I’m the only one in the office this afternoon.  I have stuff to do.  I’m not even motivated by promising myself ice cream if I finish it.  I just want to take a nap.

Not even my curly hair pleases me.

I wonder if I should get a tattoo…

Maybe Orion

What Does “Now” Mean?

We all saw the reports that one in ten counties in the U.S. is now minority-majoritySome of us are excited.  Others, not so much.

I’m looking at this map, though, that goes along with the story and wondering, what does ‘now’ mean?


Just for a second, look at the Southeast.  See those counties that are “now” minority majority?  Take a look at this map from 1890.  With the exception of Florida, doesn’t that look very similar?  Shoot, take a look at this map from 2000.  See what I’m saying?

Those counties have been majority non-white for 150 years, if not longer.

Now look at this map from 1980, showing where the heaviest populations of Hispanics were twenty-seven years ago (I found this map from 1990, as well).

Here’s the Census bureau’s own map showing in 1990 the Native American population density.

Do you see my problem?  When you say “now,” you kind of insinuate that there was some point in the past when white people were the majority in these places and that a major, recent shift has taken place.  Now, there are some counties, like Exador’s, which seem to have really seen a demographic shift.  They used to be predominately white and now are not.  But, even in Exador’s case, it’s not as if the whole state of Georgia was lily-white ten years ago and Exador woke up yesterday to discover African Americans and Hispanics sprung fully formed out of the earth.

There were blacks and Hispanics in his county and in the surrounding counties, even if they didn’t yet make up a majority.

Also, America, please sit back and have a good laugh with me at this notion that I should be panicked that Hawaii is “now” minority majority.

In other words, this information is useless because it gives us nothing to compare it to except white people’s vague recollection that there used to be a whole lot fewer non-white people at some point in the past that we can’t exactly nail down.

“Now” in this context tells us nothing except that there’s a whole lot of white panic in this country.