August 13, 2007

How to Identify a Race

It's not like NPR isn't a good news source, even if it's quite obviously left-leaning in its coverage. I, as you might imagine, have no real problem with that.

But I'm trying to figure out why this is news?

It not just that non-whites are now a majority in 10% of the "most populous counties"; but that the so-called minorities are somehow transformed into a homogeneous blob. According to this story, the only important thing about non-whites is that they're non-white.

Apparently, there's an influx of Asians in Chicago, Hispanics in Washington, blacks in Houston. My favorite line from the story so far:

"Black populations declined in metropolitan New Orleans..."


Is there any way this isn't ridiculous? First off, I can name a few different "Hispanic" cultures, a couple "Black" ones, and a dozen "Asian" ethnic groups without even trying hard. Okay, I'm biased: I live on the west coast of Canada. If you can find someone here who couldn't name a dozen different Asian cultured, then that's only because they're too young to speak yet.

For the record I'm white, whatever the hell that means. If you say it's "European", doesn't that mean Slavs are white? How about the Italians, or the Spanish? I suppose not Spanish, given that "Hispanic" is apparently a category... If you say "I meant Northern European", then are you saying Ukrainians are white, Russians are white, the Irish are white?

And yet the title of the tale says it all: " Minorities Now Majority in One-Third of Most-Populous Counties".

And this means... what, exactly? More of the country will be exposed to the dangers of really good food?


I think we have the way to divide all the races into their proper categories: If you have a cookbook, you're a race. Fair enough?


posted by Thursday at 11:25 am


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