Liberals demean blacks again

Thomas Lifson
The recent release of census figures divided by race, with the eye-catching datum that 100 million Americans now are racial "minorities", has revealed a host of assumptions on the part of liberal journalists. Of course the by-now widely-used conflation of speaking Spanish with a race continues, and indeed provides most of the heft pushing the "minority" category upwards.

Given the number of Spaniards, Mexicans, Argentines, and other Spanish-speakers I have known who have high cheekbones, fair skin and light hair, I always find this habit of the racial bean-counters amusing. It is transparently a device to inflate the numbers and claim victim status. Since I have known a few Spanish-speaking Peruvians of Japanese descent, I always wonder if those of this group resident in the United States are called by the bean-counters "Hispanic" or "Asian/Pacific Islanders" - itself an even more ridiculous category, combining as it does Melanesians, Japanese, Kazakhstanis, Tamils, and many other groups with little to nothing in common, either physically or culturally.

But a new mental habit by the so-called progressives is emerging that is even more noteworthy: the treatment of blacks as some sort of endangered species in various cities. Most notoriously, Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans bemoaned the possible loss of "chocolate city" status should blacks fail to return in sufficient numbers. Since this was transparently a worry about his own political future, on the apparent assumption that racial solidarity is the only reason for voters to return him to office, it garnered an appropriate amount of scorn, and the phrase "chocolate city" entered the public vocabulary, somewhat insulating those who discuss demography from charges of racism, since it was first uttered by a black man, a racialist incompetent to boot.

A few months ago, San Francisco officials publicly lamented the declining numbers of blacks in San Francisco, mentioning the "heritage" that was in danger of disappearing. This was equally amusing and infuriating, since anyone who knows a bit of history of the city realizes that the black population of the city only became significant during World War II and after, with the migration of Southern blacks to big cities, a trend that was national in scope. The local wrinkle was that many blacks (and many others) moved to the San Francisco area for work in the shipyards built by Henry Kaiser, which mass-produced Liberty Ships for the war effort. A good portion of the blacks moving to San Francisco moved into housing in the Fillmore District, which had been vacated by Japanese-Americans who had been moved to internment camps. After the war, very few were able to move back, and the district remained black for several decades, until rising real estate values and the appeal of suburbia enticed many blacks to begin the same exodus from the urban core that every other group has experienced (when whites do it, it is often labeled "white flight" and considered racist, of course).   

Now comes the Washington Post, continuing the racist liberal mindset that treats blacks is uniquely and inherently victims, no matter what circumstances prevail. When black numbers in a particular locale increase, it is because others (usually whites) are "fleeing", but when black numbers decrease, it is a bad thing as well, because something precious and rare is being lost. Steve Gilbert of Sweetness and Light caught this racist viewpoint  in the Post's coverage of Washington, DC's changing demography:
The District of Columbia's longtime status as a majority-black city appears to be diminishing, even as Maryland and Virginia continue to experience a dramatic rise in their minority populations, according to census estimates released today.

The 14 percent increase in non-Hispanic white District residents and 6 percent decrease in blacks from 2000 to 2006 are probably the result of the gentrification of once-affordable city neighborhoods, demographers said.

The impact on the city's racial makeup is noticeable. In 2000, blacks made up 60 percent of the District's population. By 2006, that figure was 55 percent.

If the trends continue, the city will almost certainly cease to be majority black by 2020, said Robert E. Lang, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. "It will wind up more like a Los Angeles or a New York, with no clear majority." ...
He comments:
Once again, apply the law of symmetry and imagine any newspaper proclaiming the "loss of status" for a city ceasing to be majority white.
Those black residents of DC who move to the suburbs (and there are many of them) mostly do so for the same reasons as everyone else: better schools, more room, newer housing, etc. It is a mark of racial obsession when similar acts by one group are treated differently than those very same acts by another group.

It is obvious that liberals are hanging onto a nostalgic vision of blacks as a victim group in need of protection by liberals. Nothing could be more patronizing and ultimately dehumanizing. Blacks are not a endangered species, and certainly don't need liberals fretting about where they choose to live their lives, as if they were a herd of Arctic caribou. If America ceases to have a "chocolate capital" life will go on just fine, and maybe, just maybe someday we can be done with the racist nonsense from liberals.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.
The recent release of census figures divided by race, with the eye-catching datum that 100 million Americans now are racial "minorities", has revealed a host of assumptions on the part of liberal journalists. Of course the by-now widely-used conflation of speaking Spanish with a race continues, and indeed provides most of the heft pushing the "minority" category upwards.

