The Nov 19 article on the activities of the U.S. Census Bureau set me to wondering (again!). Why does a society which promotes nondiscrimination keep trying to categorize its people? That process just heightens awareness of the distinctions between different ethnicities. I have always understood that we are supposed to be one people, “one nation.”
Why does our government care? Is it just part of the 21st century never-ending quest for more “data?” Do the politicians want that data to help run their campaigns and so they know where they can hand out the goodies with the most political effect? So there is going to be a new category for people of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Is a northern Nigerian Muslim “North African” or simply “African?” What is the sense of it all, especially in these times of increasing blurring of ethnic lines?
It seems to me that the money to be spent by the Census Bureau on such an endeavor would be better used to provide help to those who really need it, no matter what their ethnicity. Such unbiased help would be a good move toward a more cohesive, unified society.
William R. Clarke, Richland
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