The Census Bureau wants to make broad changes to its surveys to keep pace with changing notions of race. The changes would drop use of the term “Negro,” leaving a choice of “black” or “African-American.” It would count Hispanics as separate from blacks and whites. It would also add write-in categories that would allow Middle Easterners and Arabs to specifically identify themselves. The census director, Robert M. Groves, says research during the 2010 census found that making these changes increased response rates and improved accuracy. The government currently defines Latino as an ethnicity. Census forms now instruct people to indicate if they have Hispanic origin and then check a race box such as “white” or “black.”
This little bureaucratic stuff can turn out to be hugely important down the road, but nobody on the Republican side cares to think about it.