"Negro" wording on Census survey

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by tzhu07, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    tzhu07

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    #1
    So as I was filling out the Census survey, I noticed that on the ethnic background section, it uses the term "Negro" to describe blacks. Did anyone bother to update this section in the last 50 years?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Negro is the correct anthropological term for persons of the Negroid race.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #3
    Negro is the proper term, it's the same as Caucasian. What would you prefer they write? African? Not all black people are from Africa? Black? That's not very scientific. There's really no other word to use, nor should there be. People need to quit looking for stupid things to point out. Nothing to see here.
     
  4. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #4
    You ...... you ...... Homo Sapien!!! :p

    I guess that makes Lee Homo Erectus. :D
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    By the same token, not all Africans are black.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #6
    That's racist.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Mac'nCheese

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  8. macrumors 68020

    Mac'nCheese

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    #8
    This is what I meant to post. Can you not put pictures right into posts from iphones?
     

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  9. Moderator

    balamw

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    #9
    OT MOD NOTE: The link from your first post should have been

    [​IMG]

    The link you used was for an HTML page not the image itself.

    B
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Mac'nCheese

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    #10
    Thanks for the info.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    VulchR

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    #11
    I suppose it depends on how people prefer to be called. "African-American' offends many people of Afro-Caribbean origin so I could see the Census Bureau really struggling to define their terms. I think perhaps the more relevant question would be not 'What is your race?', but 'Do you belong to a minority that faces prejudice and discrimination due to skin color?'. The later question is the only one that has any scientific merit ('race' really has little biological reality).
     
  12. macrumors 68040

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    #12
    About that last bit, I think almost everyone would find a way to describe themselves as a minority that faces prejudice and discrimination due to skin color -- so that wouldn't work either.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #13
    The Census questionnaires have to conform with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards on race and ethnicity.

    "The categories represent a social-political construct designed for collecting data on the race and ethnicity of broad population groups in this country, and are not anthropologically or scientifically based."

    In 2010, the section of the questionnaire re: race looked like this:
     

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  14. macrumors 68030

    bradl

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    #14

    And I think the crux of the matter is that they've co-mingled Black with African American, Negro, etc.

    I think about it this way.. I have a friend of mine that was born in Cape Town. He married someone from Reading, PA, and they've had a child. the man is of Dutch and Afrikaans descent and by all other means, Caucasian. His wife is the same. Their child, born here in the states would essentially be African-American.

    That's the problem I see, and why the term can not only be associated to those who are Black.

    BL.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #15
    Much ado about diddly squat

    So?

    It reads "Black, African Am. or Negro" and there's also a blank box where you can fill in whatever "race" you consider yourself, e.g. 'human" if you like, and you can also put an "x" in as categories as you desire.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    bradl

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    #16
    I'm not saying that there is a problem, as anyone could put down whatever race they choose. I'm just saying that the cultural associations with it have a bit of a stigma in the US. People assume African-American means you are of Negro descent. That isn't often or always the case, as someone raised in Egypt or Tunisia to South Africa, who isn't of Black or Negro descent could be classified as African-American. So why is it always coupled together and associated like that?

    I'm asking this from an anthropological perspective.

    BL.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #17
    In 2013 the standards change as per the Affordable Care Act although I do not have the specs on me at the moment. Race and ethnicity has always been hotly debated topic in surveys, and some people argue it has far less value than people place emphasis on because there are not nearly enough categories to accurately judge true demographics, and therefore the data has low validity (usually low reliability) and the validity of the inferences you make are poor because your data sucks. I'm one of them and I've written on this topic extensively.

    As far as "negro" being offensive, you could say that about 2/3 of the categories on Census data...you could go as far to say that making someone identify is cultural discrimination. IMO that is a bit over the top as it is trying to record how people 'self-identify'. The importance needs to be on the reliability and validity of the data before political correctness. Otherwise, you might as well not bother even asking.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #18
    The term "negro" has become used in a somewhat offensive sense in some cases, but I know quite a few older persons who identify as being "Negro," (with the capital N being used to differentiate Negro as African American from negro as the color black) and when you ask their race, that is what they will say.

