It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Is The US Census Racist?

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 11:46 AM
link   
Bear with me for a moment while I explain why I am asking for your opinion on this subject.

In the current 2010 US Census, There are two questions that ask about race. This in and of itself is odd as the stated purpose of the census it to count the population for the purpose of determining the proper number of government representatives, and to apportion government spending. Whether a person is of Asian or African origin has nothing to do with numbers.

The Government claims that all data is kept in strict confidence and is only used for counting purposes, but we all know from experience that this is not true. During WWII the census was used to help round up innocent Japanese Americans to lock them up in concentration camps in violation of their rights. More recently, the census has been used to determine "ethnic neighborhoods" for the purpose of racial profiling by police groups.

Questions 8 and 9 of the short form ask about your race. Question 8 asks if you are Hispanic. if yes, they give you several check boxes to select from such as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc. If No, you move on to question 9. In question nine you are presented with several more check boxes where you can choose Asian, Native American, African American and a few others including White.

White, it is a color. Notice that they do not call hispanics Brown, Asians Yellow, Africans Black, nor Native Americans as Red. One must also consider that there is a great deal of genetic and ethnic differences contained within the "White" category. Is a Russian the same as the Greek? Is the South African the same as an Anglo, or Saxon, or Germanic, or Celtic, or Slavic, or on and on? Often you will hear people being lumped together as Caucasians despite having no ancestral link to the Caucus mountain region. History and genetics informs us that "White people" have a very diverse background comprising a variety of genotypes and ethnic differences, yet the census only sees you as a color if you are white. White, the new colored people. Hispanics are given several choices, but not colored people. If you are "white" your ethnic group does not matter. This is the very definition of racism, is it not?

The kicker in all this is that Race is meaningless when it comes to humans. Race is an artificial social construct with no basis in science. There is only one Human race, namely Homo Sapiens Sapiens. There is no subspecies. What the Census is really asking is about your ethnic group. In 1950 UNESCO informed the world that they should no longer use Race as it is inaccurate and symbolic of racism. They should talk about Ethnic groups, yet the US census continues to promote the concept that people are of different races, which is factually untrue.

The correct answer to the Census question is to check off "Other" and write in Homo Sapiens Sapiens. That is the only correct answer when asked about Race. You could also follow our family tree as all of our ancestors came out of Africa at one point in time long ago, and thus check off African American, irregardless of your skin color.

Now I am not personally offended by the sloppiness of the Census, nor am I concerned about what some call reverse racism." I am a world citizen and get along in a wide variety of ethnic groups where ever I happen to be at the moment. It does not effect me at all, but I wonder what kind of message it sends. Is it OK to ignore ethnic differences of one group, while focusing on the differences of another? Is it OK to perpetuate the myth that there are different Human races, promoting ignorance and racism in the process?

So tell me, do you think the Census, whos sole stated purpose is to count the number of Americans, is racist?? I await your intelligent replies.




posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 11:52 AM
link   
I don' think this applies to the census, many forms ask if you are white, this that or the other.

Most black people I know go by black, not African American.

I don't care for caucasion, as most people are not natives of the Caucus mountains.

So what do you propose white people be called?

P.S.. Your right in that white is not a color. White is the absence of color.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 11:53 AM
link   
I personally didn't answer the sex and race questions on the census form. I also didn't provide my phone number. I personally feel these are not needed for counting the population of the U.S. And also people should remember that Obama has assumed primary control over the Census, when he took control of it away from the Commerce Department.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 11:57 AM
link   

Originally posted by Terapin
In the current 2010 US Census, There are two questions that ask about race. This in and of itself is odd as the stated purpose of the census it to count the population for the purpose of determining the proper number of government representatives, and to apportion government spending. Whether a person is of Asian or African origin has nothing to do with numbers.


Actually, you are misunderstanding a portion of the census. States receive additional federal funds based on the number of minority and illegal immigrants it has. Therefore, in order to determine funding for minority programs, the government has to know how many there are in order to calculate funding.

My argument is of course that all persons should receive equal funding and no financial benefit should be made for any race. That to me would be equality. But that's not how it works.



