Follow up Commentary From our CNN Census Panel

Last night, Baratunde Thurston, Christian Lander and myself were panelists on Don Lemmon’s show: the segment, without commercial interruption, is on the preceding post, below. We started to scratch the service about the subject of racial categories on the census, particularly the term “Negro.” While this was an important topic, we had other thoughts we wanted to share.

So last night, Baratunde and I started talking about keeping the conversation going for a bit after the panel.  And later, took the convo online to Twitter, with our co-panelist Christian. And so, here we are. I’ll update as posts become available.


Comments 10

  1. Via FB, from D. Paupaw
    I spoke to my mom about it and she said some old school peeps might refer to themselves as Negro. I then asked “where are these people?!”

  2. Via FB, From K. Rhone
    Raquel,thanx goes to you Don,Baratunde and Christian on the CNN piece last nite.I looked for a snipet on the CNN website last night and could not find it.I did share your video response on my profile so that my love ones can view,think and learn.And,so we carry on!

  3. Via FB, Fro L. West
    Well said Raquel.
    Your living your truth and purpose.
    Its just the beginning. Thank you for inspiring us to learn, know and except who we are!!!

  4. From J. F. Thomas:
    J. Frank Thomas
    Seriously though, my learning is that the term was coined by the Spaniard for ANYONE dark-skinned regardless of ethnic background.
    Oddly enough it seems the black folks here adopted the term themselves to seperate themselves from African grouping.

    I believe the books that speak on this are by A.J. Rogers, titles like Africans Gift to America and so on.
    … See More
    Just sharing, I personally feel no way about it since black folks here have adopted several terms and will continue to do so.

  5. From J. Thomas:
    Jessy Tomas
    The term also means an object in spanish…my mother and my entire family hate that term it simply means object…not a pueblo or people…I cant stand the fact that this pseudo- scientific archaic term is used on the 2010 census…as a Dominican why cant the term African descent replace Negro? I am mixed with Native American also…but ya know we… See More cant talk about that. This is a Jim Crow term. I am also one thesis short of a Masters in history…this term is an insult to alll of us Latino,African,African American,West Indian, Mullato etc..

  6. From C. Ruthari

    Perhaps, this is off topic but young black people especially in hip-hop/ rap circles are okay with referring to each other as “Negro” or even the more controversial term “Nigger”.This acceptance of these terms among young blacks, in my view, when used between blacks derives from the the understanding that the use of the words come from a place of … See Morelove and not of hate and that in those circumstances it is used as a term of camaraderie and and not of dis-inclusion. Most importantly though it is about re-assigning meaning to terms that were once used to hate on us to make them more positive and thus empower our past, present and future self- identity. However, when others who do not share our race, heritage, struggles and past use these terms to describe us then we become suspicious of their intention and meaning if not rightly offended.

    That being said, I don’t fully understand identity issues within the latino/hispanic community but I respect what you are saying and hoping to learn more from you as one of the spokes-persons for the community. I am especially intrigued with the intersections with Black, White and Ameri-Indian communities. BTW great interview on CNN.

  7. From Jesse T, via FB:
    Thank you Raquel I enjoyed this also and there are no right and wrong reasons……I just wanted to say Negro also infers…SLAVE (I hate the word Negro) to many educated African Americans and especially Latinos…its downright insulting! I also don’t like how some people want you to accept blanketing terms but yet if you say the N word..especially… See More here in the south..they will try to fight you. I am including a letter and asking to get rid of this term forever! It is NEVER used in historical papers, documents, etc The word is just offensive I hate the sound and look of it…I am also offended when you are white or Asian you can lsit what your background is but not African…my girlfriend is Nigerian and it is also offensive to her she has to be blanketed under one term, and Dominicans like myself are forced to write in things and only Check Latino and write in Dominican even though our numbers are over a million and have been for years.
    There are plenty of people who are not ashamed of their African heritage yet acknowledge it is not the sole factor of their ancestry and I feel its insulting your ancestors to not acknowledge them all. This is due to the disgusting one drop rule which still permeates today even though it has no relevance outside of the United states. If I obtain a Cedula in a dozen different nations I guarantee none of them will put Negro or Black only in the United States is this racially polarized (and Isreal what a surprise! after operation Solomon and the arrival of the Ethiopian Jews did Isreal adopt the United states version of race!)), In other countries people of African descent can embrace all of their heritage and arent mocked because of it only here is it a taboo subject but never in my family where we have embraced the Native American,African, and Spanish (and Welsh side of our ancestry) and like my father before me I am not ashamed!

  8. From J. F. Thomas, via FB:

    One thought more, I think this was done purposely so that black folks wouldn’t fill it out therefore allowing demographic numbers to be manipulated.

  9. I got to the race question and couldn’t answer it because my original birth certificate IS SEALED. It seems adopted person (bastards) are to either lie or be psychic when answering the race question.

    The amended birth certificates were are given list our adoptive parents are our biological parents so I assume the government wants us to LIE and put their ethnicity on the census. That’s BS.

    44 states continue to keep sealed and seal every day the birth certificates of adopted persons. This is DISCRIMINATION.

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