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Atlantic: How Racial Data Gets 'Cleaned' in the U.S. Census
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From The Atlantic, an article implying (without quite stating) a conspiracy theory that the government fiddles with the Census counts by race to victimize nonwhites:

How Racial Data Gets ‘Cleaned’ in the U.S. Census

The national survey offers more identity choices than ever—until those choices get scrubbed away. An Object Lesson.

ROBYN AUTRY 8:00 AM ET TECHNOLOGY

ROBYN AUTRY is an associate professor of sociology at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Desegregating the Past.

At a doctor’s visit, on a college-admissions application, or even in a consumer-marketing survey, Americans are regularly asked to classify themselves by race. Some protest this request by “declining to answer,” as forms often allow. After all, racial categories are social constructs. They don’t connote biological or genetic difference.

As an African American, I have never had difficulty knowing which box I am meant to check. Whether I do so depends on my understanding of why the information is being collected. Similar questionnaires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries didn’t afford such choice. At that time, before the current practice of self-identification, an enumerator or census taker would have visited my home and classified me as free or enslaved, and then determined whether I might be colored, mulatto, quadroon (one-quarter black), or octoroon (one-eighth).

Professor Autry seems to be even hazier on the exact years of the Civil War than Quentin Tarantino is.

But in this wholly Socially Constructed world, the only constant is White Supremacy. Thus, Professor Autry concludes:

Even so, some of the choices haven’t changed. Since the first census in 1790, one category has remained stable, or at least been modified the least on the national census and other official government forms: “white.”

It’s okay to be white.

 
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  1. one category has remained stable, or at least been modified the least on the national census and other official government forms: “white.”

    It’s whitey’s fault because the prog-left keeps inventing…er, socially constructing…fashionable racial/ethnic terms and identities. Apparently these non-white groups are helpless in the face of this purposeful manipulation and victimization by the white power structure.

    Helpless, I tells ya.

    After all, racial categories are social constructs. They don’t connote biological or genetic difference.

    So helpless she willingly complies.

    As an African American, I have never had difficulty knowing which box I am meant to check.

    Hilarious.

  2. Yes, it is okay to be white.

  3. If this professor truly cares about black people and truly believes that there is even halfway that much white racism, then she would DEMAND racial segregation.

  4. Has it gotten to the point where publications can’t even fact-check black writers any more because it would be racist? Meaning a criticism of a single work by a black person is an attack on all black people? Whereas calling white people thieves and racists is just telling it like it is?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    https://youtu.be/uSdYXq4CHIQ
  5. This is why I always leave that part of the Census form blank – I am “European American,” not white. In 2000, this led to a long telephone conversation with an increasingly frustrated Census temp.

  6. It’s difficult not to be wistful for the simpler days of coloreds, mulattos, quadroons and octoroons. They’re so much more accurate and I strongly suspect that the IQ scores broken down by those “social constructs” would be very revealing.

  7. one category has remained stable, or at least been modified the least on the national census and other official government forms: “white.”

    Why is this surprising to her?

  8. After all, racial categories are social constructs. They don’t connote biological or genetic difference.

    I wonder if how she will handle it if she ever learns that race is not just a social construct.

  9. Any relation to Gene Autry?

    • LOL: jim jones
  10. A racial census based on self-reporting is flawed from the onset. In scientific terms, your race is determined by your ancestry, not your personal opinion about what race you want to belong to. An even more extreme example of liberal bias in census collating is allowing people to pick more than one racial category. For example, in New Zealand, people of mixed White and Maori ancestry are allowed to tick “European New Zealander” and “Maori,” and there is no mixed race category. Hence, its impossible for New Zealand to produce a statistically accurate census on race.

    • Replies: @Lloyd1927
    You do realize that the NAACP moved heaven and earth to try and stop ANY acknowledgement of racially mixed ancestry.
  11. Uh-oh, sounds like the euphemism problem. Negro, Colored, Afro-American, Black, African-American… why do leftists insist we adopt a new label every once in a while? As the lady indirectly points out, it’s always okay to be white (though you don’t want to be trash). ‘Tis a puzzlement wrapped inside a mystery hidden in an enigma surrounded by a fog abandoned on a darkling plain at the bottom of a black hole under a sea of obscurity and doubt.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    it’s always okay to be white
     
    No, it hasn't been for fifty years, not if you want to be in the ruling class.

