December 29, 2009

Ancestry question being eliminated from Census

From the Detroit Free Press:
Ethnic groups say 'white' isn't enough on the 2010 census

Arab Americans, others fear loss of benefits if ancestry not accounted for

By Niraj Warikoo

... But the 2010 census form -- in a departure from 2000 and previous decades -- will not contain a question asking people about their ancestry, prompting concern among metro Detroit's diverse ethnic communities. Many in the sizable Arab-American population in metro Detroit -- who have faced a host of challenges during the past 10 years -- are particularly concerned.

... With her light-brown skin and Islamic headscarf, Khadigah Alasry of Dearborn said she doesn't see herself as white.

But the Arab American is officially classified as such by the U.S. government, which says that anyone with roots in the Middle East -- including north Africa -- is white.

"That's just weird to me," said Alasry, 23, born to immigrants from Yemen.

It's also weird for thousands of other Americans who say they don't fit into traditional categories of race in the United States. As the 2010 U.S. census prepares to tabulate millions of Americans, the issue of racial and ethnic identity is being debated as groups push to get their voices heard.

The census is conducted to get accurate population statistics that are used to determine the number of congressional seats and amount of government funding, and to ensure that minorities are not discriminated against.

The concern is acutely felt in metro Detroit, home to the highest concentration of Arab Americans and Chaldeans -- Iraqi Christians -- in the United States, according to 2000 census figures.

Having the ancestry question is important because terms like "white" and "black" are vague and don't offer much detail, said ethnic advocates. ...

Since the 2000 census and 9/11, many Arab Americans say they have experienced bias. On the other hand, they also are being recruited for federal jobs and invited to participate in conversations with top U.S. leaders as the government finds itself involved in conflicts across the Middle East and the Muslim world.

But Arab Americans -- who make up about 1.5% of Michigan's population, based on the 2000 census -- won't be counted as such in 2010. Census officials say part of the reason was to streamline and shorten the form so that more people fill it out.

Two of the 10 questions will ask about a person's race -- white, black or Asian -- and whether the respondent is Hispanic. Arabs are considered white.

"It's unfair because we are not treated as white in society and by the government, but we also don't qualify as minorities to get the benefits of some programs" such as minority contracts, said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. ...

Whites and blacks are not given the choice to further specify what their backgrounds might be. In the past, one out of six households would receive a long form with 53 questions, one of them asking about ethnic origin.

"We're aware of the problems with the census," Gary Locke, secretary of the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, told a crowd of Arab Americans in Dearborn. "But we still need you to participate."

Locke and census officials said the ancestry question will be retained under the American Community Survey, which is done every month. But that survey reaches a much smaller percentage of the population than the full census.

Arab Americans and Chaldeans have varying views on the issue of race, said Andrew Shryock, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His research showed that religion can affect racial identity, with Arab-American Christians much more likely to see themselves as white than Arab-American Muslims.

Arab Americans and Chaldeans are 10 times more likely to identify their race as "other" as compared with the general population, according to the Detroit Arab American Study, a survey in 2003 of 1,000 Arabs and Chaldeans in metro Detroit.

"I'm often told by Arab Americans that they check 'white' on official forms but do not feel that they are 'white white,' " Shryock said.

In 1997, Mostafa Hefny, an Egyptian-American Detroiter, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Office of Management and Budget -- which classified Arabs as white in 1977 -- in order to be classified as black. In the lawsuit, Hefny said, because of his dark skin and kinky hair, he was more African than blacks such as former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer. The case was dismissed in 1998.

Race, ethnicity and the census

Race: On the 2010 form, question No. 9 asks a person to indicate his or her race. Choices are "White," "Black, African-Am, or Negro," "American Indian or Alaskan Native," and several Asian categories such as "Vietnamese," "Asian Indian," and "Chinese."

Hispanic: "Hispanic" is not considered a race, according to the U.S. census. On the 2010 form, question No. 8 asks if the person is "of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin" followed by several boxes to check. Some of the choices include "Yes, Mexican, Mexican Am, Chicano," "Yes, Puerto Rican," and "Yes, Cuban."

Ancestry: On the long form in 2000, given to one of every six people, respondents were asked to list up to two ancestries, such as Irish, Polish, Lebanese, etc. But the census tabulated only those ancestries from Europe and the Middle East. Ancestries from other regions of the world -- such as Asia and Africa -- were classified as races.

This question was eliminated for the 2010 census.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

94 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious that American Arabs claim themselves as "white". While some of the fairer skinned ones with slimmer features may pass for Southern Europeans, on the whole they're obviously a distinct race (and often with evidence of mixing with blacks). The genetic history (haplogroups) doesn't support it either.

And I say this as a minority myself.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to what they write in this article. I live in a very heavily Arab area and Arabs are eager to pass themselves off as white whenever they can. Guys who are "Ali" or "Mohammed" amongst other Arabs, as well as Indians or blacks, will suddenly become "Al" or "Mo" when a white guy walks in the room.

Anonymous said...

I work in the medical field and with the software we use patients are classified, when possible, by race and ethnicity.

In this software 'Hispanic/Latino' is considered an ethnicity and 'Puerto Rican (Mainland)' and 'Puerto Rican (Island)' are two different Hispanic Races.

'White' is an ethnicity and Arab and European are Races of White.

I understand the race realism point of view. I can see black people are better at basketball. But as far as medical categorization, this stuff seems pretty sketchy.


How Tiger Woods is supposed to fill these fields out is a mystery to me. Does the fact that most people would call him black mean his Asian ancestry isn't going to affect his health? I doubt it, but if a census worker is going to look at him and call him one thing or another they're going to be throwing away a lot of data.

I'd be happy with the govt being colorblind myself.

Difference Maker said...

No doubt it is conscious emulation of Europe, where the leaders apparently dream of Eurabia

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Seems like they're smart enough to understand that being classed as "white" excludes them from all sorts of government goodies.

It sure is tough being a "minority" here in America.

Anonymous said...

But Arab Americans -- who make up about 1.5% of Michigan's population, based on the 2000 census -- won't be counted as such in 2010. Census officials say part of the reason was to streamline and shorten the form so that more people fill it out.

And cynical HBDers [as well as followers of the career of little Barry Soetoro] say that the real reason is not to have terrified Americans when it would have been discovered that that 1.5% has metastasized into something like 15% in a mere ten years.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? So they are going to churn out some useless data with our tax dollars?

I am sick of this.

Anonymous said...

"American Arabs"can mean lebanese christians who are usually mediterrenan, not arab. Same goes for berbers, what.

Anonymous said...

"with Arab-American Christians much more likely to see themselves as white than Arab-American Muslims."

