SIGNIFICANT OTHER: Increasingly Significant Issue

Rick Kennerly rick at MOUSEHERDER.COM
Wed May 15 20:22:10 UTC 2002

:Besides, I'm also told that, as a matter of written Census policy, if I
:were to claim that any of my ancestors were dark-skinned people from Africa
:south of the Sahara it wouldn't matter how few they were in relation to all
:my other ancestors: the Census would count me as "African American".

Census got out of the business of assigning races to people some time back
and now let them self identify.  In fact the last time I ended up with a
census taker on my doorstep I tried to insist that he mark whatever he
thought was appropriate and he said he couldn't.  I asked him for a
suggestion and he wouldn't help with that at all (religious canvassers
seldom stop twice at my home either).  Interestingly, it's been the groups
most strongly invested in ethnic identity (like La Raza) that have kicked up
the biggest stink about allowing people to select something that wasn't on
their MacDonald's menu board of standard classifications and choose an
ethnic identifier ala carte for fear of losing the clout that accumulates
with hard numbers.


More information about the Ads-l mailing list