Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hispanic or White?

The other day at the doctor's office the woman at the reception desk asked me this question.

"I am updating our files, are you Hispanic or white?"

I honestly did not know how to answer. I am descended from Hispanic parents and I am also white. I asked, "Can I be both?"

"I don't know," she answered, "There are two separate boxes."

"Well, what are you?" I asked.

""I'm Hispanic," she replied.

"But what color is you skin," I asked.

"White," she answered.

"That's just like me, so pick whichever box or boxes you like."

"I am going to tick both boxes for you," she said.

"OK, thank you," I responded.

I guess that day, at the doctor's office, I was both.


Jhon Baker said...

no matter what I always answer 'other' - maybe it's a bit pedantic, that I consider myself an individual and incapable of simply being a box to be checked, or maybe it's that what ever the bastards want to know, I don't want to tell them.

T. T. Douglas said...

I don't think it's pedantic at all Jhon. Having been given the choice, I might have picked other as well. I guess since it is an Hispanic office, and we are in South Florida, she decided only those two choices applied in my case.

Dirty Butter said...

I can understand why anonymous surveys want to know, but what possible reason would a doctor's office clerk need to know what classification you fall in? If the doctor needs your family history for diagnosis purposes HE/SHE should be the one to ask!

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T. T. Douglas said...

funny you should say that Dirty Butter. The doctor has diagnosed me many times and never once asked about my ethnicity. Go figure.

Dirty Butter said...

For some reason some businesses think they should amass as much personal data on their customers/clients as possible. We are often asked for phone numbers when we are purchasing items. Zip codes I can see, for marketing purposes, but our phone number is none of their business. Sometimes you just have to say it's none of your business and stand your ground.

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