A fairly large number of Arab Christians are descended from the pre-Islamic/pre-Arabic Semitic peoples of the fertile crescent, and therefore are more likely to pass as European than their Muslim counterparts in the Arabian peninsula and their Muslim descendants in other parts of the Middle East. Genetic studies of Christian and Muslim Lebanese indicates this, with Muslim Lebanese having more ancestry from the Arabian peninsula than the Christian Lebanese. Generally speaking, southern Semites(Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula, and Yemen) tend to be darker than northern Semites(descendants of the non-Arab Assyrians, Aramaeans, and Phoenicians who are sometimes Christian).

So in a way, these Christian Arabs are white or almost white in the European sense. The fact that they are Christian also plays an important role in their racial identity, since they can assimilate more easily in the U.S.

In anthropological terms, most Middle Easterners are "caucasoid", but not "white" in the European sense. Much the same thing can be said for northern Indians. I'm a bit surprised though that this article didn't mention Persians or Iranians. I think they would be more likely to consider themselves white compared to Arabs, and they do show some similarities with Europeans.

Stir the Pot said...

White, Black & Yellow (E Asian) races are determined by bones, per anthropology, since the flesh is missing after a few years in the ground.

The facial features and bone structure of most Arabs & others from S Asia west of Burma/China are more similar to Euro whites than other races and so they are both classified in the 'Caucasian' race.

Of course, we look different with our skin on, and a working definition of 'white' people could be those originating in Europe that actually get sunburned.

Darker skinned Sicilians, Arabs, Afghans, Bangladeshis, etc that do not sunburn might fit in the non-white 'Caucasian' category.

Anonymous said...

Leave it up to government bureaucrats to confuse things even more than they already are. Must be hard to hire good help, I suppose. As a side note, when I had a government job most Arabs I encountered checked the "Asian" box on their forms, saying they hailed from the Orient, thus making them Asian.

Anonymous said...

His research showed that religion can affect racial identity, with Arab-American Christians much more likely to see themselves as white than Arab-American Muslims.

In other words its Muslim Arabs who are choosing to segregate themselves from the rest of us. Given two men of Lebanese ancestry, one Christian and one Muslim, how the hell are any of us supposed to know who belongs to which religion, unless he comes right out and says it. With Muslim women it may be different, as they often wear the hijab, but two decades ago a hijab was a very rare thing, and even most Muslim women in this country didn't tend to wear them. By wearing hijabs they are, again, segregating themselves.

"White," by the way, is not a race, but a subrace. Whites and Indians may both belong to the same race, but Indians certainly aren't white.

patrick said...

I don't think they really do claim themselves as "white", with the exception of some highly assimilated Christian Arabs (a Catholic who is half Lebanese and half Irish can't really call himself a "person of color.")
Arabs aren't really a "race" or even an ethnic group- they are people who speak Arabic.
Anonymous is right when it comes to North Africans and Gulf Arabs, but less so with respect to Lebanese or Syrians.
In Latin America, Arabs (mostly Palestinian Christians, Syrians and Lebanese) are considered "white." Even in South Africa, the country's tiny Lebanese community (almost all Christian) were counted as whites under apartheid.

Jim Bowery said...

Swab for DNA as part of the census.

Piping Hot Magma said...

Oh, by the way, Associate Cultural Controller of the West Coast Directorate of Television, one Mr. Ben Stein, has now expanded the law regarding exactly what constitutes Thought Crime Anti-Semitism.

Apparently any usage of the term "occupation" to describe America's ongoing overseas military adventures is, in fact, evidence of the dreaded moral disease known as anti-Semitism.

And that is the law in Television Land, whether the speaker realizes it, or not. And that includes, you, Ron Paul. Especially you:

Ben Stein to Ron Paul: "You'll never eat lunch in this town again - you filthy, rural, anti-war, physician, congressman, anti-Semite."

Willard said...

It's hilarious that American Arabs claim themselves as "white".

umm did you read the post?

Hawks said...

I've known many Lebanese Christians whose parents or grandparents immigrated to the US decades ago who are more assimilated and more "white" and "American" than Jews in the US.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I knew someone had to bring in the Jews in a nasty way. In some ways, this blog sucks.

Anonymous said...

I also strongly suspect(I'm the anonymous who elaborated on why Arab Christians are more likely to see themselves as "white" compared to Arab Muslims) that Arab Christians generally have higher IQs than Arab Muslims.

Unfortunately, the evidence is more anecdotal than scientific. In Egypt the Coptic Christian minority is more economically successful than the Muslim majority. Arab Christians were also disproportionately influential in the early Arab nationalist movement. They also seem to be disproportionately represented in the sciences and among Arab writers and poets. Among Palestinians, the Christians seem to be disproportionately represented among intellectuals and government ministers.

Arab Christians - Generally North Semitic ancestry with a bit of European admixture(often Greek, Armenian, Slavic or possibly European crusaders). It may be worth noting that the Jews originated among the North Semites.

Arab Muslims - Generally South Semites or Arabian Peninsula Semites often with a tincture of black African ancestry, especially in southern Arabia/Yemen and Egypt. Generally less "white" than the Arab Christians.

Hawks said...

Ha! I knew someone had to bring in the Jews in a nasty way. In some ways, this blog sucks.

Please. Nothing I said was "nasty." I was merely offering an observation from my personal experience. And thin-skinned paranoids like yourself are not concerned with "some ways" but with only one way that you're completely consumed with.

Simon said...

Americans don't class Lebanese like Paula Abdul or that 'Monk' fellow as white? I find that hard to believe, though I suppose Paula is dark enough to pass for Hispanic, like Shakira.

OhioStater said...

If we don't have good racial census information, won't that limit their ability to gerrymander?

Cinco Jotas said...

I forgot about Shakira being part Arab, but certainly not Salma Hayek. (Hey, the minority tri-fecta: Hispanic, White, or Arab?)

As for Arab-Americans, it would be hard to argue that Danny Thomas, the Maloof brother, Doug Flutie, Casey Kasem, Bobby Rahal, Jim Harrick, and Jeff George were not fully assimilated as white, rather than brown, or some such.

But, then they're all Lebanese Christians (I think), which proves the point about the difference between Muslim and Christian Arabs.

Finally, speaking of this difference, I lived near Cedar Rapids for a few years. One surprising thing I learned about Cedar Rapids, is that the American "mother mosque" (the first purpose built mosque in America) is located there.

http://www.mothermosque.org

If you ever want to meet a fully, 100% assimilated, patriotic Muslim American, go to Cedar Rapids. There are plenty of them there.

In fact, I read somewhere that when the Mosque was first built in the 1930s, weekly services were held on Sunday mornings, so as to better conform with local customs.

Even the new fancy Mosque in Cedar Rapids has a "Sunday School"

http://crmosque.com

Bob said...

Lebanese Christians have been coming to the US for more than 50 years, and frequently went to small towns where they are generally better educated than the rest of the population and filled the same niches that Jews do in larger cities. I'd guess they probably have IQs averaging a little above 100. They also went to parts of Africa and Latin American where they were similarly succssful.

