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Saturday
Jul142018

Ethnicity, Demography, and Immigration

The OLD Philosopher – John M. Miller 

On June 24, there was a long story in our local newspaper. It was entitled “Whites are dying faster than they’re being born in 26 states.” The sources for the story were various demographers and social scientists from universities and academic foundations around the United States.

Its opening sentence said this: “Deaths now outnumber births among white people in more than half the states in the country, demographers have found, signaling what could be a faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the U.S. population.”

It further stated, “The Census Bureau has projected that whites could drop below 50 percent of the population around 2045….But a new report this week found that that whites are dying faster than they are being born now in 26 states, up from just 17 just two years earlier.”

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics were examined over the period from 1999 to 2016. It charted the indisputable fact that a majority of the youngest Americans are already nonwhite. Thus they look less like older generations than any other generation during any period in modern American history.

According to Rogelio Saenz at the University of Texas in San Antonio, 52 percent of all children living in California reside in homes with at least one immigrant parent. That is an astonishing figure. As in many factors over the past century, California is often a bellwether for the rest of our country.

The report which resulted in the publication of the newspaper story said that the median age for Latinos in the U.S. is 29, compared with 43 for whites. It noted that people with a median age of 29 are more likely to produce more children than those with a median age of 43. That means that inevitably there will be more Latino “whites” than “non-Latino whites” in future years.

The world” and “our world” is always changing, but now both worlds are changing faster than at any time during the lives of anyone currently alive. Is demography destiny? Is ethnicity imploding? Does immigration represent permanent alterations for the future of this nation and of the world?

Paleontologists say that the current species of human beings, Homo sapiens, evolved about 100,000 years ago. Previously there had been other hominid (human-like) species scattered throughout the world. Our species self-importantly describe ourselves as “Humans of Wisdom” (Homo sapiens.) Neanderthals, the other human species still in existence 40,000 years ago, became extinct at about that time. “Wise Humans” likely killed them off, although the experts cannot be certain of that.

Since the disappearance of the Neanderthals, what used to be called the three major “races” had populated three particular continents for eons. Blacks (Negroes) were in Africa, “orientals” – with a lower-case “o” -- (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Southeast Asians, etc.) were in eastern and central Asia, and “whites” (so-called Caucasians, with a capital “C” [and that in itself tells us something]) --- were in western Asia and Europe. We know that other “orientals” traversed the land bridge across the Bering Straits and moved into the Americas roughly fifteen thousand years ago to become the “native Americans.” Eventually they thrived from Alaska to Cape Horn, at least until Europeans came to the Americas.

Just four generations ago, ethnicity seemed a much clearer concept in the United States of America than it does today. A hundred years ago, a large majority of Americans traced their ancestry to Caucasian forebears, mainly of European nationalities. A sizeable minority, however, were of African extraction. Almost all of their ancestors came to this country involuntarily on slaves ships., They were not free immigrants from African nations seeking a better life in America. Asians were almost non-existent in the American demographical mix a hundred years back, because anti-Asian animosity made it nearly impossible for Asians to emigrate to America.

Demographically, World War II transformed the world more quickly than did any other historical epoch since the Renaissance. From 1945 on, people began moving from one place to another all across the globe, and at an ever-increasing rate. Only now is the world slowly beginning to understand the magnitude of these demographic shifts.

From the perspective of the USA, let us consider two relatively small but significant ethnic movements that have occurred in the last century. Starting in the early twentieth century, but accelerating before and immediately after World War II, Jews came from Europe to the U.S. in increasing numbers. Culturally, Jews had highly valued education in Europe, and they continued to value it in America. Thus Jews quickly became leaders in many fields of American endeavor and enterprise.

Since the Japanese defeat in World War II, the collapse of Maoist communism in China, and the defeat of the Americans in Viet Nam, millions of Asians have emigrated to America from their Asian homelands. These immigrants have become “the Jews of the twenty-first century.” Asians are now some of the leading ethnicities in American colleges and universities, business enterprises, and government. Because of the remarkable progress of Asian immigrants, more and more Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, and Iranian names appear in American news stories.

Every human being has a unique personality and mentality. These personalities and mentalities range from “profoundly conservative” to “profoundly liberal.” Because of space constraints in this essay, I shall make no attempt to define or describe those terms; instead, I trust the reader has a general idea of what they mean.

However, most of earth’s human inhabitants are somewhere between being either profoundly conservative or profoundly liberal in their thinking about ethnicity, demography, and immigration. Some are vitally interested in their own personal ethnic backgrounds, and others are not. Some are threatened by demographical changes, and others are not. Some resist the very idea of immigrants, and others do not.

I want briefly to describe how the theme of this essay has personally affected my wife’s family of origin and my own family. Each of our two families represents a miniscule case study of major ethnic and demographic shifts in America.

