As Virginia Inches Toward Becoming a Majority Minority State, What Do Racial/Ethnic Classifications Mean Anymore?

Whites will comprise less than a majority of Virginia’s population by 2040 — 47.4% — according to recent projections by the Demographics Research Group at the University of Virginia. That’s down from a forecast 58.6% in 2020.

The percentage of non-Hispanic whites and blacks in the state’s population will shrink by 5.7% and 8.3% respectively, while the percentage of Asians and Hispanics will increase by 96.0% and 114.3% respectively.

To some degree, demographic projections reflect underlying demographic reality. But they also are influenced by politics and culture, as Hamilton Lombard points out in a post yesterday on the StatChat blog. “It can be easy to read too much into very long term population projections,” he warns. “All the racial/ethnic projections only make sense if you understand the haphazard way we categorize and track race in the U.S.”

For example, a large majority of Hispanic Americans self-identify as white, but the Census Bureau categorizes them as a “non-white” minority because they also identify as Hispanic. Before 1970, they were categorized as white.

But after the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s, the National Council of La Raza successfully lobbied to have anyone with a “Spanish origin” counted as a separate ethnic population in the 1970. Armed with data for the newly categorized Hispanic population which the 1970 census supplied, organizations could apply for various grants and develop policies specifically for Hispanic Americans. Other groups, after seeing the success of La Raza, have lobbied to have various U.S. ethnic populations counted separately. As a result, the number of race/ethnic categories on the census has risen from four in 1960 to possibly nine by 2020.

Another example of how the Census Bureau shapes perceptions of ethnicity and race: Since the Census began allowing respondents to identify as more than one race in 2000, the U.S. “mixed race” population, 86% of whom select white as one of their races, has grown from zero to nearly 10 million.

Yet another example: Census has proposed counting Middle-Eastern and North-African Americans as a separate race. Because most self-identify as white, the new classification would accelerate the decline of the “white” population and increase the “non-white” population.

Bacon’s bottom line: Two mega-trends are colliding here. On the one hand, the Great American Assimilation Machine continues to do its work, eroding ethnic and racial identities. On the other hand, by creating a racial spoils system (dispensing funds and perks to non-whites), government policy creates material incentives for people to nurture separate ethnic identities.

A century ago, white ethnic identities such as English, Scotch-Irish, Irish, Italian, German, Polish, Swedish, Jewish, etc. were as strong as racial identities today. Over time, intermarriage and the dissolution of ethnic enclaves merged white Americans into the melting pot. Today, white Americans are less likely than ever to define themselves by the national origin of their ancestors and more likely than ever to simply think of themselves as generically “white.”

The Ancestry.com ads running on cable TV are a striking illustration of this trend: There would be no need to utilize DNA to identify peoples’ ethnic origins unless most people had forgotten those origins. I thought I was Hispanic and found out I was half Italian! I thought I was German and found out I’m a mutt!

Meanwhile, the rise of “multi-racial” populations is proceeding apace. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, one-in-seven U.S. infants (14%) were multiracial or multi-ethnic in 2015, nearly triple the share in 1980. This is not just a matter of “light skinned” ethnicities intermarrying. Increasingly, Americans are broaching the color line.

One would think that all but the racial purists among us would welcome this trend. But political forces are driving the population in the opposite direction. Many politicians believe that the path to political power lies in the cultivation of racial grievances. These politicians (I won’t mention names) exist in both parties. By enabling the doling out of government spoils (usually at the behest of the political party that favors activist government — but, again, I won’t mention names), the Census Bureau’s ethnic/racial classifications perpetuate the sense of separateness.

It is impossible to predict which force — assimilation or the urge to political power — will win out in the end. But we can count on one thing: Changes in politics and culture undoubtedly will influence which races and ethnicities the Census Bureau Sam counts, and, consequently, how Americans perceive themselves. In the meantime, readers should understand Census ethnic and racial classifications for what they are: increasingly meaningless distinctions imposed and maintained for political reasons.

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26 responses to “As Virginia Inches Toward Becoming a Majority Minority State, What Do Racial/Ethnic Classifications Mean Anymore?