    If you're not deracinated, you're not their kind.
    , @NickG

    Uh-oh, sounds like the euphemism problem. Negro, Colored, Afro-American, Black, African-American… why do leftists insist we adopt a new label every once in a while?
     
    Pejorative creep. Any new term that becomes currency for black people becomes seen as a pejorative in about a generation. So a new one must be found...etcetera.

    It'll no doubt happen to African-American too in due course. Anyone any ideas what will the replacement term be?
  12. “It’s okay to be white.”

    I can’t believe the W word was used in that context. Throwing a W bomb. The amount of hate speech implied in this one sentence. Suppose this should influence others to think the same way? Right now in our troubled nation, the US needs to come together as one people and stop dividing and using cheap slogans that only serve to distract us and pull us apart.

    It’s okay to be w—e. Seriously? Can’t believe that was actually written. If more whites start to think along these lines, what then? Who knows what could happen in the public discourse of ideas?

    Throwing around a W bomb and saying it’s okay to be one of them. Too horrible a word to repeat, too horrible a thought to ever utter.

    What’s that line from Robert Bolt’s screenplay “A Man for All Seasons”?

    “It’s not a very likable word, it’s not a very likable THING.”

    But that slogan sounds a bit too close for comfort, almost like it’s attempting to make whites on par with others. What would gatekeepers such as NYT’s David Brooks say about that?

  13. At that time, before the current practice of self-identification, an enumerator or census taker would have visited my home and classified me as free or enslaved, and then determined whether I might be colored, mulatto, quadroon (one-quarter black), or octoroon (one-eighth).

    Over 9 census taken over the period running from 1860 to 1940, the term ‘quadroon’ was applied to about 2,000 respondents. The term ‘octoroon’ was more common – applied 52,400 times. ‘Colored’ was applied 292,000 times. ‘Mulatto’ was applied 7.34 million times. ‘Black’ was applied 47.8 million times. IOW, 99.4% of respondents were classified ‘black’ or ‘mulatto’. The rest were one might guess enumerators being cute.

    • Replies: @res
    How did the quadroon and octoroon category numbers change over those years?

    Here is some discussion about how the categories changed over the years: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/01/21/race-and-the-census-the-%E2%80%9Cnegro%E2%80%9D-controversy/

    According to this one quadroon and octoroon were only used in 1890: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/06/11/chapter-1-race-and-multiracial-americans-in-the-u-s-census/

    This includes all of the race categories used in the census from 1850 through 2000 (and confirms the previous): https://www.nap.edu/read/10907/chapter/10

    This is definitely an issue where no matter what is done it is wrong per the usual suspects.
    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "IOW, 99.4% of respondents were classified ‘black’ or ‘mulatto’. The rest were one might guess enumerators being cute."

    IOW, the author is correct and you are tedious. As always.
    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    Mr. Deco, your comments are reliably tedious and boring, so, as a primer, I have rewritten and compressed your comment thusly:

    "Unlikely. Between 1860 and 1940, 99.4% of black census respondents were classified as 'black" or 'mulatto.' The remaining 0.6% were termed quadroon, octoroon, colored, and mulatto, probably because the census enumerators were being cute."

    To avoid boring and/or confusing your audience, it's important to state upfront your conclusion or claim and then provide supporting evidence.

    I hope this helps.
  14. Obviously the left has a major interest in making sure there are as many categories other than ‘white’ or ‘cis’ as possible to generate new victim classes. Anything that fails to emphasize the diverse is cleansing of data that is needed to configure congressional districts and set up complaints for the EEOC to hand over to bottom-feeding lawyers intent on extracting cash settlements out of employers.

  15. If you look here (https://www.dps.texas.gov/texas10mostwanted/MostWanted/fugitives) at the 10 Most Wanted in Texas, you will see that there is one, repeat one, White Male. But there are 6 White (Hispanic) Males. Guess which category/race of crime stats they get put in?

  16. if you actually read the categories on the old census forms the question is “Color or Race?”

    Color or Race

    If Ms. professor can read, she should be able to figure out that people put white or black instead of race. Race would be something like Italian, German, English, Mexican, etc., that described the individual’s identity.

  17. @Art Deco
    At that time, before the current practice of self-identification, an enumerator or census taker would have visited my home and classified me as free or enslaved, and then determined whether I might be colored, mulatto, quadroon (one-quarter black), or octoroon (one-eighth).

