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U.S. Population Hits 300 Million 492

ChrisK87 writes "The United States' population will hit 300 million on Tuesday morning, just 39 years after it reached 200 million, the US Census Bureau estimates. A 'population clock' will record the milestone at 0746 (1146 GMT) — a timing based on calculations that factor birth and death rates and migration." From the article: "But it is not possible to say if the 300-millionth American was a new-born or crossed one of the US borders. Correspondents say that there is not expected to be the same hullabaloo as when the figure of 100 million was reached in 1915, or the double century in 1967 when President Johnson gave a speech and newborn Robert Ken Woo Jr was hailed the 200-millionth American by Life magazine. Today, the population figure is mired in the divisive politics of immigration — a hot-button issue ahead of the 7 November mid-term elections, they say." The story has lots of interesting stats and graphs, for those of us so inclined.
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U.S. Population Hits 300 Million

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  • Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries? Which demographics are producing most children? How much does the number of legal immigrants contribute to the growth?

    Wider-spread religiosity and gender-equality are the factors according to this article [].

  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:30AM (#16467319)
    It's the divisive politics of Illegal immigration. I know and have read of no one who is against immigration in the U.S. We're all too closely descended from immigrants.

    It's *Illegal* immigration that causes the rift.

    Don't lose control of the words. Words mean something.
  • Nuclear (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:37AM (#16467439)
    Simple: nuclear power plants. You know, like France does now...
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:46AM (#16467595) Homepage Journal
    Seriously -- mod parent up.

    There's no "immigration debate," at least not in mainstream politics; the debate is over illegal immigration.

    Immigration per se isn't a divisive issue at all. Except for the very far-right fringe, I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that we should stop legitimate immigration of people with skills that are in-demand, here in the United States. The disagreement is in how to deal with the large number of illegal immigrants, doing mostly low-value work, and the consequent social problems that having an effective sub-class of workers entails.

    The only debate I can think of that involves legal immigration has to do with the way the U.S. grants refugee status, and the "anchor baby" phenomenon, but those are closely tied to the same issues that make illegal immigration important; they're not really fundamental questions about immigration.
  • by Elemenope ( 905108 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:47AM (#16467617)
    Oddly enough, most American Catholics don't really in practice give a damn about what the Pope says regarding contraception. They don't even care as much about abortion as you might think; the two most Catholic states (by far) are Rhode Island and Maryland, both of whom have decently liberal laws regarding abortion, and while the institution of the Catholic Church bitches constantly about it (I live in one of those two states) the parishioners kindly and gently ignore them. No, most of the religiously-based conservatism in the US comes out of Dominionist churches and sources in the south and midwest.
  • by ookabooka ( 731013 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:52AM (#16467731)
    Yeah, cuz back in the day when the population was much smaller, there were no such things as war (over land), famine, pollution. Sure humans made less of an impact on the Earth on a global scale (ie global warming), but I think your utopian view of a less populus world is inherently flawed. Cities from the early days of the industrial revolution were heavily polluted, and also had less people in them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:55AM (#16467771)
    Except for the very far-right fringe, I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that we should stop legitimate immigration of people with skills that are in-demand, here in the United States

    No, but the left would have you think that the right is against it by leaving out the word "illegal" whenever it comes up. Leave out "illegal", and boom, you have non-compassionate conservatives hating on all immigrants.

  • Are a few extra immigrants really somethign to get worked up over?

    It is when it's a few million, and if the immigrants in question consume more in services than they contribute in GDP; if that's the case, then they are a net economic loss, and decrease per-capita GDP and with it, the overall standard of living. While previous generations of working-class immigrants were basically self-sufficent and used little in the way of public-sector social services, this is not the case today with many people who are immigrating illegally.

    Besides which, "eight acres for every person" is a mis-statement. Much of that land you're talking about isn't really habitable, or is already being used for other purposes (such as food production). There's lots of "empty" land in the badlands of Wyoming or up in Alaska, but you're going to have a hard time getting the people wading across the Rio Grande to go there.
  • by paranode ( 671698 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:06AM (#16467955)
    Well, I am not speaking to the reasons for Europe's birthrates. You can't turn a corner here in the US without hearing about 'family values' and the 'baby culture'. Some people pop out kids for social acceptance, others do it for intrinsic cultural values that often come from religion (Catholicism being but one of them). A noticeable trend appears to be that child rearing is most often inversely proportional to income and intelligence, which is bad news. Of course there are always exceptions.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:09AM (#16467993)
    Yea...that's why the oceans have huge dead areas with no fish in them any more... Why we are down from 3' of topsoil to 9" of topsoil and it has a fraction of the nutrients it really needs to produce nutritious food.

