June 11, 2011

"Mapping America" excludes Indians

Educator Debbie Reese reports on a New York Times mapping feature:

"Others:  31%"The New York Times has an interactive mapping feature called Mapping America available where you can "Browse local data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey..." to see the distribution of racial and ethnic groups in an area of the US by searching on a zip code.

Data is presented as dots that represent specific groups of people. There are green dots for Whites, blue dots for Blacks, yellow dots for Hispanics, red dots for Asians, and gray dots for Others.

There is no dot for American Indians.
She tells what happens if you point at a Native location:When I hover the mouse over the area south of Santa Fe where Kewa Pueblo (formerly known as Santo Domingo) is, here's what the box says:

Census tract 9402
Population estimate: 3,574
Whites: 1%
Blacks: 0%
Hispanics: 3%
Asians: 0%
Others: 96%

In that box, "Others: 96%" is tribal members of another federally recognized tribal nation.
As a commenter adds:When 31-96% of a population comes up as "other," that should be a clue to those who created this handy feature for the Times that something is wrong with their categories.(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 6/8/11.)

Comment:  Ya think?

For the umpteenth time, we see our society's attempts to wipe Indians from our collective memory. Either we omit them altogether (No Indians in On Stranger Tides, Wikipedia:  Native Journalists Aren't Notable). Or we include them but only as primitive people of the past--as savage terrorists, warriors, or mascots. Is it any wonder that 70% of Americans think Indians are extinct?

For more on the subject, see Unidentified Reservations in Google Maps.

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