• Conflicting Reports

Census Worker Lynching – Anti-Census Fury?

Authorities Eyeing “Anti-Government Sentiment”

The FBI and Kentucky State Police are investigating whether the lynching of a census worker in rural Kentucky is an anti-government attack. The body of 51-year-old Bill Sparkman was found hanging from a tree in a remote cemetery on September 12. The AP reports that the word “Fed” was scrawled on the victim’s chest — although authorities are not saying what implement was used. The killing of the census worker occurred in Clay County where the Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews.

The motive for the killing — and whether Sparkman was targeted because he was a census worker — have not been determined. Police point out that there is a lot of drug activitiy in the area — particularly the manufacturing of methamphetimine. However, they are also looking at the possibility that the murder could be connected to Sparkman’s part-time work with the the Census Bureau, where he would go door-to-door to collect information

The 2010 census has become an issue for the right-wing in this country — led most notably by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who has said she is willing to break the law by refusing to provide census information to the governement. Bachmann has also whipped-up fear by suggesting that the Obama Administration is collecting the information for nefarious purposes. In an interview on Fox New in June Bachmann said that census information was used to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II.

If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up.

Republican Senator Lamar Smith of Texas was among a group of senators who held a news conference to criticize the administration’s handling of the 2010 Census — Smith calling it a “threat to democracy”:


Republican Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz is outraged at how the administration is handling the census. And on the stimulus vote — he wants names:

An excellent round-up on the extreme right-wing attacks on the census can be found at the Immelman for Congress website.

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