Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The 2010 Census and Latinos: What race are we?

Christian Science Monitor opinion editorial "The 2010 Census and Latinos: What race are we?" (April 6th, 2010) asks a simple question but fails to answer it. The author complains that various latino nationalities are not given their own categories.

It is Question 9 that has confused Hispanics. It asks one’s race, and the possible answers are White, Black, American Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, and Samoan. Responders are allowed to check as many boxes as they like.

Excuse me, but when did nationalities like “Japanese” and “Korean” become a race?

To answer the author's question, "Japanese" has been a racial term in the U.S. Census since 1870. "Korean" was first used in 1930, but has been intermittent. "Chinese" has been on the Census since 1860. "Mexican" was used in 1930. The author's lack of information could have been easily corrected.

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