Sunday, June 11, 2017

Republicans are weaponizing the Census to further disenfranchise non-white, non-straight Americans (kos) · Tuesday, June 06, 2017, 2:22 pm

Chapter 33 of my upcoming book, The Resistance Handbook: 45 Ways to Fight Trump (pre-order at that link!), is titled “Help the Census Count Everyone.” At first blush, that might seem to be a weird thing to include in a book about anti-Trump activism, but this is serious shit. As I write:

What if federal dollars could be deployed in a way that screwed the same marginalized communities that voted against Trump and the GOP? What if Republicans could perpetuate the system of inequity, poverty, and marginalization that depresses voter participation? Heck, what if conservatives could pretend that the nation’s demographic trends weren’t as dire for their future prospects? There would be less political pressure to reform their party to be more inclusive and tolerant, and they could continue on their path to white nationalism without worrying about the electoral consequences [...]

The census in this country doesn’t just determine how much funding cities and states receive from the federal government, it also determines the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts. Undercounting marginalized communities directly disenfranchises them and perpetuates the cycle of disempowerment.

That Census determines everything—how political boundaries are drawn, who has power and who doesn’t, who gets federal dollars and who doesn’t, and even who exists. In fact, one of the Trump regime’s first actions was to eliminate a question on the census about sexual orientation. Republicans don’t even want to acknowledge that LGBTQ people exist, and they certainly don’t want an accurate count of that population. It’s easier to pretend they are tiny and marginalized and not worthy of any concern. And businesses use that Census data to make their own decisions. An inaccurate Census is bad for business and bad for the economy.


No comments: