While San Jose may not exactly be the Capital of Silicon Valley, it certainly is at the center of many important things. The San Jose area is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country. A lot of wealthy and smart people live or work in San Jose and its surrounding cities and towns. What happens here matters. I wonder if the citizens of San Jose would take it upon themselves to provide leadership for the rest of the nation by questioning the legitimacy of the 2010 Census in its present form.
The 2010 census isn’t as much about counting citizens and residents for the purpose of defining congressional representation as it is about sizing up and carving shares of the economic pie. It’s a consumer survey. Just take a look at the rhetoric. A full-page ad that appeared in Time magazine read, “If we don’t know how big our community is, how do we know how big our hospitals need to be?” The ad continues, “Fill out and mail back your Census form and help your community get its fair share of funding for the things that it needs-like better hospitals, schools, and roads.”
A recent article published by Fox News reported that city, county, and state governments all over America are suddenly “dusting off their welcome mats” for illegal immigrants in an effort to get them counted to increase funding. “Those undocumented residents will be worth a lot of money for the next few weeks.” Fox News reporter Judson Berger quotes William Gheen, president of Americans For Legal Immigration, who argues that counting undocumented residents “undermines” the electoral process…that, immigrant-heavy areas like Southern California will receive more funding and representation than immigrant-light regions like Maine. “[Gheen] said, counting illegal immigrants in the Census is part of a “de facto amnesty” policy.”
In a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, resident Cecil Chapman expressed his concerns. “Got my census form, and the more I Iook at the questions, the more it bugs me. The original intent of the census was to get an accurate count of the citizenry to assure adequate representation in the halls of government. So, what does my exact name, precise birth date and phone number have to do with assuring that we are adequately represented in Congress? “Decline to state” seems like a fair answer to those kind of questions. Very perplexing.”
The two Census questions dedicated solely to race and ethnicity are especially perplexing. What if everyone in San Jose refused to play the game and returned their Census forms with only one of the questions answered? (That is, “How many people live here?”). What if we all refused to identify our race or ethnicity? Wouldn’t such action demonstrate a serious effort to be seen and defined as a color-blind society?