April 15, 2008

CENSUS BALONEY

We had our mail held while we were on leave, and it just got delivered today. Some interesting pieces in there. First of all, via the university my husband is about to graduate from, there's a letter urging him to consider joining the Army. Heh.

Secondly, our 2008 Census Dress Rehearsal. Wanna know the choices for race?


  • Mexican, Mexican Am, Chicano
  • Puerto Rican
  • Cuban
  • Other Hispanic, write in Argentinean, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (print name of tribe)
  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Guamanian or Chamorro
  • Samoan
  • Other Pacific Islander, write in Fijian or Tongan
  • Other Asian, write in Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian

Oh yeah, and White or Black.

Christ on a cracker, where to begin? These are not races; these are national identities! We're really going to let Asians self-identify as Japanese, Korean, or Laotian but white Europeans can go f themselves? Oh, and remember, Arabs are considered "white." So we'll lump Swedes, Sicilians, Bulgarians, and Arabs all together, but heaven forbid we don't know whether you're Fijian or Tongan living in the US.

This makes me so mad I can't even see straight.

Who cares about any of this? You know what prevents us from moving from the color of one's skin to the content of his character? This bullcrap. I have the audacity of hope that one day we won't have to check stupid effing boxes like this, that one day we'll just all be called Americans.

Is that too much to ask? Really? Because otherwise I want a write-in tally for German-Irish-English-Native-American-American.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:32 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 I thought the same thing when I got the census today. Where's the "other" category?

Posted by: Green at April 15, 2008 05:12 PM (6Co0L)

2 So now you're on Rachel Lucas' blogroll. Congratulations!

Posted by: Oda Mae at April 16, 2008 01:54 AM (6zvrq)

3 This has bothered me FOREVER... I remember having a discussion with a Frenchman (he was not carrying a white flag.) Explaining am German, English, French, Lakota... DH is Austrian, Irish, German, Scottish.... the Collective...the mind boggles... The Frenchman thought it was disgusting...

Posted by: AWTM at April 16, 2008 04:49 AM (xa7ES)

4 I am (where to begin!) from my genealogy work: Swiss, German, Dutch, Belgium, More German, More Swiss, Spanish, Brazilian (Dutch East Indies era ), French Hugenot, English, Scotch Irish, Scottish, Irish, more German, Mexican or Spanish, more German, Irish, etc and so on and so on. I'm sure I've left some out. It is ridiculous, Heinz 57 as they used to say. Do you know how many ancestors there are when you really do them? My ancestors were here in 1648 and 1748 and 1848 when I can trace them to the shores. What do I check? I, too am looking for strictly American, or other.

Posted by: Ruth H at April 16, 2008 06:45 AM (FAgoX)

5 Out of four grandparents, two were directly off the boat from Europe. The other two were first generation Americans. They were all extremely proud of not just their heritage but the fact that they made themselves part of this country's culture. They'd be insulted that I don't get to check the "American" box, or not having one of those, the "European American" box.

Posted by: Ann M. at April 16, 2008 07:10 AM (HFUBt)

6 When I joined the British army in 1940, I was interviewed by a sergeant who, while taking down all the relevant particulars, asked, "What is your race?" Well, nowadays, I would say "white" or "Caucasian," but at the time, that wouldn't have occurred to me. In England, we never spoke about race. I knew what the Germans meant by it, however. So I asked the sergeant whether I should put "Jewish" in that category. "Nah," he dismissed. "That's your religion, and we've already got that on another line." At that point, I was completely mystified. "What, then," I asked, "am I supposed to put?" "As far as the British army is concerned," he replied, "there are four races: English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish. You are clearly English." So, I went to war with documents that said that I was British by nationality, English by race and Jewish by religion. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1204546415778&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

Posted by: David Boxenhorn at April 16, 2008 09:48 AM (SEEcB)

7 I guess I'd really be screwed. I know I am an American and will gladly check that box, when if ever offered, but for now what do I do? Black AMERICAN father - German National mother - born on German soil in German hospital. Gone are the days of check what you look like. PC crap! Where is Archie Bunker when you need him?

Posted by: Vonn at April 24, 2008 07:05 AM (gNLi0)

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