Thursday, June 23, 2011

...Thinking about Babies of Color

Oh Americans, we are still so weird when it comes to race. There's an AP article featured on Yahoo right now entitled "Census shows whites lose US majority among babies" I find this title so weird, though it accurately labels the article to follow. Let me also clarify that when I say weird, I mean racist.

Essentially the article says that the 2010 US Census showed that for the first time, whites accounted for less than 50% of children under 2. This population shift is defined as the "Minority Majority".  Though single mother households are decreasing amongst African Americans, marriage is decreasing at a greater rate. So, for the first time, single mother households outnumbered married households amongst African Americans. Hispanics are reproducing faster than whites and roughly 80% of adults over 65 are white. The changes in racial and ethnic make up of our country will change legislation etc etc etc. Our culture is changing.

Here's my problem with the article. For all the signs pointing to a need for awareness and change in American culture, this article feels completely old guard. Americans are broken into Whites and People of Color even "kids of color". African Americans and Hispanics are discussed. Asians are mentioned once. No other groups are named.  It's White and Non-White. The title, too sets up this territorial battle between whites and everyone else. Not only are non-whites dealt with as Other, they are treated almost as an infestation:

"Because minority births are driving the rapid changes in the population, "any institution that touches or is impacted by children will be the first to feel the impact," Johnson said, citing as an example child and maternal health care that will have to be attentive to minorities' needs."

The article points out a rapidly changing racial and ethnic environment which, granted, has a huge impact on our society, but instead of feeling like a statement of facts, it reads as a sort of Tornado warning for whites.

Check it out. Let me know what you think.

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