  1. “Why must our conquest of nature stop short, in stupid reverence, before this final and toughest bit of ‘nature’ which has hitherto been called the conscience of man? You threaten us with some obscure disaster if we step outside it: but we have been threatened in that way by obscurantists at every step in our advance, and each time the threat has proved false. You say we shall have no values at all if we step outside the Tao. Very well: we shall probably find that we can get on quite comfortably without them. Let us regard all ideas of what we ought to do simply as an interesting psychological survival: let us step right out of all that and start doing what we like. Let us decide for ourselves what man is to be and make him into that: not on any ground of imagined value, but because we want him to be such. Having mastered our environment, let us now master ourselves and choose our own destiny.

    “This is a very possible position: and those who hold it cannot be accused of self- contradiction like the half-hearted sceptics who still hope to find ‘real’ values when they have debunked the traditional ones. This is the rejection of the concept of value altogether.” (C. S. Lewis, chapter II of _The Abolition of Man_)

    “Yet the Conditioners will act. When I said just now that all motives fail them, I should have said all motives except one. All motives that claim any validity other than that of their felt emotional weight at a given moment have failed them. Everything except the sic volo, sic jubeo [tr. “I want this, I order this.”] has been explained away. But what never claimed objectivity cannot be destroyed by subjectivism. The impulse to scratch when I itch or to pull to pieces when I am inquisitive is immune from the solvent which is fatal to my justice, or honour, or care for posterity. When all that says It is good’ has been debunked, what says I want’ remains. It cannot be exploded or seen through’ because it never had any pretentions. The Conditioners, therefore, must come to be motivated simply by their own pleasure. I am not here speaking of the corrupting influence of power nor expressing the fear that under it our Conditioners will degenerate. The very words corrupt and degenerate imply a doctrine of value and are therefore meaningless in this context. My point is that those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse.” (C. S. Lewis, chapter III of _The Abolition of Man_)

  2. Dear Jim,

    As an aside, I am amused that Liberals, who long for the day when there are no more White people, shed copious tears at the loss of species and subspecies of fish, rodents, and other animals, and, who cry out to heaven, or somewhere, against Mr. Trump’s wall, yet volunteer precious slices of their weekends to gather together, so as to annihilate, “invasive species” of plants in favor of natives in the local woodland. If nothing matters in human affairs, why, pray tell, should they matter among flora and fauna? But, if they matter among flora and fauna, shouldn’t they matter among humans, too? Also, I think you should brand your advocacy on such things as you are citing, as “free market genocide,” to be severely distinguished from those advocates of “statist genocide.” But to my mind, it is all “six of one” and “half-a-dozen of the other.”

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • Hmm, different segments of the human race described as entirely different species, some of which are invasive…man, that sounds really familiar somehow. I wonder if anyone else here can name this disgusting tune:

      “[Jewish people] need other people because they need the goods with which to carry on business. The things that are valued by the creative Aryan peoples have been reduced by the Jew to the level of a mere piece of merchandise, which he buys and sells but cannot produce himself. He leaves production to the labourers and peasants of the people upon whom he has imposed his presence. The Jews are a race without farmers and without manual labourers, a race of parasites.”

      You should feel bad about yourself.

      • Dear UpAgnstTheWall,

        For the record, my Dad is 94-year old German Jew who voted for Trump, as did my Mother and Brother. Your attribution of vile Nazi rhetoric to me concerning Jews is completely gratuitous. If you disagree with what I wrote, or are curious as to why I posted the C.S. Lewis quotes, then please, do ask why, or just diagree. But do not attribute others’ vile beliefs to me. That is called being a “bad sport.” Surely, you would not want someone else to do that to you?

        Sincerely,

        Andrew

  3. Andrew – are we confusing different KINDS of species with diversity/variations WITHIN a species? Or do you consider black , white, yellow and red Homo sapiens , each, a DIFFERENT species and some are “invasives”? 😉

    To Jim B’s point – I’m not sure that how the Census folks classify demographics has much to do with different perceived voting constituencies… other than the perception perhaps that a bunch of “deep state” liberals have infested the census dept also…. 😉

    here we have…. tribalism… identity politics , snowflakes, leftists and now…. deploreables… when I see those categories in the Census.. I might start to buy into that particular conspiracy theory!

    or maybe.. perhaps … some of the polling groups can actually break down the voting numbers for each of these current sub groups…