    Over 9 census taken over the period running from 1860 to 1940, the term 'quadroon' was applied to about 2,000 respondents. The term 'octoroon' was more common - applied 52,400 times. 'Colored' was applied 292,000 times. 'Mulatto' was applied 7.34 million times. 'Black' was applied 47.8 million times. IOW, 99.4% of respondents were classified 'black' or 'mulatto'. The rest were one might guess enumerators being cute.

    How did the quadroon and octoroon category numbers change over those years?

    Here is some discussion about how the categories changed over the years: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/01/21/race-and-the-census-the-%E2%80%9Cnegro%E2%80%9D-controversy/

    According to this one quadroon and octoroon were only used in 1890: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/06/11/chapter-1-race-and-multiracial-americans-in-the-u-s-census/

    This includes all of the race categories used in the census from 1850 through 2000 (and confirms the previous): https://www.nap.edu/read/10907/chapter/10

    This is definitely an issue where no matter what is done it is wrong per the usual suspects.

  18. Hispanics, Arabs and Jews have fought vigorously to be able to call themselves ‘white’, believing it gives them advantages. Of course, in the modern age, where Victim Olympics determines social hierarchy, it’s better *not* to be white, so I suspect we’ll see these races appear on the 2020 census.

  19. The Census used to be a lot better:

    “The enumeration desired for the Census is of true idiots only. Demented persons should be classed with the insane.”

    https://www.archives.gov/files/research/genealogy/charts-forms/1880-census-idiots.pdf

  20. @Veracitor
    Uh-oh, sounds like the euphemism problem. Negro, Colored, Afro-American, Black, African-American... why do leftists insist we adopt a new label every once in a while? As the lady indirectly points out, it's always okay to be white (though you don't want to be trash). 'Tis a puzzlement wrapped inside a mystery hidden in an enigma surrounded by a fog abandoned on a darkling plain at the bottom of a black hole under a sea of obscurity and doubt.

    it’s always okay to be white

    No, it hasn’t been for fifty years, not if you want to be in the ruling class.

    If you’re not deracinated, you’re not their kind.

  21. @Art Deco
    At that time, before the current practice of self-identification, an enumerator or census taker would have visited my home and classified me as free or enslaved, and then determined whether I might be colored, mulatto, quadroon (one-quarter black), or octoroon (one-eighth).

    Over 9 census taken over the period running from 1860 to 1940, the term 'quadroon' was applied to about 2,000 respondents. The term 'octoroon' was more common - applied 52,400 times. 'Colored' was applied 292,000 times. 'Mulatto' was applied 7.34 million times. 'Black' was applied 47.8 million times. IOW, 99.4% of respondents were classified 'black' or 'mulatto'. The rest were one might guess enumerators being cute.

    “IOW, 99.4% of respondents were classified ‘black’ or ‘mulatto’. The rest were one might guess enumerators being cute.”

    IOW, the author is correct and you are tedious. As always.

  22. @Art Deco
    At that time, before the current practice of self-identification, an enumerator or census taker would have visited my home and classified me as free or enslaved, and then determined whether I might be colored, mulatto, quadroon (one-quarter black), or octoroon (one-eighth).

    Over 9 census taken over the period running from 1860 to 1940, the term 'quadroon' was applied to about 2,000 respondents. The term 'octoroon' was more common - applied 52,400 times. 'Colored' was applied 292,000 times. 'Mulatto' was applied 7.34 million times. 'Black' was applied 47.8 million times. IOW, 99.4% of respondents were classified 'black' or 'mulatto'. The rest were one might guess enumerators being cute.

    Mr. Deco, your comments are reliably tedious and boring, so, as a primer, I have rewritten and compressed your comment thusly:

    “Unlikely. Between 1860 and 1940, 99.4% of black census respondents were classified as ‘black” or ‘mulatto.’ The remaining 0.6% were termed quadroon, octoroon, colored, and mulatto, probably because the census enumerators were being cute.”

    To avoid boring and/or confusing your audience, it’s important to state upfront your conclusion or claim and then provide supporting evidence.

    I hope this helps.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Mr. Deco, your comments are reliably tedious and boring,

    If they were, you wouldn't have responded. You'd benefit from keeping your guises and poses straight.
    , @anonymous
    I kind of like the almost raw numbers.
  23. First of all the woman is a sociologist. This is not a scientist. Sociologists quantify garbage and try to make something it is not. I read the article twice and I am still wondering why the Atlantic published it. But wait, I know why they published it. It’s supposed to be a psychological attack written by another member of the Black Intelligentsia of America against the destroyers of universe–white people.

    Perhaps we can add new category on the next form she fills out F******Black M**** or at least give her help with the selection.

