Immigrants will inherit America

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This week marks the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attack on America. Their mission was well planned and executed. The devastation and death surrounding the bombing of New York’s World Trade Center was analogous to the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The day that will live in infamy, as declared by America’s elected king, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Most of us were not alive nor do we remember that day. However, most of us vividly remember Sept. 11, 2001.

Today, everything is recorded instantly by television or the Internet. The stark reality of those kamikaze attacks is etched indelibly in our memories. It is the type of visceral memory that will stay with you forever. It is a day that you will always remember where you were when the news was delivered. In my case, it compares to the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

Probably like many of you, I thought that the first attack was an accident, a plane that went awry. However, when the second plane hit you knew that it was no accident.

We indeed live in a different world today than the one I grew up in during the 1950s and 60s. We also live in a different United States of America. Our nation has always been a melting pot. However, we are really a diverse pot of gumbo today.

My childhood was typical and exemplified the America of 60 years ago. We grew up in a Norman Rockwell world where we got up on summer mornings and played baseball in our front yards with our neighborhood friends. By the way, we had not locked our doors when we went to bed the night before. We were either white or black and we primarily went to Baptist or Methodist churches on Sunday.

Today’s demographical world more likely reveals a scenario where the average child born today is not sure of his ethnicity.

Census figures reveal that last year, for the first time ever, Caucasians recorded more deaths than births. This statistic confirms the aging of the white population as well as lower birth rates than minorities. Whites currently make up 64 percent of the U.S. population. Demographers predict that by 2050, if current trends continue, whites might become the minority.

During just the past year, the United States’ population had a 3 percent growth in the Asian population. Hispanics grew 2.2 percent and now represent close to 17 percent of the U.S. population. They are a larger part of the U.S. population than African Americans, which comprise 13 percent of America’s population. Black population grew by only 1.3 percent last year. White growth was zero.

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, predicts that white retirees will be on the receiving end of an economy, which will be fueled largely by the efforts of Hispanics, African Americans and Asians. Frey sees the next few decades as almost an inversion of the 20th century when the white middle class was the engine of our economic growth.

In this century, the United States’ young people are from Mexico, Guatemala, China and India. These immigrants by and large will inherit America. They will be the ones who will be taking care of us Baby Boomers. This trend does not bode well for the Republican Party nationwide.