The Monochrome Society*
(The Limits of Diversity)
Various demographers and other social scientists have been predicting for years that the end
of the white majority in the United States is near, and that there will be a majority of minorities.
CNN has broadcasted a special program on the forthcoming majority of people of color in America.(1)
President Clinton has called attention to this shift in an address at the U.C. San Diego campus on a
renewed national dialogue about race relations.(2) He argues that such a dialogue is especially needed
as a preparation for the forthcoming end of the white majority, to occur somewhere in the middle of
the next century. White House staffer Sylvia Mathews provides the figures as 53% white and 47%
a mixture of other ethnic groups by 2050.(3) Pointing to such figures, Clinton asks rhetorically if we
should not act now to avoid America's division into "separate, unequal and isolated" camps.(4)
Some have reacted to the expected demise of the white majority with alarm or distress.
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. discusses the "cult of ethnicity," which has overtaken the concept of
Americans as "one people."(5) He writes, "Watching ethnic conflict tear one nation after another apart,
one cannot look with complacency at proposals to divide the United States into distinct and
immutable ethnic and racial communities, each taught to cherish its own apartness from the rest."(6)
He also criticizes diversity and multiculturalism, arguing that "the United States has to set a
monocultural example in a world rent by savage ethnic conflict; the United States must demonstrate
how a highly differentiated society holds itself together.'"(7)
Dale Maharidge, a professor and journalist who has conducted hundreds of interviews
concerning race, class, and ethnicity in California, has devoted a book to The Coming White
Minority: California's Eruptions and America's Future. He reports that sometime between now and
2000, California's population will be less than 50% white. As he writes, " Minorities' will be in the
majority," a precursor to the 2050 state of racial composition nationwide, when "the nation will be
almost half nonwhite." (8)
Maharidge comments that his interviews, observations, and research have shown that,
especially in California,
. . . whites are scared. The depth of white fear is underestimated and misunderstood
by progressive thinkers and the media. Whites dread the unknown and not-so-distant
tomorrow when a statistical turning point will be reached that could have very bad
consequences for them. They fear the change that seems to be transforming their state
into something different from the rest of the United States. They fear losing not only
their jobs but also their culture. Some feel that California will become a version of
South Africa, in which whites will lose power when minorities are the majority.(9)
Whites in California have demonstrated their fear of the browning' of America by forming
residential " islands' that are surrounded by vast ethnic or transitional communities, as well as
deserts, mountain wilderness, and the ocean," demonstrating, Maharidge predicts, "what the rest of
America might become."(8) Whites and non-whites alike also passed the anti-immigrant Proposition
187, which Maharidge links to these same fears about the end of the white majority. Maharidge
California's electoral discord has emanated from whites. There is ample evidence
that white tension could escalate. What will California be like in 2010, when
nonwhites make up 60 percent of the population? . . . And how will California's
actions influence the rest of the nation as non-Hispanic whites fall from 76 percent
of the U.S. populace to just over half in 2050?(11)
In contrast, John Isbister, a professor of economics at the University of California at Santa
Cruz, asks us to ponder whether America is too white. He contends, "The decline in the white proportion is a healthy development for the country, since it will gradually replace a majority-minority confrontation with interactions between groups of more equal size and influence."(12) He
The principal case for a falling white proportion is simply this: it will be easier for
us to transform a society of hostility and oppression into one of cooperation if we are
dealing not with a majority versus several small minorities, but with groups of
roughly equivalent size.(13)
As I see it, both views - that of alarm and that which celebrates the ending of the white
majority and the rise of a majority of minorities - are fundamentally wrong because these positions
are implicitly and inadvertently racist: they assume that people's pigmentation, or, more generally,
racial attributes, determine their visions, values, and votes.(14) Actually, I claim and will show that
very often the opposite is true. The fact is that America is blessed with an economic and political
system as well as culture and core values and much else that, while far from flawless, are embraced
by most Americans of all races and ethnic groups. (To save breath, from here on, race is used to
encompass ethnicity.) It is a grievous error to suggest that because American faces or skin tones may
appear more diverse some fifty years from now, most Americans who hail from different social
backgrounds will seek to follow a different agenda or hold a different creed than a white majority.
While, of course, nobody can predict what people will believe or do fifty years hence, there is strong
evidence that if they behave in any way that resembles current behavior of white, black, brown,
yellow, red or other Americans, they will share the same basic aspirations, core values, and mores.
Moreover, current trends in attitudes which currently reflect increases in the proportion of the non-white population further support the thesis that while the American society may well change, whites
and non-whites will largely change together.
Some findings out of many that could be cited illustrate this point: A 1992 survey finds that
most black and Hispanic Americans (86% and 85%, respectively) seek "fair treatment for all,
without prejudice or discrimination."(15) One may expect that this value is of special concern to
minorities, but white Americans feel the same way. As a result, the proportion of all Americans who
agree with the quoted statement about the importance of fairness is a close 79%.(16)
A poll of New York residents shows that the vast majority of respondents consider teaching
"the common heritage and values that we share as Americans" to be "very important."(17) One may
expect this statement to reflect a white, majoritarian value. However, minorities endorse this position
more strongly than whites: 88% of Hispanics and 89% of blacks, compared to 70% of whites agree.(18)
A nationwide poll finds that equal proportions of blacks and whites - 93% - concur that they would
vote for a black presidential candidate.(19) Another national poll finds that "over 80% of all
respondents in every category - age, gender, race, location, education, and income - agree" with the
statement that freedom must be tempered by personal responsibility.(20)
Far from favoring placing stress on different heritages,
approximately 85% of all parents; 83% of African American parents; 89%
of Hispanic parents; and 88% of foreign-born
parents agree with the statement, "To graduate from high school, students should be required to
understand the common history and ideas that tie all Americans together."(21)
And far from stressing differences in the living conditions and economic status of different
groups, views about the nature of life in America are shared across racial lines. 70 percent of blacks
and 60% of whites agree that "The way things are in America, people like me and my family have
a good chance of improving our standard of living," according to the National Opinion Research
Center's (NORC) 1994 General Social Survey.(22) Likewise, 81% of blacks and 79% of whites report
to NORC that "the quality of life is better in America than in most other advanced industrial
countries."(23) And, roughly 80% of parents surveyed--80% of foreign-born parents, 87% of Hispanic
parents, 73% of African American parents, and 84% of all parents agree, "The U.S. is a unique
country that stands for something special in the world."(24)
Close percentages of blacks (70%) and whites (65%) in a poll conducted in 1994 agree, "The
U.S. has made some or a lot of progress in easing black-white tensions in the past 10 years."(25) In the
same poll, 70% of whites and 65% of blacks say that "racial integration has been good for society."(26)
Sociologist Alan Wolfe finds in his middle-class morality project, which surveyed whites,
blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and "others," that a striking majority of respondents
disagree or strongly disagree with the statement, "There are times when loyalty to an ethnic group
or to a race should be valued over loyalty to the country as a whole."(27)
Even in response to a deliberately loaded question, a 1997 poll shows that similarities
between the races are much larger than differences. Asked, "Will race relations in this country ever
get better?" 43% of blacks and 60% of whites reply in the affirmative.(28) (Pollsters tend to focus on
the 17% who strike a different position rather than on the 43% who embrace the same one. The
difference between 57% of blacks and 40% of whites who do not believe that race relations are
going to get better is also 17%.)
