Wednesday Night iPhone Photo – Defining Race
February 8, 2012 6 Comments
I crashed my bike last week, and by bike, I do not mean motorcycle. I mean bicycle, which I crashed soundly into the sidewalk.
The fall itself was embarrassing, but the fact that I am still recovering from my injuries that serves as another reminder of an aging body. Don’t get me wrong, the injuries are minor and I have little to complain about. I’m already able to open bottles of Kombucha again, and I can now shift gears on my car without yelping in pain. Little victories, little victories…
When I woke up the morning after the crash and couldn’t hold my right arm straight, I decided to go to the doctor and make sure that I didn’t miss something that would screw up my recovery process. At the doctor’s office, I was handed the following form.
I was fascinated by their definition of race.
Race is a way of grouping people who share common characteristics.
Race is such a complicated societal structure — a doing, according to Stanford professors Markus and Moya — which continues to impact so many people on a material level. It seems to me that Kaiser wants to justify the survey, but obviously they can’t fit a nuanced discussion of the history of race and the necessity of such surveys in our current health care climate onto a single sheet of paper. So Kaiser tries to acknowledge the importance of talking about race, but the definition is almost ominous in its innocuousness.
I’m even having trouble putting it clearly, and I have a whole blog as my playground. What I’m trying to say is that the awareness of race in this case may be positive, but there’s such a negative history behind race that an amorphous definition struck me as scary with all that it doesn’t say.
As for me and my right arm, I’m happy that a week later, I am able to make an “x” on a piece of paper without feeling pain. Little victories, little victories…