(12) "Census Obsessed with Race?"
11/22/99 by Don Feder, Washington Times
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Census Obsessed with Race?  (11/22/99 - no link)

[Washington Times Opinion by columnist Don Feder]

          "...Next April 1, Washington will perpetrate the greatest invasion of privacy in history -- the 2000 census. At a cost of roughly $7 billion, it will attempt to survey, classify and categorize 275 million Americans.

          "Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution provides for a decennial census for the purpose of apportioning House seats among the states. While the census is one of the few things the federal government does that's actually authorized by the Constitution, that mandate (a simple head count) has metastasized beyond recognition.

          "Those fortunate enough to get the long form in the mail will be asked 52 impertinent and intrusive questions. All but one (how many resied in your household?) have nothing to do with reapportionment -- unless you consider the number of toilets in your domicile, what you pay for homeowners' insurance or the length of your commute relevant to the distribution of House seats. ... These are questions the government of a republic would never dare to ask, indeed has no reason to know.

          "...[And] there will be the ubiquitous racial-classification questions. ... Racial classification has become quite the racket. For diversity-mongers, it is essential for the distribution of spoils, including quota hiring. Welfare-state politicians need to know who to pander to and to what extent. Should Al Gore pay more attention to Latinos or blacks? ... [S]elf-designated spokesmen for various minorities get power from the numerical growth of their constituencies.

          "It's good for everyone except Americans -- that dwindling number whose principal identity is national, instead of racial, ethnic or linguistic, that is to say, non-hyphenated Americans.

          "Racial politics polarizes. Like dogs fighting for scraps of food, it pits groups against each other. It accustoms us to thinking and acting like members of interest groups instead of those with common bonds that transcend accidents of birth. The Census Bureau wants to know my skin pigmentation, the texture of my hair, the shape of my eyelids, my grandparents' national origins. None of its damned business." [Emphasis added.]  (Washington Times page A17 11/22/99 by nationally synidcated columnist Don Feder)
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