Prediction: we end up with better Latin American cuisine.

August 14, 2008, 12:50 pm

Everyone’s been all over the white-people-will-be-a-minority-with-no-stand-mixers-to-hug bedwetting story, but this is a really, really, really stupid thing to be panicking about:

The Census Bureau’s projections are likely to fuel debates over immigration policy, overpopulation and the changing electorate, and recall earlier eras when the Irish, the Italians and Eastern European Jews were not universally considered as whites. As recently as the 1960s, Hispanic people were not counted separately by the census and Asian Indians were classified as white.

So, let me get this straight: we redefine “white” to count only those of European, North African, and Middle Eastern ancestry, purposefully putting Hispanics into a new separate category, and then freak out that the numbers of white people are shrinking.

If we counted the way we did in 1960, America would be getting whiter, due to all the new Hispanic immigrants. If we counted how we did in 1910, whites have been a minority for a while, and only with the influx of Hispanic immigrants will we be white again.

Aside from that, all of the assumptions in the study presume that whatever demographic trends are true of 2008 will continue till mid-century and that’s just not something I’d put a lot of faith in.  What I would like to see is the same study, but done with 1950s data, projecting what 2008 America would look like, comparing it to how 2008 actually turned out.

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