Minority

One day after the 2012 presidential election, Bill O’Reilly (2012), conservative commentator for the Fox News network, declared, “the white establishment is now the minority,” to explain how the nation’s first black president, Barak Obama, was able to win a second term in office. In response to O’Reilly’s proclamation, New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow (2012) explained that, in fact, white Americans are projected to remain the majority racial population in the United States until 2043. Blow nonetheless acknowledged, “The browning of America is very real and unrelenting.” Pondering the “meaning of minority,” Blow also suggested that the imminent “seismic shift in American demography” required us to ask: “How should we consider a waning majority when their privilege of numbers gives way to what many other Americans have experienced as the minority plight?”

While as a demographic label, “minority” might refer to any of a range of social differences …

This essay may be found on page 161 of the printed volume.

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