Re: Identifying Race

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 15:29:02 -0400

In message <> Chuck Coker writes:

> So far as I know, my daughters only race is Human, but that wasn't a
> choice.

My children are a "mixture" of Euroamerican, Native American, and African
American. In the last census we simply left the "race" section blank. They
sent someone around to check on us, just to see "what" we were.

Reminds me of when I was in high school, oh so many years ago. I took a
standardized test and, being a science fiction fan (and perhaps already
predisposed toward anthropology), I wrote "human" in response to the race
question. The school guidance counselor called me in, just to check.

> Has anyone ever studied how many kids get put in the "stupid" classes
> (the kids all know what those classes *really* mean) because of the
> ability to speak more than one language, Spanish, in this case?

In some parts around here, children get put in "stupid" classes because they
speak Black English. Not exactly the same problem, but similar. My impression
is that in general, bilingualism, which ought to be considered a gift, is seen
as a disease in this country.

> Proposition 187 was passed for the purpose of legally harassing brown-
> colored people; it is never used against illegal Canadians, for example,
> but it *is* used against *legal* Mexicans. Does this type of thing
> occur in other states as well? Other countries?

In South Florida, hatred was similarly directed against brown-skinned Haitians
and poor Cubans, in contrast to the treatment of the white Cuban elite. But it
hasn't (yet?) been formalized into a proposition.

And while we're both upset, how about that Official English movement? If they
believed their own argument, they should be agitating for "Offical Cherokee" or

Ron Kephart
University of North Florida