I don't want to be in that number...
Clearly Mr. Sparkman's terrible death is not covered by that condescending cliche "teachable moment," i.e., an opportunity to learn and grow from police imbecility (the Gates case) or thuggish behavior (the Joe Wilson episode). This does not mean, however, that some good may not come of it, in the same way that the murder of Emmett Till energized the civil rights movement in the 1950s. I don't believe the teabigots have thought this all the way through.
Contrary to the voices in many people's heads, the census is not a terrorist plot but a regular event mandated by the Constitution (Article I, Section 2). The founders wanted to be sure that, within the very narrow strictures they had created, the apportionment of Representatives would be as democratic as possible. Anticipating population growth and westward expansion, they provided for a census every ten years. Today the census determines not only representation but federal funding for the states. So what happens if (hypothetically speaking) the people who keep electing Michelle Bachmann decide they don't want to be counted? They don't have to be counted. The Constitution says the government has to conduct a census, but it provides no legal penalties for refusing to cooperate. All that happens (still hypothetically speaking) is that when the census is published, the Minnesota legislature studies the numbers and re-draws the map, and Bachmann's district disappears. Michelle goes back to spritzing perfume at Nordstrom, or whatever she did before. I'm fine with this. More money and power for reality-based America.
Let's conduct the 2010 census entirely by mail. Make forms available in post offices and other public places for people who don't get mail. Hire some of the millions of unemployed clerical workers to assist the non-reading and weed out the joke submissions. Let's see if white Americans become a minority even sooner than predicted.
An accurate idiot count is not worth even one more life.