The Myth of a Majority-Minority America

Three academics publish in The Atlantic June 16, 2021:

The narrative that nonwhite people will soon outnumber white people is not only divisive, but also false.

In recent years, demographers and pundits have latched on to the idea that, within a generation, the United States will inevitably become a majority-minority nation, with nonwhite people outnumbering white people. In the minds of many Americans, this ethno-racial transition betokens political, cultural, and social upheaval, because a white majority has dominated the nation since its founding. But our research on immigration, public opinion, and racial demography reveals something quite different: By softening and blurring racial and ethnic lines, diversity is bringing Americans together more than it is tearing the country apart.

The majority-minority narrative contributes to our national polarization. Its depiction of a society fractured in two, with one side rising while the other subsides, is inherently divisive because it implies winners and losers. It has bolstered white anxiety and resentment of supposedly ascendant minority groups, and has turned people against democratic institutions that many conservative white Americans and politicians consider complicit in illegitimate minority empowerment. At the extreme, it nurtures conspiratorial beliefs in a racist “replacement” theory, which holds that elites are working to replace white people with minority immigrants in a “stolen America.”

The narrative is also false. By rigidly splitting Americans into two groups, white versus nonwhite, it reinvents the discredited 19th-century “one-drop rule” and applies it to a 21st-century society in which the color line is more fluid than it has ever been.

In reality, racial diversity is increasing not only at a nationwide level but also within American families—indeed within individual Americans. Nearly three in 10 Asian, one in four Latino, and one in five Black newlyweds are married to a member of a different ethnic or racial group. More than three-quarters of these unions are with a white partner. For more and more Americans, racial integration is embedded in their closest relationships.

Multiracial identities are gaining public recognition and approval. Numerous young Americans consider themselves both white and members of a minority racial or ethnic group. One in every nine babies born in the U.S. today will be raised in a mixed minority-and-white family, and this group is steadily growing. These children have kin networks—including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins—that include both white people and minorities. Among Latinos, identifying as white or as simply “American” is common, and belies the notion that Latinos should be classified monolithically as nonwhite.

Furthermore, most Americans of both white and minority descent are not positioned as minorities in American society. For example, people who identify as Hispanic and white, or Asian and white, tend to start life in more economically favorable situations than most minority groups, are typically raised in largely white communities, have above-average educational outcomes and adulthood incomes, and frequently marry white people. They have fluid identities that are influenced by both minority and white ancestries.

I’ve rarely encountered any anti-white hatred (on the rare times I did, it was only from blacks).

A friend says:

Los Angeles was a county with a large white population, a significant but still small Latino population composed mostly of persons with deep roots in the community and not recent migrants, a significant African American population larger in proportion than it is today, and a small Asian population. All you have to do is look at the ethnic and racial origins of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District every five years or so from 1950. If you want to increase the white population, you can add in the private and parochial schools but that still doesn’t shift the demographics much. Black and white kids have been pushed out and been supplanted by Latinos. Whites have been pushed out of many of the independent school districts in the San Gabriel Valley by Asians (primarily Chinese).

The city council which doesn’t reflect the population of the city has four Latinos (perhaps five if Buscaino is Latino) and three blacks among its fifteen members, one of East Asian descent and one of subcontinental descent. It has two traditional whites, plus two Jews and an Armenian.

The five member board of supervisors has one black and one Latino, and three whites. All five are women and one of them is a well known Lesbian elected official (although she is also probably the smartest and most respected). But you can see how much they pander since four of them voted to put on the ballot that a percentage of expenditures would be locked in to BLM type expenditures. The initiative passed although the tentative court ruling is to enjoin it since you can’t take away budgetary discretion from the duly elected officials. But what does it say that 80% wanted this on the ballot when the population of Blacks in L.A. County hovers around 10%?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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