Walter E. Williams

The Census Bureau also asks questions about race, and I want to know what does my race have to do with apportioning the U.S. House of Representatives? If I'm asked about race, I might respond the way I did when filling out a military form upon landing in Inchon, Korea in 1960; I checked off Caucasian. The warrant officer who was checking forms told me that I made a mistake and should have checked off "Negro." I told him that people have the right to self-identify themselves and I'm Caucasian. The warrant officer, trying to cajole me, asked why I would check off Caucasian instead of Negro. I told him that checking off Negro would mean getting the worse job over here. I'm sure the officer changed it after I left.

Americans need to stand up to Washington's intrusion into our private lives. What business of government is the number of times a citizen has been married or what he paid for electricity last month? For those who find such intrusion acceptable, I'd ask them whether they'd also find questions of their sex lives or their marriage fidelity equally acceptable.

What to do? Unless a census taker can show me a constitutional requirement, the only information I plan to give are the number and names of the people in my household. The census taker might say, "It's the law." Thomas Jefferson said, "Whensoever the General Government (Washington) assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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