"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Election Of Barack Obama Symbolizes Change And Hope For The Many; For The Few There Is Fear And Resistance In Their Heart. We Need A Reality Check!

We Need To Understand What Happened And What Is Happening.

There are things we must do; things that we must be aware of so that we truly understand what has happened, what challenges remain before us, who the enemy is within and what is motivating them. Some of those answers lay in the shadows where the media fears to tread.

It is easy to discern that Barack Obama won because the people of this nation had more faith in him than old man past his prime and out of touch with the times, no faith in Sarah Palin, were driven to wanting much of our warring abroad brought to some time table of conclusion and a new approach to confronting the world wide economic collapse, and they didn’t trust the Republican with that task.

There is little that one can fault in the Obama Campaign and that is not the subject of this post. But wait; I hear something! I don’t think all our problems are over!

Stop, Hey What's That Sound

Let us turn first to the cold statistics of that victory to set the stage for our later explorations and discussion.

The statistics tell some of the story:

First-time voters Obama won overwhelmingly - 69% to McCain's 30%.

Men - slightly more - 49% - voted for Obama than for McCain - 48% .

Women - Obama won a big majority of the women's vote - 56% to 43% for McCain.

Ethnicity - McCain won 55% of white voters to Obama's 43%. Obama won more white voters than either Kerry (2004) or Al Gore (2000).


Obama, as might have been expected, was backed by almost every black voter - 95% - and 20% more of them turned out than is usual. Obama won overwhelmingly among Hispanics - 66% - and Asians - 62%.

Age - Obama won 66% of voters under 30, 53% of voters between 30 and 44; tied with McCain - 49% each - among voters 45 to 59 while McCain won the majority only among the oldest voters, those over 60 years, at 52% to Obama's 46%.

Education - Obama won a majority among all classes, with his largest majority 63% among those who were not graduates of high school and between 51% and 53% of high school graduates and those with some college education and college graduates.

Religion - McCain won 54% of the Protestant vote and 55% of those who go to church at least once a week. Among Catholics Obama won 53%, and 77% of Jews gave him their votes.

Location - In big cities Obama won big majorities - 71%, and in small cities, 59%. In the suburbs he beat McCain by two points - 50% to 48%. Only in small towns and rural areas did McCain won - 53%.

These figures strongly suggest that Barack Obama has been the most cosmopolitan vote-getter in the history of elections in the USA.

And he is the first since Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson whose election did not depend on carefully selected subsets of the American demography.

He has in fact uprooted the carefully constructed Republican blueprint for electoral domination - prejudicial redistricting enforced by carefully selected judges.

Over the last 30 years, this process has made the US House of Representatives almost immune to change because a majority of seats have been made safe by gerrymandering.

In New York State, for example, there was great consternation when a Democrat won a seat held by Republicans since 1939. This was the first clue that Obama was likely to be elected president, that there was an insurrection afoot.

I would hope that the new US president and the congress will take steps to abolish this 'rotten borough' system and put new life into the electoral process.

One malign result of the process of embedding permanent representatives is that the Republicans have a built-in electoral advantage.

The most malignant result of this long-term process has been the increasing politicization of the US Supreme Court in support of a fundamentalist theological agenda, delicately racist and intolerant of modernity.


It Still Felt Good the Morning After (By FRANK RICH NYT)

ON the morning after a black man won the White House, America’s tears of catharsis gave way to unadulterated joy.

Our nation was still in the same ditch it had been the day before, but the atmosphere was giddy. We felt good not only because we had breached a racial barrier as old as the Republic. Dawn also brought the realization that we were at last emerging from an abusive relationship with our country’s 21st-century leaders. The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place — in cities all over America.

For eight years, we’ve been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid — easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media.

We heard this slander of America so often that we all started to believe it, liberals most certainly included. If I had a dollar for every Democrat who told me there was no way that Americans would ever turn against the war in Iraq or definitively reject Bush governance or elect a black man named Barack Hussein Obama president, I could almost start to recoup my 401(k). Few wanted to take yes for an answer.

So let’s be blunt. Almost every assumption about America that was taken as a given by our political culture on Tuesday morning was proved wrong by Tuesday night.

The most conspicuous clich├ęs to fall, of course, were the twin suppositions that a decisive number of white Americans wouldn’t vote for a black presidential candidate — and that they were lying to pollsters about their rampant racism. But the polls were accurate. There was no “Bradley effect.” A higher percentage of white men voted for Obama than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton included.

