The Simple Question Raised By A More Diverse America
I find myself increasingly tiring of word games when it comes to the subject of race, of diversity, of equality it the United States of America in the Year of Our Lord 2022. With MLK Day comes a one-day-a-year increase in conversation on subjects like race, like equality, like diversity. It also sparks the begging of “find another quote” from folks who only know a line or two from the “I have a dream” speech but nothing else to share on their social media for the occasion.
That is the way of most of us though, isn’t it? To just pull the quote that inspires, that fits neatly into our own narratives and currently-running online personas.
Here is a statistical fact to factor into those ruminations: America is increasingly diverse. The Washington Post has one of their excellent info-graphic interactive pieces covering the latest census data and how the demographics of America are changing. You can even enter the county you live in, or are curious about, and find out the changing numbers. And those numbers are definitive; a more diverse America is happening whether you like it or not.
When it comes to the white population:
This census marks the first decade the total number of people who identify as non-Hispanic Whites declined. The population decreased by 5.1 million. It is the first time this has happened in the 230 years since the enumeration started.
White Americans decreased in over three-quarters of counties across the nation. Every region saw overall drops in White population, but the Northeast and Midwest had the largest decreases because of large drops in Chicago and New York City.
The Southern and Western regions saw smaller losses, particularly because of gains in Utah, Colorado and Florida.
Gains in some places, such as Maricopa and Travis counties — home to Phoenix and Austin, respectively — were countered by steep losses in California’s major metro areas and sizable decreases around Dallas and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The White population suffered from two disproportionate characteristics that defined their decade: high mortality and low fertility. The shifts mean the group is becoming older, and the nation’s younger generations are becoming less White over time.
In 1990, Hispanics accounted for 9 percent of the U.S. population. Now, they account for 18.7 percent, becoming the largest non-White minority group and the second-fastest-growing single-race demographic group.
Hispanics also account for half of the nation’s population growth in the past decade, showing increases in nearly every county across the United States.
All across the country, Hispanics saw huge gains. They were the fastest growing group in 2,123 counties.
Nearly half of the U.S. Hispanic population lives in the four states that border Mexico — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — all of which saw increases. Texas’ Hispanic population grew 20 percent since 2010.
More than 200 counties across the U.S. would have lost population if not for Hispanics, particularly because of the large decreases in the White population.
In Florida, the Hispanic population also flourished — and not just in the southern part of the state. Central Florida is home to a large Puerto Rican population, which continued to grow after Hurricane Maria caused many to flee the island in 2017. New Cuban residents also added to Florida’s population. In recent history, Cubans have been in the top 10 immigrant groups in the United States. The top four counties of residence for Cuban immigrants — approximately two-thirds of the Cuban American population — are all in Florida.
Immigration accounts for only a portion of the growth in the Hispanic population.
Instead, most of the growth stems from natural increases — more births than deaths — which is reflected in the diversity of the youngest Americans. Over half of the U.S. population under 15 identified as non-White for the first time in 2019. In the census a year later, almost 53 percent of people under 18 identified as non-White. Of that group, Hispanics made up half.
Conversely, Asian population growth has been heavily fueled by immigration:
The Asian and Pacific Islander population saw a growth pattern similar to Hispanics but on a much smaller scale. Despite relatively small numbers, Asians grew at rates faster than any other single-race group.
A large portion of growth in the Asian population can be attributed to immigration. Since 2009, the increase of Chinese and Indian immigrants made annual Asian immigration counts higher than such numbers for Hispanics. Almost 60 percent of Asian Americans were born in another country.
The Asian American population grew by 36 percent over the last decade, and projections do not show gains slowing down anytime soon. By 2060, the Asian population in the United States is expected to pass 46 million, nearly four times what it was in 2000.
And the population of Black Americans is changing, and on the move:
Before the turn of the 21st century, the Black population was the largest minority group in the nation. Black Americans gained roughly 2.3 million people since 2010 but have roughly stayed consistent in share of the U.S. population, hovering around 12 percent, for the past three decades.
The Black population increased in over half of the nation’s counties. The migration of Black Americans was starker than other races, with the largest shifts toward suburban and urban areas. Black Americans moved to these areas in droves, boosting populations in the Atlanta; Charlotte; Columbus, Ohio; and Minneapolis metro areas.