I would describe both of my parents as being moderately conservative in mentality and personality. All four of their sons married white women. Two of their twelve grandchildren married black men.

At first, I am fairly certain it was quite difficult psychologically and socially for my parents to accept and affirm those marriages. Nevertheless, I am certain there never was a moment when either of them even thought of “disowning” those two granddaughters. They were Millers, for heaven’s sake! Eventually my parents developed a deep love for one of their grandsons-in-law. The other black grandson-in-law was divorced by my niece many years ago, but Mom and Dad always had a special interest in that particular granddaughter because of the pain she experienced in her divorce.

My wife’s parents had three daughters. All three married white men. Two of them were divorced, and both remarried. One of them married a black man.

I knew both of my wife’s parents very well. I would describe them as being essentially like my parents: moderately conservative regarding ethnicity and demography.

My sister-in-law married the black man before she was my sister-in-law. For space constraints, however, I am not going to try to explain that further, either.

Anyway, the point is this: Everyone in both families remained close to everybody else in each family after those inter-racial marriages. Probably the grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the primary factor behind that acceptance. After all, they were kin; they were related by blood; they were us. Though their skin color is slightly different from the rest of us, they look and act like everyone else in the family.

The story of the Miller and Seifried families has been duplicated and is being duplicated in millions of American families in every passing year. Caucasian Americans are marrying African Americans, Jewish Americans are marrying Arab Americans, Irish Americans are marrying British Americans, and Korean Americans are marrying Japanese Americans. People in the younger generation are not nearly as affected by the animosities of the older generations.

The United States of America is a nation comprised totally of immigrants or their descendants. Even the “native Americans” are the descendants of the original Land-Bridge Immigrants.

From the first brave souls who went north and then east into Alaska fifteen thousand years ago to the folks who went west across the Atlantic in the early seventeenth century and beyond, everybody here came from somewhere over there. But then, as the anthropologists and ethnologists have long told us, everyone living everywhere originally started out in Africa.

Geneticists insist there is absolutely no genetic distinction from one “race” to another. We are all simply members of the human race. We all acquired our own particular and peculiar skin pigmentations over many millennia of human evolution.

With so many different kinds of people moving so many places all over the globe, ethnicity will eventually become a concept lost in the mists of antiquity. Demography also will become an impossible-to-trace reality. However, neither of these transitions will happen for many generations yet to come.

And what may we deduce about immigration? Immigration will always continue, because it has always existed as long as our singular species has existed. For whatever reasons, individuals or whole groups of people have left where they had been living to find greener pastures in other lands fairly nearby or across the oceans.

In the past half-millennium, there was a period of four centuries in which whites were the main immigrants to America. They left western Asia, Europe and Great Britain for North and South America, and in a much smaller migration, for Australia, although Asians had already migrated there thousands of years earlier.

From about 1950 onward, it was mainly brown people who were the immigrants moving into Europe and North America. Now most of the immigrants going from anywhere to anywhere are brown people going to European and North American nations. They are going from mainly “brown” nations to mainly “white” nations. Thus the white nations are becoming more brown - - - such as the United States of America.

With total objectivity, it is not surprising that the USA elected a black man as our President when black, brown, and Asian people were only a third of the American population. It represented the wave of the future.

Again, with total objectivity, it is not surprising our first black President was followed by yet another white President whose political base feels threatened by immigrants, is therefore anti-immigrant, and is culturally very much white-oriented. That is the wave of the past.

Politically we are observing a personality and mentality divide between ethnic and demographic conservatives and liberals. Americans in general have not affirmed the fact that white Americans are about to become a minority, but that black, brown, and Asian and Americans also will be minorities for many generations ahead of us. Demographically, we are destined to be a minority-majority nation, probably in perpetuity.

It represents immense wasted energy for Americans, of all people, generally to resist immigrants. How can a nation comprised one hundred percent of immigrants oppose other immigrants?

It is incontrovertible that most of the opposition to immigration comes from whites. It is understandable, but also very unfortunate.  Until everyone acknowledges that all our distant descendants shall eventually be some variation of brown, we will only make life more difficult for ourselves than it is already.

Furthermore --- and this is the most important point --- in time there will be almost no whites who are “pure” white, no blacks who are “pure” black, no browns who are “pure” brown, and no Asians who are “pure” Asians. Ethnic purity is becoming impossible to maintain. Instead, all will be pure Homo sapiens, which very likely is what God intended all along. It was separate evolutions in separate continents and climates which bollixed up the divine plan.

 

John Miller is Pastor of The Chapel Without Walls on Hilton Head Island, SC. More of his writings may be viewed at www.chapelwithoutwalls.org.

 

 

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