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Saturday Night Card Game (Nikki Haley is Veit like me)

Saturday Night Card Game (Nikki Haley is Veit like me)

This is the latest in a serieson the use of the race card for political gain:

Democrats in South Carolina are angry (h/t Instapundit) that Gov. Nikki Haley checked the box “white” on a voter registration card a decade ago:

The South Carolina Democratic Party tried Thursday to make Haley out as a liar for checking “white” as her race on her 2001 Lexington County voter registration application.

But the application had no specific option for “Indian.” Her options were “white, black/African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American or other.”

… Dick Harpootlian, the Democratic Party chairman, said whether Haley listed her race as white or not doesn’t matter to him. The point is, he said, that the governor has a pattern of twisting the truth.

According to the linked article, Haley may have been correct in checking the “white” box, or at least she was not obviously wrong:

Chris Whitmire, spokesman for the State Election Commission, said he knows of no state election law or a definition by the agency for the term “white.”

The commission doesn’t attempt to verify a person’s race, but that data is used by U.S. Department of Justice to enforce fair voting practices. Collecting the information is a requirement of state law, Whitmire said. If a person checks “other,” he or she is asked to specify.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “Caucasian” as the “characteristic of a race of humankind native to Europe, North Africa, and southwest Asia and classified according to physical features — used especially in referring to persons of European descent having usually light skin pigmentation.”

[Todd] Shaw, the USC professor, said a person from southern Asia, where India is located, may more often check the box Asian than white. The issue has been the subject of many studies.

A writer at Mother Jones with an Indian-sounding name tries to use the 2001 voter form against Gov. Haley in light of a recent voter i.d. law passed in South Carolina:

But even though she didn’t exactly commit voter fraud, her self-race-mis-classification seems to undermine her credibilty as someone who wants to prevent people from lying on their way to the voting booth.

While Gov. Haley demonstrates the problem of whether any particular box fits, there also is the problem where multiple boxes could fit:

The federal Department of Education would categorize Michelle López-Mullins — a university student who is of Peruvian, Chinese, Irish, Shawnee and Cherokee descent — as “Hispanic.” But the National Center for Health Statistics, the government agency that tracks data on births and deaths, would pronounce her “Asian” and “Hispanic.” And what does Ms. López-Mullins’s birth certificate from the State of Maryland say? It doesn’t mention her race.

Ah, the box checking police have checked in.  Maybe it’s time they check out and stopped.  We have reached the point of absurdity, were the box checkers count things such as the racial make-up of first and third base coaches in baseball, and the race-card players count the numbers of non-whites at Sarah Palin events and Tea Party rallies.

As I have posted before, Why don’t we just stop counting?:

Why don’t we just stop counting?  What purpose does it serve anymore, other than to perpetuate racial divides and entitlements based on criteria which no longer have meaning.

My neighbors are a mixed race couple one of whom was born here and is white, while the other immigrated here from South America.  Both are physicians.  Their children bear the Anglo-father’s last name, they spoke only English at home, speak English without an accent, went to private schools and elite northeastern colleges.  Their skin color is no darker than most of their schoolmates, and they do not even “look Hispanic.”

Yet one day when one of those kids was applying to college a post card mistakenly was put in our mailbox from the multicultural recruitment office of an Ivy League university inviting the neighbor’s kid to visit a campus multicultural event.  I assume the child had checked the Hispanic box on the application.  Why does that child get recruited while mine do not?

If if we are going to mandate racial counts, why not leave a blank space so people can self-describe, like my great grandmother did on her marriage license:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Freddy Hill | July 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm

So you are veit and I’m blanco and Haley’s सफ़ेद. There may be a joke out there… A veit, a blanco and a सफ़ेद walk into a bar…

My son is the product of a white father (me) and a beautiful black mother (my wife). It is an evil that there are those like Dick Harpootlian who will still try to play on racial and ethnic hatreds for political gain.

When my son’s school sent forms for us to sign that asked us to identify his race, I refused. It is none of the race-baiters at the Department of Education’s business.

I am so checking African American next opportunity rather than white. After all the current Science theory has the entire human race originating in Africa. I may even apply for a scholarship.

This classification is almost as dumb as having the form read Human/Not human.

tigger23505 | July 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

A friend of mine visited South Africa several years ago. One of her stops was a Museum with a demonstration of the rather complex definition of race used during apartheid. In South Africa they were smart enough to stop tracing ethnicity. I do my part to fnord the system by checking other and then amplifying my response with the word human.

My goal is simple — I only have two questions about anyone a) Is this someone of good character?; b) Can they do the job? If both of these are true then it doesn’t matter to me if they are red, blue, green, Vulcan or Kzinti.

    Steve in reply to tigger23505. | July 31, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I hope for your sake that you don’t hire for food-service…I personally feel that a Kzinti would not be a suitable employee. Especially if your customers express liberal anti-hunting attitudes and then order rabbit food.

    Actually… I think a Kzinti might run afoul of any HR dept in mid to large companies; they’re apt to be just a wee bit non-pc what with the knives and claws.. and the ‘creating a hostile’ environment sort of stare as if one were but a piece of meat.

