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Old 03-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #61
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Filled out my census form today. I must admit it was a fair requirement. Name, age. race, number of people living in the house, and whether residence is owned or rented. All acceptable questions. very unlike the form I received 10 years ago that wanted income and a lot of other things not associated with a census.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:47 PM   #62
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They can have this information when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands...
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:11 PM   #63
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I intend to answer all questions except #8 (re: Hispanic origin) and #9 (re race). I'll either leave these blank and wait for a visit from the streetwalker census taker or I'll supply a non-answer (race: Human.). I'm fundamentally against feeding the existing racial spoils game.

The Constitution calls for the census to enumerate the people, nothing more.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:16 PM   #64
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I intend to answer all questions except #8 (re: Hispanic origin) and #9 (re race). I'll either leave these blank and wait for a visit from the streetwalker census taker or I'll supply a non-answer (race: Human.). I'm fundamentally against feeding the existing racial spoils game.

The Constitution calls for the census to enumerate the people, nothing more.
Sam, might be more fun to tell the census-taker that you really don't know what race you are and then ask them "what do I look like to you?"
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:12 PM   #65
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What is acceptable about asking your race? Why does the government need to know? Aren't we supposed to be living in a race blind society?

My former wife was not white, but always refused to answer this question because she felt that at anytime the wind might change her answer might be used against her. In fact it likely would have gotten her extra credit, but she did not see it that way.

I haven't answered anything in years. Eventually they get tired of dealing with problem cases and quit coming around

Ha
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:01 PM   #66
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Alright, How about this? Personally, I didn't have a problem with this decade's form. In 1990 and 2000 I wrote MYOB on many questions. If you have a problem with this years questions don't answer them.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:42 PM   #67
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They can have this information when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands...
You're such a rebel.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #68
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I know we've got a few threads running on the census - but these comments seemed closest to what I was wondering about regarding the race questions.

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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I am hopeful that providing the requested information will allow the government to have accurate data regarding the characteristics of our population so they can make rational decisions on matters of public policy.
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Or we could skip getting the information and just pretend that we don't have issues our country needs to face.
Yes, there are issues our country needs to face - But when I look at the questions, I'm having trouble understanding what rational decisions would be made from this. They have check boxes for such specific categories - Mexican, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Filipino, Vietnamese, Samoan, and about a dozen others. What exactly do they do with that?

And, why no breakdown of 'white'? A Serb is the same as a Croatian as a German as a Ukrainian?

I'm all for helping people who need it. But are the needs of a disadvantaged kid somehow less important because his grandparents lived in Hamburg instead of Guatemala?

Conversely, in the workplace I've had to compete for raises and promotions with some people who could check some of those boxes, and sometimes they 'beat me', fair and square. They don't need help. But it doesn't ask if you are a successful minority, just a minority. That just strikes me as very condescending.


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What is acceptable about asking your race? Why does the government need to know? Aren't we supposed to be living in a race blind society?
Exactly - so why aren't we identifying needs regardless of race?

Now, I can imagine that a school could need to tailor its language programs to the needs of the student population. But race doesn't tell you that, as there are plenty of people of race X in some parts of the country speaking English at (or beyond) their grade level. You need to identify the number of students who need help with a background in languages A, B , C, etc. A census doesn't tell you that.

So are there good uses for this info?


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Old 03-17-2010, 10:22 PM   #69
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So are there good uses for this info?
I don't think so. If people keep voluntarily supplying this information, the few remaining hangers-on will keep our national dialogue stuck in 1965. So, I provided nothing useful on my census form regarding race. Because there's nothing useful to say.

I'm hoping a lot of folks write in "I don't know, but I look like this" and then draw in a stick figure so the bean-counters can make their own racial classification.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:36 AM   #70
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What is acceptable about asking your race? Why does the government need to know? Aren't we supposed to be living in a race blind society?(snip)

Ha
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So are there good uses for this info?


-ERD50
Maybe we are "supposed to be" living in a race-blind society, but I don't believe for a minute that we actually are. I prefer the term "race-neutral" to "race-blind"—race-neutral meaning a society which acknowledges that its members come from different racial/ethnic backgrounds but doesn't determine which opportunities are open to each individual based on their origin. When all the ethnic groups in the US have the same median income, the same rate of poverty, the same life expectancy and infant mortality and so on, I think that would show a society that was at least well on the way to being race-neutral.

