CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. July 14, 2009: Two hundred and five years after the death of America`s greatest immigrant from the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton, the Caribbean immigrant bloc remains unable to accurately self-identify on the U.S. Census form.
Despite Hamilton`s contribution in the 1700s and the historic contribution of hundreds of other Caribbean nationals to the history of the United States since, Caribbean migrants are excluded from being able to tick a simple box on the U.S. Census form that would allow them to identify their Caribbean ancestry.
Hamilton may remain the face on the US 10 dollar bill and be quoted tremendously and cited continuously as the Founding Father, President George Washington`s aide and U.S. secretary of the treasury, but the Caribbean bloc that has come after him continues to be largely dismissed and ignored as insignificant in 2009.
Why? Mainly because without accurate numbers measured by the Census and detailed statistical data, you simply don`t count.
By contrast, other migrant groups who arrived in the U.S. after Hamilton and other Caribbean nationals, are granted this civil privilege while Caribbean Americans are being told to write in their nationality under `Some Other Race` in order to count in 2010.
So what would Alexander Hamilton, if he were alive today, as the U.S. Census Bureau gears up for another survey come 2010, do?
Given Hamilton`s pioneering skills and the inroads he managed to create two hundred years ago, there is no way that this issue would have existed or that Hamilton would have allowed for the continued dismissal of the community.
Being `New York`s Caribbean son,` as the NY Post pointed out Monday, a day after his death, Hamilton, were he alive today, would not have sat idly by and allowed the U.S. Census to dismiss Caribbean Americans as they do.
Hamilton would not let them and they would not even try. Well the sprit and the accomplishments of Hamilton do live on. It`s time for the U.S. Census to acknowledge and recognize Hamilton and ALL Caribbean nations in the United States the country Caribbean born Alexander Hamilton did so much to create and prospers today because of him.
Not only should the historic Caribbean Count bill, advocated for by CaribID and introduced by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke in the house, and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand, be allowed to become law, but come 2010, every Caribbean national must take pride in sending a clear message that they want to be counted accurately by filling out returning the 2010 Census form, ticking `No Not Hispanic` and writing in their nationality or ancestry under `Some Other Race in Question 9.`
Hamilton`s legacy cannot be in vain and his proud heritage must be allowed to be measured by those who like Hamilton, are of Caribbean ancestry.