I’m Native American.

What? I was born in the United States (of a combination of granparentage from about 6 different countries, including aboriginals of this one), so I’m a native of America.

Who came up with the idea of having to identify one’s race on a voter registration card anyway?

Right. Enough with the race thing. Let’s decide that we’re “diversified” and refuse to participate in this nonsense any longer. The college admissions and other affirmative action programs remain a problem, so for those, I think it’s fair for anyone born in the U.S. to declare themselves to be a “native American”.

When do I get my own box labeled “Mutt”?

Just like that line from the movie “Stripes”, my forefathers were kicked out of every decent country. The only reason I’m not Australian is that they were able to escape before being thrown in jail.

Cowboy Curtis | July 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm

If a Cherokee sect moved to Africa and had three generations of Cherokee kids and then migrated back to the US, would the offspring be Native American or African American in democrat eyes? Does the answer change if they register as republicans?

How about under “other” some of us start putting down “Native African-American”. That will bunch their britches.

She looks “white” to me.

Henry Bowman | July 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

What everyone should be angry about is that the voter registration system even asks the question: it’s irrelevant to the qualification of the voter.

In an age when people can choose their gender based on whatever moods strikes them at the moment, why can others do the same with race? She’s cutting edge. Those who deny her right to identify with the race she chooses in that moment are bigots.

She registered to vote at the DMV, the computer filled in the form based on her DL info. As I understand it the boxes on the DL application don’t quite match the ones on the motor voter forms. By law the DMV is not allowed to release the details of her records with them.
Only a racist would care which box was checked on the forms.

Funny if it were not so pathetic. People from the Indian subcontintent are unquestionably of the same racial group as Europeans. I suppose they generally don’t mind referring to themselves as Asian when they come here, although Asian manifestly is not a racial designation. And if you told a Brahmin Indian in Mumbai that he was not white, you would not have been very welcome.

Draw your finger across the map from India, through Pakistan and Afghanistan, then through Iran and up the Caucasus and down again to the Mediterranean — all white people. Only as a matter of politics are they “brown” — and that’s not a census choice.

Nemo's omen | July 31, 2011 at 1:04 am

My gradeschooler never heard of “black” and “white” until third grade when extensive black history was taught (it was a majority black school.) Up to then she described her friends as either brown or beige.

Summer months I write in “tan” and wintertime “wan” but I’m really northern Euro-American who browns so easily that I wonder if the family tree in the front of an old Bible may’ve been pruned at some point to keep it ruly.

Alan Kellogg | July 31, 2011 at 1:42 am

When I was growing up people from India were known as white. So the lady in question is being honest when she registers as white. Her enemies are a bunch of small minded bigots.

LukeHandCool | July 31, 2011 at 2:04 am

Divisive madness, thy name is racial checkboxes.

This is a pointless issue; the real issue is, why have check boxes? What does it serve? It serves the race pimps like Democrats.

Which box is checked on Obama’s voting card? Or, since he is known as a Chicago politician, voting cards? White, Black, African-American, Other? Has anyone ever seen his voting card? Or cards?

Nikki Haley can self-identify as anything she wants. She could even have identified herself as a gay white male.

The people complaining about her self-identification are either naive, stupid or cynical. No one comes to America wanting to identify as non-white. That is bottom rung group designation. Plus, Haley is not part of any group that has been historically persecuted (Jim Crow, lynching, etc.) by white people in the good ol’ USA.

She lives comfortably as a white woman, so why would she want to identify as non-white? That would be cynical exploitation on her part. She’s being honest about her status.

These days have gotta be hard on Tiger Woods, who rightfully chafes at What are you questions as to how he racially identifies.

He used to be able to check the “Golden boy” box for color and gender and have no one question his honesty.

We are all African-American, it’s just that some of us took a more indirect route.

In all seriousness, Haley is exactly right; she is a Caucasian, also known as ‘White’ on the dated form she completed. Her Democratic pests are either/both ignorant/dishonest… take your pick.

Finally, now that a Black man from a broken home has reached the Presidency, can we acknowledge that the time for Affirmative Action is over… if there ever was a time?

[…] story of Big Nanny Government will convince you.I’m not quite sure you can play the race card on someone with a hand full of them, but darned if Democrats won’t try.America is a car nation. Automobiles are as much a part of […]

We adopted our daughter from India. Both the governments of India and the US desginated her caucasian.

Professor, I wonder whether your bobbe was having a bit of a joke at the expense of the system; could she have meant that she was “veit, veit fun vern gerechnt als a vaisse” (far, far from being considered a white)?

Alan Kellogg: When I was growing up people from India were known as white. Where did you grow up? Where I grew up they were definitely not counted as white, though by the time I grew up there this no longer mattered. But a prominent conservative activist who’s originally from India once told me that until the law was changed (shortly after I was born), her (white) husband had to go in every year to apply for an extension on her visa.

I wonder what block Obama checked. Since his mother was white if he check black he was half lying.

Juba Doobai! | July 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Indians are Aryans. So, in their view, no matter how black they are, they consider themselves white.

Juba Doobai! | July 31, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Then they come to America and discover, eh, no so fast.