Obama’s census form: free to be Negro

Some people have something new to whine about: there’s a block on the new census form which “people who associate themselves with the racial group most frequently associated with the half-Caucasian US President” can check, identifying themselves as “Black, African Am. or Negro.” And some people are upset because they thus have to define themselves as “Negro”. Presumably they never donate to the UNCF. The government claims that there are many older PWATWTRGMFAWTH-CUSP who define themselves as “Negro”, and I can well believe it.  You know those matrons who speak whiter-than-white, who say “surely” when assenting to something and pronounce all their consonants? They’re probably school teachers who would put this multiple-choice question on a test:

Which term defines a member of a racial group?

A. Black

B. African Am.

C. Negro

The correct answer is of course “C”. Black is a color, and most Blacks aren’t black. I’m assuming that “African Am. ” am short for “African-American”, and that defines continent of origin, not race, as in that guy from Mozambique who got into all that trouble…or locally, Roy Ganzenhauser of the Oriental Rug Warehouse or composer James Wilding would be African-Americans.

Now, I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to define themselves how they please; of course they do. But the argument about using the politically-incorrect term du jour misses the real racial problem here: if we are a color-blind society, what compelling interest does the State have in finding out who is what race? Isn’t that what they used to do in South Africa? I always used to answer questions requesting a racial identifier with “Human” in the “Other” blank, but lately I’ve started using “Confederate-American” (though I’m not one) out of solidarity with the last ethnic group that it’s still PC to joke about and disparage (Southrons are a conquered subjected people; why can’t they be hyphenated-Americans too?) Perhaps,  if PWATWTRGMFAWTH-CUSP want to protest “Negro” (in spite of it being technically the correct term) and still be counted as PWATWTRGMFAWTH-CUSP, they could use the “Other” blank to define themselves as “pickininny” or “jigaboo” — which really are offensive terms. Or better yet, tell them how many adults and how many children live there, and leave the marketing survey for government “services” blank.


5 Responses to Obama’s census form: free to be Negro

  1. kishnevi says:

    I’ve always been tempted (given that my ancestors did come from Southwest Asia) to check off Asian American.
    Usually, however, I leave it blank unless I have to, or check “other” without defining “other”.

  2. John says:

    “African-American”, and that defines continent of origin, not race, as in that guy from Mozambique who got into all that trouble”

    Does not “Asian” define a continent as well. But we see that racially people are described as “Asians”. Asia is a continent bigger than Africa. “Asia” includes Russia and Europe, geographically. Yet I’m sure we are clear what we mean when we call someone “Asian”. Also, to go on a different tangent, if it is “proper” to call people of African descent “Negro”, then does it not make sense to call “Asians” “Mongoloid” and Whites “Caucasian”? Perhaps instead of using the PC term “Asian” we could start calling them Orientals?

  3. Jeffrey Quick says:

    I use “Caucasian” all the time myself…I mean, I look down at my hands, and I am clearly tannish-pink.

    As for Asians…we white folks are pretty good at telling Norwegians from Italians, but I still find it hard to tell Koreans from Chinese from Japanese, even though I interact with them all daily, and even though they do look different.

  4. Raven says:

    Negro means black, genius!

  5. Jeffrey Quick says:

    I’m aware of that, genius. My point still stands: most Americans of African ancestry do not have black skin. Take a bunch of pictures of skin, show them to art students, and ask what color that is.

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