Obama also won all four of those hunting-and-Hillary-loving Rust Belt states that became 2008’s obsession among slumming upper-middle-class white journalists: Pennsylvaniaand Michigan by double digits, as well as Ohio and even Indiana, which has gone Democratic only once (1964) since 1936. The solid Republican South, led by Virginia andNorth Carolina, started to turn blue as well. While there are still bigots in America, they are in unambiguous retreat.

And what about all those terrified Jews who reportedly abandoned their progressive heritage to buy into the smears libeling Obama as an Israel-hating terrorist? Obama drewa larger percentage of Jews nationally (78) than Kerry had (74) and — mazel tov, Sarah Silverman! — won Florida.

Let’s defend Hispanic-Americans, too, while we’re at it. In one of the more notorious observations of the campaign year, a Clinton pollster, Sergio Bendixen, told The New Yorker in January that “the Hispanic voter — and I want to say this very carefully — has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.” Let us say very carefully that a black presidential candidate won Latinos — the fastest-growing demographic in the electorate — 67 percent to 31 (up from Kerry’s 53-to-44 edge and Gore’s 62-to-35).

Young voters also triumphed over the condescension of the experts. “Are they going to show up?” Cokie Roberts of ABC News asked in February. “Probably not. They never have before. By the time November comes, they’ll be tired.” In fact they turned up in larger numbers than in 2004, and their disproportionate Democratic margin made a serious difference, as did their hard work on the ground. They’re not the ones who need Geritol.

The same commentators who dismissed every conceivable American demographic as racist, lazy or both got Sarah Palin wrong too. When she made her debut in St. Paul, the punditocracy was nearly uniform in declaring her selection a brilliant coup. There hadn’t been so much instant over-the-top praise by the press for a cynical political stunt since President Bush “landed” a jet on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in that short-lived triumph “Mission Accomplished.”

The rave reviews for Palin were completely disingenuous. Anyone paying attention (with the possible exception of John McCain) could see she was woefully ill-equipped to serve half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. The conservatives Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy said so on MSNBC when they didn’t know their mikes were on. But, hey, she was a dazzling TV presence, the thinking went, so surely doltish Americans would rally around her anyway. “She killed!” cheered Noonan about the vice-presidential debate, revising her opinion upward and marveling at Palin’s gift for talking “over the heads of the media straight to the people.” Many talking heads thought she tied or beat Joe Biden.

The people, however, were reaching a less charitable conclusion and were well ahead of the Beltway curve in fleeing Palin. Only after polls confirmed that she was costing McCain votes did conventional wisdom in Washington finally change, demoting her from Republican savior to scapegoat overnight.

But Palin’s appeal wasn’t overestimated only because of her kitschy “American Idol” star quality. Her fierce embrace of the old Karl Rove wedge politics, the divisive pitting of the “real America” against the secular “other” America, was also regarded as a sure-fire winner. The second most persistent assumption by both pundits and the McCain campaign this year — after the likely triumph of racism — was that the culture war battlegrounds from 2000 and 2004 would remain intact.

This is true in exactly one instance: gay civil rights. Though Rove’s promised “permanent Republican majority” lies in humiliating ruins, his and Bush’s one secure legacy will be their demagogic exploitation of homophobia. The success of the four state initiatives banning either same-sex marriage or same-sex adoptions was the sole retro trend on Tuesday. And Obama, who largely soft-pedaled the issue this year, was little help. In California, where other races split more or less evenly on a same-sex marriage ban, some 70 percent of black voters contributed to its narrow victory.

That lagging indicator aside, nearly every other result on Tuesday suggests that while the right wants to keep fighting the old boomer culture wars, no one else does. Three state initiatives restricting abortion failed. Bill Ayers proved a lame villain, scaring no one. Americans do not want to revisit Vietnam (including in Iraq). For all the attention paid by the news media and McCain-Palin to rancorous remembrances of things past, I sometimes wondered whether most Americans thought the Weather Underground was a reunion band and the Hanoi Hilton a chain hotel. Socialism, the evil empire and even Ronald Reagan may be half-forgotten blurs too.

If there were any doubts the 1960s are over, they were put to rest Tuesday night when our new first family won the hearts of the world as it emerged on that vast blue stage to join the celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park. The bloody skirmishes that took place on that same spot during the Democratic convention 40 years ago — young vs. old, students vs. cops, white vs. black — seemed as remote as the moon. This is another America — hardly a perfect or prejudice-free America, but a union that can change and does, aspiring to perfection even if it can never achieve it.

