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Teach them well and let them lead the way
May 16, 2012 10:13 PM   Subscribe

According to the U.S. census bureau, from July 2010 to July 2011, more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups, a first for the United States.

“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”
posted by cashman (59 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
...well in that case, they're hardly minorities anymore, are they?
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 10:15 PM on May 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups

So were the rest, at least among their immediate cohort.
posted by chavenet at 10:15 PM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


This seems unsustainable if "minority" is defined as "less than half".
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:16 PM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


We are both too slow.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:17 PM on May 16, 2012


pullquote from here.
posted by cashman at 10:17 PM on May 16, 2012


The melting pot is melting from within.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:17 PM on May 16, 2012


I think the real question is: How long until we see Facebook screencaps of racist people on Reddit using this news as justification for some racist action/activity?
posted by Talez at 10:29 PM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


And that's only race! Don't forget to account for the minority ~3-10% who are GLBTQ, which will include some race minority and non-minority children.
posted by hippybear at 10:29 PM on May 16, 2012


It's always good to hear about children being born.
posted by michaelh at 10:33 PM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups

What, like the gay Republican caucus or something?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:33 PM on May 16, 2012


If there are 6 groups that make up 10% of the population and 1 group making up 40% then the minorities would be the majority no?
posted by onya at 10:34 PM on May 16, 2012


The word everyone is looking for here is "plurality."
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:35 PM on May 16, 2012 [26 favorites]


That's an awful lot of babies who are going to grow up ineligible to vote (because there are people working on that - hard).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 PM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Minority can also refer to the power a group wields. You know, like how women can be considered a minority? When half of congress consists of minorities, or half of the people in tv are minorities, then people can start freaking out. Or not.
posted by Garm at 10:46 PM on May 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's always good to hear about children being born.

Speak for yourself! (Get off my lawn and some such...)
posted by fishmasta at 10:46 PM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is every single person in this thread going to make the same joke?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:48 PM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, Bunny. Only the majority will.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 10:50 PM on May 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


Actually, given that only five comments out of 17 made that joke, I'd say only a plurality of commenters are going to make that joke.
posted by midmarch snowman at 11:04 PM on May 16, 2012


Only the minority will make that jo....gaah I just can't do it.
posted by Drumhellz at 11:07 PM on May 16, 2012


Minority can also refer to the power a group wields. You know, like how women can be considered a minority?

Not properly.
posted by John Cohen at 11:14 PM on May 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Minority ensues.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:15 PM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good news. I'm excited to see what America looks like in 40 years, hope I'm still around.
posted by BinGregory at 11:29 PM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, like how women can be considered a minority?

Or a fringe group, even.
posted by sour cream at 11:30 PM on May 16, 2012


>Is every single person in this thread going to make the same joke?


I'm not saying it needs to be repeated anymore, but I don't see that it's a joke.
posted by surenoproblem at 11:53 PM on May 16, 2012


This demographic shift is one of the reasons the House voted to end the ACS. (previously)
posted by vhsiv at 11:55 PM on May 16, 2012


When half of congress consists of minorities, or half of the people in tv are minorities, then people can start freaking out. Or not.

In the current 112th Congress...
In the House, there are currently 362 men and 76 women. In the Senate, there are 17 women and 83 men.
This article is from three years ago, but it's representative (so to speak):
In the total population, whites make up 66.0%, Hispanics are 15.1%, Blacks are 12.8%, APIA (Asian and Pacific Islander American) are 5.1%, and AIAN (American Indians and Alaskan Natives) are 1.2%. In Congress, whites make up 85.8%, Hispanics are 5.8%, Blacks are 7.5%, APIA are 1.7%, and AIAN are 0.2%.

Men are 49% of the total population, while women are 51%. In Congress, men are 82% and women are 18%.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:03 AM on May 17, 2012


Oh, and while we're at it:

As Americans Get Poorer, Members of Congress Get Richer
The average American’s net worth has dropped 8 percent during the past six years, while members of Congress got, on average, 15 percent richer, according to a New York Times analysis of financial disclosure. The median net worth of members of Congress is about $913,000, compared with about $100,000 for the country at large, the Times’ analysis found.

This wealth disparity between lawmakers and the people they represent seems to be continually growing. Nearly half of Congress — 249 members — are millionaires, while only 5 percent of American households can make the same claim.
The grayest Congress
Congress, in fact, is the grayest it's ever been, and don't expect this to change much after the November midterms. The average age of a senator is 60 (the oldest ever) and the average age of a member of the House is 55 (the oldest in more than a century).

