The Browning of America
This concept has been out there, but I was recently reminded of it by another Medium blogger’s post, which I failed to make note of — my bad.
In using the word “America,” I bend to the prevailing use, at least for purposes of this blog. I try very hard to say the United States or the United States of America, and not America. I am a bit lazy about it — when in France when I should say “je viens des Etat Unis,” I say “je suis American.” Even the French assume that means the United States. (As if they couldn’t tell.) Spanish-speakers, outside the United States, often refer to us as Americanos, or the more affectionate term, Gringos.
The Americas includes North, Central and South America.
The total population for the Americas, northern and southern hemispheres, is 1.023 billion. Roughly 654 million live in Latin America, which includes South America, Central America and the Caribbean. North Americans total 369 million — 39 million are Canadians.
Race-wise, roughly 23% of that 1.023 billion label themselves White, 204 million in the United States alone, or 62% of our population. There are Whites in Latin America but not enough to be consequential. Non-whites (38%) in the United States, includes BIPOC (Black, Indian, People of Color) and Asian. The White number is trending downward.
The Americas are already over 75% of varying shades of brown.
It is easy, but sad, to see why the protagonists of the Great Replacement theory are rearing their racist and ugly voices, though only recently out of the closet and on the media’s radar. The Buffalo massacre did that — and the rants of a White teenage male, with less then 20% of his life lived — but long enough to buy an AR-15. Until Buffalo, this garbage was mostly the ranting of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
According to NPR: “In short, the ‘great replacement’ is a conspiracy theory that states that nonwhite individuals are being brought into the United States and other Western countries to “replace” white voters to achieve a political agenda. It is often touted by anti-immigration groups, white supremacists and others, according to the National Immigration Forum.”
The bunk is spreading like a plague. A recent poll said that nearly 70% of Republicans believe in the Great Replacement theory “at least to some extent.”
Some Replacement Theory protagonists believe that striking down Roe v Wade will help reverse the trend and expand the U.S. White population percent from its current 62%. Yes, White women, in sheer numbers, have the most abortions. Latinas have a higher birth rate versus Black or White women in the United States, though that is narrowing. Black women also have a higher fertility rate than White women, also narrowing.
As more women of color matriculate to or graduate from college, their birthrates decline. Education matters. When I spent some time in the Congo in 2006, I learned that the birth rate in this majority Catholic country declined significantly when women were educated, with even only some high school education.
So if more women of color are forced to carry a fertilized egg full term, won’t that increase the number of babies of color in the United States as well? Asking for a friend.
White women, especially White women of means, will find means to abort — poorer BIPOC women, less so, due to economic factors, and inadequate medical care. I don’t see the repeal of Roe v Wade as the plus Great Replacement theorists hope it is.
The far right populists are nothing if inconsistent. They consistently vote against their own economic self-interest. To wit: They happily accept unemployment benefits but vote for politicians who would limit them. They happily accept Medicare and Social Security but vote for politicians who will not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices or who would increase the qualifying age for Social Security to 70, and refuse to allow annual social security contributions to include all income levels, now capped at $140,000 annually. They consistently vote for politicians who keep the federal minimum wage at $7.25 (which adjusted for inflation is 40% lower than the 1970 minimum wage), who keep annual paid vacation at two weeks, who will not allow any paid parental leave for a child’s birth, who blocked the extension of the child tax credits that kept 3.7 million children out of poverty until last December, and who would repeal the Affordable Care Act. They vote for politicians who favor corporations and the rich 100% of the time over our labor force — all Republican politicians.
The browning of America is happening and in a few more decades the United States’ White population will dip below 50%. Republicans think it is a Democratic master plan. As an active Democrat, the only master plan I have ever seen or heard of is working to get more people to vote; young people, Blacks and Latinos, all historically have lower percent voter participation. That terrifies Republicans.
Why is this inevitable minority majority a problem? When did our shit stop stinking as if we were British royalty? Who anointed Whites the rulers in the 21st Century? Wait, let me guess, God’s plan.
