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Census Bureau Receiving Forms With Star Trek Races Written In

It appears that some people are having some fun with their new US Census forms, including thousands of Trekkies telling the government they not exactly human. However, the government doesn’t think it is very funny and you could end up getting fined (unless you can prove your non-terrestrial ancestry). More details below.  

 

Trekkies being counted

As mandated in the US Constitution, every ten years the government conducts a census to count up everyone in the country. In March tens of millions of Census forms were sent out to every household in the USA. Forms are already coming in, but apparently some people are not taking it seriously, or at least not Question 9 which asks for Race, and allows you to fill one in if it isn’t one of the options on the form. This is from an article in the Christian Science Monitor:

Census workers report literally thousands forms that include, well, creative self-identified races. They include Vulcan and Borg (nods to "Star Trek"), Cylon (for the "Battlestar Galactica" fans), and, yes, NASCAR. (Get it? Race?)

Although that is all pretty funny, apparently it is not legal. Again from the article:

In other cases, census workers will call or even visit to determine if a respondent is, in fact, from the planet Vulcan.

The Census Bureau doesn’t want to get serious. But if worse comes to worse, a recalcitrant Vulcan could face fines of up to $500 for wrongful disclosure.


Apparently not a valid response

 

 

 

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a aguilar
April 1, 2010 4:20 pm

I thought we were all of the human race. Just sayin’!

Mark
April 1, 2010 4:25 pm

whats the diff between Black and af-american?????

P Technobabble
April 1, 2010 4:27 pm

The government has no problem confiscating billions of taxpayer dollars with a smile, but try to joke around with them….

denny cranium
April 1, 2010 4:34 pm

I was filling out a questionaire for a survey.
When they asked me my marital status I replied NIGHTMARE

(Im happily married now.) She’s happy. I’m married

Rach
April 1, 2010 4:47 pm

Haha, my dad had to call the census and ask them what I was. I’m interracial, so they had to put me down for indian-european-american. haha. Vulcan is way cooler. 10 years from now… yes.

OneBuckFilms
April 1, 2010 4:48 pm

My Race: Human. :)

I could also put “White and Nerdy” :P

April 1, 2010 4:49 pm

ROFL – I sure as heck ain’t telling the government where my star cruiser is much less what universe I come from. They already blew up my favorite parking spot on the moon! ;-)

Smart Science
April 1, 2010 4:50 pm

@a aguilar: Yes, we are all human. Unfortunately, Human is a species, not a race.

@moldor
April 1, 2010 4:50 pm

In Australia we regularly have fun with the “religion” question – JEDI is probably the most common, followed by SITH.

April 1, 2010 4:50 pm

My husband is insulted by the word Negro being on there. He going to check other and put human race. I mean come on it’s 2010!

KahunaMatata
April 1, 2010 4:52 pm

hilarious!!!

A Aguilar: We are so part of the Human Race … except those pesky Vulcans!

Mark: Not everyone who identifies as Black has roots in Africa.

I always like answering the SEX: _______ question with “Yes”!

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator
April 1, 2010 4:57 pm

…why is there no option for “Hispanic/Latino?”

Do they not exist in the eyes of the government, or something?

Scottor
April 1, 2010 4:58 pm

Jeez, I just put down Northern European because Irish-Norwegian-Swedish-Polish-English-French-American wouldn’t fit on the form.

Maybe I should have used Terran. That’s more truthful than Vulcan.

tru
April 1, 2010 5:00 pm

I found it weird when they had two questions on race. One question asked only if you were espanic and the next on the different races. What up with that. Are they trying to find illegals to tell them vote for me and we’ll make you legal? The Executive branch is controling the census this time not the Judicial as in years and years past. Also why do they need to know if you have a morgage or not or pay rent? Are they going to threaten folks who own their home with eminent domain confiscation if they disagree?

Ahmad H.
April 1, 2010 5:05 pm

Apparently many older “Americans of African descent” still use the term “Negro”. There was an article about this a couple months ago, that they tried to get rid of it in the 2000 census on some forms, and some (generally older) Af.Am.s wrote in “Negro” rather than put a check in the “Black/African Am.” box. So it’s still there.

And if your husband gets “insulted” by it, he needs to get over himself. My 102 year old great grandmother still calls herself “colored”.

April 1, 2010 5:05 pm

Well, with “sex” I’m pretty sure that they only allow you to check “male” or “female.”

