April 3rd, 2010
02:19 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama's Census form – signed, sealed, delivered

President Obama checked the box labeled 'Black, African Am., or Negro' on his Census form.
President Obama checked the box labeled 'Black, African Am., or Negro' on his Census form.

Washington (CNN) – President Obama last week urged Americans to fill out their Census forms and, as a way of setting an example for the rest of the country, he filled one out himself.

The White House press office even released a photo of the President filling out the ten-question form in the Oval Office.

And in completing the form, President Obama made official what we have long known: He is the nation's first African-American president.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that the President checked the box labeled "Black, African Am., or Negro" when asked his race.

Like many Americans, Obama – the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas – could have selected multiple races, but there is no check box for Americans that consider themselves multi-racial.

The Census first started collecting data on race in 1790, and according to the Census bureau, the question "is key to implementing many federal laws and is needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act."


Filed under: Census • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. GetOverIt

    Not sure why this is necessarily news, but it is pretty cool.

    April 3, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Jesus Francisco

    As an American, I am proud that we have a President who just happens to be Black. Being born of a white mother and a black father gives him special insight into the struggles of those who are outside of the box of race. I only wish that he was proud of all the same-sex couples in America and respect their desire to get married.

    April 3, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Glen Shouse Jr.

    I have a biracial son and on my census form for him I checked both black and white. They can add that one up howevery they want to.

    April 3, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. PL

    Irony of ironies.
    The other half of his race birthed him, raised him; now blanked out.

    April 3, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Susan

    Given that there are so many mixed racial people in the U.S., the census bureau might want to add that as a sub-category; this would be a way to still compare from year to year, but get a better portrait of the racial background of the country.

    April 3, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Jim

    President Obama is a human being and effective leader in these turbulent times. I am proud that he represents through his heritage all humanity.

    April 3, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Nate from Atlanta

    I don't care what box Obama checks as long as does what I voted him in to do.

    April 3, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Testify

    Good man. He is doing what alot of good Americans are doing. Setting a good example.

    April 3, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Doug

    Liberals are so obsessed with race, its pathetic but that is their nature and at the core of their beliefs and ideology, its all about division.

    When libs have to go to Palin's speeches and pretend to be a conservative so they can then scream the N word to then screami about non-existent racism on their lie and hate fest lamestream media, you know that they are the last party or people that decent, honest Americans align themselves with.

    Almost every lib is obsessed with calling someone a racist, their desire could be so easily met with a simple purchase of a mirror.

    April 3, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Mare Signor

    So he doesn't recognize his white heritage??????????????????? I think you should mark all that applies. I think dis-honors his mother!

    April 3, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. jason

    "And in completing the form, President Obama made official what we have long known: He is the nation's first African-American president."

    what, was he unofficially the first african-american president? do the census forms officially make us one race or another? is this really newsworthy?

    April 3, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. FM

    Is this new? Of course not! Why then put it in the News Category?

    April 3, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Does anyone else see something wrong with an official government form that still uses the word "negro"???

    April 3, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Diane

    Is there a box for mixed or multiracial? I filled my census out and don't remember but I have mixed grandchildren and want them to be proud of both their white and african american heritage. Why do they have to pick between one or the other, they are both.

    April 3, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. yen

    What was not clear is-is African American not a Negro? Is Negro not African American?

    April 3, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. afp

    Census needs to move into the 21st century. I would say a large percentage of my patients are multiracial (Asian-Black, Black-Hispanic, Hispanic-White, etc....). Kind of throws medical data-bases out of the window – now I need to look at risk factors for all racial groups represented within the patient that is sitting in my chair. Can get very convoluted.

    We are truly a melting pot. Maybe in another 1000 years we will truly be "one" people if our world can survive its pettiness.

    April 3, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Paul

    There are only 3 races in the world. Caucasian, Negroid or Mongoloid. White, Black, African American, Asian and Latino aren't races. They are ethnic groups based on culture and language.

    April 3, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Recently Employed by Federal Stimulus Spending

    Yes, conservatives...our President is black...get over it!

    April 3, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Angie

    We are proud of President Obama. He is a brilliant man who is doing an outstanding job as President. I can't wait to re-elect him in 2012.

    April 3, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Guy

    Great!

    April 3, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    anything else would be a slap in the face to his base

    April 3, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Jim

    The form needs to reflect reality. "Multi racial" is a fact for many people today.

    April 3, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. aminah

    I thought that information provided to the census is supposed to be confidential and protected by law? So why is this a story or does this law not apply to the president?

    April 3, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Dale

    Why does every story on the cenus keep saying there is no multi-racial box? My form clearly said "mark one or more of the following races" seems clear enough to me!

    April 3, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Jim Cain

    I found the census offensive – all it wanted to know was how many people were in the household and detailed information about their race. I think 'multi-racial' should have been the only choice. It is distressing that race 'is the key to implementing many federal laws.'

    April 3, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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