Obama administration moves to create new census category for people with ‘Middle East and North Africa’ origin

President Obama doesn’t see himself as a “lame duck” president, and you can expect him to be transforming America until the day he leaves office.  Now the administration is trying to change the census so Middle Eastern people have their own category. 

As it stands now, whites of European ancestry and people of Middle Eastern ancestry are classed together as “Whites.”  This change would remove the Middle Eastern ancestry people from the White category and create the new MENA category – that is, Middle East and North Africa.

According to the USA Today article “White House wants to add new racial category for Middle Eastern people” (Gregory Korte, Oct. 1, 2016), “[t]he White House is putting forward a proposal to add a new racial category for people from the Middle East and North Africa under what would be the biggest realignment of federal racial definitions in decades.  If approved, the new designation could appear on census forms in 2020 and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research.” 

So what’s going on here?  According to the article, “… scholars and community leaders say more and more people with their roots in the Middle East find themselves caught between white, black and Asian classifications that don't fully reflect their identities.”

So it’s about their “identities,” not the well-being of our nation.

Plus they’d be eligible for government goodies and would have preference over European-origin whites in affirmative action.  No wonder it sounds so popular.

Back in the old segregation days, immigrants from the Middle East wanted to identify as white.  Now that our nation discriminates against whites (in affirmative action programs and disparate impact rulings), it appears that many Middle Eastern origin people want off the white train and on to the Gravy Train.

Helan Samhan of the Arab American Institute said that the change “… helps these communities feel less invisible. It’s a good step, a positive step.”

Feelings, feelings, feelings.  And power.  Yes, it’s about feelings and power.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has placed a notice of the proposal in the Federal Register, where you can comment on it if you like.

Here’s how the article describes the proposed new category: “Under the proposal, the new Middle East and North African designation or MENA, as it's called by population scholars is broader in concept than Arab (an ethnicity) or Muslim (a religion). It would include anyone from a region of the world stretching from Morocco to Iran, and including Syrian and Coptic Christians, Israeli Jews and other religious minorities.”

Wait a minute  if Israeli Jews are included in the MENA category, what about American-born Jews?  Will they be considered MENA?

How about people of Turkish, Sudanese, and Somali origin?  There’s been debate about these groups.  Where do they fit in?

According to the USA Today article, “[a]dding a box on the census form could have implications beyond racial identity. According to the White House notice, the new data could be used for a wide range of political and policy purposes, including ...” and then it lists five areas in which the category would be relevant.  Let’s look at each one and cut through the rhetoric:

  1. “Enforcing the Voting Rights Act and drawing congressional and state legislative district boundaries.”
    TRANSLATION: More federal meddling in local politics.
  2. “Establishing federal affirmative action plans and evaluating claims of employment discrimination in employment in the private sector.”
    TRANSLATION: More discrimination against European-origin white people who remain in the White category. 
  3. “Monitoring discrimination in housing, mortgage lending and credit.” 
    TRANSLATION: More meddling and social engineering.
  4. “Enforcing school desegregation policies.”
    TRANSLATION: More federal meddling in local education.
  5. “Helping minority-owned small businesses get federal grants and loans.”
    TRANSLATION: Allowing MENA-origin people to get goodies from the government they can’t get now by being classified as lowly whites.

Also, says the article, the new category “would help the government and independent scholars understand more about trends in health, employment and education.”

Well, we no longer have religious questions on the census, but scholars can still research religious demography.  Why does the government have to be involved in everything?

This proposed change would mean more government expense, more intrusive Big Government, and more discrimination against European-origin white Americans.

Michigan congresswoman Debbie Dingell thinks it’s great, because then a lot of her constituents would be enabled to “accurately identify themselves and access the employment, health, education and representation services that are based on census data.”  TRANSLATION: More goodies from the government, subsidized by non-MENA taxpayers.

And think about this: if Hillary is elected, you can expect a lot more “refugees” from the Middle East, thus increasing the MENA population.