Leave it to celebrity news to capture a national freak out: The OMG! from Yahoo! headline: Minority Babies Now Majority: First Time in U.S. History–omg as in Oh! My! God!
“50.4 percent of the nation’s babies born in a 12-month period that ended last July were Hispanic, black, Asian American, or other minority groups, based on the 2011 census data released on May 17. Non-Hispanic whites account for 49.6 percent.
Compared to 2010, minority babies accounted for 49.5 percent of all births.”
Breathe. And not because the accompanying Cherize Theron picture shows her cradling Baby Jackson.
The U.S. Census confirms a social trend that shouldn’t come as a surprise if frankly, you just looked around you. Diversity. Lots of it, led by Latinos born in the U.S. Plus we’re all mixing, making a more accurate picture that of a multi-cultural, ethnic, and racial family.
Minorities are reproducing well, like minorities–Latinos and before them Italians and Irish. Big deal. Immigration has historically been a crucial component of our humming global economic engine.
The real question is, what does this mean for American identity?
What does it mean for American culture?
A nugget is contained in a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity which concluded that the growing U.S. born segment of this community doesn’t see itself as “Hispanic” or “Latino,” but more “American.”
Indeed. Although diversity is re-defining U.S. identity, it’s actually strengthening it and our culture. That has to do with our always dynamic and elastic identity and culture, constantly nourished, morphing, and renewing. Apple flan or salsa on burgers, doesn’t change that America is built on a strong foundation of aspirational values, despite getting pretty beat up by a brutal recession and slow recovery.
It’s a survivor.
The face looking back at you may look different, but it’s gringo through and through.What do you think will be the impact of this social trend?