Still, change may come slowly to the undying myths bequeathed to us by the Bush decade. “Don’t think for a minute that power concedes,” Obama is fond of saying. Neither does group think. We now keep hearing, for instance, that America is “a center-right nation” — apparently because the percentages of Americans who call themselves conservative (34), moderate (44) and liberal (22) remain virtually unchanged from four years ago. But if we’ve learned anything this year, surely it’s that labels are overrated. Those same polls find that more and more self-described conservatives no longer consider themselves Republicans. Americans now say they favor government doing more (51 percent), not less (43) — an 11-point swing since 2004 — and they still overwhelmingly reject the Iraq war. That’s a centrist country tilting center-left, and that’s the majority who voted for Obama.

The post-Bush-Rove Republican Party is in the minority because it has driven away women, the young, suburbanites, black Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, educated Americans, gay Americans and, increasingly, working-class Americans. Who’s left? The only states where the G.O.P. increased its percentage of the presidential vote relative to the Democrats were West Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas. Even the North Carolina county where Palin expressed her delight at being in the “real America” went for Obama by more than 18 percentage points.

The actual real America is everywhere. It is the America that has been in shell shock since the aftermath of 9/11, when our government wielded a brutal attack by terrorists as a club to ratchet up our fears, betray our deepest constitutional values and turn Americans against one another in the name of “patriotism.” What we started to remember the morning after Election Day was what we had forgotten over the past eight years, as our abusive relationship with the Bush administration and its press enablers dragged on: That’s not who we are.

So even as we celebrated our first black president, we looked around and rediscovered the nation that had elected him. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said in February, and indeed millions of such Americans were here all along, waiting for a leader. This was the week that they reclaimed their country.

I am not attempting to throw any cold water on the Obama Victory or the euphoria and worldwide celebration that has accompanied that victory, but there are some components of the victory that bear analysis, and that analysis does, in no way, detract from the fact or importance of Obama’s achievement.


Do you remember the impressive county-by-county election map that the New York Times published after the 2004 election, showing the United States as a sea of Republican red, with a few Democratic blue counties clustered on the coasts and a few urban pockets?

The New York Times has published a large map of the U.S. showing county-by-county election results as a sea of Democratic blue, with red areas limited to a few southern states, Arizona and Alaska. It looks like a Democratic landslide.

But Barack Obama did not actually win states like Utah, Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, South Carolina, etc., that this map shows as mostly or totally blue. What the New York Times published this year is a map showing the shift in a county’s vote from 2004, not the results. So if a Republican county voted for Bush by 12 points in 2004, but only gave McCain a seven-point advantage this year, the Times paints it as blue, not red.

The big blue map consumes the entire top half of the front page of the Times special election section of the paper. On pages P10 and P11, the Times has several more maps illustrating the election results, including a small county-by-county map that shows that, just like in 2004, most of the land mass of the U.S. is in “red” counties.

The Washington Post has a county-by-county results map that looks a lot like the map from 2004, although there is clearly a little more blue this year and the red is a little lighter.

There’s no disputing that Obama won on Tuesday, but the big blue map published by New York Times seems like a way to overstate the magnitude of the Democratic victory — maybe just to give liberals a nice blue souvenir to hang on their office cubicles, or maybe a subliminal way of pushing the idea of a huge mandate for liberal government.

To clearly understand the Voting Landscape of the Obama 2008 Victory I urge you to Click on this link to the NYT Maps and view all the offerings: State Winners, County Bubbles, County Leaders and Voting Shifts. There are positive trends to view but they are by no means at this moment chiseled in the lasting Granite of an American Political Paradigm shift. Let us not be lulled into a complacent state by our own euphoria. There is much hard work ahead of us in the days, months and years that lay ahead.


Like The Map Evaluation Of Election 2008; This Next Issue Bears Close Examination!

The Debate Over Whether The USA Remains (Postelection )

A "Center-Right" Country.

Postelection poll results contradict media claims that U.S. is a "center-right" country

Summary: Several media figures have claimed that President-elect Barack Obama won the election because he ran as a conservative and that notwithstanding Obama's victory, the United States is a conservative country. However, a poll conducted November 4-5 showed strong support for the progressive positions that Obama has articulated on the issues, rebutting the claim that the United States is a conservative country.

