Yesterday, we looked at our American debates about immigration from a unique angle—way up in Norway. There, many people view immigration, especially of Muslims, as a threat to national values. Others say Norwegian culture is resilient and actually strengthened by the incorporation of those who are different.
The same voices are heard in the U.S.—but the target of the opposition to immigration is more likely to be Hispanic. Indeed, the Mexican-American border is the focus of Obama’s immigration reforms.
So, what does America look like from Norway? Here’s how Hylland-Eriksen, sees it. He’s the pro-immigration voice in Norway that I quoted yesterday.
“In the United States it’s reported that the USA is about to be browner. In a few decades it’s calculated that a majority of the U.S. population will have ‘brown’ skin. The American public is generally very relaxed about this, as long as the country’s population continues the traditions about what the U.S. is.” (Here’s the source of this text.)
He’s correct about the demographic trend. As Hua Hsu describes in a recent Atlantic article, “…we’re approaching a profound demographic tipping point. According to an August 2008 report by the U.S. Census Bureau, those groups currently categorized as racial minorities—blacks and Hispanics, East Asians and South Asians—will account for a majority of the U.S. population by the year 2042.”
What does this mean in the long run? Here’s the future Hsu sees: “There will be dislocations and resentments along the way, but the demographic shifts of the next 40 years are likely to reduce the power of racial hierarchies over everyone’s lives, producing a culture that’s more likely than any before to treat its inhabitants as individuals, rather than members of a caste or identity group.”
Do you agree with Hsu’s vision? Or viewpoints from Norway?
Or viewpoints from people around you—in the workplace, the neighborhood? Join the discussion and tell us how you view the issues of immigration and values.
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