White, it is a color. Notice that they do not call hispanics Brown, Asians Yellow, Africans Black, nor Native Americans as Red. One must also consider that there is a great deal of genetic and ethnic differences contained within the "White" category. Is a Russian the same as the Greek? Is the South African the same as an Anglo, or Saxon, or Germanic, or Celtic, or Slavic, or on and on? Often you will hear people being lumped together as Caucasians despite having no ancestral link to the Caucus mountain region.


This is also the argument that many use, myself included, when discussing "African-American". People that consider themselves to be African-American generally have no more roots in Africa than you or I. And frankly, there is the belief that all life originally cam from Africa anyway, so we could all theoretically use the same title.

I think that the best breakdown for the census should be as follows:

Check one:

______American
______Non-American


Hispanics are given several choices, but not colored people. If you are "white" your ethnic group does not matter. This is the very definition of racism, is it not?


There is no such thing as racism against white people.
Didn't you know that?



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:02 PM
link   
technically, of course it is. it is trying to determine the race of the people living in that particular household. however, using the term "racist" implies some type of foul play unfolding against a particular race. that is not the case with the census. it took me ten minutes to complete the form, because only some very basic questions were asked. there is nothing asked on the census form, that a neighbor wouldn't know by looking out their window. you people have to get over this nonsense.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:04 PM
link   
I will offer you this for you to consider.
The History of White People

This Book, written by an African American professor, goes deeply into the significant differences among the various groups that make up what is called "White People"

Most ancient peoples defined population differences culturally, not physically, and often regarded lighter people as less civilized. Centuries later, European travel writers regarded the light-skinned Circassians, a k a Caucasians, as people best fit only for slavery, yet at the same time labeled Circassian slave women the epitome of beauty. Exoticizing and sexualizing women of allegedly inferior “races” has a long and continuous history in racial thought; it’s just that today they are usually darker-skinned women.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:13 PM
link   
reply to post by jimmyx
 


I used the term racist correctly. Not that it necessarily indicates deliberate foul play as you put it, but in that it selects some races for special treatment while other races are overlooked. It is a question of equality. As I stated, I personally feel no animosity coming from the Census and it dos not offend me regarding race, but I question the message it sends. It is OK to single out some races and ignore others. Again, that is the very definition of racism. Racial discrimination. Should not all people be counted the same, or given the same opportunity to equally express their ethnic diversity?

What if the Census asked about White people and offered numerous check boxes for people to indicate wether or not they were Slavic, Celtic, Germanic, Saxon, Nordic, etc, and only had Brown, Black, Red, and Yellow for people of other ethnic groups? Would that be just as OK as the current reverse?

For me the biggest issue is that there are no different human races, only distinct ethnic groups, thus the question begins with ignorance.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:14 PM
link   
reply to post by lpowell0627
 


I can understand where you are coming from. There should just be equality. But there isn't.
Some people argue with me on this but while racism needs to be eliminated, there are still some differences among the races. For example Celiacs disease is higher for eastern Europeans. Race has big differences in heart disease. So if you want to distribute research funds, you would want to put them in areas that are most affected.

Whetehr people still want to accept it or not, there is still racism and oppression and sexism. Low income areas may need more money for schools then areas that have a higher tax revenue.
There are a lot of reasons for knowing race.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by nixie_nox
[
Whetehr people still want to accept it or not, there is still racism and oppression and sexism. Low income areas may need more money for schools then areas that have a higher tax revenue.
There are a lot of reasons for knowing race.


I agree that racism and sexism are indeed problems world wide, and we should all work to eliminate it whenever possible. I travel internationally on a regular basis and have lived in nations where women are considered third class citizens. Such cultural ignorance should be eliminated through education.

Factors like income are indeed important for government funding reasons, but they do not ask about income in the census, and they can get that information from the IRS if they were interested. The tax base is quite enlightening when it comes to regional income. I ask you though, is a wealthy African American to be counted differently by the current census?



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:28 PM
link   
reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II
 


Way to go on distorting facts! Gotta love it. Get that one from Faux news?

