Friday :: Oct 1, 2004

The Scum Of All-Ethnic Fear

by pessimist

The psychological makeup of too many members of the Republican Party includes an element of racism. It isn't an overt type like that of Bull Connor or the Klan, but it is available to massaging should that be necessary for those in power.

I got to thinking about this reading the following comment in another post:

As to why people support Bush, ... it is being a Republican that they support ... there is a fundamental absolute at work here that goes beyond Bush and platforms. The [Republican] party is virtually all-white and heavily devout Christian. The Democratic party is not that. Draw your own conclusion.
- Posted by T2 at October 1, 2004 09:00 AM

I then found this article:

Anglos no longer majority in Denver, census indicates
September 30, 2004

For the first time in Denver's history, Anglos are no longer the majority of the city's population, new census figures indicate. Denver's Anglo population dropped by 0.8 percentage points between 2002 and 2003 to 49.4 percent of the 558,379 residents, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau's report is based on estimates and not exact counts, but the figures paint the most accurate picture available of the city's makeup. They underscore trends that have been building over the last two decades, which have seen the growth of minorities outpacing that of Anglos in Denver.

Hmmmm .... over two decades - back to the Age of the Dinosaur - Ronald Reagan.

Modern usage of the political race card can arguably be said to have begun with Harry Truman's desegregation of the military. Many officers were from The South, and had Confederate ancestors (a la the by-now deceased Generals George S. Patton III (VA) and Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. (TN)) like Truman (MO) himself did. These officers had to be ordered directly to implement Truman's directive, and some resigned their commissions rather than submit to 'racial mixing'. I believe that many people who had these racial attitudes made up the 'Anybody But Harry' bloc which supported Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver over Truman in the New Hampshire primary - a move which caused Truman to pull out of the race - and which supported a write-in campaign for Dwight Eisenhower in Minnesota, which knocked out Harold Stassen.

Eisenhower cost himself this support bloc with his actions in Little Rock, when he federalized the National Guard to control rioting over school desegregation there. This voting bloc then supported candidates who espoused positions that either overtly or covertly supported the notion of White superiority and privilege. But as these candidates, which included the likes of George Wallace and Lester Maddox, had little chance of succeeding in winning election, there was little hope for these people that 'one of their own' who 'understood' about 'our way of life' could reverse the trends toward racial equality unleashed by Truman, defended by Eisenhower, and prodded forward by the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson.

Johnson himself recognized this. When he signed the Voting Rights Act, he knew that he had cost the Democratic Party the support they had enjoyed from the South since Reconstruction.

Add this to the numerous race riots in cities across the country, and the increased militancy of 'those who forgot their place' which included members of all the major non-White ethnic groups, and the anti-war movement which even included wealthy kids who didn't want to die for a mistake, and this bloc was ripe for plucking by the politically astute and opportunistic Richard Nixon, who parlayed the support of his 'Silent Majority' into two electoral victories and established the pattern followed by all successful Republican presidential candidates since.

So what's this got to do with Reagan?

While Nixon was willing to pay the race card during an election campaign, he tended to leave that particular hornet's nest alone the rest of the time. He did little to reverse any legislation or legal decisions already in place. Reagan, on the other hand, began to institutionalize a subtle form of White supremacy into his administration. Anything that in anyway benefitted non-Whites became a target for budget reductions, which achieved the results of racists without taking on their appearance and demeanor.

George HW Bu$h continued this trend, but without Reagan's slickness and affability. Remember the Willie Horton ads? I'm also sure that the large numbers of troops called up for Desert Storm revived memories of the largely non-White makeup of the US military during much of the Vietnam war, and may have played a role in the election of Bill Clinton. Those who had been refusing to face certain behavioral facts throughout the Reagan years now had decided that enough was enough.

Clinton's popularity with the non-White population had to have been just one of the thorns in the sides of conservatives. His liberalism in spite of being a Southerner himself, his willingness to treat non-Whites as he would Whites, his willingness to abandon White privilege and status (though not economic status by any means) all had to have been factors in the virulent opposition from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, which was all set to institute the New World Order - except for that upstart Ross Perot's meddling in the affairs of people of his economic class and costing HW sufficient support to beat Clinton.

This brings up the (S)election of 2000. Non-White portions of the American society scored major gains under Bill Clinton, especially real jobs that paid real wages with benefits. There weren't enough workers for the available jobs! Why, employers were having to compete for workers instead of workers having to compete for jobs! Outrageous!

