Monday, January 31, 2011

The Young Are Embracing "Mixed Race"

The New York Times has a nifty story about the younger generation choosing to identify more as "mixed race." I think the Census Bureau made a sensible decision in 2000 to allow people to choose combinations from broad array of races and ethnicities. The current younger generation embraces it.

I think, though, that two generations from now, most of the "races" that we now talk about will be archaic. And America will never have a "minority majority," but will have absorbed most third-generation-plus Americans into the great American ethnicity.

13 comments:

Whitey Lawful said...

They are for the wrong reasons. Its an extention of the commie program to upset western culture or white autonomy--or any autonomy for that matter--unless its perverse and that is what such amalgamation popularly represents.
To fulfill the indifferent dream of Martin Luther King. Notice they call their children post-racial. When you cannot not affirm race. So in the case of mulatto offspring -- they'll actually be 'black' due to negritude.

sookie said...

I think we should all call ourselves mixed and be done with racial politics. It seems our second black president (the first being Clinton)is in reality mixed, though he seems to prefer his black roots.

Brendan said...

It's difficult to tell if Whitey Lawful is a standard comment troll or actually mentally ill. Disgusting, if the former. Sad, if the latter.

Years ago George Will endorsed the idea of removing race from the census entirely, with his rationale being that it would help erase the concept of distinct races and lead to less prejudice and conflict. At the time I thought it was a daring and interesting idea. It took me years to realize that, like most simple "solutions," it would allow more oppression: without the datum of race to correlate with housing and income, there's no clear way to show the truth that most American minorities continue to be economically crushed.

I hope your absorption prediction is true; the combo-checkbox hasn't ended racial divides, but I think it is helping to mainstream the idea of being mixed.

Whit said...

Brendan,

Let's reserve the freighted word "oppression" for intentional acts by one person against another. Sure that still happens, but you can't prove that with statistics which could, and probably do, show differentials driven primarily by cultural, historical and other factors rather than by any contemporaneous intentional discrimination.

I'm not convinced about the need for statistics. It may stimulate more navel-gazing than is necessary for a forward looking, optimistic society. But I do know that dwelling on "oppression" and being "victims" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Brendan said...

Whit: I'm asking this honestly. If you're "not convinced about the need for statistics," why are you a regular reader and commenter on a sociology professor's blog?

Anonymous said...

How boring if we were all sycophants.

sookie said...

Brenden, don't they encourage healthy debate where you are from?

Whitey Lawful said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whitey Lawful said...

Brenden -- I am a 'troll' -- my commentary is offensive and to the point. You play a postmodern game with humanity, i do not.

Whit said...

Brendan, my comment was directed to the statistics about race and Will's suggestion to which you refer. It seems to me the costs, in preserving race consciousness, might outweigh the benefits of race-based statistics. As to other statistics, the same costs might not be present. On the other hand, I find it difficult to say we should fail to gather information because of the use to which the information might be put - Should we stop investigating whether some of the differences in female participation in some disciplines might be due to the underlying ability and inclinations, on average, of women generally?

So I am not convinced one way or the other.

Brendan said...

Sookie: I am from Kentucky, and more specifically Centre, where healthy debate is fostered and encouraged. I doubt the utility of debate in blog comment sections, and even more so when one side is debating much more fundamental things than the other. No one is going to get much out of a conversation where one participant is expounding on the effects of motorcycle helmet regulations and the other is questioning the laws of physics.

Whit: Thanks for clarifying your position; I asked because you seemed to be speaking generally, about the value of all statistics to an "optimistic society." I wish you had answered my question, though. It arose from genuine curiosity, not rhetoric.

Whit said...

Brendan, I thought I did answer your question. You asked why I commented on a sociology blog if I didn't believe in statistics. I responded that my aversion to statistics was only in one area because of their misuse. And even there, I am merely following your line of argument in which your views on the exact issue evolved.

If your question was why I, not a PhD in Sociology, would be interested in, or have the temerity to comment on, a blog about sociology, I would respond that sociology, law, economics, history, political science and policy all would be benefitted by a little cross-fertilization. And the laws of physics might very well be relevant to the nature of regulations concerning motorcycle helmets.

Brendan said...

Whit: Thanks again for indulging me. I think I see where you're coming from now. I wasn't implying that those without PhDs shouldn't have the temerity to comment; I certainly don't have one myself.