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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:56 AM

U.S. Stopping Use Of Term ‘Negro’ For Census Surveys

WASHINGTON - After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word "Negro" to describe black Americans in surveys.

Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels "black" or "African-American."

Nicholas Jones is chief of the Census Bureau's racial statistics branch. He tells The Associated Press that the change will take effect next year, when the bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households.

According to Jones, months of public feedback and census research concluded that few black Americans still identify with being Negro, and many view the term as offensive and outdated.

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/02/25/us-dropping-use-of-term-negro-on-census-surveys.html

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Reply U.S. Stopping Use Of Term ‘Negro’ For Census Surveys (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
immoderate Feb 2013 #1
Gorp Feb 2013 #2
Ohio Joe Feb 2013 #3
immoderate Feb 2013 #4
hfojvt Feb 2013 #5
Nye Bevan Feb 2013 #6

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:00 PM

1. What will they be called in France?



--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:20 PM

2. Interesting point!

 

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Response to immoderate (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:25 PM

3. Since when does the US Census determine what happens in France?

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:14 PM

4. Chaos theory. It's called the "Butterfly Effect."

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect


My interest though, (beside having spent some student time in Paris,) is sort of with the ironies of language and my recollections of the trends. Dr. King spoke of "Negroes" and Malcolm X talked about "black people" and my father, a WW II vet, a liberal, referenced "colored people," thinking, I'm sure, that it was the most respectful form of address at the time. And "Afro-Americans" was big for a while, as long as the hairstyle anyway.

Writer Stanley Crouch, referred to himself as Negro to emphasize his American ancestry, differentiate from Jamaicans, or Haitians, or Brazilians who are also black.

Never having been black myself, I lament the lost opportunities. What were they thinking? What was I thinking? It's a kind of nostalgia.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:33 PM

5. apparently Martin is now "offensive and outdated"

"94% of the white families in Montgomery have flush toilets inside their homes, while only 31% of the Negro families enjoy such facilities. Aside, then, from the problem of segregation itself, with its effects on every aspect of Negro life, it was clear that Mongomery's Negroes were also the victims of severe economic deprivation." "Stride toward Freedom" Martin Luther King 1958, p. 28

Perhaps the language needs to change every 30 years just so that the younger generation can look down on the fogies who were so unenlightened that they used those bad old terms. Now we have twenty years (or more) of students being taught "This is a bad word, only bad people, bigots and racists, use words like these."

But I, myself, continue to be offended by the term "paddy wagon".

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:50 PM

6. I would just drop the question of racial classification altogether.

The census does not ask about sexual orientation or lefthandedness. What purpose does asking about skin color fulfill? And what is the criterion for being "black", anyway? Two black parents? One black parent? One black grandparent? Is this a "one drop of blood" test?

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