WASHINGTON, DC – The US Census Bureau issued the following statement regarding a controversy over using the term “Negro” in the 2010 Census:

“In response to questions concerning the 2010 Census Race question and the use of the term “Negro,” the Census Bureau has released the following news release:

Census Bureau Statement on 2010 Census Race Question

A test embedded in the 2010 Census will measure the effect of removing the term “Negro” on reports about a person’s racial identity. The results will be used to inform design changes for future surveys and the 2020 Census. In the 2000 Census, more than 50,000 persons chose to write down explicitly that they identified themselves as “Negro.”

The Census Bureau included the term “Negro” because testing prior to Census 2000 indicated that numbers of respondents self-identified with this term.  Census 2000 data showed that 56,175 respondents wrote in the term “Negro” in response to the question on race, even though the term was included in the category label for a checkbox.   This does not include the unknown numbers of respondents who may have checked the box “Black, African Am., or Negro” because of the presence of the “Negro” identifier.

Research in the 2000s did not include studies of the effect of dropping “Negro” from the list “Black, African Am., or Negro” on responses. Such research is important to avoid unanticipated consequences of changing question wording on the outcome of a census.  As stated above, this research will be conducted as part of the 2010 decennial census.”

2 thoughts on “US Census issues statement regarding controversy over the term ‘Negro’”
  1. If you look at the word “Negro.” It really isn’t a word it’s a message. This one simple word uncovers many things past and history. It should not be used.

  2. Recently, I found the 2010 Census form hanging on my door. As I began filling it out, I came across a dilemma. The U.S. government wants to know if my children are adopted or not and it wants to know what our races are. Being adopted myself, I had to put “Other” and “Don’t Know Adopted” for my race and “Other” and “Don’t Know” for my kids’ races.

    Can you imagine not knowing your ethnicity, your race? Now imagine walking into a vital records office and asking the clerk for your original birth certificate only to be told “No, you can’t have it, it’s sealed.”

    How about being presented with a “family history form” to fill out at every single doctor’s office visit and having to put “N/A Adopted” where life saving information should be?

    Imagine being asked what your nationality is and having to respond with “I don’t know”.
    It is time that the archaic practice of sealing and altering birth certificates of adopted persons stops.

    Adoption is a 5 billion dollar, unregulated industry that profits from the sale and redistribution of children. It turns children into chattel who are re-labeled and sold as “blank slates”.

    Genealogy, a modern-day fascination, cannot be enjoyed by adopted persons with sealed identities. Family trees are exclusive to the non-adopted persons in our society.

    If adoption is truly to return to what is best for a child, then the rights of children to their biological identities should NEVER be violated. Every single judge that finalizes an adoption and orders a child’s birth certificate to be sealed should be ashamed of him/herself.

    I challenge all readers: Ask the adopted persons that you know if their original birth certificates are sealed.

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