Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brought To My Census – Part 1

Article 1, Section 2 of The United States Constitution allows for the enumeration of our citizens every ten years. Specifically, this section says, “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” This clause is specifically called out in the section devoted to the House of Representatives – it doesn’t appear in the adjacent section on the Senate. The reason for this is clear – the 435 representatives decreed by the Constitution are apportioned by population within each state. So, the purpose behind the census is that we may apportion the correct number of representatives in the House, and the adjustment is made every ten years. This seems like a fair deal.

So, I was a bit surprised when I received my census form in the mail and read the questions which appeared. Of course, there were the standard questions“What is your name?”, or “How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?” Those seem perfectly acceptable and within the bounds of what our Constitution requires.

But can someone please tell me why the government thinks it has the right to ask:

· Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
· What is Person 1's race?
· Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?

In my estimation, those questions are none of the government’s business. Oh, I know why they are asking such things. It has to do with the verification and implementation of special programs designed to divert money to groups of a certain ethnic heritage or financial position.

And that is one of two things - socialism or racism.

Imagine for a minute that I decided to hire some neighborhood kids to do some yard work around my house on a weekend. Would I be within acceptable bounds to ask them what their race is, or what the value of their parent’s house is – because I plan to pay each of them differently, based on their answers? Of course not. There would be a cry of outrage from the community, and I would probably get written up in an article in my local newspaper. But that is exactly what the federal government is doing – diverting tax money unfairly, based on skin color or financial status. Let’s be honest – the government’s questions are not color-blind or fair, and they certainly exceed the power given to them by the United States Constitution.

So, instead of sending it in, I held on to my census form and awaited the promised visit from the hired census worker. I left instructions with my wife and children to hand over the census form should they call - filled out with only my name and the number “5” only. I attached a brief note explaining why I was a “census conscientious objector”. I even told my kids to be nice and offer the worker a cookie and something to drink. But by no means should they provide any other information. Sure enough, just a few days into the census period, we received a visitor. And my daughters gave her only the answers as instructed.

Perhaps this seems like no big deal to many people. But I am genuinely offended at the blatantly racist questions asked on our census form. A business owner is disallowed by law from distributing money unequally based on a person’s race – why is it considered okay for the government to do the same thing? It’s time to bring the government back in line with their original charter. Maybe I should have had my kids attach a copy of the Constitution to the survey, as well…


Unfortunately, this is not the end of our census story. We next began to receive phone calls from the Bureau, with increasing rudeness – detailed in the next installment…

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