The aging Congress, experts say, is partly a reflection of more members -- like Byrd and Akaka -- deciding to stay in office for their own personal reasons. But it's also a reflection of their political parties wanting them to stay. "What is indisputable is that both parties are begging their incumbents to continue serving, regardless of age," Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, wrote at the beginning of this election cycle.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:07 AM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Liberals might look at these numbers and conclude that minorities are not being afforded the same access to birth control and abortion. Conservatives, looking at these same statistics, might conclude that it's time that minorities get all the cheap birth control and abortions they can handle.
posted by three blind mice at 1:54 AM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ya'll should have picked your own damn cotton and dug your own damn holes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:02 AM on May 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


...well in that case, they're hardly minorities anymore, are they?

Can't tell if serious.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:16 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to wonder if more than half of all mefites can write their own user numbers.
posted by srboisvert at 4:45 AM on May 17, 2012


You know, like how women can be considered a minority?

Or a fringe group, even.


Only the minority of them with bangs.
posted by srboisvert at 4:51 AM on May 17, 2012


What is not mentioned in all the "OMG, teh brown people are taking over" hysteria (come on, what an inflammatory AND idiotic headline) is that the MAJORITY of births are to whites, at 63%. This is what doesn't get top billing, because it's not as scary as blacks, Latinos, and Asians allied together as a group.
posted by honey badger at 5:52 AM on May 17, 2012


What?
posted by cashman at 6:00 AM on May 17, 2012


Pat Buchanan warned us about this!
Nice, clean white folk need to have more babies who will grow up to uphold Western civilization! Either that, or to grow up to hate their parents and vote in a gay Latino president.
posted by charred husk at 6:05 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, here is an AP article from NPR with the headline.
posted by honey badger at 6:10 AM on May 17, 2012


I think there is a lack of basic understanding of both math and words in this thread. Let me try to explain, and also to appear superior and patronizing at the same time.

Firstly, it is a well-known fact that every person is - legally - a minor until the age of 18. Hence every baby is a minor. Together, these babies form the "minority". This means that 100% of babies born in America today are in the minority. This is a frightening statistic.

The "majority", however, is composed of those who have obtained the rank of Major in the Army or Marines. This is actually a very elite group, numbering far less than 0.1% of the population. Again, one jiggles with well-justified fear upon hearing this terrorsome fact.

Between the minority and majority, however, stands the mediocrity. The rest of us are members of this faction, although we try to deny it. But, it is TRUE and we should face up to it, or America will never prevail from the toxic peril in which it currently bathes.

It is clear, then, that we need to radically lower the age of consent and commission each newborn with officer rank in the armed forces IMMEDIATELY, in order to bolster the ranks of the majority. Only then can we catapult tens of thousands of plump-limbed, drooling infant soldiers at our enemies and laugh as they explode on their terrorist camps and secret nuclear-weapon facilities. Then American mediocrity will be safe from the scourge of the minority, and democracy will triumph.

"Democracy" is a demon who smokes crack, by the way. I thought you might need that explained to you all as well.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:30 AM on May 17, 2012 [31 favorites]


What is not mentioned in all the "OMG, teh brown people are taking over" hysteria (come on, what an inflammatory AND idiotic headline) is that the MAJORITY of births are to whites, at 63%.

Sorry, here is an AP article from NPR with the headline.


No, as that article clearly states, the majority of people total in the US are whites at 63%. But the demographic of births has changed, and white births in the time period in question came in at 49.6% of the total number of births.
posted by hippybear at 6:33 AM on May 17, 2012


Gonna be a White Minority! EAT IT RACIST SCUM!
posted by symbioid at 6:39 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


We're all Americans now.
posted by Flex1970 at 7:06 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Minorities Are Now Majority Of U.S. Births, Census Says
---
"OMG, teh brown people are taking over" hysteria (come on, what an inflammatory AND idiotic headline)

Walk me through this, please? How could this news be summarized more neutrally in your opinion? Is your objection with the fact that is being reported as news at all? Maybe it's the "minority" label itself? I just don't understand where you are reading this hysteria in any of links presented here.
posted by Dano St at 7:08 AM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, this is a landmark demographic shift, but the idea that minorities together comprise some sort of group is fallacious. They often don't have common interests or, sometimes, cultures. Asians have the highest per-capita incomes and educational attainment, even more so than whites. Blacks have the lowest (yet African immigrants have the highest educational attainment of any immigrant group). Hispanics are somewhere in the middle of income/education. People don't perceive unity within groups as well. Cuban-Americans aren't necessarily BFFs with Mexican-Americans. Hmong and Japanese have little in common with each other - not language, not (usually) religion, not food, not income. This Indian CEO has barely anything in common with this undocumented Latino immigrant or these exploited Native American girls except they all have a darker skin color than most whites.

