Wrath of the Math: Understanding the Census (Pg 4)

Content hears this sort of thing all the time. “None of the information collected by the Census is made available to any other federal agency,” she states to whoever will listen.

2000 marked the highest participation rate of any Census—yet only 67% of households were counted. For 2010, the Census is pulling out all the stops to make sure that number is surpassed. 

“People don’t realize that by not filling out and mailing in their Census forms they may lose political representation,” says Tony Farthing, New York’s Regional Census Director. “Once that seat is gone, it’s gone for 10 years. That’s scary.” Having been with the Census for 32 years, Farthing remembers having doors slammed in his face in Black neighborhoods. “African Americans are a bit tougher to reach,” he acknowledges. “Prior to the 2000 Census, there was no race-specific advertisement. Now we run ads in Black media and are spending $300 million on the 2010 ad campaign.”

But judging by today’s board meeting of the Coalition for the Improvement of Bed-Stuy, there’s still plenty of work to be done. The group of mostly older businesspeople, shop owners, local politicians and activists is seated at a huge U-shaped table bombarding Content with questions. It’s her last meeting of what has been a jam-packed day. She tells them she’s come to seek their assistance because they are pillars of the community. Still, Content encounters the same skepticism that filled the air at the Justice Corps meeting.

“Has the Census thought about doing the 10-question survey online?” asks a man in a blazer. 

“Taking the Census online is something that was considered but we feel that in order to protect people’s privacy, mail is the best way to handle it,” answers Content. Poised and articulate, she looks like a student being quizzed by professors.

“Although the Census is supposed to be anonymous, is it actually easing the fears of people?” asks a woman looking over the edge of her eyeglasses. “Especially those who feel the government may use this information to come after them?”

“The Census doesn’t share any of the information it receives with other government agencies,” says Content once more. “I can’t even discuss the information I learn or else I will face five years in jail or a fine of $250,000.” Sounding like a salesman offering her best pitch, she adds: “We take your privacy very seriously.”

“Brooklyn has a high incarceration rate,” another man asks. “How will those in prison be counted?”

“Unfortunately,” she replies, “ they will be counted in the city where they are imprisoned.” The room groans, understanding that the thousands of Brooklyn residents doing time in remote upstate towns equal millions of dollars being taken away from the inner city. (One in 15 Black men 18 years and older are in prison.) New York state has more than 100 jail and prison facilities, the majority located in rural and suburban areas which receive more federal funding because the Census population includes inmates.

Another hand raises: “But what about immigrants? I live in a heavily West Indian community and I know that is a fear, being deported.”

“Look,” says Content, “if the government really wants to find you, they aren’t going to wait every ten years.” Her face is deadpan, but a few board members chuckle. What they don’t find funny is the map of Brooklyn detailing, in shades of brown, orange and red, the communities with the worst response rates during the 2000 census. Bed-Stuy, where this meeting is taking place, scored dismally— less than 40% participation.

“I don’t believe those numbers,” a woman chimes in, her disbelief drawing nods of agreement from some in the room. “How do I know that more people didn’t take part and the government isn’t lying about the numbers?”

It’s moments like this that remind Content she’s got a tough job whose success won’t be measurable for years to come. For every person she gets through to, there’s another who’s still not sold.

“If you don’t believe those numbers then that’s a larger issue,” says Content. “One that isn’t going to be resolved here.” 


Chloé A. HIlliard the Managing Editor of VIBE. Her work has appeared in Essence, The Source, Vibe and the Village Voice.

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Kanye West Claims Drake Threatened Him And His Family

Things are growing more intense between Kanye West and Drake. Only hours after Kanye's first rant, he hopped back on Twitter on Dec. 13, for part two. Only this time, Ye alleged that Drake threatened him.

In the second part of his Twitter rant, Kanye claimed that his phone call with Drizzy took a violent turn. "Drake called trying to threatened me," he wrote. "So Drake if anything happens to me or anyone from my family you are the first suspect. So cut the tough talk."

It's unclear what Drake may have said to Kanye, but the Kids See Ghosts artist definitely seemed to be bothered by the situation.

Ye also touched on their previous feud, in which he claimed Drake was taunting him in public, but would refuse to sit down and hash out their differences. "How you gone text Kris but not speak to me," he said, referencing his mother-in-law Kris Jenner.

