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Prospect Debate: The Illusion of a Minority Majority America

Four knowledgeable commentators respond to Richard Alba’s argument in the Prospect that America will continue to have a white majority. 

AP Photo/Orange County Register, Jebb Harris
I n his Winter 2016 article “ The Likely Persistence of a White Majority ,” Richard Alba argues that highly publicized projections by the U.S. Census have misled the public into thinking that whites in the United States are destined to become a minority by the middle of the century. That projection is incorrect, Alba suggests, for two primary reasons. First, the census data mistakenly assume that children of mixed marriages where one parent is white will identify as nonwhite. Second, the census sees the white “mainstream” as a fixed category even though the conception of whiteness has changed in the past and will likely change again. As a result, Alba contends, America will probably have a white majority for some time to come. Is that analysis correct? And what does America’s demographic future say about its political future? Four contributors respond to Alba: Kenneth Prewitt, former director of the Census Bureau and now Carnegie Professor of Social Affairs at Columbia University;...

Letter to the Editor

Ron Beit responds to "Can Affordable Housing Help Retain Teachers?"

We received the following letter from Ron Beit of the RBH Group responding to this article . The Prospect 's repeated efforts over several weeks to reach Mr. Beit while this article was being reported and written went unanswered. —Harold Meyerson To the Editor: Rachel Cohen’s article, “Can Affordable Housing Retain Teachers,” features Newark’s Teachers Village, an inner city project to provide affordable and market rate housing to teachers and administrators in a city struggling to revitalize. Unfortunately, the article paints a picture that is misinformed and full of inaccuracies about this exciting project. Ms. Cohen could not have visited the area and included many [quotations that were inaccurate], such as, “The problem is that (Newark’s Teachers Village) is clearly designed for white, young professional types…” and “It’s just becoming a little yuppie commercial district…”. In fact, 72 percent of all the residents in Teachers Village are minority, and close to 70 percent of all...

Daily Meme: The Immigration Merry-Go-Round

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
It's been about a year—329 days, to be precise—since the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration-reform bill, but it seems we're no closer to seeing it become law now than we were then. Care to take a ride on the immigration merry-go-round? House Speaker John Boehner swears no one wants to see immigration reform get done more than he does, but Obamacare shows that we can't trust the president. Latino journalist Jorge Ramos, pointing out that immigration has nothing to do with Obamacare, tried to cut through the cant on Thursday: "Why are you blocking immigration reform?" he asked the speaker at a press conference. Boehner's response: "Me? Blocking?" Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour swears that Boehner is "trying very hard." But Brian Beutler at The New Republic says it's never been more clear Republicans are killing immigration reform. Now they have another excuse not to budge. President Barack Obama unilaterally designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico a...

Daily Meme: The Immigration Merry-Go-Round

It's been about a year—329 days, to be precise—since the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration-reform bill, but it seems we're no closer to seeing it become law now than we were then. Care to take a ride on the immigration merry-go-round? House Speaker John Boehner swears no one wants to see immigration reform get done more than he does, but Obamacare shows that we can't trust the president. Latino journalist Jorge Ramos, pointing out that immigration has nothing to do with Obamacare, tried to cut through the cant on Thursday: "Why are you blocking immigration reform?" he asked the speaker at a press conference. Boehner's response: "Me? Blocking?" Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour swears that Boehner is "trying very hard." But Brian Beutler at The New Republic says it's never been more clear Republicans are killing immigration reform. Now they have another excuse not to budge. Obama unilaterally designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico a national monument...

Daily Meme: Paging Doctor Rove

In a move reminiscent of the Terry Schiavo episode—in which Senator Bill Frist, the Tennessee Republican, assumed the power to diagnose people via television —right-wing strategist Karl Rove is spending his time on the speaker circuit telling people Hillary Clinton might have brain damage. Why, pray tell? After suffering from a blood clot in 2012 that delayed her congressional testimony about Benghazi, Clinton came back "after 30 days in the hospital ... wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury." "We need to know what’s up with that," Rove said at a conference last week. ( The New York Post reported his comments today.) Except it was three days later . And as far as anyone knows, there are no special glasses for people who've had a brain injury. Is this Rove, cartoon supervillain, at work? Former George W. Bush Communications Director Nicolle Wallace, who worked with Rove in the White House, says it was "a deliberate strategy on his part to raise [...

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