Could Texas Become a Blue State? : The New Yorker
The United States will finally start to look like the country I saw when I first moved, and went to high school, there.
After years of speculation, estimates and projections, the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in the 12-month period that ended last July, according to Census Bureau data made public on Thursday, while minorities — including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race — reached 50.4 percent, representing a majority for the first time in the country’s history.
I think this contains a combination of poor writing and confusion engendered by the endlessly confusing nature of what it means to be “Hispanic” in the United States, providing the clearest evidence I’ve yet seen that race is nothing more than a social construct. First it talks about white births, then non-Hispanic whites. So Hispanic people might be white, but they don’t really count. You can’t escape the feeling that the author is a non-Hispanic white member of the upper middle class who had few to no non-white friends growing up.
Signs that the country is evolving this way start with the Oval Office, and have swept hundreds of counties in recent years, with 348 in which whites are no longer in the majority. That number doubles when it comes to the toddler population, Mr. Frey said. Whites are no longer the majority in four states and the District of Columbia, and have slipped below half in many major metro areas, including New York, Las Vegas and Memphis.
It’s a little hard to imagine what it was like growing up in towns where the idea of non-whites being full Americans is so novel. That is the American I have known, and I’m very grateful to have lived in a town that is so indicative of what America is supposed to be about (though there were certainly plenty of people who confined their friends to fellow non-Hispanic whites).
And the fact that the country is getting a burst of births from nonwhites is a huge advantage, argues Dowell Myers, professor of policy, planning and demography at the University of Southern California. European societies with low levels of immigration now have young populations that are too small to support larger aging ones, exacerbating problems with the economy.
“If the U.S. depended on white births alone, we’d be dead,” Mr. Myers said. “Without the contributions from all these other groups, we would become too top-heavy with old people.”
The idiocy of people who still hold nativist, xenophobic and racist views about immigration and fail to recognize that the legacy of being an immigrant based society is the United States greatest hope for the future is unbelievable.
Yet if the election were held now, the poll suggests, Mr. Obama would win a matchup with Mitt Romney: 68 percent of Latino voters said they favor Mr. Obama; only 23 percent favored the former Massachusetts governor. In a hypothetical contest with Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, Mr. Obama would win 69 percent to 23 percent.
Among registered Latino voters, immigration is not a primary concern. For Latino voters, immigration is sixth in importance, the poll found.
Despite this, I don’t think Republicans help their case with Latino voters when a large part of their base is virulently opposed to immigration of any kind (and are often implicitly racist against people of Latin American origin) and they support policies that reflect this…
The Pew survey does not assess Latinos’ views of the Republican candidates’ positions on immigration issues. But it finds that Latinos overwhelmingly – by 91 percent– support legislation, known as the Dream Act, that would give legal status to illegal immigrants who are in college. And 84 percent of Latinos said those students should be allowed to pay state resident tuition rates at public colleges.
Mr. Romney has forcefully opposed both policies. Mr. Perry at first spoke out in support of a Texas law that allows in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrant students, but more recently he distanced himself from that position. In the Republican field, only Mr. Gingrich has supported a plan to open a path to legal status for some illegal immigrants.
But I don’t think Obama should take this segment of the electorate for granted…
The poll indicates there is still room for Republicans to maneuver. Mr. Obama’s overall approval has dropped sharply among Latinos in the last year – to 49 percent from 58 percent. And more than half, 56 percent, of Hispanics say they have not given much thought yet to the individual candidates in the race.
The future of the United States is el futuro de los Estados Unidos…
Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group, and the number who have registered to vote has grown rapidly in several states that could prove crucial in the 2012 vote, including California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida.
I saw something in the NYTimes recently that said an increasing number of hispanic Americans with indigenous heritage are putting “Native American” on the census. This is something I always thought made a lot of sense. It has never made much sense to me that the American descendants of European colonists, who massacred the original inhabitants of the Americas, are so vitriolically opposed to immigration by people who are often the descendants of the original, indigenous, native American inhabitants of the Americas.