Their intermarriage rate with European whites is probably above 75% by the third generation.

Iraqi Chirstians here in southern California don't seem as intelligent, but do well by focusing on low-prestige jobs that pay well (liquor stores, pest control, construction), and are far more insular and conservative than Lebanese Christians.

Henry Canaday said...

Possibly one more specimen for your display case of half-blood princes:

“He went to Constantinople to see Mustapha Kemal, who smiled at him with eyes that revealed that the Balkans had once more played their trick on the Turks, and had been conquered only to rule; for those eyes were blue, and Ataturk, like some sultans, several viziers, and the flower of the Janizaries, was at least half Slav.”

Rebecca West, “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon”

Anonymous said...

Ha! I knew someone had to bring in the Jews in a nasty way. In some ways, this blog sucks.



This blog sucks because you sometimes hear opinions you don't like? You'd be right at home regulating speech on a college campus. Grow up already.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Arabs are White hasn't spent much time in the mideast.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

I work in the medical field and with the software we use patients are classified, when possible, by race and ethnicity.

In this software 'Hispanic/Latino' is considered an ethnicity and 'Puerto Rican (Mainland)' and 'Puerto Rican (Island)' are two different Hispanic Races.

'White' is an ethnicity and Arab and European are Races of White.

I understand the race realism point of view. I can see black people are better at basketball. But as far as medical categorization, this stuff seems pretty sketchy."

Did it ever occur to you that your software is just wrong? As far as medical implications go, racial classification is far from "sketchy".

falafel eater said...

"It's hilarious that American Arabs claim themselves as "white". While some of the fairer skinned ones with slimmer features may pass for Southern Europeans, on the whole they're obviously a distinct race (and often with evidence of mixing with blacks). The genetic history (haplogroups) doesn't support it either."

And I say this as a minority myself."

Your last sentence is key here. Would a "minority" be likely to appreciate another "minority" slipping seamlessly into the white world? Not for most of the 20th century, that's for sure.

People of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry have been emmigrating to the U.S. since the early years of the 1900s. They have assimilated fine for the most part and virtually always have simply melded into the surrounding "white' culture. They have tended to marry persons of European descent because that's who most of their neighbors were, and their offspring have been indistinguishable from other whites (for the most part.) I remember that little blond girl in Family Affair (60s sitcom), Anissa Jones. Half-Lebanese.
While Arabs do have a distinct genetic profile and look, they are not as genetically distant as black or various Asians. Darwin described, among other phenotypical characteristics, the propensity for blushing among the races. He noted that Arabs blushed in a way similar to Europeans and this was not surprising considering their general "similarity."
The Palestinian Christians who own the Middle East restaurant in my neighborhood remind me of the various eastern and southern European ethnics in east Baltimore.
I knew a Coptic Egyptian with wavy black hair, but rather pale skin and Caucasoid features (eyes were black and a bit almond shaped though.) When he first came to the U.S. he liked telling blacks that he was African too. He soon lost the appetitite for claiming such affinity. He was a Vangellis fan and fit right into the nerdy, new-agey white American culture. In fact, he didn't like Egypt and the only thing he missed was the street food. When I referred to the glories of ancient homeland, he was dismissive and was of the opinion that whoever created that culture was long gone and no particular relation to any current Egyptians. While I don't know how he identified himself racially on forms, it certainly wasn't black and left to his preferences he would have just claimed white for lack of any other choice or sense of race identity. But then he was Coptic Christian.

Dahinda said...

If they are going through the trouble of tabulating any information they should get anything that researchers might need. Otherwise the data is useless and doesn't give a clear picture of what is going on.

dearieme said...

On the last British census form there was a new race question. The wording of the question was contradicted by the wording on the cover-sheet which, IIRC, tried to distinguish "racial" and "ethnic". Anyway, I just wrote "Human Race" as usual.

David said...

The story basically says that no one who is savvy wants to be white. It is not only a pariah category; it's also a non-government-goodies category.

In times like these, I wish my family tree contained a squaw. Maybe I'll just pretend it does. I'm 1/32 Cherokee!

Andrew Ryan said...

Prior to the 2008 election I came across this factoid in an online article (unfortunately no longer available):

Arab-American voters also appear consistent with the rest of the population in that Arab Catholics -- including Chaldeans, Malachites and Maronites -- favor McCain, 53-31. Muslim Arab-Americans favor Obama 84-4.

I e-mailed that to a Coptic friend of mine who replied: "its like 99-1 in the Coptic Christian community for McCain."

He also used to complain that he didn't qualify for scholarships, grants, etc. as African-American although he was from Egypt and living in America.

ben tillman said...

Americans don't class Lebanese like Paula Abdul or that 'Monk' fellow as white? I find that hard to believe, though I suppose Paula is dark enough to pass for Hispanic, like Shakira.

Paula Abdul is Jewish. Her father (Harry Abdul) is of Sephardic Jewish background from Syria. Her mother is also Jewish and was born in Canada.

stari_momak said...

This is a blow to Steve's 'ethnicity for everybody' plan. Now no technical chance of Affirmative Action for rural Scots-Irish (of course there was about .5% political chance of that happening.)

meep said...

If one is going to divvy it up into all the particular ancestries, why not also put in there Irish, English, French, German, etc.?

Meh. Who cares?

The census would be much cheaper if they just stick to counting the total people in a geographical area, and ignore all this extraneous crap.

Anonymous said...

Well Paula Abdul is clearly goofy as a shit house rat and a hyper sexual cougar type so, yeah, she can classify herself as anything that will get her into the sack with me.

Did I mention she was also a dancer? I mean com'on people she's got a natural set of Rubenesque curves with a great rack and she's a dancer. What? Do I need to draw a picture with diagrams?

Svigor said...

I work in the medical field and with the software we use patients are classified, when possible, by race and ethnicity.

[...]

I understand the race realism point of view. I can see black people are better at basketball. But as far as medical categorization, this stuff seems pretty sketchy.

Who's better at filling out forms in your office? :)

On a serious note, do you really see sketches as bad? They're better than a blank page IMO. Have you read much about how this info is being used?

How Tiger Woods is supposed to fill these fields out is a mystery to me.

Seems like a catch-all "none of the above" or "mixed" category would serve.

Does the fact that most people would call him black mean

No.

Does the fact that most people would call him black mean his Asian ancestry isn't going to affect his health?

No.

I doubt it, but if a census worker is going to look at him and call him one thing or another they're going to be throwing away a lot of data.

Not if he selects "all of the above" or "none of the above" or "mixed."

The racial categories aren't going to tell us much of use about Tiger because Tiger has no race. He's a race of one. Well, I guess the forms would tell us his racial background won't tell us as much as most people's racial background would...

I'd be happy with the govt being colorblind myself.

