|Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-26 02:12Z by Steven|
Cable News Network (CNN)
(CNN) — The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have been described as a mirror into contemporary America, but they are also something else: A crystal ball.
Look past the headlines — the debates over race and police militarization that have surfaced after the killing of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer — and one can glimpse America’s future, some historians and political scientists say.
No one is talking about an impending race war or a police state, but something more subtle. Unless Americans re-examine some assumptions they’ve made about themselves, they argue, Ferguson could be the future.
Assumption No. 1: Tiger Woods is going to save us
It’s called the “browning of America.” Google the phrase and you’ll get 18 million hits. By 2050, most of the nation’s citizens are expected to be people of color, according to the Pew Research Center.
Dig beneath the Google links and one can detect an emerging assumption: Racial flashpoints like Ferguson will fade in the future because no single race will be dominant. You could call it the Tiger Woods effect. The New American will claim multiple racial origins like Woods, the pro golfer. Demographic change will accomplish what a thousand national conversations on race could never do: lessen the sting of racial conflict.
A dramatic increase in interracial marriages will change the racial landscape as more people cross racial and ethnic lines to marry. But that change won’t be a cure-all, says Rory Kramer, a sociology and criminology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
He says racial progress is not inevitable with the browning of America.
“I don’t want to deny the optimism,” Kramer says. “I deny the assumption that it will happen without effort.”…
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