Urban and suburban counties outside of the biggest metro regions experienced an 11 percent increase in Black Americans, while rural counties saw a 6 percent decrease. The largest shift to urban areas occurred in the South, where the majority of Black Americans reside. Throughout the southeast, from Maryland to Georgia, Texas and Florida, urban areas had major Black gains.
Rural counties in the South paint a vivid picture of Black population loss. Also striking are population declines in Chicago, a city known for its rich Black history and culture. Racial inequality, housing crises, high unemployment and over-policing are among the reasons researchers believe Chicago is experiencing an exodus of Black residents.
The movement of Black Americans away from Chicago echoes patterns of a “reverse Great Migration.” Slowly beginning in the 1970s and continuously gaining traction, the group is moving to the suburbs and back to the South. Black people are moving to the South for a multitude of reasons: greater economic opportunity, lower cost of living, and high cultural and familial affinities.
While the Black population is shifting across the United States, it is also changing shape. Black Americans who identify as a single race are aging, adding five years to their median age since 2000, while multiracial Black people are younger than any other group — they have a median age of 16. Hispanics are the largest non-White U.S. population under 18, followed by Black people as the second-largest non-White group in the same age range.
Long story short: America is increasingly diverse. You are either good with America being a diverse, pluralistic society, or you are not.
If you are not, the burden of explaining why you are not is completely on you. The increasing diversity of America is inevitable. Complaining about it would be the same as wading into the Mississippi River and demanding the flow reverse. Any arguments against a more diverse America fall on the wrong side of morals, of history, of any type of patriotic love for what is good for the country and all the people in it. Hiding sentiments against this change in the name of protecting culture, or tradition, or greater good — all terms with one meaning on their face but really a cloak for variations on “different from me and how I want things to be” — are worse than futile. Such sentiments are gashing wounds that make the inevitable more painful for everyone than it has to be.
Somewhere among the remembrances, quotes, and sentiments of MLK Day, do the bare minimum of “find a different quote” social media will chide folks to do. If you just have to go MLK quotes on MLK day, I’d recommend just about anything from the Letter from a Birmingham Jail. But if you really want to do something productive on MLK take a self-inventory of how you’ve been talking about things like demographic change, about diversity, about race, about the changing of America.
American is increasingly diverse. You are either good with America being a diverse, pluralistic society, or you are not.
So, are you?
The changes in racial and ethnic distribution appear to be driven more by changes in self-identification than by real demographic changes.
If you look here, you can see that there’s been a huge increase in the number of people identifying as multiracial or “some other race.” Hispanics, in particular, were 53% less likely to identify as “white alone” in 2020 than in 2010 and several times more likely to identify as multiracial.Report
To be clear, real demographic change is still happening, but far more slowly than is implied by a naive interpretation of the statistics.Report
This would imply that folks, particularly Hispanic, are now identifying more consistent with the definitions used by Census. So better data, we were more pluralistic in the past than data showed.Report
It also shows how much of that diversification comes from (for lack of a better term) interbreeding. Kids care less what race their partner is, and the shrinking of the world, and concentration of the population into urban and suburban areas means kids are not in racially homogeneous areas.
So that melting pot isn’t just getting stirred, it’s gone into the blender.Report
People also need to consider their desire for a robust economy or future ability to draw from government programs like Social Security when they think about this question.
The US economy depends on a large and growing labor pool.
People not comfortable with diversity (and immigration), better get comfortable with the idea that their prejudices are economically harmful.Report
The US economy depends on a large and growing labor pool.
Or steadily increasing productivity increases on labor’s part, with the wage gains reflecting that subject to SS payroll taxes. Statistically, the only numbers the actuaries/economists got wrong in 1983 when SS financing was last redone was their assumption that productivity gains would be spread across all income classes — as had been the case since WWII — rather than mostly being captured by high-income workers.Report
Recently I toured a factory that produces modular buildings. It was a marvel of technology, with a heavily automated process using robotics and sosftware driven CAD/CAM machines, which ultimately produced a prodigious amount of stuff, but used hardly any people.
The tour organizer was very proudly telling us about how the head of the company used his billion dollar fortune (raised from a family business) to purchase whatever machinery he needed to build the enterprise.