Too late for that. All we would get at this point if we tried that would be even more racial schizophrenia.

John Seiler said...

The U.S. Constitution requires, in Article 1, Section 1, only an "enumeration" of the population for the sole purpose of apportioning congressional districts. Everything else -- from asking ethnic status to the number of bathrooms in your home -- is unconstitutional.

But who follows the Constitution anymore?

The 2010 Census is another anti-Constitutional fraud perpetrated on the American people. Boycott it.

Svigor said...

Don't listen to what they write in this article. I live in a very heavily Arab area and Arabs are eager to pass themselves off as white whenever they can. Guys who are "Ali" or "Mohammed" amongst other Arabs, as well as Indians or blacks, will suddenly become "Al" or "Mo" when a white guy walks in the room.

Yeah, well, I'm "Svi" to the white folks. Doesn't mean I wouldn't take money from the UNCF if checking a box on a government form would get it for me.

Svigor said...

In Latin America, Arabs (mostly Palestinian Christians, Syrians and Lebanese) are considered "white."

Yeah but in Latin America, if you're counting, isn't it quicker to tally up whoever isn't considered white?

Glossy said...

dearieme said:

"Anyway, I just wrote "Human Race" as usual."

James Cameron would consider you a big racist. At least that's the message I got from watching Avatar. Near the end the big bad villain scowls at the blue alien-loving hero, growling "how does it feel to betray your race?" at him. He means the human race and for Cameron a concern for and an identification with the human race makes him an evil racist.

truth said...

"This is a blow to Steve's 'ethnicity for everybody' plan. Now no technical chance of Affirmative Action for rural Scots-Irish (of course there was about .5% political chance of that happening.)"

LOL!

All of Steve's plans have less than 0.5% chance of ever happening.

Chief Seattle said...

This is a positive step. The more race/ethnicity/heritage become muddled and too complex to answer on a short form, the less bureaucracies can use it to base advantages/disadvantages on. The "Hispanic" catchall is a huge benefit to the LaRaza race baiters, since it includes everyone from Mexican Indians to Cubans to Puerto Ricans. If second generation Cubans, Arabs, etc. can be convinced that they're white then the potential for identity politics is much decreased.

Anonymous said...

The libertarians of the open-borders persuasian ought to be up-in-arms about reports like this, but I bet they aren't.

Multi-racial diversity, like Ann Coulter has informed us in a particularily valiant column, is an obstacle to be overcome, not a "strength".


Gary Brecher, the War Nerd, noted in one of his latest columns that hate speech is the most natural thing on earth, and humans got if from way on back when they were, "hatin' on the buncha primates in the next tree". Brecher also noted that in anthropology that doey-eyed scientists were dissapointed when they found out that chimps had raiding campaigns on monkey trees in which they ate smaller primates, and then found out that bonoboos and other smaller primates were carnivorish as well and would go kill and eat smaller primates when the opportunity presented itself. Kumbaya anyone? Maybe (for you libertarians) getting oneself outnumbered in a land with "others" who may have more group loyalty isn't such a bright idea after all considering the actions of other primates in the past billion years or so.


I wonder how little black bears would like being placed on islands full of large, aggressive polar bears? Think they'd fare well? Diversity is unnatural and imposed, while self-segregation, on an earth cheerfully provided with seperate continents and segregated by oceans and differing ecosystems and climates, is the most natural order possible (because its the one history found when we achieved historical consciousness when we started writing down our thoughts about seven thousand years ago). Only a police state can (you'd better hope so) stave off the natural outcome of forced diversity, which is violence.

sj071 said...

"Ancestry question being eliminated from Census"

That's... quite interesting.I imagine race, and even gender will be rendered obsolete and chucked down the rabbit hole...errr. in a not-so-distant yet very bright future.
A planned obsolence , one might suspect.

albertosaurus said...

This muddle gives us an insight into what the future will be like.

Race is not treated as a biological classification but as a political classification. Soon it will be a personal style term.

We see some of this already with Ward Churchill who became an American Indian by simply ignoring haircuts for a few months. His great predecessor - Iron Eyes Cody - had done much the same some years earlier. They became not just Indians but the most celebrated Indians in America.

Robert Downey Jr. became a rather convincing black man in a recent movie with just a little dark makeup and a wig. The late James Whitmore achieved much the same years ago even with his very non-African facial structure. Passing as black seems to be pretty easy.

So, its clear that we are just a cosmetics break through or two away from offering all people their choice of race. The census gets even more dicey then.

A thought just popped into my head. Maybe the secret behind the "birther" controversy isn't geography. Maybe Obama's unseen birth certificate shows that he was born in Hawaii but that his race was white. Maybe he has been darkening up all along so as to pass as black?

If this crazy idea spreads across the Internet, as such ideas do, I want credit.

Anonymous said...

My 13 year old brother is currently applying to high schools and complained to me about the ethnicity categories given on the applications. He hates the term "White", like I did at his age, and suggested to me that there should be two categories for Northern Europeans and Southern Europeans. He also mentioned that the reason for the shoddy nomenclature was because "White people don't sue". This is a kid who has been raised in the San Francisco public school system all his life- so don't give up all hope for the next generation!

Anyway, I personally feel we should lobby to replace "White" with "European", but I guess any hinting that white people evolved together concurrently in a specific geographical location is taboo. But then the Middle-Easterners can get all the government goodies they want.

I didn't mention to my brother that by checking the box marked "White" he was probably relegating himself to the end of line of applicants... maybe when he's older.

Anonymous said...

The arbitrary nature of census racial and ethnic categories and their changes seems to me to be somebodies game, but I'm not sure whose.

It doesn't seem to me to be an attempt to use scientific categories, categories used naturally by Americans in language or affiliation, or categories optimized for some explicit governmental purpose.

So it seems to me there's some hidden agenda which is mysterious to me because it seems as arbitrary as it is obscured.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

corvinus said...

In my opinion, Christians from the Middle East should be counted as "white". Practicing Muslims -- or people who identify as Muslims -- should not. So, if, say, a secular Turk becomes a born-again Christian, I suppose he could count himself as white then. Or in a mixed marriage where the children are raised as Christians, the children are "white" here too.

The solution as I see it is to have a "Muslim" "race" or "ethnicity" similar to the "Hispanic" mess, which I think should be rephrased to "mestizo or mulatto" rather than keeping it as "Hispanic" -- it's funny and sad how the Census consistently fails to think of the idea of having a "mestizo" race! And if somebody is Hispanic and Muslim, the Muslim should trump the Hispanic.

corvinus said...

As far as Christian versus Muslim IQ, I think that Islam is intrinsically IQ-atrophying in a way that Christianity is stimulating, although inbreeding among Muslims no doubt plays a role as well.

