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Why is ethnicity important census info?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19884

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:52 pm    Post subject: Why is ethnicity important census info? Reply with quote

The census is supposedly intended as a head count, not a racial database. Why do its questions address almost exclusively our race/ethnicity/skin color? What does that matter in allocating firetrucks, bridges, or the number of Representatives to the House? Unless I see some honest and persuasive answers instead of you libs' usual stupid personal BS, I'm not answering those questions because they reek of abuse potential. No brown-shirted gendarmes came to my door when I refused to answer them in 2010 and explained on the form why such information is none of the government's business. I want to decrease, not promote, divisiveness.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9786

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The census is supposedly intended as a head count, not a racial database."


As a guy who grew up in Alabama, I can see why isobars is so bent and twisted up with such a census question. The Alabama stain never goes away.

However, when it came down to what the Trump Administration recently tried to do with the census questions directly targeting Hispanics and the issue of citizenship, I willing to bet that isobars had no problem with it at all.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15278
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chandler--there is more to it than that. Census data is used for marketing purposes and for structuring campaigns and voting districts. The ethnicity questions play into a number of court cases that outlawed organizing voting districts so that minorities were not well represented. North Carolina's redistricting has been thrown out twice now for exactly that reason.

Making sure that the voting influence of minorities is minimized is what the current GOP is all about. With minority populations increasing more rapidly than white populations, and with minority populations voting more Democratic--and convinced by a 4:1 margin that Trump is a stone racist, you can understand white panic.

Of course, those trying to minimize the influence of non-conservative votes, whatever their color, who are also willing to tolerate bigotry in their political allies, will quickly accuse me of racism. NW will be first. Isobars will not bother to read either of our comments.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19884

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I asked a valid question in search of real information, I actually did read your and Chandler's responses. Both of you had your chance, and, beyond mac's opening paragraph (which still doesn't explain why race or ethnicity matter), blew it. Couldn't NC's political gerrymandering be greatly stymied by omitting the questions about national origin for sure, with race a close second?

i.e., WHY ARE SKIN COLOR AND FIRST LANGUAGE DEMOGRAPHICS SO GD IMPORTANT TO ANYONE BUT RACISTS AND CORRUPT POLITICIANS?

Not persuaded to answer those questions yet. Maybe someone else can actually address the topic without all the ad hominem. I'm pissed off enough at my home state as it is having just seen "Just Mercy" and the statistics in the closing credits.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15278
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iso—if you are actually interested in how census data has been used to perpetuate preventing—and fight—efforts by people of color to vote, and have their vote manner, read something not controlled by a Murdoch media. Read the findings of the court on one of the seminal cases. Plenty of them occurred in Alabama while you were there.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 3837

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the census data could be used as a method to discriminate against just as easily as a method to avoid discrimination. At least the way I see it. I am not up on how the census has been used in the past. But, Isobar does have a valid question.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15278
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Actually, the census data could be used as a method to discriminate against just as easily as a method to avoid discrimination. At least the way I see it. I am not up on how the census has been used in the past. But, Isobar does have a valid question.


In the abstract I would agree that ethnic information can cut both ways. But we don't live in an abstract world. Ethnic information is available in other places than merely the census, and has been weaponized by the GOP in a number of different states, not merely North Carolina, to try to make it harder for minorities to vote, and to try to dilute their voting impact by spreading them thinly in red districts. Multiple court cases have found this to be discriminatory and contrary to civil rights laws.

I've run two campaigns in Berkeley to try to restore the parks and other infrastructure. I had to run in the whole city, on a shoestring budget that didn't allow us to do a single mailing city-wide. District elections have small electorates, in 2014 in my district the margin was 258 to 230. For funding, I had to reach over 40,000 voters and get a 2/3 margin. We got 76% and 86%. Voter information is available to bona-fide campaign chairs for a relatively small fee, and you can identify which districts voted for which candidates and which propositions and proposed taxes. We were able to figure out which districts were most likely to vote in favor of the parks, and dropped our literature there.

County voting information is much more current than census data, since it is refreshed every two years. It is the raw material for all campaigns, and for efforts to redistrict and gerrymander. Both parties have tried to devise districts that minimize the clout of the other party, and California has been successful in taking that task out of the hands of party chairs and giving it to a state commission. The result has been more moderate candidates, from both parties, and a greater willingness to develop consensus solutions.

So the raw data about voters, and ethnicity is already available, and has been heavily used by the GOP to dilute the impact of minority voters. It is the census data that has been used by litigants to show that the pattern is contrary to the one man, one vote principle.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19884

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Iso—if you are actually interested in how census data has been used to perpetuate preventing—and fight—efforts by people of color to vote, and have their vote manner, read something not controlled by a Murdoch media. Read the findings of the court on one of the seminal cases. Plenty of them occurred in Alabama while you were there.

