NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The U.S. Census Bureau says filling out the basic form takes about 10 minutes. They’re right. I filled out mine yesterday.
I left some questions blank.
Most of the census questions deal with basic information… your name, birthday, and the family relationships of the people living in your house. But other questions deal with your race and ethnicity. I refused to answer those questions. Instead of checking off a box, I wrote “I decline to answer.”
I’m not sure what will happen next. I assume a U.S. Census Bureau worker will be dispatched to my house. I won’t answer for them either. I could be fined. In reality, that never happens.
I hate the pigeon-holed definitions of race that our government creates. They’re counter-productive. The dramatic increase in mixed-race relationships makes most categories irrelevant. When a Hmong marries a Latino, how do we classify their children? When their kids grow up and marry someone from a different ethic group, the race-based classifications become downright silly. They are also far beyond the Constitutional grounds of the Census, which is to count heads to determine how many U.S. Representatives each state gets in Congress.
The ethnic data gets used primarily for affirmative action programs, which are unsustainable as America becomes more of a mixed-race nation. I don’t want to provide the U.S. Government the data that allows our population to be categorized.
My family comes from Ireland and Italy. (Ironically, if I were to answer the census questions I couldn’t choose my ethnicity. My only choice is ‘white’.) I consider myself 100-percent American. My status is no different that someone who took a citizenship test. Or someone whose parents were born someone else. All Americans. All equal.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau