Libertarian Letter Campaign
febboy at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Aug 3 15:10:45 MDT 1997
Folks, the following was cut and pasted from a
Libertarian newsletter to which I subscribe,,,,
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"LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" PROJECT
FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
Watergate Office Building
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For information about the party: (800) 682-1776
August 1, 1997
Thank you for subscribing to the Libertarian Party's
announcement e-mail list. We hope you find that it's a great way to
keep informed about the party's activities and positions on the issues.
Starting today, we are inviting all subscribers to receive a
new regular feature: Letters to the Editor. The Libertarian Party will
be sending these letters out periodically to everyone on our e-mail
list [unless you specifically request not to receive them] and we
encourage you to submit them to your local paper under your name.
These letters will be shortened (250-word) versions of our
Readership surveys consistently show that the letters to the
editor section is one of the most popular sections of the newspaper.
That means that your letter can have a tremendous impact on public
opinion - and even help bring new members into the Libertarian Party.
The first letter, below, concerns the party's "Say No to Racial
Classifications" campaign. You might have already read the press
release about this campaign, which is designed to end the U.S.
government's list of "official" racial categories. (The release was
issued July 10 -- in case you missed it, we have attached a copy at the
end of this message.)
The goals of this campaign are:
* To build public awareness about the government's racial
classifications - and about how politicians exploit them to further
divide the nation along racial grounds.
* To generate positive publicity for the Libertarian Party.
* To ultimately abolish the government's use of racial
Our letters to the editor project is a key component of this
campaign, but we can't do it without your help. Please customize this
letter or edit it as you see fit, personalize it, and send it to your
Keep in mind that many editors reject form letters, or letters
that look like they're part of an organized campaign. That's why it's
so important to personalize your letter.
If you have the time, consider rewriting parts of it in your
own words, or adding some of your own ideas. Or, you can remove a
paragraph or two, and add a couple of the additional points that we've
included after the letter.
Regardless of how you edit the letter, try to limit it to 250
words. (Our version of the letter is 235 words.) Editors are far more
likely to print short letters than long ones.
Before sending your letter, please make sure that you have the
editor's correct name and fax number (or mailing address) which is
usually provided on the editorial/letters to the editor page.
Let us know when and where your letter is printed, by sending
a note to <hq at lp.org>; please include the name of the paper as well
as the city if that is not clear from the name.
-------------------- [start of letter] --------------------
Is your racial classification government-approved?
Many Americans don't know that the U.S. government has five
"official" racial classifications, which appear on the Census forms and
hundreds of other government documents. They are White, Black, American
Indian/Eskimo, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic.
Libertarians believe the government of a country dedicated to
liberty and equality under the law has no business asking Americans
about their race. That is why we have initiated our "Say No to Racial
Classifications" campaign, and we are asking every American to join. In
three years, when the 2000 census begins, we are encouraging all
Americans to boycott this system by refusing to disclose their race.
By boycotting the census question on race, you can help bring
the politicians' framework for "American Apartheid" crashing to the
You should also know that by boycotting the census question on
race, you risk being fined $100. That's right: Politicians and
bureaucrats so desperately want to divide us by race that they threaten
to punish us with a fine if we don't meekly go along with their scheme.
The fine is rarely imposed, but the fact that it exists at all
is offensive to Libertarians and everyone else striving to achieve a
more tolerant, colorblind nation.
So when Census 2000 rolls around, let these fill-in-the-blank
bureaucrats know that your race is none of the government's business.
We're all Americans - what else does the government need to know?
-------------------- [end of letter] --------------------
Additional points to consider adding to your letter:
* The U.S. government's official racial classifications are
eerily similar to those imposed by the racist government of South
Africa under apartheid: White, Black, Colored, and Indian. The
difference, of course, is that South Africa has abolished its official
racial designations - but American politicians stubbornly cling to
* The U.S. government imposed trade sanctions over a decade
ago to pressure the South African government to repeal its system of
racial classification, and Libertarians were delighted when that system
was overthrown. Wouldn't it be ironic if South Africa now imposed
sanctions against the United States for the same reason?
* Millions of Americans support abolishing these
classifications. According to a 1995 Newsweek poll, nearly half of all
blacks (48%) wanted the Census Bureau to stop collecting data on race,
as did 47% of whites.
* These racial classifications, which were imposed by the
Office of Management and Budget in 1977, are used by hundreds of
government agencies to treat Americans according to their racial
makeup. They are used to arrange low-interest loans, to enforce quotas
for college admissions - even to decide whom to hire and fire.
--------------- [original press release] ---------------
NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For release: July 10, 1997
For additional information:
George Getz, Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676 at CompuServe.com
Libertarian Party urges nationwide boycott
of government's "official" racial categories
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Libertarian Party has launched a national
campaign to abolish the government's system of racial classifications,
and is urging Americans to refuse to disclose their race on census
forms in the year 2000.
"For 20 long years, the U.S. government has demeaned every
American by pigeonholing us according to the color of our skin," said
the party's national chairman, Steve Dasbach. "In three years, when the
census takers ask about our race, we hope Americans will stand up and
say: No more. Tell these fill-in-the-blank bureaucrats that your race
is none of the government's business."
The party launched the campaign this week when the federal
government, after a three-year study, decided not to abolish its five
official racial classifications. Instead, government bureaucrats said
multiracial Americans should check several boxes, such as black and
white, on the 2000 census form.
The goals of the Libertarian Party's "Say No to Racial
Classifications" campaign are to build public awareness of how
politicians exploit racial classifications to further divide the nation
along racial grounds, and to eliminate them from all government forms,
"We're telling Americans: Stop and think before you check that
box," Dasbach said. "If millions of Americans withheld their racial
data from the government, the politicians' framework for American
Apartheid would crash to the ground."
To spread the word, the party is enlisting the support of a
network of activists and registered voters across the country and is
mounting a nationwide media blitz.
The government's current five "official" racial categories,
created by the Office of Management and Budget in 1977, are white,
black, American Indian/Eskimo, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic.
Federal agencies use the classifications to bestow benefits such as
jobs, low-interest loans, and college scholarships.
"Sadly, the government of a nation dedicated to liberty and
equality under the law is using arbitrary racial characteristics as a
wedge to pry Americans further apart," Dasbach said.
Even the courts are getting into the act, and have become
America's latest racial battleground, Dasbach noted.
In March, for example, an Egyptian immigrant implored a federal
court to change his government-mandated racial classification from
white to black. The man, Mostafa Hefny of Detroit, insists that he is
black because his ancestors come from the ancient black kingdom of
Nubia, which is now part of Egypt and Sudan. But the government insists
that he is white.
In an attempt to get himself reclassified as black, Hefny
explained to the court that his skin is darker than General Colin
Powell's, who is officially classified as black.
"Why is the government so obsessed with the color of Hefny's
skin?" Dasbach asked. "Because politicians are desperately fighting to
preserve racial categories so they can preserve their power to hand out
Dasbach encouraged American politicians to learn from other
nations with more progressive racial policies -- such as South Africa.
"A decade ago, the U.S. government imposed trade sanctions to
pressure the South African government to repeal its system of racial
classification called Apartheid," he said. "Wouldn't it be ironic if
South Africa, which has since repudiated government-sponsored racial
discrimination, now imposed sanctions against the United States for the
Fortunately, if the Libertarian Party's campaign is successful,
American politicians won't have to rely on a foreign government to
teach them racial tolerance, Dasbach said.
"Every single American can strike a blow for a colorblind
society by saying 'no' to the census takers and 'no' to racial
classifications," Dasbach said. "We're all Americans -- what else does
the government need to know?"
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