Zero-sum mentality pervasive and expanding in America – The browning of this country has pivoted the shrinking white majority to all or nothing mode. Deep down, despite being a country of immigrants, they believe America is theirs.

An American flag (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

By Christopher Young,
Contributing Writer,

Many times, The Mississippi Link newspaper and other members of The Black Press have written about what is typically referred to as the browning of America. Other media outlets have done likewise, and scores of books have been written on the topic, which has become oh so real when reviewing the results of each new Census, every ten years. (See chart.).

In those sixty years, white population as a percentage of overall United States population has declined nearly 31%. Black population has increased roughly 2%, and other races have increased nearly 29%. Between the 2000 and 2020 Census alone, people of Hispanic or Latino origin climbed nearly 20%.
“So between now and 2030, whites as a proportion of the population will get smaller, and the minority race groups will all keep getting bigger. Eventually, whites will become a minority, dropping below 50% of the U.S. population in around the year of 2045,” per Dudley Poston, professor of sociology at Texas A&M University and a demographer, as published by PBS on January 2, 2020.
Few places don’t have population fluctuations over time. Racial diversity also fluctuates over time in many countries. But in the land of the free and the home of the brave – the shining city on the hill – you better believe that change, as reflected by shifts in population and racial makeup, is not acceptable to huge swaths of the temporarily still white majority. Anything and everything that can stop or slow the white decline is now being engaged. Anything and everything designed to continue this country’s progress, racial equity, and fairness, is under full scale attack.
When America elected its first president of color, the false veil of fairness and equality began to slip away. The government and her institutions, including The Supreme Court, are now called into question. Confidence in lawmakers, our governmental representatives, declined sharply – they won the vote of the people to gain office, but the vast majority of Americans are not satisfied with the decisions they make in Washington. Tribalism has kicked in. Citizens don’t believe in other citizens.
On January 27, 2017, while reporting on the impact of the Obama years, reported, “In 2016, prior to that year’s presidential election, a new low of 56% of Americans said they had trust and confidence in their fellow citizens when it comes to making decisions in our democratic process. In 2009, 73% had such trust and confidence.”
What did America having a president lacking white skin reveal about us? Demographers say that continuous white decline is not going to change. It is the reality. So today we see countless efforts to control the base of power.
Let’s look at just a few. Does anyone truly believe the abortion issue is wholly predicated on morality or perceived morality anymore? The Kaiser Family Foundation reported 2021 data reflecting that 30% of nationwide abortions were white women. Does a day ever pass when we don’t hear about immigration or migration? tells us that over 12,000,000 immigrants came through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954, that’s an average of 1,000,000 per year. In 1965 President Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act, ending the national origin quotas enacted in the 1920s which favored some racial and ethnic groups over others. In 2022, per, 1,018,349 legal permanent residents entered the United States.
The list of weapons to maintain the white power base continues. What are redistricting battles all about? What is trying to erase slavery’s existence all about? What is banning books – in some cases even encyclopedias and dictionaries – all about? What is attacking university presidents all about? What are efforts to not celebrate February as Black History Month all about? What is mass incarceration, and lifetime denial of voting rights for ex-felons, all about? What is racially disproportionate lending all about? What is voter suppression all about in a country whose foundational document begins with the words – We the People? The list grows larger by the year.
A little over a year ago, a US News-Harris online poll of 4,085 adults revealed that 47% of white American’s do not believe that systemic racism exists. However bizarre this poll result may strike us, we know deep down that it’s more accurate than not. The same poll shows 80% of African Americans believe systemic racism does exist, as do more than 70% of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and nearly 70% of Hispanics. The horror of nearly half of the white adults polled not believing that systemic racism exists in America lies in its believability. This is not ignorance – were it not for the reality we see every day, the horror of that sentiment would blind us.
As a nation, we must find a way to accept and embrace the truth that “all men are created equal,” and are especially so in God’s eyes. Not doing so, continuing to embrace a zero-sum mentality – dividing and canceling others because of their differences – continues to enslave our society in the greed of selfishness and threatens democracy each day.

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