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Census Bureau Considers Dropping ‘Race’ from Survey

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

 

(Politico) – The U.S. Census Bureau is experimenting with eliminating the word “race” altogether in its 2020 survey, according to a report from the Pew Research Center on Thursday.

As part of its final research push before finalizing its 2020 wording, test-census forms will be sent to 1.2 million households later this fall in without any references to “race” or “origin.” Instead, the forms will ask: “Which categories describe person 1?” Respondents will then be able to choose from the usual list of racial and ethnic categories.

According to Pew, Census officials want to be clearer with their questions so that officials can gather more accurate data as required by law. Past testing and focus-group research has indicated confusion among found that the terms “race,” “ethnicity” and “origin” can mislead or confuse respondents, they can mean different things depending on the person answering.

“We recognize that race and ethnicity are not quantifiable values. Rather, identity is a complex mix of one’s family and social environment, historical or socio-political constructs, personal experience, context, and many other immeasurable factors,” the Census Bureau noted in a 2013 report on past testing efforts in the 2010 census. The report also recommended continued research on optimizing the use of examples for each racial and ethnic category, among other strategies.

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Commentary

Commentary: Racism? Sexism? Ageism Is Worse. Ask Joe Biden

Don’t worry about President Joe Biden’s age or memory. Worry about how he has to confront ageism. Thanks to a certain Asian American special prosecutor named Robert Hur.

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President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden

By Emil Guillermo

 Don’t worry about President Joe Biden’s age or memory.

Worry about how he has to confront ageism. Thanks to a certain Asian American special prosecutor named Robert Hur.

Hur went beyond and below the call of duty in political slander of the President.

Hur’s investigation concluded: there would be no prosecution against Biden for any mishandling of classified documents. So why wasn’t that the big headline last week?

Once it was determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute the president, Hur’s work was done.

Instead, Hur took a year to finish a nearly 400-page report that many mainstream news outlets have since mischaracterized. For example, CNBC’s headline quoted Hur: “Biden ‘willfully’ kept classified materials, had ‘poor memory’: Special counsel.”

Unfortunately, it’s misleading. By how much? On the Just Security website, two prominent law professors found  Hur’s report actually described Biden’s statements as “innocent explanations.”

“Unrefuted innocent explanations,” say Prof. Andrew Weissmann and Prof. Ryan Goodman, doesn’t just mean the “case does not meet the standard for criminal prosecution — it means innocence.”

But no one walks away from the mainstream headlines about the report thinking Biden is innocent; Only that he “willfully” retained something classified, and he has a “poor memory.”

None of it adds up to a prosecution. Just a public persecution.

Is this the game being played by Hur, a Trump appointee to the Justice Department, who was named special prosecutor last year by Attorney General Merrick Garland?

Garland must have thought it was a stroke of genius to appoint a Trump Republican in a political year to investigate his Democratic boss. That would be a sign of unity in the fight for truth and justice, right?

It wasn’t.

Hur, the son of South Korean immigrants and a Harvard grad, has said all the right things in public statements: that he’d be “fair, impartial and dispassionate,” and would “follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly, without fear or favor.”

Right.

Or is that right-wing?

Hur’s speculative comments about Biden’s memory were challenged last Sunday by Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer who witnessed Hur’s deposing of Biden.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Bauer called Hur’s report a “shabby piece of work,” that reached the right legal conclusion, but then was loaded with hundreds of pages of “misstatements of facts and totally inappropriate and pejorative comments that are unfounded and not supported by the record.”

Hur appears to have padded the report to buttress his own standing among Republicans. He makes memory a relevant issue when he uses it as an excuse to not prosecute Biden.

With no basis for a legal prosecution, Hur made sure to go for the political kill and let loose the virus that is ageism.

I once thought ageism would unite us all. We may not all be the same race, ethnicity, or gender, but we all fight time and the aging process.

But how naïve I was. Ageism can also inspire division, creating generation gaps, all charged with emotions that fuel a discrimination harder to fight than racism.

Of course, it cuts both ways. Last weekend, Donald Trump, 77, said Russia should be able to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO members who don’t meet their defense spending targets.

The man who wants to be president again is backing our enemy Putin against our allies.

Is that Trump showing off his anti-democracy bent or his senility?

That’s why ageism has become a dominant theme for both parties and is likely to hang around.

It won’t age well, unless we all know the truth about Hur’s misleading report.

The controversy has thrust Vice President Kamala Harris into the limelight, as she defended Biden and called Hur’s report “clearly politically motivated (and) gratuitous.”

Harris’ detractors have been sniping at her from day one with healthy doses of racism and sexism. Now, you can add ageism to the Republican tool set, a nasty political trifecta, as the GOP continues to hammer Biden and the Democrats with the misleading Hur report.

About the Author

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. See him on YouTube.com/@emilamok1

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Community

Candidates for California Senate Seat Address Black, POC Issues at Zoom Forum

Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media hosted a Zoom forum for the four candidates leading the race to represent California in the U.S. Senate to discuss issues affecting the state’s minority communities.

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Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, Katie Porter. Official portraits.
Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, Katie Porter. Official portraits.

