Kenneth Prewitt

Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Social Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where he is also director of the Scholarly Knowledge Project.

Recent Articles

Reframing Race in the Census

Racial classifications distort social realities, yet without classification the nation cannot produce the data necessary for a common conversation about race, however distorted.

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
prospect-debates-icon.jpg This is a contribution to Prospect Debate: The Illusion of a Minority-Majority America . R ichard Alba’s analysis is a service to the country. I write to urge the Census Bureau and its various oversight agencies and committees to take his message seriously. The current xenophobic, anti-immigrant political movement rests on the flawed premise that America will soon be a majority-minority country. The movement demands restrictive immigration policies to slow and even reverse what its leaders see as a demographic train wreck. But what if these anxieties are misplaced? By the time that becomes apparent, the damage will have occurred: Walls will have been built, families separated, deportations accelerated, and refugees refused. If this is our future, it will be history repeating itself as tragedy. In the 1880s, members of Congress described recently arrived Europeans as a class of undesirables given to crime, uninterested in becoming citizens, unwilling to learn...