As the minimum wage was no longer sufficient to attract workers, investors began to pull their money out of the markets, and the economic recession from which we have yet to fully emerge from was underway. Those who were the last hired - largely, but not exclusively, non-Whites - were the first to go in many cases. This re-established the conditions that conservatives tend to be more comfortable with: a society of have-nots which can be accused of being criminals, and can be used as an excuse for tougher laws and tighter control of the society as a whole. So many unemployed would be used to thwart unionization and to keep wages down. Illegal alien labor was used for both.

That sort of an attitude can be seen in this rant against former California Governor Gray Davis:

Consequences For Enablers

All one needs to do is revisit the Election 2002 map of Red and Blue. Gore won California because of San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Those metroplexes have the highest population density in the state and they invariably lean way left. The bulk of California's land mass showed red on that election results map. The reality is that more gross numbers of Californians ARE liberal. However, those gross numbers come from high-population-density quagmires of goo-goo leftist liberalism. The only caveat might be that invariably the Democrats who DO get elected in California are far more liberal (and rabid) than the constituencies that elect them.

California is about to realize a host of negative consequences to its penchant for enabling extreme liberal Democrats. Liberal Democrats have literally been 'enabled' by four myopic special interest groups with lots of money:

* The homosexual activists, who defy reason with noise and money.

* The Hollywood crowd, with more money and media access than good sense.

* The middle-aged former flower children and Woodstock pilgrims, who are now ruling fiefdoms in Sacramento.

* The unbridled immigration advocates, who have successfully skewed the state's demographics on the road to Aztlan.

I have too often noted that there are consequences to the things we do and don't do. Middle-class Californians and small businesses that had resisted the obvious imperative WILL begin a migration to more friendly and reasonable states (Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, even Washington). It is both sadly just that the liberal enablers will reap what they have sown and tragic that tens of millions of Californians will suffer the consequences of abuse of power.

That last 'special interest group' includes the very people which made California what is is today - the Hispanic farm worker. Before Hollywood, before aerospace, California was a ranching and farming state, and the workers tended to be Hispanic. Even today, they still do work that most others refuse. but they can't be allowed to exercise any political rights! Why, it took the election of Reagan to restore 'our way of life' after that commie pinko hippie radical Cesar Chavez upset that delicate balance between grower and harvesters!

Such economic and social upheavals scare those who won't or can't adapt to change - change which usually involves a lessening of social, political, and/or economic status. These people are most susceptible to the use of Lee Atwood-style racial fear tactics.

That's where that first linked article comes in. The media has been complicit in this all along, but almost solidly since Reagan's administration. By publishing 'facts' like the first on and some of those following, it plays up that racial fear without being explicit. The work is done by the individual White who sees all of these 'priveleges' that are going to 'inferiors' who didn't have them before, and when the media tells him that he's about to lose - or has already lost numeric majority, ...

Anglos no longer majority in Denver, census indicates

The Asian, black, Hispanic and American Indian populations grew to 49.2 percent from 48.4 percent - a small increase, but one that leaders believe will contribute to minorities surpassing the 50 percent mark this year.

Damn! Time to register Republican and move to the suburbs!

Minorities are still far from taking the lead in Colorado, where Anglos outnumber them nearly threefold and comprise 72.8 percent of the state's 4,550,688 population.

There are two ways to win an election: gather sufficient support, or cause your opponent's support to break apart. Using these Colorado numbers (published just the other day), it becomes easy to understand the motivation behind the divisive social positions taken by the GOP in their campaigns over the last few decades - they are going for breaking up their opposition because they don't have anything to offer non-Whites that attracts their support.

According to the new census data, Hispanics in 2003 continued to be the city's largest minority group, comprising 34.8 percent of the total population - a 2.3 percent increase from 2002. Blacks followed closely, and made up 10.6 percent of the Denver population, despite a 1.3 percent drop - the only drop in the metro area. Asians, on the other hand, grew the most with a 3.9 percent gain. They now make up 3.1 percent of the city's population.

In Colorado, minority residents increased between 2002 and 2003. Asians grew the most, 4.6 percent, to 117,353. Hispanics increased 3.8 percent and remained the largest single minority at 833,702.

The minority population, mainly Hispanic immigrants, began to increase across the country about two decades ago, attracted by the availability of minimum-wage paying jobs. Many immigrants settled on the West and East coasts, until about a decade ago. Between 1990 and 2000, Colorado experienced perhaps its biggest wave of Hispanics, with the population increasing 73 percent to 735,601 during that time.

