MENA category may be added in US Census form for racial equity
Groups in the OMB believe that adding this category will fight the underrepresentation of Middle Eastern and North African groups.
Census data on race and ethnicity in the United States may be changed soon as a recent proposal includes adding the option for Middle Eastern and North African people.
On Thursday, the proposal released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding race and ethnicity statistical standards reveal a "new and distinct minimum reporting category" for people hailing from the MENA region - but currently have no other option but to select "white".
The proposal involves defining white as only individuals of European ancestry. The OMB justifies its proposal by stating that "many in the MENA community do not share the same lived experience as White people with European ancestry, do not identify as White, and are not perceived as White by others."
No changes anytime soon?
Groups in the OMB believe that adding this category will fight the underrepresentation of Middle Eastern and North African groups - but that's not the only change.
Another alteration includes adding more specific ethnicities under the "Hispanic or Latino" category such as Colombian or Peruvian. However, that did not sit with some groups who stated that it would undercount Latinos identifying with other races such as Afro-Latinos.
Shockingly, the term "Negro" still exists on these forms as part of the definition of Black or African American people, which the proposal includes removing. It also suggests replacing "Far East" with "East Asian," and adding Indigenous North, South, and Central Americans to the definition of American Indian or Alaska Native.
A final decision will not be made or released until the summer of the next year 2024 but public feedback is being requested as of now.
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