Friday, July 28, 2006
After years of battles over immigration, affirmative action, racial
profiling and other issues, it appears that the United States is becoming a genuine melting pot. An interracial tide has transformed friendships, dating, cohabitations, marriages and adoptions in just one generation.
If the wave continues, it could begin to erode racial stereotypes and categories, as well as the rationale behind affirmative action and other broad protections for minorities.
Minnesota has been a leader in such change for decades, dating back at
least as far as the mid-20th century with the surge in the adoption of Korean children. By the year 2000, no large U.S. city anywhere other than on the intensely multiracial Pacific Coast had a higher share of multiracial children than Minneapolis
“I’m seeing a lot more interracial couples,” said Guatemala native Javier del Cid, a 32-year-old Washington bartender who has worked in restaurants for 18 years. “They’re not scared anymore. You see a Hispanic guy with a black girl, you don’t say, ‘Oh, my God!’
Only people raised before it was accepted say that.”
He should know—he said he dates mostly black women. A raft of
research supports his observations.
• In 1992, 9 percent of 18—and 19-year-olds said they were
dating someone of a different race. Ten years later, the figure was 20 percent, according to a 2005 study by sociologists Grace Kao of the University of Pennsylvania and Kara Joyner of Cornell University.
• In 1992, 9 percent of 20—to 29-year-old Americans were living
with people of different races. A decade later, that figure was 16 percent, Kao and Joyner said.
• In 1985, when asked to describe confidants with whom they’d recently discussed an important concern, 9 percent of Americans named at
least one person of a different race. These days, it’s about 15 percent,
according to Lynn Smith-Lovin of Duke University and Miller McPherson of the University of Arizona at Tucson, co-authors of the American Sociological Review article.
• In 1980, 1.3 percent of marriages in the United States were interracial, according to the Census Bureau. By 2002, that had more than doubled, to 3 percent.
• Eight percent of adoptions were interracial in 1987. By 2000, the number was 17 percent, according to Census demographer Rose
Entire Article: Shades of Change felt across America
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
louis reyes rivera
inside the river of poetry
filiberto ojeda rios
Monday, July 24, 2006
A growing body of research shows Los Angeles to be a region of extreme
polarization, where rich and poor live in separate neighborhoods, surrounded by others like themselves.
Demographers at Wayne State University in Detroit recently found
Greater Los Angeles to be the most economically segregated region in the country. The study found only about 28% of its neighborhoods to be middle-class or mixedincome, compared with more than half of those in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Portland, Ore.
More than two-thirds of L.A.-area residents live in neighborhoods that are solidly rich or poor, according to the analysis, which is based on 2000 census data. That share has been steadily growing for three decades, said one of the study’s authors, George Galster, a professor of urban affairs at Wayne State.
“The situation in L.A. is certainly at the extreme of American cities,”
Galster said, adding that every one of the 100 metropolitan regions he looked at has grown more economically segregated over the last 30 years.
The trend parallels a well-documented loss of middleincome jobs in the
United States over a generation. But the study found that middle-class
neighborhoods are disappearing at a much faster rate than the comparable jobs.
Researchers attributed the faster pace to a kind of self-sorting. In other
words, people are moving out of economically diverse neighborhoods to live in areas dominated by their own income group.
“I think that poses real challenges to any society, politically and socially,” Galster said. “The fact that our society is moving to a situation where we don’t rub shoulders on a daily basis means that, more and more, people’s impressions of others will not be formed by personal experience but by images in the media.”
The study defined neighborhoods by residential census tracts, and defined middle income as between 80% and 120% of the metropolitan area’s median.
Los Angeles’ spot on the list can be explained, in part, by two factors
that create bulges at each end of the economic spectrum: Large numbers of low-skilled immigrants earning low wages and a rarefied club of wealthy entertainment and business moguls.
Los Angeles County “has more billionaires than any other part of the
country. It’s also the capital of the working poor,” said Peter Dreier, chairman of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.
That wasn’t always the case. A generation ago, the region was a model for the post-World War II, middle-class lifestyle. High-wage manufacturing jobs were abundant, particularly in the aerospace industry. When the industry collapsed in the early 1990s, many middle-class residents left the region. In the meantime, large numbers of immigrants arrived seeking work.
Other changes mirrored national trends, including the development of large, similarly priced housing tracts outside city cores.
Dreier and Galster said government intervention is needed to reverse the trend.