But if it was a write-in, I know some people who’d have LOADS of fun with it …

April 1, 2010 5:05 pm

To the nitpickers

RE: Hispanic/Latino
that is actually on question 8
http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php

RE: Negro
The Census people say that is there because many older african americans still use that term, according to their 2000 census but they are studying getting rid of it for 2020
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6072544-503544.html

April 1, 2010 5:12 pm

Jethro says we’s all human beans…

April 1, 2010 5:17 pm

I thought the states would allow Vulcan as an option, as I though Obama was vulcan(?)

Bobby
April 1, 2010 5:21 pm

I thought you weren’t doing any april fools stories today…

CmdrR
April 1, 2010 5:22 pm

Damn. Wish I’d thought of that.

Zanpher
April 1, 2010 5:22 pm

You have to remember, the you are only legally obliged to provide the # of people living in your household, nothing else. All those other quests are just padding and you are NOT required to fill them out.

To clarify some more, the government cannot legally do anything to you if you do fill them out with fake information as they shouldn’t be asking those questions in the first place.

ryanhuyton
April 1, 2010 5:27 pm

#22

But they are asking those questions so obviously you do have to answer them. Unless those questions are a violation of the law and constitution.

Another Q
April 1, 2010 5:31 pm

A spokes-person from the Census Bureau said
that in some cases (like not filling out & sending
the form back) you MIGHT be fined by the Justice
Department, but in all likelihood no one will be
fined anything. I sent mine in with very minimal
information – even though I’m omnipotent, I still
want to be counted.

Chingatchkook
April 1, 2010 5:40 pm

Hahahaha, God bless my neighbours in the States. You folks rock!

Kaylee Steffen
April 1, 2010 5:43 pm

OMG!!!!..that’s too funny…It’s wrong I know but it’s also funny at the same time!…hahahahaha:)

ZudoBug
April 1, 2010 5:55 pm

haha! very funny!

i knew the census bureau is nothing but a member of the homo-sapiens only club… :)

Zanpher
April 1, 2010 5:56 pm

#23, umm, just because the gov ask questions, doesnt mean you have to answer them ;) lol

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
April 1, 2010 5:59 pm

Hmm. Im human from the Terran Empire. Or Maybe that is what the U .S is doing. Going to be more like the Terran Empire.

Carmen Sandiego
April 1, 2010 6:00 pm

How is it that no one has questioned the listed examples under Other Asian: one of these things is not like the others……..

I just want to know; at what point did Pakistan leave the middle east and join the far east? According the to world map I’m looking at, it’s no where near Thailand, Cambodia, or Laos.

April 1, 2010 6:01 pm

28.

But if you answer them, you are bound by the agreements of answering them.

They’re just trying to get reliable demographic information. You wouldn’t believe the uses census data can be put to. I’ve found the 2000 Census to be incredibely helpful in my work.

Hell, I wish we had a *global* census.

Korben Dallas
April 1, 2010 6:16 pm

Negative. I am a meat popsicle.

Gary
April 1, 2010 6:25 pm

I work for the Census Bureau, but I don’t officially speak for it.

@14 There’s only one question on race. The other is for Hispanic Origin. Hispanic is considered an ethnicity, not a race. Your other questions are rooted in paranoia.

@22 You’re required to answer all the questions on the form.

Your answers are protected by Title 13. If you don’t fill out the form properly, you’ll just waste a lot of your tax dollars.

The question about tenure (own vs rent) is a good one. As near as I can guess, tenure data provide a general proxy for higher income households (owner) and lower income household (renter). The question is then, why is that on the census form. Probably for the distribution of federal funds.

Be careful of fake questionnaires. The census cannot ask about religion, won’t ask for SSNs, PINs, etc.

Scooter
April 1, 2010 6:45 pm

I wish I’d thought of doing this. Funny stuff!

Zac
April 1, 2010 6:52 pm

Carmen, it’s sad that someone with your name would be so ignorant of geography. Notice that “Middle Eastern” is not an option. The continent of Asia includes the entirety of the traditional middle east, with the exception of Egypt, which of course is in Africa.

Therefore Pakistani are indeed Asian, as are Iraqi, Israeli, Iranian, and Indian (from India).

What’s even more embarrassing is that there are people who think the government has some nefarious purpose for finding out what race you consider yourself. Oh no, they know I’m a white guy! I better watch out!

Harry Seldom
April 1, 2010 7:04 pm

I was surprised at how little was asked, actually.

