DIVIDED BY THE POLITICS OF RACE June 10, 2011Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
The majority Pakeha (White Fella) population in the United States has disdained any Sorry Day for past wrongs.
They have not faced up to the reality of the dispossession of the indigenous population and the accompanying cruelty and theft, or the terrible suffering that slavery imposed. The problem is that demographics are moving against the majority population group so that by 2040 they will constitute a minority. There is anxiety and fear and the suggestion is that race is driving the politics of the nation, even as division between those of European and African descent appears to be dissolving.
Joshua Green in The Boston Globe observes:
. . . Americans are troubled by the growing number of minorities. For many Americans, the old division between blacks and whites has been replaced by a new division between native-born citizens and immigrants. This is most apparent in the stark difference in economic outlook between whites and minorities (particularly Asians and Hispanics). Whites are far more pessimistic about their prospects and their children’s prospects — and many mistakenly believe that illegal immigrants are the primary culprit.
Asked what they thought was causing the minority boom, 53 percent of whites said illegal immigration, 29 percent said higher birth rates, and 11 percent said legal immigration. “That has it almost exactly backward,’’ said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. Since 2000, Passel says, there have been 19.3 million minority births, 8.4 million legal immigrants, and 5.6 million undocumented immigrants.
This widespread misconception stems from a lack of information that’s largely due to both the Democratic and Republican parties’ unwillingness to pursue immigration reform, after years of failed attempts.
These numbers appear to be driven by two things, said Brent McGoldrick of Financial Dynamics, which conducted the poll. The aftershocks of the immigration debate, which was never really resolved, but still permeates how people look at the economy and the future of the country; and the bad economy, which has made whites feel particularly pessimistic and sharpened these attitudes.
The political effects of these aftershocks show up in the differing attitudes toward government. Minorities, especially African-Americans, have a positive view of government and prefer that it play an active role in the economy. Whites are more critical of government activism and tend to favor the private sector. These views correlate strongly with party preference. They suggest that minorities will tend to vote Democratic (the party of government), while whites are likely to vote Republican (the party of free markets). The upcoming presidential election seems tailor-made to highlight these differences.
As the country still struggles to emerge from recession, the poll indicates, rather ominously, that ideas about how best to do so break down by race. The shame of it all is that while economic growth is the surefire way to mitigate these tensions — a rising tide lifts all boats — agreeing on how best to bring it about will be hard, and harder still because a major source of the dispute is neither being acknowledged nor addressed in Washington.
Americans – and perhaps that mostly means the Pakehas – have been historically indifferent to the outside world, will in the immediate future be confronted with the rise of China as an economic player and the growing independence of Latin America, particularly if Mexico reversed the counter productive drug war. As these demographic changes take place with their associated political changes, small Anglo-countries, such as Australia, will necessarily discover that their powerful friend was not as they thought. This is but a small matter, if the United States cannot solve its economic problems and create a more perfect union, then, I suspect, the global economy is in big trouble.