I Was Forced To List Myself As Caucasian On My Census Form

Nefissa And Mambo
4 min readJan 31, 2021
Photo by Wesley Carvalho on Pexels

Have you ever stared at a survey in which the questions shown did not accurately represent your sentiments or even your identity?

In the month of October 2020, I was required by law to fill out a census form. I chose the online version and I literally had to stare at the screen blankly for at least thirty minutes. I know that the census gets filled out every ten years so one would think that I would have stared at the questionnaire ten years ago when I was 25 years old. To be honest, ten years ago the knowledge of gaslighting, red line zoning, and the cancel culture was not exposed or understood as it is today.

What caused me to have a Zack Morris “Saved By The Bell” freeze? Actually two things… The first abomination is question number 7. The box for people of Caucasian descent lists Egypt and Lebanon as examples. Egypt is a country in the Northern part of Africa and Lebanon is located in the Middle East. I am of Egyptian and Afro-Cuban descent. My mother was born in Havana, Cuba and my father was born in Alexandria, Egypt.

The second item that I take issue with is question #8. The question of origin according to Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. One of the boxes asks me If I am Cuban? I am Afro-Cuban. The question needs to be broken down into subcategories such as European-Hispanic, African-Hispanic, Asian-Hispanic, Middle Eastern-Latin, European-Latin, African-Latin, and so forth. A Hispanic is a person who derives from a Spanish speaking country. A Latin native is someone who was born in North, South, and Central America or the Caribbean.

The Census inconvenience I am facing today is due to the shortcuts that Arab Christians took in America around the 1890s-1940s. When coming to America at that time period; people of Middle Eastern descent were listed as Chinese-Mongolians and were denied citizenship.

In 1909 George Shishim, a police officer born in Lebanon went to court in Los Angeles County in California and he won the right to be called Caucasian. Shishim won the case by proclaiming “If I am Mongolian then so was Jesus because we came from the same land” according to an article called “Dept. of Justice Affirms in 1909 Whether Syrians, Turks, and Arabs are of White or Yellow Race” on ArabAmericanhistory.org. The…

Nefissa And Mambo

I am Egyptian, Cuban, New Yorkian and Christian all at the same time. I write articles based on childhood, race and religion to purge myself.