Thursday, March 18, 2010

Diversity Thursday

Your instructions for the Census via Mark Kirkorian at NRO.

I could not put it better myself - so all this is his; I'm sure he won't mind.

I was glad to see my friend Hans von Spakovsky explain the need for truthful answers on the census. (This was in response to my earlier posts here and here.) This is why I've made clear that you should not lie on your census form by, for instance, answering "Klingon" for your race, or "Guamanian" or "Chamorro" if you're not, in fact, Guamanian or Chamorro, as stupid and unjustifiable as such a question is.

Nor is the form overall especially onerous. It's one of the shortest ever, and no one's going to get the long form, with its questions about indoor plumbing and the like, because it's been replaced by the American Community Survey, which is an ongoing survey of a sample of the population. Filling out the census is your responsibility as an American — do it.

Nor, while we're on the subject, do I have any problem with the letter we all got announcing that the census form was on its way. The Bureau's responsibility is to count everyone, and if they have good reason to think such letters (or even Super Bowl ads) are likely to help, so be it.

And finally, before I get to the main point of Hans's post, I think it's important to note that the number-crunchers at the Census Bureau are highly trained professionals with skills much in demand in the private sector, and we're lucky to have them working for us. It's not like they sat around at a staff meeting one day and said, "Hey, why don't we to ask Americans what 'race' they are?" Congress tells the Census Bureau what to do and ought to be the sole focus of anyone's ire. This is why Hans is completely correct in writing "The only real answer to this problem is for Congress to prohibit the Census Bureau from collecting such information and to make all government programs (and the reapportionment process) explicitly race-neutral."

But Congress isn't going to do that on its own. Our contemporary system of race laws is both stupid and evil, and thus supported by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. That's why it's necessary for citizens to come up with imaginative ways to register their disgust with the whole immoral concept of race laws and, if possible within the law, make them unworkable. And the decennial census is an ideal opportunity to do so, since it's one of the few civic rites where participation is almost universal.

As Hans pointed out, 13 USC 221 says "Whoever . . . willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500." First of all, answering Question 9 by checking "Some other race" and writing in "American" is not false and therefore not a violation of the law. But if the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia disagrees, he just needs to call me and I'll be happy to turn myself in. If I lost, the $500 fine would come back to me 100-fold in a book contract; more importantly, simply shining a light on the utterly specious nature of our race laws would ring their death knell.

For example: the census considers Korean and Pakistani and Guamanian to be distinct races — not ethnic groups, but "races," as evidenced by Question 9, which says "Other Asian — Print race, for example, Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian, and so on." If "Pakistani" — a political/religious identity invented in 1934 — is a "race," then "American" is a race. What's more, if these are "races," then so are Jamaican, and Italian, and Mixtec. In other words, apart from any questions of constitutionality or morality, the government's concept of "race" is simply gibberish, and I dare the JusticeDepartment to try to defend it in court.

The late Hugh Davis Graham wrote Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America, which traced how these fallacious "race" categories were invented. If I might quote from my 2002 review of the book for NR:

So the four "official" minority designations we now take for granted were essentially made up by civil servants preparing questionnaires for government contractors. This then led to an almost comical procession of groups trying to get on the gravy train. Hasidic Jews petitioned the Small BusinessAdministration for participation in minority set-asides, but were rejected as a religious group. Then Asian Indians petitioned, and were accepted, bringing the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in their wake. Later, an Indonesian woman, initially rejected, finally mastered the lingo and argued in her appeal that Indonesian Americans "have suffered economic deprivation" and the "chronic effects of discriminatory practices for a very long time" — this despite the fact that there were only a handful of Indonesian immigrants in the U.S., and they were wealthier and better educated than native-born Americans. Iranians, however, were rejected, apparently because "the chronic effects of discriminatory practices" stopped at the Pakistani border; Graham wryly remarks that "the SBA's ethnocultural line-drawing at the Khyber Pass, coming from an agency not noted for this expertise, made no sense in terms either of Middle Eastern cultural anthropology or of American history and law."

So for next week, remember: Question 9 on your census form — check "Some other race" and write in "American." You're doing nothing wrong. And you may help set something right.

The Navy makes this hard to do - but you can. If nothing else, "Other" or the appropriate vague answer works.

We should describe ourselves as the rest of the world does, Americans.

21 comments:

AW1 Tim said...

I have remarked here before that there exists only one "race" and that is "human". Everything else is an artificial construct designed by those who would make themselves an aristocracy to cause division and friction amongst us, thus making their ascent to power easier and more durable.

William Powell said...

I'd love to list my race as "sailor".  Hey, our culture is just as different and unique as those others!

Spade said...

I'm putting down IrishPolishSicilian if it will fit just to be a dick.

Byron said...

Wonder if I can get away with, "Coonass"?

Matthew Scott said...

No im putting in the correct race. I want to see the updated stats in wikidpedia after its completed. Go ahead and be jerks about it.

USMC Steve said...

I put down European American for me and the Missus. 

I also noticed a lot of space and print relative to hispanics.  Since i can safely know it is in no way related to enforcing federal immigration laws, I can reasonably assume that it is something directed by Barak Yomama to kiss their asses in some way. 

And the letter they sent telling us we would be getting a census letter is an utter waste of government funds.  Not on the scale of other wastes of government funds by any means but a waste anyway.

Spade said...

I literally got that pre-census letter the day before I got the census.

AW1 Tim said...

 I had some fellow claiming to be from the Census knock on my front door about two weeks back. I told him politely, but firmly, to get off my property until he gets a warrant.

AW1 Tim said...

 How 'bout Redneck?
 "Red necks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer".

AW1 Tim said...

 You mean the updated stats AFTER Obama and the White House get done manipulating the data? Counting all the illegals? Adding fake names, addresses and race data through ACORN and other leftist groups hired to help out with the count?

  To my mind this Census will always have an asterix* beside every single point of data. It simply cannot be trusted.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

He probably gets that at every third house with you Maine-ahs.... =-O

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Do you think they would prosecute if, for race, I listed "steeplechase"?

C-dore 14 said...

AW1, Our local TV news consumer reporters have been warning about scammers and identity theft guys using this technique.  The census folks say that they won't be sending out real door-to-door census takers until late April/early May.

C-dore 14 said...

Guess I'm in the minority (no pun intended) but I just filled out the form and sent it back, in hopes that they'll now leave me alone for another 10 years.

Byron said...

Coonasses don't drink PBR, we drink Dixie or Falstaff :)

MR T's Haircut said...

I filled mine out
I listed numbers living in household
I listed my mortgage arrangment
I listed my names and the others living in my residence

I gave them the number for information if they want to call me 555-1212  (yes I did, they can earn the paycheck and technically I am being honest)

I left the race crap blank.. I refuse to answer. 

WHEN they show up I will tell them check other I am an American.

done.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Maybe, or you could use "Daytona" or "Indy 500" or "Kentucky Derby"?

These days, "Rat" is probably most accurate.

QMC(SW)(ret) said...

Number in household, age (no birthdates) race "American". That's it.

AW1 Tim said...

 Ayuh... Gonna make sure he jumps though ALL those hoops.....

AW1 Tim said...

 Jebuss...  no wonder you all are so hard to communictae with... :)

DM05 said...

Good insights here on what to answer, it's likely in my stack of mail. Been too busy working in an industry the O-bama industry has screwed to care... When I do answer, maybe we'll be foregoing some local/state numbers, but I'm so f'ing ticked at our feferale government, not sure what Ima gonna write. I may just go with some diverse population/segment and hope the check arrives soon. And yeah, if any show up at the house, well, lets just say I'm gonna enjoy the one-way conversation and the $10/hr census flunky won't.