Especially in the 1980s and ’90s, the heyday of identity politics, the well-justified desire to open academia and other fields to people of color made for awkward times if you bristled at having your experience of life reduced to “white,” “black,” “Asian,” “Hispanic,” or “Native American.” And even now, when jobs and school admissions may still ride on these crude categories, anyone whose ancestry falls outside or between them is in a painful spot.
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