Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cultural Generation Gap

AZ pigs are ready for battle but Sheriff Arpaio can't stay away from TV cameras.

Arizona's xenophobia is the result, in large part, of a cultural generation gap. As other states led by older White elites salivate at Arizona's attempt to enact fascist racist laws to protect the Whites' hold on power, it is interesting to look at this cultural generation gap.

Whites compose a majority of the senior population in every state except Hawaii. Minorities compose a majority of the youth population in seven states and at least one-third of young people in 17 more. In 11 states, minorities already represent a majority of elementary and secondary public school students.

Over time, the major focus in this struggle is likely to be the tension between an aging white population that appears increasingly resistant to taxes and dubious of public spending, and a minority population that overwhelmingly views government education, health, and social-welfare programs as the best ladder of opportunity for its children.

At the root of the generational mismatch are federal policies that severely reduced immigration from the 1920s until Congress loosened the restrictions in 1965. With immigration constrained, whites remained an overwhelming majority of American society through the mid-20th century, including the years of the post-World War II Baby Boom. (Demographers date the Baby Boom from 1946 to 1964, the year before the restrictions on immigration were eased.) The result was a heavily white generation of young people.

read more: The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch


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