Does the American Community Survey Form Conflict with the U.S. Constitution?
Remind me again just where does the Constitution give the Census Bureau permission to ask questions outside the realm of “enumerating” the population?
“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” ~Voltaire
“Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.” ~Mark Twain
Do Census folks really need to know if my toilet flushes?
BRENNA FAY RHODES – Guest column – Waco Tribune
Saturday January 30, 2010
I was being stalked. For several weeks our family was harassed on our own property. It escalated from loud and insistent knocking during our baby’s naptime, to notes left on our door, to a strange car blocking our driveway, and eventually even more outrageous badgering. My stalker disregarded the “no trespassing” signs on our gates and banged on the door, hollering, “If you don’t talk to me, I’ll just come back!”
Was a desperate criminal stalking me? Nope. This stalker wore a United States Census Bureau badge.
It started several months ago, when the Census Bureau mailed an American Community Survey to our house. My husband and I were shocked at the questions it contained.
These were not typical census questions. This was a 28-page form that asked things such as:
“What time do you leave home for work?”
“Do you have difficulty making decisions?”
“Do you have difficulty bathing?”
It asked about our income, mortgage payments, insurance and college degrees. “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW” was written next to the threat of fines up to $5,000 for noncompliance.
Offended by the intrusive questions, I did not return the survey, so they mailed copies to me. Then came postcard reminders; later the phone calls began. At all hours of the day (including weekends), up until 9 p.m., long after our children were asleep, the calls from the Census Bureau kept coming. We didn’t give in. At that point, the Census Bureau brought their harassment tactics right up to my front door.
After weeks of intimidation, the last straw came when a neighbor called to say that the census worker was going door to door on our street, asking people for information about our children. My husband and I raced to the neighbor’s house, flatly told the census worker the number of people in our home, and told her in no uncertain terms to stay away from our family. She hasn’t been back.
If you’re wondering why I wouldn’t simply answer the questions, with the government’s assurance that my answers would be kept confidential, you’re missing the point. I refuse to answer the American Community Survey because I live in America, and this is still a free society. Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution empowers my government to “enumerate” the people. Enumerate means to count. The Census Bureau goes far beyond the count, assuming the right to scrutinize the number of sick days we take from work, what kind of vehicle we drive and whether our toilets flush.
According to my Constitution, the census is to “enumerate” the people. As a good citizen, I’ll allow my government to do just that. I will stand up and be counted. Period.
Brenna Fay Rhodes grew up near Waco and is now raising her family here. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.orgExplore posts in the same categories: patriotism, politics