Several in the media have claimed that President-elect Barack Obama won the election because he ran as a conservative and that notwithstanding Obama's victory; the United States is a conservative country. In claiming that Obama ran as a conservative, these media figures ignore the central components of his platform, including repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy, near-universal health-care coverage, and redeployment of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Democracy Corps, a Democratic polling group, released a poll on November 7 that showed strong support for the positions that Obama has articulated on these issues. The poll also included questions that provided a direct choice between the position taken by Obama on a given issue and that taken by Sen. John McCain (without referring to Obama or McCain) -- with the more progressive choice echoing Obama's position and the more conservative echoing McCain's.

For most questions that juxtaposed a clear progressive view with a clear conservative view, the progressive position was more popular. A list of positions Obama took on major issues during the campaign makes it clear that he did not run as a conservative, and the Democracy Corps poll results rebut the claim that Obama ran as a conservative and that the United States is a conservative country.

Democracy Corps polled 2,000 voters November 4-5 and posed several questions as direct contrasts between a conservative approach and a progressive approach, some of which were directly drawn from the arguments made by Obama and McCain. The poll asked which statement "comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right."


The poll asked respondents to choose between these two statements -- "I'm more worried that we will do too little to require fair trade and enforce worker and consumer protections" and "I'm more worried that we will got too far burdening free trade accords with protections for consumers and labor." Fifty-three percent of respondents said the first statement was closer to their point of view, compared with 34 percent who chose the second statement.

During the October 16 presidential debate at Hofstra University, Obama said: "I believe in free trade. But I also believe that for far too long, certainly during the course of the Bush administration with the support of Senator McCain, the attitude has been that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement. And NAFTA doesn't have -- did not have enforceable labor agreements and environmental agreements." McCain, for his part, attacked Obama for "oppos[ing] the Colombia Free Trade Agreement."

Social Security

The Democracy Corps survey asked respondents to choose between one statement on Social Security, "We need to reform Social Security and protect it to ensure that it's a safety net the American people can count on," and a second, more conservative statement: "We need to reform Social Security and establish personal savings accounts so individuals have more options." The first statement, supported by 63 percent of respondents, is similar to Obama's proposal to "protect Social Security" and "ensur[e] Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future." The second statement, involving Social Security private accounts, was supported by 35 percent of respondents. As recently as July 8, McCain said on CNN's American Morning that he supports allowing workers to divert part of their payroll taxes into private accounts: "I want young workers to be able to, if they so choose, to take part of their own money, which is their taxes, and put it into an account, which has their name on it. Now, that's a voluntary thing, it's for younger people. It would not affect any -- any present-day retirees or the system as necessary."

Health care

Regarding health care, the Democracy Corps survey offered a relatively progressive statement, which was supported by 58 percent of respondents: "Our health care system needs fundamental reform, we should regulate insurance companies and give everyone a choice between a public plan or what they have right now." This statement is similar to Obama's proposal for health-care reform, which "[r]equire[s] insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions"; allows individuals to keep their current health-care coverage if they choose to do so; and establishes "a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage." The other statement offered by the survey -- "Our health care system needs fundamental reform; we should give American families more choice by giving individuals a tax credit to choose their own coverage" -- was supported by 38 percent of respondents. That relatively conservative statement was similar to McCain's proposal: "While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit -- effectively cash -- of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Families will be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider."


The Democracy Corps survey also specifically tested many of the policies Obama has proposed, asking voters whether each should be "the SINGLE highest priority, one of the TOP FEW priorities, but not the highest, NEAR THE TOP of the list, in the MIDDLE OF THE LIST, or TOWARD THE BOTTOM of the list of priorities for the new president." If a respondent actually disagreed with an item on the agenda, he or she would presumably place the goal "toward the bottom of the list of priorities." The data demonstrate that the public appears to want action on many of the key pieces of Obama's agenda.

Among the proposals the survey presented that a majority of respondents considered at least "near the top" of their priorities:

  • "Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making over 250,000 dollars and cut taxes for middle class families and anyone making under 200,000 dollars." Sixty percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama proposed "broad-based tax relief to middle class families" and raising taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.

  • "Make health insurance affordable and accessible to all Americans." Seventy-two percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. As noted above, Obama proposed "a National Health Insurance Exchange ... that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage."

  • "End the war in Iraq responsibly and redeploy our troops from Iraq to Afghanistan." Seventy-six percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama proposed withdrawing troops from Iraq in a way that is "responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government." Obama has also proposed "providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan."

  • "Repeal tax breaks that benefit companies that move jobs overseas." Fifty-nine percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama has said, "I want to end the tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and provide a tax credit for every company that's creating a job right here in America."

  • "End dependence on foreign oil by 2025 by requiring one quarter of U.S. electric power to come from alternative energy where new investments will create new jobs." Eighty-one percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama's energy planproposes that "10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025."

