Stop the finger-wagging about Obama’s Census form

Stop the finger-wagging about Obama’s Census form

The Washington Post

Kevin Huffman

It’s tough being president. In the last year, pretty much every constituency has expressed disappointment in some facet of Barack Obama’s work or play.

Now, apparently, the president is even letting down biracial children with his choice of Census categories. Elizabeth Chang writes in a Post op-ed that the president shouldn’t have identified as “black” on the Census given that he is mixed race. She even goes so far as to say that it is “disingenuous” and that “there is an important consequence when our president does not acknowledge half of his heritage, or, more basically, the mother and grandparents who raised him, or even his commonality with his sister, who is also biracial, though with a different mix.”

Let me start by suggesting this may slightly over-value the deep personal meaning of the Census form. I viewed the form as a seven-minute exercise in ensuring that the District of Columbia gets to count my whole family as residents. Maybe we can even get enough funding to fix the Metro escalators. I hadn’t realized the need to express solidarity with my relatives and ancestors, living and dead…

Anyway, like Chang, my kids are half Asian and half white, which led me to identify them on the Census as… Asian. My brother is half black and half white. He went with biracial. Somehow neither of these decisions has resulted in meaningfully different personal connections for my family.

Read the entire op-ed here.

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