MASC continually advocates for policies that serve the interests of the multiracial community. Visit this page regularly to remain current with MASC’s stand on issues critical to mixed race people.
Office of Management and Budget
Listening session of updates to Policy Directive No. 15 (Directive No. 15): Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity
CLICK HERE for comments made.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2022
MASC’s STATEMENT ON ARGUMENTS BEFORE FEDERAL COURT BY THE STATES OF ALABAMA AND LOUISIANA
Multiracial Americans absolutely rejects the cynical political argument by the States of Alabama and Louisiana to not accept black people as black if they identify with more than one race or Latino for the purposes of setting congressional district boundaries. Before the US Supreme Court and lower courts, the States of Alabama and Louisiana tried to argue that their congressional representative district maps were not discriminatory against black people in part because mixed-race black people were not actually black. To be specific, Louisiana officials called the current legal interpretation of mixed-race black people as being black to be an “independent legal error warranting this Court’s intervention,” as reported by National Public Radio.
We insist that the US Supreme Court and all lower courts respect US Supreme Court precedent and Office of Management and Budget guidelines that direct mixed-race people to be counted among singular race reporting groups for the purposes of enforcing provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Failing to do so causes harm against multiracial people on multiple dimensions.
The proposed policy by the States is based on the erroneous assumption that multiracial people cease to be members of the communities from which they were birthed. Identity is not a mutually exclusive zero-sum game. Multiracial identity is certainly a valid form of identification, but Multiracial Americans has been advocating for decades the ability to simultaneously identify with multiple groups at the same time. In fact, it is generally considered more psychologically healthy to identify with all of one’s heritages.
Psychological damage may also occur when multiracial people are questioned about their loyalties if identifying as multiracial may result in harm to singular racial communities, especially people of color. The irony is that it is not self-identification that determines discrimination. Studies, case law, and common sense establish that it is the perception of someone’s race by the perpetrator of discriminatory acts that determines what happens to people.
Finally, using multiracial people as political pawns in this way can take us back in time as a nation to dark days when individuals had to quantify their identity in numerical terms. Black ancestry was used to deny people their rights under a policy colloquially known as the “one drop rule” assigning multiracial people to solely a black identity. American Indians were treated in a similar but reverse methodology where minimal Indian ancestry could lead to the denial of benefits meant for Indians such as access to reservation land. Multiracial people have been the victims of wielders of privilege and control. The States of Alabama and Louisiana are seeking to perpetuate this awful tradition.
MASC conducted a study of agencies in California for compliance to California Government Code section 8310.9 that mandates agencies that report racial or ethnic data to the state must:
1) Allow for multiple response
2) Report number for each race in combination with other races and two or more total
The report, titled Half Measures, is available for download with supporting data HERE. The provisions of California Government Code section 8310.9 become effective by January 1, 2022. No agencies were found compliant
MASC joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and PolicyLink to develop recommendations for the benefits of racial disaggregation to improve health outcomes. Racial disaggregation is the collection of racial data using finely defined racial categories rather than the roll-up of identity into broadly defined groups.
Please see the findings of the report here : https://www.policylink.org/our-work/community/health-equity/data-disaggregation
2016 to 2017
The Census Bureau has been developing updated Federal standards for the collection of racial data. During open comment periods MASC submitted comments and encouraged the public to submit their own.
MASC has prepared the following policy recommendations for consideration:
1) We call upon the Office of Management and Budget to revise standards to allow for mixed Latino and non-Latino identification.
2) We call upon all federal agencies and federally funded agencies, schools, and programs that collect racial demographic information to be in compliance with Office of Management and Budget Directive No. 15.
3) We call upon all corporations (for profit and non-profit) that collect racial demographic information to adopt a methodology that respects multiracial identity.
4) We call upon the California Department of Finance to convene a racially diverse advisory committee, including person(s) of mixed heritage, to review their methodology for tabulating racial demographics.
MASC will share results and data following the 2020 census release