Comments on "The 'Other' box" - Faerye Net 2007-12-06T00:45:48+00:00 An exception (albeit not a fatal one) of a recalcitrant Dane 2007-12-06T00:45:48+00:00 2007-12-06T00:45:48+00:00 <p>I have to admit to conformism (gasp) on this particular topic. I check the &#8216;Caucasian&#8217; box. I <i>could</i> check the &#8216;other&#8217; box, but then I&#8217;d have to jot down a rather boring formula involving 8ths &#8211; specifically 1 Swedish, 1 Romany and 6 additional unspecified parts of more or less Germanic Danishness.<br /> <br /> I suppose I could proudly tout my Romany heritage, but that would undoubtedly be an insult to the Romany. And Swedish &#8211; I&#8217;d rather not think too much about that, but that would obviously be &#8216;Caucasian origin&#8217; just as well as the 6 parts Dane.<br /> <br /> Checking the &#8216;Caucasian&#8217; box seems harmless enough and just about as much trouble, in my perspective, as the matter merits. ;)</p> GreyStork Reasons I (humbly) disagree: 2007-11-29T15:24:50+00:00 2007-11-29T15:24:50+00:00 <p>A) I find statistics, when taken and displayed accurately, to be interesting, and potentially useful. Affirmative action (once its most egregious flaws are fettered out) is still a lesser of several evils. For marketing surveys (which I think it easily the majority of time I see the question) it&#8217;s not a big deal if somebody wants to be imprecise. I don&#8217;t mind giving data, because the more of people like me they think are around, the more I&#8217;ll get marketed to/designed for. I like this happening.<br /> <br /> B) We are talking about words having meaning. And most people use &#8216;white&#8217; and &#8216;Caucasian&#8217; interchangeably. They (almost) never mean people whose skin reflects all light, nor people from Caucasus. So for me to take a different referent than what I know they mean would be silly and self-defeating. I stopped correcting people&#8217;s &#8216;can I have a cookie?&#8217; long ago. If they use podium when talking of a lectern, it matters not to me, unless they&#8217;re one of the people I expect to know better and like teasing. But marketers and surveyors don&#8217;t fall into that category. <br /> <br /> C) &#8216;Black&#8217; is another horridly imprecise word, but mostly people take it how it&#8217;s meant by its users. It&#8217;s difficult for me to think of racial terms that don&#8217;t contain potentially offensive levels of ambiguity and imprecision. <br /> <br /> D) If there is an other box with a write-in, you&#8217;re absolutely correct: the ability to have some other more whimsical response trumps all the above. Otherwise, meh; use other people&#8217;s referents, not words.</p> EMeta Re: No subject 2007-11-27T04:43:04+00:00 2007-11-27T04:43:04+00:00 <p>I used to do that. Also, in high school, &#8220;VW Driver&#8221;. Alas, this form has no write-in. Other&#8217;s just Other.</p> felicity No subject 2007-11-25T20:26:42+00:00 2007-11-25T20:26:42+00:00 <p>I generally check other and go with &#8220;human.&#8221;<br /> <br /> Not much more helpful than declines to state, I suppose. But it might give the human (when there is one) who is forced to transcribe a chuckle, and raise a database query game.</p> Novel Re: Caucasians 2007-11-24T20:15:20+00:00 2007-11-24T20:15:20+00:00 <p>According to the wikipeedz, a German naturalist back in the bad old days found a Caucasian skull with many points of similarity to German skulls and hypothesized that Western Europeans arose in those parts. And apparently that they were the first race? I dunno why, but I bet it has to do with colonialism and white supremacy!</p> felicity Caucasians 2007-11-24T19:14:14+00:00 2007-11-24T19:14:14+00:00 <p>I&#8217;ve actually met a true Caucasian&#8212;the kind from Caucasus. I wonder how it came to be that so many of us are ethnically classified as tracing our roots to a small country on the Russian border that most Americans probably don&#8217;t even know exists?</p> LadyLong