Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Am I a European-North American-American?

It is well known throughout the Western world that nothing brings out the crazies more than discussing the subject of race. So why am I going to discuss it? I guess because I'm feeling a reckless today.

I'm just going to come right out and say this: Race is a useless designation.

We are all homo sapiens. Classifying ourselves by race does nothing but divide us into subgroups. When we are divided, we cannot be united. I say that is unnecessary to classify individuals by race and it is frequently used to justify all sorts of hate and xenophobia. History is on my side here because race has been used as an excuse for all sorts of disgusting and deplorable behavior throughout the ages.

Since race designations aren't likely to be going away anytime soon, I suppose I better get on the race train and determine which group I belong to. Though "white" is sometimes used as a designation, it isn't really a race. Frankly, I've decided that I no longer want to be called "white" anymore because I'm not even actually the color white. I think only albinos and that dude from the movie Powder can really be considered the color white. It's more accurate to call me "peachy-yellow-cream with a tiny bit of tan" because that's closer to my actual color. Eh, that's kind of a mouthful and probably too hard to remember so I better come up with some other term, hopefully an actual race, to categorize myself.

Though classifying humans by race has fallen out of favor in anthropological circles, anthropologists used to break the human race down into five main categories: Australoid, Capoid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. I don't particularly care if I'm called a Caucasoid - even if it does sound like it's dookie from outer space. But I have a feeling that at least two of those tags would be considered offensive. So scratch that because we all should be using the same system to define ourselves.

How about using ancestry? Everyone has a country, or countries, of heritage. Based on my lineage, I am a German, Scottish, Irish, English, Indian -um, I mean Native American, and Dutch person. Meh. It doesn't roll off the tongue easily either. My ancestry is also from Europe and North America. How about calling me a European-North American-American? I like it, even if it isn't exactly correct because my lineage is not from every country on both continents. Unfortunately, these two terms don't really work either because nationality and ethnicity are not the same as race.

I guess that I just want to be called by my given name - MrsHashBrown to the readers of this blog. If you absolutely must put me in a racial category, just say I'm part of the Human Race.

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