MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Why Worrying Over a Minority Majority America Is Dumb

Let's do away with any questions regarding a person's race or ethnicity in the 2020 Census.

MultiracialKidsFlagPavelIlyukhinDreamstimePavel Ilyukhin/DreamstimeAccording to a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau report, "by 2044, more than half of all Americans are projected to belong to a minority group (any group other than non-Hispanic White alone)." That projection depends on Americans a generation hence quiescently staying in the ethnic and racial pigeonholes into which the census takers want to stuff them.

A new Pew Research Center study, "Hispanic Identity Fades Across Generations as Immigrant Connections Fall Away," finds that lots of people with Hispanic heritage do not identify themselves as being Hispanic when filling out Census survey forms. By the third generation, 56 percent of respondents simply identify themselves as American.

Also by the third generation, 75 percent of Americans with Hispanic ancestry live in households where English is the predominant language and in which 24 percent are bilingual. A 2012 Pew survey of Latinos on language use reported that 92 percent of second generation and 96 percent of third generation speak English well. That's basically the same trajectory followed by the descendants of earlier groups of immigrants.

The Census Bureau in 2020 may further allow us to test this idea of assimilation, considering allowing folks who check off white to mark boxes for groups like German, Irish, Italian, Polish, English and so forth.

However, parsing ethnicities that closely means that from the point of view of early-20th century nativists, America has been a majority minority country for a while now. As I have earlier argued:

By 2050, just as the earlier waves of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish immigrants were assimilated, so too will today's Hispanic immigrants and their descendants be. For all intents and purposes, Hispanics will become as "white" as Irish, Italians, Jews, and Poles....It is my hope and belief that Americans of whatever ancestry living in 2050 will look back and wonder why ever did anyone care about the ethnic makeup of the American population. America is an ideal, not a tribe.

It bears noting that since the first census in 1790 the bureau has drawn a big distinction between white and black people living in this country. This is the result of the compromise in the Constitution in which slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives and in the Electoral College. Consequently, in the early censuses, people were categorized as free white persons, all other free persons, or slaves. After the Civil War, the constitutional distinction between white and black citizens should no longer have mattered. Nevertheless, all censuses have maintained and enumerated white and black citizens in separate categories.

Apparently, on the principle that if it is acceptable for the census to divide citizens into black and white racial categories, other ethnic groupings are fair game, too. In 1890 the census asked whether people were white, black, mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian. The bureau also asked the number of years a person had lived in the U.S. and whether they were naturalized. In the five censuses from 1900 to 1940, the bureau simply asked each person's "color or race" and whether they were foreign-born.

In 1950, the census asked each person to identify as "White, Negro, American Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Other race – spell out." In 1960, Hawaiian, Part-Hawaiian, Aleut and Eskimo were added to the list of possible ethnicities, presumably because Hawaii and Alaska had joined the Union the year before. It was not until 1970, when the bureau began asking, "Is this person's origin or descent (fill in one circle) Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, Other Spanish, No, none of the above."

Let's consider a counterfactual. Between 1880 and 1920, more than four million Italians, five million Poles, two million more Germans*, and two million Jews immigrated to the U.S. By 1915, about 15 percent of the U.S. population was foreign-born (today it's about 13.5 percent). Imagine if the Census Bureau had set up and maintained national origin and ethnic categories for Italians, Poles, Germans and Jews in 1910; what percentage of Americans would today choose an ethnic identity more specific than the white option that has been part of every census since 1790?

The census began categorizing Americans as black or white based on an invidious Constitutional compromise that has long since been irrelevant. Here's a proposal: Let's do away with any questions with regard to a person's race or ethnicity in the 2020 Census.

*One of those was my great-grandfather Anton Pinn who left Rhineland-Palatinate in Bavaria in the 1880s to settle eventually in the German communities of central Texas. For what it's worth, Donald Trump's grandfather Friedrich Trump also left Rhineland-Palatinate at about the same time.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Here's a proposal: Let's do away with any questions with regard to a person's race or ethnicity in the 2020 Census.

    Nothing doing. Do you have any idea how much revenue Wal-Mart pulls in selling new underwear to people who shit their pants over the idea of browns taking over their country?

  • hello.||

    Approximately zero. The only people truly obsessed about race are effete lily white Tumblr activists like you who think it's Helter Skelter outside of their lily white guard-gated communities.

