My mother has been doing our family’s ancestry as a hobby. She was showing me the family’s history this past week, and showed me something a bit interesting: The US census record of her grandfather (my great grandfather) shows him as “negro.”

An octoroon is a person with 7 white great-grandparents, and one black one.That accurately describes my ancestry.

This means that under the law, I am an African American. See, much of the United States follows the “one drop” rule, where even a single drop of African blood makes you an “African American.” This also means that I am part of the protected class, and I can now get preference in hiring, promotions, and I can whip out the race card whenever I wish. It is also impossible for me to be called a racist.

The funny thing is that people who claim to be minorities are more likely to get a job. I know someone who was looking for work, and was having trouble even getting interviews. She had been looking for work ofr over four months, and had not even managed to get an interview. She has brown skin, so I suggested that she start putting down “American Indian” in the race column. Less than a week later, she got a job. 

Claiming to be a minority is a fast way to get a job, because employers use the fact that you are a minority to prove that they are an “euqal opportunity” employer, and use this as a talisman against racial lawsuits.

This, more than anything, proves that racial definitions are silly.

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