That would be today.
How could I fill it in before now?
You may say that's an overly legalistic view, and I suppose it might be seen that way. But I wasn't thinking legalities; I was thinking reality: Is tomorrow promised to any of us?
Of course, I used it as a threat, too. Seventeen year-old Youngest Son gave me some lip recently and I said in response, we'll see if you're listed on the census form come April 1. I may throw you out before then.... Of course, I was only kidding.
Today being April 1, however, I have filled in the form accurately and I will post it promptly.
But, in the meantime, can I express my disdain for the racial politics of the census?
I know the census is supposed to tell us -- and our progeny -- about what America looked like in 2010 but I very greatly fear that it tells us far more about the race-obsessed bureaucrats who rule over us at this troubled time in history.
A "note" following Question 7 (for person 1) and Question 4 (for everyone else) tells us that, "For this census, Hispanic origins are not races." (This will come as a shock to the various La Raza folks.) The questions which follow establish that almost everything else is a race. (Except, of course, for those of boring whitebread European ancestries. They are merely "white.")
Thus, a respondent can't be "Hispanic" but can be White, Black (including "African Am., or Negro" -- Negro? Really? Has anyone used that term since the late 1960s?), American Indian or Alaska Native (but you have to supply the name of your tribe), Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan or -- if you print it in the boxes provided -- Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian, Fijian, Tongan "and so on."
At least they used the term "American Indian" instead of "Native American." Because I would have checked the latter category in an eyeblink: I am an American, born and raised in the good ol' U.S.A. and therefore, under any definition I understand, a "native American."
Just in case these weren't enough racial categories, there was an opportunity to check a box marked "some other race" and a line that could be filled in with the name of that race. I suppose the geniuses who thought this form up were thinking that this could be used by recent African immigrants who might want to note their ethnic origins. But, I have to tell you, I was sorely tempted to simply check that box and fill in the boxes below with these letters:
Because that is the only race of persons living on this planet (even if you subscribe to the wackiest conspiracy theories involving Area 51, the human race is by far the race to which the overwhelming majority of this planet's residents belong). Anyway, the sooner we as a species figure out that there is only one race, the human race, the better off we all will be. For one thing, future censuses would cost less money....
Anyway, I was tempted... but I wimped out. The census form also asks for my home phone number and warns ominously, "We may call if we don't understand an answer." Answering the race question that way would almost certainly result in a phone call... and I just don't want to deal with that.