  • NoVaNick||

    From what I can gather according to the US Census, Hispanic can include Spanish people from Spain, who are European. It can also include Italians from Argentina. So the whole concept of Hispanic is meaningless, especially when you consider that Europeans or European immigrants to Latin America are much better off than the descendants of the indigenous people they conquered, yet both are considered Hispanic.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Easy for you to say, white man!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Here's a proposal: Let's do away with any questions with regard to a person's race or ethnicity in the 2020 Census.

    How will we know if we're making progress?

  • ||

    How will we know if we're making progress?

    # of deportations with the POTUS's ethnicity determining whether the number is a good or bad thing.

  • JeremyR||

    Well, to paraphrase Trump, the reality is that most non-White or non-Asian countries are shitholes.

    The problem is that people tend to bring their country's politics to their new countries. Muslims want shariah law. Latinos (except Cubans) want corruptions and socialism.

    If we could do like Canada, import only Asians who are well educated and spoke English, it wouldn't be a big deal. But instead we import mostly people who are uneducated and only speak Spanish and want a government handout

  • Hugh Akston||

    Check your formatting dude, the links to all of your supporting information are broken.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Yes, truly, like women's suffrage and the elimination of poll taxes, allowing in immigrant voters will strike a crippling blow to liberty.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    You guys need to get on the same page about whether we live in a libertarian society.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Well, if we'd never extended the franchise to women and blacks, we would be.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    You need to get on the same page as yourself about whether we live in a libertarian society.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Well, I thought we did, but then I read this link someone posted in the H'n'R comment section that said letting women, blacks and immigrants vote had dealt a possibly irreversible blow to Liberty, Justice and the American Way, so now my faith in America has been shaken.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    Sorry for the Daily Stormer link. I meant to link to an essay by a Mercatus economist.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    When you link to an article that uses women's suffrage and getting rid of Jim Crow as examples to warn its readers of the perils of allowing more African and Latin American people into the country, you really don't have a right to complain when somebody points out that that's just a liiiitle bit John-Birch-y.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    ^^triggered by the Journal of Political Economy

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Claiming that increasing the non-WASP voter pool will erode our liberty is John Birch 101.

    The problem therein being your (and the JBS's) apparent presumption that state spending and regulation are the only factors in societal liberty worth considering, disregarding other impacts of the policy and voter demographic change.

    A presumption thrown into cartoonishly obvious relief by citing suffrage and the CRA as examples of how a society can become less economically free.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I have so many questions... e.g., do you know which continent's countries has the most Muslims? Why don't East Asians bring communism and socialism? Why is it Cubans don't bring their home country's politics, while Central and South Americans fleeing their countries still do?

  • Leader Desslok||

    Why is it Cubans don't bring their home country's politics, while Central and South Americans fleeing their countries still do?

    Could it be there are still memories of what Cuba was like before it became a socialist shithole? If memory servers, wasn't that also when Cuba was well inside the US sphere of influence.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I think it's more the memories of what it was like afterward.

  • Johnny Hit n Run Paulene||

    "Here's a proposal: Let's do away with any questions with regard to a person's race or ethnicity in the 2020 Census."

    May we also do away with questions regarding the 47 different genders as well?

  • DiegoF||

    Hmm...a man could dream...

    Transgenders: Your "male or female" question is transphobic and cisnormative! We demand that you...

    Trump: You know what? You're right! Fuck it; it's out. Government waste anyway. I love our beautiful LGBTs; we're doing a great, great job for them.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Wothout census data how wikl the progressives know to what extent the race and ethnicity based set asides they have created are needed?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Ron, wokeness DOES have a measuring stick, you know.

  • DiegoF||

    Not a bad historical assessment, and a great microcosm about the general fucked-up path America has chosen to take over the one it could have.
    .
    The racial classification was an ugly artefact of our shameful slaveowning past, but instead of ridding ourselves of it after it was no longer needed, it actually grew, and now (like racial beancounting and division in general, and for that matter progressivism in general) has been perversely sold to the public as enlightened.
    .
    Plus it continues to make ever more of a joke of itself. This census we are eliminating "Negro" from the classification options (even though it was just lumped in with "african american," etc. in practice--even though there were still quite a few older adults who used it last time. Supposedly it's offensive and outdated, because old. But instead of saying, fuck you, young whiners, this is not about you and your precious sensitivities and allergies to the realities of history; it's about accommodating the actual terms people might call themselves, whether you like it or not, in order to get an accurate count. It's not a slur; it's just old; so suck it up and steel yourselves for the horrifying trauma every once every fucking ten years...

