Cultural Obsolescence and Evolution


Photo: Mike Luckovich - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Virginia Grant, Culture Editor

The headline read “Whites Will Become a Minority by 2045.” My first thought was; no big deal, we all knew that was coming. I remember being a child back in the 60s and my parents discussing how America was becoming a new blended race with ancestors from around the globe. We thought it was a good thing, so I was not prepared for the shock and consternation that this headline received. Then I looked deeper into the numbers and discovered that it was not just about numbers. When European settlers established America, they were a political majority, but a racial minority. For centuries White Americans have been building barriers to protect their privilege. Now that exclusivity is making their culture obsolete.

The statistics show the figures for White, Hispanic, Black, Asian, Multiracial and Other. That seemed straightforward until I considered how blended each of these races really were. Decedents of slaves were frequently the sons of their owners. Yet, no matter how faint the trace, people with any African ancestors are considered black. Similarly, people who have both Asian and European ancestors are categized as Asian. Being Hispanic can be racial, cultural, or both. Anyone who is raised in a Hispanic community, identifies with the Hispanic culture, or is of Spanish ancestry can present as being Hispanic.

In most racial categories there is an expectation that people will be to some greater or lesser degree, of that race. Only the White race carries an assumption that a person has no other racial ties. If you are 7/8ths White and 1/8 Black, you are Black. Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation is 1/32nd Cherokee. This racial labeling creates a scenario where there still could now be a majority of people with primarily European genealogy, but only a small percentage of people who are categized as White. A small fraction is enough for leadership in some groups, and to get you excluded from the White race. Perhaps you could call yourself mixed, but you are not accepted as White. That is a problem in America today; the failure of the White race to assimilate into a blended culture and a complete refusal to accept other races equality within the White culture.

DNA Genealogy is showing us that most people have blended ancestry. There were human migrations for millennia as need forced people from their homes, or prosperity permitted the resources for exploration. The earliest human records show the movement of peoples and tribes. We are the youngest generations of a great human family. As with any family there are some elders, powerful in their day, but now querulous and irascible, who claim dominion as the heads of the family. They do still represent wealth and culture, but unless they can get down on their knees and play with the young ones they will have no influence on the future. Only the very wise recognize the only way to preserve your culture is to share it.

The deep fear went beyond a loss of privilege to being treated like a minority.

Our political structure was created to grant political dominance to White males because the White men who formed it felt they were most capable to rule. They were the doyennes of the American power structure, hording wealth, power and social influence by claiming majority voting control. Now that majority is dissipating, not because there is a lack of White DNA running around, but because the White Culture has excluded the people who hold it.