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Monday, May 21, 2012

Minority births outnumber white births in the US

This Washington Post article, published May 17, 2012, says that 50.4% of the American babies born in 2011 were "Hispanic, black, Asian American or in other minority groups" and that's the first time white babies haven't been the majority.

Cool.  I guess it means culture is changing (very slowly though- white people are totally the majority for all the other age groups).

But I suspect this scares some people and I'd like to speculate about why.  Because years ago it probably would have scared me too.

Where I grew up it was all white people.  In school there would be an occasional 1 or 2 black people in my classes.  Basically I could live life without ever interacting with any non-white people, and that was fine with me because what if other people are DIFFERENT and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say/do?  Fear of the unknown.  And ya know what, you can learn about the civil rights movement and Black History Month all you want, but kids are still going to have this racism/fear if they're not actually interacting with REAL PEOPLE from other races.

So if it scares people that white babies are not a majority, I think it's because "oh no, the culture's changing, and we might have to learn to interact with people who are different from us.  That's not how America's supposed to be."  So I understand that "fear of the unknown" but if you think about it for a second it's obvious that it's totally racist.  It comes from ignorance, not trying to be evil on purpose, but it's still racism.

As for the "that's not how America's supposed to be"- dude, culture changes.  That's a totally normal thing.  You can't allow the way that Americans lived in the past to limit the lives of Americans in the present and future.

So... what do you think?  Am I right about people being afraid, and the reasons why?  Is it okay for me to say "yeah in the past I totally didn't want to interact with people who were different from me, and I was wrong"- I feel like I'm not allowed to say things like that.  People are really weird about talking about racism.

2 comments:

  1. Great observations! I think it might be fun to for you to research the unique status of the U.S. as a nation with narrative of multi-ethinicity and comparitve to the narrative and current immagration struggles of a nation like France, whose national identity almost always found in their ethnic heritage.

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    1. ^_^ Or compare with China. I'm realizing that the US is really unique- the overwhelming majority of Americans are descendants of people who came in the last, like, 500 years. Other countries aren't like that. Chinese culture has thousands of years of history.

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