  • DiegoF||

    ...Also, we've been slowly inching in questions (just the tip for now) about sexuality, as the self-serving make-work crooks in the professional LGBT-industrial complex push for it as their latest perverse cause. This is supposed to be pro-LGBT, this monstrous frontal government intrusion into your private life. "Out of our bedrooms" indeed.

    TL;DR: Just tell them the number of people in your house and tell them to go fuck themselves. It's important.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So long as folks behave and act in statistically significant ways differently based on their race/ethnicity, demographers and historians will be interested in that race/ethnicity.

    So sure. The constitution could drop down to just asking "number of residents" and leave it at that. But we'd actually be losing a lot of information for future historians.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    So long as folks behave and act in statistically significant ways differently based on their race/ethnicity, demographers and historians will be interested in that race/ethnicity.

    Why do you think he's interested in getting rid of it? It's not because it doesn't tell us anything, it's because it tells us too much.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    bingo

  • DiegoF||

    Yeah. That or, you know, it's stupid, unconstitutional, an invasion of privacy, fuels the illiberal identity-politics disease entrenched in the creeping advance of government programs, and so forth. It's not like you could pick up any prog publication--either debating the latest conservative/libertarian pushback against census creep, or simply encouraging their pet identity groups to Stand Up and Be Counted, because this, this, this, and this government program and funding desperately depends on it--and find out exactly why we may want to oppose it.

    But naw; I'm sure it's to hide the otherwise inaccessible information that blacks and Latinos are not prospering economically.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    Race is an invasion of privacy. Good point.

  • DiegoF||

    Not "race"; information. Race itself is an abstract concept; it's not the sort of thing that can itself be an inv... Good God, are you being willfully dense?

    On a different note, perhaps: Do you just think the government has a right to your information by default, with it being your responsibility to make the case for why they don't need it? Not me! The Constitution says the government needs to take a census to apportion House seats. It grants it no other powers--and yet, every ten years it tells 300 million Americans they will answer any question about them it sees fit to ask, or be imprisoned. I do not think they have to answer.

    If this is an unfamiliar line of argument to you about the Census, you must not be used to reading much libertarian commentary on current events. If you regard it as a preposterous argument--what, after all, have we got to hide?--then perhaps libertarianism is not for you at all. It feels odd even interacting with someone who cannot possibly see how this might be an invasion of privacy.

    All this is not to mention the other shit that I mentioned before.

  • DiegoF||

    Addendum: No other powers related to the census! Let's not get too hopeful around here!

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    Anybody with functional eyes can tell my race from three blocks away. It's the opposite of personal information.

    Race itself is an abstract concept

    "Social construct" is the idiotic talking point you were looking for.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    The government talks half my income every year. Until that stops the census thing isn't on my radar.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    It'd be nice if the goverment was just talking about my income.

  • DiegoF||

    No it wasn't, you dumb fuck. Don't put words into my mouth. I don't think it's a biological fiction and I didn't say that.

    Race is something I have. It is a quality a person possesses. Actions are invasions of privacy; and I am saying the government has no right to demand I answer its questions. If it wants to guess my ethnic background from my name or appearance let it do so; I'm not going to do anything to help it, especially when it does no good with that information. (i.e. drives various racial-identarian and just plain wasteful and expensive programs.)

    I hate to agree with Tony, but you do seem obsessed by this subject. You're absolutely fixated on the idea that everybody, everywhere is doing all they can to suppress information on the differences between the races. Well, I think that you're a piece of shit racial paranoiac. Not because I think those differences do not exist, or that we should not talk about them. But because they are readily available to be talked about, and not in danger. You're on a libertarian site, and you would subordinate a clear libertarian consideration to your constant paranoia that people are out to deny racial differences.

  • DiegoF||

    Correction: The information on racial differences (of various kinds) is readily available to be talked about, and not in danger.

  • hello.||

    The information on racial differences (of various kinds) is readily available to be talked about, and not in danger.

