When it comes to measuring race, the Census Bureau has repeatedly contorted its definitions and contradicted itself to uphold a specific image of whiteness.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-01-05 17:05Z by Steven

When it comes to measuring race, the [United States] Census Bureau has repeatedly contorted its definitions and contradicted itself to uphold a specific image of whiteness. For instance, in 1890, “quadroon” and “octoroon” were added to the census to justify the discrimination of Black Americans, only for both to be removed in the following census and never used again. Similarly, in 1930, the census added a “Mexican” racial category, which was then eliminated in the next census, after the Mexican government lobbied to have those immigrants classified as white, therefore reinstating their eligibility for citizenship.

Jasmine Mithani and Alex Samuels, “Who The Census Misses,” FiveThirtyEight, December 13, 2021. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-the-census-misses/.

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Who The Census Misses

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-01-04 18:27Z by Steven

Who The Census Misses


Jasmine Mithani and Alex Samuels

Sibba Hartunian
Large groups of people have always fallen through the cracks of its racial categories — often by design.

For James Harmoush of Colorado, none of the census boxes quite fit.

In 2010 and 2020, when the census asked him to select a box regarding his race, he picked “white.” But there’s one major problem there: Harmoush doesn’t — and has never — seen himself that way.

“Nobody would ever look at me or talk to me and say, ‘You’re white,’” said the 30-year-old Arab American lawyer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Harmoush sees himself as part of a minority group, but the U.S. Census Bureau legally classifies him as a white man.

Harmoush is not alone. Many Americans we spoke with felt the census classifications — both “white” specifically as well as the other available categories more generally — do not match the way they identify. In total, we heard from over 200 people with frustrations ranging from the naming of categories (like “Asian Indian” to represent people with ancestry from India) to confusion over why some racial groups, like Japanese or Samoan, were given their own boxes, while Middle Eastern, North African, Southwest Asian and others were lumped together under a catchall “white” racial group. We also heard from some Americans who were now completely rethinking how they personally identified due to the way they saw race and politics intermingle in society today…

Read the entire article here.

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