Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Millard Fillmore was more pale than James Buchanan

This month, the Census Bureau will remind Americans that racial classifications remain an integral part of the country's social and legal fabric while, at the same time, recognizing that racial lines are blurring for a growing number of people such as Harvey. The government will give the nation's more than 308 million people the opportunity to define their racial makeup as one race or more.

The agency expects the number of people who choose multiple races to be significantly higher than the 2000 Census, when the government first allowed more than one race choice. Responses to this year's survey will provide for the first time a glimpse at the evolution of racial identification: Those who were children in 2000 and were identified as one race by their parents may respond differently as adults today and select more than one.

"It's a historic opportunity to see how things have changed or how things have not changed," says Nicholas Jones, chief of the Census Bureau racial statistics branch. Multiracial Americans are "one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the country. There's an increasing number of children born to parents of different races."
Why? What is the point of trying to count individuals based on ancestral origin and the amount of melanin content in their skin. It seems arbitrary...and somewhat segregational in a categorical sense.

Why does the government ask about race and ethnicity?

Federal agencies need the information to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination laws such as the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act, fair employment practices and affirmative action mandates.
Load of crap answer. They cannot monitor anything by keeping a mere total. Additionally, the very fact that parties filling out the census can now mix and match according to their whims (on the honor system) corrupts any data acquired.

But, more importantly...the Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act, fair employment practices and affirmative action mandates simply violate the purposes for their creation. Advantages are created for those possessing more melanin or estrogen. That contradicts the philosophy of equal opportunity.

Ditch the racial boxes altogether in the census and you're on the right track. And, incidentally, we are all a minority and a majority of one. Even identical twins possess differences in appearance, intelligence, personality etc... The term minority as it applies to races et al is an absolute misnomer. It's about time people set the race thing aside and acted honestly.