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MENA category on 2020 Census: should it exist?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

What should be done regarding middle eastern Americans on the 2020 census?

Make a separate racial category for middle eastern people
19
30%
Make MENA an ethnic category akin to Hispanic/Latino
11
17%
Get rid of the white category and create nordic, alpine and Mediterranean boxes
3
5%
Get rid of race, ask only about ethnicity on census
15
24%
Get rid of all questions pertaining to race, ethnicity or nationality
6
10%
Get rid of the census altogether and let chaos reign supreme
3
5%
Stop giving me so many damn options
3
5%
I have my own ideas, don't tell me what to do
3
5%
 
Total votes : 63

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Rojava Free State
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MENA category on 2020 Census: should it exist?

Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:11 pm

Whiteness as a concept as constantly changed in America and has grown and shrank to include and exclude many different ethnicities residing in the United States. There was a point in time that finns were considered "mongoloid" and a point in time as well when the Irish were viewed as "the missing link between Africans and europeans." One group that has witnessed a change in racial identity over the last century in America has been Arab Americans along with other middle easterners. Arab Americans fought during the early 20th century to be listed as white in america as opposed to asian, so as to be able to immigrate here, and since the 1940s, they were basically considered white people, akin to other white ethnics.

Then 9/11 happened and Americans increasingly came to view immigrants from West Asia as inherently foreign to the US. Many Arab Americans in my generation have grown up in a climate that views them as alien to America and permanently foreign, and an increasing number of them identify as non white. As a result of this shift in perception, a change was recently proposed to the census that would add "MENA" (Middle Eastern/North African) to the list of races one could check in 2020. The movement to add the MENA category fizzled out not long ago but while it may be dormant, I don't think the idea or the factors behind it are dead. So should MENA be added as a racial category in the 2020 census? In my opinion, race is a complicated subject and our categorization of human "races" changes over time. I think nothing would prove the inherent fallacy of defined races better than a MENA category, due to the similarity in physical appearance that many Arab Americans share with people of southern European and Latino origin, the similar appearance shared by certain Arabs in Sudan and Yemen with sub Saharan Africans and the indistinguishable appearance shared between American Jews, who would be also included in this category, and non jews from the same countries of ancestral origin. I personally would rather have a census based around ethnic background (culture, language and customs) than phenotype. So what are your opinions Nsers? Let Me know down below.

For more information on the MENA proposition, click here:

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/29/58154111 ... ureau-says
Last edited by Rojava Free State on Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Cantelo
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Postby Cantelo » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:28 pm

The creation of a Hispanic/Latino category was a mistake in the first place
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:09 pm

Cantelo wrote:The creation of a Hispanic/Latino category was a mistake in the first place


Lol
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:29 pm

Well? If there are other categories? Sure why not?

It’s it’s mena and everybody else?

The problem with data is how it’s used. For example, Republicans would use it for getting an idea of how many terrorists are in the country....
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Postby US-SSR » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:34 pm

iirc the Census asks about country of birth, which should pretty much cover "nordic, alpine, Mediterranean" etc. (and I'd be hard put to say which of those I might be, being Swedish/Irish/German on my father's side and Scots/English on my mother's). In the days of racially restrictive real estate covenants barring property owners from selling to anyone but whites they took care of MENA with words like "Moorish" and "Turkish." Race is a social construct anyway, so meh.
Last edited by US-SSR on Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bear Stearns » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:35 pm

The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.
Last edited by Bear Stearns on Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cantelo
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Postby Cantelo » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:35 pm

Rojava Free State wrote:
Cantelo wrote:The creation of a Hispanic/Latino category was a mistake in the first place


Lol


I mean, to add onto what I said; they're taking a massive, multicultural region and condensing it to a single category. Hispanics can be of literally any race and Latin America is a melting pot much like the United States. Imagine if European countries put down "American" as a census category and everybody started treating it as though it was a race.
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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:40 pm

Bear Stearns wrote:The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.


Aboriginal? Wouldn’t that be the Native Americans? ;)

I am not sure that many migrate here to warrant their own categorgy.

Why would Jewish be in this?
Last edited by The Black Forrest on Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bear Stearns
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Postby Bear Stearns » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:41 pm

The Black Forrest wrote:
Bear Stearns wrote:The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.


Aboriginal? Wouldn’t that be the Native Americans? ;)

I am not sure that many migrate here to warrant their own categorgy.


