The collection of data for the 2020 Census is complete, and statisticians are starting to put it all together for the purposes established by law.

We'll be bold in saying we need to start considering the 2030 Census, and we've got an idea about the first thing we should do differently: don't ask Americans to check a box stating their race.

There are many reasons behind our push, but one stands above the others. It promotes racism. The more we label ourselves, and the more others label us, the worse it gets. Then we get into arguments about diversity, affirmative action, employment, housing and much more.

Here's what we stand for: there is only one race, and that's the human race. The amount of melanin pigment in our skin frankly doesn't matter, and we shouldn't make decisions about people based on whether you have a certain amount of pigment.

We shouldn't judge, advance or punish people based on skin pigment. Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech said he looked forward to a day when his children "would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

All Americans should have equal opportunities, regardless of gender, national heritage, religion or skin color. If that's true, why do government agencies keep track of skin color in schools, government agencies and businesses, then try to promote a target percentage of each? Why do universities admit students with race being a specific and loudly declared characteristic?

We need to treat others as humans, as Americans, but not as white, black, Hispanic, Asian or any other skin color-based subgroup. We'll conquer racism not by labeling people and helping or hurting them because of their label, but by eliminating skin color as how we define them. The 2030 Census is a place to start.

-- Jon M. Hunter