Young Americans are moving beyond traditional ethnic categories, argue Joel Kotkin and Thomas Tseng in the Washington Post.
Roughly half (of young Latinos), according to the 2000 Census, consider themselves white and, on many critical issues, such as abortion and the war in Iraq, their views are often similar to, or more conservative, than those of their white counterparts. Viewed in this light, Latinos do not fit the mold of a permanently aggrieved minority on America’s left. Similarly, their linguistic preferences would seem to challenge the continued viability of programs such as bilingual education, with their emphasis on preserving a distinct culture or “easing” Spanish-speaking youngsters into an English-language mainstream they appear to be diving into headfirst.
About “30 percent of second-generation Latinos and Asians now wed people from outside their own racial groups,” and one of seven California newborns in 1997 had parents of different races.
At least in California, young people don’t see race and ethnicity the way us baby boomers do. They take for granted that they live in a mix-and-match world.