    I'll grant we can probably figure out some way to "exist" with 9 billion people on the planet.

    But only 1% of them will have a good life and the other 99% are going to live very constrained existances.

    There's only so many beaches- so many ski mountains- and either only the rich or powerfull will have them- or they will be so grossly overcrowded you really won't want to be there. Truly rare stuff is starting to rise in value.
  • by massysett ( 910130 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:15AM (#16468095) Homepage
    I'm confused. A Washington Post story [] says that the 300 millionth American may have just walked across the Mexico border. Umm, doesn't American mean a citizen? Sure, illegal immigrants have children in the U.S. who are citizens, but last time I looked, newborns aren't walking across the border.
  • by rock_vbrg ( 949708 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:18AM (#16468161)
    What you are missing is that during the first half of the last century the USA did not have the welfare state that is currently in place here now. Because of this if you came into the USA before the 1940's, you were expected to either work or starve. Soup kitchens and other charity was setup by PRIVATE individuals and other charity organizations (mainly Christian churches). These were supported by PRIVATE citizens who donated to those causes, there was no government support or bail-out like we have now. As such new immigrants were a boost to the economy by providing a cheap and willing labor force since those coming over were looking to ASSIMILATE and BUILD a new life here in America. What we are seeing now is that there is a large and growing population that does not want to assimilate, does not want to contribute and only wants to take what they can. Now to be fair there are a lot that do want to come and be a part but those are the exception not the rule and typically are the LEGAL immigrants. By having this bloated welfare system that gets bigger everyday, immigration must be limited to those that will come and work otherwise the net drain on the system will cause the economy and the country to collapse. That is why student, work and tourist visas are easy to get but limited in duration while permanent immigration visas are much tougher to come by since part of the process requires you have a job and a sponsor (who is supposed to take care of you if something happens to you job so you aren't a burden to society) or that is how it is supposed to work.
  • by El Torico ( 732160 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:21AM (#16468227)
    It is amazing that we will destroy our own country just so we can tell ourselves (and others) that we are nice people.

    It is amazing that we will destroy our own country just so we can have cheap labor.

    Although I dislike Political Correctness, it isn't why the US is letting in illegal immigrants. PC is part of it, but it isn't the root cause. Yes, we will get what we deserve when the US is broke and China assumes its place as the dominant power in about 40 - 70 years.

  • Re:400 million (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:23AM (#16468275)
    The most densely populated city anywhere near me is Chicago. Chicago has lots and lots of room to grow. The city proper is pretty dense, but you can always knock down two-flats and build larger apartment complexes. What really needs to happen, though, is for someone to tear up all the wasted space that was created by the suburban fetish for asphalt and start doing something useful with that 60-mile-radius wasteland that surrounds the city.
  • by JavaLord ( 680960 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:29AM (#16468405) Journal
    Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries? Which demographics are producing most children? How much does the number of legal immigrants contribute to the growth?

    Legal immigration and hispanic birthrates are what contribute to the growth. In some states (ie Utah) Caucasian birthrate is above replacement level, but in most states it is not. Europe has the same problem, Caucasian people are pretty much dying out. African Americans aren't much better, as they are right around replacement rate (2.1), and I suspect in a few years they will fall below it.

    As cultures/people become intigrated into western society they tend to have less children. The availability of Birth Control, higher education, and workplace oppurtunity for women are what I believe causes it, along with dropping sperm counts.
  • by Kombat ( 93720 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:32AM (#16468467) Homepage
    People that are rich have time that is very valuable, so they can't afford to have many children, because they would waste too much of their own time.

    You're thinking about it backwards. Has it occurred to you that rich and middle-class people are well off precisely because they don't have kids? Kids are expensive. They reduce the overall household income (by causing one or both parents to work less, or even quit their career altogether), in addition to raising household costs (increased food consumption, clothing, water use, education, sports, etc.). The net effect being that it holds families back financially.