Put it another way, Islam is intellectually lazy. All you have to know is that Allah is one and Mohammed is his prophet, and if you're very curious you can memorize the Koran and that's all you need to know; nothing else matters one jot. Basically, you know it all.

On the other hand, the God of Christianity tells you that He is Three Persons in One, and that you won't be able to understand how this works but it's the truth anyway, and then there's the mysteries associated Jesus' life and such. Basically, you do NOT know it all, and moreover, will never be ABLE to. So, as a Christian, you are left wanting to know as much as you can.

Christians are thereby more likely to be more humble and more curious than the know-it-all but rather dim Muslims. Sort of like the attitude differences between whites and blacks in the U.S., except the groups in the Middle East are supposed to be the same race.

Whiskey said...

Hotair has news that Obama-Amnesty is on the table for 2010, with a strong push (link here).

Piping Hot: Ben Stein is a marginal player. Far more damning was HotAir's assessment of Ron Paul (as a loony isolationist idiot). China, Sweden, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia, and Argentina are not known for either lots of Jews or support for Israel and have suffered Jihadist violence. If its not Israel it is cartoons, or Chechnya, or Uighur Muslims, or Hui Muslims, or Swedes not evacuating Malmo, or lack of enough Sharia in Bali, or Buenos Aires canceling a contract with Iran's nuclear program. Hotair pointed out the Undie-bomber attack was launched (i.e. AbdulMutallab bought his ticket with cash) before the Yemen bombing, and what does a Nigerian care about Israel? Paul was right (and I was wrong) on the Gold Standard, but that is the limit of the loon's insight. No one can live with Muslims because polygamy creates massive tensions inside their society (as Steve observed) that is only relieved by raiding outsiders.
-------------
It would appear (unless a thought of Kabuki theater in the linked Hotair story is correct) that Obama plans to go all in. Amnesty and Health Care and Cap and Trade. Either he plans to rule like Lincoln "plus" (suspending parts of the Constitution and elections, the latter something Lincoln did not do) ala Chavez, or he has plans for massive ACORN vote fraud to overwhelm White middle class voters unemployed and replaced by Mexican immigrants. My view is the former (rule by decree). He will have air-cover with the media, feminists, PC-driven folks, Wall Street, and other cronyist capitalist groups that depend on Government largess (Gates, Buffett, GE, etc.)

Roger Chaillet said...

One of my family members dated a Lebanese American woman for a few years. She had dirty blond hair and hazel eyes. She was as white as any European American. She was the niece of the Roman Catholic monsignor of Dallas.

Ditto for the Copt I knew at university. She had black hair, pale white skin and emerald eyes.

Sounds white to me.

Nor did she have a nose like Yasser Arafat.

Of course some Lebanese are now calling themselves Phoenicians in order to distance themselves from the likes of Arafat.

Anonymous said...

"Did it ever occur to you that your software is just wrong?"

Yes it did. That was my point actually.

"As far as medical implications go, racial classification is far from "sketchy."

By sketchy I meant:

1. You are only allowed to pick 1 race and 1 ethnicity. This is why the Tiger Woods case would be problematic. If there are conditions associated with Thai, calling him Black is not going help. If the census, or our software, allowed you to pick more than 1 race/ethnicity, that would make more sense.

2. the concept of White or Black, etc. is vague. There is no scientific test (in general use at least) that says - this guy's white/hispanic/etc. This makes it a subjective and arbitrary judgement, which is not what we want. (We don't say - He looks like he has an O blood type, for example.)

Anonymous said...

Most of you are missing the point. They don't want to check white on the census because they want access to special benefits given to minorities.

From the article:

"It's unfair because we are not treated as white in society and by the government, but we also don't qualify as minorities to get the benefits of some programs" such as minority contracts, said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Jeremiah said...

Most of you are missing the point. They don't want to check white on the census because they want access to special benefits given to minorities.

From the article:

"It's unfair because we are not treated as white in society and by the government, but we also don't qualify as minorities to get the benefits of some programs" such as minority contracts, said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Anonymous said...

Why is Whiskey always telling us how little influence certain people who are all over television and other media have? Compared to who?

Anonymous said...

Correction, I guess the census will let you pick more than one. I don't know that it has a 'mixed' category though.

"'I'd be happy with the govt being colorblind myself.

Too late for that. All we would get at this point if we tried that would be even more racial schizophrenia.'"

I'll still vote for any Ward Connerly type referendum and against Affirmative Action.

"On a serious note, do you really see sketches as bad? They're better than a blank page IMO."

I didn't say they were 'bad'. They are, however, innaccurate, which makes them less valuable as medical information.

"The racial categories aren't going to tell us much of use about Tiger because Tiger has no race. He's a race of one"

Tiger is not the only Black/Asian in the country. Making people like him pick only one race is bad data gathering.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that government should adopt a strictly race-blind attitude for all things. It should view all of its citizens as individuals and not as memebers of racial/ethic groups. My vague understanding is that this is what the French government does.

Silver said...

Whisky/Testy,

China, Sweden, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia, and Argentina are not known for either lots of Jews or support for Israel and have suffered Jihadist violence. If its not Israel it is cartoons, or Chechnya, or Uighur Muslims, or Hui Muslims, or Swedes not evacuating Malmo, or lack of enough Sharia in Bali, or Buenos Aires canceling a contract with Iran's nuclear program.

You're conflating what are two separate issues.

Nobody denies that Muslims are fully capable of waging jihad without it being a response to the Jewish occupation of Palestinian territory.

Secondly, Jewish influence exists independently of raw Jewish numbers. Some countries are more resistant to it, some, like America and Britain, far, far less.

Kylie said...

"With her light-brown skin and Islamic headscarf, Khadigah Alasry of Dearborn said she doesn't see herself as white."

I googled "Khadigah Alasry" and found this photo, along with information that leads me to conclude the two are one and the same: http://www.soe.umd.umich.edu/357501/

Unless her Islamic headscarf is attached to her scalp, I'm not sure how it factors into what her race is. Aren't we always being told that Islam is a religion, one which has plenty of blue-eyed blond adherents? As for her skin tone, she's lighter than my mother, who is of Serbo-Croatian ancestry.

But accomodating these hyphenated Americans should be easy enough. Under "white", why not let these folks write in "white but not so white that I don't qualify for a share of the government goodies"?

Cat Patrol said...

I hate how they always try to combine race with ethnicity.

Race is genetic, ethnicity is culture. 50 years ago, Italian food was considered "ethnic".

Why is "hispanic" even on the list? It's real definition is "of Spain" Mexicans of the Mongoloid race shouldn't be considered "hispanic". Is an English speaking Black Jamaican considered Anglo?

If they have "hispanic" on the list, shouldn't they also have Germanic, Anglo, Slavic and all the other ethnicities?

Truth said...

"The racial categories aren't going to tell us much of use about Tiger because Tiger has no race."

