Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Don't put us in a box...

Ever since I had two children with my Indian-American husband, I've discovered the frustration of classifying people by "the box." My children and not white, yet they are also not Indian, so I have classified them as multi-racial whenever possible on school forms. My children understand their heritage; they knew their Indian grandfather (before he died), they eat Indian food in our home and their middle and last names are Indian. While we may not look like the typical Indian family, we are proud of our heritage. To be classified as merely "white" would lose something of the essence of who my children are.

An article in Inside Higher Ed reports that the Department of Education is finally catching up, allowing people to choose more than one box for their racial identity. "The system proposed by the department would for the first time allow students to pick multiple boxes, with colleges reporting all of those who checked multiple boxes in a new “two or more races” category."

How can we celebrate diversity if we have a limited number of boxes? While this new Dept of Education answer may not be the most clear way of understanding and appreciating people, it will at least give them an opportunity to express their pride in who they really are.


Post a Comment

<< Home