All Obama did was announce that the Director would work closely with the White House on the census. Then he appointed a republican.

When the census happened under George Bush, he appointed his campaign manager?

Were you hollaring then that it has been taken over by the president? Or only now because for the first time in 30 years it is by an opposing party?



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 12:48 PM
link   
I just wanted to add to this.

I filled my census out and checked WHITE.
But in the boxes for description, I wrote: AMERICAN!



I realize American isn't a race.
But the way I see it, we are such a mix of races, it really ought to be a separate distinct race.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 01:00 PM
link   

Originally posted by nixie_nox
reply to post by lpowell0627
 


Some people argue with me on this but while racism needs to be eliminated, there are still some differences among the races. For example Celiacs disease is higher for eastern Europeans. Race has big differences in heart disease. So if you want to distribute research funds, you would want to put them in areas that are most affected.


I see your point. However, if the diseases themselves received funding, equally, there still would not be an issue. Again, claim to be funding research for a disease, not any particular person or race because they are more likely to get it.

I certainly don't think any particular disease -- assuming they are equal in mortality rate -- deserves more attention than another based simply on which race is more likely to get it.

Another detriment to this being that people can have a disease that perhaps their race is not commonly known to have and therefore receive a delayed diagnosis since they don't fit the "typical" profile.

Also, I think there is a huge difference between listing race as a factor on medical forms for the purpose of identifying possible race-related illnesses and/or complications and identifying race merely to be a resident in this country.

On medical forms, there is always a section that asks for family history and diseases you may be prone to due to heredity -- this would be the perfect place to list race if a person felt inclined to do so.



There are a lot of reasons for knowing race.


I agree. I just don't think many of the reasons are good enough.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 03:15 PM
link   
Well for one, theyre should be more diversity in the boxes, or at least theyre should be a line where if your none of the above, you can write it in. Im suprised they put White because when I fill things out it usually says caucasion, doesnt offend me though I really dont care.

It is a portrait of America though so I could see why they would ask for race, maybe its a just because type of thing, I dont see anything sinister behind it.



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 11:10 AM
link   
It is not just about gaining current information. It gives historical information. It gives a snapshot of America at that time. People have race. Acknowledging race isn't inequality, it is just that, acknowledging race.
So not only does the census have current applications, it has been priceless in any historical research.

If you ever watch a genealogist at work, the census is almost always used, and often priceless information.

A show I like to watch is "Who Do you Think You ARe" where they delve into the genealogy of celebrities. Just about every time they have to delve into info provided by the census, and race has proven a very, very valuable tool in helping people find information.

While yes we are all Americans. To pretend that we are color blind is just silly. It is not a question of equality or racism, it is about culture. Black people have a culture, Cajuns have a culture, New Yorkers have a culture. We have Chinatown in a lot of cities. Equality is being about colorblind, equality is about accepting other cultures as legitimate, and not discriminating against it.

IN 200 years someone will look back at the census and say, why did people from the northeast migrate to Florida at 65?



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 11:13 AM
link   
I always thought it was kinda racist. Its invase for anyone really, let alone an organization or place that tracks youor skin color, to make it its business. IF the system wants us to be globalized, which i disgaree wiith, then why would race be an issue? dosnt feel like to brings us together, ya know? I know its a census thing, but damn is it annoying and a violation of ones self being.



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 12:00 PM
link   
I found it offensive, personally, to get that form in the mail, and the threats that came with it. Not that I feel discriminated against as a "white" person, whatever that means. It just offends me that race seems to be the most important question they want answered. The questions are so detailed. Honestly, I would be more worried if I fell into one of the groups in which the census seems to be taking an interest in, like Hispanic.

I do think it's ridiculous to put those detailed questions about very specific ethnic origins next to "white." I mean, what does "white" even mean? None of us are "white" like a glass of milk. I think they mean European American, but I mean, technically Hispanics are that too. And a lot of us who marked "white" on our forms are probably a lot of other things like Native American. It's almost like they're really asking if we can pass for "white" and if not, then they want to know the details. But ultimately, they're asking about our appearances. It's just a really weird question, worded in a stupid way.




top topics



 
2

log in

join