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Census Smoke Signals


Census Smoke Signals

Jennifer Nou

The decennial Census is a high-stakes feat. It informs government spending, business planning, and congressional apportionment. No wonder the Census Bureau takes such great pains with each question. After all, when you ask only ten questions or so, you’ve got to make them count (pun intended).


Under Trump, maybe the Census Bureau needs to change its name to: THE CENSOR BUREAU!


It is the “Census” not a witch hunt. It is important information in a changing society. True, it is being politically manipulated but it can have both positive and negative consequences. It produces a quantitative demographic of the people living here. It expands on who is who, there are other new questions as well. If you don’t feel comfortable with the question and don’t want to be counted, don’t answer it.

Or explain how answering “Where were you born” to “are you a citizen” is different?

My apologies to any “W” that might take offense, it isn’t intentional.


I find myself increasingly desiring terms and reasons to explain the dynamics of the societal predation so blatantly on display with the Trump administration.

How we step back and ask questions is also of value in an enquiry that must be sustainable and grounded sufficiently to provide a variety of platforms that can embrace the diversity we so desperately seek.

How “race” has been used as a 19th century confabulation in this country and now steeped in poisonous corrosive politics might be worth tracking OUTSIDE of the devious vested interests it serves. As a start, I found a TED talk addressing a curious anthropological perspective that has informed racism the world over - we might be well served to consider: The Hamitic Hypothesis


Thanks goat, I’ll be taking a look at the video.

The author here examines Administrative Law as a context. She examines the procedures used in how these changes to the census are made. I agree with her as a valid point. There are provisions that state you don’t have to do certain things but if you say you are going to do them then you are responsible for it.

There are rules that apply and standards that must be followed. A standard is made and then the agency must respond with what procedures will be used to meet that standard. Here, the argument falls within this context. It really isn’t a bad system and is fairly neutral, It is a little outdated because of the changing demographic of people living in the country and how those people accommodate themselves. Outside of that system, political parties have identified that they can make changes for party advantage. Using racism is more a variable, and countering it with racism is not the solution. Ugh.


Let’s be realistic, if you need data you have to ask a questions. i.e “Are you a US citizen?”. There are only two answers to that. Yes or No. Very simple. Sam goes for ethnic origin. You ask people what they “identify” as. White, black, latino, etc, etc. How complicated can it be.

If you start hand wringing due to political correctness, might as well not waste the taxpayers money. Sound pretty simple,


Ok, then lets see your roll number.




Sure, that works…not. lol