Cavejug_1, RoustWriter has posted a total of 497 chapters in his story 'Jeff and Arlene'. I started reading the story a couple of years back and have read all of the chapters he has posted to date. My memory is not what it used to be, but from my recollection RoustWriter did not define the race of any of his characters.
I've known a lot of people in my life, and in many cases their names did not indicate their heritage. For example, Adrian, Ivan, Lance, Marsha, Richard, Susan, and Tom are the first names of some of my friends and coworkers. I challenge you to identify their race, and since none of these friends is White, I will give you a bit of help. They are Black, Chinese, Hindu, Latino, German, Japanese, and Russian, and if you pick Ivan as Russian you would be wrong. I also have a friend by the name of Carl Hernandez, but he is Black not Latino. Names do define heritage in many, but not all cases.
Having grown up in the west, in particular within the Mormon Colonization footprint in what is generally referred to by the locals as "the Intermountain West" (Between the Rockies and Sierra-Nevada & Cascade Mountain ranges, I've always found this topic odd.
Maybe it was due to the overwhelming cultural homogeneity brought on by the predominant characteristic everyone focused on being "Mormon," or more importantly for the people claiming the title, "not Mormon" and the unjust treatment they experience as a persecuted minority. Admittedly, by the time I was aware of anything, my home town was 90+ percent white, and most of those who weren't were Native Americans.
Blacks who visited were "looked at" (and watched) not so much because anybody was concerned they might "do something" but because they don't normally see skin that dark in person, so it's something new and different, and so of course they're going to look. Once the novelty wears off, it's back to business as usual.
I imagine a white guy visiting a remote tribe in Africa would see much the same treatment, only because they'd never seen someone so pale.
But going back to the Mormon homogeneity thing, outside of large urban centers, such as say Salt Lake City where people may have managed to reconsolidate along national/ethnic lines, it doesn't exist in the rest of the region.
As the "Mormon Pioneer" consisted largely of converts from all over New England in particular(which had already mixed to some degree) and later most of Western Europe, and all of them being converts to the same faith. Those national and ethnic lines don't exist for their descendants. Being Mormon they of course know they have ancestors from _____ and ____ and probably a few other places, but it doesn't really mean much of anything to them.
Which is how a statement like "I'm a cultural Mormon" actually doesn't sound like a very strange thing for someone from that area to say if they've had dealings with the larger world.
In many respects it makes them the ultimate example of the melting pot, they don't have "5th Generation Itallians"(but may claim an Italian ancestor) or "3rd Generation Irish"(Although they may claim an Irish Great-Grandparent), or any other such thing along that line.
As it is a non-factor in their life and probably has been a non-factor for most of it, or any kind of factor in the life of most people they deal with, it baffles them when someone decides to make it one for them. "Wait, you mean being of Italian descent is still a 'thing' people get hung up on? Honestly, your nationality wasn't even considered in this, but if you want to make an issue of it, incorrect as you may be, I guess you're more than able to do so."
And the reality of true racial and ethnic equality, as somewhat alluded to by others here, is for the need to make those distinctions to be irrelevant. It shouldn't matter if the person has pink skin, yellow skin, black skin, purple skin, or neon green skin. What matters is what they can do, and how they conduct themselves in the course of their life.
I think someone even made a famous speech about that back in the 60's even. Something about people being judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
But I guess if you want to worry about the racial composition of a cast in a work of fiction that has been fairly scrupulous about not mentioning race at all(intentionally or not on his part. I mean, wouldn't it be a kick in pants if it turned out Jeff and Arlene were both black? Or has that been ruled out because they "don't act black" in your view? I guess you could claim the lack of describing "the typical white response" to seeing a black in an area like the story is set in is grounds for your claim, but I'm dubious.), and going on screaming about racism, well...
Of course, I guess I better check my privilege at the door. And now I'm going to have to consider revisiting much of that series with the mental filter of "Is this narrative a believable telling of events surrounding a black family?" (Well, within the realm of suspension of disbelief anyhow)
As I recall the situation around the Matthews Clan at the start of the story, and some of the back story given, it isn't impossible for the main characters themselves to be Black. They could still just have just been some poor old white folk as well, but as I think on it further, I think the opening portion of the story probably works a bit better and makes a bit more sense if they are (black).
It does make some of the later stuff a bit more awkward to work through though, as a black guy and his family throwing lots of money around should have elicited some kind of comment they'd encounter as it defies the stereotype, and there is yet another worse stereotype to explain that, particularly once the polygamy got going.
But then, they may have learned to tune a lot of that out, and with where they were going most of the time, those businesses probably go to lengths to prevent such incidents from happening if forewarned as to their ability to pay. Money makes all kinds of things happen.