Perspective: Bad Question, Worse Timing

Jul 12, 2019

As an unabashed liberal, I've always found it ironically amusing when a position I take is supported and endorsed by a conservative. That was the case recently with David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times, who appears each Friday on NPR's All Things Considered. 

Discussing the proposed citizenship question on our upcoming census, Brooks began by stating it would be within the scope of any administration to request such a question. No surprise there. 


But it was his next comment that really caught my attention. In his words, "You can't do it at a moment when the White House is really terrorizing principle, it's not a bad thing to have the question. It's only a bad thing in these circumstances." 


Personally, I find the pretextual reason for the question -- a supposed concern with upholding voting rights -- simply laughable. Numerous Republican politicians have engaged in voter suppression, not voter protection. With recent stories surfacing about ICE using DMV records in some states to target immigrants, one could hardly expect census confidentiality to be maintained for very long. The question isn't needed, and certain states -- including Illinois -- risk a serious undercount of residents if it is implemented. 


I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.