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A Bowl of Salad with too Many Spices Memories of a College Student I remember when affirmative action and my own racial identity first became important issues in my life No doubt affirmative action and race became constant weights on my mind as soon as I began to sort through stacks of college applications as a new student On every application I was forced to swear allegiance to one and only one racial identity I searched through the boxes desperately hoping to find one that might best describe my race and of course give me an advantage in the admissions process The first category to eliminate was a toss up between white and Native American I thought to myself genetically I am at least 50 percent white since my father is white but typically I am 100 percent Asian White was one category I could side with but I knew being white wasnt going to score me any points on my college application Besides when I looked in the mirror I did not see the stereotypical image of a white person looking back at me I decided I appeared more Native American than white with my long dark hair dark skin and strong cheekbones But as I was aware that admissions boards could care less what I actually looked like and it was my true ancestry that mattered I had to forget about being Pocahontas even if I could play her in a Disney movie For the same reason I had to forget about checking off Hispanic In early 1980 living in a community such as Santa Rosa where the three main racial groups were white black and Hispanic people would often speak to me in Spanish and start guessing which region of Mexico I was from I knew in the eyes of most American since I wasnt quite white and wasnt quite red I must be Hispanic But I
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