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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 29, 2012/ 8 Sivan, 5772

When 'minority' is a trick of definition

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When the census bureau this month issued a press release headlined "Most Children Younger Than Age 1 are Minorities," the media snapped to attention. News outlets nationwide covered the announcement, hailing it as a "historic demographic milestone" (CNN), as the "dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority" (Washington Post), and as an "important turning point for the nation" (McClatchy) that would "starkly . . . change the face of America's next generations" (Time).

None of that was true.

None of that was new, either. The Census Bureau keeps dangling commonplace demographic data as if they were a dramatic racial revelation, and the press keeps taking the bait. The stories this month about minority births becoming the majority could have been recycled from a year ago, when the same thing was being reported -- and with the same air of history in the making. "For the first time," an AP story declared in June 2011, "minorities make up a majority of babies in the US, part of a sweeping race change that could reshape government policies." Three months earlier, The New York Times had told its readers that babies born to minorities were "on the verge" of becoming the majority of all US births.

For years Americans have been hearing about the coming nonwhite majority. With every fresh tranche of census data, the issue is raised anew. "Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042," the Census Bureau forecast in 2008, "with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050." Savor the absurdity of the phrase "54 percent minority." It isn't the only thing about this issue that is irrational.

To begin with, all the ballyhoo about America's impending metamorphosis from white to nonwhite makes sense only if white Hispanics aren't what they say they are. Census Bureau guidelines specify that "Hispanics may be of any race" and that "The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate and distinct concepts." In the 2010 US Census, 50.5 million Americans identified themselves as ethnically Hispanic; of those, more than half -- 26.7 million -- were white. The only way to conjure up a looming nonwhite majority is to arbitrarily subtract whites of Hispanic origin from the nation's overall white population.

That "sweeping race change," in other words, is a trick of definition. Maybe you relish the prospect of whites becoming a minority of the American population or maybe you dread it -- or maybe, in an era when more newlyweds than ever are marrying across racial lines, you wonder why anyone is still obsessed with race and color.

But whatever your attitude, there is no point waiting up for The End of White America. It isn't coming. Drill down into the Census Bureau's latest population estimates, for example, and it turns out that of the 3,996,537 babies younger than age 1, nearly 72 percent are white. The only way to shrink that very hefty majority to less than half is to exclude the nearly 900,000 white babies whose ethnic background is Hispanic.

The same is true of the "54 percent minority" scheduled to arrive by 2050. What the data in the bureau's spreadsheets actually project is that white Americans, who now constitute nearly 80 percent of the population, will make up 74 percent by midcentury. Only if tens of millions of white Hispanics aren't counted as white will America in 2050 be anything other than a majority-white nation.

There may be those who simply refuse to regard Hispanics as white, perhaps because of bigotry or ignorance or because they never saw Rita Hayworth, Martin Sheen, Raquel Welch, or Andy Garcia. But then, there have always been Americans with curious ideas of who could and couldn't be "white." Benjamin Franklin was sure that German immigrants were not only non-white but unassimilable; Henry Cabot Lodge said the same thing about Russians, Poles, and Greeks. There was a time when US immigration policy classified Irish, Italians, and Jews as non-white, and when state laws required any resident with "one drop of Negro blood" to be listed as black.

To us, looking back, all those distinctions today seem ludicrous. A generation or two down the road, it will doubtless seem just as ludicrous that anyone would ever have thought of Hispanics as anything other than part of the broad, "white," American mainstream. Perhaps by then the very idea of race -- white, black, or anything else -- will finally have been discarded, and children will marvel at the idea that color of skin or shape of eye could ever have mattered so much.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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