Random (but not really)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Racial & Ethic Categories

So, I found this: Racial and Ethnic Categories and Definitions for NIH Diversity Programs and for Other Reporting Purposes.

American Indian or Alaska Native.
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian.
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Black or African American.
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to “Black or African American.”

Hispanic or Latino.
A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term, “Spanish origin,” can be used in addition to “Hispanic or Latino.”

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

White.
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

As categories for books go, the following seem to make the most sense, at least as far as my reading habits go:

Native or First Peoples
Asian
African or African American
Hispanic

But that still has problems. Is Arabic a category that should belong there? It’s culturally distinct from Europe and Africa. Should there be a difference between the Hindu and Islamic south Asian groups? They’re certainly very different from northern Asian groups. And what about Russians? Are they Asians or just white?

In my mind, if I’m going to split things into two categories, it’d be white and non-WASP, but that’s all kinds of problematic for a variety of reasons. Division by continents doesn’t work, because: colonization and slavery. Division by color is ridiculous because for the longest time as a kid and even teenager, I thought everyone with “tanned” skin and dark hair was Italian, so I’m completely incapable making that judgement.

So… I’m still stuck.

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