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The Implication of Birth Rate Variances across Ethnicities
The Fallacy of Multiculturalism
The ramifications associated with ethnic minorities surpassing white US births
A recent census indicates that ethnic minorities now surpass white people in terms of US birth rates. The statistics are charged with racial and political implications. It is the first time that racial and ethnical minorities consist more than 50% of children born in the USA. These are the citizens of the future and they will determine who rules. It is too late and even undesirable to abrogate their citizenship rights in any way.
There is discomfort from the anti-immigration campaigners about this change in the racial makeup of the USA. Ironically the ‘country of immigrants’ has often (and erroneously) been presented as being a ‘white country’ even more so than the European nations which are largely dominated by Caucasian people. It is not nuclear science to work out that there is going to be some tension as a result of all these changes.
Is it possible to build a genuinely multicultural country?
A history of slavery, segregation and discrimination has meant that racial tension is rarely far off in American society today. Code words have been developed in order to mask the uncertainties and worries of the ‘indigenous’ people. Of course these people largely ignore the true indigenous peoples who are of Mexican extraction. Others argue that immigration is a red herring.
For example the prolonged recession has meant that fewer Hispanics are coming to the USA in search of a better life. Globalization means that most traditional immigration systems are going to be redundant. A worker does not need to step out of China in order to effectively take ‘American Jobs’. All that is required is an entrepreneur who is looking to maximize their profits. The rest is merely collateral damage.
Other people paint an optimistic picture where various races are able to live in harmony. Roderick Harrison was once a Chief or Racial Statistics at the Census Bureau and he considers these statistics to be a positive development: "This is an important landmark…This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders." It would be nice if such a picture actually reflected the reality of people who are worried about their way of life being swept away.
The losing battle of immigration control
At one point there were suggestions of ‘Fortress Europe’ backed by the incredibly rightwing Labour Politician Tony Blair. In the USA, the state of Arizona is attempting to do the work that the Federal Government will not do. They have a strict immigration law that sometimes borders on racial profiling. Other states are considering similar measures regardless of the vocal opposition presented by the Obama Administration.
The reality is that all these attempts to keep ‘poor and dark people’ out represent nothing more than ‘noise’. Jobs are being made and lost on the international market. Traditional immigration systems are not equipped to deal with a world where outsourcing means that jobs can be shipped thousands of miles away without ever encountering a customs official.
Harrison is somewhat critical of the responses by some states: "We remain in a dangerous period where those appealing to anti-immigration elements are fueling a divisiveness and hostility that might take decades to overcome”. However it is not possible to order people to stop worrying about immigration. They will worry but the truth of the matter is that they can do very little about it. The world has changed and they will just have to change with it.
A nation that is growing and diversifying
The Hispanic count was higher than expected in the 2010 Census. Minorities were 114.1 million which represents an increase of 1.9%. They now represent 36.6% of the US population. Thanks to the ‘one drop rule’, all mixed race people automatically become ethnic minorities. A wave of immigration meant that there were many Hispanic women in their prime, ready to bear children.
These children are going to vote in the next 50 years and any political party that attempts to take away their rights is going to pay a heavy price. The GOP is worried that these immigrants are by default Democratic Party voters and that makes their electoral prospects dim. However it is important to remember that no community is ever homogenous. There are differences even within the minorities.
Although there is a slowdown in the growth of Asian and Hispanic populations, it is likely that by 2050 non-Hispanic Caucasian people will be the minority in the USA. Deportations and other forms of harassment may delay the inevitable but in the end America is going to become a truly ‘immigrant nation’. In some respects globalization might mean that this does not really matter in the grand scheme of things.
- H. Yen,” Census: Minorities now surpass whites in US births”, 16th May 2012, Seattle Times, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2018225109_apuscensuswhiteminority.html
Minority Births Now Majority In America
A Diverse Population in the USA
Birth Rates and Race
Is it right to highlight the birth rate differences in the various race groups?
Birth Rates in the USA
A prosperous immigrant nation with changing demographics.