Glenn Beck’s Worst Nightmare: An America Without Minorities

White students are no longer a demographic majority in the South. No majority means no “minorities,” either. The times, they are a changin’…

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

There are no “minority” races in the public school systems of America’s Southern and Western states. Literally. A new study, released last week and reported in the New York Times, reveals that white students are no longer a demographic majority in the 15 states of Dixie. The same has been true in the West since 2003. And no majority means no “minorities,” either.

This is exactly the kind of thing that’s making the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks of the world so damn crazy. But it’s also the thing that will permanently cripple this country if we don’t finally address the striking opportunity gap that still exists across racial lines.

The school studies are, of course, about a lot more than schools. They are the latest bits of data in a building mound of evidence that America’s cultural complexion is rapidly darkening. The Census Bureau estimates our national demographics will defy majority/minority groupings altogether by 2042, when whites will account for about 46 percent of the population, down from 66 percent in 2008. Among kids, the white majority will disappear by 2023.

And all of that’s without factoring in the Census’ routine undercount of urban populations in general and Latinos in particular. Latinos, by the way, are driving the population shift. While the absolute number of white Americans is likely to shrink over the next 40 years, the number of Latinos is expected to nearly triple. One in three Americans will be Latino by 2050.

No wonder Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann—who made a name for herself in 2009 with hysterical reactions to Barack Obama’s presidency—is so frightened by the upcoming 2010 Census that’s she’s calling for civil disobedience. She’s vowed that she’ll violate the law and refuse to fully fill out her Census form. Bachmann is convinced ACORN—you know, that frightening group that’s always trying to do stuff for poor black people—is up to something ominous surrounding the decennial population count. In a June Fox News appearance, she actually invoked the 1940s Japanese internment camps in explaining her reluctance to give the government too much personal information.