OMnis definitio in jure civili periculosa.
-- Georg W E Hegel 1
At the close of the twentieth century, the U.S. government finds itself in a paradox with no obvious solution. At issue is the problem of how to reduce the significance of race in American life while continuing to counter racial discrimination in an aggressive way. As I have argued in Chapter 1, a personal stance against racism does not require acceptance of the false concept of racial categorization; however, the specific means employed by the federal government to monitor and act against racism relies on precisely such a classification system. The government maintains statistics and requires reporting of racial data by federal and state agencies, as well as by certain private sector institutions, in order to facilitate the tracking of social and political inequalities by racial group. Disparate statistical representation in terms of employment, mortgage approvals, or access to health care, for instance, may be indicators of racial discrimination.
According to Suzann Evinger, a policy analyst in the Statistical Policy Office of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, "Disparities in social and economic status, credit experience, educational attainment, health outcomes, and availability of health services, can reveal underlying civil rights problems." 2 Similarly, a statistical analysis report prepared for the National Center for Education Statistics notes that, "For example, the OCR [Office for Civil Rights] in the Department of Education uses racial and ethnic data to detect possible racial discrimination in ability grouping, discipline, athletics, financial aid, and programs for special populations." 3 Such problems and such responses persist regardless of the fact that race does not exist. These problems continue to plague American society because people continue to believe that race is real, that every person on the planet has specific markers that
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Publication information: Book title: Spurious Issues:Race and Multiracial Identity Politics in the United States. Contributors: Rainier Spencer - Author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 55.
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