While Americans hold widely ranging opinions on what should be done about various
matters of social policy, people across racial and ethnic categories identify the same issues as
important to them, and to the country. For instance, in a 1996 survey whites, African Americans,
Latinos, and Asian Americans concur that education is "the most important issue facing [their]
community today."(29) Similarly, more than 80% of blacks, Latinos, and whites share the belief that
"it is 'extremely important' to spend tax dollars on 'educational opportunities for children.'"(30) In
another survey, 54% of blacks and 61% of whites rank "increased economic opportunity" as the most
important goal for blacks.(31) And 97% of blacks and 92% of whites rate violent crime a "very serious
or most serious problem" in a 1994 poll.(32)
As we can see in Table 1, Whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans agree
about areas of life that have gotten worse or harder for "people like [them]" between 1985 and 1995.
Between 45% and 55% agree that public schools have worsened; 50% to 60% agree that getting a
good job is more difficult; between 48% and 55% within each group agree that finding "decent,
affordable housing" is tougher, and between 34% and 48% find it more challenging "for families like
[theirs] to stay together."(33)
Other problems that trouble America's communities highlight points of convergence among
the views of members of various racial and ethnic groups. "Between 80 and 90% of black, white, and
'other' Americans agree that it is 'extremely important' to spend tax dollars on 'reducing crime' and
'reducing illegal drug use' among youth."(34) In addition, some shared public policy preferences
emerge. Among whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans surveyed by the
Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard Survey Project, between 75% and 82% of each group
feel "strongly" that Congress should balance the budget. Between 30% and 41% are convinced that
Congress should instate limited tax breaks for business; between 46% and 55% concur that Congress
should cut personal income taxes; between 53% and 58% agree that Congress should reform
Medicare (see Table 2).(35) 67% of all parents, 68% of African American parents, 66% of Hispanic
parents, and 75% of foreign-born parents - close to 70% of each group - tell Public Agenda that the
most important thing for public schools to do for new immigrant children is "to teach them English as quickly as
thing for public schools to do for new immigrant children is "to teach them English as quickly as
possible, even if this means they fall behind in other subjects."(34)
All this is not to suggest that there are no significant differences of opinion along social lines,
especially when matters directly concern race relations. For instance, many whites and many blacks
(although by no means all of either group) take rather different views of the guilt of O.J. Simpson.
One survey will stand for many with similar findings that could be cited: 62% of whites believe
Simpson was guilty of the murder of which he was accused and acquitted, in contrast to 55% of
African Americans who believe he was not-guilty.(37) Likewise, concerning affirmative action, 51%
of blacks in a 1997 poll "favor programs which give preferential treatment to racial minorities," a
much higher percentage than the 21% of whites who favor such programs.(38) And a very large
difference appears when one examines voting patterns. For instance, in 1998, 55% of whites versus
11% African Americans voted for Republican Congressional candidates.(39)
Still, if one considers attitudes toward the basic tenets of the American creed, the
overwhelming majority of blacks are surprisingly accepting of them. A Public Perspective poll from
1998 finds that: "In the United States today, anyone who works hard enough can make it
economically," with 54% blacks and 66% whites affirming. A 1994 national survey reports that: "A
basic American belief has been that if you work hard you can get ahead--reach your goals and get
more." Sixty-seven percent of blacks respond "Yes, still true," an affirmative response rate only ten
percent less than whites. Most blacks (77%) say they prefer equality of opportunity to equality of
results (compared to 89% of whites). When it comes to "Do you see yourself as traditional or old
fashioned on things such as sex, morality, family life, and religion, or not," the difference between
blacks and whites is only 5%, and when asked whether values in America are seriously declining,
the difference is down to one point.
A question from an extensive national survey conducted at the University of Virginia, by
James Davison Hunter and Carl Bowman, asks: "How strong would you say the U.S. decline or
improvement is in its moral and ethical standards?" 23% of blacks and 33% of whites said there was
a strong decline, but 29% of blacks and 24% of whites said the standards were holding steady, and
40% of blacks and 38% of whites said there was a moderate decline.(40) When asked "How strong
would you say the U.S. decline or improvement is in the area of family life?" 18% of blacks and 26%
of whites said there was a strong decline while 42% of blacks and 40% of whites saw a moderate
decline and 31% of blacks and 25% of whites said family life was holding steady.(41) Roughly the
same percentages of blacks and whites strongly advocate balancing the budget, cutting personal
income taxes, reforming the welfare system, and reforming Medicare.(42) Percentages are also nearly
even in responses to questions on abortion and marijuana.(43)
Hunter and Bowman found that "the majority of Americans do not . . . engage in identity
politics - a politics that insists that opinion is mainly a function of racial, ethnic, or gender identity
or identities rooted in sexual preference."(44) While there are some disagreements on specific issues
and policies, this study finds more similarities than discrepancies. Even when asked about such
divisive issues as the direction of changes in race and ethnic relations, the similarities across lines
are considerable. Thirty-two percent of blacks, 37% of Hispanics, and 40% of whites feel these
relations are holding steady; 46%, 53%, and 44%, respectively, feel they have declined (The rest feel
that they have improved).(45) That is, on most issues, four out of five - or more - agreed with one
another, while those who differed amounted to less than 20% of all Americans. There is no anti-anything majority here, nor is there likely to be one in the future.