As previously mentioned, Kanye's latest tirade comes shortly after the rapper put Drake on blast for not returning his phone calls. He stopped tweeting for a short period when he announced that Drake had finally given him a call.

While Kanye stated that he would not physically harm Drake like "MTV boxing," he did say that he would not be bullied or threatened by him any longer. "You trying to be a bully. I never been bullied in my life and I never will be," he said. "That’s why I made it this far in a pink polo."

Check out Kanye's Twitter rant below.

Drake called trying to threatened me

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

So drake if anything happens to me or anyone from my family you are the first suspect So cut the tough talk

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

It just doesn’t sit right on my spirit

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

He be texting people I know like it’s cool But won’t sit and talk with me

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

There would never be a drake without a Kanye west so never come out your mouth with a threat

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

We both too high profile for you to actually do something to me

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

You [email protected] people with mental health issues

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

You say all this shut to me but won’t say none of that to J prince

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

Talk tough to real gangsters bro

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

You trying to be a bully. I never been bullied in my life and I never will be. That’s why I made it this far in a pink polo

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

I’m up for talking. We need to show all of these fans that black men [email protected] without someone ending up dead or in jail

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

We need to show the world that we will speak without someone ending up dead or in jail

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

How you gone text Kriss but not speak to me

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Drake I’m not going to physically fight you like it’s MTV boxing

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

Nobody scared of anything

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

Leave me and my family alone bro

— ye (@kanyewest) December 14, 2018

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Jamie McCarthy

Pharrell And Robin Thicke To Pay $5 Million In "Blurred Lines" Lawsuit

Marvin Gaye's estate has finally settled its lawsuit against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke regarding their 2013 hit single "Blurred Lines." A federal judge reportedly ordered the duo to fork over nearly $5 million in damages to the Gaye family, Billboard reports.

According to a ruling from Judge John A. Kronstadt, Thicke, Williams and William's company More Water From Nazareth Publishing Inc. will each have to pay $2,848,846.50 in damages. Thicke will have to pay an additional $1,768,191.88 and Williams and his publishing company will pay another $357,630.96 to the Gaye family in separate payments regarding their lawsuit. In total, the damages amount to $4,983,766.85.

The Gaye estate is also entitled to receive interest on the damages against each party and will receive a  running royalty of half the "Blurred Lines" revenue.

As previously reported, Marvin Gaye's estate filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Williams and Thicke back in 2013. They claimed their single sampled Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" without permission. Both Williams and Thicke's legal team attempted to get the case thrown out but were denied an appeal in Mar. 2018.

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Oprah Responds To Viral Video Of Her Eating Unseasoned Chicken

A hilarious old video of Oprah Winfrey making an uncomfortable face as she dives into a piece of unseasoned chicken has been circulating the Internet all week. While these sort of silly videos wouldn't usually garner a response from the billionaire, Oprah surprised everyone when she shared a video explaining the chicken-eating experience and her initial reaction.

To give you some context, the video is a clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, in which O invited her guest Anna Ginsberg to make her award-winning chicken dish. After one bite, it became clear that Oprah wasn't too pleased with the chicken's bland taste. She even asked at the time if she could add a little seasoning.

I often think about the time Oprah did a cooking segment with a woman whose chicken recipe won $1 million, and Oprah's jaw dropped when she tasted it and realized the lady didn't even add seasoning pic.twitter.com/rfs7PS1Jc3

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) December 9, 2018

Now, more than 10 years later, Oprah is setting the record straight. In her new video posted on Instagram on Thursday (Dec. 13), she noted that she likes to provide a pleasurable experience for her guests but also live in her truth. On that particular day, she was presented with a dilemma. "I was having a moment of trying to decide: Do I want her to have a great time? What is my real moment of truth?" she said. "Because the truth for me was that I'm used to having salt and pepper on my chicken. That's just the truth...That's what I was thinking, 'This chicken needs some salt and pepper.'"

So that's that; Oprah has spoken. She may have played it off at the time, but like many others, she would prefer her chicken with seasoning.


View this post on Instagram


Over the weekend, a 2006 video of @oprah tasting an *interesting* chicken dish made its rounds online. We asked the O of O, what REALLY went through her mind as the cameras were on her—and she answered. Swipe left if you haven’t seen the hysterical video! #tbt

A post shared by O, The Oprah Magazine (@oprahmagazine) on Dec 13, 2018 at 7:13am PST

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