1 In 7 People Are 'Some Other Race' On The U.S. Census. That's A Big Data Problem

September 30, 2021

"As the bureau ramps up its planning for the 2030 census, some researchers are calling for the federal government to consider adding a different kind of race question, including Nancy López, a sociologist at the University of New Mexico whose research has focused on people's "street race," or what they think strangers assume their race to be.

'Not every Latino is a brown-skinned Latino. There are white Latinos, there are Black Latinos like myself, and there are Latinos who are also street-race Asian," says López, who adds she's concerned about the limitations of data about how people self-identify. "What would be the civil-rights use of that data when we recognize that most people are being racialized by others when they seek housing or vote or seek employment?'"

From Carlos: What the Census Bureau refers to as a "data problem" is a function of the garbage in-garbage out dilemma that researchers sometimes run into. The input is flawed, so the output is flawed. Nancy López is on the right track. We must stop forcing people to perpetuate the false notion of race and instead invite them to help us monitor mistreatment based on racialization (what she refers to as "street race").

Here is the link to this important article on social identity.