Who else is tired of our children's race considered other

Monique - posted on 11/14/2008 ( 46 moms have responded )

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I am getting to be annoyed with the fact that everytime I have to fill out a form for my children, that when it comes to the area of race, that they are considered other. My children are a mixed race of black & white. I have always tired to teach them both sides of their culture. They are neither all black, nor all white, but they are both and they need to embrace that. But I am tired of checking other for thier race. I have considered checking both the black and white boxes on these forms. Any suggestions anyone ?

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Kelsey - posted on 03/09/2009

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I think technically you are supposed to check black and caucasian.. if u can only check one you are supposed to check black. That is how my sister does it with her 2 black/white children. My sons father is Filipino and I am white, I have to check the Asian box.

Monique - posted on 03/08/2009

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I am tired of having to be made to choose one or the other. Alot of the school forms I fill out still only have the usual options, can't check all that apply or more than once race. I have gotten to the point I just skip this because they are gonna see it in their own way anyway..But the most important thing that these form can never define who my children are. I have taught them who they are and they are beautiful kids that have a world of  opportunites set out for them. They will always be loved and as long as they love themselves and are proud of who they are, they can be anything and everything

Rachel - posted on 03/04/2009

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When filling out a form for free child care, a white lady told me to choose black, (I'm white, dad is black) so he'll have more opportunities in the program. I chose both.

Kathleen - posted on 03/03/2009

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I have noticed that some forms have started to add multi-racial, other forms have "Check all that apply". My daughter is also black and white and it depends on the form and what it is for. Typically, if it does not give the choice, I do check both.

Jennifer - posted on 03/03/2009

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I've noticed when others fill out the forms for my kids, i.e. checking into the hospital or something, that if I'm w/them (I'm white) they will check white, if my husband is with them (he's African), they'll check black. What the heck? I hate the other checkbox as well.

Lora - posted on 03/02/2009

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i have never really thought twice about checking the "black" box for our boys. And I've never been offended by the question. Before they each were born, we had the conversation about what to have them "listed" as with Social Security. We decided it didn't really matter because their identities aren't going to be tied into being one or the other.

Nichelle - posted on 02/27/2009

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I hate that too! I check both Black and White, especially if the instructions say to only check one box (spiteful, I know). I have thought about fighting for some type of legislation in my state (CO) to take "other" off of the forms - I think that's insulting to my children!

Julie - posted on 02/22/2009

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My daughters are black/white mixed, and I have always marked both black and white boxes. I am alot like you , in the fact that I also try to teach my children that they should be proud of their heritage, on both sides. They are not just one or the other, they are both and they should be very proud of that.

Brooke - posted on 02/22/2009

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I always check the other box.........I mark it HUMAN RACE. My children are neither full black or full white and my husband and I don't agree with checking one over the other. I saw someone post something mentioning Pres. Obama and hoping that could bring racial change to America. I don't know honestly, though, how much change will come from him being in office. The media and ignorant Americans always refer to him as our 1st black president......reality, we still don't have a black president. Have we forgotten that he was born from a white woman. He is a bi-racial man. We have our 1st bi-racial president ! I look at that and feel pride for the sake of my kids. My husband and I tell our daughter that our president is like her.....black and white. She has dealt some with not liking her VERY curly hair; says she wants straight hair. Once when Pres. Obama was on television we pointed out to her that he also had curly hair and was a very important man to our country.........the complaints of her hair have almost stopped altogether. I'm glad that she can see how beautiful she is............

Inga - posted on 01/24/2009

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Years ago I read a book that talked about an interracial couple. One of my favorite parts of that book was when they had talked about the infamous "check one" box regarding race on documents for their children. They had checked the "other" & written in "human" as in human race! Love that perspective! My son did that through middle school & was reprimanded for it. Now he checks both boxes!

