Background: 27 year old Lucas Siquiera took the Foreign Service exam to join Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but was accused of lying about his race. He claimed to be mixed race, but had a Caucasian appearance.
How I used it: To give an example of how the public and the individual can differ in opinion on which race a person can be. Despite the individual’s claims, if the public doesn’t agree, then they can’t claim to be the race they say they are.
Background: Former president of NAACP Rachel Dolezal discovered to be biologically Caucasian when many believed she was African American.
How I used it: Further information about her situation (I had another article about her, but wanted a little more information). She claimed to be black when she was white, which lead to her becoming the President, but just because she was actually white, she was forced to resign from presidency. Pros and Cons to claiming the race.
Background: Lacey Schwartz grew up in an entirely white community and never knew she had African American blood in her. She did not choose a race for her college application, but was accepted as African American based on her photo. She now identifies as black when she once identified as white.
How I used it: Example to show how the public can categorize people as a certain race just based on physical attributes. Similar to Lucas Siquiera’s article where he was thought to be white by the public based on his appearance.
Background: For college applications, students must claim a race and Natasha Scott, who was African American/Asian, mentions how claiming to be African American would increase her chances of being accepted by colleges. Colleges want a diverse and multiracial population in their school, but most are multiracial nowadays.
How I used it: The benefits that come with some races and the difficulties people face when choosing a race to define who they are on applications/censes.
Background: Elizabeth Warren claims to have Native American ancestors despite no proof of being 1/32 Cherokee. The “one-drop” rule is applied here. If there is even a “drop” of another race in a man’s blood, then he can claim to be that race.
How I used it: Provided information and history of how America has defined race. In the past, if a person had a drop of black blood in them they were black, no matter what. Physical characteristics do not have to match the biological makeup, but people have a harder time accepting these types of race claims.
Background: Gender is usually recognized by children around 2 years of age. Parents can help to develop gender identity in their children by exposing their child to “different gender roles and different styles of play.” Children express their gender identity through social interactions (which gender they play with more), toys, games, clothes, hairstyles, nicknames, and social behaviors. Expectations of gender roles have changed now as girls can excel in activities only boys were thought to excel in and vice versa.
How I used it: To counter the idea that race is different from gender. Both develop through social interactions and environments that influences the way a person identifies themselves as. (Rebuttal argument)
Background: A flow chart depicting the change of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) categories for Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Disability from 2012-2014.
How I used it: Times have changed and people no longer identify as just one race, but multiple. Gender is similar as there is the choice of neither male nor female and a choice for if a person does not prefer to respond.
Background: Based on the year 2000 and the year 2010 census, millions of Americans have changed their race.
How I used it: Used as evidence for how we unconsciously change our race over time. Race isn’t definite – it is a choice.
Background: The article describes how children from 5-18 years old though differently as they grew older. At a young age, children closer to 5 years old showed no preference for categorizing people and animals into races, but as they aged they began to show preferences depending on the community they grew up in.
How I used it: Further information on how environment aids in the development of race categories. The article also contained information mentioning how the belief in categorizing races leads to the preconceived ideas of a person based on the race they are categorized in (Example could be “White privilege”).
Background: In a 2015 Millennial poll, 50% of millennials believed gender to be a spectrum and not binary. From this 57% were women and 44% were men who believed in the gender spectrum. 55% of whites, 47% of Latinos, and 32% of African Americans also said gender is on a spectrum. In 2014 only about 26% of the Americans in the poll were comfortable with self-determination of gender.
How I used it: Americans, especially the Millennials, in 2015 are now very accepting of multiple genders and society is making exceptions for people that don’t fall in the binary (male/female) categories. There is a significant acceptance change from 2014 to 2015.