While the economy has become stagnant, it won't discourage minorities from moving to Denver. Because of that, city departments, hospital emergency rooms and schools must evolve to include more diversity and offer more bilingual services. As it stands, 449 of the city's 1,399 police officers are either Asian, black, Hispanic or American Indian. By the next census in 2010, the city's minority population will be well above 50 percent.

And there goes the White Way of Life! Rush into that voting booth and press the Big 'R' on the touchscreen!

More on Denver:

Demographic scales are tipping in Denver, elsewhere
Posted 9/29/2004 10:05 PM Updated 9/30/2004 2:45 AM

DENVER — Twenty-one years ago, voters here chose Federico Peña as the city's first Hispanic mayor. Eight years later, they elected Wellington Webb as their first black mayor. Webb won a contest in which both candidates were African-American — and 68% of voters were white. Then last year, Denver picked its first white mayor in 20 years.

Today, Census data show that racial and ethnic minorities in Denver now outnumber whites. The Census Bureau estimates that Denver has 557,478 people — 49.4% white, 34.8% Hispanic, 10.6% black, 3% Asian and 2.2% other. An infusion of Hispanic and Asian immigrants is only the latest wave of change that has included shifting birth rates, a Sun Belt economic boom and modest "white flight" to Denver's sprawling suburbs.

"It's a good time to be a Latino," says Estevan Flores, executive director of the Latino/a Research Policy Center at the University of Colorado-Denver. He says Denver's growth is part of the "Latinization of cities, counties and pretty soon, states." But growth of political power will take more time, he says, as Hispanic immigrants first must become citizens.

Similar changes happened in 25 other U.S. counties since 2000, according to 2003 estimates. In some, the majority-minority scales are tipping because the white population is aging and immigrants are flowing in. That's the case in the 11 rural Texas counties where whites aren't the majority. In the '90s, Hispanics made up 80% of the net growth in Texas Panhandle counties far from metropolitan areas, state demographer Steve Murdock says. "Growth, when it does occur, is all Hispanic," Murdock says. Estimates for July 1, 2003, show Texas had a 49.5% minority population, but other surveys say it has already surpassed 50%. Hawaii's minority population is 77%; New Mexico's, 56%; and California's, 55%. The District of Columbia is 72% minority.

In other states, the "majority" is shrinking because whites are moving to other states in search of jobs and a lower cost of living. Massachusetts lost as many non-Hispanic whites in the first three years of this decade — about 37,000 — as it did during all of the 1990s, says William Frey of The Brookings Institution.

This demographic upheaval is forcing the nation to rethink its definition of "minorities." The country went through similar cycles in the past century. In the early 1900s, Italians, Poles, Russians and Greeks were not considered white. Now they are. "In the future, most Americans will be 'minorities,' which is to say they are the new majority," says Robert Lang, head of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.

Across the stateline in New Mexico, major demographic shifts are underway as well:

Eddy County has more Hispanics, fewer Anglos
By Jason P. Montoya/Current-Argus Staff Writer
Oct 1, 2004, 02:26 am

CARLSBAD — The Hispanic population in Eddy County (NM) increased between 2000 and 2003, while the area’s Anglo population declined during the same period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday. The Hispanic population has experienced steady growth in the area since 2000, and by 2003, it was up 3.3 percent, or 670 people. Hispanics made up 40.2 percent of the county’s total population in 2003. From 2000 to 2003, Eddy County lost an estimated 840 Anglo residents, bringing the total to 29,103, which is 56.5 percent of the county’s total population. The decrease in Anglos represents a 2.8 percent drop.

Hawaiians provided the biggest population percentage increase at 24.7 percent, or 24 residents. The total is 121. Eddy County’s black community grew by 5.4 percent, which equates to 57 people. The black population stands at 1,111. The biggest percentage drop occurred in the Native American community with a decrease of 6.8 percent.

The demographic changes in Eddy County are similar to what is occurring in surrounding counties. Lea County saw its Hispanic population grow by 1,790 residents. The county’s Anglo population decreased by 1,837 residents. Chaves County experienced a drop of 1,924 Anglos and an increase of 1,187 Hispanics. In Otero County, the size of the Anglo community decreased by 1,015, while the Hispanic community increased by 794.

