Rise in Multiracial Americans May Abolish Identity Politics

May 28, 2009

(ChattahBox)—People in America identifying themselves as multiracial is a growing phenomenon, with recent census estimates indicating a 3.4 percent increase, making up a group of at least 5.2 million in the United States.

With multiracial golfer, Tiger Woods leading the way, an increasing number of people of mixed race are choosing to self-identify themselves as multiracial, instead of choosing one race, such as Black, Asian or Hispanic.

Mega star golfer Tiger Woods started the trend toward acceptance of multiracial identities, by refusing to be pigeonholed as Black, referring to himself as “Cablinasian.” Woods can point to an ancestry of Caucasian, African-American, Native Indian and Asian. President Barack Obama of Caucasian and African ancestry is referred to as the first Black president, but he refers to himself as a “mutt.”

Hollywood, as well as the music industry is filled with artists who refer to themselves as multiracial, such as Vin Diesel, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Beals, Mariah Carey and numerous others.

Multiracial Americans are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States and the trend away from identifying with one racial identity has future implications for the way Americans look at race.

The 2000 census was the first official accounting of Americans that offered the option to check off more than one designation for race, and the results showed that multiracial Americans now make up at least 5 percent of the population. That number is expected to increase in the upcoming 2010 census.

There is currently no single multiracial category, but that may soon change.

With the recession among other factors, slowing immigration, multiracial identification is much more likely as different racial groups intermarry.

What does this racial shift mean to the future growth of minority populations in America? Perhaps racial distinctions may soon disappear altogether, as we become more of a homogeneous society. Identity politics, which are currently important to pollsters and politicians, may lessen in importance.

There may come a day in the not so distant future of the complete absence of race as an issue in politics.

As the trend towards multiculturalism forges ahead, some growing pains may result, such as a distinct shift in conventional outlooks on minority rights. Self-identified multiracial persons may lose their status as a minority, resulting in the loss of certain advantages in education, employment testing and other areas.

All of these issues will come to the forefront as the demographic group of multiracial people increases in the next two decades changing the face of America.



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