Considering whether whites are the new minority

A CNN article takes a look at the question of whether  “whites [are] racially oppressed.” A sociologist in the story summarizes why whites may be feeling like a minority group and acting accordingly:

For many decades, white people saw themselves as individuals, not as members of a race, says Matt Wray, a sociologist at Temple University in Pennsylvania, who writes books about white studies.

“We are often offended if someone calls attention to our race as shaping how we view the world,” says Wray, author of “Not Quite White.” “We don’t like to be pigeon-holed that way. Non-white Americans are seldom afforded this luxury of seeing themselves as individuals, disconnected from any race.”

This threatened-status argument seems to be gathering steam as more sociologists (and others) look for explanations for the persistence and/or growth of right-wing movements. With the changing demographics in America (whether in kindergarten or the suburbs), this is not something that will go away.

What might happen in the long run? Another sociologist offers a prediction:

Gallagher points out that the United States has accommodated massive change before. Women were once thought too emotional to vote, interracial couples were outlawed, blacks enslaved.

He says his children won’t see race the same way that he or other generations did. They won’t see diversity as a weakness.

It’ll just be a way of life.

I would love to hear more about this: how exactly will the view of and effects of race change in the coming generations? A number of sociologists have written about the changes in the past 100 years as America moved from more overt forms of discrimination to move covert forms. I haven’t seen too many predictions about this.

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