Adriana Galue's Blog

musings about entrepreneurship & life…

A World of Categorizations

I am a dog lover.

Reading about the multiple abuses to pit bulls led me to the task of adopting one. Over the years, I have had decent success training dogs of all types. As a neuroscientist by training, I try as much as possible to avoid categorizations. In my mind, a pit bull is just another creature that responds to love, discipline, expectations and exercise. Lefty has been an eye opener in the world of categorizations.

In every walk, I inevitably get the question “what type of dog is he?”

As an experiment, I answer different things ranging from a Mutt, an American Bulldog, a Terrier Mix, and, oh my god, a Pit Bull ! Given that Lefty is the same sweet dog in all instances, it is interesting to observe people’s reactions to my answers: they are as scattered as the performance of a mutual fund in the last decade.  As the people who get the “pit bull” answer pull their dogs away from mine, I think about what categorizations do to our world.

I was born an immigrant in my country of origin. My great grandfather was an Algerian bedouin who, for reasons I have yet to comprehend, ended up in Colombia.  He married a Wayuu  indian who gave birth to my grandfather. My grandfather ended up falling in love with an Afro-Colombian slave, my grandmother. My father Daniel is then an Afro-Algerian-Wayuu mutt. Daniel meets my mother, who, if we still insist on categorizing, is a mix of Spaniard Arabic and Muisca, a Mesoamerican indian tribe.

As I vote in the U.S (or for that matter try to fill any form), I get the option of three boxes to check my ethnicity. I wonder, what is the purpose of such futile statistics? I would feel less skeptical if instead of a box named “Hispanic” I could get a choice named “Brown” !


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This entry was posted on 12/16/2011 by in Reflections and tagged .
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