The Biden administration is seeking to change census rules to identify Latinos/Hispanics as a race rather than an ethnicity, which could be problematic.

The Biden administration is seeking to change census rules to identify Latinos/Hispanics as a race rather than an ethnicity, which could be problematic.
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A collection of civil servants agreed by the Biden administration to revise racial categories in the U.S. Census has proposed changes to how the Census asks questions about race.

Report as Forbes, most notably, the committee recommended creating a new racial classification for individuals from the Middle East and North Africa. Experts recommend reclassifying Latino and Hispanic identities as racial categories.

These changes are among recommendations recently made by a working group commissioned by the Office of Management and Budget to revise existing racial and ethnic categories in the US Census. The group also recommended additional changes for the 2030 census, including dropping the term “Negro” as an alternative to Black, as well as removing terms such as “minority” and “majority” to describe different racial groups.

The current census lists several broad racial categories, including American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, Black, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and White. Many of these categories allow for alternative labels, such as “African American” or “Negro” for blacks. Others divide the departments into different nationalities or sub-groups; For example, the Asian section has options like Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and more. However, various scholars and advocates have argued that these categories are insufficient, insufficient or unnecessarily confusing.

Currently, no separate category exists for individuals whose origins are in the Middle East or North Africa, also known as the MENA region. Many of these people are technically considered white by census rules and other government classifications. For years, Arab American activists have objected to white labeling, arguing that it does not exist Reflecting their real experience in the United States and this makes it difficult to gather information about their communities. Activists welcomed the proposed addition of a MENA section as a way to make their communities more visible

Similarly, Hispanic and Latino activists have taken issue with the way their identities are categorized.

The current census lists Hispanic or Latino identity as an ethnicity, which is considered a separate category from race, giving individuals the option of identifying as Hispanic or Latino and choosing between different ethnic categories.

Although it allows for the recognition of diverse identities such as Afro-Latino, many people have argued that the system is unnecessarily confusing and causes people to accidentally misidentify themselves when filling out the census.

This confusion may contribute to the undercounting of Hispanic Americans in the census; Black Americans are also undercounted according to recent research. It also contradicts the definitions of both race, “the group or groups with which you can identify as having similar physical characteristics that are considered common among people of a shared ancestry,” and ethnicity, which is “something you acquire based on where your family comes from. and groups with whom you share cultural, traditional and family ties and experiences.”

To this Merriam-WebsterWhich says, “People can have racial similarities but racial differences.”

The recommendations of the working group will now be evaluated. OMB will spend months gathering feedback from the public on the proposed changes. Any new or modified ethnic categories will be introduced with the next 2030 census.

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