Jose Antonio Vargas is Relaunching #EmergingUS on Medium

“Excuse me, can I bother you for a second?”

Onscreen is Jose Antonio Vargas, the former Washington Post political reporter turned filmmaker and entrepreneur. He’s holding a poster-sized section from the 2010 census, the page that asks readers to describe their race.

In front of him are White people, pulled aside for interviews on a street in Iowa. Vargas asks: When the census asks you to tick a box, which option do you choose?

“The people who are Hispanic, they have options,” Vargas said. “White people have one box.”

It’s a tricky subject to navigate, and the exchange could easily go sideways. But Vargas steers the interview to productive waters with a laugh, a persistent smile and deftly placed questions.

 

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