    People don't start out rich and then "decide" whether or not to have kids. Kids prevent people from getting rich (generally), whereas those of us who opt not to kids can put that money to other uses, like investments.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:09AM (#16469201)
    Here's a solution: let your craptastic government keep blowing it's fortune on stupid wars and other military spending, wait for the country to go to shit (not because of illegal immigrants but becasue the people running the country are shit, including democrats) and, voila, no Mexicans want to go to the states anymore.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:11AM (#16469241)
    First and oldy but a goody 330131.html []

    The Black Belt of Central Texas: This region, whose fame as a cotton-producing area is known to the ends of the world, once was a real black belt of highly productive black clay, rich in lime, humus and plant nutrients. Vast changes have come over the region since it was broken out of the prairie sod some 30 to 50 years ago. It is no longer an unbroken black belt, but a mixed black and white belt with countless areas scoured off to the underlying white chalk or marl.

    Erosion in the Red Plains Region: A large part of the 36 million acres of predominantly red sandy lands extending from western Oklahoma far down into Texas has undergone terrific erosion during the past generation,

    Effects in the Corn Belt: A tremendous amount of land has been severely impoverished in the rolling counties of northern Missouri, southern Iowa, eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska, and many farms have been abandoned as the result.

    These are from 1933.
    Do you think it we have reclaimed any of that lost land?

    More recently rrent/lectures/land_deg/land_deg.html []
    The world's croplands are in decline due to the pressure of human activities. The figure shows the regional and global trends in the total available area of the world's croplands. ...
    Worldwide the amount of cropland per capita has declined due to population growth. North America and the former USSR have substantially more cropland per capita than the rest of the world. ...
      The total loss of arable land can be summarized in the following figure. Of the total available (1500 million hectares, signifant components have been lost due to the combined effects of desertification, salinization, erosion, and development activities. ...
    # Degradation of land includes soil erosion, salinization, nutrient depletion, and desertification. The rate of degradation has increased dramatically with growth in human populations and technology.
    # Severe land damage accompanies large scale agriculture. Restoration is very problematical.
    # Continued loss of arable land will jeopardize our ability to feed the world population.
    # Land degradation is worldwide - both developed and developing countries.

    On the oceans... []
    First global map reveals rapidly shrinking hotspots for tuna, marlin, swordfish - Diversity has declined by up to 50% over 50 years due to fishing []
    What's left behind is a dead zone, like a forest after being clearcut, except that it takes centuries rather than decades to grow back.

    I'm not so pessimistic as these folks are. I think it could recover in a generation if we would stop killing everything. But as the human population increases- there are not any more real fish out there.

    So what's more likely-- 9 billion or 3 billion? I'm thinking 9 billion and my investments in scarce resources and global luxury property (fidelity has a nice new fund just for this which I'm not in yet) are doing nicely.

    I agree with you on the waste. We deal with it inefficiently because it's cheap. But again the root problem is too many people. If the world population was 50% lower, the trash would be less and there would be a lot more places to put it.

    It's bad.
    It's going to get worse.
    And we can't or won't do anything about the fundamental problem-- too many people. Every exit scenario I see is very bad. I'm hoping I get to die comfortably before that point.
  • Well said. I was going to try and say this but you pretty much nailed it.

    The only thing I'd add is that it gets even worse when you consider people that have children at a very young age -- i.e. the phenomenon we politely call "teen pregnancy." When someone has a child before they're even able to support themselves, they essentially create two loads on their family (and/or the tax-supported public welfare system): themselves and the child. Not only do they create a new non-worker, but they take themselves out of the working pool, or at least into a lower wage class than they probably would have been in, effectively making two unproductive individuals. Also, there are fairly convincing statistics showing that the children of very young parents often become young parents themselves, perpetuating the problem.

    So in places in the U.S. where, for various social reasons, you have high rates of teen pregnancy, you can quickly have generations of people burdened with supporting large numbers of non-working adults and children; it's a recipe for poverty that's basically unstoppable, unless you can break the cycle of young people continuing to have children.

    Unfortunately, certain parts of the U.S. political structure are absolutely unwilling to take this problem on realistically, instead pretending that it can be dealt with indirectly.
  • by jahudabudy ( 714731 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#16469947)
    But only 1% of them will have a good life and the other 99% are going to live very constrained existances. There's only so many beaches- so many ski mountains- and either only the rich or powerfull will have them- or they will be so grossly overcrowded you really won't want to be there.

