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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2010, 15:04 
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100419/ap_ ... t_biracial

By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer – Mon Apr 19, 6:28 am ET

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This is only the second census to allow people to identify themselves by more than one race. About 7 million people, or 2.4 percent of the U.S. population, chose that option in 2000.

It's impossible to know how many of the 35 million people counted as "black alone" in 2000 have a white parent. But it's clear that the decision to check one box — or more — on the census is often steeped in history, culture, pride and mentality.

Exhibit A is President Barack Obama. He declined to check the box for "white" on his census form, despite his mother's well-known whiteness.

Obama offered no explanation, but Leila McDowell has an idea.

"Put a hoodie on him and have him walk down an alley, and see how biracial he is then," said McDowell, vice president of communications for the NAACP.

"Being black in this country is a political construct," she said. "Even though my father is white and I have half his genes, when I apply for a loan, when I walk into the car lot, when I apply for a job, they don't see me as half white, they see me as black. If you have any identifying characteristics, you're black."

There is evidence, though, that while some may be resistant to the idea of identifying as multiracial, white attitudes are moving in that direction. In a January poll by the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of white people said Obama is "mixed race" and 24 percent said he is black. In contrast, 55 percent of black people said Obama is black and 34 percent said he is mixed.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2010, 18:28 
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It's a hard thing. Very complicated and confusing.

I've heard arguments that they should just get rid of race entirely.

I'd agree.

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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2010, 08:48 
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I agree with that as well. As the number of mixed race citizens increases, racial definitions become more and more meaningless in any real sense. Racial labels instead become, as the article suggests, a political statement. You might as well ask people what political party they favor, or what football team they root for. We hardly need anything that encourages more tribalism and polarization.


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