A NY Daily News article recently raised my eyebrows about the 2010 census. The use of the word Negro has been added as an answer to a question asking about race. While a spokesman for the Census Bureau defended the words inclusion in the current census and Congress approved the form over a year ago, the words use is felt as improper and unnecessary in this day and age by many. We constantly hear the N-word, one of the most common anti-black slurs, being used in everyday encounters. Would it then be appropriate, in a future generation census, to include this term?
How does this affect Latinos?
As Latinos, I am sure we can come up with quite a few words that have been used to negatively identify us. Are these the words that will end up in future census forms? It should be of concern to all because it may set a precedence as to what is allowable in future census forms. If we plead ignorance, then we accept this as tolerable and it breeds prejudice. Latinos have been making far too many strides to accept this or anything less. While race is a very part of American (Are Americans really American?) society, it leaves one to wonder how far will the census go to break down race.
Unfortunately, children began to learn this at an early age while they learn about color. Strangely enough, when children are taught the difference between black and white they begin to learn the different race and skin colors. For example, although mom and/or dad are tan colored they are really “black”, although they are white they are really “non-white”. Racial breakdown is as American as apple pie. The U.S. census purpose of getting an actual count of the U.S. population for federal funding, health statistics, etc. may have its good intentions but in the end it is also a reflection of what America is. A society of race and division.
by Efrain Ortiz Jr.