All well and good but an example of how automation is, not the future, but the present of our economy and how automation returns its rewards to the owners of capital rather than labor.Report
To echo Lord Vetinari: Tax the robots.Report
Or at the very least, stop counting them as depreciating assets.Report
The world still needs people to make sandwiches, or clean hotel rooms, or harvest vegetables. I don’t know how we can (could?) assume that productivity gains should have happened at the lower-valued skill level without also expecting inflation to occur.
I’m very much a free market for all things including labor type person. That is coupled with an understanding that diversity through immigration and higher birth rates among the populations that contribute skills at a lower value is going to happen.
I just think it’s interesting to ask people who are lamenting immigrants or negatively comment on how the racial makeup of their communities is changing how they feel about social security.
(And please don’t misunderstand this as wholesale support for social security. I just think coupling the topics in conversation yields interesting responses).Report
An alternative approach… In 1983, the salary cap for SS payroll taxes was set so that on the near order of 90% of earned income was subject to the tax. That has slowly but steadily declined in the almost 40 years since then. We could adjust the salary cap so that 90% of earned income was subject to the tax again. Myself, I think that would have been a whole lot safer and smarter decision in 1983, but Congress took the Greenspan Commission’s (yes, that Greenspan) word that productivity gains would be shared.
Chip’s point also stands, that the rich will tend to find ways to make their income look like returns to capital. Look at the carried interest scam hedge fund managers have set up.Report
Just eliminate the cap.Report
And increase the payout formulas.Report
“Just eliminate the cap” is not a reasonable proposal. This is an enormous tax increase, and the current income tax rates are set with the payroll tax cap in mind.
I’m all for eliminating the cap, if only to get people who don’t understand how taxes work to stop chanting “regressive” as if it were a coherent argument, but income tax rates would have to be adjusted to bring the total tax wedge down to a reasonable level.
Maybe we should just drop the pretense and fold payroll taxes into the income tax, but I haven’t thought through all the effects this would have.Report
To add, immigrants are 80% more likely than native born to start a business.
That’s… really important for economic growthReport
Regular readers know my fascination with the Great Plains region, half a million square miles spread over 362 counties in ten states. In the 2020 census the population increased somewhat, for the first time since 1930. Excluding Texas, the total population continued to shrink. Growth in Texas was due to the DFW suburbs spilling farther out, West Texas and Panhandle counties with energy industries (wind, oil and gas), and Lubbock. Average population density over the entire region increased to 10.3 people per square mile. Nine additional counties had their population density fall below the 7.0 people per square mile that is the traditional definition of “frontier”, increasing the total number of frontier counties to 231.
Somewhere here I have a paper that predicts a substantial number of refugees from sea level rise along US coasts are going to settle in the Great Plains hinterlands. One of these days I have to dig into that to see why anyone thinks an increasingly arid Great Plains is going to attract population.Report
And that will reignite water right discussions.Report
It has occurred to me how much the success of an enterprise- a family, a business, a social group, or a nation- depends on its participants getting along and being able to cooperate in mutual trust and goodwill.
And how much of this requires a continuing process of self-reflection and difficult listening and criticism which almost always spurs a defensive reaction.Report
Heh, diversity is culturally constructed. Which is to say, we’ve done an interesting philological-pas-de-deux: 1) We created a new American Narrative in which being ‘American’ was White; 2) Being White is to be a White-Supremacist; 3) We’ve added a Narrative where things that aren’t races count as Diversity and give you cover for Not-being-a-White-Supremacist; 4) We’ve freighted things that have nothing to do with Diversity into ‘not-being-a-White-Supremacist’ 6) We’ve organized this into political factions.
We’ve seen worse/dumber Political Ideologies, so I won’t say it won’t work… but I strongly suspect it won’t last.
We’re not really embracing “Diversity” we’re embracing a new narrative of what being American is … it’s a pretty radical form of conformity… it might be better in some ways, it’s definitely worse in many. But diverse it isn’t.
So, to participate in the new scare-quotes-diversity we dust off family lore and classify ourselves in the most advantageous way in the new Narrative. If you’re still ‘white’ there’s always 23-and-me; if tragically white, there’s immigrant roots; after that, there’s nothing left but becoming a facilitator. Unless you’re Asian.