Similarly, 81% of blacks, like 71% of all Americans, in a 1998 survey think that blacks and
whites "generally get along fairly well."(46) When asked in 1994, "When today's/your children reach
your age do you expect that race relations will have improved, will have worsened, or will be about
the same as today?" a close 48% of blacks and 51% of whites concur that relations will be better.(47)
The Gallup Organization finds in 1998 a similar position among whites and blacks (60% of whites
and 54% of blacks agree) that only a few white people dislike blacks. Only 5% of blacks and 2% of
whites say that "almost all white people dislike blacks." (48)
Notably, nearly half of both blacks and whites want to set racial questions aside as much as
possible. In a 1995 survey for Newsweek, Princeton Survey Research Associates finds that 48% of
blacks and 47% of whites agree that the Census Bureau should stop collecting information on race
and ethnicity "in an effort to move toward a more color-blind society--even if it becomes more
difficult to measure progress on civil rights and poverty programs."(49)
Pollsters - and those who write about their findings - tend to play up small differences and
downplay large similarities. It should hence be stressed that in most of the figures cited above the
differences among the races are much smaller than the similarities. On most issues there are no
findings that could be considered, even by a far-fetched interpretation, to show a "white" versus a
"black" position, nor a single position of any group of people of other colors. That is, none of these
findings suggest - in fact, they directly counter-suggest - that race determines a person's views,
values or votes.
Most interestingly, differences among social groups that include both blacks and whites are
often larger than differences among races. For instance, sociologist Janet Saltzman Chafetz
concludes her study with the statement that "in any dimension one wishes to examine - income,
education, occupation, political and social attitudes, etc. - the range of difference within one race
or gender group is almost as great as that between various groups."(50) A 1994 Kansas City study
shows that "income differences between age groups in a given race are greater than income
differences between entire races."(51)
Rather little attention has been paid in this context to the fact that while African Americans
are the least mainstreamed group, there is a growing black middle class, many members of which
have adopted lifestyles and aspirations similar to those of other middle-class Americans - and which
diverge from those of other black Americans. For instance, a 1998 Wall Street Journal public
opinion poll shows differences within distinct classes of a single race to be greater than differences
among those races, on several, albeit not on all, key issues. For instance, 82% of middle class whites
and 70% of non-middle class whites report satisfaction with their personal finances (a disparity of
12%), while 74% of middle class blacks and 56% of non-middle class blacks report such satisfaction
(a difference of 18%). The differences of 12% and 18% respectively, are higher than the differences
in opinion between the races (8% difference between middle class whites and blacks, and 14%
difference between non-middle class whites and blacks).(52) (William J. Wilson is among the scholars
who have pointed out the significance of class differences when studying racial differences.)
I am not suggesting that race makes no difference in a person's position, feelings, or thinking.
And one can find polls, especially in response to single questions, that show strong racial influence.
However, race does not determine a person's response and often, on all important matters,
Americans of different social backgrounds share many convictions, hopes, and goals, even in recent
years, as we see the beginning of the decline of the white majority. Moreover, each racial group is
far from being homogeneous in itself. Differences within each group abound, further contradicting
any notion of a non-white united majority facing a unanimous white group.
Race: A Social Construction
Many social scientists call into question the very category of race drawn on by those who
foresee increasing racial diversity. Alain Corcos, author of several books on genetics, race, and
racism, notes that "race is a slippery word," one that is understood in varying manners at various
times, one without a single definition we may readily grasp. He writes
Race is a slippery word because it is a biological term, but we use it every day as a
social term. . . . Social, political, and religious views are added to what are seen as
biological differences. . . . Race also has been equated with national origin. . . . with
religion. . . . with language.(53)
The diversity of characteristics by which race is and has been defined points to its
unsatisfactory quality as a tool for categorizing human beings. Even anthropological and genetic
definitions of race prove inadequate, because while each describes divisions among the human
population, each fails to provide reliable criteria for making such divisions. As Corcos notes, they
"are vague. They do not tell us how large divisions between populations must be in order to label
them races, nor do they tell us how many there are."(54) Importantly, "[t]hese things are, of course, all
matters of choice for the classifier."(55)
Considering the biology of race, Corcos notes that biological divisions do not hold up.
"Geographical and social barriers have never been great enough to prevent members of one
population from breeding with members of another. Therefore, any characteristic which may have
arisen in one population at one time will be transferred later to other populations through mating."(56)
Corcos further chronicles scientific and social scientific attempts to categorize humans into races by
such sundry methods as craniology and evaluating skin coloring, nose size and shape, and other
physical characteristics. Despite these efforts, "[s]cientists have been unable to classify humanity into
races using physical characteristics such as skin color, shape of nose or hair, eye color, brain size,
etc. They also have been unable to use characteristics such as blood type or other genetic markers."(57)
Social anthropologist Audrey Smedley, professor at Virginia Commonwealth University,
shares these observations. She admits there are apparent biophysical differences among humans, but
reminds us that "race originated as the imposition of an arbitrary value system on the facts of
biological (phenotypic) variations in the human species." That is, she suggests race is imposed from
without, not generated from within. Race "was the cultural invention of arbitrary meanings applied
to what appeared to be natural divisions within the human species. The meanings had social value
but no intrinsic relationship to the biological diversity itself."(59)
Racial categories are learned rather than innate. Like other cultural traditions such as food,
clothing, and musical preferences, racial categories are passed from generation to generation.
Psychological anthropologist Lawrence Hirschfeld finds "that children as young as three have a
complex understanding of society's construction of racial categories. Children do not sort people into
different races based only on physical differences. . . . [S]ociety's racial' assignments provide more
of a signature of other' than do physical differences. For children, race does not define the person."(60)
To put these concepts in plainer language: at first it seems obvious that there are black,
brown, yellow, and white people. But upon second thought, we realize that there are great differences
within each group, even if we choose to focus on, for example, skin color rather than on, say,
manners. And, these differences do not parallel one another. That is, persons with darker skin are
not necessarily short (or tall), and so on. Race, which has been magnified in recent decades by
identity politics, is but one imprecise social category, one that does not define human conduct any
more than numerous other social attributes (especially income), and often to a much lesser extent.
"Asian Americans" and "Latinos"?