By Magaly Muñoz
Post Staff

Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media hosted a Zoom forum for the four candidates leading the race to represent California in the U.S. Senate to discuss issues affecting the state’s minority communities.

U.S. congressmembers Barbara Lee (D-CA-12), Adam Schiff (D-CA-30) and Katie Porter (D-CA-47) participated in the forum on Feb. 8; Steve Garvey was invited but did not attend.

Here are the key takeaways from the conversations:

Safety net programs, inclusion of undocumented immigrants

All three candidates support Medicare for All and believe that healthcare is a basic human right that should be accessible to everyone, regardless of immigration status.

The candidates were also asked about child tax credits, to which both Schiff and Porter said that if parents are spending money on childcare and the rising costs of basic needs, they should be able to get refunds on those necessities. Porter stated that childcare costs should be lowered, but not at the costs of those doing the work, especially since Black and Brown women mostly make up that workforce.

“The solution to investing more in childcare is lifting up the wages, recognizing the amazing professional capacity of our caregivers, and making that federal investment in childcare,” Porter said.

Immigration reform

The candidates were asked about how they would’ve voted for a recent immigration and foreign aid package that was created without the help of border state legislators. All three candidates said they would have opposed such an approach and that the primary states that are dealing with the issues of immigration need to be involved.

“First of all, if we’re going to be negotiating an immigration policy, I want to make sure that the members of the Hispanic Caucus have a seat at the table, which they didn’t. I want to make sure that border state Democrats have a seat at the table, which they didn’t,” Schiff said.

Lee, Schiff and Porter each also mentioned the need to find paths to citizenship for those with Temporary Permanent Status, enrollees of DACA and those who have contributed positively to California.

 

The Black Vote

One of the candidates will take over the Senate seat from Laphonza Butler, the only Black senator in the 100-member chamber.

As the only candidate of color, Lee emphasized that Black women are always on the frontline to champion for the rights of all underrepresented minority groups, and she will continue to push for those rights in the Senate. She stated that her history in immigrant communities also adds to her qualifications for the open seat.

“The lens that we bring, and the fact that we fight for everyone, the fact that we’ve been the backbone of the Democratic Party, we deserve a seat at that table,” Lee said.

Schiff shared that he has prioritized elevating Black and people of color’s voices in leadership positions over his term as a congressman and assures voters that if he is elected, he will continue to push for political positions to be filled by people that look like the diverse American population.

Porter stated that more needs to be done in Washington, D.C., to address racial disparities in health, education and wealth in the Black community. She added that they need to stand up against corporate America, big pharma and Wall Street who only do things for their own financial gain, and that she will continue to fight for a level playing field for all.

The primary election for the U.S. Senate seat will take place on Tuesday, March 5.

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California Black Media

New Senate Pro-Tem McGuire Sworn In; Appoints Two Black Lawmakers to Leadership

Three days after Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) was sworn in as the 49th President pro Tempore (Pro Tem) of the California State Senate, he appointed California Legislative Black Caucus members, Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) and Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Ladera Heights) to leadership positions.

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Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles)
Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles)

By Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media 

Three days after Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) was sworn in as the 49th President pro Tempore (Pro Tem) of the California State Senate, he appointed California Legislative Black Caucus members, Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) and Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Ladera Heights) to leadership positions. 

McGuire reassigned Braford to chair the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications. He will be responsible for oversight of — and evaluating legislation related to — utilities, energy companies, alternative energy development and conservation, and communications development and technology. 

McGuire appointed Smallwood-Cuevas to lead the Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee (formerly the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee). Smallwood-Cuevas and five other committee members are responsible for oversight, legislation and state activities related to labor, industrial safety, unemployment, workers’ compensation and insurance, and state and local public agency collective bargaining. 

Bills concerning state and local non-school public employees, noncertificated and classified public school employees, public retirement systems, public employees’ compensation and employment benefits, including retirement and health care, and state social security administration are all within the committee’s purview. 

Smallwood-Cuevas called McGuire “the hardest working man in the California State Senate.”  

At some point during the current legislative session, McGuire will have to weigh in on a reparations bill Bradford has introduced, Senate Bill (SB) 490, that proposes the establishment  a new state agency called the California American Freedman Affairs Agency (CAAFAA). 

A recommendation by the California Reparations Task Force, CAAFAA would be responsible for administering the reparations process for Black Californians and determining eligibility under the lineage-based structure set up by the state’s reparations task force. 

“I look forward to advancing our shared mission of serving all Californians,” Bradford posted Feb. 5 on the social media platform X. “You have some expensive shoes to fill, but I know you have all the talent and wisdom (along w/my full support) to make great things happen.” 

McGuire was sworn in on the Senate floor on Feb. 5 with his family by his side.  Members of the California State Senate and Assembly attended as well as state leaders, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Hollister). 

Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) will serve alongside Bradford as Vice-Chair. The committee comprises 14 members.  

McGuire says he is confident that his leadership team will focus on consensus building and making decisions in the best interest of Californians across the state.  

“My core belief is this: The highest calling in life is to help others. To fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. And to work together — no matter your party affiliation — because working together is the only way to make progress stick,” he said after he took the oath of office. 

“California has always been the light of hope for America – the beacon of progress – and along with the Assembly and Governor, we will continue to fight for all of us, always together, always forward,” he added.

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