    These are your examples of some dystopian future? I currently do not have either a beach nor a ski mountain, and yet I don't really feel that my existence is terribly constrained. In fact, I am willing to bet that all beaches and ski mountains are currently owned only by the rich, so the future is NOW!

    . Truly rare stuff is starting to rise in value.

    I think you meant "Truly rare stuff is continuing to rise in value." Thing is, rare stuff has always been, well, rare. Basic economics indicates that this will increase the value.

    Seriously, if you think these are the symptoms of dangerous overcrowding ("Only the rich can afford to own a mountain! Rare stuff grows more valuable by the year!"), then the earth has pretty much always been overcrowded.
  • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:44AM (#16470099)
    Immigration per se isn't a divisive issue at all. Except for the very far-right fringe, I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that we should stop legitimate immigration of people with skills that are in-demand, here in the United States.

    I think it would be very difficult for a fair-minded observer to square this claim with the hate-mongering that goes on in the mainstream media in the U.S. []. For example, "They tell the illegals, become American citizens and vote Mexico's interests in the United States" does not sound like someone who is concerned about illegal immigrants--it sounds like someone who is concerned about immigration of any kind by people who are "not like us."

    It is true that the adjective "illegal" is sometimes prepended to the term "immigrant" in the above-linked article and others like it, giving the racist cowards a fig leaf to hide behind, but a great deal of what they say makes no sense if it is applied only to illegals. In particular, it is totally unclear why Buchannan would be talking about his wife's grandparents, who entered the United States quite legally, if he is concerned about illegal immigration, which you and others contend it a totally different issue than legal immigration.

    So nope, I don't buy it. I heard the original broadcast of the article linked above, and it was in tone and attitude pure race hatred, straight out of Nuremburg. You'll note that the summary of the article doesn't mention illegals: it mentions how the Republicans are catering to the interests of Hispanic immigrants (which makes sense, as they can vote while illegals cannot.)

    In the quote I've pulled above, it isn't totally clear who "they" are, but in context it appears to mean the legal Hispanic immigrants in the United States, whom Buchannan believes are part of an international cabal to contaminate America's precious bodily fluids.
  • Re:Plenty of Room (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ranton ( 36917 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:54AM (#16470301)
    Seeing that my first post recieved the moderation of Flamebait it just shows how impossible this problem would be to fix. Political correctness has permiated American culture to the point where actual intelligent discussion of the problem is almost impossible.

    It is WRONG and IMMORAL to have children if you are on welfare. It is WRONG and IMMORAL to have children if you are in poverty. But in today's society, it seams to be wrong and immoral to even mention that the poor citizens in our society are causing most of their own problems.

    The reason that our society is having such a hard time giving opportunity to the lower class is because they are producing so many children. It is true that a poor child does not have the same opportunities as a middle class child. So why do parents that cannot provide for their offspring keep having children?

    My fiance and I currently make about $60k a year in combined income. That is barely enough for a responsible person to even consider having a child in America (and I live in a small town of about 30k population in northern Illinois). My (soon to be) sister in law has two children with a family income of only $55k, but she has free daycare and inherited her house.

    I have no problem continuing to help out the poor in our society. I think we should be improving their education to help the smart and hard working ones rise up to the middle class. But I hate it when people blame the rich and middle class for the lower class's problems. And when people even mention comments like these, our "politically correct" society just labels them as Flamebait.

  • Re:Nuclear (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:04PM (#16470529)
    Carbon dioxide pollution is reversible.

    Nuclear pollution is permanent. Thats why its worse.
  • by N3WBI3 ( 595976 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:04PM (#16470533) Homepage
    50+ hour work weeks

    "the average employed American works a 46-hour work week" []

    no national health plan

    "Most individuals not covered by private insurance are covered by government insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and various state and local programs for the poor. Much of the cost of outpatient medical supplies and durable medical equipment is borne by state and federal governments in the form of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare patients and veterans may be able to avail themselves to earned public ambulatory care. Since 1986, a controversial federal law, EMTALA, has required all American emergency rooms which bill federal healthcare programs to stabilize all incoming patients without regard to their ability to pay."

