Spurious Issues: Race and Multiracial Identity Politics in the United States

By Rainier Spencer | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Unfortunately, there is a real danger that this kind of misinformation can do great harm. In his January-February 1998 editorial, Byrd advises his readers to do any of the following with their year 2000 census forms: "Check White!" "Check Anything But Black!" "Check Every Box On The Form!" "Don't Return A Census Form At All!" "Check Hispanic!" and "Check American Indian!" 52 While it is possible to read various harmful impulses into any of these suggestions, particularly the one to "Check Anything But Black!" one is struck by the insensitivity and selfishness required to consciously do harm to Native Americans by purposely advocating the destabilization of their numbers and the undermining of the protections and benefits based on those numbers.

Project RACE and Interracial Voice will likely persevere in their call for a separate multiracial category. In all probability, this call will continue to be driven by self-esteem issues, seasoned as before with contradictory and insincere arguments about accuracy and medical screening. But OMB's MATA decision is not satisfactory as an end result for any of the interested parties I have discussed. Future proposals by some factions to institute a stand-alone multiracial category, a B+MATA option, or even a return to the pre-MATA OMB 15 format will be met by dogged resistance and counterproposals by other factions. In this sense, OMB's 1997 decision represents perhaps only the beginning of newer and potentially more divisive debates over race and federal racial categorization.


Notes
1.
Ramona Douglass, e-mail to author, July 14, 1997.
2.
House Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Hearings on Federal Measures of Race and Ethnicity and the Implications for the 2000 Census, testimony by Susan Graham on May 22, 1997, 105th Cong., 1st sess., April 23, May 22, and July 25, 1997, 290; and Ramona Douglass, e-mail to author, June 3, 1997.
3.
This major change of direction by these two organizations came less than two months before the recommendations of OMB's interagency committee were finalized and made public. These were hardly secret deliberations, and it is likely that the direction in which the interagency committee was leaning became known to both AMEA and Project RACE, with the organizations reacting based on that knowledge.
4.
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, "1996 Race and Ethnic Targeted Test (RAETT) and Its Content Reinterview, Also Identified As the 1996 Census Survey", by Gerald Taché, Federal Register 60, no. 231 ( December 1, 1995): 62011.
5.
This proposal would have allowed subcategories only if granted by high-level federal authority on an agency-by-agency basis. There was a clear intention in this proposal to discourage the use of subcategories.
6.
Also important is the way one invites respondents to answer, an issue that I shall take up when discussing in detail the MATA option proposed by Project RACE.
7.
House Subcommittee, testimony by Susan Graham, May 22, 1997, 290.
8.
Bridget Bielinski, e-mail to author, July 11, 1997.

-185-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Spurious Issues: Race and Multiracial Identity Politics in the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 222

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?