Statewide, Hispanics comprised 43.2 percent of the population in 2003, while Anglos comprised 43.7 percent of the population. Between 2000 and 2003, there was a drop of 3,050 in the Anglo population and an increase of 44,674 in the Hispanic population.

Suzan Reagan, an economist with the state Department of Labor, attributed the growth of the Hispanic population and decrease in the Anglo population partially to fertility rates and immigration. "Traditionally, New Mexico has had a large Hispanic population. There is also a high rate of Hispanic migration into the state. Minority groups traditionally have higher fertility rates," she said.

Is this why the GOP opposes abortion and birth control?

"Another dynamic is that since the invention of birth control, fertility rates are down in the U.S. In the Caucasian group, fertility rates are way down," she said. Reagan attributed a higher birthrate among minority groups to social issues, such as a stigma against birth control.

"Since we have traditionally had a larger Hispanic population and Spanish-speaking population, I think we are already taking care of (language issues). I think it is more of an issue for states like Oregon, which now has a tremendous amount of Hispanics, who are mostly Guatemalan and speak Spanish," she said.

A combination of New Mexico’s Hispanic population and other minority groups makes New Mexico one of only three states with a higher combined minority population — 56 percent — than single-race, non-Hispanic white population. California’s minority population is 55 percent. Hawaii’s is 77 percent. The District of Columbia’s minority population is 72 percent of the total population.

Is this why Texas conservatives are so mean?

If trends continue, Texas will soon join the ranks of "majority-minority" states, according to the Census Bureau. Estimates for 2003 show that Texas has a combined-minority population of 49.5 percent.

This trend of more 'majority-minority' areas is only going to continue, as this next article states:

Minorities majority in more areas
Posted 9/30/2004 12:13 AM Updated 9/30/2004 7:01 AM

From sprawling urban areas to rural counties, racial and ethnic minorities outnumber whites in more parts of the country, according to 2003 Census estimates out today. Denver and Orange County, Calif., as well as remote Yoakum County, Texas, and Barbour County, Ala., are among 26 counties where whites who are not Hispanic have lost their majority status since 2000. That's now the case in 280 of the nation's 3,141 counties, further evidence that diversity has spread. It means more Americans may have to ask: Who's a minority?

"It's a moving target," says Robert Lang, head of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. "The majority will be the minority and we'll relabel minorities the majority. It's just a matter of time."

California hasn't had a racial or ethnic majority since 2000. It's added three of its 58 counties — Orange, Riverside and San Mateo — to 17 others with plurality status. Orange County, home of Disneyland and long a white conservative bastion, now has a Little Saigon and a fast-growing Hispanic population. U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Hispanic Democrat, defeated white conservative Republican Robert Dornan there in 1996.

In 11 mostly rural Texas counties, the white population is under 50%, and the state is almost there.

In some parts of the country, the shift is driven by a surge in Hispanics and Asians. In others, the number of blacks is rising and non-Hispanic whites is dropping. Nationally, whites still make up 68% of the population.

• Denver lost white and black residents but gained Hispanics and Asians. "We used to think of the black-white paradigm," says William Frey, demographer at The Brookings Institution. "In Denver, it's white and Hispanic paradigm."

• Michigan's Wayne County, where Detroit is, is losing whites. Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are more than half the population.


Counties or their equivalents that have become "majority-minority" since 2000.

Alabama - Barbour County
Arkansas - Crittenden County
California - Orange County, Riverside County, San Mateo County
Colorado - Denver County
Kansas - Wyandotte County
Louisiana - St. John the Baptist Parish
Michigan - Wayne County
Mississippi - Pike County
New Mexico - Sandoval County, Chaves County
North Carolina - Greene County
Virginia - Newport News City
Washington [State] - Adams County

Calhoun County, Cochran County, Crane County, Ector County, Gonzales County, Jefferson County, Lamb County, Moore County, Terry County, Yoakum County, Bailey County

Signs The Ol' Political Race Card Works

The shifts may give some groups more clout but "majority" is rooted in more than numbers. "We're still far in virtually all these places from a point where minorities are getting representation," says Roderick Harrison, of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Immigration and the ensuing demographic shifts should be a topic of discussion in this nation. The following article looks at the situation, and tells why this discussion isn't happening.

The silence about immigrants
September 29, 2004

How important is immigration policy? Ponder the following:

* Chiefly as a result of immigration, our population grew from 249 million in 1990 to 281 million in 2000, an increment of 32 million -- roughly the total population of Canada.