Breaking News — BC, Middle Eastern Jews were brown. Jesus was born a Galilean Jew. Jesus was brown. Moses, King David, Joseph and Mary, and Cleopatra were brown. The fictional Judah Ben Hur was brown. You cannot rewrite that history.
I grew up in rural Indiana. My exposure to the “other” was quite restricted. In my graduating class of nearly 400, seven were BIPOC: five Blacks, one Chinese American, and one Latina. None of them were friends.
The script flipped, the last fifty-two years spent in diverse and pulsating Southern California. Forget that laid-back tripe.
I have been to 23 countries and counting, including countries where my whiteness stood out like a Broadway neon sign, and few spoke English.
So much of the resistance to the “other” is lack of exposure, lack of education, religious fundamentalism, and the famous line from South Pacific, “You have to be carefully taught.”
Millions of followers of that resistance can be found in rural-dominated states. In turn, they dominate their state governments, the presidency via the Electoral College and Senate via unequal representation. California, with 12% of the population (39 million), has two senators. Wyoming, with .0018% of the population (600,000), has two senators — checkmate. Game, set, and match to the rural states. They maintain undue influence in the House of Representatives due to gerrymandering, sanctified by a Supreme Court whose majority was put in power by a president who was elected by a minority of the voters. American exceptionalism.
We have minority rule in the United States. Ironic isn’t it — what Whites fear is minority rule?
I now count a lot of BIPOC friends; many are close friends. I am a better person because of them. They share with me their truth, what they see from their vantage point, and what they are feeling. I listen and learn, but have much more to learn. No, I cannot walk in their shoes. No White can.
No one can say they are colorblind. Of course I see color. I also see gender, age, size, body tats, clothing, and hear speech patterns. Except for speech, I take all that in, in less than a few seconds. Mostly now, I just see a person.
Fun ironic fact — any honest historian or archeologist would teach you that civilization birthed in Africa. The worldwide migration began there, tentacles spreading from modern day Egypt, and branching all over the globe. If any race has a beef about being replaced, it should be the Africans. We enslaved them and treated them as sub-humans.
The blending of the races is only a matter of time. News flash — it’s called love. Another news flash — lovers procreate. Put men and women together, and to a lesser extent, men and men, or women and women, and voilà, sex. It is the natural order.
Let’s look at a not so small microcosm of this browning natural order trend. Southern California looks like the United States might look in four decades from now, but with not as many Latinos. Recently the Los Angeles Times published a story titled, “Asian Latinos: These families represent California’s future.” Some data points from the article—Asians and Latinos are the two fastest-growing ethnic groups in the country—Between 2010 and 2019, the Asian and Latino populations doubled in most states.—There are at least 250,000 Asian Latinos who live in California with most living in Los Angeles County — California is 15% Asian and 39% Latino.
Add to this blending, Asians and Blacks, Blacks and Latinos, Asians and Caucasians, Caucasians and Blacks, and Caucasians and Latinos. Not to mention middle easterners and migrants from India.
Different races interface at school, work, church, shared political or non-profit causes, sporting events and community activities. Friendships are formed, relationships develop, and Eros aims an arrow.
The Browning of America.
I wrote about this in an earlier blog, but it’s applicable here. As a senior, in 1965, the local paper gathered some of us to ask about racial unrest — no Black member of our class was invited. One male senior pontificated, “You can’t legislate love.” No doubt he heard this at home — you have to be carefully taught.
Today I would toss that back in his face and say, you can’t keep different races from becoming friends, falling in love and marrying. That ship has sailed. You cannot codify and legislate hate. Well, you can, but do that in your deep red state.
There are many memorable quotes from the classic film, “In the Heat of the Night.” I am reminded of this one. The wife of the murdered industrialist says to the sheriff, “I want that officer given a free hand, otherwise I will pack up my husband’s engineers…and leave you…to yourselves.”
We will leave you red states to yourselves — with your higher gun ownership rates, higher death rates by gun, higher rates of COVID infections and COVID deaths, higher divorce rates, higher percent of population not covered by health insurance, including Medicaid, lower spending for public education and pre-K, higher obesity rates, lower life expectancy, and lower income rates. Your vision is to replace the rest of the United States with this?
Leave the majority of us to the natural order — the browning of America.