The very notion that there are social groups called "Asian Americans" or "Latinos" is largely
a statistical artifact (reflecting the way social data are coded and reported), promoted by some ethnic
leaders, and a shorthand the media finds convenient. Most so-called Asian Americans do not see
themselves, well, as Asian Americans and many resent being labeled this way. Many Japanese
Americans do not feel a particular affinity to Filipino- or Pakistani Americans, or to Korean
Americans.(61) And the feeling is rather reciprocal. As Professor Paul Watanabe, from the University
of Massachusetts, an expert on Asian Americans and himself an American of Japanese descent, puts
it: "There's this concept that all Asians are alike, that they have the same history, the same language,
the same background. Nothing could be more incorrect."(62)
William Westerman of the International Institute of New Jersey complains about Americans
who tend to ignore the cultural differences among Asian nations, which reflect thousands of years
of tradition. He wonders how the citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico would feel if
they were all treated as indistinguishable "North Americans."(63)
The same holds for the so-called Latinos, including three of my sons. Americans of Hispanic
origin trace their origins to many different countries and cultures.(64) Eduardo Diaz, a social service
administrator, puts it this way: "...there is no place called Hispanica. I think it's degrading to be
called something that doesn't exist. Even Latino is a misnomer. We don't speak Latin."(65) A Mexican
American office worker remarked that when she is called Latina it makes her think "about some kind
of island."(66) Many Americans from Central America think of themselves as "mestizo," a term that
refers to a mixture of Indian and European ancestry. Among those surveyed in the National Latino
Political Survey in 1989, the greatest number of respondents choose to be labeled by their country
of origin, as opposed to "pan-ethnic" terms such as "hispanic" or "latino."(67)
The significance of these and other such data is that far from seeing a country divided into
two or three hardened minority camps, we are witnessing an extension of a traditional American
picture: Americans of different origins identifying with groups of other Americans from the same
country, at least for a while, but not with any large or more lasting group.
Far from there being a new coalition of non-white minorities soon to gain majority status
(something President Clinton points to and Jesse Jackson dreams about as a rainbow, one that
contains all colors but white), the groups differ greatly from each other - and within themselves.
To reiterate, on numerous issues, the differences among various minority groups are as big
or bigger than those between these groups and "Anglo" Americans. For instance, while fewer Cuban
Americans agree with the statement that U.S. citizens should be hired over noncitizens than Anglos
(42% of Cubans compared to 51% of Anglos), other Hispanic groups agree more strongly than
Anglos (55% of Puerto Ricans and 54% of Mexican Americans).(68) Quotas for jobs and college
admissions are favored only by a minority of any of these four groups studied, but Cubans differ
from Mexicans and Puerto Ricans more (by 14%) than from Anglos (by 12%).(69)
The fact that various minorities do not share a uniform view, which could lead them to march
lock-step with other minorities to a new America (as some on the left fantasize), is also reflected in
elections. Cuban Americans tend to vote Republican, while other Americans of Hispanic origin are
more likely to vote Democratic.(70) Americans of Asian origin cannot be counted on to vote one way
or another, either. First generation Vietnamese Americans tend to be strong anti-Communists and
favor the Republican party, while older Japanese- and Chinese Americans are more often Democrats,
and Filipino Americans are more or less equally divided between the parties. (Of the Filipino
Americans registered to vote, 40% list themselves as Democrats, 38% as Republicans, and 17% as
The Lessons of "Non-white" States and Cities
Some social scientists argue that we can learn about the future, in which non-white majorities
will prevail, by examining the states and cities in which minorities already comprise the majorities.
For instance, Peter Morrison, former head of the Population Research Center at RAND, suggests that
one can see the future in cities that have a majority composed of minorities.(72)
One clear way to examine the impact of the rise of non-white majorities is to study election
results. They show, as did the survey data cited above, that people of a given racial background often
do not vote for a candidate of their color - and above all, that non-white groups often do not jointly
support any one candidate of any one color or racial background. Any suggestion that race or
ethnicity determines for whom one casts one's vote is belied by the facts. For example, Peter Skerry
notes that "when first elected to the San Antonio City Council in 1975, [the popular Henry] Cisneros
was the candidate of the Anglo establishment and received a higher proportion of Anglo than
Mexican votes cast."(73)
We often encounter the future first in California.(74) In a 1991 Los Angeles election for the
California State Assembly, Korean American, Filipino American, and Japanese American groups
each ran their own candidate, thus splitting the so called "Asian American" vote, not deterred by the
fact that they thereby ensured the election of a white candidate.(75)
In some cities that contain non-white majorities, we find white, black, and Hispanic mayors
alternating, despite only relatively small changes in the composition of the city population. For
instance, in Los Angeles, which is roughly 64% non-white (specifically, nearly 40% Hispanic, 14%
black, nearly 10% Asian, and .5% American Indian according to the 1990 census),(76) Tom Bradley,
an African American, served as mayor for 20 years, until 1993, when the citizens elected Richard
Riordan, a white politician. New York City and San Francisco also have in recent years alternated
between white and black mayors without witnessing any dramatic changes in the racial and ethnic
backgrounds of those who inhabit those cities.
New York City, comprising approximately 29% blacks, 24% Hispanics, and 7% Asians and
Pacific Islanders, (nearly 60% non-whites)(77), elected the white Ed Koch, then chose the African
American David Dinkins, followed by a white mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.(78) The roughly 55% minority
city San Francisco (approximately 11% black, 30% Asian, 14% Hispanic, and .5% American
Indian)(79), was served by three white mayors from 1976 through 1995, but elected the African
American Willie Brown in 1996. Dallas, which is about 30% black, 21 percent Hispanic, and 2%
Asian had no African American mayor until 1995(80) . Philadelphia, long served by white mayors,
elected Wilson Goode to serve between 1984 and 1992, the city's first African American mayor.
Goode was followed by the white Edward Rendell in this city of nearly 40% blacks, 6 percent
Hispanics, and 3% Asians. The fact that cities like D.C. (nearly 66% black(81)) and Detroit (nearly
76% black(82)) tend to elect black mayors is beside the point, because neither comprises a coalition
of minorities but one minority, and the only one that usually envisions itself as a single group.
Additionally, Virginia, in which whites outnumber minorities significantly (1.5 million
minorities and 4.8 million whites), has elected a black governor. L. Douglas Wilder served from
1989 to January, 1994.(83) In the rural and conservative Second District of Georgia, a two-thirds white
voter majority reelected Sanford D. Bishop Jr., an African American Democrat, to serve as their
representative.(84) Washington state, comprising only 4.5% Asian Americans, elected Gary Locke in
1996, putting in office the first Asian American governor in the mainland United States.(85) While one
can find counter examples, the examples listed here indicate that the majority of minorities does not
necessarily elect people of color, nor does the white majority necessarily elect white officials.
Moreover, I expect more blurring in the future rather than less, given all the various vectors
discussed in this analysis.