    The federal government does not provide these services but US states do (think of US states like EU member nations.

    preschool that is glorified baby-sitting

    Also controlled at the local level, not the job of the US federal government. BTW the teachers unions have alot to do with this.

    laughable primary education system

    Also controlled at the local level, not the job of the US federal government. BTW the teachers unions have alot to do with this..

    open hostility to reproductive rights

    Or maybe just a disagreement with you about when human life begins...

    All that aside, right now it is prohibitively expensive to have children under this system.

    Huh? people are having more kids in the US than in Europe..

    Granted, this is purely anecdotal, but within my circle of friends (all around 30ish), nobody is having kids or planning on having kids

    And in my circle of friends (mid to late twenties) about 80% have had their first kid and about a fifth have a second...

    its just too comfortable to cohabit in sin and live it up.

    So the fact people want free time and disposable income more than kids has what to do with, for example, the election system in the US?

  • by JohnsonJohnson ( 524590 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:21PM (#16472219)

    There's no "immigration debate," at least not in mainstream politics; the debate is over illegal immigration.

    Given the history of US immigration policy that's a disingenuous statement. The legality or illegality of immigration from individual countries is largely arbitrary and is more a consequence of local American issues with race and ethnicity than any rational consideration. For example, the visa lottery is explicitly designed to exclude countries that send a lot of immigrants to the US, but obviously that means supply is not being matched to demand and thus one would expect illegal immigration from those countries.

    I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that we should stop legitimate immigration of people with skills that are in-demand

    That seems like a reasonable proposition at first glance, but in reality it's a canard. It's actually counterproductive to select for immigrants who are already financially successful, except for the extremely wealthy like Rupert Murdoch, they are unlikely to create new economic activity that wouldn't have occured anyway, and they compete with the existing middle class for jobs.

    the consequent social problems that having an effective sub-class of workers entails.

    Actually, after three generations the majority of descendents of immigrants tend to have moved into the middle class. They do not form a self perpetuating underclass. Furthermore the second generation of immigrant descendents tend to outperform natives scholastically, so much of the innovation that drives productivity growth may be tied to relatively open immigration policies, a tighter policy may not only slow population growth but reduce economic growth due to higher productivity as well, but that link is not firmly established. Finally, over the course of their entire lifetime, net proceeds to society both in the form of taxes and income of immigrants tends to be positive, so immigration is in a sense a free lunch. Society may pay more initially for accepting immigrants, but it gets more than its fair share back. There are examples of societies which pick and choose immigrants, Japan and Switzerland for example: both have sclerotic growth rates, aging populations with all the attendant problems that creates, and a growing underclass due to the difficulty of transitioning to a fully enfranchised member of society there.

    In short, the distinctions the US draws in its immigration policy allow people to mask their own biases and prejudices under the cover of concern of legality instead of addressing fundamental issues with immigration. As with highway speed limits, US immigration policy allows one to argue about a rather arbitrary distinction of legal and illegal behavior without addressing issues of underlying socioeconomic forces.

  • by stan_freedom ( 454935 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:44PM (#16472715) Homepage
    "they will tell you that the oceanic population is not even 1% lower than it was hundreds of years ago..."

    This certainly doesn't take into account the fish that we consume. Many fisheries have been wiped out or nearly wiped out. Chilean sea bass are the most recent example. I don't know any "REAL" marine biologists (I roomed with an undergrad in college, but the last I heard, he was selling office furniture). However, I have talked with more than a few fishing guides and here in Florida, they will tell you that the fishing is not nearly as good as it was in previous decades.

    Now I'm not a rocket surgeon or brain scientist, but it seems pretty obvious that particular species of fish populations have decreased much more than 1%. Maybe these fish have been offset by gains in plankton or brine shrimp, so the net change is less than 1%. However, I'm not too interested in an "all you can eat" brine shrimp special down at Red Lobster or an old-fashioned New England plankton bake.

    I'm a big fan of the free market. Under normal pressures, it can adapt to handle supply/demand fluctuations. However, the free market doesn't deal well with extremely tight supply. As an example, every Christmas there's the hot new toy that everyone's gotta have but nobody can find through the regular outlets. People lie, cheat, counterfeit, steal, and even assault each other to make thier kids happy. Now, imagine what these same people would do (myself included) if the shortage is food or water or land or energy. As a consumer, I would rather compete with 6 billion other people than 9 billion other people.

