The Corner

Law & the Courts

Stop the Balkanization

Last fall I wrote about some disturbing changes that the Obama administration wanted to make in the data gathered for the census. A short 30-day window was given for public comments, but thankfully the Trump administration seems to have misgivings about the proposed changes. And so it has asked for more public comments (via the White House website no less), and extended the deadline to the end of this month.

Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation has done yeoman’s work on this matter. I quoted his issue brief last fall: “The two most significant proposals [are] creating a new ethno/racial group for people who originate from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and taking from those who identify as Hispanic the option to identify their race.” In the introductory part of the formal comment he has now submitted, he explains:

The proposals would affect our nation adversely in at least three ways: (1) adding one more ethnic group [i.e., MENA] would further sub-divide America along ethnic lines and take another step to transform the U.S. into what the Founders never intended, a nation of groups; (2) creating a Hispanic race would deepen these fractures and threaten to make them permanent; and (3) dangling purported advantages such as congressional redistricting would further help perpetuate divisions within the country by giving people an incentive to identify themselves as a member of a subnational group and a disincentive to build inter-ethnic coalitions.

My organization, the Center for Equal Opportunity, has endorsed Mike’s comment, adding:

[I]n addition to the problems associated with congressional redistricting, the balkanization and encouragement of race-based decisionmaking inherent in the Census proposal [are] also bad with regard to the Voting Rights Act generally, and with respect to broadened “affirmative action” (i.e., preferential treatment on the basis of race), race-based student assignments at the K-12 level, and the “disparate impact” approach to civil-rights enforcement.

Comments are due by April 30, which is a Sunday, so better to send them in by the preceding Friday, April 28. I would encourage interested individuals and groups to go to this link, click on “comment now” in the right-hand column, endorse Mr. Gonzalez’s comment, and make whatever additional points they’d like.


Most Popular



EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More

Nancy MacLean Won’t Quit

One of the biggest intellectual jousting matches last year was between Duke history professor Nancy MacLean, who wrote a slimy, dishonest book about Nobel Prize–winning economist James Buchanan and the whole limited-government movement, and the many scholars who blasted holes in it. If it had been a boxing ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More

How Germany Vets Its Refugees

At the height of the influx of refugees into Germany in 2015–17, there was little doubt that mixed among the worthy cases were economic migrants taking advantage of the chaos to seek their fortunes in Europe. Perhaps out of instinctive pro-immigrant sentiment, Germany’s Left obscured the difference. Its ... Read More

Dictators and Their Jitters

Today, the Human Rights Foundation is holding its “PutinCon” in New York. This is a one-day conference devoted to the Russian “president”: his origins, his rise, his deeds (both at home and abroad). Serving as chairman of PutinCon is Garry Kasparov, once the world’s chess champion, now a ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Leave McMaster Be

About every two months, there are rumors that Gen. H. R. McMaster might be let go as Trump’s national-security adviser (along with many other stellar appointees). The world, however, is a much more logical and predictable place than it was 14 months ago. We’ve restored ties to the Gulf monarchies; Israel ... Read More