    Tell that to Charles Murray. That is, if he survives his next public lecture.

  • DiegoF||

    Glad you brought that up. This is exactly the sort of thing I want people to be vigilant about, to watch our larger society and try to halt its slouch into P.C. madness, without overreaching and enabling the weird counteridentitarian racial paranoia, which we also have to be very vigilant about.

    Notice my original words. How on Earth does Murray's barbaric reception on campuses suggest that the information on racial differences is not readily available? We were talking about census data and other similar studies! You can even see progs use it; they just use it to blame the system and the patriarchy and whitey for everything.

    Also note that Murray makes a good living at a think tank, he is a bestselling author, he is written about in many liberal and conservative magazines and gets to write for them. We should indeed beware of the campus atmosphere, and of our government's PC attitude, and those of corporations, and about the careers of younger scholars. But no, Murray is not at all an example of what you're talking about!

  • DiegoF||

    Furthermore, one actually undercuts the case for taking race-and-iq observations seriously if one gets too paranoid. The knee-jerk progs try to say the whole subject is not respectable, is pseudoscience, is not being seriously discussed and debated (sound familiar?) But in fact this is demonstrably false, precisely because the persecution of the topic is not oppressive! Leave the silliness of cultural studies and so forth, and go to the actual intelligence experts, and you will see them quietly doing completely open-minded work. You can even google the subject and see a bunch of Quilette pieces for the general public, for example, and a thoughtful piece by John McWhorter who is of course black.

    So no, I don't feel what you're saying.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    Obviously I'm the obsessive.

  • DiegoF||

    Well, you did cause me to lose my temper, you have a point there. I think I have been escalating more than you, to be honest.

    But, you are a libertarian. You wander on to a libertarian site. You see an article by a (supposed, at least) libertarian saying he does not want the government collecting a piece of personal data at the point of a gun. You read his explanation. You read comments by other libertarians here. You don't really reply to any of them (and still haven't), any of what they point out a libertarian might not like about the race data. All this, mind you, has been directly opposed to the prog position on the matter; the progs agree with you that it is advantageous to collect the data, and therefore acceptable to make it a mandatory government collection...

  • DiegoF||

    ...And still, you walk in here and declare that they don't want you to know, how curious, how funny, the stats revealing differences among the races. And you accuse me of race denialism, despite my never having remotely said any such thing. ("Abstract" was not the best choice of word, but since when does it mean anything close to "social"?)

    This is just very odd, paranoid behavior surrounding the racial question, that's just what it looks like. I may have been a hothead, but there's no corresponding conduct on my part. I'm not some social constructivist here, nor someone who denies statistical differences or thinks we shouldn't talk about them. I'm just a slightly excitable guy who noticed some odd behavior.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    you walk in here and declare that they don't want you to know

    Do you realize you're making up, literally inventing out of whole cloth, thoughts and statements at the same time you're calling me obsessive and paranoid?

  • DiegoF||

    Nope! You just quoted me giving a rather tight paraphrase of something you earlier replied "bingo" to. I had a brief but fruitful further discussion with that commenter; the same hasn't been true with you. Which, as I said, is more about my overreacting and escalating your mild snark toward me than anything else. Childish on my part.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Sure, the constitution only requires collecting the number of citizens for representation purposes. They have no mandate to collect anything else.I get that. But this is coming from an author who had no problem endorsing the sentiment "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." not so long ago. Not to mention this is a publication which has advanced some rather novel interpretations of the constitution whenever it suited their purposes.

    I strongly suspect fealty to the constitution isn't a high priority here.

  • DiegoF||

    Perhaps I should be a little more suspicious of them; you're right. But I'm not in the business of evaluating them personally for being good libertarians; that ship sailed long ago. (Like I said, declaring corporate bullying of North Carolina to be "the market at work" was the last straw.)

    I look at this, and I say, ignoring who it comes from, do I think it makes a good point. And I say, yes, it does. Like I've been saying, it makes a point for taking the bean-counting out, and it throws the progs' identity politics in their faces and fake-liberal-shames them. So that's why I like it, in at least some way. Maybe I'm overreacting to objectors--you do seem to certainly have a point--but I just thought an inherently praiseworthy piece deserved more.

  • Ron Bailey||

    DP: The Constitution is too a high priority here. In any case, I trust that you did read the section of my review that said: A better guide to preventing government surveillance abuse is David Brin's smart 1998 book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? Like Tucker, Brin foresaw a world with ubiquitous sensors and vast databases filled with information detailing our lives, habits, tastes, and personal histories. How to handle it? Radical transparency.

    Everyone can surveil everyone else, most especially including the activities of government functionaries. Brin set out a scenario in which every citizen can access the feeds to every camera operating in public spaces. In this future, cameras "are banned from some indoor places but not from police headquarters! There any citizen may tune in on bookings, arraignments, and especially the camera control room itself, making sure that the agents on duty look out for violent crime, and only crime." After all, if the police have nothing to hide, why should they mind if their work is monitored by citizens?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    When I read Brin's book, it matched a lot of my own thoughts. You can't stop technology. What's wrong with cop license plate scanners is not the tech, because you can't stop that; if you were to forbid cops from buying them, private firms would do so, and cops would use that. Even if you banned that info purchase, eventually license plate scanners (and everything else scanners) would eventually be so ubiquitous that cops wouldn't need to buy them.

    Thus his solution tickled my fancy. Cameras may eventually be the pixie dust that Neal Stephenson imagined, and cops won't be able to stop cameras from infiltrating their stations. Neither will anyone else.

    This is what I have always treated as "privacy is a thing of the past". It's not a matter of wanting it or not. It can't be stopped.

  • EscherEnigma||

    There's a difference between being unconstitutional and being not required by the constitution.

    In the case of the census, racial questions aren't required. But that doesn't make them unconstitutional. So the real question is this: is it unconstitutional for the Census bureau to ask further questions then head-count, and is it unconstitutional for the Census bureau to punish folks for declining to answer further questions then head-count.

    There's a fair argument for the later part (punishment for not answering the more in-depth questions). But they're probably A-OK asking whatever they want.

  • Jerryskids||

    It's not the historians wanting this information so much as it is marketers. And now they can buy much better, more pervasive, more granular information from Google, Facebook and Amazon at a much lower cost so nobody cares anymore.

  • Jerryskids||

    In fact, to hell with paying for the census to know who all's here, just ask the toaster.

  • hello.||

    The constitution could drop down to just asking "number of residents" and leave it at that.

    The constitution wouldn't need to "drop down" to a head count since it doesn't mandate any of the demographic questions that are currently asked. If you're that obsessed over race then conduct your own studies and get your own data.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yeah, that was a typo. That line was supposed to read "the census could drop down [...]". I just had the more nuanced "because that's all the Constitution requires" on my brain and the words came out tangled.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The information is garbage, trash, junk, low low low quality. Relying on it for anything is pointless except for garnering federal grants to support yourself until the next census provides fresh nonsense.

  • obijuan||

    By the fourth generation, 47% percent of Americans with Hispanic ancestry identify as libertarian.

  • DiegoF||

    Well, that's probably like a handful of families who fought for Sam Houston or founded the Republic of East Florida, so probably not surprising.

  • Rat on a train||

    My kids are half white. We always list them as Hispanic-Pacific Islander for the spoils. We've considered adding Black since my wife has some aboriginal features, but we don't have evidence yet.

  • DiegoF||

    It is awesome when you get the "hispanic background" as the separate question. (Biologically, it's not really a race; but sociologically it is in most environments.) You get two identity checkboxes for the price of one!

  • DiegoF||

    Don't add black cause you think your wife kind of looks Australian in the right lighting; that's some bullshit. Respect the process! Racial classification is naturally a very, very serious, important business in an enlightened liberal-humanist society; we don't want to make a mockery of it.

  • Rat on a train||

    I was hoping to get the kids eligible for all five races. Then we could use whichever is beneficial at the time.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    And how will we ever get past separating people into random groups without separating them into random groups!

  • Tony||

    It's useful data if people are systematically treated differently because of their race. We need to have concrete evidence that Republicans are disenfranchising black people if we're going to sue them over it.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    What if we just find out that black people aren't very smart? Who do we get to sue?

  • Tony||

    What invests you so much in this question?

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    I responded to you.

  • buybuydandavis||

    If it didn't say "Tony", I'd invoke Poe's Law

    By the way, Republicans were the ones who freed and enfranchised Blacks.

