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Pet Sins September 2000

Census 2000 And Minorities Changing Races

This is an excerpt from an article from the New York Daily News written on March 25, 2001 (Sunday paper). In an article called "Changing Races ", writer Zev Chafets (a white man) writes:

[In regards to the 2000 Census]..."When it comes to race 48% [of Hispanics] regarded themselves as "white" and only 2% as "black". The remaining 50% checked no race or put down "other"...

Traditionally, America has turned its immigrants (except those who look African-American) into white people...Hispanics, like Asian Americans, are rapidly being accepted as white. The surest sign is social. More than 25% of Hispanics (and Asian-Americans) intermarry, mostly with whites. That is more than double the rate for blacks...

Anthony Quinn, Ricky Martin, Former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, Oscar de la Hoya- these are American ethnics, no more people of color than Robert DeNiro, Paul Simon, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham or Mike Piazza. On the other hand, a walking rainbow like Tiger Woods will never be considered anything but black...

I suspect that America remains pretty much what it has always been: a nation whose permanent fault line runs between the perenially disadvantaged descendents of African slaves and everybody else, in various stages of upward (i.e. whiteward) mobility...

In America, in the long run, on things that really matter, ain't but two races.

My Comment on the article

I, as an African-American female, have seen these trends in society for ethnic minorities to claim themselves as white. I've seen many Chinese say that they are white Chinese....even though both parents are Chinese.....and I have seen black Hispanics say that they are white.

Many ethnic minorities seem to like the idea that they can be accepted as white, or even "other", as long as they are not associated anywhere near the black race. The sad irony of it all is that even though many Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, etc. want to claim that they are white, white European Americans will never accept these ethnic minorities as "white". (There's more than enough proof in American and world history to confirm this.)

You may change your race on the Census and for society, but in the long run, who is the one that is " perenially disadvantaged"?

Sophie D.
2000