WaPo reports on increase in "incidents involving assaults or threats" on census workers

Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

Not sure how I missed this, but the Washington Post reported last week:

Since they began making follow-up house calls in early May, census takers have encountered vitriol, menace and flashes of violence. They have been shot at with pellet guns and hit by baseball bats. They have been confronted with pickaxes, crossbows, and hammers. They've had power lawn mowers pushed menacingly toward them, and patio tables thrown their way. They have been nibbled by a duck, bitten by pit bulls and chased by a pack of snarling dogs.

Some days, being cursed at seems part of the job description.

So far, the Census Bureau has tallied 379 incidents involving assaults or threats on the nation's 635,0000 census workers, more than double the 181 recorded during the 2000 census. Weapons were used or threatened in a third of the cases.


Among the more troubling were incidents that arose from a resident's seething resentment that anyone from the government would seek their personal information.

Some people pointedly mentioned President Obama.

While conducting follow-ups in an upscale Seattle neighborhood, Grover Ellis said he came across a woman who considered him an agent of Obama, not the U.S. government.

"The idea of the census just enraged her," said Ellis, 64, stressing that the overwhelming majority of the people he met were welcoming and responsive. "They way she saw the census, she was required to help Obama. And she wasn't going to do anything to help out Obama."

Now where could all this "hostility" be coming from?


Census 2010
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