Minorities Now in the Majority

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Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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  1. Avatar Scott
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    says:

    I wonder if whites will be able to get affirmative action when they become a minority? This is not a surprising result after lax illegal immigration enforcement.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Scott
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      says:

      Are whites being discriminated against? Are they likely to be in the future?

      It wasn’t skin color that led to affirmative action — it was a legacy of racism and flat-out denied oppurtunity.

      Offhand, should income inequality not be settled, I suspect race might give way to class based considerations.

      For all the supposed sins of affirmative action, the actual sins of privilage are far worse. Legacy admissions at colleges, for starters.

      A friend of mine works for a company she jokingly refers to as “Nepotism, Incorporated”. Her horror stories about management there (mostly dead weight in the form of various relatives of the board) that make me cringe. Nothing I’ve ever experienced, not even the most clueless of Dilbert-style bosses in the tech industry, have come close to the legacy of idiocy her company is weighted with.

      All of them, of course, failing upwards.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Scott
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      says:

      it is however a surprising result after most mexicans began to head home for real work.
      Whites got their affirmative action years ago, didn’t you know?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_Act
      whites only.Report

      • Avatar Scott in reply to Kimmi
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        says:

        Kimmi:

        I read the link and it does not say the law was for whites only.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Scott
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          says:

          Does it have to? the net result of the discriminatory law (which if nothing else excluded Indians) was a wealth transfer from one group (the indians/federals) to another (nearly 100% whitefolk).Report

          • Avatar Scott in reply to Kimmi
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            says:

            Kimmi

            You wrote in your post, “whites only” remember? I guess as in many of your posts you weren’t trying to be factual but just said that for shock value.Report

            • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Scott
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              says:

              Scott,
              Do you think I need to lie about people burning down other people’s houses as a prank?
              Do you think I would make shit like that up? That’s slander, even if I don’t bother telling you who I’m talking about.
              I do not mind citing the research that 75% of the wealth of the average white American came from racially discriminatory policies.
              If you want, we can get into the Civic Arena, and some more personal observations…
              I can document, in black and white, redlining — and the decisions to move blacks into public housing, while giving whites FSA loans.Report

    • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Scott
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      says:

      Spittle flecked rant!Report

      • Avatar Scott in reply to Ryan Noonan
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        says:

        How childish, can’t you do any better?Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Scott
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          says:

          You know who else appealed to racial resentment?Report

          • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Schilling
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            says:

            If we’re keeping with the spirit of this particular commenter, I suspect the answer is “the Jews”.Report

          • Avatar Scott in reply to Mike Schilling
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            says:

            Given the fact that whites have had to go to court so as not to be discriminated against for admission to college this is more than conjecture. Affirmitive action sounds harmless until you are the one that gets shafted.Report

            • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Scott
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              says:

              you are missing the point of affirmative action. the point is that the tests aren’t good indicators of future performance. the college should do its best to find the best students, yes? Why can’t they use research to figure out which tests are working, and which ones aren’t???Report

            • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Scott
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              says:

              Okay, my turn:

              Yay!Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Scott
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              says:

              Affirmitive action sounds harmless until you are the one that gets shafted.

              Hopefully, there’s a clear definition of what ‘getting shafted’ means. Otherwise the whole thing goes off the rails, yes?Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Stillwater:

                In the prior sentance I mentioned college admission.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Scott
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                says:

                College admissions may be a case where someone gets the shaft due to AA. But it’s important to remember why AA was instituted to begin with: systematic exclusion of blacks and others in gaining admission to higher education. Given that (if it’s right), are minorities getting the shaft because they’re denied admission due to skin color? Once AA is instituted, are whites getting the shaft because they get denied admission even when they have higher grades and test scores? It seems like there’s two conceptions of getting the shaft in play here.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Scott
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                says:

                you assume the tests work. there’s substantial evidence they don’t.
                If we went to a decent statistical test (say class rank in school, which works out boatloads better than SATs), would you shut up?Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Affirmative action holds very little support among working class whites because they sense it doesn’t address their own exclusion from college and upward mobility.

