Friday, May 23, 2014

Hispanics Becoming White

Here's an interesting sidelight on the question of whether the U.S. will ever become a "majority minority" society:
The researchers found that 2.5 million Americans of Hispanic origin, or approximately 7 percent of the 35 million Americans of Hispanic origin in 2000, changed their race from “some other race” in 2000 to “white” in 2010. An additional 1.3 million people switched in the other direction. A noteworthy but unspecified share of the change came from children who weren’t old enough to fill out a form in 2000, but chose for themselves in 2010. The data provide new evidence consistent with the theory that Hispanics may assimilate as white Americans, like the Italians or Irish, who were not universally considered to be white.
I can also imagine many Indian Americans declaring themselves white. And what about the offspring of marriages between whites and Asians, or WASPs and Hispanics? A half black, half white person was traditionally considered black in the US -- although this is not necessarily true now -- but the offspring of other sorts of mixed marriages have no such clear historical precedent and can call themselves pretty much whatever they want.

This seems to confirm the prescience of Ta-Nehisi Coates, who argued a few years ago that the "majority minority" society was a hoax because large groups of Hispanics would be assimilated into white America. White America, he said, would always allow enough people in to maintain its majority status.

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