Census time inevitably gets people talking about race. (Those blasted check boxes.) This week’s furor surrounds how President Barack Obama chose to define himself. From The New York Times:
It is official: Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president.
A White House spokesman confirmed that Mr. Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, checked African-American on the 2010 census questionnaire.
The president, who was born in Hawaii and raised there and in Indonesia, had more than a dozen options in responding to Question 9, about race. He chose “Black, African Am., or Negro.” (The anachronistic “Negro” was retained on the 2010 form because the Census Bureau believes that some older blacks still refer to themselves that way.)
Mr. Obama could have checked white, checked both black and white, or checked the last category on the form, “some other race,” which he would then have been asked to identify in writing.
There is no category specifically for mixed race or biracial. Read more…