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Old 03-23-2010, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Nova
486 posts, read 883,276 times
Reputation: 262
Default Frustrated with Census form.

I just filled out my Census form and wow, I think this form is written very poorly... the first half of the question asks about skin color and the second part asks about ethnicity/origins (which are all part of the same question mind you). This doesn't make sense at all.

And in my family... I have someone who is a naturalized citizen from Africa, but he is not black. So, is he an African-American? Technically, yes. But on the census form, No, because that is linked with the Black race.

Plus there is no category for me to put him in... he is not white either. I had to write him in in Other.

And then how do I classify our children, who do not look white like me, and have double nationality? (Frustrated I just listed them as white, but it begs the question).

 
Old 03-23-2010, 10:31 AM
 
2,468 posts, read 4,535,396 times
Reputation: 1692
I think you should call up the guberment census dept. and ask them - we pay their salary so they should help you out
 
Old 03-23-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,652 posts, read 11,023,252 times
Reputation: 2160
Quote:
Originally Posted by liloulou View Post
I just filled out my Census form and wow, I think this form is written very poorly... the first half of the question asks about skin color and the second part asks about ethnicity/origins (which are all part of the same question mind you). This doesn't make sense at all.

And in my family... I have someone who is a naturalized citizen from Africa, but he is not black. So, is he an African-American? Technically, yes. But on the census form, No, because that is linked with the Black race.

Plus there is no category for me to put him in... he is not white either. I had to write him in in Other.

And then how do I classify our children, who do not look white like me, and have double nationality? (Frustrated I just listed them as white, but it begs the question).
Your family member from Africa should probably go with the closest definition to his ethnicity. As I mentioned in another census thread, I haven't opened mine up yet. But if "check all that apply" is an option, I would use that for your children. Otherwise, I suppose "Other" is the best option there too.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 964,362 times
Reputation: 340
I can sympathize. My friends who are Arab or Persian never really know how to answer these questions, either. "Other Asian" seems very strange to someone from the Middle East, who doesn't really consider themselves Asian, and African-American isn't a great label to describe someone from Egypt, given that Americans typically use black and African-American as synonyms (as reflected in the Census).

I'm actually really surprised that after eight and a half years after 9/11, the government is still kind of clueless with regard to Americans from the Middle East and North Africa.

Also...sorry if you were referring to someone who was not an Arab from North Africa. Based on your "from Africa, but not black" comment, I just assumed. Anyways, there are many groups that are poorly defined by the 2010 census, you and your family are not alone!
 
Old 03-23-2010, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
2,393 posts, read 6,411,237 times
Reputation: 1898
Aside from that...they want a phone # in case they have "questions"....what could they POSSIBLY question on the form? Nuts!
 
Old 03-23-2010, 01:40 PM
 
Location: NY
2,007 posts, read 2,234,036 times
Reputation: 886
Are you aware that legally you are required to answer only the first 2 questions? That's all I answered and All I intend to answer.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,402 posts, read 16,981,428 times
Reputation: 18787
Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
Aside from that...they want a phone # in case they have "questions"....what could they POSSIBLY question on the form? Nuts!
LOL, didn't you hear that's the newest plan for how to pay off our national debt? Sell the phone numbers fo telemarketers! (Yes, I'm joking...)
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:18 PM
 
3,166 posts, read 3,981,017 times
Reputation: 1224
Quote:
Originally Posted by liloulou View Post
I just filled out my Census form and wow, I think this form is written very poorly... the first half of the question asks about skin color and the second part asks about ethnicity/origins (which are all part of the same question mind you). This doesn't make sense at all.

And in my family... I have someone who is a naturalized citizen from Africa, but he is not black. So, is he an African-American? Technically, yes. But on the census form, No, because that is linked with the Black race.

Plus there is no category for me to put him in... he is not white either. I had to write him in in Other.

And then how do I classify our children, who do not look white like me, and have double nationality? (Frustrated I just listed them as white, but it begs the question).
Many of my friends are simply writing in "American" and refusing to answer the race question. Why does the government need to know that anyway? What difference does it make?
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
4,008 posts, read 2,992,321 times
Reputation: 3337
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepejeep View Post
Are you aware that legally you are required to answer only the first 2 questions? That's all I answered and All I intend to answer.
Actually, that's wrong.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,652 posts, read 11,023,252 times
Reputation: 2160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Many of my friends are simply writing in "American" and refusing to answer the race question. Why does the government need to know that anyway? What difference does it make?
Well we all know that NOVA is a rather ethnically and racially diverse region. I personally would be curious to know what the stats were for that. And with the influx of (legal) immigration, I think it would help to have a more accurate analysis of how things are trending.
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