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%|
“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?