Monday, May 11, 2009

pity the imperilled white kids

In the following segment, Larry Wilmore of "The Daily Show" explores the implications of an impending demographic shift that some white folks find frightening--the day that white Americans become . . . a minority.

How are today's white children preparing themselves for their encroaching insignificance?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
White in America - The Children

[If you can't view the clip, this Canadian mirror might work for you.]


  1. I can't view the clip yet (gotta wait for lunch break) but... considering that 74% of Americans ( website) identify as "white", it's gonna be a REALLY REALLY REALLY LONG time before they become a minority!

  2. Depends on what you mean by a long time. As Angel Harris points out in the video, the commonly accepted date is 2050.

  3. Gooblyglob, as you should know, the census only counts those individuals willing to be counted. There are a lot of people that do not adhere to the census; so that 74% really is invalid.

  4. It's amazing how common this misinterpretation is...

    To claim that Whites will become a minority come 2050 or there-bout is a misreading that, IMO, is spurred by those fearful of the demographic shift. Somehow, their fearmongering has framed how the way the 2050 Census projection is talked about even when the projection stilled showed Whites as the technical majority at 51% of the population when the original 2000 or 2004 Census began the projections.

    Now they are saying Whites will be 46% -- i.e. NOT a "minority" -- with non-white Hispanics closest to them with a 30% share of the population.
    (It's funny how in the span of 4 years, from the 2004 Census to the 2008 Census, non-white Hispanics are recalculated to go from a projected 24.4% of the population to 30%.)

    Instead of noting how the prediction is that 2050 will be the year Whites cease to be a majority, the psychological twist is to declare 2050 as the year Whites become the minority as if a White population composing 50% or more (or slightly less) will somehow be stripped of its controlling influence over society... (or all POC think alike and will band against Whites and wrest power away from them) like the social and economic power Whites have is a result of them merely possessing well over a 50% of the population as opposed to generations upon generations of Whites benefiting from the WHITE SUPREMACY that even history records as the very reason why the American demographics were tilted so heavily "white."

    Like Texas and California are aberrations instead of examples of what the national demographic shift would be like in 2050 if the predictions holds true.

  5. To continue, Whites didn't need a numerical majority to rule Apartheid S. Africa and haven't needed it to continue to hold huge economic/political sway in S. Africa today with so-called [Black] majority-rule.

  6. honeybrown1976 - I didn't know that, filling out the Australian Census form is compulsory unless you want to get into a legal mess.

    I guess a "long time" is relative to... reality. I dunno, I just see all the panic as really unneccessary and silly.

  7. I just see all the panic as really unneccessary and silly.I think that's basically the point of the "Daily Show" segment, or maybe a point of it. Hope you got to watch it.

  8. I'm watching on a computer without sound. Is there a version of this with subtitles?
    (This isn't just for my benefit, subtitles are a disability rights issue.)
    But we are always whining about affirmative action. Maybe it would be cool to be a minority? ;)

  9. sanabitur anima, I just Googled around and can't find transcripts for DS episodes, nor versions with subtitles. If anyone else finds them, please let us know.

  10. I lol'd.

    The video reminded me of how much fun it is to be the stealth hispanic, even if the big reveal sometimes causes awkwardness.

    gooblyglob: In the most recent census a little more then half of all hispanics listed themselves as "white"+"of hispanic or latino origin", which cuts into the margin majority for of white people that we traditionally think of as "white". Those from the middle east and central asia (east of Pakistan, I think) also are instructed to list themselves as white.

    The second largest race listing on the census for hispanics is "other". This makes sense because most hispanics in the US are not entirely white, black or native american, and the terms and distinctions used within latin american countries haven't migrated north yet.

  11. Funny video. Fear of a black planet by Public Enemy came to my mind.

  12. Nquest is absolutely right on every point.

  13. I know this thread is a week old, but I just wanted to add:
    In their reports, the US Census Bureau makes a point of specifically stating that "Hispanic/Latino" refers to place of origin, not a race. Hence, "non-white Hispanic" as a category. This is a really important distinction (which has to be made because that's not how that word is generally understood), but I notice it's often overlooked in news reports and such. For example, a few months ago I heard a claim that the US is 2/3 white, when in fact it is 3/4 white; they'd failed to add white Hispanics to the white total. (Perhaps because the Census data always lists Hispanics separately? Which is problematic in itself.)

    1) if Hispanic-ness has nothing to do with race, why does it come up in their race numbers? What, exactly, does the Census Bureau want to know when they ask about race? Are they asking where you came from, what culture you identify with, or what color your skin is? Seems even they don't quite seem to know. And 2) why don't they break down Hispanics any other way? How come if you're Hispanic, you're either "white" or "non-white"? And 3) how come the only "ethnicities" are "Hispanic" or "not Hispanic"?

  14. From the 2000 US Census definitions:

    • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...
    • Black/African American: A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa..."
    • Some other race: Includes all other responses not included in the 'White', 'Black or African American', 'American Indian and Alaska Native', 'Asian' and 'Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander' race categories described above. Respondents providing write-in entries such as multiracial, mixed, interracial, Wesort, or a Hispanic/Latino group (for example, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban) in the 'Some other race' category are included here.

    Okay...? The more I look at this the weirder it gets. Why isn't there a Hispanic/Latino race category, similar to the others (ie, based on place of "origin")? Also, is it even possible to look at the Census's data and tell how the hell many Hispanics live in America? Why is that so obfuscated? This "race" data is useless (which I guess is good!)

    Sidebar: I kind of adore that "Wesort" is listed as a (common?) write-in! Aren't we ALL Wesorts of some sort?

  15. The census needs to know racial statistics to help combat racism. "Hispanic/latin," I think though I'm definitely not sure, is separate because Latin America has in it people of European, African, and Amerindian descent. In Cananda and the US, Europeans meant anglo-saxon. In Latin America, it means either Spanish or Portugese. In Latin America, "white" hispanics enjoy some of the same white privilege anglo-saxons enjoy. But once they cross the Rio-Grande, they're no longer "white" enough to get the same privilege. Even though they may consider themselves white, and as a group, they definitely receive better treatment than nonwhite (African and/or Amerindians) hispanics.

  16. aw that video was too cute. seriously white people don't have anything to worry about anytime soon though. and even if the minority becomes the majority we'd never treat them the way they treated us. real talk.

  17. I liked the clip and thought it was hilarious.

    However, I saw in another post on this blog, a similar clip from the Daily Show being berated because of how the white interviewer made similar jokes at the expense of a black man.

    What I don't understand is why the difference? Both were funny, both treated racial issues with similar joking irreverence, but the indignation came up during the other clip and not this one.

    Any thoughts on that?

  18. In the post where the white guy makes fun of the African diplomat - the problem is you have a person of privilege making jokes about race with a person of color. When did colonialism become funny?

    In the other case, it's a person of color making fun of the sense of dread some white people have about losing the majority and their racial privileged status.

    Think of it like this. You know the movie FUN WITH DICK AND JANE? It's hilarious if you're not homeless.

  19. I know I'm waaaay behind on this one, but... well, Nquest is right. Even if white people were "the minority" by 2050, most of those people would be in positions of power, just because the American public is still trained to vote for them.


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