Why? I do so when some institution is “surveying” so-called-race, which is a bogus concept to begin with. See
People say I should choose “White,” but I’m definitely not white. My skin is pinkish yellow, or yellowish pink, and it grows red and brown when I’m out in the sun. I can’t imagine why its color would be important to anyone, except maybe a fashion consultant.
So, when surveyed, I choose “native American (small n)” because I was definitely born in America, so I’m a native. It’s a protest. I would be proud to be a Native American (capital N), but as far as I know, I have no such ancestry.
An interesting sidelight. Years ago when the university insisted I make a “race” choice, they assured me that the information was completely confidential. A year later, when I returned from a trip out of town, I found a note on my desk from Russell Means, a prominent Native American who had visited the university.
I wondered why he would write a personal note to me, until I found out that the administration had sent him to see me, their token “Native American Professor.”
So much for confidentiality. So much for the trustworthiness of bureaucrats.
In such a world, I shall remain “native American,” and I hope Elizabeth Warren and other smart people follow my example.