Americans Color Outside the Lines

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2022-01-19 02:36Z by Steven

Americans Color Outside the Lines

The Dispatch
2021-04-26

Chris Stirewalt, Contributing Editor

Photograph By Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Even today, bigots and the progressive proponents of race science hold fast to the idea of fixed race and ethnicity. Thankfully, Americans largely ignore them.

In his autobiography, Life on the Color Line, Gregory Williams tells the story of discovering at the age of 10 that he was black—or at least that the world saw him that way.

Williams, who would go on to serve as president of both City College of New York and the University of Cincinnati, was raised as a white boy when and where it really mattered: rural, central Virginia in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But when his parents’ marriage broke up and his mom ran off, his no-account, alcoholic father could not manage to care for his two sons. So, Williams’ dad moved them to his hometown of Muncie, Indiana. It was on the bus trip there that Williams’ dad told his boys that he was not the Italian-American called “Tony” who ran a roadhouse west of Richmond but a light-skinned black man from the wrong side of tracks in the industrial Midwest. “Miss Sallie,” the black woman who had worked at the family bar for a time, was really the boys’ grandmother.

Ultimately abandoned by both of his parents, Williams found himself brutally rejected by both cultures. And what a time to live on that line. In 1954, the year after he arrived in Muncie, the Supreme Court struck down school segregation laws. Segregationists had warned after Harry Truman integrated the military six years earlier that the federal government was intent on the mixing of the races—and ultimately making intermarriage appear to be normal, leading to the dilution of the white race. The blending of children in classrooms was to them just the next step in the demise of America’s dominant white culture by miscegenation. Williams remembered a Klansman on television saying the court was trying to encourage race mixing and the rise of the “bestial mongrel mulatto, the dreg of human society.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Who The Census Misses

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-01-04 18:27Z by Steven

Who The Census Misses

FiveThirtyEight
2021-12-13

Jasmine Mithani and Alex Samuels


Sibba Hartunian
Large groups of people have always fallen through the cracks of its racial categories — often by design.

For James Harmoush of Colorado, none of the census boxes quite fit.

In 2010 and 2020, when the census asked him to select a box regarding his race, he picked “white.” But there’s one major problem there: Harmoush doesn’t — and has never — seen himself that way.

“Nobody would ever look at me or talk to me and say, ‘You’re white,’” said the 30-year-old Arab American lawyer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Harmoush sees himself as part of a minority group, but the U.S. Census Bureau legally classifies him as a white man.

Harmoush is not alone. Many Americans we spoke with felt the census classifications — both “white” specifically as well as the other available categories more generally — do not match the way they identify. In total, we heard from over 200 people with frustrations ranging from the naming of categories (like “Asian Indian” to represent people with ancestry from India) to confusion over why some racial groups, like Japanese or Samoan, were given their own boxes, while Middle Eastern, North African, Southwest Asian and others were lumped together under a catchall “white” racial group. We also heard from some Americans who were now completely rethinking how they personally identified due to the way they saw race and politics intermingle in society today…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-11 16:44Z by Steven

That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau. The ACS collected and classified race in the same way that the 2010 census had throughout the prior decade. The last of the 2019 ACS data were gathered just a few months before the census, and the reported results showed that the percentage of Latinos categorized as single-race white was unchanged since the ACS survey of 2011.

Morris Levy, Richard Alba, and Dowell Myers, “The Truth About White America,” The Atlantic, October 25, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/2020-census-white-population-decline/620470/.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Truth About White America

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-27 16:09Z by Steven

The Truth About White America

The Atlantic
2021-10-25

Morris Levy, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations
University of Southern California

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dowell Myers, Professor of Policy, Planning, and Demography
University of Southern California


The Atlantic

The Census Bureau wanted to gather data about a changing nation, but ended up reinforcing old racial categories.

If you paid attention to the news this summer about the release of 2020 census data, you probably heard that America’s white population is in free fall. Big, if true.

The statistic that launched a thousand hot takes and breathless voice-overs about racial change was a supposed 8.6 percent, or 19 million, drop in the number of white Americans since 2010. Headlines cast this decline as unprecedented in census history and signaled that the nation’s majority-minority future loomed even closer than previously forecast. Pundits spun it as a harbinger of policy change and partisan realignment, for better or worse. Some wisely cautioned against demography-as-destiny assumptions in a country where the definition and public understanding of race can change rapidly. But few observers questioned whether the reported differences between the 2010 and 2020 censuses reflected real demographic change or simply statistical noise.