* The Census Bureau projects a population of 420 million in 2050 in the absence of a change in immigration policy, an increase of almost 140 million people -- 50 percent -- in the 50 years from 2000 to 2050. The Latino population, 36 million in 2000, is projected to exceed 100 million in 2050.

* The Immigration and Naturalization Service estimates that the illegal immigrant population grows by 500,000 people a year. This means that about 1.5 million immigrants settle in the United States each year.

* In 2000, California's population was 33 million. Today the state faces grave problems of water shortage, atmospheric pollution, urban sprawl, and vehicular congestion. Ponder those problems if California's population exceeds 49 million in 2025, as the Census Bureau projects.

These data help us to understand:

* Why the 9/11 commission was so focused on immigration policy -- above all, the flow of illegal immigrants.

* Why Harvard University's George Borjas, widely considered the nation's leading immigration economist, and Cornell University labor economist Vernon Briggs are so concerned about immigration's harmful effect on employment and wages, particularly at the low end.

* Why former Colorado governor Richard Lamm is so worried about the educational underachievement of Latinos and the number of immigrants not covered by health insurance.

Why doesn't immigration surface as a major campaign issue?

Powerful political and ideological forces are in play that suppress debate sustaining the inertia of a dubious policy that has huge long-run implications for the size, composition, cohesiveness, and quality of life in America.

Both parties know the demographics of growing Latino numbers and believe they can woo Latino voters by being pro-immigration. However, surveys indicate that recent immigrants are not as enthusiastic about continuing high levels of immigration as the politicians think. After all, the newcomers will be competitors for jobs and benefits.

A recent Chicago Council on Foreign Relations survey found that the largest differences between elite and popular opinion over a range of key issues is on immigration. Elites support high levels of immigration, while popular opinion favors a significant reduction and rigorous enforcement of immigration law.

The ideological spectrum on immigration is spanned by two unlikely pro-immigration bedfellows, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The Journal, conservatives and libertarians view low-wage labor as enhancing US competitiveness and sustained rapid population growth as desirable.

The New York Times and liberals tend to see the world through Emma Lazarus's eyes: "Give me your tired, your poor, /Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." But those words were written 120 years ago when the US population was about 55 million.

We have to find ways to legitimize immigration policy as an issue of high national interest and open debate. We must insist that the candidates develop clear positions on what to do about immigration policy. Do they support open borders? If not, what criteria would they use in establishing limits? What specific levels of immigration would they endorse? Should visas be issued on the basis of skills or family connections?

The reduction of poverty, the increase of incomes at the lower end of the scale to a living wage, and conservation of the environment should have the highest priority in immigration policy.

The US Commission for Immigration Reform has called for greater effort to stem illegal immigration; substantial reduction in the number of legal immigrants; a shifting of emphasis in legal immigration from family connections to the skills we need; and an immigrant policy that promotes assimilation. These recommendations offer an excellent framework for debate by the candidates.

There is yet another way to control this potential loss of status and control - invoke the Diety!

Historically, European Christians and West Asian Muslims have used religion to expand and then control huge empires. This is one of the motivations behind the fear of 'Islamofascists' taking over through force, because both religions have done it to each other for centuries beginning with the Crusades. The colonization of the Americas utilized this practice as well, especially in the Spanish territories - which may be where this next article gets some of its inspiration:

Author Jenkins sees Texas as laboratory for global Christianity
Posted: 10/01/04

How Texas handles its ethnic diversity and recognizes the opportunities for missions in the next 20 to 30 years can be a model for the United States as a whole, says author Philip Jenkins. Jenkins sees Texas, California and Florida on the front lines of changing demographics and as a kind of laboratory of how these changes will affect global Christianity. "Ethnic diversity means that Texas will be confronting these issues and opportunities that are going to face the whole country soon," said Jenkins, who will be a featured speaker at the We Love Missions Conference sponsored by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions and Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Oct. 21-23.

One of the issues Texas churches face is how to incorporate and work with different cultures. Texas will have the "ability to draw on different kinds of experiences and the strengths of different groups," Jenkins said. Texans can learn from and create partnerships with different ethnic churches in the state and use those relationships as a way to build up missions work in their countries of origin, he said.

