Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Race

Why do we have to define ourselves as part of a race?  Aren't we all human...??  I know I've seen people I've questioned...but, we all are a part of the human race. 

I don't know why this is offending me lately, but I don't fit into one of the standard boxes or acronyms you check.  I first noticed it when I donated blood.  There actually was another person donating too - only this person "looked Native."  I said, "did you notice there isn't a Native American box to check"  He said "Yes, I did."  There was an Alaskan Native box, are they the only Native Americans?  I was left to check White.  I have no idea what he did. 

Then at the DMV yesterday, I had to renew my driver's license and fill out a form.  There was an empty box for "race" to fill in.  I put "mixed."  When I went to the counter she said "what is this?"  I said "well, I'm 1/4 Native American and 3/4 Heinz 57."  She said "well, you look white to me - put W down."  This actually hurt my feelings - really.  As I looked around the room - many different types and colors of people, I had all I could do but point my finger at them and say "well, what letter did you tell them to put down?" 

This has been my plight my whole life.  I don't identify with a race.  As I left the DMV all I could think about was what race will some of my little great nieces and nephews put down?  How will they ever identify with a box?  It really makes me sad to think that they are going to have to explain...."well, I'm a this or a that" their whole life to conform to a "box" set up by our government! 

You know, this idea of race is set up by the government.  When my great grandpa was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to find a reservation for the Potawatomi people to settle in - the government made those living on this reservation sign up on the "tribal roll."  The problem with a tribal roll is that even if you are 100% Native, you have to identify with a tribe.  So, your mom maybe Oneida and your dad Potawatomi - you are on one roll or the other as 1/2 of the tribe you choose.  The problem is this person is 100% Native.  Do you want to know why this is???? The government wanted to wipe out the Native Nations by making them do this.  So eventually....no one would be identified as 100% of any tribe.  And people wonder why I don't trust our government? 

So, I've decided the next time I have to fill out a form with a race box - I'm putting HUMAN or H.   Let's see what they say then.  By the way, I feel this is an infringement of my constitutional rights - we are American no matter the size, orientation or color!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

  

5 comments:

Karen said...

Very well put...now I'm not bothered by this post...I hope no one else is either.
I too think that we are given too many 'labels' to live by.
Karen

OurCrazyFarm said...

Right on! Raising Indian children (actually from India) becomes very confusing, too, in a rural area that calls Native Americans Indians. In Heaven we will have an eternity to all be simply "God's children" - probably with no identifying boxes to check:)

TexWisGirl said...

you kind of contradict yourself, here. in one respect, you only want to claim 'human' as your race, yet you are miffed that native american is not recognized on the forms so that you can claim that. we all still identify with our roots one way or the other, and God bless all of the 'mutts' we are.

Jadarie said...

I LOVE YOU!! Great post! :)

Felecia Cofield said...

Hi Jacky! I understand what you mean about what box will the great-nieces, or nephews check. They will probably have a new box to check by then. We are all God's children and should not see color or race, just humans, as you stated. I like that! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!