Credit: www.adc.org

The U.S Census Bureau decided on Friday it will not include a Middle Eastern or North African category in the 2020 census.

The campaign to collect more data about people with Middle Eastern and North African descent has been advocated for by many students, faculty and administrators from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, including the vice president of Student Government Sara Alqaragholy.

“The Census decision will not and has not stopped us from moving forward,” Alqaragholy said. “We can still make change.”

Alqaragholy also said Chancellor Little and the Board of Regents are in support of this campaign.

Hopefully once we successfully implement the ME/NA category on our campus, the movement will spread all over the country,” she said. “Then, possibly, the federal government will recognize the dire importance of the category.”

Adding a MENA category would help researchers at the bureau better collect ethnicity and race information about census participants of Middle Eastern or North American descent.

Hopefully once we successfully implement the ME/NA category on our campus, the movement will spread all over the country. Then, possibly, the federal government will recognize the dire importance of the category.”

  • jay dog

    Turks, Persians (of Iran), Armenians, Azeribajanis, Syrians, and Lebanese , are all whites at the end of the spectrum of white variation. Most other (European) whites want a MENA box, because they want to distinguish lighter skin as a different racial type, or nitpick ‘whiteness’ to some superficial ideal. However, genes don’t lie, and large-scale genetic studies show these groups as being an extension of Europeans (particularly Armenians, Persians, and Turks). Nowadays, there are Federal laws that protect all groups of people, and an extra racial category would do little to provide extra benefit to this groups. At this point, many middle easterners fair just as well socially and economically as well as, if not better than, whites of European descent.

  • jay dog

    The system is supposed to get better, not worse. A MENA category is a step backwards. Especially, with all the genetic studies nowadays that, ironically, show the historical/genetic affinity between Middle easterners and Europeans. Levantines (Turks) had a clear influence in Neolithic Europe, and The European Steppe populations, which later founded many European groups, was 30-50% Iranian (either Neolithic or Chalolithic). A recent study on Minoans (ancesters of Greeks), also show a specific link to Iranians.