A headline in today's Examiner runs: "Census: Whites become 'minority' in 2044, Hispanic population twice blacks'." From the Examiner:
New population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that whites will become a "minority" by 2044, replaced by a "majority" of minority groups, mostly blacks and Hispanics….
According to the analysis, the white will make up 49.7 percent of the country in 2044, minorities the rest. What's more, by 2060, whites will account for just 44 percent of the country.
First, so what? Second, what does it even mean?
A couple of years ago, I went through the exercise of calculating the percentage of the current American population descended from folks who were not regarded as being "white" when they immigrated back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. What sort of folks? Why the Italians, the Jews, the Irish, the Slavs, and the Greeks, along with native-born African-Americans. In my article, "The Silly Panic Over a Minority White Nation," I pointed out:
Shortly after the turn of the last century, many nativists feared that mass immigration was overwhelming the white "races" that had historically contributed the most to populating the nation. One of the most notable expressions of this racial anxiety was the classic 1922 anti-immigration screed by Saturday Evening Post correspondent Kenneth Roberts, Why Europe Leaves Home: A True Account of the Reasons which Cause Central Europeans to Overrun America. "The American nation was founded and developed by the Nordic race," asserted Roberts. "If a few more million members of the Alpine, Mediterranean and Semitic races are poured among us, the result must inevitably be a hybrid race of people as worthless and futile as the good-for-nothing mongrels of Central America and Southeastern Europe."
Instead of becoming worthless and good-for-nothing, the descendants of those immigrant hordes became, well, Americans. As evidence, I reported that by…
… adding up all of the "non-white" groups, one finds that they and their descendants now total 184 million out of 313 million citizens, constituting nearly 60 percent of the country's current population. But how can that be? After all, the Census Bureau notes, "In the 2010 Census, just over one-third of the U.S. population reported their race and ethnicity as something other than non-Hispanic white alone (i.e. "minority")." The answer to this conundrum is that Italians, Poles, Jews, and the Irish are now considered "white."
It is this fact that renders silly and nearly meaningless the pronouncement that "whites" will be a minority in this country by 2050. By 2050, just as the earlier waves of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish immigrants were assimilated, so too will today's Hispanic immigrants and their descendants be. For all intents and purposes, Hispanics will become as "white" as Irish, Italians, Jews, and Poles.
So please just stop with the identity politics fearmongering already!
We should welcome pretty nearly anyone who has the gumption to get here. They are already showing the character of what it takes to be an American.
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