Tag Archives: race

National Geographic – What Americans Will Look Like in 2050

MY NOTE:   I hope this means at some point the government will stop basing programs like the Census on our race/nationality/ethnicity.  I think I am mostly Irish, however, without looking on Ancestry.com for a long time even I don’t know where I came from.  We are Americans, the mixed blood mutts of the world.  Just like pound puppies, us mixed-breed melting pot folks excel as we merge our DNA, cultures and traditions.  Let’s hope we continue to marry and procreate whomever we wish until race loses any meaning to us.

National Geographic

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, calling on writer Lise Funderburg and Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And like this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

Wow. These are obviously not Photoshopped projections, but real people, meaning tomorrow’s America lives among us now in every “Blackanese,” “Filatino,” “Chicanese” and “Korgentinian” you meet at the DMV, grocery store or wherever it is you hang out.

Their numbers will only grow. The U.S. Census Bureau let respondents check more than one race for the first time in 2000, and 6.8 million people did so. By 2010 that figure had increased to nearly 9 million, a spike of about 32%.

This is certainly encouraging, but there are obvious flaws with tracking racial population growth through a survey that lets people self-identify, especially since so many familial, cultural and even geographical factors influence your decision to claim one or multiple races. Complicating things further is the definition of race itself: It has no basis in biology, yet its constructions, functions and mythologies irrevocably shape the world as we know it.

So is an end approaching? Will increased racial mixing finally and permanently redefine how we imagine our racial identities? The latest figures suggest we’re getting more comfortable with the idea, or perhaps that we simply give fewer shits than ever before. Either would be a step in the right direction.

The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that 15% of new marriages in 2010 were between individuals of different races. It’s unclear whether they’ve included same-sex unions in the count, but as currently stated, this number is more than double what it was 25 years ago. The proportion of intermarriages also varied by race, with “9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians [marrying] outside their ethnic or racial group.” Interracial unions now account for 8.4% of all marriages in the U.S.

Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

In addition, more than 7% of the 3.5 million children born in 2009, the year before the 2010 census, were of two or more races.

The future: As for how this looks moving forward, studies have repeatedly shown that young people, especially those under 30, are significantly more amenable to interracial relationships than older adults, while college grads are more likely to have positive attitudes toward them than those with only a high school diploma. What does this mean for Millennials? As a population composed largely of over-educated 20-somethings, our generation is primed and expected to play a major role in populating this projected future America. That goes double if you live in a Western state, where people intermarry at higher rates; Hawaii is winning at the moment, with 4 of 10 new marriages identifying as interracial.

This doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine, rainbows and butterflies, however. Stark segregation still plagues many parts of the country. Poverty remains a barrier to social mobility and its consequent opportunities to interact with a diverse range of people. Sadly, the inequalities that shape American society as a whole are equally present in interracial relationship patterns. Time will tell if this holds for the long term.

But in the meantime, let us applaud these growing rates of intermixing for what they are: An encouraging symbol of a rapidly changing America. 2050 remains decades away, but if these images are any preview, it’s definitely a year worth waiting for.

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Who Is Better to Lead the Free World – WITHOUT talking about the two current candidates!

Forget Obama, Romney and other candidates.  Forget conservative and liberal.  Forget Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green Party, Independent, etc.

Here are the questions:  Does a person’s cultural and financial history matter to you for President?  If so, what is the perfect mix?

1)  Does it make you more inclined to vote for someone if they are the same race, the same gender, from the same state or city?  Why?  I have voted for a whole spectrum, none of that entered my mind, but I have heard others say it matters.  I voted for Alan Keyes, a black Republican for President eight years before Obama ran.  I am glad we overcame the hurdle of electing a black man to office less than 50 years after people died in the Civil Rights movement for their equality.  But should I care he is black and be happy?  Shouldn’t we be color blind and not remark on his race?

I grew up dirt poor, white trash.  We grew our own food, sewed our own clothing, even gathered wood and nails from old collapsed barns to make our own lean to house to live in.  My father was permanently disabled when I was around three, so we got free USDA crap cheese and milk, social security checks and lived like crap.  My father and mother abused me and my brother and sisters terribly.  My brother abused me as well.  I went to school with bloody pants from being whipped.  My father died when I was 15, my mother took off to another state shortly after that.  I raised myself through high school.  I went on to the US Air Force, then achieved degrees in electronic engineering, computer science and economics and finance.  I worked like a banshee and made six figures.  Now I have “retired” to be a novelist.

Am I better as a leader because I was poor and abused?  Am I worse as a leader because I was a CFO and CEO and a 1%er?  Does it matter I served in the military?  Does it matter I served in public and private sectors, that I made payroll and developed jobs?

What if I was born with a silver spoon?  From birth I hobnobbed with power, like the Kennedy clan, or the Rockefellers.  Does that make me out of touch?  Or would that make me a better leader because I know how to use power, who has it, how to play the game to achieve goals.  I would be comfortable in the halls of power and be experienced at the landmines?

If I was poor and struggled and achieved…  Does that mean I am better?  What if I get to Washington and have no idea what to do?  I only know my small group from my home town to call upon.  I don’t understand how to get things done in the big time and get frustrated?

These issues are shown to us in beautiful films at conventions, images on our screen, pundits and propagandists, charts, jokes, pretty much everywhere.  But do they really mean something?

2)  Having read the above…  Who is your perfect candidate?  No names.  Describe their life.  I would appreciate if you feel comfortable answering here, but even if you just think about it yourself, hopefully this has been thought provoking.


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