It Was the Economy Stupid, Now It’s the Demographics Dummy!

Updated September 5, 2020

Half of America’s white racial demographics thought Donald Trump would win the election , the other half were surprised because although they deny it publicly they secretly voted for him. American Whites with no college degree who were not surprised and hadn’t had a pay raise in over a decade proudly voted for him in historic proportions, but they didn’t vote for President Trump because of the economy. They voted for President Trump for the same reason as their fellow surprised American Whites with college degrees did, because of the changing racial demographics in America.

America is approaching a transformational point, because the racial demographics that have traditionally defined the cultural values, behavior, beliefs, language, arts and symbols of American society are changing. The population in America is shifting from a racial majority of Caucasian or White people (American Whites), to the racial demographics blend of American Blacks, American Hispanics and Americans Asians constituting the future majority.

For the traditional majority of American Whites this raises serious questions about the whole idea of American society being a melting pot or blending of cultures to make one American culture.

Race no longer a characteristic

Up to this point in our American history that blend of cultures was composed of only different European cultures such as Greek, German, French, Italian, English, Dutch to name a few with being racially white as a common denominator.

The race common denominator will be the first and in my opinion the best and most welcomed change that will come as a result of the changing racial demographics. Being racially White will no longer be the defining characteristic of being an American, because the majority of American citizens will no longer be white but will be a blend of different hues. No one race will be the defining point for who is and what is American.

The United States Census Bureau predicts that by the year 2044 American residents who identify themselves as Hispanic, Black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites, meaning that ethnic and racial minorities will comprise a majority of the nation’s population creating new racial demographics in America

Both California and New Mexico now have American Latinos as the largest ethnic group of citizens living within their respective borders, an example of how the impact of the changing demographics will start to be felt long before 2042.

White population numbers decreasing

A report done jointly by the Center for American Progress, American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution titled States of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate 1974–2060, released in 2015 states that in 1980 the population of the United States was 80% white.

In 2016 that number fell to 63% and according to the report’s projections by 2060 American whites will be less than 44% of the population. The report has identified 4 current majority-minority states meaning states that have populations where less than half of the residents are identified as non-Hispanic whites, the states are California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Texas.

The next 2 Maryland and Nevada are projected to achieve this status within 5 years, 4 more Arizona, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey in the 2020s, 3 more in the 2030s Alaska, New York and Louisiana, 6 in the 2040s Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia and 3 in the 2050s Colorado, North Carolina and Washington.

White voting electorate only one not to increase

By 2060 there will be 22 majority-minority states that account for two-thirds of the country’s population. Ten additional states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Utah will have a 40% plus minority population. In 2013 for the first time there were fewer white babies born in the United States than those of color, this is a trend that has continued thru 2020.

Between 1996 and 2012 Blacks, Asians, and the Hispanic population all saw their shares of the eligible electorate and voting population increase. Non-Hispanic Whites were the only race group whose shares of the eligible electorate and voting population did not increase.

Between 1996 and 2012, the non-Hispanic White share of the eligible electorate dropped from 79.2 percent to 71.1 percent, and their share of the voting population decreased from 82.5 percent to 73.7 percent.

Overall, in the last five presidential elections, the non-Hispanic white share of total votes cast dropped by about 9 percentage points. In comparison between 1996 and 2012, the Hispanic share of total votes cast increased by about 4 percentage points, while the Black share increased by about 3 percentage points.

Not racism but legitimate concern

It would be naïve and short sighted to attribute the anxiety that these demographic changes are creating for American whites as racist, or to minimize the emotional impact that these changes have on them.

We all believe in the saying “there’s strength in numbers”, we are all comforted by working with a large group to achieve a goal, and the tradition in America is the majority rules.

So it is normal for American whites to be concerned about the future direction and principles of the country that they will no longer be the majority of.

President Trump’s trademark “Make America Great Again” resonates so well with white America because it addresses this concern. Make America the place where we (whites) are the vast majority again and so therefore ultimately are in control of what happens in America.

President Trump united rich and poor, educated and less educated, male and female and yes non-racist and racist white Americans like no previous presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.

They were and are united in a coalition of concern about the future meaning of the American dream, the future definition of who is a true American and how will the new majority (non-whites) treat the new minority (whites).

This is why Trump voters don’t care if they ever see his tax returns. Working class whites don’t care if he makes home mortgages more expensive for them, or that he can’t bring back the coal jobs that he promised to. White female Trump voters don’t care that he is gutting their healthcare protections with the repeal of Obamacare.

Wealthy Trump voters don’t care if he can’t give them a tax cut, or if he does give it to them without repeal of Obamacare, it explodes the current $ 20 trillion dollar deficit.

It doesn’t matter how many foreign diplomats spend huge amounts of money at Trump Hotels, or how many new deals his sons are able to do in foreign countries. What family member is part of the White House staff is of no concern.

His Muslim travel bans creating occasional embarrassment in international affairs is a small price for Trump voters to pay, because Trump voters elected President Trump to keep America America. Anything else he does is either icing on the cake or a necessary irritant.

For non-Trump voters you can expect to see more election results like this, until America takes some needed Affirmative Action for American Whites, to address their legitimate concerns about what a different majority population means.

The first Affirmative Action should be designating English as the official language of America, currently there isn’t one. Designating English as the official language of America is the most consequential step to the true unification of America. Because if we are truly to be a melting pot, a blend of diverse cultures, religions and multi-colored races then what’s the tangible and readily accessible trait that indicates American citizenship ?

Language is that trait and a vital part of American society moving beyond seeing itself from a black/white perspective. This is essential because in order for a successful societal transformation, we must break down barriers that are beyond human control. No one can determine what race they are born too, everyone can determine what language they speak.

This is just the first of a few Affirmative Actions that need to happen. But first we must be honest about the tension we see playing out in different forms. It’s not the economy. Before the Covid-19 coronavirus struck America unemployment had to 4.5%, the lowest in 9 years. While its true wages were stagnant people were working. The fear and concern was not and is not economic it’s the demographics.

Until we have this honest conversation we can’t have a smooth transition to the new population reality. Come on America we’ve done it for others, now is the time for Affirmative Action for American Whites.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective into current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center.