Commentators should have read the fine print before rushing to trot out their favorite narratives. If they had, they would have discovered that the eye-popping figure at the center of this summer’s hoopla is an illusion. The apparent decline in the white population is a result of changes to the Census Bureau’s protocol for measuring and classifying racial identity. The changes aimed to more accurately gauge the expansion of the country’s mixed-race population through new and more sophisticated data collection and classification techniques that capture the nuances of Americans’ multifaceted racial and ethnic identities. But a combination of bureaucratic constraints and messaging failures paved the way to public confusion…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

This Is How The White Population Is Actually Changing Based On New Census Data

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2021-08-23 02:37Z by Steven

This Is How The White Population Is Actually Changing Based On New Census Data

National Public Radio
2021-08-22

Hansi Lo Wang, Correspondent, National Desk

Ruth Talbot

Some news coverage of the latest 2020 census results may have led you to think the white population in the U.S. is shrinking or in decline.

The actual story about the country’s biggest racial group is more complicated than that.

And it’s largely the result of a major shift in how the U.S. census asks about people’s racial identities. Since 2000, the forms for the national, once-a-decade head count have allowed participants to check off more than one box when answering the race question.

While the 2020 census results show fewer people checking off only the “White” box compared with in 2010, there was an almost 316% jump in the number of U.S. residents who identified with the “White” category and one or more of the other racial groups. Their responses boosted the size of a white population that includes anyone who marked “White.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

…typically, a large share of Hispanic Americans check the box for white in the race question. Now, he said, they were given the chance to describe their backgrounds more fully, an addition, he said, that could have flipped them into the multiracial category.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-08-18 01:22Z by Steven

Richard Alba, a sociologist who has written about race categorization and the census, said that typically, a large share of Hispanic Americans check the box for white in the race question. Now, he said, they were given the chance to describe their backgrounds more fully, an addition, he said, that could have flipped them into the multiracial category.

Sabrina Tavernise, Tariro Mzezewa and Giulia Heyward, “Behind the Surprising Jump in Multiracial Americans, Several Theories,” The New York Times, August 13, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/us/census-multiracial-identity.html.

Tags: , , , , ,

Behind the Surprising Jump in Multiracial Americans, Several Theories

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-08-17 01:44Z by Steven

Behind the Surprising Jump in Multiracial Americans, Several Theories

The New York Times
2021-08-13

Sabrina Tavernise, National Correspondent

Tariro Mzezewa, National Correspondent

Giulia Heyward, 2021-2022 reporting fellow for the National desk


Kori Alexis Trataros, of White Plains, N.Y., sees generational differences in how Americans think about race. “Our generation is so great at having open conversation,” she said. Janick Gilpin for The New York Times

Families across the country have grown more diverse. A design change in the census form also allowed the government to report people’s identity in greater detail.

WASHINGTON — The Census Bureau released a surprising finding this week: The number of non-Hispanic Americans who identify as multiracial had jumped by 127 percent over the decade. For people who identified as Hispanic, the increase was even higher.

The spike sent demographers scrambling. Was the reason simply that more multiracial babies were being born? Or that Americans were rethinking their identities? Or had a design change in this year’s census form caused the sudden, unexpected shift?

The answer, it seems, is all of the above.

Multiracial Americans are still a relatively small part of the population but the increase over the decade was substantial and, the data shows, often surprising in its geography. The number of Americans who identified as non-Hispanic and more than one race jumped to 13.5 million from 6 million. The number of Hispanic Americans who identify as multiracial grew to 20.3 million from 3 million. In all, the two groups now represent about 10 percent of the population.

The largest increase in non-Hispanic Americans of two or more races was in Oklahoma, followed by Alaska and Arkansas.

Americans who were mixed race recorded a wide range of identities. People who identified themselves as both white and Asian made up about 18 percent of the total number of non-Hispanic multiracial Americans in 2020. Those who reported their race as both white and Black accounted for 20.5 percent. Americans who were both white and Native American were 26 percent of the total, according to Andrew Beveridge, who founded Social Explorer, a data analytics company…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Majority-Minority Myths

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-15 23:01Z by Steven

Majority-Minority Myths

Dissent
Spring 2021

Jake Rosenfeld, Professor of Sociology
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri


Outside a Latinos for Trump campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, in October 2020 (Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It’s time to let go of the belief that changing demographics will bring about a progressive America.

