January 4, 2010, - 3:31 pm

$340 Mill for Census “Rock Tour,” $80M for Arabic, Yiddish (?!) Census Ads (Most US Jews Speak English)

By Debbie Schlussel

I had to laugh, this morning, when I read my USA Today, and on the cover, was this article about how the U.S. Census Bureau is spending and “unprecedented” $340 million to promote the census in ads, cargo vans, and a “Census Portrait of America Road Tour.”  Stops at the Super Bowl, New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year–these Census folks are gonna be partying like members of Aerosmith.  And the new Census chief (about whose fuzzy math I’ve written) gets a free tax-paid Alaskan fishing trip.


I laughed not at the absurd amount of money (which is anger-inducing, not cause for laughter), but that $80 mill of it is being spent on ads to target certain “ethnic groups” in foreign languages.  Included in those foreign languages are Arabic and Yiddish.  While there are many locations in America, where Arab Muslims (not Arab Christians, who speak English quite well) cannot speak English, that’s not new.  In fact, we disgustingly pandered to Arab Muslims in the 2000 Census, with Arabic posters and ads in the most pro-Hezbollah neighborhoods of the Detroit area.

But Yiddish?  Most Jews in America speak English, and we participate in the Census as we always have.  And even the few Yiddish speakers left (it’s a dying Jewish language–a German-Hebrew hybrid), who are largely in Chassidic and other very religious Orthodox Jewish communities, speak English quite well.  We are not lingua-challenged and don’t need this bi-lingual BS.  We didn’t ask for this and we don’t need it.

It’s as if they are doing this and announcing it in order to give Arab Muslims a sop, when Americans get angry that they are wasting $80 to reach the Abdulmutallab, Arafat, and Nasrallah Friends Society so they can “be counted” to get more taxpayer money.  “Well, they’re spending the money on the JOOOOOS’ language, too!” And, frankly, that’s exactly why they are wasting tax money on this Yiddish business. So, we won’t “look down” on the “Religion of Peace” and the other divisions of the Obama voting and amnesty brigade at whom this multi-lingual waste of money is aimed. “But they’re doing it for the JOOOS!” It’s ridiculous.

The government’s unprecedented $340 million promotional blitz of the 2010 Census launches Monday with the debut of the Census Portrait of America Road Tour in New York City’s Times Square.

A 46-foot trailer, to be unveiled on NBC’s Today show, and 12 smaller cargo vans with 14-foot trailers will crisscross more than 150,000 miles nationwide through April to promote the benefits of responding to the 10-question Census.

They will stop at more than 800 events from local parades and festivals such as New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and San Francisco’s Chinese New Year celebration to national sporting events from the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500 to the NCAA Final Four.

“This thing is all over the place,” says Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy and chairman of the Census advisory committee on Hispanics. He jokes that “it might make people sick of the Census.”

This is just the beginning:

• $140 million on TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising, including $2.5 million for two ads in the Feb. 7 Super Bowl pregame show and a 30-second spot directed by Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show) and starring Ed Begley Jr.

• Roughly $80 million spent on ads will target racial and ethnic groups and non-English speakers in 28 languages. The bulk of it will pinpoint Hispanics, blacks, Asians and American Indians, but some ads will be in Arabic, Yiddish and other languages.

• Partners from Univision and Telemundo to Google and Best Buy will promote the Census.

• Census Director Robert Groves will help count the first American in the Inupiat village of Noorvik, Alaska, Jan. 25. The Census is done early in remote areas that have no road connections and where residents leave to fish and hunt after the spring thaw.

Most American companies can’t afford a Superbowl ad. That Taxpayers, Inc. is being forced to pay for one to promote what was supposed to be a simple count–not a giant bureaucracy to enable amnesty and the welfare state–is beyond ridiculous.

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14 Responses

I once heard a Jewish roommate talking to his mother on the phone in “Yiddish” (1980s). I know a little German and I’m pretty sure it was not Yiddish he was jabbering, it sounded more like pigeon German. I could tell exactly what he was saying. I wonder how many younger Jews think they know Yiddish when they really don’t.

JLin on January 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Why not Hebrew? I suspect the Arabic is targeted at Dearbornistan and communities like it around the nation.

