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Thursday, September 24, 2009

DEATH OF A CENSUS WORKER

I hadn't heard about this until today when several people posted
links about it on Facebook. Of course Bill Sparkman's death has
already become yet another issue in which the fringe liberals
and conservatives are spewing vitriol at each other. My sympathies
go out to his son and other family and friends who will be the
collateral victims of this firefight.

Politics aside, I'm dismayed with what else I found about recent
events involving the Federal Census. I knew about the ACORN
controversy but I wasn't fully aware of other issues, that there
were actually people and groups out there advocating that people
refuse to participate in the Federal Census and from both sides of
the political spectrum. Latino groups are saying that unless legal
status is given millions of illegal immigrants Latinos should refuse
to fill out the census. A conservative Congresswoman claims that
she won't answer anything else other than the number of people
in her household because the other questions are invasions of
privacy.

My question is: What the HELL is going on here? Now I'm sure that
political games have been played with the Census in the past, but I'm
not sure they were ever played with such a high level of anger and
misinformation about what a census is and what use it is put to by
the government. It seems to me that both far right and far left are
intent in "cutting off their nose to spite their face" to quote an old
saying.

As a genealogist who's learned a lot about my family from their
census records I hope that calmer heads will prevail and the
2010 Census is accurate and successful so that future generations
will be able to learn as well about their ancestors.


But on the other hand, I do know that I'd think twice about working
as a census taker given the present political climate.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Boy, me too. I almost applied to BE a census-taker; I thought it would be a fun way to learn about the inner-workings of the census. I didn't do it because I thought it wouldn't be safe to drag my daughter all around town from house to house.

I had no idea just HOW unsafe it could be. Yikes!