So, like many Americans, I was tickled to death to see the word NEGRO on my Census form. Ten years ago, when I filled out my first Census form as an adult, the word Negro was not on the form. Now...all 10 questions on the Census form are approved by an act of Congress. Setting aside the stupid and ridiculous red tape that must have gone into actually getting 535 members (or, at the very least, a majority of those 535 members) to agree on 10 questions for a form (only in the US of A), where the hell was the Congressional Black Caucus when this question came up?
I mean, I know, for example, that the entire CBC is not made up of 75 year old black men from Georgia. For example, the Congressman that represents Minnesota's 5th District aka Minneapolis is Keith Ellison...a young black man that is also Congresses first Muslim Representative. Was Keith absent the day that they debated those 10 questions? Was there some "Back to Negro" movement that I missed out in the last 10 years? I know on first glance I don't necessarily appear as the most niggerish of Negroes, but even as a stealth Blacky, I still tend to know at least any major movements/issues/discussions going on within the black community. Did Kwame call up the Census Bureau and say that his great-grandma was mad that Negro had been taken off the form in 1970 and wanted it back? Maybe Maya Angelou, old and fierce as she is, wrote a poem called "On The Pulse of the Negro," and it created an intense but narrow movement to bring back the word Negro.
Negro. Negro. Negro.
I can't stop saying that damn word.
See...there I go again.
Really...I am not offended at all by the use of the word Negro on the Census form, but I am, perhaps overly, amused by it and a little confused. Is there an enclave of Black folks in America that neither recognize that the word "black" and the words "African American," are referring to them? I can TOTALLY see if the word "black" were omitted as there are many many many black non-African-Americans in the United States. The word black, for me, indicates everyone of African descent no matter their country of origin...so black Puerto Ricans, black Brazilians, and Africans living in America are all encompassed in the word black, but African-American covers, nicely, all those not covered by black. Negro just seems like an archaic redundancy and perhaps a misguided attempt by the Census Bureau to make Michelle and Barack Obama feel welcome and included in Washington.
I'm just saying.