Remember that episode of the Dave Chappelle Show when blind Black White Supremacist Clayton Bigsby takes off his hood in front of an audience of startled White Supremacists? In one instance, a Caucasian man’s head – literally – explodes.
That could be happening to quite a few people unable to come to grips with the exploding minority birth rate in the United States. A U.S. Census estimate recently released shows more “minorities” born in the U.S. than Whites. Reviewing local birth, death, tax and immigration records, the U.S. census estimates that minorities made up roughly 2.02 million, or 50.4 percent of U.S. births in the 12-month period ending July 2011.
The news follows the 2010 census figures which revealed a substantially higher count of Hispanics than anticipated. That count revealed an increase in the number of minorities by 1.9 percent to 114.1 million or 36.6% of the total United States population. The bump is linked to the increase of Hispanic immigrant women of child bearing years, over the past decade, mostly from Mexico.
It also highlights the raging debate over whether or not to close the border. But, even as a recent PEW report showed a net gain of zero in new Mexican immigrants, it still may be time to start preparing for what the country will look like in a few years.
One expert suggested that the boom has peaked. “The Latino population is very young, which means they will continue to have a lot of births relative to the general population,” Associate vice president of the Population Reference Bureau Mark Mather told the Washington Post “But we’re seeing a slowdown that is likely the result of multiple factors: declining Latina birth rates combined with lower immigration levels. If both of these trends continue, they will lead to big changes down the road.”
However, estimates say that Hispanics will be the majority race by 2050. Another report indicates that by the year 2015 or so, minorities will make up one-third of our population and a higher proportion of the work force.
This reality perhaps means those that have hostile and ambivalent feelings about these “new” populations should reconsider their stance. The interests of minority populations that are struggling in education and in other areas, are inextricably linked to the interests of everyone – that is, if everyone wants to make sure the United States can compete globally in the future.
Keep in mind that there are currently over 6 million Latino children living in poverty – with an even higher number for Black children. Black child poverty is 39.1% while 35% of Latino kids do – compare that to 12.4% of White kids. That’s a problem that will only get worse if nothing is done to stop it.
With Head Start and other programs on the chopping block in various budget proposals in Congress, and reports indicating minority children lag significantly behind Whites in various areas in education, the nation could be on a path toward disaster. It will have to take a back seat if more doesn’t happen to dig at that achievement gap.
It is growing increasingly difficult to argue on one hand that you’re a patriot and you want the best for the nation – but, on the other, you’re aloofly watching a growing and soon to be majority segment of its population stay behind. Just wearing flag pins won’t help make the situation any better.
— Managing Editor Charles D. Ellison contributed to this report