Monae - posted on 01/24/2009

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I am 25 and mixed with white and black. Growing up I always had to check other and when I went for my first job interview I was told that I had to pick a race. I explained to them that I couldn't do that since I am neither all white nor all black. I have since started checking other and drawing my own line, then I write out Mulatto (which is the name of the race for people mixed with Caucasian and African American). I am married to a white man so my children are mixed, but legally they are considered white. I have also been told that you are considered whatever race you look like more. So if you have dark skin, then you are black and vice versa. So, if that's the case then I have a black son and white daughter.

Angela - posted on 01/24/2009

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I have had that same problem.  Once I did check both and it confused them but I really don't care I mean to me they should feature a mixed box and have a line beside it so you can put whatever blood is in them. 

Juanita - posted on 11/23/2008

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Depends on the mood I'm in. Sometimes I go through the whole process of "Hispanic" then the "type" of Hispanic (making sure I mark the "Hispanic, not black" box. Then I make sure I also check the African American/Black box too). Other times I simply check Other & give no explanation. I don't really mind the "Other" or "Mixed Race" boxes. What I *don't* like is having people force a choice on me. Both our girls were born in TX, and we were told we HAD to list them as "Hispanic" because that's what their father is. I was livid, and kept saying, "But they're BOTH!!!!" only to be told that that's how it goes in Tx. Yech.



Many countries outside the U.S. don't make parents choose a race at all. Heck, in some, there is no section for "race" at all, not even on birth certificates (my hubby's birth certificate definitely doesn't have a section for it!).

Brandi - posted on 11/20/2008

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Some forms allow you to check more than one race. I believe that most federal forms do. Also some ask for ethnicity as well.



For example, I work with the CACFP - Federal Food Program (free lunch) at my job. On there, the family can choose more than one race. They also check "yes" or "no" for hispanic. If they are hispanic, they also choose a race. (as in black or white or more than one) Also of you all to note - if somone chooses NOT to fill in the race, I am supposed to "pick what I think is most accurate based on my physical observation of the child/family". I really dislike doing that. I usually tell people that I HAVE to mark it if they do not and then they will mark it. It also helps if I point out that they can check as many as they would like. But for you all to know, what happens is I then enter them as "other" if they check multiple.



Personally, I choose white AND hispanic for my daughter. (on all forms that have both race and ethnicity) If it just has race and hispanic is an option, I choose that. I want her to be listed as a miniority for scholarship opportunities later in life. : ) She is very pale skinned. I am white and so is her father by all visual observations. Her father's mom is actually 100% Mexican. But she is also very fair skinned and most have NO idea that she's Mexican. (pale skinned, light hair, light eyes, does not speak Spanish as she grew up in the US)



If I were to have a child with my fiancé, who is black, I would check both or other - depending on the forms directions. If I can only choose one, I would pick other so that some data-entry person somewhere doesn't have to make a decision. But, if more than one is allowed, I would choose all that apply.

Monique - posted on 11/20/2008

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Melissa, you are right. Mulatto is the term they used for black slaves, or to refer to mules. This term irritates me because of the simpe fact to me it depicts, those of color as black mules. My children are not animals. They are humans just like everyone else. Teach our children thT LOVE HAS NO COLOR. We have a responsibility as parents, no matter what our race may be , to teach our children to love from the heart, look past color and accept others for who they are, not what we want them to be.

Melissa - posted on 11/20/2008

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In response to Tanya and referring to her calling mixed people mulatto, just some info for you to consider. The actual use of that term is controversial because it comes from a spanish background for the word mule. It was also created during slavery as a term for the slave children that had their masters or another white man as their father. Just food for thought.

Jennifer - posted on 11/20/2008

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My son will start preschool next year and we will have to deal with it. If I have to put down what their mother (or father is) then my family still would have a question mark. My husband and I are both half black and half filipino (which in turn makes our son and daughter also black/filipino). My son definitely looks like he is black, dark skin, curly hair, but my daughter has straight hair, asian eyes. Who knows....but either way my kids will know who they are and what they are by the examples my husband and I will show them...that they are beautiful no matter what they are. :) Thanks for all the posts, it has been helpful.