NYT: Behind the Surprising Jump in Multiracial Americans, Several Theories
Economist: Why more Americans are self-identifying as multiracial
538: What Makes Someone Identify As Multiracial?
We’re really grinding up these identities into a new Narrative that some think is ‘inclusive’ but my above-the-fray observation is that it is purely instrumental and not in any way diverse. A diversity of fear. It’s not legitimate and it won’t tolerate actual diversity. It will end badly.
Happy MLK day:
“If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, ‘brethren!’ Be careful, teachers!”
“The Purpose of Education” from Morehouse College student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger, 1947Report
Good news! According to the last census, the Native American population increased by 86.5%!
As a white-passing Native American, I think that it’s great that more of us are coming out of the proverbial closet.Report
The “I’m part Cherokee” story that has always existed in American literature and self-imaging is interesting for the various ways in which it has been interpreted. There’s nothing new in the phenomenon, just in the way in which we allocate cache and to what we attach the value. And hey, lots of people are part Cherokee.Report
Not enrolled members, if I read correctlyReport
1) We created a new American Narrative in which being ‘American’ was White;
Hasn’t this always been so? Like, since 1619?
2) Being White is to be a White-Supremacist;
Again, this is a simple historical fact, that non-whites were only grudgingly accepted and even then conditionally and with provisions.
3) We’ve added a Narrative where things that aren’t races count as Diversity and give you cover for Not-being-a-White-Supremacist;
Assuming you’re talking about gender or orientation, this seems to be a requirement of the very word, “diversity”. Otherwise the word would be “Racial Inclusion” or somesuch.
4) We’ve freighted things that have nothing to do with Diversity into ‘not-being-a-White-Supremacist’
Its not clear to me what this means.
5) We’ve organized this into political factions.
Who is the “we” in this sentence?
When this statement gets analyzed in the context of American history, it becomes clear that the statement sweeps up both MLK and the KKK, both the advocates for equality and its opponents into mere political factions. Not advocates for justice versus advocates for injustice, but merely players in a game, morally indistinguishable.
To exaggerate only slightly, it reads like “I, with my above-the-fray viewpoint, criticize both MLK and the man who murdered him as political actors advancing a Narrative.”Report
As soon as I see something that looks like Justice, I might be interested.
But do continue to build your false narrative of justice by side-swiping people with the KKK.Report
Is there any reason you felt unable to respond to his points? 1 and 2 are, bluntly, pretty obviously correct from basically any perspective on America’s past that is more in-depth than “The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to grow corn”.
Instead of answering you just insulted him and played the victim. That’s…telling.Report
Being White is to be a White Supremacist is pretty obviously correct?
As a white-passing Native American, I don’t think that that’s true at all.Report
“We created a new American Narrative in which being ‘American’ was White;
Hasn’t this always been so? Like, since 1619?”
If that has been the case since 1619, it’s not a new Narrative, it’s the old one.
“Being White is to be a White-Supremacist;”
Change that to “Being White was to be a White-Supremacist”, and you’d have a better leg to stand on, depending on how far back you went, but you can no longer make that general of a statement without redefining what it means to be a white supremacist to a point of meaninglessness.Report
I think your analysis is fairly accurate, but isn’t this kind of thinking largely done? We’re at least past the high-water mark. I think the covid years have greatly reduced people’s inclination to do stupid things because they’re expected, or at least to clearly announce that they’re going along with something but it’s stupid. Celebrities, comedians, politicians, and content producers have all been more willing to call out the nonsense, and seem to be able to weather the storm. You still have an occasional Patton Oswalt, but there’s minimal cost in pointing out that he’s on the wrong side. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I just don’t see the coercion working much longer. The late adopters (large companies, teachers’ unions, dinosaur media, et cetera) aren’t there yet, but that’s to be expected.Report
I don’t think anything in ‘thinking’ or ‘politics’ is ever done… setbacks release new lines of thinking and politics. We’re seeing some of this with increasing Latino Multi-racial identification nudging towards the R’s – which is very counter-intuitive, but illustrative of the fact that ideas like ‘Diversity’ aren’t constrained by gate-keepers, no matter how they try.