NormanF on January 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Just curious. Does anyone ever verify the census counts? I am wondering if the Arabic says something like “file early and FILE OFTEN …”

I_AM_ME on January 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Perhaps US Jews should tell the Census Bureau that we neither want, nor need Yiddish promos to help fill out our forms. We are Americans, after all. My parents, Jews of Syrian background, never needed or asked for government forms in Arabic. My late father spoke five languages – English being just one. He didn’t know Yiddish.

Raymond in DC on January 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

NormanF, I assume Hebrew is on the list too.

When it comes to “Hey foreigner, learn the language” it seems our population as a whole dictates what is and isn’t acceptable. A hundred years ago, every immigrant wanted to learn the language so they could be accepted into the population. It was smiled upon in every area of the community. To help the country. To help ones self. To be a valued member of the society. So the Irish police man didn’t bonk you on the head with his billy-club because he didn’t understand you!

I don’t know exactly when the change happened (it seems to be a trend for the last 30 years) but now instead of learning the language to be a “good American,” foreigners are encouraged to maintain their own individual “heritage.” I put heritage in quotes because it really isn’t heritage that is being preserved but an unwavering (and unprecedented) desire to change the American landscape to their own liking. It’s not just Arabs looking for their Caliphate…it seems to be a trend in all segments of our imports. Obviously the huge (and ever expanding) Hispanic populace has made an impact too–but it seems they are not bent on our own destruction. Rather, they just want a small slice of the American pie.

I used to hate the phrase “love it or leave it” because it implies a rigid ideal that only one way works. As a rule, I prefer, “love it or change it.” There’s plenty of ways to approach life in America, but it appears our overly PC population’s idea of “love it or change it” refers to a whole new landscape in America. And it scares me that we have created a society that is so politically correct that it’s afraid to embrace it’s own identity.

Joe Schmo on January 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

When my Father went to school for the first time in the Bronx (either late 1930’s or early 1940’s) all he spoke was Yiddish. He was sent home until he learned English.

I_AM_ME on January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm

This is especially ironic when the State Department has had a recent history of limiting Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union (sic) and Russia on the grounds that Jews there were no longer persecuted.

Now that Obama and his cronies want to pander to the Arabs, it is especially duplicitous that they are pretending such great concern for Jews, when the State Department true to its history, and representing the Government as a whole, didn’t want them here in the first place. Of course this is just a smokescreen to cater to the Muslims.

Little Al on January 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Do they have ebonics as a language on the census? We have to be all inclusive, which means some of Odopey’s homies need a special block on the census.

Jarhead on January 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Where is the Congressional oversight?

Congress should be telling the census bureau that they over stepped their mandate and are spending tax dollars without authorization.

IN fact. most Federal Government agencies are out of control with spending our tax dollars for their own benefit.

ScottyDog on January 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

“I know a little German and I’m pretty sure it was not Yiddish he was jabbering, it sounded more like pigeon German. I could tell exactly what he was saying. I wonder how many younger Jews think they know Yiddish when they really don’t.”

Huh? My grandparents as well as parents spoke fluent Yiddish and it is VERY much like German. In fact my mother got A’s in German and told me she never opened a book.

Allen on January 5, 2010 at 12:30 am

    So what makes Yiddish… Yiddish then?

    JLin on January 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

My husband is Romanian. When we were living in Michigan I met a Romanian woman who had just arrived in the U.S. and knew maybe 10 words in English. Flash forward a couple of months and I was having a conversation with this woman in English at a party. What I do not understand is how she could learn English in that short amount of time, but some people who have lived here for YEARS can not seem to do this? Even when I was stationed in Germany for 2 years I learned enough German to ask basic questions when I went off post. English is our language here. If you choose to live here have some respect and learn the language. There is no excuse for laziness like that. This census is a joke.

Angela04 on January 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

What you don’t understand is that this ad campaign saves the country money. The law says everyone must respond to the census. So when people don’t, census takers have to go knock on doors. These people get paid time and mileage, and it gets very expensive. The ads encourage everyone to mail back their census forms. Mailing forms saves hundreds of millions of dollars over the personal visits.

Joseph Copsey on March 29, 2010 at 9:01 am

Are you kidding me? Another self-hating Jew? Yiddish is not dead, it’s growing. BTW your name is Yiddish…did you not know that or does that sortof take away from your false “Yiddish is dead” ideology?

I agree the census shouldn’t spend money on it but that is a whole ‘nother issue.

Are you kidding me? on June 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

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