July 20th, 2009
11:23 AM ET

Arab Americans chafe over census form

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/11/gerrymandering/art.house.interior.gi.jpg caption="Hanania argues that the U.S. government pretends American Arabs don’t exist when counting the U.S. Census, which determines the boundaries of Congressional districts."]
Ray Hanania
New America Media

The first question I always get from “Americans” is, “Why do you keep calling yourself ‘Arab-American?’ You are American!”

It represents the rock and the hard place where American Arabs have been pushed by the lack of education among most Americans.

It’s aggravated by what I also call the U.S. government’s split personality when it comes to American Arabs. On the one hand, they want to know us. On the other, they don’t. Here’s what I mean.

The only time the United States government wants to know about American Arabs is when they are “profiling” us at airport and border security to “protect” the country from “the terrorist threat.”

But when it comes to counting people in the U.S. Census (so they can participate and share in government programs like grant funding awards, defining the borders of election districts for Congress, state legislatures or municipal councils), the U.S. government pretends American Arabs don’t exist.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Arab Affairs
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Larry

    We need more Arab American representation in Congress & the Senate; as well as in mainstream media. Why is there no 'Arabs in America' is America only Black & White?

    July 20, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  2. Mohammad

    Interesting. I never thought it that way.
    Good Report
    keep it up

    July 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm |