Please Check All That Apply

I wanted to jump off topic for this week and share a quick link to a story from Wednesday’s USA Today about the 2010 Census. This year people will be able to select multiple boxes when identifying their race. 

“This month, the Census Bureau will remind Americans that racial classifications remain an integral part of the country’s social and legal fabric while, at the same time, recognizing that racial lines are blurring for a growing number of people such as Harvey. The government will give the nation’s more than 308 million people the opportunity to define their racial makeup as one race or more.”

While people will still be asked to define themselves through a few crudely constructed racial types, at least they now have the choice to share their multiracial identities more than ever before. I know this might be nothing more than checking two or three boxes on a form that previously allowed only one, but we have rapid demographic changes happening in this country, and being able to accurately collect information on our people is important. I also can’t help but think that for someone who didn’t fit into any one box before, this a huge change. There must be some sense of personal satisfaction or pride associated with choosing one’s own identity rather than the “other” category or checking a generic “multi/biracial” box.

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