                Of course, one could point out that things like the GI Bill were a form of AA for the working class white people who were veterans of WWII; millions who could otherwise never go to college were given admission to college at the taxpayer’s expense.

                Which is why, if AA were framed as a means-tested color blind system it would enjoy widespread support.

                We liberals would be much better off framing issues in terms of class and less about race.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Liberty60
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                says:

                I think using class instead of race doesn’t really achieve what we’re trying to achieve, but I think you’re correct about the politics and it would still be close enough.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Ryan Noonan
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                says:

                … if we don’t do that, all the descendants of the black appalachians are being discriminated against.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Ryan Noonan
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                says:

                “..using class instead of race doesn’t really achieve what we’re trying to achieve…”

                Equality?Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Sure, but a certain kind of equality. It’s not just about equality of outcome, no matter what other liberals may tell you (or what conservatives may tell you about liberals). It’s about – specifically – the creation of a black (and other minority) middle class that has ownership, autonomy, and power. These are things we spent centuries just basically giving away to white people – the Homestead Act, the New Deal, the GI Bill, etc. (not all of which excluded black people, but I think it’s clear the effects were differential).

                I also think it goes without saying that I would like to make it much easier for anyone who wants to go to college to do so, and I’d love to increase Pell grants and such to make that a reality, but that’s slightly different from the goals affirmative action exists to achieve.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                All that said, as I indicated, using class probably gets us close enough and the amount of buy-in you could get from a broad majority of voters makes it worth pursuing that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                I’m reading between the lines here but it kind of sounds like you are saying that we have to address historic wrongs with AA. The thing is though, plenty of non-minorities had the deck stacked against them. The post-Reconstruction South certainly had an uphill climb, for example. Likewise for immigrants.

                Why not, as liberty60 suggested, just address inequality? The blacks that don’t fall into that group obviously overcame the burden placed on them by years of racial prejudice.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                The big issue with addressing historical wrongs is that we are a part of history.

                One of the shortcomings of mankind is that we are not able to reach back into the past.
                We have to accept that, and look ahead.
                In this present moment, is bias permissible?
                That’s the issue in its totality.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Ryan:

                Since when has it been the gov’ts job to create a black middle class? Unlike conducting a census which is in the Constitution, I don’t see social engineering as one of the gov’ts jobs. Why are blacks alone entitled to help? Are poor whites just out of luck? What about other racial groups?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                I forget the guys’s name. He was probably a communist or something, but he said something on that topic once that I thought sounded pretty good. Even if it was liberal reverse-racist BS. It went something like this:

                If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Quick answers:

                Mike: I’ve conceded the politics argument. I’d only add that just because Ginger Rogers can do everything Fred Astaire does backward and in heels doesn’t mean we should be okay with the fact that she has to.

                Scott: I hesitate to pick a specific date, but let’s go with 1863ish.Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

                Creating a black middle class (Establishing justice) certainly is as much the business of government as facilitating commerce (provide for the general welfare).Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Liberty60:

                The preamble of the U.S. Constitution is precatory, not operative. It neither empowers any agent of the government nor restricts them. It simply says why the government was formed. The actual formation comes in the articles that follow.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Right. The Preamble tells the state what its business is; the Articles tell it what powers it has to do its business. You can argue that affirmative action is unconstitutional because the government doesn’t have the power to do it (or is expressly prohibited from using its power to do it), but if you want to argue about what the government’s “job” is, the Preamble certainly seems like fair game.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                if you want to argue about what the government’s “job” is, the Preamble certainly seems like fair game.

                No. The preamble says why the government has been granted its powers. It may offer inspiration to anyone, but it does not offer judicial-review level guidance on what is or is not a power of government.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                That’s why I specifically said the Articles lay out what powers it has to do the things the Preamble tells it to do.

