I’m tired of being the “Other”!

Kevin Stordahl,
Seattle, WA.

Every time I fill out important documents they ask for my “race” and every single time they do I wonder a couple things; one, why do they need to know that? And two, where is my category? I have never considered myself one race or another. I have always just felt like a “Kevin” and wished I could just be that. It took a long time for me to feel like I could be myself and it has a lot to do with trying to fit into a world that innately categorizes people based on what they look like. I believe it is unfair to categorize and generalize about individuals because they are just that, individuals. Each person has their own culture, their own way of processing what that culture means to them, and their own way of understanding the world around them through that culture. It is hard, because there doesn’t seem like a lot of time to really get to know every single person you come into contact with, so you don’t learn a lot about their cultures, but all I would say is, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Don’t assume they are one way or another based on what they look like, because people’s stories are always more interesting than what you might make up in your head.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • Mariah Frisk

    I agree with you. I don’t understand why surveys ever need to have the race. We are all human and deserve the chance for equality. Don’t ever feel like you need to change yourself to fit in to a society that socially constructs how people should look, feel and act! I wish more people felt they could be themselves. You have phrased it beautifully: each person is an individual with their own story.

    • barry irving

      …it’s a reality of society… marketing, government compliance..many things. some useful, some seemingly ridiculous. Other means that other than what is asked specifically is not relevant. The business or service may be getting government aid for some program answering Racial inequality. That’s America.

      … No one has to be other…you can be mixed race or any race of any relative that you have genetics in common with ( if you fit ) You can just call yourself a guy or girl…that’s your constitutional right individually. Collectively, the government and society has to deal with changing classifications, preferences and identities. Official categories of Race or Ethnicity is to have a reliable reference for the various indentities in society that needs delineation.

 

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