The State Pronounces You (skin color) Man and (skin color) Wife

Multi-racial weddings in the US now account for 1 in 12 marriages. 1 0f every 15 weddings in 2010 was multiracial, Hispanics and Asians account for most of the mixed unions, but the biggest rise was in black-white marriages.

How do we even know this? Because the marriage license forms have a space designated for the applicant’s racial background. At least on Hawaii’s forms, it is. The first state to come up in a google search using the terms wedding  license   race  was our 50th state, Hawaii, whose statehood was held up for decades because of its racial mix,  more non-whites than whites, to boil it down to its essence.

Now there is the convenient * next to the word ‘RACE’, which leads to this disclaimer:

* Do not leave these items blank. Enter “refused.”

In other words, make your marriage license a political statement. And that’s your only choice, leaving the space blank is not an option:

ITEMS INDICATED WITH * ARE OPTIONAL, BUT DO NOT LEAVE THESE ITEMS BLANK; ENTER REFUSED OR UNKNOWN….

…it says elsewhere in the instructions. So they relented, you can, if you wish, for whatever reason, to not state your race, represent yourself as either non-cooperative or a dunce. Or tell them what they want to know.

But WHY do they want, or need, to know who is marrying into what race, or multi-racial entity? It seems to me that, if our country’s goal is indeed to make one’s color not a matter of importance, whether in hiring, working for, or making friends with, then race should not even be a part of the information requested or required.

I understand about racial pride, too, and I am not saying that we should all be gray people. I love diversity. Addressing inequities based on old racial oppression can be better dealt with on an economic basis rather than skin color. After all, Herman Cain’s kids don’t need preferential treatment in hiring or college attendance, but a poor fisherman’s kid might. A guy with a mortgage and three kids needs a small business loan more than a guy with a vacation house in Aspen.

Maybe instead of a space reserved for identifying one by race, the title above the blank could read Describe Yourself. Then we could read about the increasing trend of tall dog-lovers to hook-up with ‘kinda old-fashioned’ types.

5 thoughts on “The State Pronounces You (skin color) Man and (skin color) Wife

  1. Why does the government want to know if you’re black, white, or any other race? How can they (technically) classify someone who is multi or bi racial? Why are these questions on the census forms they send out every ten years?

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