                For instance, my “job” might be (but isn’t) buying used cars. It doesn’t follow from that that I have the authority to kill people and take their cars. By analogy, the government’s “job” might be (and is) helping to build a strong black middle class. It doesn’t follow from that that it has the authority to use affirmative action to do that.

                The answer to Scott’s question (“Where does it say what the government’s job is?”) is “the Preamble”. He didn’t ask where it gets the authority to use affirmative action to do its job.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                You could also, if you’re so inclined, look to the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th and 14th Amendments, and the Freedmen’s Bureau (created by the same Congress that wrote the 13th and 14th Amendments) as evidence that the government’s job includes materially improving the lives of black Americans.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                You could also, if you’re so inclined, look to the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th and 14th Amendments, and the Freedmen’s Bureau (created by the same Congress that wrote the 13th and 14th Amendments) as evidence that the government’s job includes materially improving the lives of black Americans.

                Please don’t misunderstand me. My claim isn’t that the government has no business helping the freed slaves, or fighting racism, or preventing its revival. Those things are all clearly proper.

                My claim is only that the preamble doesn’t get us there. Or anywhere else, for that matter.Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Jason-
                My point wasn’t to mount a legal argument but a political one.

                The argument that something like establishing a middle class (or for that matter, rectifying wealth inequality) is not the proper role of government is contradicted by the preamble which outlines a sweeping view of government purpose.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Liberty60
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                says:

                Liberty60:

                I would consider supporting AA if it wasnt race based or used as a race proxy. As it stands I should have claimed to be a minority like Elizabeth Warren to get into a better college.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Scott
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                says:

                But affirmative action does use race.

                And when it does, how do you react?

                If it’s brown people, you condemn them.
                If it could possibly be white people, your palms get itchy.

                This — and not the brown people — this is why I am deeply suspicious of affirmative action.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                Jason:

                I know AA uses race and that is why I oppose it. The govt shouldn’t be in the business of giving out advantages or disadvantages based on race.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                If your house burns down and your insurance company replaces it, does that count as someone giving you a house?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                Scott-
                What criteria should the government be in the business of giving out advantages and disadvantages?
                And what about all the advantages and disadvantages that the government DID give out based on race, such as slavery, segregation, etc? Do we pretend those never happen? Do we pretend those bore no impact that is still felt today?

                That is the biggest nonsense with the whole, “Let’s just go full meritocracy now.” Besides ignoring all the ways we are still not a meritocracy, it wants to ignore the head start certain groups and individuals were given.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Scott
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                says:

                How about a wealth-based proxy? I can drop loads of data on you on how wealth is a better proxy for social mobility than income.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                You’re always talking about what data you can drop without ever dropping any of it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                I hope TVD is watching this, because I’m going to take Kimmi, who often holds positions I ultimately agree with, to the woodshed for acting a fool and arguing less than genuinely…

                Kimmi, one blog post citing another article doesn’t qualify as “loads of data”. And instead of talking about the data you have, just offer it up the first time. It will save everyone a few minutes and avoid the impression that you’re just making stuff up. Should you not be able to provide the data off the bat, don’t even bring up the existence of data unless you’ve seen the data yourself and analyzed it enough to stand by it. It is becoming increasingly hard to take you seriously here when this pattern repeats itself ad nauseum.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                Kazzy,
                What you’ve got to say would undoubtedly improve the discussion. Thank you for being productive.
                I, however, am more interested in free food than reading research papers. Ergo, most of my citations are “I heard a speech…”Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                Kimmi is the League’s Clifford Clavin.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                “I, however, am more interested in free food than reading research papers.”