That may have been true 6 weeks ago, but if you'll research the Tiger Woods threads that have appeared here since the transgressions, he is clearly ten shades darker than Robert Mugabe.

Truth said...

"Why is Whiskey always telling us how little influence certain people who are all over television and other media have? Compared to who?"

Who...whom?


...No, no, no, don't get excited there Sviggey, I'm just wondering about correct objective/subjective pronoun usage.

Reg C├Žsar said...

Everything else -- from asking ethnic status to the number of bathrooms in your home -- is unconstitutional. --John Seiler

The bathroom, or, rather, the toilet, was outside the home in 1787. However, the very first census in 1790 included race, sex and age-cohort. If these questions are unconstitutional, the still-living constitutional conventioneers should have mentioned this when the censustaker came to the door!

Americans were merely hashmarks for 60 years, save for the head of household. Nosier questions appeared with the 1850 census: individual's name, birthplace, age. Whatever their political implication, they are a godsend to the genealogist.

Anonymous said...

Ben Stein is a marginal player. Far more damning was HotAir's assessment of Ron Paul (as a loony isolationist idiot).



Because Hot Air is far more well known than Stein? Or because the guys who write there are such spokesmen for the conservative movement?

Anonymous said...

It would appear (unless a thought of Kabuki theater in the linked Hotair story is correct) that Obama plans to go all in. Amnesty and Health Care and Cap and Trade.




Allah's political analysis is worthless, as usual. To pick one problem at random, Hispanics are not actually all that keen on amnesty.

bowden said...

Anyone who thinks Arabs are White hasn't spent much time in the mideast.

I've traveled extensively in the Mideast. The people there for the most part look, well, Arab. But there are significant numbers of people there that look White, especially in places like Jordan and Syria but even in Saudi Arabia. Many of them look as White or even more White than Jews. Much less so in places like Egypt of course, but even there once in a while you'll come across a guy with blue eyes who looks White and would be indistinguishable in the US or Europe.

pavellas.com said...

During the 1980 census, my household was randomly selected one of the 5% to be questioned more thoroughly about various things, including "race" or "ethnicity." I told my then wife that I would not answer the question other than to say I was "American." She honored my wishes and told this to the census-taker, who burst into tears. When my family moved to Brooklyn from San Francisco in 1946 I was 9 years old. When entering the neighborhood I needed to be identified by the boys around my age as to "what I was." Since three of my grandparents had been born in Greece, I said "Greek," quite naturally. They asked what that was and I said "sort of like Italian." That was enough to legitimize me in this mostly Irish and Italian neighborhood. I was, however, not "white," that appellation belonging to WASPS, in the view of everyone I associated with at the time. I didn't know I was "white" until I joined the US Navy at age 17.

Hodges said...

Piping Hot: Ben Stein is a marginal player. Far more damning was HotAir's assessment of Ron Paul (as a loony isolationist idiot).

Wow Whiskey, I guess you're not even trying anymore.

Ben Stein unfairly hurls a cheap shot at Ron Paul on CNN's Larry King by calling him an anti-Semite, and your sleazy (and utterly predictable) response is that Stein is simply a "marginal player" and that Paul is a "loony isolationist idiot"? Since you've basically all but given up this charade, let me ask you, when do you plan on making aliyah?

Jack said...

Whiskey, you don't know sh*t about China and the situation there with Uighurs and Hui Muslims.

For one thing, the Hui are racially close to the Han, and have been incorporated in the various dynasties and regimes of China for hundreds of years. And today many of them hold prominent leadership positions in both regional and national gov't, as they have for a long time. They've been assimilated into Chinese culture for a very long time.

The Uighurs are more different racially from the Han and they are by no means the aggressors in their relations with the dominant Han. The Uighurs have been getting increasingly ethnically cleansed from their own territory by the Han (like the Tibetans). Most Uighur actions are defensive reactions motivated by nationalism and self-defense, not the "radical Islam" that keeps you worried at night and itching for blood and carnage.

You make so many ignorant comments that I have a hard time believing that you're not actively dissembling.

cheney said...

Why is Whiskey always telling us how little influence certain people who are all over television and other media have? Compared to who?

Whiskey is always telling us how little influence certain people like Ben Stein who are all over television and other media have because certain people like Ben Stein pen articles titled, "Do Jews Run Hollywood? You bet they do - and what of it?"

Whiskey, apparently your "marginal player" buddy didn't get the message. Hurry up and go tell him about the "WASP-Harvard Mafia" that's really running things.

Statsaholic said...

Hi Glossy,

I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your trenchant comment on Avatar in an entry on my Blog:

http://statsaholic.blogspot.com/2009/12/hollywood-liberals-dont-just-want-to.html

And for Steve, would you like to put my new Blog in your Links section?

I'd really appreciate it, and consider it a great honor.

Probably you should put it under "Quant", though it would probably also fit under "Trad".

Observer said...

"Most of you are missing the point. They don't want to check white on the census because they want access to special benefits given to minorities."

Right.

However, in their social lives, they usually try to pass for White as is all possible, like this commentor says -

"Don't listen to what they write in this article. I live in a very heavily Arab area and Arabs are eager to pass themselves off as white whenever they can. Guys who are "Ali" or "Mohammed" amongst other Arabs, as well as Indians or blacks, will suddenly become "Al" or "Mo" when a white guy walks in the room."

*I would only add (or amend) his last statement to say that -- guys who are "Ali" or "Mohammed" ... will suddenly become "Al" or "Mo" when a white *girl* walks in the room -- since this is usually the motivation for their menfolk, to date or mate with a NW Euro chick.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

2. the concept of White or Black, etc. is vague."

No, this is like saying the concept of day or night is vague because of the existence of dawn and dusk.

It is vague at the margins, but not within the bulk distribution. Robert Kennedy? White. Robert Mugabe? Black. An accurate assessment made only by observation.

Reactionary said...

China, Sweden, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia, and Argentina are not known for either lots of Jews or support for Israel and have suffered Jihadist violence.

Why do you always ignore the fact that these countries suffer jihadist violence because they let jihadists in?

What's your justification for this particular blind spot, other than an isolationist foreign/immigration policy would hang the unsinkable aircraft carrier out to dry and would mean a lot of unemployed social workers and TSA goons?

What is so wrong with maintaining the CONUS's Anglo-Celt market majority?

Last question: given the metric for social pathology you seem so happy to apply to Arab Muslims, why aren't you arguing for US military occupation of LA & Detroit? And Memphis? And New Orleans? And Phoenix, where kidnapping/extortion is the new growth industry?

Anonymous said...

I googled "Khadigah Alasry" and found this photo, along with information that leads me to conclude the two are one and the same: http://www.soe.umd.umich.edu/357501/

I'm sorry, but that is not anything that I [or anyone I know] would call "white".

Anonymous said...

