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.