How would we all feel if on every application we were obligated to denote our family's country of Origin? If your family had been American-born since the early 1800's but you still had to enter "England"...or "Italian", "Danish", "Dutch", "Spain", or "Egypt", among many others...would you think of yourself as American? Or would you feel more attuned to the differences between you and others with different countries of origin? How would you feel if getting a job, or being admitted to a College or University...or to a club or organization...were affected by your entry? Would you feel "different?"
I would. And I suspect that our preoccupation with tracking race on all manner of application and operational forms supports a sensitivity to race that it does not deserve. After all, if two people (one black and one "white" [whatever that means these days]) from the same educational background apply to one school or for one job, why should race enter into it...there is no difference in the experiential background offered by the two. If you want to use grades and a personal essay, doesn't that provide insights into the benefit that a student or new hire will bring to the school or the workplace?
Wouldn't eliminating pictures and race designations on applications, and race reporting on governmental forms actually encourage assimilation and reduced sensitivity to consider Race as important? And...in America...isn't our goal to unify us all without regard to country of origin, race, or gender? As long as we use Race to differentiate among us...to divide us...we will have that used as a means of supporting a continued divide.
This country would be better off, both actually and perceptually, if we all saw the government as not being interested in Race at all. That is NOT to suggest that discrimination be made either acceptable or lawful, but rather that this country and its resident acts in the expectation and assumption that race is a non-starter in selecting friends, applicants or neighbors. What should be important, and judged individually, is if a person is civil, respectful of others and is truthful. These characteristics have nothing at all to do with Race.
We all would be better off if we insisted that Race never be a factor in how we live or who we live with and what records are kept. Those who seem most anxious to support continued "tracking" of Race are all making money or gaining power through the continuing use of Race as either an excuse for bad behavior (which is demeaning to whatever race it being applied to) or to bully acceptance of some who's abilities are below standard (which injures those who have a need for the best performers that they can afford). And we all demean ourselves by allowing these charlatans to practice their bad behavior.