Oh Internet nation, I am terribly confused! Someone asked me recently how I define my race. I told them white. Then they asked me where I was born. When I told them, their response was that I wasn’t truly white, that it’s impossible. How can this be? Well as soon as I learned the process, I learned that there is a lot to defining yourself:
1) Regional Background
Whiteness, Blackness and others are based upon the region of your birth. The guys I spoke to said this is the first tell-tale sign of race. This is because the region where you are born will define how you act later in life. Eminem, for example, is attacked for being a white rapper, but he was raised in a world that could be defined as ‘black’; no daddy, mommy issues, and street rapping.
This is contrary to Urkel who, though he has dark skin, is nothing but a rich white kid in disguise with his stable home, high education, and family life. No matter how quirky they are! Urkel has a comfortable life as a ‘white’ kid. Just look at that smile!
We concluded that I am white due to my being born in America, though we agreed that some states have a certain a relationship that could make their inhabitants another race. For example, New Jersey is to New York as Puerto Rico is to the United States. This means that people from New Jersey are first considered Hispanic/Spanish. There is no argument about this anymore in the scientific community where they have proven that statement.
2) Mixing and Purity
This deals with your parents and how their background affects your own definition of race and ethnicity. In the same way that your region of birth defines you, so does the region of birth and mixing of those regions through your parents affects you. For example, imagine both of your parents came to the United States (USA!) from a European nation. You are first generation American-white. However, they are not. They are European white, and you are being raised in their household. Does that make you a disgusting foreigner who should be shunned and ignored, or a proud native American who has nothing to do with dirty American Indians?
Between us, we created an equation that will aid you in defining your parental ethnicity. If you are first generation America, begin with 15%. If one is foreign, begin with 25%. If both of your parents are natural citizens, you start with 50%. If second generation or higher, add 15% times the generation you are (Ex. If you’re 3rd gen American, you add 45%). Subtract 10% times the amount of foreigners your family marries into the family (anyone who requires a green card). This subtraction only applies to family members who are natural born American citizens. Any family members outside of the country are an automatic subtraction of 10%, but that is only for blood relatives. If your aunt in Italy marries and Italian, you ONLY subtract for your aunt. If, however, that foreign aunt marries an American, add 20%. If said aunt has children, only first cousins count towards your percentage. For first cousins you add or subtract 5% (above rules apply). Territories count as American. (This math has not been perfected or checked by a mathematician. Any questions about this section should be sent to Bill Gates.)
The measurement used for this test is American-white. Since America is a first world country, it is considered a “white” country. Especially since this was the face of our nation for eight years.
This number is a separate calculation to your own regional background (which is not a number). The amount of American-white units you are is meant to be used as a gloating point. It can be flaunted in front of foreigners who want to be American and friends who think they are more American than yourself. But be careful, because you never know which friend will have more points. Then who isn’t American, Mike!
3) Physical Features
This is a critical point, but is also one of the hardest to define. Physical features, such as a big Jewish noses (race?) or Vampire-sized teeth can change how others view you. Though this may not be important to you, it is highly important for others. It is through first looks and impressions that we acquire the necessary knowledge to hurt and ridicule a person. It is important that you properly portray your race/ethnicity through your physical features, or else you’ll be discriminated for all the wrong reasons.
Some physical features can be confusing and may not give a complete answer to what you are. For example, Jennifer Lopez has a big bubblicious butt that can only be described as a Hispanic backside( See stereotypes below for more information).
Yet we can find another equally superb ass (superbass!) hanging off Nicki Minaj’s spine, being supported by two concrete supports (also known as legs).
But Nicki, unlike Jennifer, identifies as Black. Well this causes a conundrum, who has the Black ass and who has the Hispanic ass? Are they interchangeable definitions? What could possibly distinguish these two women? The first two questions are just too highly philosophical for this debate and will be left to hip-hop experts and youtube commenters, but the third question can be answered with stereotypes.
Stereotypes are the tools we use to recognize race. For example, “All Hispanic women have big butts”. Incidentally, some scientists are studying whether the big butts are a direct result of their birthing hips, or an accidental side effect. Jennifer Lopez (as seen above) fits this stereotype. But so does Nicki, who identifies as Black. We must use other stereotypes to differentiate them.
One of the things that sets them apart in these photos is their hair. Nicki has long, straight hair. Though many women may have this (and don’t define their race based on that), it is a well-known stereotype that Hispanic women have big curly hair. Just like J-Lo, or Shakira.
You must be careful with stereotypes. Some fit broad strokes of people, such as the above example involving butts. J-Lo and Shakira can be categorized as Hispanic because they fit multiple stereotypes of that ethnicity. In order to properly categorize someone, you start with a broad stereotype. But you must work you way to more specific ones and match them with their proper category. This guy recommends at least ten points of commonality within one category. In this fashion you can avoid accidentally diagnosing your Asian Republican male friend as an Indian feminist female.
There are outliers to some stereotypes, such as Asians who can drive and Germans who love Jews. These outliers should be ignored in the name of absolute ignorance. The goal of these stereotypes is to keep us wary and separate. How else can we do that without stereotypes? Without them, how would I ever know that my Portuguese contractor and his Peruvian crew are really Mexican? Things to remember when we tell each other to stop being judgmental.
5) Skin Shade
Though we included this point, it was already proven to not be the best way to categorize someone. Region of birth trumps skin shade, but it can still be very helpful in passing glance judgements. I would include a chart, but if your environment doesn’t show you how to class someone based on their skin color, then I seriously consider how you were raised.
If you don’t know how to judge someone on skin tone, start learning!
Some religions have the power to change your race if you so choose to follow them. Here is the list, so that you know for your own good;
Christian: Anything is possible
Atheist: Anything is possible
Agnostic: Doesn’t change race, but does label you stupid
Jewish: White and/or Israeli
Mormon: White, even if they preach their God has accepted Blacks
Islam: ISIS affiliated?
Buddha: Chinese (the sad eyes)
Campbellism: What everyone wants to be
And there you have it! Those are the six things you need to find your one true race and/or ethnicity. Is everything I talked about race-related? Not exactly. Is my race just like my ethnicity? Nope! Can both be different? Probably. Do I want to stop asking myself questions about whether I confused race with ethnicity? Yes! You want to know so badly, ask the Internet on another tab!
If you have any further questions, feel free to e-mail your local government leaders, your Congressmen, your Senators, or our President.
What’s my race, you may ask, if not white? Well I can’t share that. A woman has to have her secrets, after all.
Your extra-terrestrial speaker,