Conservatives must wake up to the threat of government-endorsed racial categorization
Conservatives haven’t been as interested as progressives are in capturing the federal bureaucracy, or at least have been much less successful. That goes double for the Census Bureau , whose committee on race has long been the play-thing of sociology professors and affinity groups.
For this reason, rank-and-file conservatives may not grasp the importance of the racial changes the Census Bureau is currently proposing. That would be a mistake. The Left really cares about the Census, which means conservatives should pay attention.
The balkanization of the United States, often along government-fabricated racial and ethnic lines, is one of the building blocks of the cultural Marxist threats in this country. The Census Bureau’s new proposal expands and deepens this racial dispensation.
That’s why this week I wrote a comment to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the proposals from the Federal Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity Standards. The comment can be found here .
Conservatives — indeed, Americans of all stripes — should read what the Census proposes to do, my comment, and add a comment of their own, which they can do here .
Once you get through the bureaucratic gobbledygook (which must be intended by some in the permanent administrative state to confuse the citizenry), you find that what the proposals do is create one more racial category — this one for Americans originating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) — and effectively turn an earlier OMB-crafted umbrella ethnic group, “Hispanics,” into its own racial category.
In my comment, I strongly recommend against the adoption of these changes. The government creation of yet one more minority group out of a population now classified as white would be a monumental mistake. Likewise, “Hispanic” is a government label for people from many races. It is not its own race.
What we really should be doing is scrapping our current racial categorizations altogether.
“Your proposal itself admits the political and non-scientific nature of such categorizing,” I tell the Census’s Working Group in my comment. Then I quote the proposal, which says, “The categories developed represent a sociopolitical construct designed to be used in the self-reported or observed collection of data on the race and ethnicity of major broad population groups in this country and are not biologically or genetically based.”
“This is indeed a ‘sociopolitical construct’,” I say in my comment, “one that was devised by only one political side, i.e., activists on the Left, in the 1960s and 1970s, as has been amply demonstrated, and then foisted on an unsuspecting nation for the first time in 1977 through OMB’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Standards for Maintaining, Collecting and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (SPD 15).”
“The American people have never voted on whether they preferred to be so categorized,” I add.
Not that the current National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations would necessarily care. Many of its 27 members hail from organizations on the progressive side of the spectrum, such as the Urban Institute , the Annie E. Casey Foundation , Empowering Pacific Islander Communities , and the Alaska Federation of Natives .
And this is actually an improvement from five years ago when four of the NAC’s seats were held by so-called partner organizations from the identitarian Left — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), the Mexican–American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and the National Urban League.
The Left’s role in racial categorization is by design and goes back to the creation of the NACs in the 1970s and 1980s when militants on the Left forced OMB to create these umbrella categories and officialize them through the Census. Since then, America has become what sociologist Alice Robbin dubs “ an interest group society .” Ethnic affinity groups deeply entrenched in the Census, she adds, become “influential beyond their numbers in the public policy process, as well as in influencing administrative policy regarding rules for statistical and administrative data collection and reporting.”
Robbin, not a conservative, described the process in this manner: “Federal statistics have created a similarity of identity where none existed, as with ‘ Latino ‘ identity based on shared language rather than culture, and as with an ‘Asian’ identity based on shared discrimination and ethnic stereotyping.”
Do conservatives, now finally waking up to the threat of wokeness, want more of this?
In my comment, I tell the working group that “the proposal engages in circular reasoning when it says that ‘Federal race and ethnicity standards are inherently complex because they seek to capture dynamic and fluid sociopolitical constructs.’ The federal government cannot be striving to catch up to realities that it has itself created. Once again, these ‘sociopolitical constructs’ were engineered by the government itself.”
The proposal states that these actions “do not identify or designate certain population groups as ‘minority groups.’ Additionally, the standards state that these categories are not to be used for determining the eligibility of population groups for participation in any Federal programs.”
This is either hypocrisy or ignorance. These standards are used by government at all levels, as well as the private sector, to hand out benefits. The first executive order that President Joe Biden signed after taking office, on Jan. 20, 2021, the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, put his administration on a path toward race-based policies, all based on the Census categories.
Still not interested, conservatives?
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Mike Gonzalez is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the author of BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution .