In the Future, Everyone will be Rick Sanchez.


I thought Paul Campos had a fine response to Rick Sanchez's self-pitying rant about himself, CNN and the Jews:

Look Rick, in America in 2010 you and me are basically white guys — just like Jon Stewart. Now I’m not doubting that somebody somewhere has said or done something nasty to you because of your last name (which is the only thing that would ever signal to anybody that you might have had trouble joining the New York Athletic Club in 1965), but you’re white. Comparing your life experiences to those of black people in the deep South is preposterous. It’s unfortunate that a CNN pooh bah once said something tactless to you, but if that’s your best example of what sort of things you’ve had to overcome as a “minority” in America, then I suggest you might ask yourself why your last name is still Sanchez while Jon Stuart Leibowitz’s is now Stewart.

I don't actually care much about Rick Sanchez, but I do care about demographics! And I think Campos hits on a really important point about long-term demographic change in the United States, and what that means for future race-relations. Namely, the process of particular ethnic groups becoming "white" hasn't actually ended, with Hispanics and Asians taking the place of Irish and Italians in the category of "potential white people."

In all likelihood, this will become more pronounced as rates of interracial marriage increase, since the solid majority of interracial marriages -- 56 percent -- are "Hispanic/white" and "Asian/white." In a country where the central racial divide is "black/non-black," the children of those unions will almost certainly find themselves in the white side of the "non-black" category. Soon enough, "Sanchez" will become as "white" a last name as "McDonnell" or "Cuomo."

-- Jamelle Bouie

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