The ‘Diversity’ story could be adapted in many ways by different factions… some of which I think will be compelling rather than coercive… but also possibly not.Report
Witch hunts can always return, but never with the same fervor and naivete as their first run. Race and diversity are going to be lingering issues, but the particular circumstances of today (like your 23-and-me observation that could be the basis of a great comedy movie) can’t last.Report
Re comedy movie — I thought the whole world had already seen this but in case you haven’t: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8uvAn6Mk-sReport
There ya go. Thanks.Report
All of this. If I had to sum up the philosophy it would be ‘what if we really leaned in to the one-drop rule, but this time we did it for righteous reasons?’
Nevermind questions of if there is ever a righteous reason much less whether the facts of ancestry, especially in the new world, align. We can just make it up as we go along. Now excuse me, I have an appointment at the MVA to change my last name to El Bombero.Report
The alt-right drove diversity as well. It’s now canon that I and my fellow (((globalists))) are no longer white.Report
Dude, you might be the whitest guy I know.Report
Yet still cosmopolitan.Report
We should still audit his take-out history, just to be sure.Report
You mean, Thai food? Every white person I know lives off the stuff.Report
It’s funny you mention that, because whenever we want something really spicy from an ethnic restaurant we place the order under my wife’s maiden name. It’s Romanian but easily mistaken for something far more exotic. As long as they can’t see her when she orders the heat gets turned way up.Report
“It’s Romanian but easily mistaken for something far more exotic”
I would guess Macedonian. In fact it’s definitely Macedonian. But maybe not North Macedonian.Report
Heh, as a descendant of the environs of the Via Egnatia, solidarity.
As a possible descendent of the Phanariot family that ruled Romania for the Ottomans… sorry?Report
There are some funny things there. Like, in my experience, 50% of black people use hot sauce, but none of them brag about it. I’ve only ever heard white people talk competitively about their spicy food endurance. And then all non-white non-black restaurants always wave off the white customers condescendingly. “No, I’m going to bring you the slightly spicy soup and a bread stick. Three more visits and you can work your way up to the authentic cuisine.”Report
Haha, to be clear I would not boast about my abilities at all. I’m more what I’d call a good sport. My wife is the connoisseur of these things.Report
Like X^2 + 1 = 0.
I think it is telling how the idea that we are all guilty of sinfullness like greed and selfishness and cruelty is just accepted without question, but the idea that we all, as individuals and as a nation, are guilty of racism and bigotry is what gets the loudest yelps of protest, even from those who are ostensibly liberal.Report
And in the absence of priests to whom they could confess their sins they retained a DEI contractor.Report
“We as individuals and as a nation have been racist.”
“Therefore we should follow my policy preferences.”
“Your yelps of protest have been noted.”Report
I would ask both Jaybird and InMD where should we begin? Is saying never again enough, or do we go further?Report
I would submit the following:
-de jure racial discrimination has been illegal for almost 70 years.
-nearly all private sector racial discrimination has been illegal for almost 60 years.
-huge swathes of public sector, NPO, and fortune 500 level corporations engage in varying levels of de facto wink wink, nudge nudge race-based affirmative action.
-Measurable attitudes towards race (things like intermarriage for example) have never been better. Our creators of arts and culture are champions in this regard and have been for decades.
-Most disparate impact and and racial group inequality statistical analysis paint a pretty complex picture, certainly way too complex to support the reductive conclusions put forth by the particular form of politics under discussion.
All of this is to say, I reject in whole the idea that all we have done is say ‘never again.’ We have done a lot more. I now say we should be focused on the socio-economic. Use existing laws to redress racism where appropriate and as needed. Otherwise as long as the floor and quality of life is getting better and better for regular people of whatever race I don’t think the rest is particularly material.Report
Where should we begin?
If the implication is that we haven’t even started, I’m not sure we’re looking at the same stuff.
Now, I *DO* think that there is more ground that needs to be covered, but it’s mostly class-based rather than race-based. Tackling class stuff will help the lower classes and the races that compose them a heck of a lot better than performative anti-racism.Report
Perhaps class based solutions are the way to go, but I’m getting a strong Pontius Pilate vibe coming off both of these comments. It can be true at the same time that you, or I, or InMD are not racists, and that there are racist policies and practices (widespread) in this country. Declaring they don’t exist doesn’t make the problem go away. If someone tells me there is a problem, and then outlines how that problem impacts his/her life, I’m going to grant the benefit of the doubt.Report
I’m not saying that racism doesn’t exist and that there aren’t racist policies.