I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't want some answers. Unlike all these "Who is Cock Robin?" threads started just to stir up trouble and cast aspersions, I really want some insight into valid reasons to ask most of the census questions. Without them, I'm going to violate the law and refuse again to answer those questions. I do not want to participate in the creation of databases so easily corrupted and abused by BOTH parties, and "awareness" of racism is no excuse for fomenting and expanding it.

Reading any single case would provide no more than anecdotal evidence, an oxymoron in the law, in medicine, and in most other fields.

I left Alabama in 1966. What was going on there back then is neither in debate nor that relevant to the 2020 census except that today's race-baiting, political correctness, weaponization of the term "racist" in this forum and across the globe, and increasing divisiveness are doing their damnedest to set us back 50 years. Besides, those questions, pretty much the entirety of the 2020 census, would provide a database for continuing or resuming, not further diminishing, such practices. Coboardhead gets that.

I first heard of Murdoch and Fox News in about 2002. Until almost then, I could not stomach any national news because they were so completely one-sided. I want to hear both sides of the facts and opinions menus, and only Fox even attempts to provide that. My wife and I banned NBC "news" from our home WAY back in the 20th century because of their blatant bias, and not long thereafter shiffcanned ABC and CBS for obvious similar reasons. After a decade or three of ignoring national news because they were all so lopsided, I finally found a couple of news analysis shows and a couple of hard news shows, all on Fox, whose hosts let both sides talk and whose facts were pretty easy to verify from such sources as the Census Bureau, the IRS, the BLS, full-context videos, etc.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2353
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mike, I find BBC news to be refreshingly unbiased when addressing Stateside issues (and world issues). Plus they have an outsiders perspective that helps me cut through some of our propaganda. You probably already listen to them, but just thought I'd mention it.

-Craig

isobars wrote:
My wife and I banned NBC "news" from our home WAY back in the 20th century because of their blatant bias, and not long thereafter shiffcanned ABC and CBS for obvious similar reasons. After a decade or three of ignoring national news because they were all so lopsided, I finally found a couple of news analysis shows and a couple of hard news shows, all on Fox, whose hosts let both sides talk and whose facts were pretty easy to verify from such sources as the Census Bureau, the IRS, the BLS, full-context videos, etc.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3793

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac said:
Quote:
not merely North Carolina, to try to make it harder for minorities to vote, and to try to dilute their voting impact by spreading them thinly in red districts.


A little history of the redistricting in NC, and I am not claiming that justice is due, just that BS politics cut both ways:

Quote:
Given that it has been nearly five years since the legislative and congressional maps were first drawn, it is interesting that a Civitas article written in 2011 is so timely. Neal Inman, then a Civitas intern, wrote about North Carolina’s newly drawn Congressional and legislative maps in August 2011. Inman helped put this decade’s redistricting in perspective by taking a look back at the redistricting that took place after the 2000 census.

At that time, it didn’t take five years to find a court that would rule against the legislative maps drawn in 2001, he wrote. “Because the 2001 Democratic maps violated the Whole County Provision of the North Carolina Constitution, the state Supreme Court struck down the legislative maps in the Stephenson decisions. The 2002 election maps were drawn by a judge, but Democrats took the opportunity to redraw the maps in 2003.”

Inman pointed out that there was a stark difference in how the Republican Party drew the districts in 2011 compared to how they were drawn in 2001, 2002 and 2003 when Democrats controlled the legislature:
“The years 2000 through 2004 were filled with lawsuits and backdoor wheeling and dealing over lines drawn by a Democratic majority. Those controlling the process ignored complaints from Republicans and even Democratic African-American legislators. … The process was done with no transparency. Lawmakers were barely able to see their districts before voting on them.”

According to Inman, back in 2001, the issue of race was front and center too:

“African-American Democrats revolted at the prospect of a map with very few majority-minority districts, endangering the map’s passage in the closely divided House. Democratic Speaker Jim Black told the public that the map was drawn to ensure that Democrats would have control of the body, and that giving African-Americans more seats would endanger that majority.
“’Every time you change one district, you change districts around it. Every time you do that, you change the balance of power in the state,’ said Black. ‘I personally believe African-American citizens will be better off with Democratic leaders for the next 10 to 20 years.’”

In 2011, Inman also noted an irony that is present today: “Many of the same voices calling for increased numbers of minority-majority seats in 2001 are now decrying the Republican maps for doing just that.”

And while today’s Democrats are now denouncing Republicans for drawing maps to their advantage, Inman noted they once aimed to do the same:
“Democrats have always been keenly aware of the advantage redistricting gave them. As late as 2010, Gov. Bev Perdue told Democrats at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner how important it was that they hold onto the General Assembly in a redistricting year. ‘We must have Democrats redraw those maps,’ she said.”


https://www.nccivitas.org/2016/a-look-back-sheds-light-on-redistricting/
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