7/97 Letter to the Editor
I am writing regarding the current movement to add the term multiracial or multiethnic to all government forms that collect racial data. On February 25, 1997, Representative Thomas E. Petri (R-WI-6) introduced H.R. 830, legislation that would accomplish this task.
This is, at best, a very contentious issue for multiracials and civil rights organizations and at worst an extremely divisive and heated tempest that would “deny justice to the very people who are the objects of current and past discrimination”. Unfortunately, the best case scenario is not the one in play. “Civil rights” organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Members of Congress, such as Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7) have taken a hardline against this movement, attacking their logic, motives, and racial/ethnic identity. They argue that adding a new racial category to the census or other forms that collect racial data could/would provide inaccurate racial data and have adverse affects on civil rights enforcement, entitlements, etc. Unfortunately, the data currently collected is inaccurate. People who have multiple races in their heritage are multiracial, not black, not white, not Asian/Pacific Islander, and not Native American/Eskimo. Anytime you use “one drop of blood” to classify an entire human being, you’re going to have inaccurate results. These “civil rights” organizations are not interested in collecting accurate data, they are interested in preserving their power and denying multiracials the right to be who they are genetically. The groups fear that adding a multiracial category to government forms would mean that there was a new kid on the block (maybe even a competitor, who may not necessarily toe their party line). Fear and Jim Crow-itis appear to be the real motivation behind the opposition’s arguments. The big specter of unchecked and undocumentable racism that would occur as a result of adding a multiracial/multiethnic category has been repeated so many times it has become their mantra. Multiracials and interracial families/couples are not magically immune to racism and discrimination. Unfortunately, we get it from all sides, especially black. Currently, it’s the NAACP, NCLR, racist Members of Congress and the like who are the loudest proponents of this kind of racism. Currently, the NAACP, who fought tirelessly to end segregation is promoting the one-drop theory. The NAACP and other black leaders start with objections, supposedly based on data collection, but always regress to charges of denying your blackness, wanting to be white or other bizarre remarks such as Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-Del) and Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7) did on May 22nd at a recent Congressional hearing on this topic. The NAACP and other civil rights leaders need to get a grip, not everything race related is about black vs. white. This movement is for all multiracial people, not just those who are black and white.
It’s time to end the lunacy and racial schizophrenia engulfing our country. Contact your Member of Congress and tell them to support H.R. 830 and put a stop to government denial of multiracial/multiethnic people. Just refuse to let the NAACP and the NCLR tell you who you are or make you pick your race based on Jim Crow ideology.
James A. Landrith, Jr. – Alexandria, VA
Personal contact information (not to be published):
P.O. Box 8208, Alexandria, VA 22306-8208, Home: XXX-XXX-XXXX unlisted, Work: XXX-XXX-XXXX, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Landrith is the notorious editor and publisher of The Multiracial Activist and The Abolitionist Examiner, two cyber-rags dedicated to freedom from oppressive racial categorization. Landrith can be reached by email at: email@example.com or at his personal website/blog.