                Which is all well and good. But don’t be surprised when you are not taken seriously.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                Kaz,
                Ahh, but there are times when I wish to be taken seriously, and times when I truly just hope to be amusing.
                Because the real world is far bleaker than most people see.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                Kaz, like Bob Cheeks and BlaiseP, Kimmi is a rare and beautiful flower to whom the usual classifications cannot do justice.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                “Liberal clown” doesn’t fit Kimmi?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                I don’t see the world that way so much, Kazzy. Ed Schultz is a liberal clown because he’s stupid and malicious.

                As for Kimmi, she’s in that class of people who can find a magnificent truth now and then that nobody else does. Even if her batting average is lower than the average bear’s, sometimes she hits a grand slam. More mundane minds can’t even reach the fences, if you know what I mean: indeed, they don’t even swing for them. They draw a lot of walks.

                Which is OK, but anybody can go up to the plate and not swing. Zzzzzzzzzzz.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                I don’t mind a “swing for the fences” approach. Hell, I had Adam Dunn on my fantasy team for years (which you can begin reading about over on MD… PLUG!). But outright lies, which I think Kimmi has a tendency to indulge in, are a step too far, in my book. Really, her commenting style would fit in in most other sites out here on the interweb, where simply saying something is often enough to convince people. But that generally tends not to fly here. The whole, “I’ve got TONS of data,” nonsense when she knows she doesn’t… why bother? Does she think she is going to convince anyone HERE with that?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                As for Kimmi, she’s in that class of people who can find a magnificent truth now and then that nobody else does. Even if her batting average is lower than the average bear’s, sometimes she hits a grand slam. More mundane minds can’t even reach the fences, if you know what I mean: indeed, they don’t even swing for them. They draw a lot of walks.

                I think I can recall exactly one comment in which she added a non-trivial amount of value to the site.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    The racial tipping point, when non-Hispanic whites become the minority of the overall population, is currently projected for around 2040.

    Still the single largest group, though. But I have to admit as someone who’s white only by recent courtesy (I’m Jewish) and whose kids aren’t white, this doesn’t register with me as a cause for concern.Report

  3. Avatar Mark Thompson
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    says:

    I predict that sometime before 2040, “non-Hispanic white” and “white (Hispanic)” will cease to be separate classifications on census forms.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Ryan Noonan
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        says:

        Aye, MarkT: Pew already has 1/3 of “Hispanics” self-identifying as “white.”

        http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/Nation/World/2012-04-05-APUSHispanicIdentity_ST_U.htm

        Whites, Blacks and Asian-Americans are all considered racial groups. Hispanics are an ethnic group, which means although they share a common language, culture and heritage, they do not share a common race. They can be Black, White, Asian, American Indian or descended from original peoples of a place colonized by Spain and a few others.

        About 18 million Latinos checked “some other race” when they were asked to pick a race on census forms and were told Hispanic is not a race. But many Latinos identified themselves as White.
        In Pew’s survey, more than a third said they were White, and half said they were “some other race” or volunteered Hispanic or Latino.

        The term Hispanic was first officially used by the federal government in the 1970 census.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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          says:

          “Hispanics are an ethnic group, which means although they share a common language, culture and heritage”

          And to the extent that that is true, is not very much at all.Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kolohe
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            says:

            Yah. As the linked article sez:

            “The description preferred by 51 percent of Hispanics is Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban or other culture they are tied to through family or ancestry. About a quarter surveyed said they identify as Latino or Hispanic first and a fifth said they tend to say American, according to Pew’s survey. About 50 million people in the U.S. are Hispanic.”

            Whatever “Hispanic” means. This reads pretty funny if you think about it.

            51% of honkies prefer Irish or English or Italian or whathaveyou. About a quarter prefer “honky” and a fifth say “American.”

