BIPOC lives really do matter in new census report
Originally Published in The Hill
Opinion by Brad Bannon – August 19, 2021
Black, Indigenous, People of color (BIPOC) lives really do matter in the new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The 2020 Census indicates the actual number of white people has declined for the first time in the history of the decennial count conducted since 1790. In 1980, four out of every five Americans identified as non-Hispanic white now it’s less than three of five.
Meanwhile, there has been a significant surge in the number of people of color. The new numbers indicate that more than four of every 10 Americans are now non-white.
The complexion of the nation has changed even more dramatically among young people. More than half of the population under 18 years of age identifies as a member of a minority group. This trend indicates that America is undergoing a conversion from monochrome to a technicolor nation.
The decline of the white population in the United States is probably the predicate for the increase in racial tension in the United States. The groundbreaking alterations in American likely society scare the living hell out of many Americans.
The smart reaction to these complex social changes would be to facilitate the transition from a white culture to a multiracial society. But the reaction among many Americans is not to accept the inevitable but to fight the metamorphosis tooth and nail.
The reaction to the growth of diversity manifests itself in the fight to ban the teaching of critical race theory, vilification of immigrants and efforts to make it hard for racial minorities to vote. But demography is destiny. You can slow change down, but you can’t stop it.
Corporate America is catching on. Just check out the growing number of TV commercials with interracial couples. While corporate America reaches out and wins new customers with multi-cultural appeals, the Republican Party ignores the transition and hunkers down to play to its declining base of older white voters. This is a recipe for a political car wreck if there ever was one.
In the short term, the GOP will benefit from the new numbers since there will be more electoral votes and seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from four states won by former President Donald Trump in 2020 compared to two that went for President Joe Biden.
But even in Texas, with two new House seats and electoral votes, the minority population is increasing. The Anglo population there is shrinking; the state led the nation in population growth among African and Hispanic Americans. The GOP now has a lock on the Lone Star state but the slide in the Anglo population makes it a tempting target for Democrats.
In the long run, the slow but steady decline of white voters will be a major problem for Republicans unless they make amends to minority voters for decades and race-baiting. But that’s like asking a leopard to change its spots and stop eating gazelles. It likely won’t happen anytime soon.
The 2020 presidential election was a battle between the growing coalition of minority voters and the aging population of white voters. Trump won a clear majority of the white vote in his failed reelection campaign.
But it didn’t matter because Biden won nine-tenths of the Black vote and two-thirds of the Brown vote for a decisive win. Things will only get worse for the GOP as the white population decreases and the number of minority voters increases.
The election of Kamala Harris, who is biracial, as Biden’s vice president is a clear demonstration of demographic transformation in America.
Before Biden and Trump, Barack Obama was elected president twice. But his tenure sparked as much backlash against racial justice as it did progress. His success prompted older white Americans to dig in their heels to fight the last stand against the racial shakeup in the United States.
Trump took advantage of the resistance to these social trends to win the White House in 2016 with dog-whistle racial overtures to the forces of reaction.
Demography is destiny and America’s destiny is to be a nation clothed in a coat of many colors. The future and fortune of the United States depend upon having leaders who can successfully manage this transition of the nation into a multiracial society. The leadership of the Democratic Party looks a lot more like America’s future than GOP elites do.
The dry data in the new census report doesn’t do justice to the profound social changes that are transforming America. But the rise of politicians like Barack Obama, Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), to national power and prominence, speaks volumes about the future of the United States and the Democratic Party.
Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. His podcast, Deadline D.C. with Brad Bannon, airs on Periscope TV and the Progressive Voices Network. His Twitter handle is @BradBannon.
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