Intermarriage and the Rise of "Others"
Last but not least, the figures used by those who project a majority of minorities or the end
of a white majority are misleading. These figures are based on a simplistic projection of past trends,
ignoring the rapidly rising category of racially mixed Americans, the result of the rising number of
cross-racial marriages and a rejection of monoracial categories by some others, especially Hispanic
Americans. One out of 12 marriages in 1995 (8.4%) were interracial/ethnic marriages. Intermarriage
between Asian Americans and whites are particularly common; marriages between Hispanic
Americans and whites are also rather frequent, while such marriages with African Americans are the
least common. About half of third-generation Mexican Americans marry non-Hispanic whites; even
higher numbers of Asian Americans do the same.(86)
Intermarriage between black and other Americans is less common, but also rising. "In 1990,
84% of all married black people over the age of 65 were in both-black marriages, but only 53% of
married blacks under 25 were," according to the Statistical Assessment Service.(87) And the Census
Bureau finds that over the past 20 years, the number of marriages between blacks and whites has
more than quadrupled, increasing from 65,000 in 1970 to 296,000 in 1994.(88) Similarly, researchers
Douglas Besharov and Timothy Sullivan found that the number of black-white marriages constituted
1.7 percent of all marriages in 1960, but represented 6 percent of all marriages in 1990.(89) A study
from the University of Michigan reports that while in the 1940s about 2% of black men married
white women, whereas by the 1980s about 8% did so. And while in the 1940s about 1% of married
black women had married interracially, in the 1980s that figure had reached nearly 3%.(90)
All together, since 1970, the proportion of marriages among people of different racial or
ethnic origin increased by 72%. The 1990 Census notes 1.5 million interracial marriages.(91) Some put
the number of children of mixed-race parents at 3 million, not including Hispanic mestizos and black
Americans who have European or Indian ancestry.(92)
Another indication of some blurring of the lines among the races in American society can be
gleaned from the fact that in the 1990 Census, 4%, or 9.8 million Americans, chose to classify
themselves as "others," i.e., not members of any particular racial group. Even if the trends already
cited do not accelerate and continue only at the present pace, the figures for 2050 may read
something like the following: 51% white; 14% multiracial; 35% minorities. Far from dividing the
country still further, the rise of the "others," along with the fact that more and more Americans will
be of mixed heritage, with divergent backgrounds, will serve to blur the racial lines. That is, while
there may well be more Americans of non-European origin, a growing number of the American
white majority will have an Hispanic daughter- or son-in-law, an Asian stepfather or mother, and a
whole rainbow of cousins. If one must find a simple image for the future of America, Tiger Woods,
or Hawaii, as I see it, seems more appropriate than a view of a country in which Louis Farrakahn and
his followers and the Aryan Nation are threatening one another.
Regrettably, identity politics led the U.S. Census Bureau to drop the category of "other" from
its 2000 Census. This in turn makes it more difficult for Americans of mixed background, or those
who wish to forgo racial labels, from declaring themselves as what I would like to call "All
Americans."(93) Because the way the Census constructs its categories affects the way many others do -
for instance, those overseeing admissions to colleges - the category of other or multiracial
Americans may well not be gaining as fast as it would if the Census followed its 1990 format. This
in effect forces at least 10 million Americans into racial categories they seek to shed or modify, and
makes American society seem more divided along racial lines than it actually is.
Multiculturalism or American Creed?
All this suggests that foreseeable changes in America's demography do not imply that the
American creed is being or will be replaced by something called "multiculturalism." Roberto Suro
reminds us that we do not need to divest ourselves of plurality in order to achieve harmony.
Americans have never thought of themselves as a single people as the Germans do. Although
white, English-speaking Christians of European ancestry have set most of the norms for
American society, there is still no sense of a Volk (a group that shares a common ancestry
and culture and that embodies the national identity.) Ideas, not biology, are what generate
oneness and homogeneity in the United States, and so long as faith in those ideas has
remained strong, the country has shown an extraordinary capacity to absorb people of many
The American creed always has had room for pluralism of sub-cultures, of people upholding some
of the traditions and values of their countries of origin, from praying to playing in their own way. But
American pluralism is, and best will continue to be, bound by a shared framework if America is to
be spared the kind of ethnic tribalism of the kind that - when driven to extremes - tears apart
countries as different as Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and has even raised its ugly head in well-established democracies such as Canada and the United Kingdom (where Scottish separatism is on
The social, cultural, and legal elements that constitute the framework that holds together the
diverse mosaic are well known.(95) They include a commitment by all parties to the democratic way
of life, to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and to mutual tolerance.(96) The mosaic is further
fortified by a strong conviction that one's station in life is determined by hard work and saving, by
taking responsibility for one's self and one's family. And, most Americans still share a strong sense
that while we are different in some ways, in more ways we are joined by the shared responsibilities
of providing a good society for our children and ourselves, one free of racial and ethnic strife, and
providing the world with a model of a country whose economy and polity are thriving.
Amitai Etzioni, "New Issues: Rethinking Race," Public Perspective June/July 1997, 39-40.
There are strong sociological reasons to argue that the US Census should introduce a new
racial category, All-American, into its next count. Others have suggested that this category be named
"multi-racial." Inclusion of such a category would allow millions of Americans who are not, and do
not see themselves, as members of any one race to be recognized as people with a blended heritage,
reflecting the mixed heritage of America itself. While the actual census is still more than two years
away, the decision how Americans may define themselves is going to be made by the Office of
Management and Budget and the Department of Commerce later this year. The importance of the
decision ranges well beyond changing the check-off boxes on the new Census forms.
In the 1990 Census the government required Americans to define their race using one of 16
categories. The main groupings are white and black, which in 1990 accounted for 92% of all
Americans. (The remaining racially defined categories are Native American, Aleut, Eskimo, and ten
variations of Asian or Pacific Islanders.) And, for the first time, the Census recognized that a
growing number of Americans are of mixed racial background. For instance, Asian and white
Americans intermarry at a high rate and have children who compose a rapidly growing race of
blended Americans. Since 1990, the number of interracial children has quadrupled -- now reaching
the two-million mark. Millions of other Americans are viewed as members of one race but see
themselves as members of another. The 1990 Census allowed these Americans to select the
marginalizing label of "other." Despite the unattractiveness of this characterization, which smacks
of outsider, about 9.8 million, 4% of the total population, chose this designation rather than be
defined according to the established mono-racial categories.
The question now is if future censuses should allow people to select a multi-racial category.
Suggestions to include the multi-racial category send some African American leaders ballistic.
