April 1, 2010

April 1st “Census Day”: I know who I am…Do you?


With many interesting topics to talk about dealing with Education and Diversity, today I am sharing with you my personal view on the 2010 Census . Why do you ask? Well, have you filled it out??? I know I did and I was very confused with what to put as my answers. You will see why shortly.

 My main issues were with Questions #8 and #9. Question #8 asks "Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?" This is easy enough. The second option included “Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano. Okay, crossed that one off. Now Question #9 asks "What is Person 1’s RACE?" Well, I thought I already answered that…..hmmm, I’m Hispanic and I’m Mexican American and I was born in Texas. The options given did not fit me at all…..I’m not White, Black, Asian, Native American Indian, or any other descendant. DO YOU SEE THE DILEMMA?

This issue is now being talked of around the U.S. especially with native born Hispanics/Latino population. This includes Hispanics like me who’s families have been here for generations and generations (many of you who know me have heard my spew about the Six Flags of Texas), multi-ethnic Hispanics (such as Cubanos), and finally Hispanics of mixed race (this includes any mixed race person, Mexican/African American, Mexican/Puerto Rican, African American/Asian, etc.). On the topic about mixed race populations…..it was noted that it is not know what President Obama put down for Question # 9 as he is from an African American father and White mother.

Another big issue is the options for Question #9 , which include Black, African American and Negro. When was the last time you heard the word “Negro”.  Negro was used in late 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement during the era of slavery, segregation, and discrimination. This also entails the word Chicano, which was first brought about in the early 1970s during the political movements by Mexican Americans in California led by Cesar Chavez. So why were these terms included?

As you can see I am having an issue with how “we” a modern, young, intelligent, population of students and people of change can still be “lost” or “unseen” by the Government. On a lighter side, it was shown by the Pew Hispanic Center  that “about 85 percent of Hispanics say they already have sent in their census form or definitely will do so, up from 65 percent in early March. But among immigrants, the rate increases to 91 percent, compared to 78 percent for U.S.-born Hispanics.”

Taking a turn on this negative aspect…I still filled out the form! Why…well, what many don’t know is that although the Government is still slowly following behind us brilliant minds they still are there for us. My biggest example is here at Mayo Clinic. I am a graduate student who is technically being paid to learn and obtain my Ph.D. degree. How is this possible?? The main point of the 2010 Census is for “determine [ing] how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services.”  This includes hospitals, job training centers, schools, and college grant and loan programs. If it were not for the Government I would not have been able to obtain my education. I attended public school to obtain my diploma; I received scholarships, grants, and loans to help me get through college for my bachelors; and now I am given a stipend to get my Ph.D. degree! This is just the tip of what they have done for me.

Well, what I didn’t tell you is what I filled out on the form.....

HaHa, April Fools!!! I unfortunately, listed myself as “White” for #9 Race. Let’s just hope that by 2020 Census I can actually list who I really am! TEX-MEX American!!

Let me know what you think……..


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