Theory of racial identification

On every internship application, you are given the option to identify your gender and race or to decline identification. What’s the optimal choice?

While it might go unquestioned by the hiring firm, to avoid a lawsuit, lying about yoru race is probably not the smartest idea, so we’ll rule it out.

I would assume that most African-Americans, Latino-Americans and Pacific Islanders, as under-represented races within most tech and finance companies, would mark down their race on the form. This means that pretty much everyone who declines to identify a race is white or Asian-American, like most people who choose not to upload a photo on a dating website don’t think too highly of their looks.

Your type is probably still showing through even though you hit “Decline,” and in addition, now the company knows that you are the sort of person who would choose to try and conceal their race. Companies are explicitly not supposed to take this information into account, but I highly doubt that they are able to stay impartial.

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One thought on “Theory of racial identification

  1. josh

    i always decline to identify. i’d rather they be 99% sure i’m white than be 100% sure. i’m sure it doesn’t matter either way if you’re white though.


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