Tonight it's all about the census.
Or, more specifically, that question. You know, the controversial one.
Many, many people have lain on their backs and batted this around like a cat-toy; Tze-Ming's posts I thought we ethnic minorities were the ones who were meant to have the identity problems and Re-name in vain are required reading. Hell, I even tackled it a while back with the horribly mis-named speaking of sexual perversions ...
Let me be honest: when someone says that they should be able to put down New Zealander as their ethnicity I feel that it is kind of like saying "I'm not racist - some of my best friends are niggers/ chinks/ wops /dagos /democrats". Ethnicity these days takes on the appearance of a zero sum game - revenge against all the slights us white people have to endure everyday for everyone else flaunting their non-whiteness with impunity. Christ, even I'm not immune. I dearly wanted to put down my ethnicity as Pakeha but because the "We're New Zealanders" campaign had slacked me off I used the New Zealand European box as a gesture of defiance. Sad, I know.
But I still feel that the whole question is a little old fashioned; and if nothing else it's just not terribly precise. If you are going to put me in a box I'd like one that fits like a glove, ta muchly. So next census I'd like questions like this:
- What country/region did you go to school (or were you home-schooled?)
- Where were your parents born?
- Where did you spend your formative years?
- Were you raised by two parents, one parent, extended family (or combinations thereof)?
And while we're at it, why not take a snapshot of our views as a society? Death penalty, abortion, tax levels, GE crops ... okay, phrasing those sort of questions would take great care, but wouldn't it make the census a more valuable data source?
Or are we afraid of the answers we might get?
Fuck it. Next census I'm going to stick it to the man and put down my ethnicity as Jedi.
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Daily Matthew Dentith quote fix:
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Abortion debates are like watching a car crash in slow motion:
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