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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Race and Identity Can't Be Forced Into Boxes

March 16, 2003

The Census Bureau's rigid attempt at classifying those of us who are more than one ethnicity, race and culture is the easiest and least interesting way of showing our numbers ("For Millions of Latinos, Race Is a Flexible Concept," March 11).

Although not mentioned in this report, Asians are another group with roots in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is not just race that is a flexible concept. Identity too is fluid in merging physical appearance and cultural upbringing with the culture of adaptation as immigrants to the U.S. Reducing us to one attribute is unrealistic and passe. The more we are, the more valuable we are.

Victoria Lee-Jerrems

Admissions Officer

Division of Student Affairs

UC San Diego

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