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#2982: Haitians and US Census (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

As the staff member of a community-based organization serving the Haitian 
community in Miami-Dade County, I must stress that an accurate count of 
Haitians living in this community is not simply an excercise of ehtnic 
pride. An count of Haitians will give us the means to best identify and 
assess the needs of our community.

It is not by accident that both Asian and Hispanic identities have been 
deconstructed for the purpose of the Census. The Asian  community in spite 
of its minority status (under 6% of total population) has successuly 
convinced the folks at the Census bureau that not all Asians are similarly 
situated.  For example the needs of Philipinos immigrants  or  of Laotians 
refugees are much more compelling that those of their more affluent 
Japenese-American counterparts.

In my opinion,the absence of reliable information about our community and 
the specificity of its needs makes delivery of services to this hard to 
reach population extremely dificult.

The Census is not really intended to gauge our level of ethnic pride and 
solidarity. It is instead used to measure and assess our numbers and more 
importantly the conditions under which we live. If we (Haitians)want to know 
who we are, where amd how we live,then we must write in HAITIAN.

We are instructing people who come to us for assistance in filling out the 
form to check Black on the short form and write-in Haitian for question #6.

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