Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Ask Me My Race ONE MORE TIME!

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The Caucasian race (also Caucasoid,[1] or Europid[2]) is a grouping of human beings historically regarded as a biological taxon, including some or all of the populations of EuropeNorth Africa, the Horn of AfricaWestern AsiaCentral Asia and South Asia.[3] 

That was from Wikipedia. Within the Caucasian race, there are 3 different subgroups apparently: Aryan, Semitic and Hamitic (the latter being most North Africans and Arabs in general).

“I think most people associate race with biology and ethnicity with culture. It’s important to stress the culture and language part of it. Ethnicity isn’t just a question of affiliation; it’s also a question of choice. It’s also a question of group membership. And it’s usually associated with a geographic region. It’s also often confused or conflated with nationality, but that’s not the same thing.” – John Cheng

I don’t know if I have ever written about this before, but I hate filling the race/ethnicity field and most Egyptians find them confusing if not completely frustrating.

We know. We know you see us as people of color. And I don’t mind that I’m browner than you. Really. I don’t MIND. I just mind that my category of brownness has no space in your f#@ng forms!

Especially UK forms.

I am not F#%g white British or white Irish or White F#*g “other”.

I am not Asian. I am from Africa.

I am not black. But I am from Africa. What do you want? No, not  black Caribbean either. 

What do you waaaaant?

And so I am an othered other. I always then have to explain what f#*g other I am. So I have to either say Caucasian…Or sometimes I just get annoyed and say Arab or Egyptian which technically aren’t races, but what the heck, you know? Ethnicities? I suppose Arab would be an ethnicity like Hispanic? Except it’s never on any f#@g forms. 

I have seen the expression BAME (Black/brown, Asian, Middle Eastern I think it stands for). So if it exists, why isn’t there a category for Indian Asians (whose race I don’t know but who aren’t white or black or yellow so i don’t know) or for Arab “types”?

Don’t even get me started on mixed race. Really don’t. I understand why you need those categories. Kinda. But what I cannot understand is why, to this day, I have no box to tick on your forms, even though I am clearly a significant enough category within your population, BRITAIN. 

Thank you

10 Comments

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