Honkies no longer in the majority
March 30, 2001 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Honkies no longer in the majority in California, according to recent census. How long until the government makeup and laws reflect that? (would something like prop 187 ever pass again?)
posted by mathowie (21 comments total)
Yes, something like Prop 187 will pass again. The census is not the same as voter demographics.
posted by fleener at 11:13 AM on March 30, 2001

"Honkies?" I am so offended. Wait until your daughter marries one!

The government will look like whatever the citizens bother to elect. The laws should not "look like" anything.

(Did the Times redesign their site again? It looks funny.)
posted by aaron at 11:16 AM on March 30, 2001

Well, we honkies have been in the minority for a few years running, though that was more from statistics than the census. I think there are going to be virulent outbreaks of legislation like 187 as Scared White People try and keep Those Other People from having a say in how their communities are run.

Is this a bad thing? Well, if you're a close-minded fool who forgets your own immigrant roots (like Pat Buchanan...how quickly we forget that the Irish were demonized in the First Wave of American immigration, eh, Patrick?), yes. Otherwise, who cares?
posted by RakDaddy at 11:20 AM on March 30, 2001

What's with Pat B? I thought Irish were white. Can I apply to school and tell them I am member of minority group and get some extra help?
posted by Postroad at 11:27 AM on March 30, 2001

> ...if you're a close-minded fool who forgets your own
> immigrant roots...

And how long will it take those "other people" to forget their immigrant roots? Dateline 2010, California passes resolution making Spanish the state's official language, in response to massive immigration wave from Indonesia. Count on it.
posted by jfuller at 11:35 AM on March 30, 2001

The Irish are only now considered "white" because the African American population started to get all uppity, and it became easier to judge race based on skin color rather than the complex system of hating everyone outside one's hamlet.
posted by captaincursor at 11:35 AM on March 30, 2001

Oh, no, jfuller...we Californians will have to learn how to communicate with other people! We'll have to have an understanding of other cultures and languages! We won't be able to stay isolated in our own little enclaves! What horror!

I remember my grandfather telling me growing up in Lithuania and having to know Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, German, and Latvian in order to be a successful businessman. He had no problem with that, and he had no problem with adding English to his list. Maybe this wasn't common for *everyone* in Europe, but it's always been a good example for me as to the perils of cultural isolation. Want to expand your market? Then you better learn how to get along with everyone around you.

I had to put up with more pipsqueak racists in school (rah, rah, Cal Poly) than I care to think about. More than once, some other honky would try to strike up a conversation with me in the quad about All Those Damn Orientals and they way they babbled on all the time. That's when I usually told him to go fuck himself. In Vietnamese.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:46 AM on March 30, 2001

And I didn't mean that last paragraph as a personal attack on you, jfuller. It's just that I've heard sentiments like that before, and they didn't set well with me the first time.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:48 AM on March 30, 2001

I hate White People food anyway. All that mayonaise. All that Wonder Bread. And Twinkies? Blecch!
posted by honkzilla at 12:08 PM on March 30, 2001

Tonight, I'll go to "International Night" at my daughter's school in Fairfax County, VA, an inner suburb of DC. I expect that, like the last time I went to a night-time meeting there, I'll be the only Caucasian in the room, besides the teachers. The school, like the county, is a beautiful, rich mix of Asia, Latin America, India, Africa, with a little African-America thrown in (of course, the "government makeup" doesn't reflect it).

Mmmmm...but the food. It won't be some contrived thing like one might find in a middle-class pasty white neighborhood school, either, where parents are asked to bring a suitably "international" dish and they all bring tamale pie casserole and lasagne. No, her school is already international, so we're being asked to bring a food representative of our own culture. Should be fascinating, as my daughter is one of two kids in her class who speak English at home. I guess I'll pick up some KFC. Oooh, or I could make peanutbutter and marshmallow cream sandwiches. Pimiento cheese on Wonderbread would be an option, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2001

MrMoonPie: Bring RC Cola and Moon Pies.
posted by kindall at 12:38 PM on March 30, 2001

I thought chow mein was the native food of Fairfax County. Or is it pho?
posted by Loudmax at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2001

MrM, you were planning on trimming the crust, I trust? And kindall, that's breakfast food 'round these parts.
posted by gimli at 12:59 PM on March 30, 2001

That's it ! Close the borders.
posted by a3matrix at 12:59 PM on March 30, 2001

Postroad: you might be interested in reading How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev. For a quick fix, read an interview with the author.
posted by sudama at 1:02 PM on March 30, 2001

Heh. My daughter's teacher warned my ex-wife not to bring anything even slightly fancy, or it would be untouched. She suggested getting a big bag of McD's hamburgers. Moon Pies for dessert, perhaps.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:09 PM on March 30, 2001

odd that you would say that about LA.... Here in Texas, we have already seen it happen.
posted by bradth27 at 1:16 PM on March 30, 2001

Geez, postroad, I'd have thought you'd be old enough to remember NO IRISH NEED APPLY signs.

I think the effect here is probably more subtle than some imagine. For example, the demographic growth in the West was assumed to favor Republicans -- but then California went Democratic in the 1990s and stayed that way. Here the growth of demographic groups like Hispanics is not necessarily the same thing as growth in favor of (say) relaxed immigration policies.

jfuller has a point: the more mainstream a minority group is, the less it see itself as a minority.

If we see an Hispanic presidential candidate soon, I bet s/he'll come from California. Hey, Washington already has an Asian-American governor (if I recall correctly, Gary Locke is 3rd generation).
posted by dhartung at 3:54 PM on March 30, 2001

I tried to read up on the Irish . I read Joyce. But it turns our the guy Bloom was Jewish. Was he white?
Ps: I was only making fun (above) of the idea that discussing color differences (California) got into nationalality discussions, ala Pat B and the irish. The link was to Oriental, Hispanics, blacks and whites in California and not to (say) Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese. Thus Irish of course are white (why the Black irish?), as are many other nationalities from Europe. Gosh. someone takes me seriously! Not in my home they don't.
Pat B., by the way, may well have forgotten the contempt heaped upon the Irish immigrants but he seems also to have ignored the hatred early America had for Catholics.
posted by Postroad at 4:38 PM on March 30, 2001

Juan Gonzalez has an interesting take on this.
posted by sudama at 2:46 AM on March 31, 2001

187 was a basically stupid piece of legislation, but it was not essentially racist, as it denied nothing on the basis of race and everything on the basis of documentation, and would have (if allowed to take effect by the courts) have impacted illegal aliens of all origins.

A stronger (but still failed) argument can be made for bias in the anti-affirmative action initiatives, as the effect of that legislation was to remove benefits which blacks, hispanics and native americans had previously enjoyed.

Whites will be a majority of the electorate for at least 15 more years, and, there will be a white-asian electoral majority (of essentially identical interests) for at least 30 years.

What will change -- and quite possibly soon -- is that there will be a Hispanic or Hispanic/Black majority in the Democratic party primary electorate in many, if not most, districts in the state, and statewide. If white and asian Democrats are willing to accept minority status and consistently vote for Hispanic nominees instead of white and asian Republicans, then something big will have happened politically
posted by MattD at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2001

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