Just like every other person in the U.S. I received a census form. I started to fill it out right away after all they do say its “Ten questions in ten minutes.” But for me it took more than ten minutes just on one question and I’m guessing that I’m not the only Latino that this happened to.
Question 9 on the form asks ” What is the persons race?” Such a ‘simple’ question sent me into a world of confusion. I tried calling the Census Bureau, but all they told me was to fill in whatever I feel most comfortable with, that didn’t help. I asked someone that I thought would be able to help me, they told me to check “other” and to fill in “interracial.” The only problem I found with that was that in my case my parents, grandparents, great grandparents,… have all been Mexican.
Even though I know that I have Spanish blood in me, the US Census Bureau does not have the same understanding of “interracial” as me. For them the term interracial refers to someone that has parents of different races(as in an interracial marriage). For me the interracial part happened more than 400 years ago when the Spanish arrived in Mexico. I then asked someone else and they referred me to an article that really helped me, counterpunch.org . I have included the link to the article in hopes that it will help someone else that is in the same position I was. I personally will find myself checking “Native American” and filling in “Mestizo” for the tribe.
by Gabriel Gutierrez