Abraham K. Sundiata, chairman of the Afro-American studies Department of Brandeis, sees here
a drive to undermine black solidarity. He fears that in cities where blacks now hold majorities, the
new category will divide them and undermine their dominance. All this will happen, he implies,
because some African Americans will somehow be forced into the new multi-racial category. He
disregards that people will still be free to check the box of their choice, even if the new category is
Another reason several African American leaders object to a multi-racial category is that race
data is used for the enforcement of civil rights legislation in employment, voting rights, housing and
mortgage lending, health care services, and educational opportunities.(1) They fear that the category
could decrease the number of blacks in official statistics, and thus undermine efforts to enforce
anti-discrimination statutes and undercut numerous social programs based on racial quotas.
This fear was rather explicitly stated during a recent Congressional hearing by Representative
Carrie Meek who stated:
I understand how Tiger Woods and the rest of them feel. But no matter how they feel from a personal
standpoint, we're thinking about the census and reporting accuracy . . . The multi-racial category
would cloud the count of [the] discrete minorities who are assigned to a lower track in public
schools, . . . kept out of certain occupations and whose progress toward seniority or promotion has
been skewered . . . Lastly, Mr. Chairman, multi-racial categories will reduce the level of political
representation for minorities.(2)
What is a Race Anyhow?
One may wonder if the number of Americans involved is large enough to justify what at first
seems like a tempest in a tea pot. The underlying reason is that one tends to underestimate the
number of Americans who might qualify for the new category because one assumes that only those
of a mixed racial heritage may fall into the All-American box. Actually there are considerable
differences in color and other racial features within all racial groups, which makes the question of
who is in versus out much more flexible than often seems. For instance, many dark-skinned
Hispanics who do not see themselves as black, and many light-skinned African Americans who do
not wish to pass as white, would be free to choose the new category.
One should also note that those who study race professionally, especially physical and
cultural anthropologists, strongly object to the concept of racial categorization. They point out that
no single gene can be used to differentiate one race from another; moreover, indicators from blood
types to texture of hair vary a great deal both among and within groups considered to be of one race.
Indeed, the American Anthropological Association passed a resolution stating that "differentiating
species into biologically defined 'race' has proven meaningless and unscientific."
The Merits of a New Category
Dropping the whole social construction of race does not seem in the cards, even if the most
far-reaching arguments against Affirmative Action and for a "color blind" society, win the day.
However, there are strong sociological reasons to favor the inclusion of a multi-racial category in
the 2000 Census.
Introducing a multi-racial category has the potential to soften racial lines that now divide
America by rendering them more like economic differences and less like caste lines. Sociologists
have long observed that a major reason the United States experiences relatively few confrontations
along class lines is that Americans believe they can move from one economic strata to another. (For
instance, workers become foremen, and foremen become small businessmen, who are considered
middle class.) Moreover, there are not sharp class demarcation lines as there are in Britain; in
America many workers consider themselves middle class, dress up to go to work, and hide their tools
and lunches in briefcases, while middle class super-liberal professors join labor unions. A major
reason confrontations in America occur more often along racial lines is that color lines currently
seem rigidly unchangeable.
If the new category is allowed, if more and more Americans will choose this category in
future decades, as there is every reason to expect given the high rates of intermarriage and a desire
by millions of Americans to avoid being racially boxed in, the new Census category may go a long
way in determining if America in the next century will be less caste-like and more class-like, a
society in which differences are blurred.
Skeptics may suggest that how one marks a tiny box on the 2000 Census form is between
ones' self and the keepers of statistics. But, as this sociologist sees it, if the multi-racial concept is
allowed into the national statistics, it will also enter the social vocabulary. It will make the American
society less stratified along racial lines, less rigidly divided, and thus more communitarian.
Beyond the Census
The best indication that changes in the Census may lead to more encompassing changes in
our social categories and thinking is supported by the fact that these processes already have begun
to unfold. In California, where our future is often previewed, there is already an Association for
Multi-Ethnic Americans, and in several states, legislation has been introduced to allow the
multi-racial category on school forms. Two states, Georgia and Indiana, have required the
multi-racial category to be used by their government agencies.
The Ultimate Question
At stake is the question of what kind of America we envision for the longer run. Some see
a complete blur of racial lines with Americans constituting some kind of new hybrid race. Time ran
a cover story on the subject, led by a computer composite of a future American with some features
of each race, a new rather handsome breed (almond shaped eyes, straight but dark hair, milk
chocolate skin). This would take much more than a change in racial nomenclature, but it could serve
as a step in that direction.
Others are keen to maintain strict racial lines and oppose intermarriage; these same people
often seek to maintain the races as separate "nations." (The term nation is significant because it
indicates a high degree of tribalism.) In a world full of interracial strife, this attitude -- however
understandable its defensive nature in response to racial prejudice and discrimination -- leaves at
least this communitarian greatly troubled. The more communitarian view seems to be one in which
those who seek to uphold their separate group identities will do so (hopefully viewing themselves
and being viewed as subgroups of a more encompassing community rather than as separate nations)
but those who seek to redefine themselves will be enabled to do so, leading to an ever larger group
that is free from racial categorization.
If a multi-racial category is included in the 2000 Census, further down the road, maybe as
early as the 2010 Census, we may wish to add one more category, that of "multi-ethnic" origin, one
which most Americans might wish to check. Then we would live to recognize the full importance
of my favorite African American saying: We came in many ships but we now ride in the same boat.
1. House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Census 2000, 106th Congress, 1st
session, April 23, 1997. Testimony of Bernard L. Ungar, Associate Director, Federal Management
and Workforce Issues, General Government Division of United States, General Accounting Office.
2. House Committee, Census 2000.
Are the Problems of People Like You Getting Worse?
"During the past ten years, has XXX gotten better, worse, or stayed the same (OR gotten easier or
harder) for people like you (OR families like yours)?"
(% saying "worse" or "harder")
White R's African Latinos Asian-Am. R's
N=802 N=252 N=353 N=474
Public schools 55 57 45 47
To get good jobs 56 60 50 56
To find decent, 55 49 55 48
For families like 45 48 40 34
yours to stay together
Health care 44 39 30 30
Source: Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard Survey Project 1995: 75-76
Policy Preferences for Congressional Action
"For each issue, please tell me if you think this is something Congress should do or should not do"
(% saying "strongly feel Congress should do")
White R's African Latinos Asian-Am. R's
N=802 N=252 N=353 N=474
Limited tax breaks 39 41 41 30
Balance the budget 82 79 75 75
Cut personal income 52 50 55 46
Reform the welfare 83 73 81 68
Reform medicare 53 58 59 58
Put more limits 35 32 50 24
Limit affirmative 38 25 30 27
Source: Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard Survey Project 1995: 73-74
* I am indebted for research assistance on this paper to Barbara Fusco and Rachel Mears. I am also grateful to Philip Selznick and Alan Ehrenhalt for their comments on this paper. For a previous, but substantially different, publication concerning these ideas, see Amitai Etzioni, "Some Diversity," Society, July/August 1998, 59-61, and Chapter 7 of The New Golden Rule by Amitai Etzioni.
