I could not resist posting this. This is from  Oliver’ s public  school application for next year:

Racial/Ethnic Identification

Federal law requires us to collect information on racial/ethnic identification. As of 2010, there is no longer an option of “decline to state” or “unknown.” According to federal law, if a respondent does not identify, a third-party (the school) must do so.

Ethnicity *

Hispanic or Latino

Not Hispanic or Latino

Regardless of ethnicity selected above, please continue to answer the following by marking one or more boxes to indicate what you consider your child’s race to be, selecting up to five (5) categories.

What is your child’s race? *

American Indian or Alaskan Native (Persons having origins in any of the original people of North, Central or South America )

Chinese

Japanese

Korean

Vietnamese

Asian Indian

Tahitian

Laotian

Cambodian

Hmong

Other Asian

Hawaiian

Guamanian

Samoan

Other Pacific Islander

Filipino/Filipino American

African American or Black

White (Persons having origins in any of the original people )

I was quite baffled. in  fact, I am always baffled when I am required to put myself into a racial category, I mean – my colour is slightly pink, there is no option for that …. ever… but seriously, I never did feel like I could claim the same category as for example the descendants of “Mayflower” despite our similar colouring. And it is even more complicated for Oliver. I considered ticking Hmong (an Asian people who fought against Mao in China as  I later found out from wikipedia )  as that sounded the most obscure, but it just never felt right. Thankfully, it was possible to choose two categories. this is once more an instance where I feel like statistics is a good thing, but it has very little reflection on real life complexities.

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