To Judge a Color

But I haven’t a color. I’m invisible.
They need you to mark your color. Here, on this document.
I don’t wish to do that. I’m invisible.
But, you aren’t, I see you fine and you’re here.
Why do they want to mark my color?
Because they wish to judge.
Why would they judge a color?

They were taught to do so.
By who?
I’m not sure.
I don’t understand.
They were taught to judge in a space with benches.
Are the benches upset with us?

There’s a box here. On this document. It wants to know if I’m African American, Latino, or White. Where are the other colors and peoples?
Don’t worry about that.
But they are missing? Are they also invisible?

2 thoughts on “To Judge a Color

  1. This is extremely interesting to me. Is it a true story Matt? As you know, I am Māori. It may have been the late 70’s before the word Māori turned up as an option to tick on any form. No idea where we ticked before then. Over the years we’ve grown from Māori to Cook Island Māori or NZ Māori to Cook Island Māori to NZ Māori (then being two separate tick boxes) to Māori with a list of the main tribes around NZ from which we can choose. Ah – pre 70’s, we would have ticked ‘other’.

    Fast forward some years again, and NZ Europeans have evolved to now accept that we (Māori – which incidentally is an English word that the colonists came up with to classify as) prefer to identify with our iwi (tribes people) name. It’s been slow to take off – in terms of Māori realising that pre-contact we (Māori) were actually using our iwi name to identify ourselves by. There is a great deal of grief to wade through. So I continue to tick “other”. I then write Ngāti Kāhungunu ki Wairarapa in the space provided. And that my friend, is my colour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s incredible, thank you for the history. True in that we’ve all needed to check off the damn box. Why much of the word feels it’s so important to ‘identify’ is part of a larger illusion that I’m not a fan off. Regardless of which we may be.


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