It’s finally happened. What anti-multiculturalists the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum and Pat Buchanan have railed against – at least since September 2001 – has finally come to fruition: ethnic minorities are being born at a higher rate in the United States than the traditional, European majority.
For the first time ever in American history – well, not ever ever, but since the early settlers began slaughtering the natives – White babies are a minority, with blacks, Latinos and Asians taking their place as the majority. If the trend continues, America should eventually become a truly multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial nation.
The majority-minority switch is due in large part to the Latino population explosion of the past decade.
Census data from 2010 showed that Latino population growth accounted for more than half of all growth in the U.S. since the turn of the new millennium. Latinos are also a younger group, with their median age somewhere under 28 (while blacks have a median age somewhere in the early 30s and the median age of whites is at 42). Children under five is the largest age group in the Latino community; the largest age group for whites is between 50 and 54.
Yet, despite all the signs hinting toward a significantly tanner future, white America has nothing to fear from the country’s increasingly shifting cultural identity.
This may come as a jolt to the sensibility of some, but America was never technically a white country to begin with. America – it must be reaffirmed time and again – is nothing other than a set of founding principles: secular government; of, by and for the people; promoting liberty, justice and equality. It’s not an Anglo-Saxon nation, as is often expressed so subtly by the TV personalities over at Fox News; and it’s certainly not a Christian nation, as is proclaimed on repeat by the Old Grandpa Party. Sure, the nation was founded by WASPs (not the ones that fly, but just as dangerous), yet there is nothing in the fundamental idea of America to suggest that America can’t be anything but primarily white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.
America belongs to any man, woman or child who strives toward its greatest ideals.
While those constituting virtues may have been first articulated by white Christian men from Britain, no one can deny that successive waves of immigration from Germany, Italy, Ireland and Eastern Europe added special ingredients that have produced the America that exists today. And let’s not ignore the fact that jazz, one of America’s most important contributions to human civilization, sprang from the black and Latino seasonings.
If history is a predictor of the future, then ethnic minority babies surpassing their white cribmates bodes well for the minority groups their being born into. It means that, in the not-too-distant future, Latinos and blacks will be considered as integral to the American fabric as the Germans and the Irish are today.
So, yes, white America – the Spanglish are coming. But I assure you that they come in peace; not to conquer, but to contribute.