White students will be minority this year

Non-Hispanic white enrollment will fall below 50 percent in  U.S. public schools this fall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

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  1. What is the definition of minority? From the graph, it appears that the percent of white students is falling, but not below the percent of any other classification. White students as a percent is less than the aggregrate of all the other classifications.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      In this context “minority” means less than 50%. White students are still a *plurality* (meaning that they are the largest group), but not longer a majority (meaning that they make up more than 50% of the population).

  2. I’d add, what’s the definition of Hispanic? My grandmother’s family moved to California directly from Spain, so I technically qualify as Hispanic (some of my siblings even look it, but I certainly don’t). Do my kids count as “non-Hispanic whites”? Since I consider myself part-Hispanic, I naturally consider my own children to be part-Hispanic, too. Labeling ethnic categories can be so fuzzy.

  3. The usuage of the term “Hispanic” in the US is very imprecise. In practice it most often means a Mestizo – a person of mixed Amerindian and European ancestry with a Spainish speaking background. But the term is also sometimes applied to people from south of the border whose native language is Portugues or an Amerindian language.
    The percentage split in genetic ancestry between European and Amerindian varies widelly among Mestizos The term “Hispanic white” also has no very precise meaning.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    C. T.
    I believe that, in order to qualify for victim-oriented benefits of any kind, the genes have to have traveled some time south of the border. Being Spanish doesn’t make you Hispanic if the genes simply crossed the ocean.

    White Hispanic is a guy who is half Hispanic and blacker than Homer Plessey but whom we need to further the narrative of whites murdering blacks.

    • I worked one summer for a nonprofit which had office space in the headquarters of National Council of La Raza. I said to someone in the central copy room that since I was of Spanish, not Latino, descent, I didn’t think I really qualified as Hispanic. I still remember a woman saying firmly, “You do too qualify, honey!” Time spent south of the border actually is not necessary. Just that Iberian ancestry. Hence the fuzziness….

      • Roger Sweeny says:

        The more people who are classified as “hispanic,” the more potential power a group like the National Council of La Raza has. So they generally try to make the classification as inclusive as possible.

        A similar dynamic exists with African-American organizations. Thus, they find themselves continuing the old white supremacist “one drop” rule. As long as you have any black ancestors, you are black.

    • Just for fun, though, on another genealogical line, I have a great-grandmother (British Isles descent) born in a Mormon colony down in Mexico. So that makes me Latina, too, right? 😉

    • Not to be pedantic, but Homer Plessy was light skinned. In fact by all accounts he could easily pass for White, and could have ridden that train without a problem, if he hadn’t have been trying to create one.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    C T

    If your friend at La Raza is explaining the legal position, that means you’re entitled, should you need them, to Hispanic-only bennies. But I believe that is not the legal case. She was probably good-hearted and being literally accurate, but I was referring to legal–aka inexplicable–issues.
    I’d like to find out I’m wrong, since that would be one thing the government hasn’t messed up.
    I have some relations in Mexico who are extremely well off. It would be odd, from a rational standpoint, that they would be eligible for various bennies if here and a laborer who managed to get here legally from Barcelona wasn’t.

    • A friend of my son’s went to an Ivy, from a very affluent suburban school, and I’m sure as an African-American. His (very affluent) family was Mediterranean white and his parents were born in Tunisia or Morocco, but I’m sure his academic record wouldn’t have been sufficient for a non-A-A kid to get into that school. He was taking courses as a senior with my junior son, so he graduated without AP calculus or an AP science in a school where all of the top students had both, plus at least several other APs.