Adding "Middle Eastern/Arab" to the list of ethnicities
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The "race question" is a common required field in which each individual is to respond according to their self-identification. Although the list of options has become more diversified in the past few decades, it has yet to include major populations in the United States' culture melting pot. This question is required for multiple surveys (including for governmental, educational, and profession-specific questionnaires) and several groups continuously are forced to miss-identify themselves as an effect of the lack of options. In the case that they do not have one's ethnicity, some may select "other", however, this is not always a viable option.
Furthermore, this applies to those of Middle Eastern and Arab descent. They are told to classify themselves as "White/Caucasian" for over two decades. Middle Eastern and Arabs are to completely disregard their culture and identity, instead placing them under a generic category. In the case of Hispanics/Latinos, they have finally been granted their own ethnic-specific option within the race/ethnicity question. Latin America is comprised of various nations who have some similar ethnic and racial backgrounds, yet unique in their own way. This similarly occurs in the Middle East! The Arabs and Arab-Americans struggle to identify as "White" and desire their own particular category.
In order to progress and promote the diversified nation, the addition of, "Middle Eastern/Arab" should be a valid option for the United State Census and all questionnaires. It is important to be recognized as a major race and ethnicity as there are nearly 1.6 million Arabs in the United States today.
**Credit to artist Justen Paul Tolentino
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