Births Truth Has White Supremacists in Meltdown?

By Kochakian, Charles | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), May 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Births Truth Has White Supremacists in Meltdown?


Kochakian, Charles, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


WHITE babies are no longer a majority of new U.S. births, according to the Census Bureau.

America is quietly "browning," it is said, like dinner rolls in a warm oven. Yet, such change does not come without resistance from those who prefer to remain unbaked.

White supremacists have been having a "meltdown," reports Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. In an ABC News report, he called the demographic trend "the single most important driver in the growth of hate groups and extremist groups over the last few years."

To the haters, even President Barack Obama's historic election is just one more piece of mounting evidence that whites are losing their majority in America. The Census Bureau expects the nation will have no racial majority in 2042.

Two opposing visions shape the national debate about this demographic development, which largely has been driven by immigration trends. One fears that dramatic cultural change will tear the nation apart.

The more optimistic view sees younger generations, unburdened by historical baggage, leading America to a transformative, integrated and postracial era.

The truth probably lies between those scenarios. Today's immigrants are assimilating over time, in much the same way as earlier generations driven by the longtime American dream of opportunity and upward mobility. But, I don't expect ethno-cultural differences to lose all value.

Our traditional melting pot always has been more of a mulligan stew or a stir-fry, balancing respect for ethnic traditions while united in a sense of common purpose. Our challenge for the future, as in the past, is how we can make that stew work for everybody, and keep the pot from boiling over.

The element of race adds a complication to assimilation; the country seldom has undertaken racial change easily. As much as Americans have benefited from a national identity that is based on ideas, not a single racial or ethnic tribe, white supremacy was embedded in law for most of our history. Every naturalization act from 1790 to 1952 included language that reserved citizenship to a "white person," although standards as to who is considered "white" constantly have changed. …

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