Demographics/Racism/The media seem unlikely bedfellows for a blog, but bear with me.
Jose Biden made a statement at the beginning of his cabinet-member search that was radical, sensible and, on reflection, obvious. Three descriptions that don’t seem to go together either. He promised that his cabinet would reflect the country’s demographics. What a novel, and sensible idea.
Let’s start with the indisputable facts of demographics. A recent U.S. Census Bureau report breaks down the current ethnic makeup of the country as follows. White 65%, Black 12%, Hispanic 16%, Asian 6% and Native American 0.2%. The projections for 2050 were: White 40%, Black 12%, Hispanic 30%, Asian 8% and Native American 0.4%.
Please remember that, short of a massive meteor, a huge pandemic, or mass genocide, these numbers will not change – it’s simple demographics.
This is what Joe Biden has to work with to fulfill his promise. To date, he seems to be following his goal.
The U.S. is deeply divided, that’s obvious. However, it’s deeply divided not only in politics, but also along racist lines. The standard interpretation of that statement would be the black/white divide, but, I submit, it is much broader than that. Racism, in the broadest sense, mean tribalism, and there are many more groups if you divide the population under that heading.
75 million people voted for Donald Trump. Comments of the insurrectionists in front of the Capitol this week, suggest that a significant section of that population sincerely believe they have lost their country. Vocally, they believe their votes were stolen, but that hides the fact they think their country has been stolen.
If they believe that, and I don’t doubt they sincerely do, I can understand their frustration, anger and fear. They listen to their President’s conspiracy theories and consistent lies. When they watch/listen to the media, they can easily get the impression that Black and LGBTQ concerns have taken over their country. If you think about it, the coverage these groups receive far outweighs their demographics. I understand the reasons for this coverage, but how does it appear to others who don’t understand, or don’t want to understand.
I have a radical suggestion that could help restore everyone’s faith in America. The proposal is that the media percentage coverage of events should reflect the country’s demographics, emergencies excluded. Just like Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections, such a strategy would resonate across the country. This is why I chose the strange title: Demographics/Racism/The media.
Am I naïve in even thinking this could happen? Certainly, but the process towards equal opportunity and respect for all citizens has to start somewhere. Its a small a step, but its one way to start that process.
In this case, I want to be naïve, and hopeful.