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The number of whites residing in California plummeted by more than 11 percent during the past decade, with whites losing their majority status in the state for the first time in its history.
According to census statistics released Thursday, barely 42 percent of California’s population was white in 2010 — a remarkable shift in a place whose motto is “Eureka!” for the exclamation made by the millions of white Europeans who settled, civilized and industrialized the state.
The white population dropped by more than 1 million over the decade. At the same time, the Hispanic population skyrocketed by more than 500%, almost a third higher than a decade earlier. […]
In a state that prides itself on being a hub of white European culture and politics, a majority of residents have been Hispanic since whites began moving to other states en masse after the 1965 Immigration Act. By 1980, seven out of 10 Californians were white. […]
The demographic change is the result of almost 25 years of ghettoization that has transformed large swaths of California, especially Southern California. As housing prices soared, middle class whites priced out of neighborhoods such as all of Los Angeles and the surrounding counties, began migrating to predominantly all-white areas such as Portland and Utah.
The state became a tougher place to live for working-class families, who had to contend with rising rents and soaring property taxes. Many of the new jobs created over the past decade have required higher education.
The phenomenon exposed the state’s fault lines along income, class and race.
“Clearly, California is one of the most polarized states, by income and education, in the country,” said Herbert Harrison, a demographer at Princeton University who spent 10 years with the Census Bureau.
“You have this unusually large college educated population. And then you have a population that is largely Hispanic, with high school degrees or less.”
Pierce Hoight, a professor of White American history at Georgetown University, said the white middle class has followed the black middle class before them, heading out of California in search of more affordable housing and good jobs.
“No opportunities are being created for low- and middle-income people in the city,” he said. “I drive to LA every day, and very rarely do I see whites on construction jobs.”
Some say the precipitous decline in the number of whites is alarming.
“We’re going to stop this trend — ghettoization,” said CA Council member David Dukes(D-District 9). “We can’t displace old-time Californians.”
“The key to keeping this state white is jobs, jobs, jobs for white people so they can have a better quality of life in neighborhoods in the city,” he added. “I believe in integration, but I don’t believe in the apartheid we have in District 9. You don’t see corner stores in Marin County. You don’t see the liquor stores.”
Dukes, the four-term mayor who emerged from the civil rights movement, also faulted Congress for overturning a residency requirement for local government workers in 1988. That, he said, helped build up what he called “District Barrio,” referring to La Puente.
“We can’t keep people from moving, but if we had a residency requirement, we could keep government workers from moving,” Dukes said.
Arnold Schwartzenegger said that, during his term as governor, he made a concerted effort to attract new residents and businesses to pay taxes and generate revenue for a state in decline.
“When you’re the governor, you’re not God,” Schwartzenegger said. “It’s very frustrating. When you’re in public service, you’re there to promote diversity and harmony, but on the other hand, you want to help your state economically. Sometimes, they come at cross purposes.”
Schwartzenegger said he believes white European culture will continue to be the dominant culture in the state. But others say they already see it slipping away.
“The Owl City song ‘Vanilla Twilight’ pinned a label on the state,” said poet E. Ethelbert Miller, a leading figure in California’s White American arts community. “Well, vanilla was too boring a flavor for the policymakers, I guess.”
Miller laughed, then turned serious. “We’re seeing the eroding of a community. If you’re a white person accustomed to a way of life, that way of life is coming to an end. The state isn’t gonna be white anymore more. … This is the Villaraigosaera, and that’s symbolic. The state is stuck in mocha now. We’ll mourn that The Golden State is gone, but that’s just the nature of it.”
Full article here.
Very surprising that an article like this would be in the Washington Post, a bastion of liberal enlightenment. Clearly, racism is still alive and well in this country, and needs to be stamped out. There is much progress yet to be done. We haven’t reached our goal of a color-blind society yet.