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:: "fuzzy romance and brutal terror" : apparently, I can get behind that ::
10th-Jun-2008 11:19 am
KITH flipper babies
I left my laptop at work last night. Which meant that I could not get online. Even though I'd planned to do some things. And I'm going out tonight, so now they have to wait till at least tomorrow.  On the other hand, I've discovered an excellent source of KITH icons. Now I'm having to hold myself back from uploading 40 of them all at once.

My "WTF?" for the day, however, comes from a form I was entering in the database. One of the demographics questions we ask is what the patient's ethnicity is. We use the same question that they use for the U.S. census...check all that apply of the following choices: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White.

The person filling out the form ignored all of these and added their own checkbox: "Eastern European". o_O Um...perhaps there is some subtle form of racism going on here, but the last time I checked, didn't the inhabitants of Eastern Europe tend to be...you know...white? Caucasian? Whatever you want to call it? Is this some sort of weird local distinction, that in Alberta, "Eastern European" carries some subtext that we don't understand here in the States?

I'm just totally picturing the coordinator filling out this form while screaming, "Get out of my cab, you Serbian bastard!" 
10th-Jun-2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, sounds like a pride thing, it's funny. I would have just used white because it covers everything and it's nice to see they have Black as an option because it irritates me when people ask me if I'm African American when I'm in Canada.
10th-Jun-2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'm still bemused by it. Maybe they got caught up in the idea that they needed to report his nationality, and he isn't a Canadian citizen? I tend to be simplistic (i.e., lazy) on the subject. "White" is one syllable and works fine with me. "European-American" just sounds stupid, and my ancestors have been here since before 1700 so I have far too many nationalities to pick one to hyphenate with the "-American".

I had a dark-skinned friend who said she used to get lectured because she called herself black. She said, "Other black people can spend all the time they want arguing about what is the most current politically-correct term that we should use about ourselves. I'm just gonna call myself 'black' and save my energy for arguments that make a difference."
10th-Jun-2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
Wow that is odd that she got lectured, but I guess it depends on where you live. In Canada, it's black; very few people use Black Canadian or anything like that.
10th-Jun-2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I always hated filling out forms like that because with all the different terms not one ever applied to me. I ended up either checking multiple boxes (out of confusion) or just wanting to write brown on a rectangle I drew up underneath all the other ones.

It definitely sounds like an odd pride thing on this person's part.
10th-Jun-2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
What always bemuses me on these is "Asian". After all, that includes everything from Turkey to Japan, from Siberia to Vietnam. That's a REALLY big category to be lumping people into.
10th-Jun-2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Which is precisely why I'd stare at the Asian box and think how generalized it was. It encompasses so many different places and people. It really says nothing about the people.
11th-Jun-2008 12:17 am (UTC)
As someone who lives in Alberta, I can tell you with near certainty that this person is Ukrainian. There are a lot of Ukrainians around here. Like, a lot. Enough that they form communities that are separate from those with people of other nationalities, so, to them, it's more or less on par with an ethnicity. (This isn't me bashing Ukrainians--my best friend is Ukrainian--this is just me offering an explanation for your wtf moment.)

Also, it's interestig finding out people's races in the comments here. (I'm mostly Dutch, very pale with light blonde hair, white as it gets, and that's what I call myself. ^_^)
11th-Jun-2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
I just couldn't help being mystified by the bypassing of the "white" box. I used to know someone who sniffed about a mutual acquantance that he was Greek, with the implication that he wasn't "really" white. I wound up having that same feeling when I saw the "Eastern European" written on the form. I mean, I watch hockey - I know just how blonde the Slavs are! :P

I tend to build up mental pictures of people online based on the things they say, and on their names. "Kim" conjures up one vision of what someone might look like, and "Julia" conjures up a very different one. Which is utterly silly, I know, but my brain insists on doing it. What's really funny is that several times I've built up a mental picture of someone looking dark, like a southern Italian, and then seen a photo and realized they're blond. I suppose we all do that, though. There's a large Hispanic population up here and more and more, people see my full name written down and assume I'm Mexican; I once had a doctor come into my room and just start speaking Spanish to me. When in reality, my last name is anglicized French and my mother considered my first name to be an old-fashioned English name.
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