Not at all. The federal government is the largest collector of data. They will collect racial and ethnic data regardless of what we want. We would, as we have stated many times, be happy if the government stopped asking for this information, but we know that is not likely to happen. We believe that as long as race is asked for, Multiracial people should be able to identify accurately.
Again, we are not the ones counting races. The federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has formulated racial categories, given them definitions, and changed them over the years. The American Anthropological Association offers this statement: Given what we know about the capacity of normal humans to achieve and function within any culture, we conclude that present-day inequalities between so-called “racial” groups are not consequences of their biological inheritances but products of historical and contemporary social, economic, educational, and political circumstances. Whether you believe race and ethnicity are biological or not, the federal government is going to continue to count them.
Racism is a social construct. Minority communities and organizations want to be able to prove discrimination, and in order to do that, they have told us race and ethnicity must be counted. For example, the census numbers must be collected every ten years in order to divvy up the voting districts, commonly called redistricting. This is done based on how many people of which races live in different or the same districts. A school student could not prove they were discriminated against because of their race if no one knew how many other students were of which race, or so they tell us. Racial numbers are used to evaluate equal opportunity employment programs, monitor anti-discrimination laws, assess health disparities and educational attainment, measure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, etc.
Dictionary definitions of the word Multiracial include:* Having ancestors of several or various races.
* An individual of more than one race.
* The term Multiracial describes people whose ancestries come from multiple races.
We believe that Multiracial is the most inclusive, universally accepted and correct terminology to use. The government has changed “Oriental” to “Asian,” dropped the n in Alaskan Native, and removed or changed other terminology over time. We believe it is time to give multiracial people the term they and their families most want, which is Multiracial. They refuse. They refuse anything but the cumbersome few terms they use that mean the same thing as Multiracial.
Every time we poll our national membership, they opt for Multiracial over mixed. Mixed often leads to phrases like “mixed up” and “mixed nuts.” Also, if we used “mixed,” what is the opposite of that? Pure? Do we really want people separated into mixed and pure?
Race or racial background refers to a sub-group of the human race possessing common physical or genetic characteristics. Race is determined by genetic similarities passed hereditary. Race is perceived as permanent, although the way a person self-identifies their race(s) may change. Examples include White, Black, and Asian.
Ethnicity or ethnic group refers to a specific social group sharing a unique cultural heritage (i.e., customs, beliefs, language, etc.). Two people can be of the same race (e.g., White), but be from different ethnic groups (e.g., White and Hispanic/Latino). It is partially changeable.
Culture refers to the beliefs, values, attitudes, traditions, ways of behaving, and language of any social group. Culture is handed down through language, objects, ritual, institutions and art, from one generation to the next. An easy way to explain it is like this: the way we do things around here. Culture is a changeable trait.
Country refers to groups that have been geographically or politically defined; people from these groups belong to the same government (e.g., France, Ethiopia, or United States). People of different races or ethnicities can be from the same country. Country can also be called “nation of origin.”