White Children in a Majority-Minority Future

White Children in a Majority-Minority Future December 29, 2016

My daughter attends a majority minority elementary school. In fact, my daughter is the only white non-Hispanic child in her classroom. I volunteer regularly at my daughter’s school, interacting with children of every color. I meet parents; we set up playdates. These children are my daughter’s friends. I’ve dropped my daughter off at birthday parties where she is the only (or next to only) white child in the room.

It is against this backdrop that I read a Right Wing Watch article about conservative commentator Michael Savage’s comments on his radio show this week.

Savage added that Trump’s victory will deliver white children from certain slavery: “I don’t walk around fearing that it’s all coming to an end. I don’t walk around looking at little white children seeing future slaves anymore. Did you know that? Did you know that that’s what I used to see? I’d walk around and look at little white children and I’d shake my head and I’d say, ‘If this doesn’t stop, these children will be slaves in their own nation.’”

I am aware that there are people like Savage who are concerned about the wellbeing of their children and grandchildren in a browner America. I read their comments with an almost detached horror. Their perspective is hard for me to conjure up, living as I do in an already diverse corner of America. I understand what it’s like to be the only white family at the park. I understand what it’s like to be the only white person in a store. What I don’t understand is why any of this should be a problem.

I wonder, sometimes, if the problem is lack of exposure. I am white. I grew up in a white rural area of the Midwest. I went to a state college in the Midwest so white that I can’t remember more than a small handful of black students living in my residence hall. Some years ago I attended a free day at the zoo at a nearby city and found myself vaguely uncomfortable: the white families attending the zoo were outnumbered by black and Hispanic families doing the same. I tried to analyze, afterwards, why I’d felt disquieted. I concluded that I was so used to being part of a white majority that being in the minority felt strange.

I should pause to note that racism is always wrong, regardless of the level of exposure you have had to this or that minority group. We are all of the same species; no group is more “evolved” than any other. No group has a higher IQ, or greater innate ability. We are all human. We share similar concerns—to obtain adequate food and housing, to provide for our children, to have friends and form communities. I mention exposure because it is easy for groups you have no familiarity with to become data points or stereotypes. When they are your neighbors, your friends, your colleagues, this becomes harder—though not impossible.

People like Savage don’t generally fear a more diverse world, a world where white children are the minority, only due to lack of exposure. They also tend to believe that non-white groups and identities are fundamentally different and even dangerous. They’re more criminal, more lazy, less honest and hard working. These stereotypes are a problem. They’re also factually false. On an anecdotal level, I again wonder about the importance of exposure—the minority parents I know work long hours, make their children do their homework, and wonder whether their children are over-scheduled with athletics and activities. Their hopes, dreams, and fears—and the little struggles and moments of which life is made—are fundamentally similar.

Fewer than 50% of babies born in the U.S. today are white, non-Hispanic. White children born today will live in a future where white, non-Hispanic Americans comprise a minority of the total population. And that is not a problem. There’s no reason to fear a future in which the nation looks like my daughter’s school.

If children can get along, adults can too.

While Savage worried about white children becoming slaves in their own country, I put back the nerf gun I was going to purchase for a black classmate’s birthday party my daughter had been invited to. I worry about whether the Hispanic children I interact with while volunteering are documented. Living in a majority-minority world does not and will not pose a threat to white children. Systemic racial bias, in contrast, can and does pose a threat to black children, and our broken immigration system means deportation frequently poses a real and present threat to Hispanic children.

Savage has things exactly backwards.

I have a Patreon! Please support my writing!

"Lol I’m trying to convince her."

A Blogger’s Farewell
"Again, Libby Anne:Thank you for your writing these past ten years, and for hosting the ..."

A Blogger’s Farewell
"If we join this discord, what happens on the 8th day?"

A Blogger’s Farewell
"DRONE RIOTS! Production has ceased."

A Blogger’s Farewell

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad