With the United States Census in the news right now (due to the decision to include a question surrounding citizenship on the 2020 form) I decided to look into the history of the census, as well as what exactly it impacts.
Let’s call this active citizenship. We throw that word around with so much weight, but what do we actually KNOW about our government constructs and operations.
At any rate. So the US began the census in 1790 (and continued every decade after) and in that year the US also made a (big) decision surrounding WHO could and could not become a citizen of our beloved country here. Coincidence?
Another coincidence (possibly) about the hesitation of many is that the information gathered by the US census was used in finding and rounding up Japanese-Americans during the WWII era to place them in internment camps. So…
All those coincidences aside though, the data gathered is pretty darn significant on the whole importance scale. Based on the information collected, the number of seats states get for our House of Representatives is calculated. The data is used when determining bargaining power when it comes to things like emergency/rescue relief, disease prevention efforts, job training programs, centers for seniors, etc. And things minimal to human life – like schools, hospitals, and public works. So ya know? Nothing major here.
It does require you to stop and consider WHY being a citizen is a question holding so much weight. Could it be certain pockets of the US population would rather NOT have money go into certain neighborhoods? Even further could this be encouraged by what one’s ethnic/cultural background is? That would be SO unlike US…..
Not to mention when the US census was originally formed, there was the whole question about who and how fully individuals were in proximity to being human. Well, individuals outside of those under the white-male category. I mean, black people were ⅗’s, Native Americans were(read are) not even counted (this still makes me chuckle…it could be my pain in a mask tho…), and married women were certainly disqualified because, well see previous sentence.
This is right on the heels of seventeen states imposing extremely strict voting restrictions – with half of those being states that were covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The little part that required states (like those with deep, deep histories of voter discrimination) to gain Congressional approval before changing voting laws.
So. Let me get this straight.
Voting gives the American population the right to elect those who will speak for and fight for their well being. As well as their “right” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (*insert snort laughter here*)
Voting Rights Act made sure those willing and who desired to vote could actually do so.
The US census compiled data to determine proper distribution of political power and federal funds.
We’ve restricted the ability to vote (mainly for those arguing for that supposed right to LLPH).
We’ve dismantled the section of the VRA that was in place to uphold fairness in the face of discrimination.
And now we’re asking to expose citizenship on a form that determines where funds and power go.
Nothing to see here. Carry on.