An Odd Angle on Reid’s Troubles

The outdated word that’s gotten the Senate major leader in such trouble will be appearing on the 2010 Census form.

According to a report last week by Bonnie Davis for The Grio:

Shelly Lowe, a U.S. Census Bureau spokesperson, agrees that the use of “Negro” is antiquated, and says that the bureau was surprised to learn there still are people who prefer to be called by the term.

Lowe also noted that all of the census questions are “tested ad nauseam,” enough so that using the “Negro” term “outweighed the potential negatives.”

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines the racial category of black or African-American as “a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa,” and further stipulates that terms such as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to “black or African-American.”

The term was left on the 2010 form after a number of respondents to the 2000 census opted to write-in “Negro” when answering the question on race, census officials said.

Still, don’t expect we’ll be seeing the “but the Census uses it!” defense from Reid anytime soon.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.