  • "Make job-creating investments in America's aging roads and transportation systems and stimulate new economic activity." Fifty-nine percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama's energy plan calls for "devot[ing] substantial resources to repairing our roads and bridges."

Further undermining media claims that Obama ran as a conservative in an effort to appeal to a conservative country are statements by Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III and Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner before the election attacking Obama for embracing "socialism" or espousing views that were contrary to conservatism. As Media Matters noted, after the election, Bozell claimed that Obama ran as a conservative -- a sharp departure from his accusation before the election that Obama was espousing "socialism" throughout the "entirety of the campaign." Similarly, in a November 7Washington Times column, Feulner claimed that Obama "campaigned on conservative themes throughout the fall" and that Obama "took some conservative positions on issues like taxes (promising to cut them)." Yet prior to the election, in an August 10column, Feulner had claimed that by "unveil[ing] an economic plan that revolves around raising taxes on the wealthy," Obama indicated that he "want[s] to go back to the policies of the 1970s" under former President Jimmy Carter. Feulner also asserted in the August column that "Mr. Obama promises to 'soak the rich.' "

The following are examples of media figures claiming the United States is a conservative or "center-right" country, some of whom also claimed that Obama ran as a conservative. The blog Think Progress has highlighted a number of these examples.

During the 11 a.m. hour of CNN Newsroom on November 6, Republican strategist Bay Buchanan said, "No question this country is center-right": MORE…

And Finally There Is The Larger Issue Of The Changing Demographics Of This Nation Which The Media Has Paid Pitiful Little Attention To Since The Original Tectonic Shaking When The Following Facts Were Revealed.

This Development is, however, central in the thinking and planning of those foment racism and Xenophobic conflict and confrontation in the arena of Immigration Issues, sort a “dirty little secret” to most of America, especially when you can frame the matter in simplistic emotionalized politicized terms within an campaign attack plan.

"A New Census Report Says That Whites In The US Will Be A Minority By The Year 2042,"

New Demographic Racial Gap Emerges ( May 17, 2007)

With the number of nonwhite Americans above 100 million for the first time, demographers are identifying an emerging racial generation gap.

That development may portend a nation split between an older, whiter electorate and a younger overall population that is more Hispanic, black and Asian and that presses sometimes competing agendas and priorities.

WHEN THE Census Bureau announced last week that white Americans would dwindle to less than half of the US population within a generation, the media quickly spread the word.

"A new census report says that whites in the US will be a minority by the year 2042," announced NPR's Farai Chideya, while over at CNN Tony Harris proclaimed that "the complexion of America is changing and a lot faster than you think: In just 34 years, the Census Bureau says whites will no longer be a majority in this country." The Associated Press moved a story headlined "White Americans no longer a majority by 2042." Once again, the nation's unhealthy obsession with sorting people into categories based on color and ancestry was in the news.

But there was another problem with all this coverage of how white America is becoming a minority: The Census Bureau never said it.

You can see the numbers for yourself on the Census Bureau website. In a spreadsheet titled "Projections of the Population by Race and Hispanic Origin for the United States: 2008 to 2050," the bureau forecasts a rise in the number of whites from about 243 million today to 325 million at mid century - an increase of 82 million. A related spreadsheet gives the percentages: Whites today account for nearly 80 percent of the US population. In 2050, they'll constitute 74 percent - still a very hefty majority.

So what explains the persistent drumbeat about the impending white minority? A statistical distortion: the exclusion of Hispanic whites. If only non-Hispanic whites are counted, the white population today amounts to 66 percent of the total, and will hit around 46 percent by 2050.

But excluding whites of Hispanic origin from the overall white population makes no more sense than excluding whites of Slavic or Scandinavian origin. "Hispanic" is not a race. It is an ethnic category. As the Census Bureau repeatedly points out, Hispanics can be of any race. In the 2000 census, 48 percent of Hispanics identified themselves as white; Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson has characterized them as "white in every social sense of this term." Bottom line: Of the 46.6 million Hispanics in the United States today, at least 22 million are white.

On both right and left, however, there are pressures to treat Hispanics as a distinct racial category. Many on the left covet the political attention and affirmative-action largesse that comes with minority-group status. In some quarters of the right, meanwhile, immigration alarmists warn that Hispanics are overwhelming the nation's "white" culture, dissolving the bonds of language and patriotism on which American civilization depends.

