La Repubblica, Italy
In the US, the White Man Is the Minority
By Angelo Aquaro
Translated By Linda Merlo
17 May 2012
Edited by Casey J. Skeens
Italy - La Repubblica - Original Article (Italian)
Ciao, ciao, white man: Now you're really a minority. Or rather, as it would be more correct to say in this huge racial cauldron called America, the majority amongst minorities. Yes, it's official now: the American WASPs, that is white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants, are a concept to be consigned to history — a not entirely proud history — of the last three centuries. The census data leaves no room for doubt. For the 12 months of the year that statistically concluded last July — that is, in the most recent data available — non-Hispanic, white infants totaled 49.6 percent. On the other hand, however, Hispanics, Asians, blacks and mixed groups rose to 50.4 percent, becoming the majority for the first time.
Truthfully, demographers had long been predicting this. The fact that on the highest throne of this nation — which tolerated Jim Crow laws, as the legislative "corpus” that justified the horror of segregation was called, less than half a century ago — now sits, remarkably, the black Barack Obama, speaks volumes about the evolution of the country. And the discovery that other races are being born more than whites goes along perfectly with the prediction — re-launched by Isabel Wilkerson in “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration” — that from now through the next 30 years, voters will be for the most part notably “not white.”
Agreed: the period of time is unfortunately a bit too long to leave hope for an easy re-confirmation for Obama. The controversies over the death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old killed by a white vigilante who is half Hispanic, seem like a snapshot of the confusing battle of identities. That the decision-making power is still firmly in the hands of pale faces is demonstrated by the Doomsday weapon that Obama’s Republican rivals are on track to launch Mitt Romney to the White House. And then there’s a series of billionaire commercials that incredibly are going to accuse the president of being what everyone knows he is, a black man. Additionally, a black racist who in his past would have cultivated the ideology of black supremacy.
Madness? The ads will be launched within a few weeks — you'll have to see them to believe them. Yes, all’s fair in war. And white America’s surrender will surely be the longest war this country has ever faced. For now, at least, the numbers give justification to other people. To minorities. To those too long excluded.
But how did it get to this point? The infinite wave of migration has won in the long run — this is clear. That same wave that three, four centuries ago brought the first European settlers here for decades now has been bringing Latinos and Asians. For some time now, whites haven’t been the majority in four states and in the District of Columbia, the district that administers Washington, so even in the capital. And the white population had already fallen below half in cities from New York to Las Vegas — not to mention Memphis, Tenn., which 40 years ago helplessly witnessed the assassination of Martin Luther King’s dream.
And what will all this mean, now, for America? William H. Frey, a well-known demographer, tells The New York Times that the data trumpeted from the census indicates a “transformation from a mostly white baby boomer culture to the more globalized multiethnic country that we are becoming.”
Indeed. With Latinos at 12 percent and blacks at 11, and Asians following right behind, the myth of the melting pot, actually the cauldron of the races, has never been so prolific. Bearing in mind that the cauldron was lit here on this ground. It’s striking, for example, that with regard to Latinos, from 2000 to 2010 there were more children born here, on American soil, than there were immigrants. How striking, then, the rise of those who define themselves as “multiracial” — a generation that from the star Alicia Keys (half black and half Italian) to Obama is revolutionizing the image of the country.
On the other hand, isn’t this the United States of America? Agreed, the Founding Fathers, amongst whom there were many racists, didn’t have this type of union in mind at all. But there it is. The white man will not have my scalp, also because, as of today, I'll get yours first.
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