Given the number of Spaniards, Mexicans, Argentines, and other Spanish-speakers I have known who have high cheekbones, fair skin and light hair, I always find this habit of the racial bean-counters amusing. It is transparently a device to inflate the numbers and claim victim status. Since I have known a few Spanish-speaking Peruvians of Japanese descent, I always wonder if those of this group resident in the United States are called by the bean-counters "Hispanic" or "Asian/Pacific Islanders" - itself an even more ridiculous category, combining as it does Melanesians, Japanese, Kazakhstanis, Tamils, and many other groups with little to nothing in common, either physically or culturally.

But a new mental habit by the so-called progressives is emerging that is even more noteworthy: the treatment of blacks as some sort of endangered species in various cities. Most notoriously, Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans bemoaned the possible loss of "chocolate city" status should blacks fail to return in sufficient numbers. Since this was transparently a worry about his own political future, on the apparent assumption that racial solidarity is the only reason for voters to return him to office, it garnered an appropriate amount of scorn, and the phrase "chocolate city" entered the public vocabulary, somewhat insulating those who discuss demography from charges of racism, since it was first uttered by a black man, a racialist incompetent to boot.

A few months ago, San Francisco officials publicly lamented the declining numbers of blacks in San Francisco, mentioning the "heritage" that was in danger of disappearing. This was equally amusing and infuriating, since anyone who knows a bit of history of the city realizes that the black population of the city only became significant during World War II and after, with the migration of Southern blacks to big cities, a trend that was national in scope. The local wrinkle was that many blacks (and many others) moved to the San Francisco area for work in the shipyards built by Henry Kaiser, which mass-produced Liberty Ships for the war effort. A good portion of the blacks moving to San Francisco moved into housing in the Fillmore District, which had been vacated by Japanese-Americans who had been moved to internment camps. After the war, very few were able to move back, and the district remained black for several decades, until rising real estate values and the appeal of suburbia enticed many blacks to begin the same exodus from the urban core that every other group has experienced (when whites do it, it is often labeled "white flight" and considered racist, of course).   

Now comes the Washington Post, continuing the racist liberal mindset that treats blacks is uniquely and inherently victims, no matter what circumstances prevail. When black numbers in a particular locale increase, it is because others (usually whites) are "fleeing", but when black numbers decrease, it is a bad thing as well, because something precious and rare is being lost. Steve Gilbert of Sweetness and Light caught this racist viewpoint  in the Post's coverage of Washington, DC's changing demography:
The District of Columbia's longtime status as a majority-black city appears to be diminishing, even as Maryland and Virginia continue to experience a dramatic rise in their minority populations, according to census estimates released today.

The 14 percent increase in non-Hispanic white District residents and 6 percent decrease in blacks from 2000 to 2006 are probably the result of the gentrification of once-affordable city neighborhoods, demographers said.

The impact on the city's racial makeup is noticeable. In 2000, blacks made up 60 percent of the District's population. By 2006, that figure was 55 percent.

If the trends continue, the city will almost certainly cease to be majority black by 2020, said Robert E. Lang, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. "It will wind up more like a Los Angeles or a New York, with no clear majority." ...
He comments:
Once again, apply the law of symmetry and imagine any newspaper proclaiming the "loss of status" for a city ceasing to be majority white.
Those black residents of DC who move to the suburbs (and there are many of them) mostly do so for the same reasons as everyone else: better schools, more room, newer housing, etc. It is a mark of racial obsession when similar acts by one group are treated differently than those very same acts by another group.

It is obvious that liberals are hanging onto a nostalgic vision of blacks as a victim group in need of protection by liberals. Nothing could be more patronizing and ultimately dehumanizing. Blacks are not a endangered species, and certainly don't need liberals fretting about where they choose to live their lives, as if they were a herd of Arctic caribou. If America ceases to have a "chocolate capital" life will go on just fine, and maybe, just maybe someday we can be done with the racist nonsense from liberals.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.