted 5/6/15 , edited 5/6/15
Wait. So they had both a "White" and an "Other" box on the form, and you checked "Other". Then the person you were filing paperwork with basically said "Other? Nobody checks that. I'll just file it under white anyway, okay?" Why even have an "Other" box if its invocation basically translates into "The clerk is going to guess."?

Also, isn't provision of such information optional?
Posted 5/6/15
Japanese, unambiguously.
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34 / F / US
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Posted 5/6/15

BlueOni wrote:

Wait. So they had both a "White" and an "Other" box on the form, and you checked "Other". Then the person you were filing paperwork with basically said "Other? Nobody checks that. I'll just file it under white anyway, okay?" Why even have an "Other" box if its invocation basically translates into "The clerk is going to guess."?

Also, isn't provision of such information optional?


Yep, it's optional. But I find if I don't check it then either i get a clerk that insists I HAVE to or it won't go through or, as in twice now, the person in charge of records in Helena sent it back because it wasn't checked. So instead of explaining that it's useless outside of census records and option anyways I just do it.
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31 / F
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Posted 5/6/15
No, but my accent is.
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Posted 5/6/15

retronatrix wrote:

Yep, it's optional. But I find if I don't check it then either i get a clerk that insists I HAVE to or it won't go through or, as in twice now, the person in charge of records in Helena sent it back because it wasn't checked. So instead of explaining that it's useless outside of census records and option anyways I just do it.


Well, then it sounds like Helena has decided you're white, doesn't it?
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34 / F / US
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Posted 5/6/15

BlueOni wrote:


retronatrix wrote:

Yep, it's optional. But I find if I don't check it then either i get a clerk that insists I HAVE to or it won't go through or, as in twice now, the person in charge of records in Helena sent it back because it wasn't checked. So instead of explaining that it's useless outside of census records and option anyways I just do it.


Well, then it sounds like Helena has decided you're white, doesn't it?


Can't argue with that then, can I?
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34 / F / US
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Posted 5/6/15
I remember another time that I was eating lunch with my father and I was using chopsticks cause that's what I was used to and it's way easier on my arthritis than regular metal utensils. And this random college girl comes up and chews me out for using chopsticks and co-opting Japanese culture and how I should be ashamed of myself. Then turned to my dad and apologized on behalf of white people for "this racist" to mock him in that way.

We both just burst out laughing and he points out that he's my dad and I was raised to eat with chopsticks, to stop being ignorant enough to think she was powerful enough to apologize for an entire race of people.

Was hilarious to see her sputter and stomp away mumbling.
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Posted 5/6/15

retronatrix wrote:

Can't argue with that then, can I?


Unfortunately no, though it's not really limited to an annoyance on your part (though that's certainly a problem). That census data may seem trivial enough that the clerks aren't worried about it, but it's really useful for determining various social and economic trends which are then used to set both state and national level policy. It may only be one business license and one process among many, and the clerks may just be trying to save time (which has its own benefits), but bad data is really detrimental for the long game.
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34 / F / US
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Posted 5/6/15

BlueOni wrote:


retronatrix wrote:

Can't argue with that then, can I?


Unfortunately no, though it's not really limited to an annoyance on your part (though that's certainly a problem). That census data may seem trivial enough that the clerks aren't worried about it, but it's really useful for determining various social and economic trends which are then used to set both state and national level policy. It may only be one business license and one process among many, and the clerks may just be trying to save time (which has its own benefits), but bad data is really detrimental for the long game.


A good amound of people lie on those things anyways so really there's a huge flaw in the system itself. To be honest, the vast majority of the census stuff is tossed at the window at the higher levels anyways.
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