Racial Identity Summary by Yasmine Bahrani Essay

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In the article titled “Racial Identity in America Can’t We Just be Ourselves”, the author, Yasmine Bahrani, describes how racial identity is distorted by many people throughout the world. Bahrani goes on to explain that some people may find it entertaining by classifying her into specific racial categories. In addition, she herself finds it entertaining regarding the racial categories in which people consider her a part of.

In England Bahrani states that all former colonials such as herself are considered black (Bahrani 1). Bahrani also describes, “[A] pleasant German woman [she] once met challenged even the American identity… [she] politely doubted that real Americans have black hair” (1). While attending college in Indiana Bahrani was convinced and so believed her race to be white (2). Even after being considered a race she was not Bahrani stated “[she] believed them, but that didn’t last long either” (1).

Years later Bahrani had found out that her American employer had classified her as an Asian employee (1). The census bureau has tried to make more racial classifications in order to accommodate multiracial peoples and those whose race falls under loose terms such as ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’ (Bahrani 2). By doing this some people feel more proud that their specific race has its own category.

Bahrani on the other hand feels that this still creates a racial dialogue and that ending a list of racial categories would be more of a solution to the problem. Instead of being considered this race or that race she’d rather be considered just an American. In conclusion Bahrani would rather be thought of as an American among other Americans instead of being identified as a specific racial category that she may or may not even be a part of (3).

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