In the future, America will become a country where multiracial is the norm. While some people may identify with a particular race, a changing society is leading to a multi-racial population. How will American perceptions of race change with a changing population and a more racially diverse society? Facts about America’s Increasing Diversity In the article, “Multiracial Identity in the Post-Civil Rights Era,” by Gino Michael Pellegrini, he asserts that multiracial people and identities are growing and developing with the reality that more and more people are self-identified as multiracial. Pellegrini concludes that America is becoming increasingly diverse and that the concept of race is changing in America. The author also considers the internet and social media critical in changing people’s racial beliefs.
Pellegrini states: The nation will become more racially heterogeneous with each passing year due to global capitalism, demographic changes, and because social prohibitions against dating and mating across one’s race have slackened significantly following the civil rights movement and following the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling in Loving vs. Virginia that confirmed the unconstitutionality of the remaining state anti-miscegenation laws. As a result of these changes, the multiracial population will continue to grow. (Pelligrini) Historic Background So, to understand the changing racial composition in America, it seems that one would need to do some background reading into the concept of race and the various viewpoints and opinions held by Americans towards racial minorities.
Also, the topic of immigration and how it has impacted racial diversity seemed important. Both attitudes towards race and immigration are central to overall views towards minorities and consequent treatment and laws that have developed based on these ideas. The following were some important facts that came up regarding America becoming more multi-racial and the changing viewpoints towards racial and ethnic minorities. Considering the topic of race in America, it is important to understand the concept of race and how more scientific research has redefined the term race. Scientists dispute the notion of race. Many biologists and anthropologists have concluded that race is not a scientific concept, because race is not based on any real biological differences among people.
The concept of race has been defined in terms of physical traits. The differences in skin color, facial features, and hair textures, have been used to describe differences among people and have been referred to as race. Sometimes these physical differences are used to describe differences in intelligence, physical strength, athletic ability, and other differences. So, although race may not exist on a biological level, it has been very influential on a social level. (Omi) Racial superiority and inferiority have also been terms that have been applied to socio-economic advancement in our society, without regard to other advantages or limitations that an individual may face that impacts their educational or career success. Therefore, racism is the theory or concept that there is a link between inherited physical characteristics and other traits like intelligence.
The idea that some races are inherently superior to others developed, and usually these races and ethnicities have been white. These ideas have then developed into racism. These beliefs in white supremacy justified slavery and colonialism. In the past theorists explained that is was the white man’s destiny to bring ‘civilization’, ‘religion’, and ‘education’ to the more primitive people of the world. It was the white man’s duty to take charge and modernize various cultures and races. Many of these racist premises led to colonial powers controlling the economies and politics of third world countries and actually excluding native people from education and political power.
Whites developed a system of segregation to justify their social status and that of African Americans, as based on racial superiority. Anti-Black thought in America followed this pattern and African-Americans were limited to certain social and economic opportunities and classes. (Kinder) When the United States formed, the motto E. Pluribus Unum or out of many one, was adopted. This motto referred to the different colonies coming together.
However, it has come to mean or represent the diversity of the people who have settled here and have developed a common culture in America. This culture allows us to respect a variety of ethnicities as Americans. So, due to the large number of immigrants in this nation, the United States has become more ethnically and racially diverse and this has changed the concept of what it means to be an American. (Kinder). Racial diversity has been increased with immigration of more non-white immigrants to the United States.
Americans are facing racial, ethnic, social and economic changes at great rates. American society is engaged in a great experiment where people of different ethnic backgrounds, ancestry, religions, and race come together as one new society. (Zhou) Current Trends: Hispanic Population Growth So, we are living in an increasingly multicultural society in America. According to recent census data, about a third of the United States belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group. The largest growing group is Hispanic.
