The internet is ablaze with stories that the Census Bureau may count Arab-Americans for the first time in 2020. The further we get into the 21st century the more we should be asking, why are we adding rather than reducing the racial categories? Why do we insist on distinguishing Americans by race? Why do Americans of good conscience allow the racialists to dictate the terms and pace with which we move beyond race in America?
More than a decade ago, Californians voted on a racial privacy initiative. Initially, the RPI had huge support. It wasn’t until the racialists began spewing their garbage that the RPI began to suffer. Armed with a huge war chest, the racialists and their Leftist allies conducted a full frontal assault, simply overwhelming supporters of the RPI with misinformation.
It may be time to revisit the RPI. We can’t give up the fight!
The following is a letter to Jennifer Jessup of the Department of Commerce, from Stuart Hurlbert, professor of biology at San Diego State university. The letter is published here with Stuart’s permission.
Absolutely ridiculous that we are adding new race/ethnicity categories instead of eliminating all such categorization as a function of government.
The country’s situation is that while only about 2% of the population “check more than one box” on the census and other forms, the majority of individuals in the US are to some degree and have been for some time, multiracial. My own situation is that I’m an Anglo married to a Chinese woman, have one child, and worked in Latin America for three decades, where again most of the population is mixed race.
And have you been on any university campus recently and seen who’s holding hands with each other?
About a dozen years ago in California we put the Racial Privacy Initiative on the ballot. This would have forbid all state government entities from asking people to identify their race/ethnicity on forms of any sort (except where required by the federal government). Reliable polls just a couple of months before the vote showed that in every racial/ethnic group, a majority of those with an opinion on the matter wished to eliminate governmental racial classification of people.
In gathering signatures to put that initiative on the ballot, I scoured local university campuses (SDSU, UCSD, San Diego community colleges) passing out a flyer on the subject and asking students to sign. It was a truly delightful experience, as in their very great majority (>90%) students of all racial groups signed enthusiastically. At SDSU I even had students wanting to sign seeking me out in the central plaza after hearing about the petition from their dorm mates and class mates.
But shortly before the vote, leading opponent CA Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamonte with a war chest of ca. $12,000,000 began a massive campaign of TV and radio ads against the RPI. They paid former US surgeon general Everett Koop to go on TV and say the initiative would put millions of California children’s lives at risk, etc., etc. Then all the race hucksters got involved. So the initiative did not pass but it still got 37% voting in favor of it.
Next time it will get 90% of the vote — if only young people are allowed in the voting booth! Time to give all the old fart racialists the boot!
—Stuart H. Hurlbert