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Dear Mr. Census: Aren’t we all African-Americans?

Dear Mr. Census: Aren’t we all African-Americans?

Moments ago, while looking at (though not yet completing) the 2010 U.S. Census form, I noticed that Question Six states: “What is this person’s race? Mark ‘x’ one or more boxes.”

I know that some in the scientific community consider that race is a social construct, not a scientific or biological distinction. In any case, the first option on Question 6 is “White” and the second option is “Black, African-Am., or Negro.”

As far as I know, even under a social construct (much less as a scientific category), neither “White” or “Black” are “races.” So apparently Question 6 is not really inquiring about race, but political constructs or self-identification.

It further occurs to me that since there is a scientific consensus that Homo sapiens originated in Africa, aren’t we all “African-Americans?”

So then if everyone marked this accurate response, we’d all be entitled to affirmative action and other government preferences. What’s not to like?

Finally, since the Census form provides the option of checking-off more than one box, and there is a box marked: “Some other race — Print race” it may also behoove me, in the interest of acting in good faith to fulfill my responsibilities as a citizen and provide the most accurate responses of which I am capable, to also check that off and then fill in “Native American.” After all, I was born here!

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