Heather - posted on 11/20/2008

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I like checking "other" it makes me smile. 'Course that could be because I always print "HUMAN" right next to it. ;) I know it's a bit passive aggressive, but seriously, who in this country can claim "pure" lineage of any one kind? Even us "white" folks are mixed.

Looking back at my heritage, I chuckle that I'm "white." My ancestors were Scandinavian (think viking, not Barbie) French, English, German and, surprise, surprise, Passamaquoddy Indian. And that's not all. We'll never know the full extent of the blend that became me and my sisters because My grandfather was adopted and nobody knew his background. My husband is classified as "black" but his heritage is African, French Cajun, Native American, and "white." (I put white in quotes because I suspect that, like me, his white relatives weren't "pure" European descent.)

I think it's irritating that in 2008 we (as a culture) are still dealing with rampant racism. It's getting better and I have hope that my children's children will see a day when skin is important only to keep your insides in. :D

Brandy - posted on 11/19/2008

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I would check them both,that's what I do when necessary forms don't have the correct boxes. My children are not OTHER,and I wish our community would figure out that there are so many racial mixes,and make theextra options available!

Christina - posted on 11/19/2008

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I have been told until a child is less than 1/4 minority you are supposed to check the minority. I don't think we should have to check race at all!

Monique - posted on 11/19/2008

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I am so overwhelmed by the response and great info each of you have contributed. I hope that we can all stand together to make a difference for our children and others like them in the present and future. Thanks ladies!!!!

Tanya - posted on 11/19/2008

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I have three beautiful brown children with another on the way, I am white and my husband is black. He has always said that the correct name for black/white children is called Mulatto. As we live in Australia our forms usually say ethnicity wih a blank line beside so I just write Mulatto there. Our world is definiely becoming more open and accepting, and by the number of postings here it seems as though our children will be one of many not one of the few.

Lisa - posted on 11/19/2008

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I always check black and white.That is what my children are and they should not have to chose just one race.I always tell them to be proud of who they are,and both their races.I have 4 children that are all black and white.Two are on the darker side and two are white with green eyes and lite brown hair.They no matter what anyone says always let everyone who they are.Believe me they get called white girls all the time.So when we check both people ask if we made a mistake.Yes it is truly annoying because we are all people and it shouldn't matter what race people are.After all we all bleed the same.

Helene - posted on 11/19/2008

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I went through that with my children (B/W) who are now 16 and 11. When I refused to do so when my oldest started school the principal said she would check what she looked like so I told her feel free to check Hispanic or Pacific Islander. :-) I checked "black" and "white". Now the forms state "check all that apply".

April - posted on 11/19/2008

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You are so very right...My girls are black/white mixed and every time we have to fill out form for school etc we always check both cause they are both they are not other..

Monique - posted on 11/19/2008

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I have read all of you ladies comments, and thanks for responding. After reading some of the comments I became more enraged with our so called system of determining our mixed race childrens identity. I agree with with the ladies that feel we should check all boxes that apply. But as we know those persons analyzing those forms will only be able to enter one race into their computer, so they pick what they feel is appropiate. I have never agreeded with the "one drop rule". I thought we all have the same color blood. That's red not black. We are only distinguished through our blood type. It is time we take a stand and stand together and on those forms check all that apply ad stick with it. Thank you ladies for responding.

Melissa - posted on 11/19/2008

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As all of sit here and discuss what it means for our children to be multiracial and I read the input in here, which I appreciate your honesty, I hear us perpetuating in many ways, not all, what society has engrained us to believe. I want my children to understand that they are multiracial and love all aspects of what that entails, but we have to be careful when we say it is unfortunate that others don't see them as white, but as a person of color. To me that goes back to telling ourselves and our children that it is better to be white because that is what society tells us. Don't get me wrong, I want my children to embrace all of their heritage and love the fact that they are multiracial, but I don't want them to believe that because of white privilege it is better to be white than black. I haven't had to check boxes yet because my children are young, but I think the main issue is how they will see themselves, not the box they have to check. Many multi/biracial children have identity issues because they don't know where they belong, they are not white enough to be white, black enough to be black, hispanic enough to be hispanic, asian enough to be asian... you get my point. How do we as parents teach them in a society that boxes us in to think outside the box and not feel that they have to belong to one catagory or another. Yes, it's 2008 and we now have a biracial president and hopefully things will change, but I know that statement has been made my whole life.. hopefully it will be different when..., but what if its not? We can't rely on society changing, we have to make the change ourselves.

