Today’s 4th of July edition of the New York Times contains an excellent front page story on the changing ethnic landscape of California, explaining that the state will become “officially” majority non-white at some point over the next twelve months, and discussing some of the implications of this transition.
This thoughtful and informative piece is a welcome contrast to the remarkably dreadful front page series on “Race in America” which the Times has persisted in running over the past month or two, a series that has now even provoked an amusing parody in the current issue of the New Republic.
Aside from presenting absolutely no new insights or ideas—when you’ve read one 8000 word “racism and racial tension” piece you’ve read them all—the current Times series also demonstrates the parochialism and ignorance of the Times’s editors, since, with the partial exception of just one article, the only races discussed are black and white.
Such a perspective would have seemed narrow for a local New York City newspaper in 1950; for a national newspaper in 2000, it is simply absurd. Already today, Asians and Latinos together substantially outnumber blacks, and are growing at a rate four or five times faster.
The black fraction of America’s population has not changed by more than a point or two in over a century: in 1900, it was 12%, while today it is…12%! By contrast, just since 1970, Latinos and Asians have increased from almost nothing to 16%. America’s future is far, far more dependent on relations between whites, Latinos, and Asians than on the traditional paradigm of black/white relations. Latinos, in particular, will within a couple of decades probably become a plurality of the population in both California and Texas, our two largest states. But they are completely invisible to the esteemed editors of the New York Times…
- Shift in the Mix Alters the Face Of California
New York Times, Tuesday, July 4, 2000, FRONT PAGE