Who are the multiracials?

A few days ago The New York Times published an article, Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race. Who are the multiracials? Because of the history of black-white relations in the United States, and Barack Obama’s own background, the term is often framed so that that dimension is front & center. But what do the numbers say? Census 2000 found that 2.4% of Americans selected more than one race; i.e., they identified as multiracial. The breakdowns were:

Rank Multiple Race Selection % of Total Pop. % of Multiracials
1. White × Some Other Race 0.78% 32.32%
2. White × American Indian 0.38% 15.86%
3. White × Asian 0.31% 12.72%
4. White × Black 0.28% 11.50%
5. Black × Some Other Race 0.15% 6.11%
6. Asian × Some Other Race 0.09% 3.65%
7. Black × American Indian 0.06% 2.67%
8. Asian × Hawaiian or Pac. Islander 0.05% 2.03%
9. White × Hawaiian or Pac. Islander 0.04% 1.65%
10. White × Black × American Indian 0.04% 1.64%

mixedrace.jpg“Some Other Race” usually means Hispanic or Latino (nearly half of Hispanics or Latinos identify as white, but 2/5ths identify as Some Other Race). When it comes to how race is lived in America the fact that the major media is based out of the east coast has a distortionary affect on the discourse. Granted, The New York Times piece profiled a woman of mixed Chinese & white heritage, but she was predictably tacked on after the primary focus on the new biracial America.
P.S. Did you know that Herbert Hoover’s Vice President, Charles Curtis, was about 1/4th to 1/2th Native American (depending on which source you trust) and spent some of his youth on a reservation?

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