According to the Times, Barack Obama thinks he’s “African-American,” he’s actually “Black,” and “some older blacks” anachronistically think he’s a “Negro.” What we know for sure, because a White House spokesman confirmed it on Friday, is that the President checked “Black, African Am., or Negro” on his census form.
That could be seen as a significant choice on Obama’s part, since there’s been some controversy over the way the Census handles racial identification. But that’s not why the Times thinks it’s significant:
It is official: Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president.
I’m sure some of you suspected, but it’s good to know for sure.
If there’s still any ambiguity, I’m sure a census taker will go in and clear it up. Unlike CNN’s latest hire, Obama’s unlikely to meet them at the door with a shotgun.
[Erick] ERICKSON [of RedState]: This is crazy. What gives the Commerce Department the right to ask me how often I flush my toilet? Or about going to work? I’m not filling out this form. I dare them to try and come throw me in jail. I dare them to. Pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door. They’re not going on my property. They can’t do that. They don’t have the legal right, and yet they’re trying.
The ACS, or American Community Survey, is a supplemental survey carried out by census workers, who, as it turns out, do have the legal right (pdf).
Do I have to answer the questions on the American Community Survey?
Yes. Your response to this survey is required by law (Title 13 , United States Code, Sections 1 41 , 93 , and 221 ). The same law protects the confidentiality of the information that you provide.
Erickson, for the record, is perturbed that “the left” is misconstruing the semiotics of pointing a shotgun at census workers.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Erickson’s work, Jon Stewart compiled a few more of his thoughts later the same day to mark his addition to the CNN brand
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