Volume 12

Reaction to: The Gray Area: Exploring the Black-White Binary's Exploitation of the Multi-Racial Identity

by Justin Fitzsimmons

Landon Myers’ Note explains how and why multi-racial people have been forced to identify as Black in the Black-White binary, denying them the agency of owning their identities while at the same time denying them the protection of civil rights laws. Myers seeks to remedy the psychological oppression suffered by multi-racial people in having their identity forced onto them by making modest changes to the U.S. census. Myers proposes changing the “two or more races” category to “multi-racial” with a “follow-up section to further specify [with] which racial categories this multi-racial person identifies.” Beyond allowing the opportunity for the multi-racial individual to self-identify, these changes could potentially encourage federal courts to believe the civil rights claims of multi-racial people.

While Myers identifies a key issue in describing the discrimination against multi-racial people under the Black-White binary, his analysis misses a key aspect of multi-racial discrimination, thus his proposed solution may not meaningfully remedy multi-racial discrimination.

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