Sobre el Censo 2010

ilé: Organizadoras/es para la Conciencia-en-Acción

Cuando las telarañas se juntan pueden atar a un león. Proverbio Etíope

Amig@s y compañer@s:

Aquí tenemos una oportunidad de expresar nuestra opinión sobre el Censo 2010. La fecha limite para hacerlo es hoy 27 de mayo. Recordarán que en el censo del 2000 la pregunta sobre “raza” usaba definiciones raciales inapropiadas culturalmente a Puerto Rico. De hecho se nos impusieron exactamente las mismas categorias que se usan en los Estados Unidos. El Negociado del Censo esta abriendo una ventana para recoger opiniones sobre el Censo que hemos de recibir en el 2010. Ellos van por el mismo camino del 2000. Piensan utilizar las mismas etiquetas raciales. Pueden ver el “comment request” para el cual pueden enviar comentarios en http://www.gobierno.pr/NR/rdonlyres/F982EC18-7DBE-4EDB-A44B-FAA26E5D3769/0/FedRegister.pdfA

Abajo le damos una sugerencia de lo que pueden someter como opinión y enviar a dHynek@doc.gov.

No dejemos que nos legislen nuestra identidad. Disemine entre sus redes y entre los suyos.

En solidaridad,

María

Texto sugerido

“The racial categories used in the Census 2000 and proposed for use in the Census 2010 are culturally inappropriate to Puerto Rico. In order to answer responsibly to the race question, we need labels that fit our cultural reality. From 1950 to 2000, we did not have to answer to this question in any of the census conducted. Therefore, the Census 2000 came as a surprise and caught us unprepared to define ourself using these racial labels. In fact, many even found these to be offensive (Focus Groups commisioned by you own office -www.census.gov/pred/www/rpts/B13.pdf). This is understandable, especially when you consider that many people were being asked to define themselves in ways that divided them from members of their own families and others within our society.

As you know, 80% of our people were identified as whites. However, that would mean that Puerto Rico has more whites than any state in the United States. Yet, if you were to look at people in Puerto Rico you will immediately observe this is not a country that is 80% white. Clearly, the Census 2000 does not present an accurate racial picture of the people of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans need to have discussions about what are the appropriate racial labels that best describe our own cultural reality. The results of such discussions would then allow your office to obtain data that is much more accurate. In Puerto Rico, there is no such a thing as pure whites, blacks, asians or native people (Again Focus Groups commisioned by you own office -www.census.gov/pred/www/rpts/B13.pdf). Therefore your labels are confusing to us. We do not quantify blood, phenotypical characteristics or color as is done in the United States. Terms such as African-American or Native-American are inappropriate and create confusion in the general population. The Bureau of the Census in Puerto Rico needs to develop a process to facilitate a dialogue to determine what are those labels that most accurately and appropriately define racial identity in our country.

We object to the labels used in 2000 and to those to be used in the Census 2010. As your own directive states: „”These categories are sociopolitical constructs and should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature.” (www.census.gov/rdo/pdf/pl94-171.pdf , page B-2 definitions of Subject Characteristics). In a political environment where Puerto Ricans are subjected to US regulations, people here understand that racial categories matter as they might impact the allocation of funds, as well as our relationship with the United States governement and its people. Therefore, we ask that a process to discuss appropriate labels be conducted among Puerto Rican scholars, researchers and community groups before you go further in this process.”