Hailey - posted on 11/18/2008

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When I can, I always check both boxes, however when it comes to things like a passport you can't do that, and I surely don't want her as an other on her passport, so we selected black. For much the same reason as others shared, no one will look at my daughter and say, oh yeah she is white, they will look at her and think she is black. It sucks, and we can try and teach our children all we want about appreciation for all of what they are, but unfortunately a lot of systems haven't caught up with this thinking.

Amber - posted on 11/18/2008

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My babies are MIXED, half white and half black. This is a conversation I have ofter with not only my husband but other members in the family. It is a subject close to my heart because it affects my children. I personally would mark both boxes. But my husband says when the time comes for our children to mark their own boxes and they check white, they will get looked at like they're crazy. When people look at our kids they are anything but white. painful to think about because I to teach my children to love who they are. And what color their skin is. When you ask them they are half white half black, which makes brown! I always check both boxes!!

Lori - posted on 11/18/2008

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I am white and my husband is black & mexican...i usually check all 3. My husband says thought that it goes through the father, so he always puts black for himself because his father was black.

Leslie - posted on 11/18/2008

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It is a difficult issue I'm only just starting to face. Its funny during the election I commented on how Barak is half white but is always called black. My husband stated because it is how he looks - I disagree - but then I asked him what our daughter then will be called she is 1/2 European mix 1/2 Korean. His sister is 1/2 asian 1/2 caucasian and looks Hispanic so I asked him if she was Hispanic :) No comment to that. A friend recently was told that in TX (where we live) you are to put down the father's race. Her son is 1/2 black and Hispanic but the father is Hispanic which goes against the one drop rule but I think it is likely that a lot of things come back to that. I'm for marking all that apply it certianly gives more information then other. I for one want to teach my daughter about all of her heritage but I am also inclined to tell her to mark what is most benificial to her - am I wrong for that? Example in MN where I went to college you can get in state tuition if you are a "woman of color" so in that situation she is better of marking asian. Now in TX my husband was discrimiated several times at UT being asain told he could not take Korean classes because he would have an unfair advantage even though he hardly knew the language and he had latino friends who were allowed to take spanish so if she chooses to go to UT I'm inclined to tell her to mark white. So I'm not really sure what I will do...

Amy - posted on 11/18/2008

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Actually I thought about checking both too, I totally agree with all you just said. My son is black and white as well and he should know he is both and be proud of BOTH. :)

I say we check BOTH! ;)

Lisa - posted on 11/17/2008

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I'm mixed Blk/Wht and was always told to check Black, even though my mother is White. I agree with Melissa...I think it goes back to the "one drop" rule. When I was in college, I started checking "other" but now I check both. Sadly, I think whomever enters the data often determines the result, and it depends on what it's being used for. My hubby is English, and so my kids are 1/4 Black, one with brown hair and eyes and caramel complexion like me, and one with blond hair and blue eyes and light complextion like his father. I'm hoping that by the time they get to school, the rules will change and you can check as many as u like!

Sandy - posted on 11/17/2008

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For myself, I check all that apply when possible. I'll do the same for my daughter.



What gets me is that white and black are also considered shades of light and dark, not colors. Colors are yellow, brown and red... and on New year's day, green. heh. People that are white or black are simply pigment challenged. :) I always liked Star Trek's Andorian version of white people as pink skins.

