The Ames Daily Tribune
Wednesday, November 19, 1997, Page A2
No need to reveal race
TO THE EDITOR
Many Americans may or may not know that the U.S. government has five "official" racial classifications, which appear on census forms and hundreds of other government documents. They are black, white, Hispanic, American Indian/Eskimo and Asian/Pacific islander. These racial classifications are eerily similar to those imposed by the racist government of South Africa under Aparteid: white, black, colored and Indian. The difference, of course, is that South Africa has abolished its official racial designations - but American politicians stubbornly cling to theirs.
Libertarians believe the government of a country dedicated to liberty and equality under the law has no business asking Americans about their race. Americans should boycott this system of racial classification by refusing to disclose their race to the government. By boycotting the census question on race, you can help bring down the political framework for "American Aparthied" crashing to the ground.
You should know that by boycotting the census question on race, you could risk a fine of $100. The fine is rarely imposed, but the fact that it exists at all is offensive to Libertarians and everyone else striving to achieve a more tolerant, colorblind nation. So, when Census 2000 rolls around, let these fill-in-the-blank bureaucrats know that your race is none of the government's business. We're all Americans -- what else does the government need to know.
David M. Davis
Buchanan Hall 4176