Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Race For Blanco

As a child (and arguably as an adult) my art skills weren't even good enough to elicit platitudes comparing my work to abstract. I remember going to my grandma's house and coloring. For school and at home, I had the standard box of eight crayons. But when I went to my gram's I got to choose from 64, everything from sky blue to fire red and those sparkly ones. The rainbow in a box also had a white crayon, which had hardly been used.

As I fill out applications for internships and job openings I am increasingly irritated. In addition to causing posterior pain, the self-identification section is hurting my self-esteem.

In an application I can't mark any of the good boxes. I'm a fully abled, non-veteran male who is able to work legally in the U.S. with no prior felonies. If that weren't bad enough, I'm also "white." Every other group gets better options, like Pacific Islander. I'd hire a Pacific Islander solely on that fact.

Obama gave his race speech. Here is mine. I want a race option that's better than a non-color. Thanks to my sister, who is an artist and coincidentally able to color inside lines, I learned that white is not a color. I want something with a hyphen. Whoever makes these applications usually sticks "white" at the bottom of the options. So, as I'm going through the application I'm reminded of all the things I'm not.

Furthermore, none of the other groups are defined by color (or non-color in my case). But what are the alternatives? Caucasian? Cracker? Honky? All viable options, but none of them sing to me like a Pac-Islander.

In my paranoia and attempt to explain why I don't get called for interviews I deflect all personal responsibility. I do what most "white" people do. I pass the blame.

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