Ran across some interesting figures today. It seems that the U.S. Census has been tracking threats against census workers. 13 times shots were fired at census workers; 132 times, weapons were pulled on census workers; there were 88 physical assaults; ten times census takers were robbed; there were 101 verbal assaults. Well, I spent six weeks as a census worker, and those numbers are way too low.
The fact is, most of us never reported incidents because there were just too many of them. To start with, I'm not challenging shots fired, weapons pulled, or robberies. Those numbers I'm sure represent what really went on out there. But 101 verbal assaults? I'd love to know how that term is defined, because I got told off, doors slammed, finger wagged and poked in the chest plenty of times. The big thing was bizarre, right wing political rants about census workers as the vanguard of a leftist plot to take over the country. I wonder where those ideas came from? Right wing insanity spreads, I guess. What other explanation can there be for one rant after another about how government was trying to violate the rights of our citizenry via the census. And what were these dangerous questions. How many people live in a home? Names, birthdays? Ethnicity, race? Rent or own? Telephone? And the weird thing was that beyond the actual count, people were pretty much free to refuse. How intrusive!
Of course, if a lot of people in the "RED" states like Alabama, Texas, and Utah refuse to answer the census, they'll lose seats in congress and "BLUE" states like New York and California will gain. So right wingers of America, you are right! We census workers are trying to figure out who should go to conservative concentration camps! We are trying to take your guns! Avoid the census!