Monday August 28 will mark 54 years since Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. Within the last year America has elected a new President who ran on a racist platform, 95% of his voters were American whites, the majority of which voted 4 years ago for Barak Obama. There is a current debate over whether or not monuments to America’s racist history should be legitimized by being on public display in prominent spaces, and white supremacist no longer wear hoods to hide their faces at rallies boldly proclaiming a return to a segregated country. What has happened? Is Dr. King’s dream of black and white together dead? Do American whites no longer want a society of equality for all people?
No the dream of Dr. King is not dead and yes the vast majority American whites still want a society of equality for all people. But that same vast majority of American whites are concerned about the demographic changes taking place in America.
The 2014-15 school year marked the first time that minority student enrollment in public schools surpassed that of white students. The Pew Research Center reports that Census Bureau 2015 figures show that just over half – 50.2% – of U.S. babies younger than 1 year old were racial or ethnic minorities. In sheer numbers, there were 1,995,102 minority babies compared with 1,982,936 non-Hispanic white infants. The change among newborns is part of a projected U.S. demographic shift from a majority-white nation to one with no racial or ethnic majority group that is based on long-running immigration and birth trends.
The 2008 election of Barak Obama as the first black President, the likelihood that he was going to be followed by the nation’s first elected female President were glaring reminders of the change to come.
A small minority of American racist whites think American society is headed for destruction, because inferior people of color are becoming the majority population of America.
The large majority of American non-racist whites could care less about what color the majority is but they do have two concerns, 1) how the new majority will treat American whites who have a past history of discrimination against non-white Americans and 2) what impact the new majority will have on existing American culture.
These concerns explains the following 3 contradictions:
Vote for President– American whites who voted twice for the first black President, in 2016 voted for a person who ran on a racist platform
Financial improprieties– American whites were in an uproar over the non-profit Bill & Hillary Clinton Foundation, claiming it was a secret way for people to pay the Clintons for their influence. They demanded that if she were elected it would have to cease its charity work. The same American whites have turned a blind eye to the fact that President Trump’s for-profit company that he still owns as President, leases a building from the federal government for his hotel that everybody from people who do business with the government to foreign governments and diplomats spend money at, a clear indirect way to secretly pay someone off.
Government improprieties– American whites demanded numerous investigations into the email server of Hillary Clinton, saying she put the nation’s security at risk by her use of it. Now American whites seem to have very little interest in the 2 or 3 investigations into whether or not President Trump colluded with the Russians to put the security of American elections at stake.
American whites have given President Trump the same “better to err on the side of caution”, that a majority of all Americans gave former President George W Bush following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The over-reach of the Patriot Act and President Bush’s disastrous no weapons of mass destruction found, pre-emptive Iraq war, were tolerated by Americans as a sacrifice for peace and security.
In President Trump’s case the majority of American whites hold their nose and look the other way through his dog whistle white nationalist rhetoric, his discriminatory immigration policies and his executive actions of granting a pardon to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the build the wall initiative. They are erring on the side of caution of keeping the America they know in the midst of the demographic change taking place. Change that in a society that’s governed under the one person one vote majority rules, in theory could mean monumental change. This fact alone means that American whites could and should have non-racist concerns about happens in a society that they are no longer the majority of.
In Dr. King’s Dream speech he talked about the need to take Affirmative Action steps to both redress societal wrongs and to create what he termed the “Beloved Community”. Since America was in the midst of ridding itself of legalized Jim Crow segregation when he gave the speech, some think it only applies to American blacks and their struggle for civil rights. They are wrong.
It’s appropriate now for America to take Affirmative Action on behalf of non-racist American whites, this would not include whites who advocate for a separate but equal society. For rural American whites this would mean applying the traditional economic set-aside programs to them, for American whites less concerned about economic pressures and more about cultural issues designating English as the official language of America would ease their concerns.
The biggest Affirmative Action step America can take is allowing American whites to express their legitimate non-race based concern about the implications of demographic change, without them being typecast as racist.
If this is allowed to happen in the right way, American whites will discover that although America is in the midst of demographic change making it the ultimate melting pot of culture, there’s more that unites us than divides us. They will be reminded why there are so many different cultures attracted to America, because like American whites all the different cultures represented here love the idea of America and are committed to its principles of freedom and equality!