  24. The Gubmint should require you to send in a DNA sample with your census form

  25. Maybe “white” will soon be synonymous with “white supremacist”, and hence not a race at all. Whites may have to check “other” or some euphemism that has not been invented yet.

  26. Need to bring back the census categories of Quadroon and Octoroon and Mulatto and Hexadecaroon, so that the Professor of Federal Afro Entitlements (Robyn Autry) can feel better about being cheated in the diversity game.

    Native Americans play a somewhat similar purity game when it comes time to apportion reservation-derived wealth.

    My experience with the US census is if you refuse to answer questions about race, a census taker will come to your house and look at you in person, and assign a racial category to you based on their expert trained eye.

  27. I’ve noticed that a significant number of people doing social science surveys are starting to use phrases like “European American”. Probably not most, but a significant number.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    You used to be plain Americans.
  28. 2066293

    Oh, my goodness! From the W bomb to the N bomb. You said a naughty word, nay, TWO naughty words!

    Time for pearl clutching. This just isn’t acceptable. David Brooks is really not going to like this, and you can just forget about Ross Douthat defending it. Think big picture. If strong opinion shapers like Brooks, Douthat, and Genius Ta Neezee Coates don’t like it, what can be done?

    Forget about Augustus Zuckerberg defending the rights of free speech on Facebook. N words, W bombs, incredible, simply incredible.

    Tipper Gore’s whole labeling of albums pales in comparison of the kind of speech codes that will be needed vs. N, W, and all kinds of naughty words.

  29. @Johann Ricke
    Has it gotten to the point where publications can't even fact-check black writers any more because it would be racist? Meaning a criticism of a single work by a black person is an attack on all black people? Whereas calling white people thieves and racists is just telling it like it is?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That's filmed in Malibu Creek State Park. I used to go hiking there with my Dad. The Planet of the Apes sets were still up until maybe the 1980s. The MASH set was at the far end of the trail.

    Erroll Flynn's "Robin Hood" was filmed in the forest on the north-facing slopes.
  30. Typo in first line: quiet > quite.

  31. @Almost Missouri
    https://youtu.be/uSdYXq4CHIQ

    That’s filmed in Malibu Creek State Park. I used to go hiking there with my Dad. The Planet of the Apes sets were still up until maybe the 1980s. The MASH set was at the far end of the trail.

    Erroll Flynn’s “Robin Hood” was filmed in the forest on the north-facing slopes.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    So that's why my childhood picture of Merry Olde England resembled ... Southern California. The 1938 Flynn Robin Hood was a major formative influence for me. As an adult, I was disappointed not to be able to find those landscapes in actual England.

    Someday, I'll have to make the pilgrimage to Malibu Creek State Park.
    , @anon
    Where’s the Statue of Liberty location and what did they ever do with the « statue »?
  32. As an African American, I have never had difficulty knowing which box I am meant to check.

    Black ……………..
    Blackityblack ….

  33. Just-arrived Proof that The US Census Bureau is serious about their integrity as a source of social data:

    From: U.S. Census Bureau
    Date: Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 5:52 AM
    Subject: [Census API] Census Bureau No Longer Supporting TLS 1.1
    To: [email protected]

    As part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s efforts to improve security, HTTPS security protocol TLS 1.1 will no longer be supported. Beginning November 15th, we will only support TLS 1.2. Please take the necessary steps to ensure that your applications are not affected.

    Please reach out to us via email at [email protected] for any questions or concerns.

    Thank you for using the Census Data API.

  34. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    Mr. Deco, your comments are reliably tedious and boring, so, as a primer, I have rewritten and compressed your comment thusly:

    "Unlikely. Between 1860 and 1940, 99.4% of black census respondents were classified as 'black" or 'mulatto.' The remaining 0.6% were termed quadroon, octoroon, colored, and mulatto, probably because the census enumerators were being cute."

    To avoid boring and/or confusing your audience, it's important to state upfront your conclusion or claim and then provide supporting evidence.

    I hope this helps.

    Mr. Deco, your comments are reliably tedious and boring,

    If they were, you wouldn’t have responded. You’d benefit from keeping your guises and poses straight.

  35. Many don’t realize the White Supremacist Borg Mind which allows seemingly marginal non-entities like Richard Spencer and David Duke to telepathically control the Donald Trump administration as well as the diverse federal bureaucracy and both political parties in order to keep down non-whites.