    Remember how all those Obama supporters were gonna turn out for Clinton and cream Trump? Well.. they stayed home and the deploreables amped it up… Perhaps the Census SHOULD establish a new category, eh? .. and heck maybe a new species that has become “invasive”…

    • Dear Larry,

      In the 19th Century, as Hannah Arendt describes in _The Origins of Totalitarianism_, Jews were seen as a danger due to their desire to remain a people apart, within the nationalized or collectivized societies of Europe in the decades following the Liberal revolutions, that started with the French in 1789. The term, “The Jewish Question,” revolved in part on this. Some answered that Jews could remain a people apart within these nations, while others saw this as a danger to “national solidarity,” but in any case, they were seen as different, and were treated differently, sometimes better and sometimes worse. Some of these more genteel anti-Semites advocated intermarriage of Jews with Gentiles as the “humane” solution to the existence of Jews as a distinct people in their countries. The fact is that many people, including many humane people, saw Jews collectively as a “problem to be solved.” Other people, who were, shall we say, “less humane,” saw Jews, not only as a collective but as individuals, as (a) problem(s) requiring more Procrustean methods in order to “solve,” one of them an Austrian misfit of later infamy.

      Whites have, in 50 odd years, gone from being Americans par excellence, to a “problem” that needs explanation, to one in need of a “final solution.” The methods vary, but to the post-American / post-Virginian elite, there is a consensus that this must, or at least will, happen; the debate among them, including those here gathered is about methods. The unhinged Left, fresh from an unexpected electoral defeat in November, sounds increasingly amenable to “harder” methods using BLM and other “shock troops”, while to the “Court Conservatives” or in Jim’s case, “Court Libertarians,” the “Case for White Genocide” is advocated or at least described as a “natural phenomena” that already is on the way to being “corrected,” through the “humane and agreeable” approach of “laissez faire”: Of “changing attitudes” — helped along through propaganda and mixing children together, generational attrition, and rising intermarriage. I oppose any such program firmly and resolutely. Like General Lee, my first loyalties are to my kinsmen and co-racialists, not abstractions or strangers. I can work with such people and seek understanding, but it is not wholly “open-ended.” There is a limit, a boundary I will not cross.

      The desire for the end of Whites is part of the same sick, “culture of death” that sees infanticide before and after birth as “choice,” “assisted suicide,” “trans-genderism,” the end of prohibitions on incest, pedophilia, and “polymory,” as all “viable options” for “sovereign individuals,” and that efforts to cultivate community among Whites and a future for them, or heal homosexuals and those seeking to change their change their sex, as evil. It is upside down world that seeks to destroy what Lewis, in my previous quotes from him in _The Abolition of Man_ describes as an attempt to abolish “the Tao,” the path of life and normality itself, in favor of the whims of what he calls “the conditioners,” those who seek to “step outside” of the natural order. In such people, these “conditioners,” whether they be “mandarins” seeking to reshape society from above, or individuals in their daily lives, we see that “choice” is something thoroughly separated from natural law. Whatever is consensual is good and that the only thing that is evil is prohibition on choice — “it is forbidden to forbid” the French radicals of the 1960s declared.

      This is what happens to intellectuals, and those whom they have influenced, who lose touch with reality, including moral reality, whose grounding is God the Creator of all things, and our Redeemer.

      Sincerely,

      Andrew

  4. Does not surprise me for here in Fairfax County, one of the most wealthy places in America, Caucasians make up less than half of the school population. And more than 40% of the pupils in the schools receive subsidized lunches and a high percentage are from homes with only one parent. And class sizes are well above recommended levels.
    Virginia is changing and fast. And our economy is more dependent on federal spending than any other state in the union. And it is just not Northern Virginia or Tidewater either for in Southwest Virginia the economy is driven by federal spending. There all hospitals and medical facilities are dependent on medicare, and medicaid and then there is SS, and state and federal spending broadly speaking.
    Virginia desperately needs an entirely new and aggressive economic development plan. More of the same will not work in the longer run.

  5. The challenge of governance.. is to deal with these “challenges” though… rather than cast above for things and people to blame.. for it…

    the urban vs rural… poor vs rich.. educated vs illiterate , etc, etc, et al.. is frustrating in part because we’ve seen better .. and now we seem to be sliding back… and in some folks minds less able to adapt and improve…

    we might be the most advanced critters on the planet but we are far from optimized … and in fact sometimes seem bound and determined to shoot our own feet off!