            About 175 million people in the U.S. are honkies.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe
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            says:

            Language, by the definition of “Hispanic” (which, as used by the Census Bureau, excludes Brazilians for just this reason.) The other stuff, you’re right — not so much. Get two people together, one from each of two Latin American countries that share a border, and they’ll tell in you great detail why Eastoftheborderuguay and Westoftheborderuguay eat different food wear different clothes, and basically the only thing the other one has to offer the world is that their woman appreciate the rare occasions when they get to meet a real man.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    I suspect that our thinking about whites as one group and all others in one other group (i.e.: the “whites are now a minority” thing) is an indication we think about race in really weird ways.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      Particular white vs. bi-racial or multi-racial, which seems very “one drop of blood”.Report

    • Avatar Katherine in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      I agree. When we get to the point where white people constitute less than 50% of the population, it will mean that no one race/ethnicity is a majority, and that white people still constitute a plurality. It will not mean that “minorities” are the now the majority, because there’s no reason to group a vast number of different cultures and ethnicities together as “non-white”.

      And more likely, “white” will simply be redefined over time (it didn’t used to include Irish or Italians, among others). Possibly “Hispanic” and east Asian will become considered white. I wonder if census records could show us at what point in history the US ceased to be majority anglo-saxon?

      The whole obsession over this is weird.Report

      • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Katherine
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        says:

        Its not weird if you understand that “white” means “normal/good” and “non-white” means “exotic/ strange/dangerous”.

        Heck they should just change the names on the census boxes to read that.Report

      • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Katherine
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        says:

        Although I do have to chuckle when I hear people like Buchanan, Tancredo, and O’Reilly grousing about these new immigrants who will never assimilate into real America.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    I, for one, welcome our new brown-skinned overlords.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    says:

    I honestly think the best moment will be when the majority writes ‘mixed race’ on their census form. As my mother always says, it’s the best way to end racism and, “…mixed babies are always the cutest.”Report

    • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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      says:

      We had this discussion with our friends who just created an Asian/white baby, and all were agreed. I believe the term “chocolate milk” came up at some point. I am not proud of this.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
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      says:

      I would generally caution against espousing that language or thinking. There are lots of ways in which the “hybrid vigor” theory can be used for some really unfortunate ends…Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        I wouldn’t prmote bi-raciality..but I certainly wouldn’t oppose it either. I prefer to just let nature take its course.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
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          says:

          I meant specifically the “mixed babies are always the cutest” notion.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            In principle I disapprove of it, but anyone who says my kids are cute gets a pass.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            Oh pish posh. We have a mixed-race child in our house as well. You have to be overly-PC to worry about that kind of stuff.Report

            • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              says:

              As much as I hate calling things “PC”, which is usually shorthand for “It’s not my fault you’re upset that I’m such an asshole”, I’m with you on this.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              says:

              I’ve had several mixed race people as well as the parents of mixed race children tell me they are very uncomfortable with the logic behind it. I am simply relaying that.

              Separately, as a teacher of young children, I also wonder about the impact that such statements have on children, especially the mixed race children who might be less than the cutest (and whether you guys are guilty of it or not, I do know parents obtuse enough to make such comments in front of children).

              Please don’t read this as me saying that there do not exist cute mixed race people and that there is a problem with telling them they are cute. I just generally try to avoid such broad generalizations along racial lines. Why is “mixed race babies are the cutest” any different than “white babies are the cutest”?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Well obviously my statement was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I think you took it a bit literal as though I wanted to start a PR campaign to promote mixed-race kids by using the ‘they are cute’ tagline.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                No, I gathered that, and knew I was being a bit of a wet blanket, which is why I advised caution as opposed to an outright ban of it. I’m more bothered by people who really hold to the “hybrid vigor” theory, which I didn’t think you were actually doing. Some folks genuinely believe “Bi-racial kids have the best of both races!” which is sort of a very strange thing to say when you really start to think about it.

                Of course… that would be an interesting campaign… “Date outside your race… together we’ll end racism AND make cuter babies!”Report

              • Avatar Rod in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                All I know is the first Human-Vulcan mixed baby on Star Trek Enterprise was really cute, what with those little pointy ears and all.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      … the only people who write biracial are Mexicans. (mild exaggeration, in case scott is watching)Report

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