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/.

Tags: , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A condensed history of multiracial identification in the United States

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-12-08 16:33Z by Steven

A condensed history of multiracial identification in the United States


Caitlin Gilbert, Jasmine Mithani, Lakshmi Sarah, and Kaitlyn Wells

(Image by rawpixel.com / Freepik)

How to write about mixed and multiracial people, Part 1

Mixed-race identity is chic right now: Our fictionalized stories are bestsellers, and public figures such as Naomi Osaka and Kamala Harris are a regular part of the national conversation. Heck, we’ve even made the news as one of the fastest-growing populations in the 2020 United States Census. As our identities have become trendy and more journalists seek to write about our experiences, it’s important that they respect what we have to say and honor who we are.

We multiracial people reject many assumptions, generalizations and categories. We are not a monolith, and we may even disagree on the terms multiracial versus mixed. Yet this is who we are—we’re both and neither, and our identities can be fluid depending on context.

When it comes to writing about mixed-race and multiracial people, it is critical to understand the historical context behind the terms, learn how to speak to sources and write about them, and examine any bias throughout the journalistic process. To help journalists produce nuanced reporting about mixed-race and multiracial people we’ve compiled a two-part guide based on our SRCCON 2021 presentation, “When ‘Check One’ Does Not Apply: Covering and Being Mixed Race in Journalism.”

In this article, we are going to review an abbreviated history of mixed-race people in the United States. If you are looking for a reporting guide, please see our companion article: Guidelines for reporting on multiracial people

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,