As long as these major differences persist, this development is kind of meaningless for white people's stranglehold on political power and wealth.
posted by desjardins at 7:09 AM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


the idea that minorities together comprise some sort of group is fallacious

Likewise is the idea that whites comprise some sort of group. That doesn't mean we should ignore the passing of a demographic milepost.
posted by Dano St at 7:15 AM on May 17, 2012


Our long, national nightmare is over
posted by dismas at 7:43 AM on May 17, 2012


As long as these major differences persist, this development is kind of meaningless for white people's stranglehold on political power and wealth.

The problem isn't whether it's meaningful in and of itself, it's whether wacko white folks with a penchant for working up a rabid Scared of Others Froth think it's meaningful. And they will.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:09 AM on May 17, 2012


The "majority of minorities" thing has been done to death, but still, I am reminded of Cartman and Kyle's exchange on the matter.

Cartman; “There are actually more minorities here than us!”
Kyle: “Well, then they’re not minorities, are they?”
Cartman: “What do you mean?”
Kyle:”Dumb-ass! If there’s 60 percent of them to 40 percent of us then who is the minority?”
Cartman: “The black and brown people.”
Kyle: “No! You’re the minority!”
Cartman: “Do I look like a minority to you, stupid?!”
posted by dhens at 8:09 AM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed reading this post, but I refuse to share it on my email list, as I do with other posts I find interesting. I will not be responsible for contributing to the the "OMG, teh brown people are taking over" hysteria that would result from this information getting into the wrong hands.


Let me try to explain, and also to appear superior and patronizing at the same time.
Oh, well done, quidnunc! You have achieved the perfect level of belittling presumptuousness.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:38 AM on May 17, 2012


In my family we make a point of not filling in the Race question on the Census form.
Or enter "human."
My wife answered the door one day and there was a Census worker doing a follow-up. "Go away with your silly questions" she told em.
posted by ahimsakid at 9:39 AM on May 17, 2012


Likewise is the idea that whites comprise some sort of group.

True, but whites are mostly stratified by class, not ethnicity. There's not much of a cultural difference between Irish-Americans and Polish-Americans these days.

That doesn't mean we should ignore the passing of a demographic milepost.

Hence the very first part of my sentence.
posted by desjardins at 9:40 AM on May 17, 2012


Of course the comments on the Fox Nation website are the best
posted by zzazazz at 9:40 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish I had skipped the reader comments when I read this story on my local newspaper website.
posted by maurice at 9:41 AM on May 17, 2012


My wife answered the door one day and there was a Census worker doing a follow-up. "Go away with your silly questions" she told em.

And what was their response, since you're legally required to fill out the form?

In my family we make a point of not filling in the Race question on the Census form.
Or enter "human."


I know you think this is noble or something, but we don't live in a color-blind society. It's still important to fill out the form accurately because it determines how government funding is apportioned (amongst many other uses). Let's say everyone in your community wrote down "human." Would we know that blacks are more likely to live in older houses at risk for lead paint? Wouldn't it be harder to target relevant communities with education and treatment? (This is a real example that I worked on.) Or, a specific neighborhood contains a large number of Hispanics, and government offices need a greater percentage of bilingual staff than do white neighborhoods. Or that schools that black children attend are likely to have poorer educational outcomes.
posted by desjardins at 9:50 AM on May 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


In other news, MetaFilter is still as white as Connecticut in the 1950s. Demographic models predict it will stay this way until at least 2100.
posted by dgaicun at 9:52 AM on May 17, 2012


MetaFilter is still as white as Connecticut in the 1950s.

Thus illustrating that the the five dollar poll tax is working - although a literacy test would perhaps be more appropriate and egalitarian.
posted by three blind mice at 10:13 AM on May 17, 2012


It's a good thing to know that whites are more stratified by class - it'd be confusing if Ivy-educated black people making six- or seven-figure incomes weren't just as likely to live in homes contaminated with lead paint as their poor black sisters and brothers. Someone could get the idea that skin color wasn't so relevant, or that when there's more variation within a grouping than between groupings, the groupings themselves are fallacious.
posted by c10h12n2 at 12:11 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, now we know why the House wants to cut the Cencus' budget.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:18 PM on May 17, 2012


Minority Births the Majority? On how the whole idea of White People is Made Up
posted by homunculus at 4:31 PM on May 18, 2012


five dollar poll tax

Move along, programs. Move along.

[MCP - RECOGNIZER TO 4350090]
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:38 PM on May 18, 2012


Jay Smooth - Don't Freak Out about the White Babies.
posted by cashman at 4:41 PM on May 18, 2012


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