Gary Hubbell: Redneck Tree Hugger |

Gary Hubbell: Redneck Tree Hugger

Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado

I am at a point in my life where I feel it’s my turn to mentor young people, to volunteer, to “give back.” When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was fortunate to have several great mentors who taught me many things – carpentry, horsemanship, fly fishing and the art of photography. I’ve never forgotten their patience and understanding.

Over the years I’ve cashed many checks and have been fortunate to publish my photos in magazines, books, catalogs and websites all over the world. It’s been a fun ride.

So the other day I went down to the county extension office to offer my services as a photography instructor for the 4H program, which is funded by the State of Colorado. The ladies behind the counter handed me a form, and first and foremost, it asked me to fill in what race I belong to.


From the way the questions were posed, it was apparent that being a Hispanic or Latino was really important to them. What in the world does my race have to do with volunteering to teach a 4H photography class? Who in the hell cares? The State of Colorado does, apparently, and they care a LOT. I refused to answer. Frankly, I found it insulting.

Not long after the 4H experience, my 8th-grader brought home a questionnaire from the school, with “new guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education regarding the collection of information on the race and ethnicity of all public school students and staff.” It came with a two-part questionnaire: “Question 1: Is this student Hispanic/Latino? (No or Yes)”. Then came “Question 2: Which of the following groups best describe the student’s race? (choose one or more)”.


Attached was a pamphlet explaining the distinction between “race” and “ethnicity”, and how to identify yourself in one group or another, including the chestnut that “white” people are “persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.” I see. According to the school system, I’m kin to Somalis, Moroccans, Iraqis and Yemenis, yet Pakistanis belong with Cambodians and Malaysians.

American Indians include “peoples of North and South America,” and Hispanic or Latino means anybody of Spanish culture or origin. It gets fuzzy when a person is of Mayan origin and speaks Spanish rather than Aztlàn. Mexican? Indian? Hispanic? Latino? Hell if I know.

By the way, I think we can all agree that Muammar al-Qaddafi isn’t a white man, and both Arabs and persons of Northern European descent alike would agree that they’d rather not be considered the same “race.”

According to the government, however, Jews, Arabs, North Africans and all Europeans are “white.” Does that include Spaniards? They’re Europeans. Lots of them have blonde hair and blue eyes. Oh yeah, I forgot – they’re Hispanics, just like all those black Cubans and Dominicans.

By the way, if you don’t want to provide the information, the school district will do it for you, and it will become part of the child’s permanent record.

Then came the census – which the Obama administration recently ripped out of the hands of the Commerce Department and placed under the control of the slimy Rahm Emanuel. This, of course, is after their plan to use ACORN in inflate minority numbers blew up in their faces. Please remember that the Democrats’ plan is to use “statistical projections” instead of “actual enumeration” – i.e., really and truly counting people.

The other day, three very earnest census workers stopped by my office; wanting to know who lived there and how many bedrooms it has. I told ’em in terms as polite and firm as possible that they could basically kiss my patootie, because their involvement with ACORN made them untrustworthy in my eyes. One of the women had no idea what I was talking about, and she was clearly offended. The older gentleman knew exactly what I was talking about, and he took his whuppin’ like a man. The old lady kept trying to peer around my shoulder to see how many bedrooms the house might have as I escorted them out the door.

The census form is a beauty. They want to know if you rent or pay a mortgage; whether a family member is in jail, off in the military, or at college; how you’re all related to each other; everyone’s birthdates; and race, race, race, race, race. There are 64 different combinations, according to the Census. Of course, the goal is to gerrymander Congressional districts, reward minorities with big gobs of money, and tax productive citizens.

According to Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the census is used to determine direct taxation and how to apportion seats in the House of Representatives – nothing more. It doesn’t say the Census should be used to set aside billions of dollars for race-based preferential treatment. It doesn’t say we need to use government to right perceived social injustices.

The simple fact of providing a free and fair society, as enumerated in the Constitution, is more than enough. That’s why I wrote the Census a letter telling them that there are four people living in this house. That’s all they need to know.

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