How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

More readers' thoughts on the term 'minorities'

Photo by Brandy Shaul/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A palette of shades beyond Crayola "peach."

A post recently asked readers to weigh in on a conversation that's been around for a while, but which became bigger this month after new census data revealed that non-Latino white babies in the United States are no longer the majority of new births.

Now that children born to black, Latino, Asian and other parents of color make up more than 50 percent of kids under the age of one, is the term "minorities" still relevant? Readers sent in their thoughts, which I posted last week. But more readers have chimed in since. Here's what they had to say.

Guest 3792 wrote:

How is the term "people of color" not seen as derogatory toward those it excludes? Wouldn't that frame whites as "people without color"?

And there was this quip from Rael:

We can be called the "Still Oppressed Despite the Numbers" people?


Is it time for a term to replace 'minorities?'

Photo by Brandy Shaul/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A palette of shades beyond Crayola "peach."

Sometime in July 2010, non-Latino white babies in the United States ceased to be the majority of new births, with children born to black, Latino, Asian and other parents of color accounting for more than 50 percent of children younger than one last year.

And it begs the question: Do we keep calling these kids, and the racial and ethnic groups they belong to, "minorities?"

It's a conversation that's been brewing online since news of the historic demographic shift broke last week. One reader sent this tweet to me and another reporter who covered the story:

"As minority babies become majority, we can stop calling them 'minority babies.' Yes?"

Long before the latest census news, there's been back-and-forth over whether "minority" is still even relevant as groups considered minorities have grows in size and influence. In a follow-up last week, Rinku Sen of the social advocacy magazine


Second-generation nation: A look ahead as minority babies become a majority

Photo by David Herholz/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Babies nap in a hospital nursery, February 2010

It doesn't come as shocking news that for the first time in U.S. history, the majority of the babies being born in the United States are members of Latino, black, Asian and other minority groups. When the 2010 census was taken in April of that year, this number was nearing 50 percent; according to new reports, the tipping point came three months later, in July 2010. By last year, 50.4 percent of children under the age of one belonged to groups considered minorities.

The news falls within a bigger picture: Many of these babies are second-generation Americans born to immigrants. And as the 2010 census showed us, it is the children of immigrants who are boosting the growth of the dominant-minority Latino population, which is no longer fueled so much by immigration. The historic immigration boom from Mexico of the late 20th century has died down, immigrants from there and elsewhere who have chosen to stay in the U.S. are staying long-term, and their children are becoming the new face of the U.S.