    😉

  6. “…by creating a racial spoils system (dispensing funds and perks to non-whites)…”

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, so since you’re accusing the government of fomenting racial divisions what makes up this racial spoils system? And specifically, not just the broad, vague “affirmative action,” but actual programs and laws dispensing funds and perks solely to non-whites.

    “These politicians (I won’t mention names)…(usually at the behest of the political party that favors activist government — but, again, I won’t mention names)…”

    Why not? Specifics help buttress an argument, so it’s odd that you’re willing to let one of your central axioms sit there limply without any supporting evidence.

    • Specifics? How about…

      Affirmative action hiring practices in government.
      Contract preferences for small, minority-owned businesses.
      Universities’ racial preferences in admitting minority students.

      One can make the argument that these practices are justified, but don’t pretend they don’t exist.

      • affirmative action is a racial spoils system?

        who knew? GAWD!

        Jim – let me refer you to a movie called Hidden Figures…

        I’d be curious to know how you feel about the circumstances depicted in
        that movie.. Do you think it was true? Or do you think it was “fake history”?

        If you believe it was true – do you think the sons and daughters of people who were discriminated against – fared less well than the kids of those who were not discriminated against?

        how would you make things right if not affirmative action?

        at any rate – this is your central premise on the Majority Minority conundrum? Is there anything else beyond these “racial spoils”?

        • “Hidden Figures” portrayed Jim Crow segregation, an era of state-enforced discrimination against African-Americans (and American Indians). Segregation was enforced by the power of the state.

          Mandatory affirmative action (as opposed to voluntary affirmative action) is a form of reverse discrimination enforced by the power of the state.

          • Do you know the DATE of Hidden Figures?

            and… do you think the children of people targeted by that kind of discrimination got the same opportunities at life than their counterparts whose parents were not discriminated against?

            Do you not think since the state harmed individuals that the state is not responsible for a remedy?

            Also.. it appears that you believe that people vote primarily to protect the “goodies” like affirmative action…?

            Do you think that people who were white and not discriminated against – support affirmative action as a policy remedy -, i.e. the “right thing” to do?

            If affirmative action is “wrong”.. is there anything else that would be “right” a a remedy or …i.e. reparations or similar?

            or …. do nothing… ??

            On a similar vein in terms of voting… do some people vote to keep their Medicare and MedicAid – while other also vote for it – but don’t even get it but think both should be policy?

            I’m just struck by the view that people vote to get their “goodies”… and that it’s a major aspect of voting…

            Many , many Trump voters DEPEND on govt goodies… SSD, Medicaid.. opioid programs… govt economic development.. etc… right?

      • Those aren’t specific, they’re broad, and they don’t even prove your point.

        1) Affirmative action in the United States just means that government associated entities need to make an effort to find qualified applicants from marginalized backgrounds, including – and having benefited the most – *white* women.

        2) SWAM and DBE include criteria that include certain categories of white people.

        So neither of those are funds or perks dispensed solely to non-whites. And – again – not specific at all.

        “One can make the argument that these practices are justified…”

        Well then they wouldn’t be spoils systems, would they? A spoils system is where favors and patronage are given solely in return for political support. Either you didn’t know that and you just picked a set of words with negative connotations, or you did know that and did it anyway for the exact same reason.

        • (1) Except when “affirmative action” turns into quotas.
          (2) The fact that SWAM discriminates in favor of racial minorities and women does not negate the fact that it discriminates in favor of minorities.

          But I do retract the use of the phrase “spoils system,” for the reason you describe.

          • re: ” The fact that SWAM discriminates in favor of racial minorities and women does not negate the fact that it discriminates in favor of minorities.”

            what does it mean when you claim that one part of it “discriminates i favor of minorities” and not recognize the other part for what it is and is not – and for what reason that has both of them involved?

            that’s not a very honest way of acknowledging what the purpose of the law is – and is not… but instead to portray it as something else.

            retracting the “racial spoils” verbiage does not fix that problem..

            in my mind – this is part of what is wrong with our politics these days… how can we ever find any common ground if this is the way we deal with issues like this?

  7. I had my DNA tested two years ago via Ancestry. I’ve received more than 14,000 matches. I’ve flipped through them all to find common matches and links to specific family lines. If there’s no additional information I’m seeking, I can dispose of a match in well less than 10 seconds.

