In another telling truism about how ‘demography is destiny”, the Census Bureau recently released a report with a most radical implication: whites will be a ‘minority’ by 2042 or a full 8 years before most experts predicted. Coming from places like California, many of us have witnessed firsthand some of the white minority dynamics that will define the future United States Of América. Scholars like my friend David Hayes-Bautista, writers like Dale Maharidge, author of the ever-prescient “The Coming White Minority”, and people in Whiteness Studies programs have long analyzed the extreme fluidity of whiteness. Yet, the news from the Census is nothing less than astonishing in terms of its political, economic, and cultural implications.
Viewed from the perspective of such startling demographic developments, the current anti-migrant climate, a climate filled with fear and with tragedies like the recently reported death of Chinese immigrant Hui Lui Ng , reflect the workings of personal and institutional fear or what I call “White Fear” in this article. Though I do not have any direct insight into the workings of the mind of An Other, I imagine that news of the coming white minority status must inspire images like those depicted in this photo-parody by San Diego-based Chicano artists Richard Lou and Robert Sanchez formerly known as “Los Anthropolocos”:
While the idea of the coming white minority may inspire sardonic humor and premature triumphalism in some while also inspiring intense fear and extreme loathing in Others, we must move beyond these preliminary responses; We must understand and prepare for the implications of such profound shifts in the demographic order. Consider, for example, how no previous Euro-dominant empire has ever witnessed a situation in which a white majority became a minority. Add to this demographic cocktail other, unprecedented and simultaneous developments like the decline of U.S. hegemony and the fundamental reconfiguration of the global economic and political system, and current political issues like immigration became more easy to understand in all their complex intensity and insanity.
How the political and economic elites and the mainstream and other media begin introducing the issue of white minority status into the public discussion must be monitored as it will have definite and deep impacts on whether and how future race relations and racial conflict in the U.S. will evolve. Without a smart, balanced and balancing approach to this intensely personal and racially-charged topic, an approach that is severely lacking today (ie; we don’t even talk about whiteness as it relates to the crisis of immigration), we run the risk of opening up a Pandora’s Box of racial resentment and violence that will make the current immigration conflict look like a pizza party. Current talk of a “post-racial” United States is not just silly; In the age Of América, the Soon-to-Be Land of White Minorities, it’s dangerous.
Much, much more on this critically important development in future posts.