But let’s say that we wanted to fix, oh, racist policing. I would recommend revamping QI rather than, say, defunding the police.
If I wanted to fix, oh, racist education policies, I would probably put more emphasis on stuff like trade schools than college debt forgiveness.
I am more than happy enough to agree that we as individuals and as a nation have been racist.
But that doesn’t mean that I need to agree with your policies.Report
All excellent solutions, worth, at least, talking about. Too bad neither side wants to listen.Report
Maybe I misread you. Your question implied that you believe nothing has been done about racism in this country. I then responded with a list of things that have been done in the post war era. These are not made up things, nor are they small things, and I would say are pretty evident, well documented changes in law and culture. Like, do you believe Brown v. Board (and many other decisions), the Civil Rights Act, the huge federal and state bureaucracies that enforce laws against illegal discrimination, etc. don’t exist? Do you believe that cultural attitudes are the same as they were when there were anti-miscegenation laws and interactions of any kind between the races were taboo? And that’s really just the beginning.
You’re now saying I’m washing my hands and/or pretending racism doesn’t exist. I have no idea how you could reach that conclusion from what I wrote.
Now I’m not telling you how to respond to someone who tells you racism has impacted his or her life. That’s a personal thing, and I’m all for empathy.
But I will say that the premise of the question I replied to, i.e. nothing has been done to address racism in this country, is so false that it cannot possibly inform a useful conversation about the world we live in today. There’s also no benefit to pretending a bunch of obviously wrong things are true, and I see no reason why anyone should. If anything I’d say it’s profoundly unserious and shows an infinitely greater disregard for the issues of race in America than anything I’ve said. Because that’s what I hear when people say that everyone needs to mouth broad pieties about but won’t get into the details.Report
No, I never meant that nothing has been done. No one who’s paid attention to current affairs for the past 70 years could think that, as you rightly point out. My question remains is it enough? To me, at least, the answer is quite obvious.Report
Fair enough. I try to be an open minded person and readily concede that reasonable people can disagree on this stuff. I just don’t really buy the ‘if only we all felt a little more guilty’ thing as a useful approach.Report
Definitely not! I suspect we agree on whole lot more than we disagree about here.Report
You shifted something between the first idea and the second. There’s a difference between all being guilty and being guilty as individuals and a nation, it seems to me. If I said that all humans are racist and everyone who belongs to my country club is human, that has a different implication than saying that everyone in my country club as individuals and as a country club is guilty of racism.
I’m also not confident that the majority of black liberals would say that they’re guilty of racism.Report
How is it possible to have flawed individuals construct a flawless structure?
Half of the Old Testament prophets and Gospels is the idea that thru individual sinfullness, the entire nation of Israel was behaving in an unjust manner.
Its not a coincidence that MLK used the vocabulary and rhetorical style of an Old Testament prophet in calling America to account for failing to live out its mission.
In a sense, we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”Report
All we have to do is put the perfect people in charge of things and then we’re golden.Report
This is an all-purpose, and therefore meaningless objection.
“Crime is up!”
“All we have to do is put the perfect people in charge of things and then we’re golden.”
“Inflation is rising!”
“All we have to do is put the perfect people in charge of things and then we’re golden.”
I’ll let you get back to the issue of flawed people being unable to make a flawless structure then.Report
Are you asking whether flawed people can create perfect blueprints for a house or whether we can build a perfect house? I’m willing to concede that you and I, if we were building a house, would make some mistakes. Frames wouldn’t be at exactly 90 degrees. It could be sturdy enough to keep from falling over, even if we ourselves are flawed and sometimes prone to falling over. But it could topple, sure, because we’re flawed.
But we could design something that wouldn’t be biased toward falling over in any particular direction.
When you say that our nation is racist, do you mean that our blueprints are racist or our realization of those designs is racist? I hardly think either is true, but I could grant that the latter can happen. Maybe some government statistician is so overwhelmed by his hatred of black people that he changes some numbers. But my initial point was that a statement “we’re all racist” has a different implication than the statement “we all and our nation are racist”. It seems to me that our nation was designed to be race-neutral and we’ve been moving piece by piece toward achieving that. Some of those pieces were hard-fought, and some took longer than they should have. But the blueprint is good.Report
That the status quo cannot possibly be flawless is not evidence that it’s currently flawed in a way that would be improved by implementing policy changes inspired by your personal ideology.