This is due to immigration and high fertility and birth rates among an overall young population. Researchers Johnston and Lichter have concluded that most of this growth in minority populations in the US, as recorded on the recent census, was due to the Hispanic birth rate. Hispanics are driving rapid increases in racial diversity among America’s children. In fact, 82 percent of the growth in the minority child population between 2000 and 2008 was due to Hispanic births. The initial impetus for these recent Hispanic child gains was immigration—between 2000 and 2008, 4.
3 million Hispanics immigrated to the united states, supplementing the 7.7million who arrived during the 1990s. Most new immigrants are young adults in their reproductive prime.(Johnston and Lichter) Another interesting detail to consider is that many Hispanics are multiracial and have mixed heritages of Native Americans, Spanish, Mexican, Black and others. Some Hispanics check Hispanic and White for race and some check Hispanic and Native or Black. So this ever growing population is not a homogeneous group under the label of Hispanic.
The racial categories for self- identification keep growing, and changes have been made to allow people to pick more than one category. It isn’t surprising then that Hispanics are now the largest of minority groups in the United States, and in some parts of the country, like the Southwest, Hispanics are now the majority population in some states and urban areas. The 2010 Census marked a milestone for city populations in America’s large metropolitan areas. For the first time, Hispanics rather than Blacks comprise the largest minority group in big cities. In 2010 Hispanics made up 26 percent of primary city populations compared to 22 percent for Blacks.
(Klinker) This change in demographics in major urban areas, as shown on recent Census data, shows that more than ever in the past, our society if diversifying from a White majority to a definitely more Brown majority. There are a number of factors and reasons that have contributed to this transformation in the face of Americans. Since the Civil Rights Movement there has been less segregation and more intermixing of races and ethnicities in schools and communities. There have also been more social and economic opportunities for minorities to integrate into mainstream American society. These factors have contributed to the forming of a more interracial America.
According to the survey,” A Survey of Attitudes toward Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity,” by Professor Philip Klinker American attitudes have changes towards race, ethnicity, and interracial marriages. That young Americans are more likely to be interracial or ethnically diverse and are more willing to embrace or be tolerant towards the changing racial and ethnic character of America. Data from the 2010 Census indicate that the United States is in the midst of profound demographic shift. A combination of factors—high levels of immigration, increasing rates of interracial marriage, and a growing willingness to embrace new and mixed racial and ethnic categories—has fundamentally altered the racial categories that were used to define American identities only a generation ago. Consequently, American attitudes and beliefs about race and ethnicity have changes.
These demographic and attitudinal changes have had their greatest impact on young Americans. This age cohort is by far the most racially and ethnically diverse and a recent report found that a majority of babies born in the U.S. are among minority groups. (Klinker) Conclusion Therefore, it seems to be demonstrated through demographic data collected by the Census and tracked by demographers that America is becoming a country where multiracial is the norm. Will there still be boxes to check for race in twenty years? What will the selections be? American society is changing, and recognizing a more diverse population that is multiracial and yet distinctly American seems to be inevitable.
So, although some Americans may still only have to tick off one box on applications, many more are checking two and three boxes for race and ethnicity; and therefore American society is becoming a multi-racial population. It seems that through the actions of the civil rights movement and desegregation, and increasing immigration, that multiracial people and identities are growing and being accepted. The facts support that America is a country that is becoming increasingly racially diverse, because more and more people self-identify themselves as multiracial and or ethnic. It seems evident that younger people in the United States are multiracial and more tolerant of diversity. These changes in population and demographics are most likely to continue and will impact social, economic, and political areas within the United States development and future.
Some would argue that the election of Barack Obama is one indicator of the changes for the future, and that the voices and social and political influences of younger multiracial Americans will increase. This movement towards a more integrated rather than segregated America seems optimum, and putting the past behind would appear to embrace the real ideals presented in the constitution that all men are created equal. Hopefully the merits and capabilities of individuals will become more recognized, and judging people based upon their looks or race will become a thing of the past. This seems to be the real future of America, one that is heterogeneous and embracing of its multi-racial and diverse population. In this future, the constitution will come to life, and all Americans will be seen as equals with equal rights and opportunities in society. Sources: Frey, William.
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