1. Cited in John Leo, "A Dubious 'Diversity' Report," U.S. News & World Report, 23 June 1997, 15.
2. Speech by President Clinton Regarding Race Relations in America, The University of California at San Diego, Federal News Service, 14 June 1997, White House Briefing section.
3. John F. Harris and John E. Yang, "Clinton Hopes to Prepare Nation For End of Clear White Majority," Washington Post, 14 June 1997, A2.
4. Speech by President Clinton, Federal News Service.
5. Arthur Schlesinger, The Disunity of America (New York: Norton, 1992), 15, 16.
6. Arthur Schlesinger, The Disunity of America, 17-18.
7. Arthur Schlesinger, The Disunity of America, 20. Cited in O.R. Dathorne, In Europe's Image: The Need for American Multiculturalism (Westport, Ct.: Bergin & Garvey, 1994), 113.
8. Dale Maharidge, The Coming White Minority: California's Eruptions and America's Future (New York: Times Books/Random House, 1996), 1.
9. Maharidge, The Coming White Minority, 11.
10. Maharidge, The Coming White Minority, 10.
11. Maharidge, The Coming White Minority, 280-81.
12. John Isbister, "Is America Too White?" in "What, Then, is the American, This New Man?" Center for Immigration Studies Center Paper 13, August 1998, 25.
13. Isbister, "Is America Too White?" August 1998, 29.
14. Donald Gabard and Terry Cooper problematize such determinism, specifically common understandings of race based on the existence of genetic differences among the races. They note, "No discrete package of gene differences has ever been described between two races, only relative frequencies of one or another trait," and, "It is reported today that there are more genetic variations within the separate races than between them." Donald L. Gabard and Terry L. Cooper, "Race: Constructs and Dilemmas," Administration & Society, September 1998. (Citing R. Cooper and R. David, "The Biological Concept of Race and Its Application to Public Health and Epidemiology," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2 (1986): 97-116 at 101 and D.R. Williams, "The Concept of Race in Health Services Research: 1966 to 1990," Health Services Research 29 (1994): 262-74).
15. Democracy's Next Generation II: A Study of American Youth on Race (Washington, D.C.: People for the American Way, 1992), 57-58.
17. New York State United Teachers 1991 Education Opinion Survey: Final Report (Albany, New York: New York State United Teachers, 1991), section II, 5, 8.
19. Douglas Turner, "Amid the Black-White Divide, Convergence of Some Attitudes," Buffalo News, 11 June 1997, 6A.
20. Stephen Covey, "What Americans Agree On," USA Weekend, 6 July 1997, 4.
21. Public Agenda, "A Lot to be Thankful For: What Parents Want Children to Learn About America," November 1998. Available:
22. Survey by the National Opinion Research Center-General Social Survey, 1994. Cited in "Thinking About Ethnicity," Public Perspective, February/March 1998, 59.
23. Survey by the National Opinion Research Center-General Social Survey, 1994, 58.
24. Public Agenda, "A Lot to be Thankful For" Available:
25. Gerald F. Feib and Joe Davidson, "Shades of Gray: Whites, Blacks Agree on Problems; the Issue is How to Solve Them," Wall Street Journal, 29 September 1994, A6.
27. Alan Wolfe, One Nation, After All: What Middle-Class Americans Really Think About God, Country, Family, Racism, Welfare, Immigration, Homosexuality, Work, the Right, the Left, and Each Other (New York: Viking, 1998), 158.
28. Time/CNN poll from September 23 to October 2, 1997 by Yankelovich Partners Inc. Cited in Time, 24 November 1997, 90.
29. U.S. Department of Justice, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1996 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 115. Cited in Jennifer Hochschild and Reuel R. Rogers, "Race Relations in a Diversifying Nation," forthcoming in New Directions: African Americans in a Diversifying Nation, ed. James Jackson (Washington, D.C.: National Policy Association).
30. U.S. Department of Justice, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1996, 141.
31. Feib and Davidson, "Shades of Gray," A1.
32. Feib and Davidson, "Shades of Gray," A6.
33. Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard Survey Project, The Four Americas: Government and Social Policy Through the Eyes of America's Multi-racial and Multi-ethnic Society (Washington, D.C.: Washington Post, 1995), 75-76. Cited in Jennifer Hochschild and Reuel R. Rogers, "Race Relations in a Diversifying Nation," forthcoming in New Directions: African Americans in a Diversifying Nation, ed.
James Jackson (Washington, D.C.: National Policy Association).
More specifically, the following percentages said that each area was "worse" or "harder": public schools--whites 55%, African Americans 57%, Latinos 45%, Asian Americans 47%; getting good jobs--whites 56%, African Americans 60%, Latinos 50%, Asian Americans 56%; finding decent, affordable housing--whites 55%, African Americans 49%, Latinos 55%, Asian Americans 48%; for families like theirs to stay together--whites 45%, African Americans 48%, Latinos 40%, Asian Americans 34%.
34. U.S. Department of Justice, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1996, 141-45.
35. Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard Survey Project, The Four Americas.
More specifically, the following percentages of each group felt "strongly" that Congress should take action on each item: balance the budget--whites 82%, African Americans 79%, Latinos 75%, Asian Americans 75%; limited tax breaks for business--whites 39%, African Americans 41%, Latinos 41%, Asian Americans 30%; cut personal income taxes--whites 52%, African Americans 50%, Latinos 55%, Asian Americans 46%; reform Medicare--whites 53%, African Americans 58%, Latinos 59%, Asian Americans 58%.
36. Public Agenda, "A Lot to be Thankful For: What Parents Want Children to Learn About America," November 1998. Available:
37. Jerelyn Eddings, "Black & White in America," U.S. News & World Report, 16 October 1995, 32.
38. Survey by CBS News, New York Times, and Public Agenda. Available: http://www.publicagenda.org:80/CGI/getdoc...?ID=119242663xOy59&pg=race_redflagld.html.
39. Survey by Voter News Service, November 1998. Cited in "The Shape of the American Electorate at Century's End," Public Perspective, December/January 1999, 69.
40. James Davison Hunter and Carl Bowman, The State of Disunion: 1996 Survey of American Political Culture, Volume Two: Summary Tables (Ivy, VA: In Medias Res Educational Foundation, 1996), Table 4.E.
