Monday, 25 March 2013

"Welcome to America, the country where whites were ever majority.

WASHINGTON (AP) "Welcome to America, the country where whites were ever majority.
A historical decline in the number of white combined with the rapid growth of the Hispanic population is becoming increasingly blurred the old division between whites and blacks, testing laws to protect the civil and political alliances now reformulated as whites leave of a majority.
Demographic change, which has been brewing for some time, it became clear in last November's election, when Barack Obama, the first black president that the country was re-elected despite having a negligible support among whites .
It is an important fact in the midst of the debate in Congress to reform immigration laws that could clear the way for some 11 million foreigners who are in the country illegally, mostly Hispanic, to obtain citizenship. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, is deciding cases that could give new meaning to the concepts of race and equality.
The last census and Associated Press polls reflect a historic shift in a nation where non-Hispanic whites will no longer be a majority in the next generation, about 2043.
Despite being a nation of immigrants, the white majority was never in danger in the 237 year history of the United States, to be the first postindustrial nation where whites are the minority. Brazil, a developing country, spent a while for that process and the same could happen at any time in some cities in France and England, if not already happened.
International experience and recent events in the United States suggest that approaches an uncertain future for race relations in this country.
In Brazil, where it promotes the concept of multi-racial society, social mobility remains one of the lowest in the world for blacks and wealth remains concentrated among a small elite mostly white. In France, the census does not take into account race and people share a unit gala, but persistent high levels of racial discrimination.
"The U.S. experience has always been a colorful history. During the twentieth century was shaped division between blacks and whites. In XXI we are moving into a time not white," said Marcelo Suarez Orozco, immigration expert and dean of the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA.
"Numerically, the United States is changing. The question now is whether our institutions are also changing," he said.
The change is being powered by a modern wave of people from Latin America and Asia. Its annual flow of 650,000 people has been since 1965 and the rate has been increasing in recent years, exceeding that of the last great wave of immigration a century ago. At that time, between 1820 and 1920, arrived Irish, Germans, Italians, and Jews from all over Europe, which became the input port of Ellis Island, in New York, a monument to immigration and a symbol of freedom and the American dream.
Another relevant factor is the aging of the baby boomer generation, born between mid-1940 and mid-60s. As retiring will arise the need for immigrants of first and second generation to carry out their work.
Various statistics show that being white is no longer a requirement to be considered a real American.
"Since last year, more babies are born among minorities than among whites.
"Over 45% of children age kindergarten through 12th grade and are minorities. Census Bureau estimates that in five years the number of children does not exceed 50% white.
"In the District of Columbia (Washington), Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas minorities represent more than 50% of the population. Towards 2020 will join that list eight other states: Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and New York. In New Mexico there are more Hispanics than whites and the same will happen in California from next year.
"By 2039, racial and ethnic minorities will be the majority of the population of working age, and help maintain a disproportionately white elderly population through Social Security and other benefits. More than a quarter of the population aged 18 and 64 year olds will be Hispanic.
"The white population is now of 197.8 million people and is projected to increase to 200 million in 2024, from which time experience a sharp decline in numbers. Whites now represent 63% of the population and is estimated that by 2043 will be less than 50%. That year, ethnic and racial minorities in combination will become the majority. Hispanics are the almost exclusive responsibility of the great growth of minorities because of their high birth rates and will go to be 26% of the population, compared with 17% today.
The rate of assimilation of Hispanics and Asians today is often comparable to that of the Poles, Irish, Italians and Jews who arrived in the early twentieth century and completely assimilated.
By the 30s, however, imposed strict quotas on immigration and borders were closed. The immigrants were pressured to assimilate and alimentasen New Deal economic programs that generally excluded blacks. Fees cut the arrival of new workers to ethnic enclaves and reduced social and economic contacts between migrants and their countries of origin.
"America is no longer a melting pot," the title of an article by a senator published by the New York Times in 1924. The lawmaker posited immigration quotas that would help "preserve the racial composition of today."
The information available today indicates that Hispanics are assimilated but also maintain strong ties to their culture. They want to learn English and one in four is married to a white woman.
Currently, immigrants do not support so many pressures to assimilate as in the past. Hispanics are covered by the 50 laws to ensure equal rights for blacks.
While increasing diversity is often a step towards a post-racial society, some sociologists warn that racial diversity can safely be magnified.
A query of AP never done before in 2011 revealed that a slight majority of white racial prejudice expressed toward Hispanics and their attitudes were similar if not more prejudicial than to blacks. Hispanics live in relatively segregated slums affected by the disappearance of well-paying jobs in factories, which require intermediate skills, such as those who helped whites to climb into the middle class most of the twentieth century.
The AP study was conducted by researchers at Stanford University, the University of Michigan and NORC, University of Chicago.
Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that by 2030 the children of today's immigrants and earn between 10% and 15% less than non-immigrants, judging by past trends, and that Hispanics face many problems by high rates of poverty, lack of citizenship and low levels of education.
Approximately 35% of Hispanic babies are from poor families, compared with 41% of blacks and 20% of whites.
"The response to the new challenges of racial and ethnic diversity will determine if we have a more open and inclusive in the future, that creates equal opportunities and justice for all," said Daniel Lichter, a sociologist at Cornell and former president of Population Association of America.
Demographic changes have led to debates about whether some programs like quotas for admissions to universities should focus more on income than race or ethnicity. The Supreme Court will rule on the issue in late June.


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