In 1930, questions included:
– Value of home if owned, or monthly rental, if rented
– Radio Set
– Does this family live on a farm?
– Marital Condition
– Age at first marriage
– Attended School or College any time since Sept 1, 1929
– Whether able to read and write
– Place of birth of each person, and both his/her parents
– Mother Tongue of Foreign Born
– Year of Immigration, Naturalization
– Able to speak English
– Occupation
– Industry
– Employment
– Veteran status

Race still matters, although it shouldn’t. And I suspect that the question will be on at least one or two census forms after it finally stops mattering.

– Harry

Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease.
April 1, 2010 7:13 pm

I checked “some other race” and wrote “American”. It is true, and colorblind! I am actually Native American, in that I was born here, but I am not what is commonly considered “Native American” (i.e. Indian), so didn’t want to confuse them.

Robert
April 1, 2010 7:16 pm

Am I still “White” if I have a tan? Anyway, in lieu of ‘White’ I’d like to be considered European-American.

karraselle
April 1, 2010 7:23 pm

Hey TOS…

They did have hispanic as an option, it was in the previous question and broken down into which type of hispanic person…What a pain in the neck!!!…My adopted daughter is bi-racial. Her biological mother was white and her biological father was “an unknown hispanic male”…I have no idea if her genealogical ancestry is Mexican, Cuban, Columbian, etc.

I’m with the write in’s. Why does race matter in this day and age?

Suzanne Lanoue
April 1, 2010 7:31 pm

They use the census data to help determine financial resources for your community, so if you mess it up, you may be cheating your community…

Slyguy52
April 1, 2010 7:50 pm

I think its ridiculous that they would actually fine people for this… I mean as long as the other information is legitimate what does it matter if someone put something in the fill in box as a joke. I mean they complain that a large majority of the people dont respond and fill the census out anyways so they should be happy people at least sent it in.

Carmen Sandiego
April 1, 2010 7:59 pm

I also want to know where the “Can-sometimes-be-rabid” fans of the StarGate shows are at in all this. I just know some one out there marked Tau’ri, Goa’uld, Tok’ra, Asgard, Ori, Lantean, Wraith, Athosian, Asuran, Genii, or Satedan on the form.

April 1, 2010 8:00 pm

@33 – Gary: Thanks for that update. Very informative. I received mine in the mail. Filled it out the next day. And dropped it in the mail one day later.

I do not understand the histrionics so many people have with the census, which, if I’m not mistaken, is mandated by the “E Plebmnista” (also known as the U.S. Constitution).

Live long and prosper.

nicolette
April 1, 2010 8:08 pm

my take- what’s my race have to do with redistricting, schools, hospitals or whatnot? just saying…

Sybok's Secret Brother
April 1, 2010 8:30 pm
cd
April 1, 2010 8:34 pm

The Census is a bit confusing if you are Hispanic. You can say you are Hispanic in one question but then you have to choose a race on another question. This is confusing many people and they don’t know what to put for race if they are Hispanic. Some of the choices, Japanese and Chinese, for example, are not races but nationalities. Very confusing.
They should just ask for race/ethnicity in one question and list them all together, including Hispanic.

I like the questions in 1930 listed in #36. If you are going to do a census, get some information.

Wheeli
April 1, 2010 8:48 pm

@36 – those questions are on the longer forms, a certain percentage of people will get a follow up visit, or form with more questions.

@43 – By the way, the Constitution only Mandates that we be counted, the other questions are not Constitutional, and if they try to fine me for not answering the ones I left blank well they can wait until hell freezes over for their money.

Val Jean
April 1, 2010 8:53 pm

i think we should all heed Admiral Adama’s words at the United Nations, in regards to the word “RACE”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSFDrOxWCXY

Cygnus-X1
April 1, 2010 8:58 pm

“Apparently not a valid response”

lol.

On a somewhat related note, I was watching TNG “The Wounded” last night, and found myself wondering if the Cardasian race name was inspired by the surname, Kardashian.

It’s hard to imagine that there was absolutely no influence.

Lo
April 1, 2010 9:22 pm

To explain Hispanic:
Hispanic is essentially anyone that speaks Spanish as their mother tongue. It is usually extended to include all of Central and South Americas, even those that speak Portuguese or native languages. Therefore, Hispanic includes people from Spain, people of European decent, African (slave) decent, native decent and the mixtures. A couple countries in south America actually have rather large populations of Asians that have been there for 200 plus years. They, too, are technically Hispanics, especially if the person in question is of mixed, as many seem to be.

That is why they ask for a race outside of Hispanic. You can be Hispanic and identify as white, native, black, or even Asian, plus all the mixture therein. I hope that helps!

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