Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another Open Letter To The US Census Bureau

Dear Mr. Groves;

My house wishes to thank you for delivering the census form to it yesterday, as your initial letter last week promised.

My house wishes to thank you VERY MUCH for sending it the normal short 10 question form, instead of the thick book of questions that several hundred thousand of my house's friends will receive.

My house does have a couple of questions, and I am hoping you can answer them.

First, we are a nation which is supposed to treat everyone equally regardless of race, correct? While it is a sad fact that this has not been the case in the past, and indeed race remains too much a point of contention amongst our population, the government and law itself tells us that it is illegal and immoral to treat someone differently because of the color of their skin.

So, why is over half of the census short form devoted to questions about my house's inhabitants' race? It seems from the questions all you want to know are name, age, sex, and RACE of each occupant. Why does race matter? What purpose does it serve the government to have a racial profile of the house? What possible reason would the government need to know there are 4 white people living in the house on 1101 Maple Ave in Everytown, OK, instead of just knowing there are 4 people living in that house?

Second, according to the form, Hispanics are a category by themselves. Your form does not recognize them as a race, and asks further questions of anyone who says they are Hispanic. Why? This is confusing, as the term Hispanic is used to define race just as much as white, black, Asian, etc.

Thank you again for delivering the form as promised. We can all feel more secure this evening knowing that at least one person in the Obama Administration is not lying to us .....

No comments: