The Los Angeles Times editorialized on April 30:
"For California's teenagers and young adults, the answer to Rodney King's question is a definite yes: We can all get along. Race and ethnicity, according to a new survey of Californians ages 16 to 22, are far less significant to this generation than to any in the past."
[VDARE.COM NOTE: The cell phone survey is here: California Dreamers: A Public Opinion Portrait Of The Most Diverse Generation The Nation Has Known, New American Media is conglomeration of ethnic journalists.]
The LAT continued:
"Not only are young people encouragingly unconcerned about the skin color or nationality of others, they don't think of themselves much that way, either. When asked the most significant aspects of their identity, they chose music and fashion. Their tribes? Punk-rock skaters, hip-hop activists, salseros."
Well, okay … but didn't anybody at the LA Times notice that punk-rock skaters (white), hip-hop activists (black), and salseros (Latino, I presume) are almost ethnically exclusive categories?
Indeed, in my three decades of living in LA, I've never even heard the term "salsero" before. That shows how culturally unified LA is. Granted, I'm an old fogey—but, according to Google, this is the first time "salseros" has ever appeared in the L.A. Times!
The LAT continues, somewhat credulously:
"The survey, sponsored by New America Media, found dramatically liberal attitudes when it comes to the issue of getting along. Two-thirds say they have dated someone of another ethnicity, and a whopping 87% say they would marry or have a life partner of a different race."
Maybe. Or maybe "Generation Tolerant" is simply "Generation Politically Correct"—intimidated from its early youth by the Baby Boom refugee radicals who now infest the education industry.
This obsession with interracial marriage reflects the common assumption among white pundits that, by generating multiracial individuals with family ties across racial lines, it will allow America finally to "transcend race."
Yet, some unexpected things have been happening recently on the intermarriage front.
Hence this press release from Ohio State, summarizing a February 2007 article in American Sociological Review:
"Immigration played a key role in unprecedented declines in interracial and inter-ethnic marriage in the United States during the 1990s, according to a new sociological study. The findings, published in 'Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage,' suggest that the growing number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants to the United States has led to more marriages within these groups, and fewer marriages between members of these groups and whites."
This trend has been visible for some time in Southern California. Asians used to be widely dispersed all over the suburbs, and thus tended to marry the whites around them. Now, however, not only are there more Asians, but they tend to cluster in the San Gabriel Valley. So you see a higher proportion of Asian-Asian couples than you did a quarter of a century ago. This has obvious implications for assimilation.
"The share of Americans who identify themselves as multiracial has shrunk this decade, an unexpected trend in an increasingly diverse nation. About 1.9% of the people checked off more than one race in a 2005 Census Bureau survey of 3 million households, a meaningful decline from two surveys in 2000." (Fewer Americans call themselves multiracial, by Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY, May 4, 2007)
It's not clear why people have become less like to identify as multiracial, but it's striking that this has happened.
As biographical accounts about people of multiracial backgrounds accumulate, the less confidence we should feel in making simple presumptions about how mixed descent will impact their views on race. Some people of diverse ancestries do indeed "transcend race," as Ward Connerly's life story shows. Often, however, having recent ancestors of different races leads to the exact opposite psychological and political reaction—an exacerbated race consciousness—as Barack Obama's little-understood autobiography demonstrates.
Connerly first came to national renown in 1996 as the leader of the successful campaign for California's Proposition 209, the initiative authored by Thomas Wood and Glynn Custred to outlaw racial preferences a.k.a. quotas.
"My maternal grandmother was half Irish and half Choctaw Indian. My maternal grandfather was white of French descent. My paternal grandmother was part Irish and part American Indian and my paternal grandfather was of African descent. My grandchildren are all of me and their Irish grandmother, and two of the four are all of that and are partly of Vietnamese descent as well."
This background has helped inspire Connerly to crusade for colorblind laws. In response to the Supreme Court's notorious 2003 U. of Michigan decision upholding race quotas (just as long as they're not called quotas!), Connerly devoted over three years to a heroic campaign to reproduce Prop. 209 in Michigan. To be honest, I didn't think his new Proposition 2 stood a chance because almost the entire Michigan establishment of both parties opposed him. Yet, Connerly's initiative won a stunning 58 percent of the vote last November.
In sharp contrast to Connerly, though, is the popular Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama. He made a radio ad last year opposing Connerly's Proposition 2.
Obama played to this white expectation that interracial marriage leads to interracial harmony in his famous keynote address at the 2004Democratic convention. It began with a (heavily airbrushed) version of his family history, recounting how his father from Kenya and his mother from Kansas met in Hawaii.
Obviously, that must make Obama feel equally warmly toward both races! Right?
And sophisticated listeners also understood that Hawaii has never been home to the one-drop rule, which automatically defines the offspring of mixed marriages as belonging solely to the minority parent's race.
Clearly, Obama must be bringing a new, more sophisticated Hawaiian conception of race to the Mainland!
Those pleasant presumptions, however, are all exploded, however, merely by reading Obama's 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Obama has no room in his heart for Hawaiian multiracialism. The identity he labored so relentlessly to construct for himself is monoracially black—even though he only spent one month with his black father, who, when his son was only two, abandoned the white teenage girl he had (bigamously) married.
In his Introduction, Obama describes his book as "the record of a personal, interior journey—a boy's search for his father, and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American."
And when Obama runs into other part-black people who actually do profess a multiracial identity, the future Presidential candidate is disturbed and annoyed by them.
For example, when Obama is in his late 20s, he finally meets his half-brother "Mark," a physics student at Stanford who is the son of their father's third wife (and second white American wife). Mark, who grew up in Africa and thus doesn't share the Honolulu-born Obama's romantic conception of the Mother Continent, perturbs Obama by not being a black racialist. When Obama challenges him over his lack of black African identity, Mark tells him:
"Other things move me. Beethoven's symphonies. Shakespeare's sonnets. I know—it's not what an African is supposed to care about. But who's to tell me what I should and shouldn't care about?"
Obama thereupon immediately and permanently cuts off all contact with his own half-brother.
Similarly, Obama dumps a girlfriend he might have married when he visits her prosperous parents' country house and realizes how deeply rooted they are in traditional white American culture. Apparently he found that an intolerable threat that is to the black identity he devised for himself in Hawaii while watching Soul Train on TV:
"The family knew every inch of the land, … the names of the earliest white settlers—their ancestors … I realized that our two worlds, my friend's and mine, were as distant from each other as Kenya is from Germany. And I knew that if we stayed together I'd eventually live in hers … I pushed her away."
Of course, in reality, Obama, the preppie from paradise, has spent much of his life collecting credentials from educational institutions begun by white people quite similar to his ex-lover's parents: Punahou School (Hawaii's top prep school, founded by New England missionaries in 1841), Occidental College in Los Angeles (founded 1887), Columbia University (founded 1754), and Harvard (founded 1636).
You might imagine that the generous treatment these prototypically white institutions afforded Obama might make him better disposed toward his mother's race.
After all, the loving care Connerly received from the white-Indian grandmother who raised him helps him look benignly on all races.
But, Obama, like most humans, isn't as emotionally straightforward as Connerly. As Ben Franklin pointed out, if you want somebody to like you, don't do them a favor. They will just resent the fact that you can do them a favor.
But it's one of the rationales used to justify our current immigration disaster.