    Assuming the results to be reasonably accurate, including the “ethnic” matches, damn near everyone is a hodge-podge of nationalities and ethnic groups. I see very few listings that suggest one’s ancestors came from a single nation or group of nations. (Ancestry doesn’t show percentages of DNA by nation or group of nations, just “major” and “minor,” which might, in some cases, be noise.)

    Of course, my matches tend to fit the Irish-British-Scots-Scandinavian background I have. So most of my matches include at least one or more of those categories. But I have also seen a significant number of cousins who have some African roots and a few from South Asia (The Indian Subcontinent) and even Eastern Asia. By definition, a cousin with black ancestors also has European ancestors or they couldn’t be related to me, as I have no African DNA. But I’ve noticed most of my black cousins have ancestors from multiple parts of Africa and often multiple parts of Europe and the Middle East.

    My conclusion is that most of us Americans have some level of widely mixed DNA. I rather like that.

  8. Dear Jim,

    I would posit that the root of this conversation actually goes back to the “co-dependent” relationship between White Liberals and Blacks as a group. In co-dependency within families, of alcoholics and drug addicts, for instance, the co-dependent person acts as an enabler for their loved one’s addiction. They make excuses for them, and they lose the sound sense of boundaries in terms of making decisions, and that people are responsible for their decisions. Instead, they blame others, including themselves, for the addict’s problems, and sometimes may think that if they, i.e. the enabler, were not there, then the addict would not be so miserable as to do such things to themselves. There is a joke in “recovery” circles that if a co-dependent, enabler has a near-death experience, it is not their own life that “flashes before their eyes,” but the addicts’! It seems to me that White Liberals have done such a thing with Blacks: Having removed all moral agency from them, that is, holding them to account for their own bad decisions, they have transferred the responsibility for these things and for bad conditions to “themselves,” “we” and “us,” or, rather to White Conservatives, whom they continue to blame for Black failure. At a certain point, the White Liberals decided that not merely would Blacks have to be absorbed into Whites, perhaps only culturally, “integrated,” in terms of habits and speech, in order to “teach them,” to assist in their cultural “uplift” and achievement, but that when close physical proximity did not result in the expected “uplift,” as it mostly has not, even in areas dominated by Liberals, then the Liberals’ solution, or reason for this overall failure, was to blame WHITES for the failure of Blacks, because, being “social co-dependents,” it was impossible for them to blame Blacks for this failure, because to do so would imply that there really is something wrong with Blacks, at least in terms of culture, if not necessarily genetics. Far more comforting to the co-depedent White Liberal has been to blame the “racism” of White Conservatives than their “beloved,” the addict, the dysfunctional Black community. Having done that, they now have in recent decades, say from the 1990s til now, steadily advocated that Whites, and especially White Conservatives, needs to be “attrited” away, starting with their younger generations, in their phenotypic uniqueness, through miscegenation, hence their tireless, unyielding support for it, and in advocating unlimited Third World immigration into the United States. If Whites are the problem, a social evil in need of a solution, but a “humane” one, then miscegenation becomes the “magic bullet” of Liberals to solve Blacks’ problems and getting Whites to “do away with themselves” voluntarily, one person at a time. As with individual or “micro-” co-dependency, this does not solve the addicts’ problem. In any case, the framework of contemporary Liberal moral theory no longer sees genocide, or perhaps here, “phenocide,” as a problem, but as a solution to a problem. Like co-dependents, for Liberals boundaries between individuals and groups are a problem, and their behavior centers on denying those boundaries, and on denying the harm that comes from denying boundaries.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • Andrew –

      You are hitting several nails on their heads.

      Your explanation, for example, explains UVA’s current obsession with black slavery in America, despite the killing of some 620,000 American soldiers in a Civil War to end the plague some 150 years ago.

      Indeed, UVa.’s preening today of its own virtue some 150 years later insults that sacrifice in blood and treasure of millions of 19th century Americans to fix the problem by War. So does UVa.s’ recent great surprise at the fact that UVa. students today want to extinguish the memory of Thomas Jefferson on the UVa. Grounds. And why in that case did UVa. do a sudden about face? – to protect its brand obviously, and then go back for more preening after an profanity laced demonstration at a UVa. Board meeting resulted the firing of a security officer employed by UVa. who uttered the words “Make America Great Again” during his efforts to quell the disturbance. Amazing?