Aboriginal means Aboriginal Australians (I assume there's a probably a few that live in the US).

Native Americans are covered by American Indian and Non-US Amerind/Mestizo.

Jews are on this because they don't really belong in any of the other categories but are too numerous in the US to simply stick in "other".
Last edited by Bear Stearns on Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:07 pm

Bear Stearns wrote:The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.


So whites are different than foreign whites, Africans are a different race than black americans, and MENA are different from not only whites (including whites who look a lot like them) but from Jews who are middle eastern?
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:08 pm

The Black Forrest wrote:
Bear Stearns wrote:The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.


Aboriginal? Wouldn’t that be the Native Americans? ;)

I am not sure that many migrate here to warrant their own categorgy.

Why would Jewish be in this?


20 aboriginal Australians in almost 20 states be like: :clap: :bow:
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
Half Lebanese, Half Puerto Rican. All american. Not Kurdish at all.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilahdog567/

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Postby Sovaal » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:08 pm

Sure, why not.
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:09 pm

Cantelo wrote:
Rojava Free State wrote:
Lol


I mean, to add onto what I said; they're taking a massive, multicultural region and condensing it to a single category. Hispanics can be of literally any race and Latin America is a melting pot much like the United States. Imagine if European countries put down "American" as a census category and everybody started treating it as though it was a race.


It would be like if Brazil had a category called "anglo" and it included canadians, americans, brits, australians, New zealanders, Bahamians, Jamaicans, Hong Kong people, and several African countries.
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilahdog567/

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Postby New haven america » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:24 pm

Bear Stearns wrote:The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.

Or maybe we could just drop the antiquated racial ideas developed 500 years ago and move on from that utterly destructive period of history...?

No> Makes too much sense? Oh well...
Last edited by New haven america on Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:30 pm

New haven america wrote:
Bear Stearns wrote:The Hispanic/Latino category is done about in a stupid way. These should be the US racial categories:

1. White American
2. African-American
3. Foreign/Other White
4. Foreign/Other African (incl. black Caribbean)
5. American Indian
6. Non-US Amerind/Mestizo
7. East Asian
8. South Asian
9. MENA
10. Aboriginal
11. Jewish
12. Other

These aren't meant to reflect the most precise racial and ethnic classifications, but it's just to get a broad sense of the general makeup is.

Or maybe we could just drop the antiquated racial ideas developed 500 years ago and move on from that utterly destructive period of history...?

No> Makes too much sense? Oh well...


I really support us using culture/ethnicity instead of race on the census. Instead of calling people vague terms like black and white, we need to identify people based on things that truly influence their lives, such as culture

A black american is very different from an African person fresh off the boat. They've been separated for hundreds of years and the two cultures have diverged significantly. This is why I propose that we classify African Americans as "West/Central African heritage American" to distinguish the people we commonly just call black in this country, and create separate boxes for actual Africans based on their countries of origin. We don't classify people based on phenotype but instead based on culture

One weird side effect of this system would be that Paul Wall might end up being classified as African American and the Wu Tang Clan might be asian, but we'll fix that all later.

Our racial categories are too simplistic and cause too much confusion
Last edited by Rojava Free State on Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
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Postby UniversalCommons » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:31 pm

Create geographic categories based on ancestry not race.

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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:31 pm

UniversalCommons wrote:Create geographic categories based on ancestry not race.


This
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
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Postby Xmara » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:39 pm

Perhaps treat it similar to the question regarding Hispanic/Latino ethnic background? IDK. I don't know much about race.
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:44 pm

Xmara wrote:Perhaps treat it similar to the question regarding Hispanic/Latino ethnic background? IDK. I don't know much about race.


It's hard to know much about race when the boundaries are fluid and ever changing in definition.

Also I found out they considered adding cypriots to the MENA category so now we really have crossed into loony tunes. That's right folks, apparently Greek people from the mainland would be white but Greek people in cypress would be MENA. don't ask me how the same ethnic group with the same origins could end up in opposite races but it almost happened
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilahdog567/

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Postby Insaanistan » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:51 pm

Cantelo wrote:The creation of a Hispanic/Latino category was a mistake in the first place

In my opinion, Latinos should be considered Native Americans, given the shared ethnic and historical similarities, and the fact that historically speaking, they were only really separated by the country ruling and what happened to them, with Latin American nations generally having a much larger Native and African influence that’s the US and Canada.

