The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Truth comes out in Census lies: Doesn't matter if you write in ARAB -- you WON'T be counted as Arab

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Census to Count Arabs as White, Despite Write-In Campaign
New America Media , News Report, Suzanne Manneh, Posted: Mar 25, 2010

The Census Bureau says it doesn’t matter if Arab Americans write their race in on their Census questionnaire. 

Even if they check the “other” box and write in “Arab,” as many community groups advocate, the Census will still count them as racially white.

“Anyone from Europe, North Africa or the Middle East [will be classified] as white,” said Roberto Ramirez, chief of the ethnicity and ancestry branch at the Census Bureau.

Ramirez said that will be the case no matter how many people write in “Arab,” because the Census Bureau is required by law to use racial categories determined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and those categories do not include Arab.

Advocates for including Arab as a race say they will press on with their write-in campaign however. Census regulations provide that any organization can pay for its own special tabulation providing a formal count of write-ins.

“As with any write-in option, it is not comprehensive enough to be published as a ‘count,’ but it will provide us with important trends and estimates of the proportion of people of Arab ancestry who do not identify with the white race classification,” said Helen Samhan, the executive director of the Arab American Institute, which plans to order a special count.

“That is a start for working with the Census Bureau to research necessary changes in the way race and ethnicity are measured,” she added.

A spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget told New America Media that current racial standards for the census will be reevaluated after the 2010 census, in time for the next one in 2020.

-- Ray Hanania

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fight the Census: Don't be misled by the hallucinogenic rhetoric and lies

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Fight the US Census: Don't be sedated by hallucinogenic rhetoric
By Ray Hanania

For 30 years, the US Government has been telling the American Arab community, through paid American Arab surrogates, that if we would just go along and stop protesting and write in our name as "ARAB" on the OTHER line at the bottom of the form, we'll get our share.

The truth is American Arabs continue to be denied their share not because they are not listed on the Census and not counted, but because the US Government and many in American refuse to give us our rights.

Just going along with the Census and NOT complaining, and not pushing back is a mistake. Simply following the lead of the paid activists in American Arab community -- who are the ONLY ones benefiting from the Census -- will do nothing. 

When the US Census says "roll over," instead of rolling over for the first time in 30 years, American Arabs should tell them to "TAKE THAT CENSUS FORM AND SHOVE IT."

They can do all the celebrity comedy shows with great comics that they want, but it doesn't change the reality of how our American Arab leadership has failed us over the years because they are afraid to take on the Census fearing they will be pushed away from their tiny tot seat at the "table." American Arabs are being thrown crumbs, not the pie, and we are told to be happy with that.

They came to us in 1980, in 1990 and 2000 with the same failed message. Rollover. Fill out the Census. Don't complain. Do what your "leaders" are telling you to do. Feeding us medication to sooth our inner-feelings that we are being cheated. Drugged up with phony rhetoric, and misled by our failed leadership, American Arabs went along and did what they asked.

And each decade, the results are the SAME. It doesn't work. It doesn't work in part because American Arabs demand equality and fairness and fair treatment. They want to be respected.

The Government does do that when faced with a community that has a strong leadership. There are 29 Ethnic and Racial groups listed on the Census. Those 29 have empowered themselves not by rolling over and having comedy and entertainment shows, but rather by recognizing the reality fo what is happening.

I know young American Arabs are easily misled by the leadership. they are too young to know how corrupt the national American Arab leadership really is. And eventually as they get older, they will see the mistake and watch as the only people getting jobs are a handful connected to those who held the government's hand and led our people to the Census reservation where they hope to keep us trained like Pavlov's Dogs, happy as lemmings, and drugged up with the narcotic-like rhetoric.

I volunteered (for free) to help the Census in 1980, 1990 and 2000, and I refuse to volunteer this time.

And all the BS rhetoric from some people who find it easier to attack me personally than to address the real issues won't change a thing.

American Arabs will only be empowered when they stand up and fight for their rights. Not when they submissively bow their heads and pretend they have achieved something that is little more than the same old same old.

The tragedy is that while everyone is entering the 21st Century, American Arabs are still living in the past. Living in the past when it comes to solving the Palestine Tragedy, and living in the Past when it comes to empowerment.

We won’t be empowered until we stand up and fight for our rights, not rollover submissively when the US Government throws a few bones.

All you have to do is ask the simple question: What have American Arabs really gotten in terms of public jobs, public contracts, grants for their cultural activities and more, as compared to what the other 29 favored ethnic groups have received? 

The answer is simple. Although we HAVE done our part as Americans, paying taxes, working hard, participating in the system and EVEN filling out the Census in the past three 10-year census counts, we have not even received a sliver of our fair share.

-- Ray Hanania

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The babies at the Census and Detroit ...

