Race is, and will always be, a divisive topic in American discourse. Controversial media coverage of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, by George Zimmerman — described as a “white-Hispanic” in certain news reports — is proof that the racial pains of America’s yesteryear are not going anywhere anytime soon.
But a new poll from The Associated Press presents a question for people who place the blame for challenges facing minorities today on an America of yesterday: What happens when whites no longer make up the majority of America’s population?
The poll indicates that whites will reach minority status in the United States for the first time in the Nation’s history by 2043.
While white-on-minority racism certainly isn’t completely dead in the Nation, it cannot be argued by any reasonable person that the Nation has not made great strides in terms of racial unity and equality — to the credit of a combination of grass-roots, legislative and individual efforts. Likewise, a degree of racial prejudice among minority populations is also alive and well.
In a Nation that has done so much in the name of racial equality and built entire institutions on the basis that white Americans have used majority status to vastly abuse minorities throughout history, AP’s findings indicate that policymakers will have to form a whole new understanding of how previously installed race protections may need to change in the future.
According to AP’s report:
- The population younger than 5 stood at 49.9 percent minority in 2012.
- For the first time in more than a century, the number of deaths now exceeds births among white Americans. This “natural decrease” occurred several years before the government’s original projection, a sign of the white population decline soon to arrive. For now, the white population is still increasing slightly, due to immigration from Europe.
- As a whole, the nonwhite population increased by 1.9 percent to 116 million, or 37 percent of the U.S. The fastest percentage growth is among multiracial Americans, followed by Asians and Hispanics. Non-Hispanic whites make up 63 percent of the U.S.; Hispanics, 17 percent; blacks, 12.3 percent; Asians, 5 percent; and multiracial Americans, 2.4 percent.
- About 353 of the nation’s 3,143 counties, or 11 percent, are now “majority-minority.” Six of those counties tipped to that status last year: Mecklenburg, N.C.; Cherokee, Okla.; Texas, Okla.; Bell, Texas; Hockley, Texas; and Terrell, Texas.
- In 2012, 13 states and the District of Columbia had an under-5 age population that was “majority-minority,” up from five states in 2000. In 25 states and the District of Columbia, minorities now make up more than 40 percent of the under-5 group.
- Among the under-5 age group, 22 percent live in poverty, typically in more rural states such as Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Black toddlers were most likely to be poor, at 41 percent, followed by Hispanics at 32 percent and whites at 13 percent. Asian toddlers had a poverty rate of 11 percent.
Could it be time for Americans to forever forbid legitimacy to people pulling the race card when there is no obvious indication of racial discrimination? And will it ever be possible to call the Nation “post-racial” with any real accuracy? Only time will tell; but in a forever-polarized society inbred with political correctness, probably not.