Identity is one of the most important human characteristics. It defines how we interact with the world around us and how the world interacts with us. Although in America we prize individualism and personal identity, there is also a strong desire to categorize and group people, such as by race, ethnicity, gender, and social status. Racial classification is based on a social construct, not a biological one. Unfortunately, racial groupings enforce “superior” and “inferior” groups. In the United States, “hypodescent” laws classify multiracial individuals on the basis of the inferior group.1,2  For example, a white mother can have a Black child, but the reverse is impossible.

In 1985, the hypodescent law was applied to the case of Jane Doe v. State of Louisiana. Susie Phipps, a white woman (the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of an interracial affair), was denied a US passport because of discrepancy in how she identified...

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