Note that “How is it possible to have flawed individuals construct a flawless structure?” is a fully general argument. It makes just as strong an argument for socialism as it does for laissez-faire capitalism, just as strong an argument for theocracy as for secular humanism, and just as strong an argument for a return to Jim Crow as for implementing the ideas of Ibram X. Kendi.Report
Ah yes, our national holiday where we take the words of a dead man to turn him into everything from Cliff Huxtable to Bobby Rush.
But to answer Andrew’s question, yes, yes, I certainly am.Report
He only ever gave one speech, and the only words in it were “content of their character”.Report
Here you go.
King was, at the time he made The Speech and for the rest of his too-short life, one of the most widely-loathed persons in America. Loathed mostly by the political right. One of my most searing memories was of a person I loved commenting, when President Johnson spoke about King’s murder, “He [LBJ] should just say ‘the n****r had it coming.'”Report
Gold from McSweeney’s.
This is an unpopular take… African-Americans occupy an unfortunately unique position in the American mindset. To borrow from someone, the Irish-Americans took on sh*t manual labor jobs but bred beautiful light-skinned red-haired daughters that second sons of the “white” class married against their parents’ wishes. We are watching Mexican-Americans who have taken on sh*t manual labor jobs but breed beautiful light-skinned black-haired daughters that second sons of the “white” class are marrying against their parents’ wishes. (Or vice versa, like my niece of German/Anglo-Saxon descent whose married name is Martinez, and whose mother-in-law believes her son married “down” (amazing how grandchildren have helped there).)
At least across large parts of the country, AAs do not get similar treatment. My German/Anglo-Saxon nephew’s significant other is a Black woman from Chicago who simply will not visit the area where his sister can comfortably go by Martinez, because it’s different for Blacks.Report
Indian Americans have a distribution of skin colors similar to that of African Americans, and they’re putting whites to shame in terms of socioeconomic performance.Report
I think Michael Cain is onto something with his comment. The history of the United States in many ways or all ways still revolves around the badges and incidents of slavery and its aftermath. This includes a lot of “model minority” stuff that you see hoisted on various groups. Jews were the model minority for a time and now it seems to be Asian-Americans. Hell, I have even seen recent immigrants from Africa get it compared to native-born black Americans who might have been here longer than some current right-wingers families. A lot of discussion in America on race and ethnicity seems to involve taking not white people and then eventually putting them into the white or white enough category. Anything to still have a category of other largely for black people who are the descendants of former slaves.
It is also increasingly clear that a good chunk of Americans do not want to live in an increasingly diverse United States and have no interest in multiracial democracy. Something snapped with the election of Obama twice where a lot of people just stated “okay enough is enough.” I still think the Trump decided to run for President when Obama burned him at the White House Correspondence Dinner. Even if the worst case scenarios for 2022 and 2024 do not pan out, I think we will be living with Trump’s first term for a long long time.Report
You are missing the point.
White people put black folks into a “white guilt” category.
Hispanics put black folks into a “murder” category.
(See the streets of California. Extermination is the game).
This is borne out by empirical polling.
Diversity is our strength? Well, fine.
But own that genocide you vote for.Report
Diversity is our strength.
Shut up, if you think otherwise.
Shut up, if you want to talk about the predictable consequences of diversity.
Shut up, if you want to talk about polls, or beliefs, or the changing situation of people.
Shut up, if you think that a black citizen has more right to a good living than a hispanic non-citizen smuggling drugs across the border.
Seriously, folks. if you’re in favor of diversity, you are in favor of the increasing impoverishment of African Americans (yes, you can also be in favor of things to counteract this. Obviously). You are also in favor of quite a few other things, that are predictable consequences of “diversity.”Report
Judging from the new comments showing up, we must have got a hit on Gab or Gettr or Grindr or whatever the kids like Ben Shapiro are using nowadays.Report
Others will have more expertise on this than me but I somehow doubt there is a lot of overlap between Grindr users and Ben Shapiro fans. Or if there is I don’t think they’re talking politics.Report
I would bet the overlap is more than you might think.Report