The census is inaccurate regardless. For example, the Arab-American Institute has been trying to obtain a separate census category since 1985, and this was rejected again and again — again this year — thus implying the (absurd) conclusion that people from the Middle East are white.

This is clearly preposterous. Middle Eastern peoples are-and have been — subjected to continuous and widespread stereotype, racism, ethnocentrism, and abuse for many decades. Placing MENA in the category of white simply eliminates that reality, inappropriately conflating the highly discriminatory experiences of Middle Eastern peoples with the extremely privileged, very different category of ‘white.’

What would be the motivation of the government? Maintaining a higher proportion of ‘whites’ so that blacks can continue to be framed as inferior? Making sure that their group looks big while continuing to maintain the active and penetrated discrimination against MENA that prevent true equality? That sure is the best of both worlds: beef up your proportion of white with people you treat non-white, but just call them white when you need the numbers and pretend you aren’t treating them in a highly prejudicial fashion.

The census is a mess. ‘White,’ ‘black,’ and ‘race’ doesn’t really exist; the Human Genome Project proved that on a biological basis. Therefore, it only exists as a concept that privileges one at the expense of all the others, even if there is variability on how those others are treated. ‘Other’ is still ‘other,’ and in the US, that’s ‘not white.’

The census should be clear-cut as to who has a social, truly privileged advantage, and that is only whites. Everybody else is classified as ‘inferior’ on the basis of the ‘Enlightenment’ period, and the residual of that period still exists due to the lack of willingness of the privileged to admit this.

MENA, Middle Eastern peoples subject to constant discrimination in this country, really have nothing to fill out, because the experiences of MENA are highly discriminatory and the census renders this very significant fact completely invisible.

What, exactly, are MENA peoples supposed to fill out on a form which doesn’t include them??

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She/Her: Distort lies until they amplify truth. CryBaby: As loud as necessary.

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