12/04/97 Letter to Simon Rosenberg
My name is James Landrith, I am the editor and publisher of The Multiracial Activist, a newsletter & website dedicated to multiracial issues.
Some background about me: I am a white/American Indian man involved in an interracial marriage with a black woman. We have two multiracial children and live in Alexandria, VA.
Currently the government doesn't have a category for multiracial children, like my own, on the census and other forms that collect racial data. The OMB recently proposed that multiracials be able to check all racial categories that apply, but in the end will still not count them as multiracial. Sally Katzen of the OMB has stated that if a multiracial person checks black as part of their racial background, then they will be counted as black regardless of the rest of their ancestry. This is called the "one drop rule", a basic tenet of Jim Crow ideology. This policy is insulting and degrading; not to mention falsification of public documents, a felony.
This cannot stand. My children and others like them are treated like pariahs and attacked by minority groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Council of LaRaza (NCLR) and liberal Members of Congress, such as Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Danny K. Davis and Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The NAACP argues that adding a multiracial category to the census would destroy all civil rights for minorities in this country and actually go to the point of calling multiracials who identify as such as racists. The best racist is the one who can hide the color of his skin, as in the case of the NCLR who seem to be immune to the one-drop rule by not acknowledging their African roots. The NCLR and NAACP have an agreement that the NAACP will not publicly discuss the fact that most Hispanics have African ancestry, which allows the NCLR keep their Hispanic category without justifying it, while not threatening the NAACP's power structure. The Hispanic category IS a multiracial category, as most Hispanics are comprised of a variety of races and ethnicities. We cannot tolerate this racism by the NAACP and NCLR. My children deserve better treatment from the President I voted for and the Democratic Members of Congress I support, not silent tolerance of this blatant and overt racism.
Join the fight and speak out against this racism. We are not asking for affirmative action quotas, handouts or the freebies that the NAACP is obsessed with, we just want to be accurately represented and counted by our government. Any assistance you can provide in correcting this injustice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
If you have any questions, please contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX (day); or XXX-XXX-XXXX (evening).
James A. Landrith, Jr.
Editor, The Multiracial Activist
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or at his personal website/blog.