    For a good example of the environmental impacts of overpopulation (and piss-poor government), check out Haiti.
  • Re:Nuclear (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:54PM (#16472907) Homepage Journal
    Nuclear pollution is not permanent. Nuclear radiation occurs because the atoms in question are slowly decaying to a stable state. It is the decay itself which releases the radiation and is harmful to us. So essentially, it is the very fact that nuclear particles clean themselves up that is dangerous to us.
  • by Eli Gottlieb ( 917758 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @03:52PM (#16475011) Homepage Journal
    I do have to say that as "other faiths not of my own" go, judaism seems very compatible with me in a mixed secular society and I could coexist with followers peacefully.
    You've obviously never been to M'dinat Yisrael, where they've twisted perfectly ordinary Jewish ethnocentricity into militant Zionism.
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:05PM (#16476151) Homepage Journal
    You should really get modded up.

    I notice that the '1% decline' folks haven't responded to you.

    The only thing I have to add is that the last time I went shopping for fish, except for the stuff that was farmed, the selection wasn't nearly as good as it used to be a few decades ago.

    And although it's before my time, if you read historical accounts of the shellfish harvests in New England, they're nothing like they are today. Lobster used to be so common in Maine that it was considered a poor-person's food; you could basically go and pick them up from the rocks in many bays and inlets. Don't even bother trying that today. Similar with clams, although there you also have toxic contamination to worry about.

    Were it not for international treaties, I think it's safe to assume that a whole lot of both whale and large sea-fish species would now be extinct. (We got pretty close with swordfish; it's just getting back to normal now.) The free market is great for a lot of things, but that "tragedy of the commons" is a real bitch. Sometimes the market -- and people in general -- aren't really forward-thinking. They'll slaughter the goose today rather than have the golden eggs later a startlingly large percentage of the time.
  • Racist? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:25PM (#16476383) Journal
    If you are white, making fun of another person's accent is racist. Of course, it isn't racism when Eddie Murphy or Dave Chapelle make fun of white people's accents. That's just hilarious.

    If you are white, it's racist to even mention that hispanic people are moving into the country in large numbers. If you aren't white, it isn't racist to say, "Let's get rid of whitey."

    Personally, I think race is a red herring, an idea designed to keep the working class of all races from recognizing their true enemy: the hereditary owning class. Damn richers! Kill all dollarheads!
  • Re:Racist? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @06:47PM (#16477385) Journal
    Because we are the dominant society. We grow up without having toquestion what we are taught about ourselves and our place in society. Whenever minorities' beliefs conflict with the dominant culture, they are the ones who must question and change their beliefs.

    The kind of oppression that minorities go through is almost incomprehensible to you and I. Have you ever been followed through a retail store by employees who were certain you were going to shoplift based on the color of your skin? Ever been told that no more than two of you and a group of friends could come into a store at one time?

    Black or Brown Power shirts are fine. Making fun of accents is not quite fine, but not quite bad because there needs to be one way of speaking that is most understandable to everyone. Thus the midwest "standard american accent." I make fun of people from Wisconson or Massachusetts, too. Saying, "let's get rid of whoever" is never fine.

    And race really is a red herring, anyway. Black, yellow, red or white, wherever you go, people know who "the man" is. And they don't like him.
  • Re:Hola (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fear the Clam ( 230933 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @07:47PM (#16478219)
    Mexican isn't a race, dumbass. Feel free to suck my balls with those pursed, disapproving lips.

    That's the PC folks in a nutshell: All het up to get offended about something they don't understand.

  • Discrimination (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mark_MF-WN ( 678030 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:34PM (#16480499)
    Actually, most of us have been followed through stores and been treated like criminals. It's called being a teenager. I had my school bags searched so many times that it's appalling. And I'm about as white as it gets, short of considering albinos. As an adult, I can walk into any store wearing a trench-coat and a backpack, and not get a second's flak about it from anyone. As a teenager? No way.

    People concerned about race relations are idiots. Discrimination takes place about many more things than just race, and much more intensely. Age, religion, gender, all three affect how one is treated far more than race does. And wealth puts the rest to shame. If you're upper class, you can throw coke-and-daterape parties every night, and never have the cops even drive past your house. If you're lower class, even a regular beer and medium-volume-music party is enough to get a serious grilling from the cops and a fine for noise. A single whiff of pot smoke in the air, and you're all in for a strip-search from sexually deprived cops.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl