Tuesday, March 9, 2010

9. Other -- American

From a scroll of the interwebs today, it seems this movement is gaining some traction. It seems like a reasonable response to what some would argue are unreasonable questions on the US Census forms we'll all be receiving soon.
My initial impulse was simply to misidentify my race so as to throw a monkey wrench into the statistics; I had fun doing this on the personal-information form my college required every semester, where I was a Puerto Rican Muslim one semester, and a Samoan Buddhist the next. But lying in this constitutionally mandated process is wrong. Really — don't do it.

Instead, we should answer Question 9 by checking the last option — "Some other race" — and writing in "American." It's a truthful answer but at the same time is a way for ordinary citizens to express their rejection of unconstitutional racial classification schemes. In fact, "American" was the plurality ancestry selection for respondents to the 2000 census in four states and several hundred counties.

So remember: Question 9 — "Some other race" — "American". Pass it on.

So passing it on I am.

On a related note, yesterday I received a letter from the Census bureau informing me that I would soon be receiving this year's census form. Gee, thanks! I'm glad the federal government has so much extra money on their hands that they can afford sending out the you're-about-to-get-a-letter letter.

I imagine the polite thing to do would be to send a letter back notifying them that they can expect to receive my (almost) completed Census form soon. But then they'd send a letter thanking me for my letter which acknowledged their letter about the forthcoming letter, and...

Aw, to hell with it. I need a nap.

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