The first Census of the United States was in 1790. Census takers set about counting the population of the newly founded Nation under the Constitution. The information was to contain the names and ages of free males and free females, and a count of slaves owned. Native Peoples were under separate treaties. Over the years “race” became a more utilized category as immigrants arrived and became citizens. Generally, “race” is a modern term. Race was devised as a term of division and limiting other population by those who considered themselves superior.Civilizations previously were described by their religion, language or some other concept. In 1790 the basic purpose of any census was for taxation, historically that has been the core issue. In United States history census numbers were used for Congressional Districts, local use for administrative purposes and other legitimate statistical uses in administration.
In recent years, “race” has come to be a politically useful and divisive tactic as we have seen in the current Administration. The Pew Research Center saw a particular fault with racial statistics. Race became a gradual political tool. By the 1850’s race had come into full bloom as Darwin’s theories on “evolution” were published. His theses placed an academic and scientific stamp on designating population groups as inferior to others. The British Empire was at perhaps its highest point and the superiority of the Englishman was a core value in the Empire. Many lands, Ireland, India and Egypt felt the brunt of the English boot on their necks due to their lower status. Nietzsche and Marx both incorporated Darwin’s concepts into their philosophies as did Hitler and Mussolini. The Master Race and untermenschen were dictated by a racial philosophy developed from what is still an unproven theory. Add to this the herd mentality and masterful propaganda and media mind control of Hitler, the bloody and brutal twentieth century came about.
The 1964 Civil Rights law came about not through altruism, but through the political know-how and realism of Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats. John F. Kennedy’s opening of doors to the excluded minorities and the efforts by Robert Kennedy to protect Rev. Martin Luther King when he was in custody began a survival instinctiveness drive in the democrats that moved Johnson to propose not only Civil Rights legislation but the “Great Society” to keep new voters in stride with a party that had previously included numerous KKK and anti-civil rights proponents. Realistically these laws did benefit the groups intended, no matter how they were assembled or supported. Unfortunately racial politics rose to a new priority as Federal programs mushroomed and dependency on funding that removed motivation for self-support and development grew.
The Census is overseen by the OMB whose designated job description regarding collection of racial data is as follows: “The 1997 OMB standards permit the reporting of more than one race. An individual’s response to the race question is based upon self-identification.
The Census Bureau does not tell individuals which boxes to mark or what heritage to write in. For the first time in Census 2000, individuals were presented with the option to self-identify with more than one race and this continued with the 2010 Census. People who identify with more than one race may choose to provide multiple races in response to the race question. For example, if a respondent identifies as “Asian” and “White,” they may respond to the question on race by checking the appropriate boxes that describe their racial identities and/or writing in these identities on the spaces provided.
What is Race?
The data on race were derived from answers to the question on race that was asked of individuals in the United States. The Census Bureau collects racial data in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and these data are based on self-identification.
The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as “American Indian” and “White.” People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.
OMB requires five minimum categories: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
Reasons for collecting information on race
Information on race is required for many Federal programs and is critical in making policy decisions, particularly for civil rights. States use these data to meet legislative redistricting principles. Race data also are used to promote equal employment opportunities and to assess racial disparities in health and environmental risks.”
The Office of Management and Budget began in 1923. Its current designation is to be an aid in assisting the President carry out his vision for the Country. Perhaps that is where much of the problem of race lies. With the current administration’s emphasis on gender politics it is only a matter of time before male/female designations are enhanced. Since “race” is described as how a person identifies, the recent fiasco of the former Seattle NAACP President comes to mind immediately. How then will the present LGBT etc. activities affect the issue?
A solution to America’s rapidly deteriorating social climate as far as “race” is concerned is to eliminate the category entirely from any Census or application process. The only categories should be: Male/Female and US Citizen or Resident Alien and the ages of the residents. This step could provide a solution to the trend towards social engineering through the courts and divisive use of the expanding racial identity categories. Limiting gender categories will also prevent the current drive towards multiple gender identification and the damage to our social fabric.
Instead of Federal aid packages and financial programs previously aimed at “racial” and ethnic populations, Federal grants would be re-categorized based on income levels which would be based on tax returns. Grants, low interest loans and educational assistance would be based on demonstrated need as opposed to “race identity” or sexual preferences. Here the greatest benefit would be seen, American virtues of work and upward mobility would be re-enforced and investment in new businesses, sweat-equity investment and educational achievement based on achievement would begin to supplant an entitlement minded mentality becoming prevalent in today’s America
The ultimate solution is one that believers and those whose lives are based on Biblical principles will seek immediately. We are creations of One God. We are made in His image and likeness in one race: human. He made us in two genders, male and female. Anything beyond this is purely speculation. I don’t know about you, but I think this is good enough for me.