AmyBith - posted on 11/17/2008

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i ditto melissa's comments. the reality of race is that it is a system of oppression, so someone loses, and in this case it is people of color. we have to start thinking about race and culture as two different things. you can help your children define their culture and ethnicity, but race is defined by social dominance.

i am a european mut with a little cherokee, but since i've been involved in cultural work, i've always checked other for myself. partly to screw with the statistics and partly because there isn't a box i like. i still can't get a good definition of caucasion that has anything to do with me, and white isn't anything real to me either. so i say forget the boxes and address the anger you have toward making positive change for equality.

but i love the person who said their should be a blank line we get to fill in--i want to live in that world!!

Melissa - posted on 11/17/2008

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I believe that some of you who have mixed race black and white and have been told to check black for your children is for two reasons. 1) It goes back to the one drop rule, that if you have a drop of black blood, you are considered black and 2) because of this rule if you are anything other than white, society dubs you as a person of color or a minority and therefore, no longer white, even if you may be more white than anything. My children are 1/8 mexican, 1/2 white, and 3/8 black, but I know that society will view them as black children and all that entails. My husband and I will show them the beauty of the human race, but society will show them how hard it is to live in this world as a person of color. I would love to believe that Obama being in office will bring some change to our situation, but it has already given rise to many hate crimes throughout the country due to race, (which is social construct).

Jennifer - posted on 11/17/2008

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My kids are half white have chinese beautiful children havn't had an issues

Christine - posted on 11/16/2008

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I don't have a school aged child so don't know if they would allow this, but I know for myself (I'm mixed race) I have just opted not to check a box at all...

Kate - posted on 11/16/2008

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This is an interesting issue. I wonder who to contact about things like this, to get the ball rolling for change on these forms. I have always spent more time than I need to when filling out forms--it should be a simple thing, but it's not. I wish that I would see more forms with just a line--to fill in the blank or something. That way it leaves room for EVERYONE!



With America and the world the way it is today, this should be something that more people are thinking about. The reality is that most people just don't fit into a box anymore. The sooner the powers that be realize that the better (although I guess we took a good step in forcing the issue of realization when we elected Barack Obama, huh?)

Jennifer - posted on 11/16/2008

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This is difficult for me to because as you see 2 of my children are caramel colored and my son is white complected like myself. I was also told that they needed to check African American. I also teach them both sides of thier culture and it is dumb to me that this question still exists for anyone. Does it matter what color I am??? Do you want me for my qualifications or do you need to know what color I am first??? I teach my children that color dosen't matter but to our government it does!!

Heather - posted on 11/15/2008

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I just posted the same thing! lol! I have the same issue!!!!!!! I have been told both. That you are suppposed to ck whatever the mother's race is and that you are supposed to ck for the father's race! I don't want to do either! And I am for sure not checking other because my children ARE NOT OTHER! I think at this day and time they should allow you to ck both, but I have heard of schools calling and saying that you have to choose one!

Audrey - posted on 11/15/2008

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i am white and my husband is mexican and i am not sure what to put on those dang forms either....ugh

Robin - posted on 11/14/2008

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Regardless of what the forms say, I generally check both black and white. I've done the same in trying to teach them about both cultures, and it does go against teaching them that to say they are one or the other. I've found that people dealing with me will automatically check white, but if they deal with my husband they check black. Some forms are starting to include interracial/multiracial/biracial as a choice, but only a few that I've seen.

Monique - posted on 11/14/2008

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Thanks for the info Sarah. I have been told I should check black because I am thier mother, but this seems to go against what I have been teaching my kids that they are no more one race than the other, that they are equally both. I just don't what to do at this point, because I am so fustrated with the whole deal

Sarah - posted on 11/14/2008

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Actually my nephew is black/white mix as well and his grandmother who raises him was told that he is supposed to check black! My son on the other hand is white/pacific islander. He isn't in school yet and I haven't had to fill anything out with that information so it will definately be interesting to figure out what to check. Eventually we will all be mixed so we wont be able to place people in one simple box until then...I say do what you feel most comfortable with. It's really just for monitoring purposes anyway.

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