One of the lessons of US history is that racial categories are anything but meaningful scientific classifications. For generations, "whites" have been hearing that they are about to be engulfed by unassimilable foreign races, and for centuries those "races" have eventually become - white!

Benjamin Franklin worried mightily about the threat posed to white American culture by the influx of German immigrants. "Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens," he demanded in 1751, "who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them?" Those "swarthy" Germans, Franklin was quite sure, "will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can adopt our Complexion."

A century and a half later, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge witheringly described the Russians, Poles, and Greeks entering the country as "races with which the English-speaking people have never hitherto assimilated, and who are most alien to the great body of the people of the United States." In the early 20th century, federal immigration officials classified the Irish, Italians, and Jews as separate races. Yet today all these groups are viewed collectively, and benignly, as "white."

And so, in time, will Hispanics, who give every indication of being just as assimilable as earlier groups. Most third-generation Hispanic Americans, for example, marry non-Hispanics. The overwhelming majority speak English. With a little luck, common sense, and goodwill, it will seem as odd in 2050 to focus on "non-Hispanic whites" as it would today to insist that only "non-German whites" are really white.

Better still, perhaps by then we will have really progressed, and abandoned the pernicious notion of racial categories altogether.

We are being told that by the year 2042 America will no longer be a white-majority nation.

The only a real news in this announcement is that the big day will occur ten years earlier than was previously expected.

(2032, and that may move up even more)

Demographics and birthrates being what they are, the change itself was inevitable. What is remarkable and worth looking at more closely are the underlying assumptions about what this tipping point means, assumptions which in turn give rise to the fear and/or self-congratulation that have greeted the announcement.

There's nothing new about Americans predicting the demise of the Republic because of an influx of non-white or at best suspiciously-ancestored peoples.

It happened when the Irish arrived en masse in the early and mid-19th century and when the Germans came in the 1850s (the America-for-Americans Know Nothings called the Germans "non-whites") and then when the Italians and Eastern Europeans followed.

The national fiber had been so weakened and its northern European bloodlines so polluted by the 1920s that Congress had to pass legislation severely limiting immigration by the lesser breeds of humanity. American Indians, Chinese, Latinos, and of course Americans of African descent were already and by common agreement beyond the pale.

Now we are approaching a major watershed, the day when even those who have fought so hard to be included with their British-descended betters in the whites-only club are about to become themselves a demographic minority.

But apart from the hand-wringing and less demonstrative reactions in anticipation of the big day, what makes this angst so remarkable is that it will occur long after our knowledge about what makes one group of people physically different from another has blown apart the fallacy that lies at the very heart of the idea of "race."

It's said it takes about 50 years for a scientific revolution to become part of the general consciousness.

In the 1950s it was still common to hear that only half a dozen people in the world understood the theory of relativity, and quantum theory was still well below our common radar screens.

The series of transforming discoveries about DNA that started with Watson and Crick's discovery of the double helix half a century ago are only now beginning to filter down into popular consciousness.

The implications of this knowledge have obviously not penetrated the minds of even our more intelligent politicians and other public figures. If it had, the announcement about the big color shift of 2042 wouldn't be news at all.

Of course, it isn't just skin color that's causing anxiety about so-called whites becoming a minority "in their own country." There's also the fear of what comes with that darker pigmentation: a reduced general intelligence, at least in the cultural sense—the knowledge, attributes and values that get passed down from one generation of freedom-loving whites to the next.

Even discounting the un-American values that immigrants bring to the mix, there is the embarrassing but persistently substandard capacity of our own homegrown non-whites to fully understand and make intelligent use of the democratic system. Even if we regret the social conditions and other reasons for this backwardness, the fact remains that these Americans, most of them, are just not ready for prime time.

So the argument goes, more in the unspoken and probably not fully conscious mind rather than in the acknowledged thoughts of those who are uneasy about 2042.

But what does the new biology actually tell us? What is this new knowledge it has uncovered, knowledge the more perceptive of our species have always intuited but which now has the authority of hard science, along with some surprises that nobody could have guessed?

Not all that long ago as such things are counted, perhaps 100,000 years, our species—only one of several like us, including the Neanderthals who survived until a mere 40,000 to 50,000 years ago—for one reason or another, possibly disease, had dwindled down to about 2,000 women of child-bearing age in eastern Africa, the continent that apparently was our original birthplace. From these few thousand people, scarcely the size of a neighborhood in one of our mid-size cities, all of us have descended.

The first consequence of this datum is that we are all, all six billion of us, very closely related. In fact, the most distant relationship that any one of today's humanity can claim to any other is 50th cousin.

A second consequence, one that follows indirectly from our generally close relationship to one another, is that no matter what we may look like on the surface, we are related to one another as individuals in ways that are startling and contradictory to our most basic assumptions about such matters.

Because all of us who are descendants of the emigrants who left Africa and eventually ended up in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere had no one but each other to reproduce with, the folk we left behind, back then the majority of humanity, kept a wider gene pool than did those who left the homeland. The result is that I, a descendant of Europeans, can have DNA that is more similar to someone in a small African village than that African is to someone living in a village a couple miles away.

Appearances such as skin color or the shapes of noses or the kind of hair we have are thus no essential indication of consanguinity. A slave owner in the old South could share genes with his African slaves that he did not share with his slave holding neighbors, even if he had no African ancestry since the migration out of Africa millennia before.

Nothing could be more counterintuitive. Human beings have spent those millennia slaughtering each other using the excuse, if not the real reason, that the people on the other side of the mountain or in the next town were not really human.

We probably used the same argument to exterminate the human like species that competed with us along the evolutionary trail. As little as 70 years ago, a world war was fought with the world's most developed country, whose leaders insisted that most of the human race was subhuman. Even today more people than not still believe there are significant differences between what we still insist on calling "races." And it's not only the so-called ordinary person who believes this or, as one might expect, the least educated.

Presidents of the United States, whatever their intellectual acumen, still refer to the same discredited categories as if they had some basis many years after they have been shown to be groundless.

Most of us accept that, however much the idea of "white" and all the categories that indicate non-white are biologically empty, the social reality of black and white cannot be denied and refers to something that is real, if not scientifically valid. But how much does the assumption that there is an unavoidable social and historical basis for the distinction between "white" and "black," from which all other distinctions derive, still rest on the underlying belief that there is a biological difference, even if it is only "skin deep"?

We still define "black" or "African American"—just another term to distinguish them from "white"—as having a single ancestor of African descent. That is a definition narrow enough to give even an ardent Nazi pause. Yet we hold to it, essentially unchanged from the days when the Ku Klux Klan espoused it.

Why? Is it really just because we must be practical and not try to deny the facts that so-called blacks or "people of color" are at a disadvantage and will be discriminated against if we do not maintain this special social/"racial" status? Or is it only an excuse for not accepting them and their collateral non-whites as being in no way different from us so-called whites?

We can argue that society is what it is and to pretend that we are all in fact equal as well as in theory is dangerous idealism. That may well be true. But how does that justify our not educating our children to the reality that my next door neighbor who is brown-skinned could be more closely related to me that is my so-called white spouse? As long as we maintain the terms "white" and "black," we endorse the invalid assumption that there is a real distinction to be made. We simply have no choice: we must throw away the terminology if we want to change the social reality.

If we accept the new narrative contemporary biology has presented us with (and even if we don't), the year 2042 is meaningless. Unless you prize a pale complexion more highly than you do the ideals on which the nation is grounded, what color Americans are and what language their last names derive from is also meaningless.

The new "majority" will be as thoroughly American as any Scots-Irish descendant of the Mayflower, if not more so. Immigration and so-called minorities have always invigorated our nation, not depleted it, though the new life we were given by them is so thoroughly a part of us that it is impossible to distinguish what they contributed from what was here before them.

Can anyone imagine, much less want, an America to which Africans had never come, however unwillingly, or that had successfully kept out Latinos, Irish, Germans, eastern Europeans, Chinese, Indians and all the others? And if we ever took the time to take a fair look at the contributions of the peoples who were here before the first Europeans arrived (Jack Weatherford does in his excellent book, Indian Givers) we would realize that the way we conduct our political business, the medicines we take, the food we consume, and even the women's movement are all derived from them.

2042 is as much a fiction as was the millennialists' fears that the world would come to an end in the year 1000 or, for that matter, 2000.

We created a way of counting based on the number of fingers on our hands and then made the assumption that the universe must use the same calculus. In a similar way, we imagine deep differences based on physical appearances or cultural variations unique to ourselves and then assume that any change from that standard must be objectively significant.

It isn't. And the sooner we start educating ourselves and our children to the realities of our common, close human kinship, the sooner we will cure ourselves of the virus of "racial" prejudice.

Hispanic children will exceed white children in number.

Minorities, about one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become a majority by 2042 and be 54 percent of U.S. residents by 2050.

The shift will happen sooner among children, 44 percent of whom are minority. By 2023, more than half are expected to be minority, and by 2050, the proportion will be 62 percent.

