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Letter: New census request seems divisive

The official U.S. Census form, pictured on March

The official U.S. Census form, pictured on March 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images / Paul J. RIchards

The article "Census urged to dig deeper into ethnicity" [News, Nov. 25] stated that civil rights groups want the U.S. Census Bureau to collect and publish the most detailed, accurate data possible for all race and ethnicity groups by capturing more information.

Samer Khalaf, national president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said that a new category for the Middle Eastern-North African population was needed for greater accuracy. The group cannot get sufficient funding to address its unique needs, he said, without better numbers.

Unique needs? Shouldn't we all be striving to be Americans? Isn't that what we tell all the immigrants? What is happening to the melting pot?

So much for "E Pluribus Unum" -- from many, one. Perhaps we should change our motto to "Every man (or woman) for himself."

Robert F. LaPorta, Dix Hills