Biden Administration Considers Using Future Census to Ask Black Americans if They're Descendants of Slaves

(AP Photo/Randy Squires)

As San Francisco continues on its path to pay $5 million in “reparations” to black residents of the super-woke city, it should come as no surprise that the Biden administration is asking the public for input about how it might go about differentiating black people who are descendants of slaves from those whose families arrived more recently as immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, or other countries.


Yep, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, the groundwork for the potential payment of reparations from federal government (U.S. taxpayer) coffers to black Americans has already begun. The question is what could possibly go wrong? By simply asking people if their ancestors were slaves, that is.

Via the WSJ:

The idea of adding more-detailed categories to the census has been gaining currency among some Black Americans who say society too often conflates their experiences with those of Black immigrants, who only started moving to the U.S. in meaningful numbers in the past few decades.

Roughly one in five Black people in the U.S. are immigrants or their children, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Supporters of the change say one reason they are pushing it is to quantify who would be eligible to receive reparations for slavery should the government ever agree to pay them. An effort to make such payments has stalled in Congress, though local efforts have gained some steam. …

Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and by researchers at Duke University, among others, shows that Black Americans whose ancestors were enslaved tend to lag behind in wealth and education compared with more-recent arrivals.

Perhaps the paramount question is, other than people simply saying “Oh, hell yeah, my ancestors were slaves” — when a cool, five million bucks, or whatever, is on the table — what means of verification of ancestry would the government require, and how much verification is actually available? I’d venture a guess of somewhere in the “not very much” range.


Chad Brown, a spokesperson for the National Assembly of American Slavery Descendants, which backs reparations and is pushing for the change, said “America sees black people as a monolith,” adding:

When you say all Black people are the same, you are ignoring differences in culture, ancestry, [and] economics, and you are doing a disservice to everyone lumped into that group.

Not to nitpick, but as I previously suggested, might that monolithic approach be adopted more by the left, as part of an effort to dole out as much “reparations” cash to as many people as possible? The question is fair.

In addition, in reference to people who select “Black” or “African American” on a future census form, the Biden administration has asked the public whether “American Descendants of Slavery” or “American Freedmen” would be the best term to describe the group, while some have suggested “Foundational Black Americans.” Labels are super important to the left, you know.

According to the WSJ, if the slavery-related questions were adopted, they wouldn’t only be used in the U.S. Census but also on routine forms, such as applications for federal student loans and home loans. Think it through, people.

The Bottom Line

The Democrat Party has been all about massive wealth redistribution since Lyndon Johnson’s disastrous 1965 “War on Poverty.” And why so much wealth redistribution? As I’ve written in the past, Irish playwright and socialist George Bernard Shaw nailed it, in a famous quote:


A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

And in 21st-century America, Paul’s appetite for government (taxpayer) largess is insatiable.

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