Perspectives and Caution from a Local Veteran
By Rebecca Canales
Founder and CEO
Whittier 360 News Network
As the Founder and CEO of Whittier 360 News Network, I recently pulled data from the 2021 American Community Survey regarding veterans in the City of Whittier. The data shows that there are a total of 2,698 veterans in our city, with all of them being male except for 0 female veterans. Additionally, 1,711 of the veterans are White, 937 are Hispanic, and 585 are disabled veterans.
While these numbers may seem straightforward, it is important to note that as a 9-year veteran myself, I caution readers to not read too much into this data. The Census Bureau admitted in 2021 that they were going to mix in false data with the real data, which could have skewed the numbers. Furthermore, from my own experience working with many Black and female veterans, I find it hard to believe that there are no Black or female veterans in Whittier.
To put these numbers into perspective for City of Whittier residents, the total number of veterans in our city represents around 2.7% of the population. Of those veterans, 63.4% are White, 34.7% are Hispanic, and 21.6% are disabled veterans.
As we approach Memorial Day, it is important to remember and honor all of our veterans, regardless of their race or gender. While it is concerning that the data shows no Black or female veterans in Whittier, it is possible that the Census Bureau's admitted mixing of false data has skewed these numbers. As a community, we should strive to ensure that all of our veterans are recognized and supported, regardless of any inaccuracies in data.
I understand that some may question why I am publishing data that I don't fully trust. The reason is simple: it is important to provide information to our community and let them decide for themselves what they want to do with it. I believe in transparency and providing data even if I have my doubts about its accuracy. It is not my place nor anyone else's to censor what people are allowed to see or believe. However, I also believe in being transparent about my concerns and expressing them openly. By doing so, I am allowing everyone to make up their own minds about what to believe and how to interpret the information. Ultimately, it is up to the community to decide what to do with the data and how to move forward based on their own conclusions.
In conclusion, the data from the 2021 American Community Survey shows that there are 2,698 male veterans in the City of Whittier, with a majority being White or Hispanic and over 20% being disabled veterans. While the accuracy of this data may be called into question, we should take this opportunity to remember and honor all of our veterans this Memorial Day.