Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spanish Census banner comes down after complaints

Councilcritters Hanna and Blair seem to be making all the news lately, this time by demanding the removal of a banner in Spanish promoting participation in the census.

Never mind the blatant racism inherent in their indignation over something so benign (and so required by law, by the way). Forget that this entire region of the country was wrested by force from a well established Spanish-speaking culture only 160-odd years ago. What I want to focus on is how this cultural cowardice affects us all in terms of lost funds.

Joanna applies some good research in noting that ten years ago only 400 Hispanic residents of everybody's hometown returned their forms. I'd bet that represents an undercount of around an order of magnitude. I expect that the census professionals were able to fill in some of that with sampling, but it still means a significant loss of funds for the city and underrepresentation for us in both state and federal government for the decade since.

So because a few whiny hotheads are threatened when they see signs they can't read, we all lose money and political clout. In a citizen that's just stupid, but in a public servant that has to amount to nothing less than official malfeasance.

Update, Friday: This is getting some national attention -- Crooks and Liars featured the Courier story today.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Is is political grand-standing or just stupidity? Twenty-five (25) people complained in a town of over 35,000. Hardly the majority of the community.

However, more importantly, municipal and nonprofit grants awarded in the next 10 years will be based on this census count; as will federal and state funding. BUT, beyond even those impressive dollar amounts, by not counting the people that Hanna and Blair are objecting to, our City and County services become the donors of unreimbursable assistance. Every emergency room visit that could have been covered, won't be. Police and fire personnell that could be funded by federal funds won't be hired because of lack of population statistics. The list goes on and the costs will come out of OUR, the taxpayers pockets because these yahoos choose to spew venom instead of think with their God-given brains.

Tom said...

Tom Tillery,
I support Blair and Hanna, this is the USA, if you want to read this in another language move to another country. The removal of the banner is a language issue not a Census issue, yes it may affect the Census but only because there are some that refuse to learn the language of our land.
Tom Tillery,... if you don't use your name your opinion is worthless

Steven Ayres said...

Tom T, I'm just really glad I don't live in the country you apparently want to live in.