    Instead of “socially constructed” we should be honest that it is “socially constructed” through invisible telepathic White Supremacist mind control waves. I wish TNC had addressed this issue in his comic book series. Of course, White Supremacy is probably just a front for malevolent space aliens who seeks to terraform Earth and enslave all humans. Remember, truth is power.

  36. @Veracitor
    Uh-oh, sounds like the euphemism problem. Negro, Colored, Afro-American, Black, African-American... why do leftists insist we adopt a new label every once in a while? As the lady indirectly points out, it's always okay to be white (though you don't want to be trash). 'Tis a puzzlement wrapped inside a mystery hidden in an enigma surrounded by a fog abandoned on a darkling plain at the bottom of a black hole under a sea of obscurity and doubt.

    Uh-oh, sounds like the euphemism problem. Negro, Colored, Afro-American, Black, African-American… why do leftists insist we adopt a new label every once in a while?

    Pejorative creep. Any new term that becomes currency for black people becomes seen as a pejorative in about a generation. So a new one must be found…etcetera.

    It’ll no doubt happen to African-American too in due course. Anyone any ideas what will the replacement term be?

  37. @Steve Sailer
    That's filmed in Malibu Creek State Park. I used to go hiking there with my Dad. The Planet of the Apes sets were still up until maybe the 1980s. The MASH set was at the far end of the trail.

    Erroll Flynn's "Robin Hood" was filmed in the forest on the north-facing slopes.

    So that’s why my childhood picture of Merry Olde England resembled … Southern California. The 1938 Flynn Robin Hood was a major formative influence for me. As an adult, I was disappointed not to be able to find those landscapes in actual England.

    Someday, I’ll have to make the pilgrimage to Malibu Creek State Park.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Good idea, but that's not where they filmed the 1938 Robin Hood. It was actually filmed up in Northern CA, near the town of Chico (home to the microbrew Sierra Nevada).
  38. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    Mr. Deco, your comments are reliably tedious and boring, so, as a primer, I have rewritten and compressed your comment thusly:

    "Unlikely. Between 1860 and 1940, 99.4% of black census respondents were classified as 'black" or 'mulatto.' The remaining 0.6% were termed quadroon, octoroon, colored, and mulatto, probably because the census enumerators were being cute."

    To avoid boring and/or confusing your audience, it's important to state upfront your conclusion or claim and then provide supporting evidence.

    I hope this helps.

    I kind of like the almost raw numbers.

  39. To avoid boring and/or confusing your audience, it’s important to state upfront your conclusion or claim and then provide supporting evidence.

    I think you’re being too sensitive Mr. Deco. The conclusion first style is a useful technique — not a hard and fast rule —but a guideline.

  40. @Steve Sailer
    That's filmed in Malibu Creek State Park. I used to go hiking there with my Dad. The Planet of the Apes sets were still up until maybe the 1980s. The MASH set was at the far end of the trail.

    Erroll Flynn's "Robin Hood" was filmed in the forest on the north-facing slopes.

    Where’s the Statue of Liberty location and what did they ever do with the « statue »?

  41. @Almost Missouri
    So that's why my childhood picture of Merry Olde England resembled ... Southern California. The 1938 Flynn Robin Hood was a major formative influence for me. As an adult, I was disappointed not to be able to find those landscapes in actual England.

    Someday, I'll have to make the pilgrimage to Malibu Creek State Park.

    Good idea, but that’s not where they filmed the 1938 Robin Hood. It was actually filmed up in Northern CA, near the town of Chico (home to the microbrew Sierra Nevada).

  42. “It’s okay to be white.”

    Maybe, but I often self-identify as African American just to keep them on their toes. I wish I had thought of this when applying to college years ago: I would have applied to Harvard, and they probably would have given me scholarships sight-unseen.

  43. @unpc downunder
    A racial census based on self-reporting is flawed from the onset. In scientific terms, your race is determined by your ancestry, not your personal opinion about what race you want to belong to. An even more extreme example of liberal bias in census collating is allowing people to pick more than one racial category. For example, in New Zealand, people of mixed White and Maori ancestry are allowed to tick "European New Zealander" and "Maori," and there is no mixed race category. Hence, its impossible for New Zealand to produce a statistically accurate census on race.

    You do realize that the NAACP moved heaven and earth to try and stop ANY acknowledgement of racially mixed ancestry.

  44. @Anonymous
    I've noticed that a significant number of people doing social science surveys are starting to use phrases like "European American". Probably not most, but a significant number.

    You used to be plain Americans.

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