The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream
by Richard Alba
Princeton University Press, 2020, 336 pp.

Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics
by Zoltan L. Hajnal
Cambridge University Press, 2020, 362 pp.

The Case for Identity Politics: Polarization, Demographic Change, and Racial Appeals
by Christopher T. Stout
University of Virginia Press, 2020, 268 pp.

In a commencement address at the University of California, San Diego in 1997, President Bill Clinton spoke of a time when white people would no longer constitute a majority in the United States. In the decades since, the idea that growing diversity will bring about a “majority-minority” America in the near future has become a widespread belief across the ideological spectrum, propelled by periodic Census updates, like a report that 2013 marked the first year that more nonwhite babies had been born in the United States than white ones.

There are three major problems with this now-clichéd belief. First, it scares many white people, pushing their political stances toward the right. Numerous studies confirm that merely mentioning the demographic shift is enough to change their political views. As Ezra Klein has written, “The simplest way to activate someone’s identity is to threaten it.” Many white people interpret stories about the imminent reordering of the country’s racial and ethnic hierarchy as a threat.

Second, it leads Democrats astray. Divvying up the nation between whites and nonwhites implies a neat, fixed, and immutable ordering of a complex set of shifting racial and ethnic identities. The corollary—that a shared political identity should bind minorities to a leftist, emancipatory project against white oppression—induces complacency in Democratic Party organizing and policymaking realms, and ignores the varied ethnic and class backgrounds of those who comprise this broad, diverse population.

The 2020 election shook the premise that nonwhite voters shared a liberal political identity, with growing evidence of an across-the-board shift toward the GOP among Latinos and, to a smaller degree, African Americans. But evidence that the “browning of America” may not lead to progressive nirvana predated the election. Bush’s 2004 re-election bid was buoyed by his record performance among Latinos. Since then, between a quarter and a third of Latinos have voted for Republican presidential candidates despite the restrictionist turn in the party’s immigration policies.

Which brings us to the third problem with the majority-minority claim: it’s empirically wrong…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Web Event: The great demographic illusion: Majority, minority, and the expanding American mainstream

Posted in Census/Demographics, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2021-04-19 15:56Z by Steven

Web Event: The great demographic illusion: Majority, minority, and the expanding American mainstream

American Enterprise Institute
2021-04-19, 12:00-13:30 EDT

The majority-minority thesis contends that increasing demographic change in America will inevitably lead to a nation where minorities replace whites as the majority. In his new book, “The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream” (Princeton University Press, 2020), sociologist Richard Alba argues that this narrative distorts ongoing changes because it overlooks the surge of young Americans growing up with one white and one nonwhite parent.

Please join AEI for a panel discussion, moderated by AEI’s Karlyn Bowman, on mixed-race families, US Census definitions, Hispanic identity across generations, personal definitions of race, and the implications for American politics.

Agenda
12:00 PM
Introduction:
Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow, AEI

12:05 PM
Presentation:
Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York

12:30 PM
Discussion

Panelists:

  • Musa al-Gharbi, Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology, Columbia University
  • D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer and Editor, Pew Research Center
  • Mark Hugo Lopez, Director, Global Migration and Demography Research, Pew Research Center
  • Ruy Teixeira, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Moderator:
Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow, AEI

1:10 PM
Q&A

1:30 PM
Adjournment

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“We tend to believe that people can have only one ethno-racial background and that this identity is fixed when in fact it can be quite fluid.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-02-09 20:26Z by Steven

“We’ve allowed ideas about race to loom very large,” says Mr. [Richard] Alba. “We tend to believe that people can have only one ethno-racial background and that this identity is fixed when in fact it can be quite fluid.” This in turn has corrupted political thinking, especially among Democrats who accept the demography-is-destiny theory—the notion that they need only bide their time and minority voters will put them into a position of unassailable political power.

John J. Miller, “‘Majority Minority’ America? Don’t Bet on It,” The Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/articles/majority-minority-america-dont-bet-on-it-11612549609.

Tags: , , ,