41. Hunter and Bowman, The State of Disunion, Table 4.C.
42. Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard Survey Project, The Four Americas, 73-74.
43. Hunter and Bowman, The State of Disunion, Table 94, Table 93.I.
44. James Davison Hunter and Carl Bowman, The State of Disunion: 1996 Survey of American Political Culture, Volume One: Summary Report (Ivy, VA: In Medias Res Educational Foundation, 1996),34.
45. Hunter and Bowman, The State of Disunion, Table 4.J.
46. Survey by Roper Starch Worldwide. Cited in "Thinking About Ethnicity," Public Perspective, February/March 1998,
47. Survey by Louis Harris and Associates, 26-29 October 1995. Cited in "Thinking About Ethnicity," Public Perspective, February/March 1998, 59.
48. Survey by the Gallup Organization, 5-7 October 1995. Cited in "Thinking About Ethnicity," Public Perspective, February/March 1998, 58. 31% of blacks and 33% of whites stated that many whites "dislike blacks.
49. Survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates for Newsweek, 1-3 February 1995. Cited in "Rethinking Race," Public Perspective, June/July 1997, 41.
50. Janet Saltzman Chafetz, "Minorities, Gender, Mythologies, and Moderation," Responsive Community, Winter 1993/94, 41.
51. E. Thomas McLanahan, "Do 'Disparities' Always Prove the Existence of Discrimination?" Kansas City Star, 25 October 1994, B5.
52. John Simons, "Even Amid Boom Times, Some Insecurities Die Hard," Wall Street Journal, 10 December 1998, A10.
53. Alain Corcos, The Myth of Human Races (East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, 1984), 10-11.
54. Corcos, The Myth of Human Races, 12.
56. Corcos, The Myth of Human Races, 201.
58. Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1993), 22.
60. Lawrence A. Hirschfeld, personal communication to Melvin D. Williams. Cited in Melvin D. Williams, Race for Theory and the Biophobia Hypothesis: Humanics, Humanimals, and Macroanthropology (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998), 96-7.
61. Lena H. Sun, "Cultural Differences Set Asian Americans Apart: Where Latinos Have Common Threads, They Have None," Washington Post, 10 October 1995.
62. John Powers, "The Myth of the Model Minority," Boston Globe Magazine, 9 January 1994, 8.
63. Daniel O'Donnell, "Standing on Ceremony," Ashbury Park Press, 1 September 1996, D1.
64. Rodolfo O. de la Garza, "Introduction," in Ignored Voices: Public Opinion Polls and the Latino Community, ed. Rodolfo O. de la Garza (Austin, Texas: Center for Mexican American Studies, 1987), 4.
65. Ferdinand M. De Leon and Sally MacDonald, "Name Power--Taking Pride, and Control, in Defining Ourselves," Seattle Times, 28 June 1992, A1.
67. Rodolfo O. de la Garza, "Researchers Must Heed New Realities When They Study Latinos in the U.S.," Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 June 1993, B1.
68. Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Louis DeSipio, F. Chris Garcia, and John Garcia, Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban Perspectives on American Politics (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1992), 102.
69. de la Garza, DeSipio, Garcia, and Garcia, Latino Voices, 110.
70. de la Garza, "Researchers Must Heed New Realities When They Study Latinos in the U.S.," B1-3.
71. Matt Miller, "Asian-Americans: a political enigma," San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 September 1996, A1.
72. Peter A. Morrison and William A.V. Clark, Demographic Underpinnings of Political Empowerment in Multi-Minority Cities (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1993), 3.
73. Peter Skerry, Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority (New York: Free Press, 1993), 34.
74. Mirroring many counties in California, between 1992 and 1998, 43 U.S. counties became majority-minority. Overall, 225 counties in the country comprise non-white majorities. (Nancy Cleeland, "Beyond 2000: Orange County Diversity," Los Angeles Times, 28 September 1998, A1.)
75. Matt Miller, "Asian-Americans, A1.
76. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995 (115th Edition) (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1995), 45.
78. For an insightful analysis of politics, race, and ethnicity in New York City, see Jim Sleeper, The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1990).
79. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995, 46.
80. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995, 44; Linda Kanamine, "Dallas Mayor: First for Texas," USA Today, 8 May 1995, 3A.
81. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995, 46.
82. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995, 44.
83. 1992 data from Statistical Compendia Branch, Data User Services Division, Bureau of the Census, 1994 County & City Data Book, 2-3. Minorities in the Data Book are categorized as black, Hispanic, Asian, and Eskimo or Aleut.
84. Kevin Sack, "In the Rural White South, Seeds of a Biracial Politics," New York Times, 30 December 1998, A1.
85. Henry Weinstein, "Elections '96: 7 Democrats, 4 in GOP Win Governorships," Los Angeles Times, 6 November 1996, A16.
86. Linda Chavez, "Response to Is America Too White?" in "What, Then, is the American, This New Man?" Center for Immigration Studies Center Paper 13, August 1998, 35.
87. Statistical Assessment Service, "Can Intermarriage Make You Smarter and Richer?" Vital STATS, August 1997. Available: http://www.stats.org/newsletters/9708/interrace2.htm.
88. Larry Bivins, "Experts: Increase in Mixed Marriages Gives Mixed Signals that Racism's on Rocks," Detroit News, 6 October 1996, B5.
90. Christopher Shea, "Intermarriage Rates Found to Be On the Rise," Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 May 1997, A14.
91. Anne-Marie O'Connor, "Race: Diversity at Work Has Role in Sharp Rise," Los Angeles Times, 27 April 1998, A1.
92. Michael Lind, "The Beige and the Black," New York Times Magazine, 16 August 1998, 38.
93. Amitai Etzioni, "New Issues: Rethinking Race," The Public Perspective, June/July 1997, 39-40. See Appendix.
94. Roberto Suro, Strangers Among Us: How Latino Immigration is Transforming America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), 303-04.
95. Peter I. Rose gives us an important understanding of cultural pluralism as first substantially presented by philosopher Horace Kallen in the early 1900s: "The basic premise was that there is strength in diversity, that being proud of one's past and appreciating where one came from complements rather than compromises membership in an ever more heterogeneous society. . . Kallen saw the orchestra-that is, the society-as consisting of groups of instruments (nationalities) playing their separate parts while together making beautiful music resonant with harmony and good feeling." Peter I. Rose, Tempest-Tost: Race, Immigration, and the Dilemmas of Diversity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 65.
96. Amitai Etzioni, The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (New York: Basic Books, 1996), 189-216.