As many of you know, I am in the process of moving from downtown
It got me thinking. Race has always seemed to me to be something based on genes and therefore immutable. For many generations, my ancestors lived in Western Russia and
For many years, race was all that these kinds of forms asked. But some time ago they (whoever “they” are) split off ethnicity from race and started asking if you were Hispanic also. This was due to the fact that there are many Hispanics who are white and many who are of African or
What does this have to do with me? Well, I have been living in
So if ethnicity is something different than race and therefore not genetic, could it be that I am half Hispanic now? Compared to the other folks down here, the answer is clearly NO WAY. I don’t compare to the recent immigrants and most of the 1st and 2nd generation neighbors around me. But compared to the other people in the
The reason this is important is that I am going to be establishing my identity when I get up there. I have some friends already, but not in the town where I will be living. What persona do I want to promote? Do I want to “be” half-Hispanic? Filling out forms may seem irrelevant to this conversation, but that also matters. When you officially declare something publicly (even when you are lying, but especially if you mean it), it has much more of an influence on your later behavior than most people realize. I can send you some thorough research on this if you are interested. So if I start out with this persona, it will continue to develop and grow in me.
When I fill out my HR forms up in