Right now, if you are white and live in California—you are not the “majority” any more. Your numbers are less than 50% of the state’s population.
By 2050, the U.S. population as a whole will be less than 50% white, according to projections by the U.S. Census. Whites will be something entirely new: a minority. That demographic shift is a watershed. What does it portend?
“How the current majority reacts to its incipient minority status is the most crucial sociodemographic issue facing the country in the decade to come,” writes Gregory Rodriquez in Time. He calls it “white anxiety.” White anxiety is on Time’s list of the 10 ideas for the next 10 years.
This makes me think: Is white anxiety sparking the immigration backlash—such as Arizona’s tough illegal-immigration law and the state’s ban on ethnic studies? (Click the links on the right to see posts this week about these new laws.)
All sorts of futures are possible. Will we see new ethnic and racial dynamics in our post-majority world? Will whites join the ranks of aggrieved minorities and develop a political consciousness? Or, will we enter a world in which minority status matters less and less? The human ability to make group distinctions is so strong that it almost seems to be part of our DNA. Can we overcome our “biology”?
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(Originally published in www.ReadTheSpirit.org)