      But I suggest that the White Liberal pathology found everywhere today and at UVa in particular extends far beyond the White Liberal demeaning of black people. It also included their demeaning of all minorities, on their ever expanding list of the oppressed that grows daily. And now includes most everyone in the country except white males, and poor rural whites generally, whether those whites be male or female. Thus for example here we have UVa demeaning behavior towards affluence white women students at UVa. You would think they are helpless children. This gross bias was on vivid display at UVa, particularly among its leaders, during the Jackie Rolling Stone article debacle. And it continues today at UVa. daily, indeed most every time UVa. opens its mouth officially.

      • Andrew –

        Your above explication of current White Liberal pathology towards black people, when that pathology is enlarged to include today’s expanding list of “Oppressed groups” (as defined and classified) by White Liberals to include most all groups of people in US, however imaginary, who CANNOT be charged or smeared with being deplorable, namely:

        1/ Conservative White Males, and/or,
        2/ White males who do not agree with Progressive Liberals, and/or
        3/ Young White Males who belong to fraternities, and/or
        4/ White males and females who live in rural areas, and/or
        5/ White males and females who vote Republican, and/or
        6/ White males and females who hold traditional “White” Cultural beliefs and habits arising from what White Liberals derisively call “Western Civilization,” particularly Jews and Christians of traditional faith.

        Your explanation, which includes the self-loathing component of White Liberals, and their need to blame “other Whites and their Western Civilization” for all the ills that afflict all the peoples of the world they deem oppressed and the compulsive need of White Liberals to hide their own abject failure to rid the world of these chronic ills that afflict these chronically oppressed people, and to hide the fact that their White Liberal solutions have only made matter far worse for all concerned, and indeed have earned the justified contempt of so called oppressed people;

        This chicanery, all the negative forces it always unleashes, are the central drivers behind the destruction of civilizations since human history began. So this is the story of the fall of man. One that has been reenacted over and over again by the same evil human ingredients, abet in variant disguises, depending on the era and ideologies in play at the time.

        Hence today’s Academy and its Administrators sustained and vicious attack on specified groups of people and their Western culture, its traditional beliefs and tenets, like primacy of marriage and family, and its values and habits like modesty, obedience, hard work, prudence, fear of God, self-sacrifice and self-denial, thrift, respect for private property and rights of ‘Others’, and the assault on their ‘bourgeoisie” and high brow history, culture, and society, their books, their art, their taboos, language, values, home and country, and their institutions and ways of living and earning a living, and the means to pass them on to future generations.

        This helps understand the self-destructive behavior, generally and specifically, going on in higher education today.

        For example:

        This includes UVa’s recent effort to dismantle its traditional Arts and Sciences curriculum, along with its intentional destruction of the means and resources to teach that traditional curriculum. And it explains much else going on at UVa. as well. Ranging from Uva.’s assault on fraternities and sororities, to Uva. efforts to control the sexual habits of students, including its refusal to address, or even admit, those most destructive behaviors going on and enabled at UVa, a hook-up libertine sexual regime that can only by fueled among students by drugs, alcohol, self-loathing, and obsessive compulsive behavior. At root, the Rolling Stone Debacle, all the created it, powered it, and followed it, was an effort to hide and obscure what happened to cause those events. And to instead shift the blame away from the root causes, the gross failure of Uva. leadership onto a particular group of boys who happened to be students at UVA at the time, or had been a short time before the event explored into public view.

        Of course this is going on at institutions of higher learning all over the country. See for example, most recently:

        https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/34858/

        Here we learned about Princeton’s effort to neuter overly masculine men.

    • Andrew, you make some excellent observations, especially in describing the relationship between white liberals and poor African-Americans as a co-dependency relationship. I agree with you whole-heartedly.

      I do part ways on a couple of points. First, I don’t think that problems in the African-American community have anything to do with genetics. (The issues surrounding genes and intelligence are so complex that I don’t want to tarry with them here. We can have that discussion elsewhere.) To my mind, there are two broad explanatory factors for the differences between racial/ethnic groups: structural (outside economic, political, and cultural forces acting upon the African-American community and poor people generally), and cultural (self-defeating behavioral traits that African-Americans and poor people generally embrace on their own free will).