When my Dad got the old American Spectator - the good one, which was published on huge, oversized paper - and when my Dad was finished reading it, and was ready to surrender it to me, the first thing I read was Tom Bethell's column, and the second thing I read was Ben Stein's Diary.

There was a while there when I felt like I knew Ben Stein better than he knew himself.

Anyway, I don't know when Ben Stein made the transition from "Good ***" to "Just Another Damned ***", but it's been a while now.

Hell, maybe he was always "Just Another Damned ***", and he faked all the "Good ***" stuff - that wouldn't surprise me at all - nothing seems to surprise me anymore [certainly not with me being as cynical about these things as I've become in the last few years].

PS: Just because the Ben Stein franchise has deteriorated into common, ordinary, vulgar, pedestrian ***ry doesn't mean that Ron Paul can't also be a raving anti-semite: There does seem to be an irrational infatuation with the murderous pagan pseudo-religion of Islam amongst certain of these ostensibly paleocon poseurs [for instance, Grover Norquist is widely understood now to be a crypto-Muslim].

A true paleocon would be all Charles Martel/Jan Sobieski/Shores of Tripoli when it came to the question of Islam.

PPS: In Ben Stein's defense, the underlying premise of Expelled is very important [even if some of the folks in the fringes of the creationist movement are kooks, and even if Ben Stein himself is "Just Another Damned ***"].

James Kabala said...

Sometimes race really is socially constructed. Lebanese Christians have assimilated as white. (In addition to the many mentioned above by Cinco Jotas, Americans of at least partial Lebanese ancestry include George Mitchell, Spencer Abraham, Mitch Daniels, Marlo Thomas (obviously), Tony Shalhoub, and Catherine Keener.) Muslim Americans generally do not.

There may be some genuine ethnic difference as noted by an Anonymous above, but the primary difference is cultural/religious.

Anonymous said...

"Most of you are missing the point. They don't want to check white on the census because they want access to special benefits given to minorities."

I also find it curious that most discussions like these break down into what people think a particular group should be classified as and not into why that particular group would want to be classified as something.

What is the advantage of being classified as white today? That is the real question behind this article. What it comes down to is that minority groups like Arabs want all the advantages of living in a white society while also having the assistance of non-white political groups and organizations to give them that extra push and take them beyond the average white joe. THAT is the ideal set up. Why wouldn't they want that?

The working model for how to deal with whites and get them to submit has been greatly improved in the 20th century. Basically it comes down to avoiding all armed conflict with whites (where they are superior) and instead the objective becomes to melt into their society and take over their instutitions from inside out. The key is to be able to go from white (we are with you) to non-white (we need our own paralel institutions) at will.

The whites are left with only owning the country - which everyone shares due to universal rights (first thing to be established), while non-whites are left with the country AND their paralel instiutions and organizations - which is a huge advantage. Whites currently really have no way of dealing with this strategy and that is why they are being ethnically cleansed from many places.

Anonymous said...

A major purpose of the census is to find out where concentrations of Whites still exist, and then to "integrate" them with Somalian (or worse) immigrants. Really. Liberals do not like Whites. After the 2000 census, the L.A. Times ran an article with a map of Southern California with little blue dots showing where White people are located. They said "this shows there is still work to be done". That is a quote and I remember it. I just think most Whites live in a dream world about the true intentions of liberals. It's astonishing to see everyone walking around, as if we live in a normal country.

corvinus said...

Since three of my grandparents had been born in Greece, I said "Greek," quite naturally. They asked what that was and I said "sort of like Italian." That was enough to legitimize me in this mostly Irish and Italian neighborhood. I was, however, not "white," that appellation belonging to WASPS, in the view of everyone I associated with at the time.

The fact that modern Demotic Greek has borrowed hundreds of Italian loanwords no doubt helps. Lebanese Maronites also probably often explain to confused outsiders that they're "sort of like Italians". In fact, the entire country of Malta could be thought of as a Lebanese (Phoenician) colony where the locals mixed their Arabic language with Italian.

I suppose one could use "white" as a shorthand for "Northern European" in this sense. Although, wouldn't the Irish be classed in the same race as WASPs and other Northern Europeans, given that they are basically a mix of Gaelic Celts with some English and Norse thrown in? In fact, a lot of Italians and Poles resented (and in some cases still resent) the Irish for their dominance of the Roman Catholic Church and spoke of them in terms not unlike how non-WASPs speak of WASPs.

Svigor said...

Part 1

By sketchy I meant:

1. You are only allowed to pick 1 race and 1 ethnicity.


Well if they don't include a "mixed" category then yeah, that's dumb. But if they do, I don't see any problem inherent to being forced to pick 1 "gene" category. You only fit one category, after all.

This is why the Tiger Woods case would be problematic.

Not if they put in a "mixed" category.

If the census, or our software, allowed you to pick more than 1 race/ethnicity, that would make more sense.

I think "mixed" is a better way to handle mixed people. Noticed many medical genetics studies on any specific flavors of "mixed" lately? I don't know what the point would be, unless we're talking about hybrid populations, like some from central Asia. My point is, unless a population is actually a population, I don't know that there's much point to studying it as such vis-a-vis health. "Mixed" would be a way for a person to opt out of the idea that much in the way of medical significance can be gleaned about him via population data.

the concept of White or Black, etc. is vague.

How so?

There is no scientific test (in general use at least) that says - this guy's white/hispanic/etc.

"Hispanic" is a lingual/cultural term, so yeah it's racially vague. But white/black/yellow is not a vague concept.

As for scientific tests, asking the patient is about 99.86% accurate for deriving continental-level racial classification.

This makes it a subjective and arbitrary judgement, which is not what we want. (We don't say - He looks like he has an O blood type, for example.)

Doesn't make it "vague." If we use that logic, the color spectrum is a "vague" concept. Eye, hair, or skin color become "vague" concepts. Continuums aren't "vague," they're just not binary.

The degree to which the concept of race qualifies as vague is the degree to which vast swathes of our culture also qualify. Couldn't we have a similar conversation about "gender"?

Svigor said...

Part 2

I'll still vote for any Ward Connerly type referendum and against Affirmative Action.

Yeah don't get me wrong, if I could make the government ignore race I would.

"On a serious note, do you really see sketches as bad? They're better than a blank page IMO."

I didn't say they were 'bad'. They are, however, inaccurate, which makes them less valuable as medical information.


Less valuable than a blank page?

Everything we do is rife with such "vagueness" and inaccuracy. What's a healthy pulse rate, and what's an unhealthy one? Oops, those are ranges, and therefore "vague."

"The racial categories aren't going to tell us much of use about Tiger because Tiger has no race. He's a race of one"

Tiger is not the only Black/Asian in the country. Making people like him pick only one race is bad data gathering.


