The El Paso Times discusses a topic that I’ve been hearing more about in online forums and in the media regarding Hispanics and racial categorization. Given that an increasing number of people in the U.S. can be described as multi-racial – the question of race can be an important social and cultural issue for many Hispanics who complete the census. And while the goal of the census is not self-expression, certainly someone having to choose ONE racial category, when they’re not, might infringe upon their sense of identity.
A couple months ago, this issue was the topic of a conversation I had with someone as part of a study I’m conducting. While this person considers himself to be Hispanic, his physical appearance is very much that of an African American. He described how this dichotomy created some internal confusion as well as awkwardness in the workplace, particularly in regards to being part of affinity groups or minority professional organizations. The 2010 will provide a wealth of data when it comes to the presence of Hispanics in the United States; however, I think it can also provide some lessons in incorporating the philosophy of multiculturalism into our society and workplaces. The results of the census will be an opportunity for organizations to integrate and profit from the understanding that Americans are truly becoming more global and multicultural in nature.