In metropolitan regions that are continuing to grow, such as Los Angeles, they advocated a requirement that developers build a mix of housing, including affordable units for low-income residents.
Known as “inclusionary” housing, that tool has been adopted by dozens of California cities. But in Los Angeles it has been successfully opposed by business groups that have argued it would discourage developers from building in the city at all.
For several years, Flaming has documented the loss of middle-class jobs in the region, as well as the rise of the lowpaying informal economy. Using 2004 data, Flaming found that 15% of households in the
county earned less than $15,000 a year, accounting for 2% of the area’s income.
At the same time, 7% of households earned more than $150,000, accounting for 27% of the county’s total income.
Households earning the median range, between $45,000 and $50,000, made up one of the smallest segments of the population, less than 5%. Flaming calls it the vanishing middle.
FYI, New York was right behind Los Angeles on this list
View Entire story here
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
It also quotes the Washington Post's statistic that almost 50% of this country’s children under 5 years old are racial or ethnic minorities. The article states:
Future Americans may come to view the very concept of minority groups as a thing of the past. With intermarriage rates high, the American future may come to resemble well-known individuals of mixed racial heritage, like golfer Tiger Woods, actor Keanu Reeves or singer-songwriter Norah Jones. As Gregory Rodriguez, Irvine Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, writes: “What, when each generation is more racially and ethnically mixed than its predecessor, does race even mean any more?”I'm not so optimistic. My own view is that the definition of 'white' will simply expand to incorporate mixed race individuals who are Latin/white or Asian/white mix but not those who have significant African blood.
The most common interracial coupling is Asian/white followed by Latin/white and the children of those unions for the most part will socially be ‘white’ (or at least NOT black) as time passes.
In other words, individuals such as Keanu Reeves and Norah Jones will simply be 'white', while individuals like Tiger Woods and Amerie Rogers will still be considered black (at least to an extent) in spite of the fact that all four are half Asian.
This will be more and more prevalent as the US moves from its current white/non-white dichotomy to a non-black/black dichotomy.
Monday, July 17, 2006
If any of your get a chance, pick up the July/August 2006 issue of Islamic Horizons and check out the article on page 26 "Living Islam" by Obaidullah Siddiqui about the International Muslim Brotherhood (no relation to the organization overseas) in Philadelphia, its history, its current programs and its current adminstrators Anwar Muhaimin and his brother Zaid Abdus-Salam.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
However, how many African American Muslims have been told by a close friend that is an immigrant or white or Latino "you should hear what they say about black people when you guys are not around!"?
On the other hand, some may have a legitimate critisizm that may be taken as racist when it is not. Does a fear of being candid cause us to ignore problems? I think so.
This article by Dennis Prager brought this situation to mind.
I was recently shown a videotape of people reacting to radio talk shows.
Organized by a firm that specializes in analyzing radio talk shows, the members of the listening panel were carefully chosen to represent all major listening groups within American society.
But I quickly noticed something odd—I saw no blacks among the selected listeners. I asked why. And the response was stunning.
Blacks had always been included, I was told, but no more. Not because the firm was not interested in black listeners—on the contrary, blacks are an important part of the radio audience. They were not invited to give their opinion about various radio shows because in its previous
experience, the company had discovered that almost no whites would publicly differ with the opinions of the blacks on the panel. Therefore, once a black listener spoke, whites stopped saying what they really thought, if what they thought differed from what a black had said.
I believed that this was the reason—not some racist animosity toward blacks—since such companies are paid to give accurate reports on audience reactions to radio programs, and clearly their results would
be skewed without input from black listeners.
But I still needed to test this thesis. Do most whites really not publicly say what they believe, if what they believe differs from what a black believes—even when the subject has absolutely nothing to do with race
(i.e., reactions to a radio talk show discussing other subjects)?
So I posed to this question to my radio audience, and, sure enough, whites from around the country called in to say that they are afraid
to differ with blacks lest they be labeled racist.
I could not imagine anything more detrimental toward abolishing racism and to enhancing black progress in America than such an attitude. But apparently it is the norm in American life to
so fear being called a racist that individuals as well as institutions react to blacks as they would to children—humoring them rather than taking them seriously.
I think that this goes on to a certain extent inside the masjid. If one is afraid to express an opinion, or something is automatically dismissed as a stereotype, then how can a problem be solved? Let's open up the discussion
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Alt.Muslim: The Courts of Somali Opinion