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Insaanistan
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Postby Insaanistan » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:00 pm

We need a separate ballot for Middle Easterners and North Africans. The whole controversy started when the US passed a racist law making life harder for Asian immigrants, and while it had Chinese in the name, it didn’t only affect them. The first Arab immigrants were coming out of Syria, a Middle Eastern nation in Western Asia. Because they feared persecution, these immigrants asked to be identified as white, which was accepted. However, nowadays more and more Arabs are looking to reclaim their identity and are pushing for this change. One problem with that: What qualifies as MENA. It’s easy to do so based on geography, but culturally, it’s more difficult. The Hausa, for example (I am part Hausa) are a tribe that lives in Sahelian and Eastern Africa: they usually only go as far north as Sudan and Saudi Arabia. They are native to where Niger, Nigeria and Chad meet. Would they be MENA. There are also many East and West Africans who claim Arab descent, and many have evidently Arab features and can speak Arabic. Would they be included?

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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:15 pm

Insaanistan wrote:
Cantelo wrote:The creation of a Hispanic/Latino category was a mistake in the first place

In my opinion, Latinos should be considered Native Americans, given the shared ethnic and historical similarities, and the fact that historically speaking, they were only really separated by the country ruling and what happened to them, with Latin American nations generally having a much larger Native and African influence that’s the US and Canada.


I'm clearly not a native American nor are most latinos. Having some native blood makes you no more native American than having some indo European ancestors makes a kazakh scythian.
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
Half Lebanese, Half Puerto Rican. All american. Not Kurdish at all.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilahdog567/

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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:17 pm

Insaanistan wrote:We need a separate ballot for Middle Easterners and North Africans. The whole controversy started when the US passed a racist law making life harder for Asian immigrants, and while it had Chinese in the name, it didn’t only affect them. The first Arab immigrants were coming out of Syria, a Middle Eastern nation in Western Asia. Because they feared persecution, these immigrants asked to be identified as white, which was accepted. However, nowadays more and more Arabs are looking to reclaim their identity and are pushing for this change. One problem with that: What qualifies as MENA. It’s easy to do so based on geography, but culturally, it’s more difficult. The Hausa, for example (I am part Hausa) are a tribe that lives in Sahelian and Eastern Africa: they usually only go as far north as Sudan and Saudi Arabia. They are native to where Niger, Nigeria and Chad meet. Would they be MENA. There are also many East and West Africans who claim Arab descent, and many have evidently Arab features and can speak Arabic. Would they be included?


But why would we create a separate race box for millions of people who look indistinguishable from a Greek or Sicilian person? When I was over in the middle east, I can't tell you how many people there looked like individuals in my mom's family. Keep in mind my dad is the middle eastern side of the family. Mom is just like Spanish with some Taino and West African thrown in
political compass:

Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
pro: marijuana, gun rights, private property, and sexy brown women

anti: fascism, communism, islamism, sexism, pan africanism, La raza, Warren Police Department (and most of the other police departments of metro Detroit except for Auburn Hills. They're aight), gun control, trump, obama, bush, clinton, reagan, carter, chipotle and snotty in crowd teens. Ugh I can't deal with them
Half Lebanese, Half Puerto Rican. All american. Not Kurdish at all.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilahdog567/

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Postby Major-Tom » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:55 pm

Bear Stearns wrote:
The Black Forrest wrote:
Aboriginal? Wouldn’t that be the Native Americans? ;)

I am not sure that many migrate here to warrant their own categorgy.


Aboriginal means Aboriginal Australians (I assume there's a probably a few that live in the US).

Native Americans are covered by American Indian and Non-US Amerind/Mestizo.

Jews are on this because they don't really belong in any of the other categories but are too numerous in the US to simply stick in "other".


Most American Jews would probably just call themselves white tbh, because, most American Jews are just white people with a Jewish background.
Last edited by Major-Tom on Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:19 am

Major-Tom wrote:
Bear Stearns wrote:
Aboriginal means Aboriginal Australians (I assume there's a probably a few that live in the US).

Native Americans are covered by American Indian and Non-US Amerind/Mestizo.

Jews are on this because they don't really belong in any of the other categories but are too numerous in the US to simply stick in "other".


Most American Jews would probably just call themselves white tbh, because, most American Jews are just white people with a Jewish background.


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