But black/yellow isn't a population group, or a race, etc. It's a catch-all category of a bunch of people, each of whom is a race of one. Each new black/yellow hybrid is a new mix, they don't all just become members of the b/y "race" by dint of having ancestral ties to each group. Now, put a bunch of b/y hybrids together for long enough, and erect sufficient barriers to exogamy, and eventually their descendants will constitute a race.

My vague understanding is that [race-blindness] is what the French government does.

That's being worked on, don't worry.

Race is genetic, ethnicity is culture. 50 years ago, Italian food was considered "ethnic".

No, if you're looking for an analogy, "tribal" is a far better one. Ethnicity is genetic and cultural. A person's race doesn't include a person in an ethnicity, but it can exclude him.

She honored my wishes and told this to the census-taker, who burst into tears.

She burst into tears? There's gotta be a "and here the magic happens" part to this story that you're leaving out, right?

Jack said...

The article quoted is somewhat misleading when it says that the question on ancestry has been eliminated for the 2010 census. The decennial census in the past never asked most people their ancestry. Most people in the past got the short form, which asked a person's race (and after 1970, if they were of Hispanic origin) but asked no further questions regarding ancestry. Persons of Arabic descent were not directed to list themselves as White; they could list whatever ancestry they wanted (whether White, Asian, or other) and were counted as whatever they chose.

Between 1940-2000, roughly one out of every six households got the long form, which did ask each person's specific ancestry, along with other detailed personal and housing questions. There were no choices for people to pick, just a blank space for people to write in what ancestry they wanted to claim. The ancestry question was not singled out for removal, ALL of the additional long form question have been removed from the 2010 census. In 2010, for the first time since 1930, everyone will be asked the same questions, there will no longer be a long form sent to 1/6 of all households.

The long form questions, including the question on ancestry, have been moved to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which became a nationwide survey in 2005. For the past 5 years, this survey has been sent to over 200,000 households every month, and the Census Bureau tabulates the ancestry (as well as a variety of other demographic characteristics) of the population based on the results.

James Kabala said...

Jack: Thanks for the info. Can journalists get anything right these days?

patrick said...

In the early 1900s when Italians arrived in the US, a lot of the discrimination they encountered was not from WASPs, but from Irish and, to a lesser extent, other more established Northern European ethnic groups. (WASPs like Madison Grant and Henry Cabot Lodge provided the political and ideological force behind restricting immigration from southern Europe, but it was Irish Catholics who made Italians sit in the back of the church during Mass, or got into street fights with "the dagoes.")

As far as Italians and Greeks, southern Italy was colonized and ruled by Greeks throughout ancient and early medieval times. While southern Italians have diverse ancestries, there is a significant proportion (concentrated in Salento and around the Straits of Messina)* who are essentially Latinized Greeks.

*These parts of Italy are the areas where Greek Orthodoxy and the Greek language survived the longest after the Muslim and Norman conquests.

Anonymous said...

If we are supposed to be post racial, why is the ethnicity even on the census form? We are all human right?

Anonymous said...

Since three of my grandparents had been born in Greece, I said "Greek," quite naturally. They asked what that was and I said "sort of like Italian." That was enough to legitimize me in this mostly Irish and Italian neighborhood. I was, however, not "white," that appellation belonging to WASPS, in the view of everyone I associated with at the time. I didn't know I was "white" until I joined the US Navy at age 17.



Who are you calling a "coot"?
Incoming! Readers demand answers about WASPs, Tim Russert and Obama's teleprompter skills.
By Camille Paglia
Wednesday, Jul 9, 2008 04:00 EDT
salon.com

...I have been at war with WASPiness since I grew up in upstate New York in the 1950s and early '60s. There is no way to describe the brute social power of the WASP establishment of that period -- the smooth, bland, coded good manners; the hidden past interconnections of families and business associations; the mysterious alliance between chic sororities (overpopulated by blondes) and the most prestigious Presbyterian church in town.

College at the State University of New York at Binghamton in the revolutionary mid-1960s was a delicious relief for me. The counterculture was booming amid a fantasia of new influences from psychedelia, African-American blues, London Mod, and Andy Warhol's glittery Factory. And at my college there were so many dynamic, super-articulate, politically activist, and screamingly funny Jewish students from downstate New York that I felt the world had changed forever...


Pelosi's victory for women
Sure, her healthcare bill is a mess, but her gritty maneuvering shows her mettle. Plus: Gainsbourg and Gaga
By Camille Paglia
Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009 19:11 EST
salon.com

...A few weeks ago, I was bemused to discover the bill from my first semester (fall 1964) at Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton. The tuition was $200, which was offset by my state scholarship for that amount. My shared room was $150; linen was $6.50. Board at the cafeteria was $225. The physical education fee was $2, and there was an activity fee of $17.50 and a general college fee of $12.50. The grand total my parents owed for the semester was $413.50 -- for which I received the superb education that is still the basis of my professional life as a teacher and writer. If only the billions upon billions that this country has thrown down the drain in Iraq and Afghanistan had been redirected to education and healthcare!...



In other words, we were PAYING them to hate us.

And we never even realized it.

David said...

> doesn't mean that Ron Paul can't also be a raving anti-semite: There does seem to be an irrational infatuation with the murderous pagan pseudo-religion of Islam <

Not on Paul's part there isn't. You're confusing (?) him with the despicable Grover Norquist. That's muddying the waters and not appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Okay, granted, I don't know diddly squat about Ron Paul's positions.

But if you think there aren't a ton of pseudo-palecons who have a weird fixation wrt Islam, then you're nuts.

Hell, even The Derb can't bring himself to condemn Islam.

Anonymous said...

Hell, even The Derb can't bring himself to condemn Islam.

Why are we required to condemn Islam? There's a heck of a lot to admire about Islam, not that I personally wish to become a convert. We are the remnants of a dead civilisation being told we must condemn that which is manifestly strong and vital. I would rather live in an Islamic world than a Christian Zionist one, if that's what it comes down to. Of course I would really prefer *none of the above* but we have to play the cards we are dealt.

Anonymous said...

"What's a healthy pulse rate, and what's an unhealthy one? Oops, those are ranges, and therefore "vague."

Pulse rates can be counted. They are not vague. The term 'healthy' is not something used by our software. It is a judgement call whether a person's pulse is healthy based on their condition.

I never said the concept of race has no value or is worth less than a blank page.

We do run into situations such as this though - a person with both white and black parents is labeled black. We have reports that break things down into racial categories and this case is now marked in the black category. There is no medical reason it couldn't have gone in the white category. This is not what I call an accurate report and this is not a situation we get with blood types.

"Continuums aren't "vague," they're just not binary."

Maybe we have different definitions of the word vague. In any case, treating continuous data as discrete data is the problem, not the vagueness or continuousness per se.

Anonymous said...

"...this is like saying the concept of day or night is vague because of the existence of dawn and dusk."

If I ask you what time it is and you tell me it's 'the day', I would say you gave me a vague answer.