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Monday, October 14, 2019

White = Middle Eastern??

KIRKmiddleeasternThe PSAT is racist. Want to know why? Well, you know when you have to fill in all those mind numbing bubbles for your name, address, email, and all that stuff? And then you have to fill in the bubble about your race? Yeah, that’s where it get’s racist. There are all the options that you can fill in, and then, at the bottom, it reads, “White (include Middle Eastern countries)”.

Race has always been a fragile subject, and now, the College Board (who administers the PSAT), has taken it too far. As someone who identifies as Middle Eastern, the problem of legally identifying race has always been an issue. Before this racist change to the PSAT, I had to identify as “Other,”and I am not “Other.”

The most common definition of the Middle East includes: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and the various states and territories of Arabia. Identifying as Middle Eastern is common enough in America that it should be its own option. But now, it’s even worse as Middle Eastern people have no other choice but to identify as White. The only recognition that we get are some measly parentheses next to “White.”

It’s hard to figure out why this was even an option in the minds of the College Board. Where is the rationale in including Middle Eastern countries with White?

Many people know that on Twitter, there were countless memes posted about the PSAT and they are all hilarious. There were also many posts about the stupidness of the Middle Eastern countries being included as white. @YungSig posted sarcastically, “Middle Eastern people are Caucasian believe it or not.”

This ridiculous proposition should be recognized and talked about. It’s just not okay. In a free country where we spread the notion of race equality and “no racism,” I find this very contradictory. Not only was the “Other” option eliminated, which was the only option available for Middle Eastern students in the first place, but now we are identified as in the same category as “White.” I resent the fact that we were never seen as “Middle Eastern.” We are not “Other” and we are certainly not “White.” The College Board needs to get a clue about race in America and include options people feel right about selecting.

 

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  • Skanda Suresh

    While I understand the anger, I don’t believe this is racist. If we define racism as “racial prejudice or discrimination,” this isn’t racist. If the PSAT booklets were completely based on what people identified as, then it would be impossible to placate everyone. What if someone was greek and didn’t identify as white? What if they were from South-Africa, but fair-skinned, and identified as white, not african-american? This is an arbitrary distinction, and should be taken as such. And the point about how you’re not other? No one said you were other. There are too many ethnic groups for each to get their own bubble. The College Board simply picks the largest ones and puts them down. Why should Middle Eastern people get a bubble while those of Tuareg origin do not? There is no prejudice involved, no discrimination involved, and this is an example of a mountain being made out of a molehill.

  • 1LOSTFan

    Actually there’s is a history of discrimination on this policy.

    https://twitter.com/ajplus/status/792692286756761600