Like the guy who wrote the follow-up letter in that column, I put “human” when asked for race.
They may not care, but people who ask for that info on job/scholarship/etc. applications do. And unlike the Census Bureau, they are going to have contact with you, and if they made a judgement, good or bad, based on what race you claimed, that will influence their opinion of you.
I don’t do that to be “clever”, as someone once accused me. I do it because I can’t think of any situation where race should be regarded as a vital statistic on a par with age, height, marital status and so forth.
When I fill out the warranty card for household appliances, I tell them that I was born in 1970 and that I’m married, because I know marketing researchers are going to see it. If they have a preconceived notion that Gen-Xers don’t marry and don’t use any appliance besides a microwave, I’d like to help dispel that. If, however, they have a preconceived notion that only certain races purchase waffle irons, they need more help than I can give them.