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I am a person, not just a race. We are more than what the little boxes define us as. They are everywhere, on almost every type of applications, forms, and of course the Census. The notion is that they are used as a means of identification, classification, and as a means of explanation. But what is it really explaining? What is not being seen is that individuals fail to fit neatly in those racial boxes. Moreover, the placement of an individual in a given box says little about him or her, the individual. The racial mean is meaningless.
Human races are social constructions. We essentially become who we are in the respective social context that we find ourselves in. The race we designate others as and ourselves are made to seem real because of social and political-economic utility. Furthermore, the changing nature and variation in human biology make it inherently unable to be explained by the simple categorical nature of race. And in fact, there is no clear standard on how to designate where one race begins and another ends. Therefore we will never succeed to fully define the indefinable thing that is race.
“After years of speculation, estimates and projections, the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in the 12-month period that ended last July, according to Census Bureau data made public on Thursday, while minorities — including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race — reached 50.4 percent, representing a majority for the first time in the country’s history. Such a turn has been long expected, but no one was certain when the moment would arrive — signaling a milestone for a nation whose government was founded by white Europeans and has wrestled mightily with issues of race, from the days of slavery, through a civil war, bitter civil rights battles and, most recently, highly charged debates over efforts to restrict immigration. While over all, whites will remain a majority for some time, the fact that a younger generation is being born in which minorities are the majority has broad implications for the country’s economy, its political life and its identity. “This is an important tipping point,” said William H. Frey, the senior demographer at the Brookings Institution, describing the shift as a “transformation from a mostly white baby boomer culture to the more globalized multiethnic country that we are becoming.” Signs that the country is evolving this way start with the Oval Office, and have swept hundreds of counties in recent years, with 348 in which whites are no longer in the majority. That number doubles when it comes to the toddler population, Mr. Frey said. Whites are no longer the majority in four states and the District of Columbia, and have slipped below half in many major metro areas, including New York, Las Vegas and Memphis. ”—
Somewhere the Republican Party is blaming Obama for this.
U.S. poverty rate: Nearly one in seven people live in poverty
- 15.1% the poverty rate in the U.S. back in 1993 — the highest level in 20 years
- 11.3% the poverty rate in 2000 — the lowest it’s been in the modern era
- 15.1% the poverty rate in 2010 — MATCHING the 1993 high source
» What these numbers mean: The current poverty line in the U.S. is $22,314a year for a family of four and $11,139 for an individual, so anyone making less than that falls into these numbers. To put this into hard numbers, that means 46.2 million people are living below the poverty line. As for the middle class, their median income is $49,445 — actually down just a little bit from the year before. (Editor’s note: We just clarified the poverty line numbers.)