In the meantime, a good use for race data in the census IMO, would be to determine how close we are to race-neutrality, and which direction we are going. Are we getting closer to it or further away? To me, refusing to provide racial data is a sort of denial. It's claiming "as a society, we've already arrived, racism has been completely eliminated, so we don't have to talk about it or do anything about it any more". I can take you to a bus stop not two blocks from my house and prove that ain't true.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:45 AM   #71
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We received the census form yesterday; I filled it out and mailed it back. No big deal.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:56 AM   #72
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It's claiming "as a society, we've already arrived, racism has been completely eliminated, so we don't have to talk about it or do anything about it any more". I can take you to a bus stop not two blocks from my house and prove that ain't true.
Yes, I think in many respects we have arrived. There are absolutely no more legal barriers or restrictions based on race. The only place current laws mention race is in the very unfortunate racial references in some programs that are only serving to perpetuate racism.

Now, that's not to say that there are no bigots and racists out there. It appears to me that white racists are, to a large degree, older people, so that problem may be on its way out. I don't know if the same situation (more racial tolerance and "color blindness" among the young than among the old) exists in black communities, I think perhaps it does not. If true, that's unfortunate, and will set us back decades.

Our big cultural "divide" now is along the wealth axis, not among racial groups. Poor black people have fewer opportunities almost exclusively because they are poor, not because they are black. If we can concentrate on the right problem and not get distracted by skin tone, we'll be on the right track.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #73
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Sent our census form in. Filled in number of people and age -- put lines through anything doing with race (we are a racially mixed family and we're not telling Obama) -- and didn't include birthdates or phone number.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:44 PM   #74
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There are some health issues that affect specific races (as we've unfortutely recently learned in our own extended family), so there is that difference among races beyond income and education. And I believe other entities use census data in planning, so knowing population statistical breakdowns would be useful for them. But that's me.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:58 PM   #75
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I completed it today (as the mysterious #1). DW opted for #2. It seemed that the few questions that they asked sure did concentrate on race quite a bit. Seems like a Q about Internet, or home computer, or # of TVs would have been more informative.

Can't wait for 72 years (when 2010 census info is released) to see my name in print.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:07 PM   #76
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I've said it before and I'll say it again...after I had my first pap, nothing seems too personal to me....
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:20 PM   #77
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In the meantime, a good use for race data in the census IMO, would be to determine how close we are to race-neutrality, and which direction we are going. Are we getting closer to it or further away? To me, refusing to provide racial data is a sort of denial. It's claiming "as a society, we've already arrived, racism has been completely eliminated, so we don't have to talk about it or do anything about it any more". I can take you to a bus stop not two blocks from my house and prove that ain't true.
I'm not following you, at least as it relates to the census count (which is the topic after all).

Yes, unfortunately racism is not dead. But how does a count do anything to improve the situation? Does learning that we have a 0.1% population of X race tell us how they are being treated, or what help they need specific to their race, or if they even need/want help? To echo samclem's sentiments, wouldn't knowing they were poor and/or illiterate tell us more about how to help them?

Come to think of it, why not a box for "At what grade level can you read/write English"? Read/Write was included on older surveys. I'd guess that has more correlation to who needs help than their race.

For a data-point, my daughter's boyfriend's family can check one of those specific minority boxes. He's at the same highly rated school she is, he's in the Engineering school, his Dad is an engineer with his own business. They seem to be doing pretty well. Yet, we are told to check different boxes. What good comes from that?

I am very tempted to enter something like race; other; human or 'American' - because that is how I feel. I don't see the significance to our governance whether or not my family came from various parts of Europe (as far as I know, which isn't very far). However, if this data is really useful, then I want to fill it out in the most useful way, but it's hard to understand what use it is.

I poked around a little on the Census website, didn't find an answer to the question stated that way.

OK, a little off topic, but... my real fear is that we have already hit the best we are going to get in terms of 'race-neutrality', and we are turning the other way. I sure hope not.

-ERD50
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #78
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There are some health issues that affect specific races ...
Sounds like just the thing for the CDC. I bet they could learn more from hospital records than from a census.

But again, if there are good reasons for it, I support it. But I'm very skeptical.


Hey, wait a minute, there are some health issues that are specific to groups not included in that survey:

Quote:
Description: Canavan disease (CD), which primarily affects children of eastern and central European Jewish (Ashkenazi) descent, is an inherited neurological disorder in which the brain deteriorates.
But they are told to enter "White", while others get specific down 'Cambodian" versus "Vietnamese". So no, sorry, not buying that explanation as it stands.

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:56 PM   #79
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And, why no breakdown of 'white'? A Serb is the same as a Croatian as a German as a Ukrainian?
They all look alike to me.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #80
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Here's the answer to your prayers:


For complaints/concerns about the
2010 Census and other, operations
write or e-mail to:
Associate Director for Administration
Paperwork Project #OMB-0607-0919-C
U. S. Census Bureau
Washington, DC 20233-7100
<http://www.Paperwork@census.gov>

Type “Paperwork 0607- 0919-C” in the subject line
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