In his award-winning book, The Next Christendom, Jenkins maintains that by the year 2050, the heart of Christianity will move to the Southern Hemisphere, with the majority of Christians living in Latin America, South America and Africa. "For one thing, it changes the whole idea of mission as sending. That suggests you're sending from a Christian world to a non-Christian world. We need to consider the whole world as a missions area. A lot of the mission arrows are going South/South," such as Asia to Africa and Latin America to Asia, he said. Jenkins pointed out Houston is known as the Nigerian capital of the United States because of the strong Nigerian community located there.

This global shift will have ramifications not only for Christians, Jenkins said, but also the growing Muslim world, as the two religions find themselves in political/religious clashes as the world population changes. "Muslim and Christian nations will expand adjacent to each other, and often, Muslim and Christian communities will both grow within the same country," he notes in The Next Christendom. As those populations grow, so does the rivalry, with struggles for converts, and "competing attempts to enforce moral codes by means of secular law. Whether Muslim or Christian, religious zeal can easily turn into fanaticism."

Religious struggles facing the world today will only continue to escalate, Jenkins believes. "It might be that regardless of what Christians do, what churches do, we are in for an age of religious struggle," he said. "I don't see much chance of avoiding religious confrontation."

Or even political confrontation. Another topic that could be debated is the use of race as a political weapon. This next article looks at the hows and whys:

Accepting a multiracial society
Friday, September 24, 2004

THERE'S a classic line in the political comedy Bulworth where protagonist Sen. Jay Bulworth offers an untraditional solution to the issue of race in America. "All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction," he offers. "Everybody's just gotta keep [reproducing with] everybody else 'til they're all the same color." It's an amusing idea, and not quite a completely unfathomable one either. Though we're far from all being the same indistinct shade of beige these days, the past few generations have seen both an end to an embarrassing era of interracial marriage bans and anti-miscegenation laws and a consequent rise in the phenomenon of multiracialism.

On Monday night, Harvard Professor Kim Williams spoke about this trend in her lecture titled "Rise of the Multiracial Movement in America." Though at face value this decision seems like a victory -- after all, where's the flaw in allowing individuals to document their multiracial heritage more accurately? -- its reality has disturbing implications. Civil rights groups have warned of a "dilution" of minority strength, and the change means that we now have to discuss racial groups not in terms of concrete constituencies, but in nebulous ranges of maximums and minimums. Conservatives have capitalized on such vagueness and adopted multiracial politics as a way of undermining race completely.

If race is so abstract a concept, why include it in political or sociological discourse at all? Williams is quick to defend the intentions of the multiracial lobby, but explained that their movement has been "appropriated by right wing groups with such an agenda." The point is a disturbing one. Why is it that conservative figures like Newt Gingrich, who long received 0 percent approval ratings on civil rights issues, began suddenly rallying behind the cause of multiculturalism in the 1990s?

Rep. Thomas Sawyer, D-Ohio, explained the effects of racial categorization in his statement that "congressional districts rise and fall with the shifting demographics of the country and program funding of all sorts is a function of how many people are placed in each category -- the numbers drive the dollars." So the new right-wing champions of multiracial language are actually championing an end to race as a means to undercut equal-opportunity programs and paralyze the government's monitoring of civil rights laws and voting districts.

A perfect example is Proposition 54, a failed California Ballot initiative that would have forbidden the state from collecting data relevant to the racial and ethnic characteristics of its citizens. Its proponents claimed that the measure would create what they called "racial privacy," but the Sacramento Bee referenced the compelling opposition from "an array of civil rights groups, health care professionals, teachers and law enforcement officials" that Prop. 54 would make it impossible to address issues of "discrimination, disease or the education gap without data showing which groups are most affected."

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund spokesperson J.C. Flores noted that Prop. 54 would not create a race-less California, but instead a California where discrimination could flourish unchecked by legal limits. "Everybody hates having to check those boxes," Flores explains, "but for a lot of African Americans or Asians, race is not private. A lot of people can't hide their race -- the initiative just takes away the paper trail that allows agencies to track potential discrimination."

A race-blind America is the platitude of those who would rather ignore racial issues than find solutions to the obvious fact that race does matter, and race will continue to matter until the poverty rate among blacks and Hispanics is less than three times that of whites. Race will continue to matter until minorities represent less than half of America's prison population and more than a quarter of its college students. And race will continue to matter until a minority student such as Amey Adkins, at a bastion of higher education such as our own, can wake up without finding racial slurs smeared across the windshield of her car. Multiracialism is a facet of life for many, but not an excuse for the obstinate ignorance of racial inequality among us all.


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