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The Census is a job creation program. Not jobs for you but jobs for itself. They have received $1 billion and plan to spend it to convince people to fill out the Census forms which discriminate against many ethnic and racial groups.

The alleged purpose of the census is to help distribute the $435 billion in federal funds -- but the truth is the government doesn't use the census to fairly distribute the funds. Instead, they pick and chose based on political favorites. Many ethnic and religious groups are denied federal funding -- and also the trickle down funds from states and municipalities because of who they are. American Arabs, for example, do not share equally or fairly in the national funding at all. The Census falsely claims that is because American Arabs do not fully participate. In fact, American Arabs do fully participate in the census and have been since 1980 -- I worked with the census as an unpaid volunteer in 1980 and in 1990 and supported the effort in 2000 with my media and newspapers.

What I discovered is the lying bastards at the US Census are cowards, too. They know American Arabs are shortchanged. The STATISTICS PROVE IT. In fact, after 30 years of supporting the Census, the DATA SHOWS AMERICAN ARABS ARE DENIED FUNDING at a far greater pace than ANY OTHER ethnic group.

That has to do with the anti-Arab hatred in America, that started long before Sept. 11, 2001 became the convenient excuse.

All you have to do is look at Chicago, for example, where federal and local funding is disbursed not to American Arabs who make up 8 percent of the city's population (250,000 out of 3 million according to Mayor Sleepy, Richard M. Daley), but to other ethnic and racial groups.

In fact, the flaw of the census is obvious. The Census forms ONLY identify 29 FAVORED ethnic groups that are "PC". They get not only the spotlight but all the funding. And their needs are artificially reinforced.

African Americans are listed three times on the form. Hispanics 5 times and Asians a dozen.

And when American Arabs ask to be included, they are pilloried not only by the Census maniacs but by the hacks and shills in the American Arab community who are hired and paid by the Census to mislead their own people. Quislings is the proper word in this case, I believe.

Recently, I traveled to Michigan to give a comedy presentation. At the dinner, the Census was a "sponsor." They begged the host to ask me not to skewer the Census in my show as I do often. As a courtesy to the Census and a gesture of compromise, I dropped the Census segment in which I shish-kabob the Census lies.

They invited me out to lunch and we have stuffed grapeleaves and they said they wanted to continue the dialogue. Of course, weeks went by and I heard nothing. But maybe because they insisted on paying for my $6 plate of stuffed grapeleaves they felt that was enough money to buy off American Arabs like me who question their motives and their lies.

So when I continued my campaign to educate American Arabs about the lying Census lies, they acted by apparently punishing the sponsor.

That shows you the true colors of the Census and some of the American Arabs working for the Census in Dearborn and Detroit.

Their goal isn't to protect the American Arab community. Their goal is to make money. The jobs they create are jobs for themselves and their family members and their friends. That's why they need you to support the Census so they get their paychecks.

Without the money, none of them would be advocating for the Census.

I'm not paid and my voice rings truth.

The Census is skewered and unfair. It highlights 29 ethnic and racial groups, three in particular, unfairly. And, the US Census refuses to include the word "ARAB" among the 29 special ethnic and racial groups. Because the word "ARAB" is not listed, many American Arabs believe they are being discriminated against and do not fill out the Census forms. Even those who have know that simply writing in the word "Arab" on the line called "Other" at the bottom of the form is worthless and does nothing.

If the US Government and the US Census doesn't believe it is important to put the word "ARAB" on the Census form in a decade when American Arabs and the Middle East have dominated the news headlines, why would you then think they would care enough to make sure American Arabs get their fair share of the jobs, contracts and funds that government gives to communities? They are not doing it now and they won't do it even if they have counted and identified every single American Arab in the country.

American Arabs are cheated and denied government grants and awards -- these are monies that don't come from the government but come from taxpayers and American Arabs are taxpayers and pay their taxes like everyone else.

Fairness is not going to happen until the US Census and the US Government finally recognize that American Arabs have rights, too. Until then, going along with the plan only reinforces the bigotry and discrimination. Speaking out, as I and others are doing, is the only way to change things.

-- Ray Hanania

Friday, March 12, 2010

Check out In the Middle podcasts with the publisher and editors of ALO Hayati Magazine.

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Check out In the Middle podcasts with the publisher and editors of ALO Hayati Magazine.

About:::In The Middle Podcast
This is what happens when four diverse friends get together and dive into the core of social issues with a dash of love, a sprinkle of humor and a smattering of deep thought.

-There’s Wafa Kanan, the entrepreneur and international philanthropist with a heart of gold;
-Kerri Kasem, the radio and television host that tops the hot list with her jaw dropping takes;
-Michael Lloyd, the idea man, intrepid explorer and king of asking “Who am I to say no?”;
-Harout Hamassian, the financial expert, cigar master and sexologist with a renowned instinct on how to use his tongue.

How can you hear the In The Middle Podcast?
Go to iTunes