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WHAT AM I? 2.0

The RACE question has confused Latinos since the beginning, and it still does today. Latinos have never been considered a RACE and won’t be in the foreseeable future. The best we can do is know how to answer the question and try to understand. 

Question 9 is the RACE Question. As many Latinos often do, we answer a question with a question, especially when we don’t know the answer and need time to think. 

So, we ask, Isn’t Latino/Hispanic my race? The short answer is NO. According to the Census Bureau, Hispanic origin and race are two different concepts. We answered the Origin concept in Question 8.  Even though many Latinos consider their Hispanic background to be their “RACE”, the Courts have ruled that we’re not so the Census Bureau says being Latino is our “Origin”, but not a RACE

So after your answer in Question 8, the Census knows you are of HISPANIC ORIGIN. In the next question the Census wants to know to which RACE do you belong.

Question 9 is about RACE. 
This is Question 9 as it appears in the mail-in questionnaire. Online the individual will not see the squares on which to self-identify but dots on which to type.

The federal government recognizes four official race categories and the Census Bureau wants to know to what RACE(s) Latinos belong. They are: 
o White, 
o Black, 
o American Indian or Alaska Native, 
o Asian or Pacific Islander. 

Can I check more than one race? Yes. A person can choose one or more race categories. A person who checks more than one race box but will be reported as “More Than One Race” in the statistics that are published. 

Can I be Latino and consider myself a particular race? Absolutely. Latinos can be of any RACE. Each of the race categories has the option to write-in more detail, meaning that under each RACE a person can manually write or type in his/her identity, e.g. Mexican, Salvadoran, Dominican, Peruvian, Argentinian, etc. 

Can I simply be “Some Other Race”? Yes. Latinos who do not consider themselves as part of any official race category can mark Some Other Race and write-in more detail if they want. But remember, the federal government does not consider Some Other Race to be an official category.

Should I just leave the Hispanic Origin and RACE questions blank? No! All Latinos should complete the Hispanic Origin and the RACE questions. Your answer will be based on the choices that are most comfortable to you; it is a personal choice.
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About USHLI

USHLI is an award-winning Chicago-based national non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt organization. Since 1982, USHLI has registered 2.3 million new voters; published 425 reports on Latino demographics and the Almanac of Latino Politics; sponsored 38 national conferences, each attended by leaders from 40 states; trained over 1.1 million present and future leaders; and awarded over $1.3 million in scholarships and internships.
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