The 2010 Census: Don't Put Me In A Big White Box
NPR / Shereen Marisol Meraji

I hate filling out forms that make me check my race.

I call myself a Puerto-Ranian — that's a Puerto Rican/Iranian — kind of like Sabzi mixed withSofrito, and J-Lo mixed with Googoosh.

My mom is the Puerto Rican, my dad the Iranian. But there isn't a Puerto-Ranian category on the census. So I check Hispanic.

As far as the U.S. government is concerned, I'm just another white Puerto Rican. But this year, I was tempted to switch things up and give a nod to my Persian side — partly because of a hilarious public service announcement an Iranian friend sent to me. In it, a young census taker, who is fluent in Farsi, goes door to door educating various Iranian men on the importance of writing Iranian-American on the 2010 Census. The male characters are all played by comedian Maz Jobrani, an Iranian-American comedian, best known as the Persian member of The Axis of Evil comedy tour.

In the PSA, Jobrani pokes fun at Iranian male stereotypes: the uppity doctor, the swarthy and overly flirtatious 2... >>>

recommended by Monda