Thursday, August 14, 2008

Demographics - The truth in the math

I just watched an NBC news segment on the growing minority segments of the US population. The story cites that the 49 /51 flop will occur earlier than initially estimated. But as I listened to the story, it dawned on me that this is more media hype or more correctly altered calculations. You can get numbers to say whatever you wish, if you set the problem up probably.

I want you to think about the basis of calculating ethnicities. If a white and a white have a child, the child is considered white. There is no other way to claim that you are “white”. If a white mixes with a black, then the baby is considered Black. Even if that Black baby grows up and marries a white, and their child grows up and marries white, and their child grows up and marries a white, and so on, each child is still considered Black. So is the Black demographic growing or are we using an out dated mode of figuring. At what point, is the person “white” again or are you forever “marked” (Not that race should matter anyway. But since the media is hyping it and the government continues to collect data on it, I guess it does matter). The same applies, with Hispanic growth but with even greater momentum. Being Hispanic does not stop you from being white or black, but as soon as any generation marries into the Hispanic line, all generations after that are considered Hispanic thereafter, no matter how small the bloodline. So how do blacks and Hispanics become the largest segments of our population, by maintaining the belief that any mixing of white blood taints it and it becomes other – whatever that other is. Maybe instead of worrying with this flip / flop should happen, we should either stop tracking this information or come up with an updated definition of ethnicities and race.

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