May 12, 2010
WhiteoutBy J.R. Dunn
The American left is celebrating its hope to racially transform America. Recently the Census Bureau published a demographic prediction that if current trends continue, America's "whites" (actually Europeans -- the sole meaningful identifier, since there exists no actual race or ethnicity termed "whites") will become a minority by mid-century -- most reports read "2050," though the figures themselves suggest sometime during the 2040s.
As with everything having to do with race, this report has been subject to all kinds of distortion. From the left-wing point of view, white decline comprises a perfect Hegelian opposition -- whites vs. everybody else -- and it has been promoted as such. A process occurring over decades became a revolutionary, if not apocalyptic, event. "Minority status" was transformed into the "downfall of the whites," in much the same sense as occurred in Rhodesia or South Africa. Barack Obama was presented as a symbol of this event, the same as he is with everything else. The tea parties and other signs of a centrist resurgence were painted as the white reaction to coming extinction on the American scene, with much reference to nonexistent white supremacists.
The overall narrative goes something like this: The inevitable decline of the white race will be matched by the rise of a new "humane" American culture, consisting of all the gentler and kinder races and represented by our Dear Messiah. Whites will react with violence and hysteria, as has been seen so often at tea party rallies, and must be controlled by cool heads among the "majority" population -- such paragons as Eric Holder, Henry Louis Gates, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright being examples -- so that the shift to the new civilization of diversity will go as painlessly as possible.
The best that can be said for this thesis is that has been generally ignored. But since it has found fertile soil in the media and academia, it might be worthwhile to kick it around a bit.
The first problem is one of definition. Under the multicultural dispensation, Hispanics get to be considered "nonwhite," as members of that global, monolithic "superminority" defined only by its opposition to the European ascendancy. In the real world, it's not that simple (to say the least -- I know a student, half-Colombian and half-Syrian, who was denied a number of grants because Colombians are not the "right" kind of Latin). No matter where they are from -- countries as varied as Guatemala on one hand and Argentina on the other -- the one thing common to Latins is the belief that all are heirs of the Iberian diaspora of the late Renaissance, one of the most explosive events of modern history. This is true whatever other ethnic strains -- Indian, West African, or even Japanese -- may be present. A Hispanic is somebody with cultural roots in Spain. And the last time I looked, Spain was in Europe.
Secondarily, we have the question of demography. I have pointed out previously on AT that this is a frail reed on which to base any argument. The record clearly shows that the easiest way to lose a bet is to put it down on a demographic prediction. There are too many factors involved, interacting in ways that are little-understood, many of them involving that most contrary product of nature, the human animal.
The demographic case for the whiteout thesis is based on the assumption that immigrants will continue breeding according to their home patterns, which is demonstrably untrue (almost all immigrants adapt within a generation or two the host country's reproductive pattern, which in the U.S. is that of bare replacement), and that immigration will continue at the unusually high levels of the past half-century, which is just as unlikely. A few more Faisal Shahzads, a few more shootings on the southern border, and that door will slam firmly shut. Arizona has pointed the way. Despite media and political overreaction (and perhaps in direct defiance of it), such laws reinforcing the legal status quo concerning illegal immigration are the wave of the future.
These factors in and of themselves will push white minority status well into the 22nd century...if, in fact, it ever occurs. My own conviction is that thanks to exogamy and interbreeding, we're headed for a mixed people with contributions from all races, but in which Caucasian genetic traits will be -- sorry, but this is scientifically the case -- dominant. We're all going to be a little European in days to come.
But even if it does happen exactly as the multicultural left hopes, the whiteout is unlikely to fulfill any dreams of a utopia of diversity.
The left-wing fantasy concerning a white minority was perhaps most harmlessly voiced in the joke floating around at the time of Obama's inauguration. Immediately afterward, loudspeakers across the country were supposed to blare out: "All white people please report to the cotton fields."
That was a good one. And like all good ones, it embodied a larger truth (the better the joke, the more potent the truth it contains, in my experience) -- in this case, a very harsh one. The leftist attitude involving race is one of retribution, an eye for eye in the pure Old Testament sense. We've seen this in many racial policies in recent decades, including forced busing, which was designed not to improve the state of black students so much as to punish whites. We can also point to affirmative action, seemingly designed to make as many people as resentful as possible. (Consider: When an unqualified minority applicant is given a position ahead of fifty whites, he's actually only beaten out the man who would have been given the job otherwise -- but under the current system, all fifty disappointed applicants are embittered.)
Leftists look at the possibility of a white minority through the same vindictive lens. The tables will be turned, the first will be last, and a harsh price will be exacted for the crimes committed by the ancestors of modern European-Americans, exactly as if the casualties of the Civil War and the massive spending of the 20th-century welfare state had never occurred. Yet another example of humanist, tolerant liberalism in action.
Of course, no such thing would occur. It presupposes that the other minority groups, Latins and Asians, would go along with the joke. Another aspect of the leftist dream is that all "minorities" instinctively work together as members of an oppressed class. I recall a futuristic novel in which a revolt against whitey was carried out by black military figures, Latino street gangs, and Chinese and Hindu computer geeks. It will come as no surprise to learn that the author was Canadian. (To be fair, the unquestionably partisan de la droite Jean Raispail made a similar error in his otherwise-impressive The Camp of the Saints.)
But would Latins and Asians really show such lack of self-interest in favor of a wispy ideal of universal diversity? It's certainly not the case today, and is unlikely to become so in the future. Racial animosities between blacks on one hand and Latins and Asians on the other tend to be extreme -- consider the actions of the Korean merchants during the LA riots. There's little doubt that these tensions would grow even more ferocious in a "diverse" future.
Oddly enough, it's the "racist" Europeans who keep the peace under current circumstances. We play the role of "senior tenant" in American society, laying down the rules and breaking in the newcomers. That is unlikely to change. Even under minority status, white Europeans will be looked upon as the dealmakers, the tiebreakers, the ones viewed by other groups as a moderating influence. In other words, it will be much the same position as we hold today.
But above all, the multicultural stance presupposes that all social advances of the past century and a half since the day that a nation went to war to free the enslaved are utterly empty and meaningless. The sad truth is that liberals believe exactly that.
But of course, they are not meaningless. Our way of life works. Despite all its past errors and failings, the United States is not and has never been a Sudan, a Serbia, or a Northern Ireland. (So asserts this descendant of Armagh.) There is little chance that it ever will be. This country is based on the premise that certain aspects of human nature -- love of freedom, yearning for peace, hope of a place to stand -- are universals, not limited by race, creed, or background. There is nothing in this country's record to suggest otherwise. Despite the vicious dreams of the multiculturalists, the grand experiment will continue to unfold.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and editor of the forthcoming Military Thinker.