  • Tony||

    Derpty derp.

  • Robert||

    It may take millennia, but eventually "American" will be an ethnicity. It already worked that way for those who were here before paleface came. No reason to think the working of blood & soil won't be repeated for the current strain of occupiers given enough time.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    It already worked that way for those who were here before paleface came.

    Huh? There's hundreds of Native ethnicities.

  • Tony||

    Even coming from a quite small original population. We will probably get less white though.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    three original populations

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    For what it's worth, Donald Trump's grandfather Friedrich Trump also left Rhineland-Palatinate at about the same time

    {unfriends Bailey}

  • buybuydandavis||

    If the Open Borders types believed their own propaganda, they would want *increased* data on immigration status and country of origin, to show all the evil racist racist racist troglodytes how wonderful foreigners are.

    Which side wants the data? Which side doesn't?

    Pretty good indication of which side has reality on their side.

  • DiegoF||

    FIFY

    Which side wants the government to have our data? Which side doesn't?

    Pushback on the Census Bureau's unconstitutional intrusions into our private lives is hardly a new libertarian cause--or a hard to understand one. Here Bailey has a somewhat new angle on it, but is trying a tactic that's also old--throwing what's left of the progs' professed liberalism back into their statist, identity-politics faces and shaming them for anyone who might potentially choose liberalism over progressivism to see. That's hardly kissing up to the progs (as is, for example, the North Carolina HB2 slamming and this recent abortion).

  • hello.||

    Pushback on the Census Bureau's unconstitutional intrusions into our private lives is hardly a new libertarian cause

    Considering that Ronald Bailey fully embraces identity politics and doesn't give a flying fuck about privacy it rings a little hollow.

  • Ron Bailey||

    h: I do? News to me.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "That's basically the same trajectory followed by the descendants of earlier groups of immigrants."

    Clawing out a thatched mud hut out of the plains of Nebraska in the 1800s didn't take complex language skills.

  • junyo||

    "Imagine if the Census Bureau had set up and maintained national origin and ethnic categories for Italians, Poles, Germans and Jews in 1910..."
    ...we would have gotten the yuge wall even sooner?

  • DiegoF||

    Would that have not been a small price to pay for fewer people sending our secrets to the filthy Kaiser?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Next census, I intend to indicate the race(s) I identify as, rather than buying into some random coincidence of biological parentage.

  • DiegoF||

    James Damore revealed a seminar where Googlers learned the proper way to respect colleagues who identify as plural beings. I wonder it the Census Bureau will be woke enough to not be a biological essentialist on the matter. By the time the 2022 redistricting gets here, the number of such persons coming out of the closet could be enough to take back the House for the Democrats even if they're not deliberately trying to game the system!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I haven't filled out a census form yet. I shred it, and when they followup, I say I sent it in, and if they want me to send in a second one, wouldn't that be a felony? If they say I didn't send one in, I get all huffy and say that's a lie, stop lying to me, they say the forms are anonymous, is that a lie or are you lying to my face?

    I suppose they eventually fill one in for me and make everything up, which saves me the trouble.

  • Entelechy||

    "For what it's worth, Donald Trump's grandfather Friedrich Trump also left Rhineland-Palatinate at about the same time."

    Has Ron ever thought to ask why the First Grandpa's homeland wouldn't let him back in ?.

  • Brandybuck||

    The finer you slice the labels, the more minorities you can get. As a "white" person I am in the majority. As a white male I am not. As a Danish-American male I am not. As an ethnic Jutlander my peeps are even more uncommon.

  • Lawn Darts||

    I have personally benefitted from the amazing data that past census DBs contain. One of the most amazing uses has been to help you figure out who your ancestors were. Apparently none of the commenters here have ever been interested in genealogy. The questions the census has asked in the past are indespensible for tracing that out. When they released the 1940 census to the public a few years ago, it filled in some amazing family history for me. The "race" column in the 1880 census provided a "colorful" ah-ha moment too. The census is a beautiful window into the past. I'm OK with it's nosey questions, because all that information can already be correlated for any one of us. Even those of us who reject Facebook and other marketing scams.

  • Eidde||

    Hey, just because I repeated something from the original post you deleted me?

    Great, does this mean I'll have to read the posts to make sure I don't repeat them?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online