    But what you are getting at that leads to the core of the issues of race data. The concept of being "black" and the intentions of data to record "black" differ. Black, like white or brown, are "lump all" categories sometimes called "metaphorical race data"...but they are pretty damned useless. I've argued this stance quite a lot. Someone who is of African American descent but an English citizen is neither African nor American, and is technically western European, which is often lumped to 'caucasian', and may or may not fall into a 'lump' category intended to identify people as 'black'.

    The lump concept of "white" is equally problematic. It is silly to assume cultural (or medical) similarities between someone who is Asian and someone who is Western European. Taking it a step further, it is silly to assume someone who is Chinese has the same issues as someone who is South Korean...but race data makes them one and of the same.

    Likewise, if someone is from Central Africa, they may have little genetic linkages to someone from say, Jamaica...so why are we lumping these together? Taking it a step further, someone who is African versus someone who is African American lives in a completely different world and faces completely different issues. Likewise, a white American with European roots probably has noting in common with a person in England.

    The addition of Hispanic versus non-Hispanic is even more problematic, and most questions have made this a second question. That in itself is actually good because it allows cultural and biological split...but it is more problematic because it only looks at that one factor. So now race and ethnicity are differentiated, but in such a limited subset it is ridiculous.

    Then you have the newer metaphor race of 'brown people,' which most race records ignore because they do not know ho to include it. Some people find this offensive while others insist it is how they identify as a cultural group as they are neither black nor white. Most race data has handled this by simply not recording it, and usually people of "marginally colored skin" are put into the 'white' category. Some race data likes the whole Alaskan Native, Pacific Islandar, etc. which is essentially a "we don't know how the hell to lump you" category.

    Now, add on the concept of multiracial parents, or adopted children with parents of a different race. One of my best friends was born in India, but was adopted by two white parents. He classified himself as 'white' for the first 15 years of his life...now he really isn't sure how to classify. This isn't an uncommon issue.

    It is a train wreck. And what it equates to is that most data that is split by race is not nearly as accurate as we would like to think.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    This is just an example of why it is best to consider the question when answering it.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #20
    And also consider why the question is being asked. In this case, it's because:

    "Data were needed to monitor equal access in housing, education, employment, and other areas, for populations that historically had experienced discrimination and differential treatment because of their race or ethnicity."
     
  21. macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Technically, that child is South African-American. You wouldn't say European-American if you actually mean French-American, Italian-American or Lithuanian-American, etc.

    To my knowledge it's only offensive in America if used under the term I'm-not-allowed-to-mention, "negro" is still used by many other languages within the scientific sense (neger, nègre, negro, nero, etc.) if one doesn't want to use the term "black".
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    bradl

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    #22
    No. You'd say Caucasian.

    But there you are going more into Nationality than race. While the two can be mutually exclusive, they aren't really mutually inclusive. The Former doesn't describe the latter, as French, Italian, and Lithuanian, while nationalities, all fall under Caucasian, as they originate from the Caucasus.

    South Africa is inherent of the same continent, so it really rather wouldn't be enough to differentiate unless you include nationality as a race; if that's the case, see the above.

    BL.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #23
    Correct...it's kind of in gray area. From what I've gathered, the term is more common in some geographic areas than others, and tends to be used more by older folks, as well as those whom English is a second language. It can be used in a condescending sense but is often used as a means of identification without any offense intended. It's not uncommon to see it on surveys for the reason that it is how some people self-identify, but not all people who identify as being, "Negro" are necessarily of African or African American heritage, and so it is somewhat of a metaphorical racial category.



    This is the problem with racial/ethnic data. There is still a lack of consensus on how to group and sort.
     
  24. macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    The colour of one's skin is not a reliable indicator of origins. You might as well say that everything green is a vegetable.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    What would you prefer it to say? :confused:
     

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