      Secondly, while I take pride in my cultural heritage as a person of primarily English descent with deep roots in this country, and I am pleased to see my children embrace that heritage as well, I have no problem with people of different races intermarrying, including members of my own family, and I have no fear of the disappearance of the white race through miscegenation. This is America. America has a unique capacity for assimilation. The inevitable result of this deeply ingrained trait, whether it takes 100 years or 200 years, will be a thoroughly mixed-race nation in which racial distinctions become meaningless. I look forward to a country where people are judged as individuals for “the content of their character,” not on the basis of external characteristics. The only people who fear such an outcome are those who lament the loss of racial purity and those who gain political advantage from the exploitation of ethnic/racial divisions.

      • Jim, Andrew is well able to answer for himself. But I didn’t take your characterization away from his words. As for “I look forward to a country where people are judged as individuals for “the content of their character,” not on the basis of external characteristics.” That is precisely the golden rule violated by White Liberals eager to keep bogus race issues alive, to win votes, aggregate power, and create divisions among people.

        Its the oldest game and sin in town. Ask on Colonial Catholic, White indentured servant, women, or anyone not English.

    • re: ” … cultural (self-defeating behavioral traits that African-Americans and poor people generally embrace on their own free will). ”

      to this point .. I thought you did well in differentiating ….

      is that what you really meant? you’re ascribing such characteristics on a race and demographic basis?

      I can see why Andrew thinks that you think like him…sometimes.. as opposed to him knowing without a doubt where you stand..

      Surely this is not what you think.. and I misunderstand…

      • When I say that “African-Americans” or “poor people” exhibit certain values or behavioral traits, I do not mean that all people within that group do, any more than if I say that whites or upper middle-class professionals exhibit certain behaviors or values that all do. It goes without saying that there is considerable variance within each group. We are talking about statistical averages here.

        Do you want to dispute the fact that on average a higher percentage of African-American children, and poor children of all races, are born out of wedlock? Do you dispute that different behaviors arise in part from different attitudes toward marriage?

        Do you want to dispute the fact that Asian-American households at all income levels exhibit on average higher levels of academic achievement than their peers in other groups? Do you question that differences in academic achievement arise in part from different values and priorities?

        Oh, yeah, you do. You are a structuralist. You think that were it not for structural and institutional forces, everyone would have the same values and priorities in life as LarryG!

  9. well you did well here:

    “Do you want to dispute the fact that Asian-American households at all income levels exhibit on average higher levels of academic achievement than their peers in other groups? Do you question that differences in academic achievement arise in part from different values and priorities?”

    then you went a bit haywire:

    “Oh, yeah, you do. You are a structuralist. You think that were it not for structural and institutional forces, everyone would have the same values and priorities in life as LarryG!”

    I think there is no question that statistics exist – but I think once you start using them to paint a group … even when you caveat it as “not all of them” – you’ve gone into problematical territory.

    I do NOT think as a structuralist.. the issue is .. if an entire demographic has different characteristics … is it due to their culture , genes, etc or is it due to other forces like discrimination … AND more important – your solution.

    for instance.. if there is evidence of less than equal treatment – do you want to know that – to acknowledge it.. and seek some change or remedy as opposed to choosing to attribute it as a characteristic of their race, gender, culture, religion, etc?

    I do NOT think we can or even should try to UNDO… and I find affirmative action – good in intent and problematical in implementation .. but I’ll not be wandering back and forth in attributing it as a general characteristic of a race, gender, genes… etc.. and I WILL be SOMEWHAT open to some kinds of limited remedies. with a eye towards “gaming”…

    But I still think when you are not crystal clear in what you are saying – you give comfort to folks with much more extreme views… to “interpret” your meaning… if you get my drift…

    some folks call stuff like this – dog whistle… sometimes it is – intentional and sometimes it’s just not enough clarity to determine if it is or is not.. and I give points to when it is clear enough that it cannot be “interpreted” otherwise.

    so once again – I do not think everything has to be “equal” … and even less so in equal outcomes.. Hard work and personal responsibility, honesty and dedication to values – can take anyone far… and there are many others of all races, gender, etc.. who fall short.. and …come up short.. we are human.

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