I recently filled out my census form [and] came across a question that I thought would be easy to figure out. Question #8 asks if the primary person filling out the form is of “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.” I figured, since I was born in the U.S. to Mexican-American parents that would satisfy the requirements of the answer. However, when you get to the next question #9, it asks, “What is person #1’s race: White, Black (African American or Negro) or American Indian or Alaska Native.” At this point I was so confused, I thought the census takers would figure it out on their own. I left the race question blank…
Why was I being asked to align myself with a race that I was clearly not? I understand that the census is a vehicle for the government to redistribute resources and representation… equally and fairly. Yet, I find it hard to believe that denying the fact that I am a Latino or Hispanic is going to truly represent my interests in the community. Furthermore, I [am] insulted [to be asked] to align myself with a race distinction that is clearly not my own.
I am not Black, I am not White, but apparently I am just a shade away.
— Robert Martinez Jr.