The largest share of children, 39 percent, is projected to be Hispanic, followed by non-Hispanic whites (38 percent), African Americans (11 percent) and Asians (6 percent).

Study Sees Non-Hispanic Whites Shrinking to Minority Status in U.S.

America could come to resemble New York City by 2050, when one in five residents will have been born in another country if immigration flows hold at the current rate, a study published yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center said. The study's projections found that non-Hispanic whites will become a minority in less than 50 years, while both the Hispanic and Asian populations will have tripled in size.

RELATED: Complete Report (pdf)

The findings suggest America is on a path to break immigration records set in 1890 and 1910, when immigrants accounted for 14% of the American population. The rate of immigration dropped sharply in the 1930s and 1940s after the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, and spiked again in the 1990s.

By 2025, the current immigration boom could outstrip past increases, as immigrants are projected to total 15% of the population. By 2050, the number could be nearly 20%.

As the total population rises to 438 million in the next four decades, immigrants and their children will likely be responsible for 82% of the growth as the native population ages and its birth rate declines, the study by Jeffrey Passel and D'Vera Cohn, who based their findings on past and current trends, said.

If the projections play out, a 1% annual increase in the number of immigrants would allow America to keep pace with China and India, even as European countries see their populations decline further by mid-century.

The projected immigration boom prompted both warnings of dire consequences and sunny predictions of good times ahead from experts weighing in on both sides of the immigration debate.

"Where there's immigration there's growth, and where there's growth there's immigration," a senior fellow at the New York-based Fiscal Policy Institute, David Dyssegaard Kallick, said.

In a recent study of immigrants in New York, Mr. Kallick reported that immigrants have been key to the state's economic success.

A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Heather MacDonald, suggested the rise in the Hispanic population could be problematic if new immigrants have trouble assimilating to American society.

"We're sailing into uncharted territory," she said. "It puts the assimilation project at great risk." A senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Pia Orrenius, who advised the Bush administration on immigration, noted that the flow of immigrants from Latin America would likely include a smaller share of immigrants from Mexico as fertility rates decline there in the future, a projection also supported by the study's authors.

"Demographically, it's beneficial: We will not age as quickly," she added of the study's projections.

The numbers in the report suggested that baby boomers are likely to create a heavy strain on the American economy. While the immigration boom could help as immigrants expand their share of the working-age population, researchers also noted that the growing number of immigrants would be unlikely to overtake the growing number of people older than 65.

Among the other findings in the report: 19% of Americans will be immigrants by 2050, compared with 12% today; Latinos will make up almost a third of the nation's population, compared with 14% now; the African-American population will grow by more than 50%, but will see its share of the population edge up only slightly, to a little more than 13%.

The report also found that the number of non-Hispanic whites will grow by 4% in the next 40 years, but they will see their share of the population drop to 47% of the total from 67% in 2005.

Racial and ethnic minorities, who now comprise about one-third of the U.S. population, will become the majority in 2042, according to a new Census Bureau projection released today.

With an African American candidate vying for the presidency and ongoing debate in Washington about immigration, it seems the nation is changing more rapidly than many experts anticipated.

The change is happening with young people first. In just 15 years (in 2023), current so-called minorities will make up more than half of all children. That would mean minority children would no longer be minorities in their age bracket.

Then by 2039, the working-age population is projected to become more than 50 percent "minority."

Finally, in 2042, whites will become a minority, and by the year 2050, a full 54 percent of the nation's population will be made up of what were once referred to as minorities, according to the data. At that point, the minority population -- everyone except for non-Hispanic, single-race whites -- is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million. The nation is projected to reach the 400 million population milestone in 2039, the Census Bureau reported.

The new trend is based in part on increasing numbers of immigrants, Hispanics and current racial and ethnic minorities, but also on the declining growth of the white population. Whites now account for two-thirds (199.8 million) of the nation's 300 million people, but by 2050 that number is only expected to budge a little, as whites are projected to number 203.3 million.

Meanwhile, the Hispanic population will nearly triple, from 46.7 million to 132.8 million during the 2008-2050 period, according to the projections. Nearly one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic in 2050.

The black population will also increase slightly, from 41.1 million, or 14 percent of the population in 2008, to 65.7 million, or 15 percent in 2050.

The Asian population will rise more dramatically, from 15.5 million to 40.6 million, but blacks will still outnumber Asians in 2050, according to the projections, and Asians will make up 9.2 percent of the U.S. population.

What Happens When Whites Are No Longer The Majority? One Of The Hate Mongers!

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