This is a true story.
I had an early morning meeting with our division Vice President. I got there early and so did he. So we started the usual small talk, weather, sports, family… and then I mentioned that I was traveling to Brazil soon. He asked me why and I said I was originally from Brazil. He looked at me and said “You mean you were born there?”, to which I said yes.
He opened a big smile and said “That is great! This will definitely help me on my Latino quota!”
Every single time I have a form of any sort that asks for race I enter White. Because you know, I am really white! These forms usually have place of birth, which I am also truthful about: Brazil.
I wonder what that kind of combination means to people processing these forms. I like to think that I am giving them freedom. If they need a whitey, here I am. If they need a poor and oppressed Latino, count me in. Too bad they don’t ask for ancestry, I would love to mention that I have a line in my family from Sicily, which is most probably influenced by Moors. I really think my grandpa was as dark as Obama…
There goes the neighborhood!
There will be a time when we, humans, will have to decide if we really believe in this thing called race or not. I am not talking about now, or even 50 years into the future. There is still too much crap from the past with us, so this mish-mash of playing both sides will seem to be valid for a while. But little by little we will get there… and one day we will have to make an actual decision.
I know I have made mine. Have you?