Re: What Are the Race Deniers Denying?

Stephen Barnard (
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 16:46:33 -0800

There is a proposal to include "multiracial" as a category in the US
census. As I understand it, African-American and Hispanic groups
generally oppose this because it might erode their representation in the
census. But what is someone to do if, for example, they have immediate
Jewish, Korean, and Phillipino ancestry? Such cases are not unheard
of. (BTW, Jewish is not a racial category because it is "religious".)

There is a very strong tendency toward "outbreeding" in Asian and
Hispanic communities, but much less so among African Americans. Someone
has suggested that the black/non-black distinction is the only racial
categorization that "matters" in the US, so that should be the only
categorization in the census. I don't know if I agree with that, but I
do think that the current form is pretty ridiculous. About 45% of it is
devoted to determining a racial classification in some way. For
example, if you are Hispanic then you are expected to distinguish
between all sorts of subcategories, including (quaintly) "Spanish".

If race is a myth then it shouldn't be part of the census. Even if it
isn't a myth then a case can be made that it shouldn't be part of the

Steve Barnard