Discover Social Facts: U.S. Racial History Estimate

Each of the one-hundred charts published in Economic Sovereignty was curated with meticulous precision. The question emerged: how do U.S. demographics compare to the demographics of the world? Race is just one of many factors. I received a challenge from a local political science enthusiast when I showed him the chart. He suspected that American whites were overrepresented in statistics, but he wanted to see how I figured out that the most accurate estimate of whites in America was 55%:


This conflicts with most major publications. Why? The truth is contained in what we consider to be the definition of race.

When you think of what “white” race looks like in America, do you think of The Simpsons? The Brady Bunch? Hillary and Bill Clinton? Bernie Sanders? Donald and Ivanka Trump? Family Guy? Bing Crosby? Margaret Thatcher? If the answer is “yes,” then only 55% of America is white. Would you consider people who speak Spanish, identify with Latin American culture, and watch Telemundo to be white or Hispanic?

The problem comes from the definition of race in the regulations that have governed statistical collection in the United States. Officially, “Hispanic” is not a race, but an ethnicity, and about half of U.S. Hispanics are “white Hispanics.” Can a person be “racist” against Jews or Muslims? How? Are Judaism and Islam races or religions? Do Jews forbid blacks and Dravidians from converting to their religion? Would they say that they were not really Jews if they did, because of their genetics? Officially, North African and Middle Easterners are considered “white” by the U.S. statistical categories. If that’s the case, then it would be impossible for a “white” person to be “racist” against a Middle Easterner – since the government claims that they are also white.

In technical terms, it would be possible to be “bigoted” or “prejudiced” against an ethnicity, such as Hispanics, Jews, and various Muslims. Racism is a very specific form of prejudice against a person because of their visible genetic manifestations – such as morphology and skin color. People offer prejudice against ethnicities, cultural and political groups much more frequently. Due to intra-Islamic rivalries, there are Muslims who are prejudiced against other ethnicities of Muslims.

I once knew a Sufi Muslim who scowled upon hearing of another Islamist terror attack. He uttered, “Disgusting Wahhabis.” At the time, nobody knew if the killers were Shia. It was as if Hezbollah and Houthis did not exist to him. Yet out of the other side of his mouth, he would say, “do not refer to radical Islamic terror.” He wanted people to join his prejudice against Sunni Muslims instead. Using the term “racist” is not only inaccurate, it leads to glaring contradictions, and obscures visceral prejudice against other identity groups such as black conservatives or rural whites.

To reconcile these contradictions, we consider race in terms of ethnoracial identity, and that is what my chart accurately represents. It makes absolutely no sense to present ethnicities such as Middle Easterners, Jews, and Hispanics as white people occasionally in crime reports, housing data, national demographic data, or other analyses, and then single them out as minorities in other inquiries.

The categories black, white, Hispanic, and other encompass America’s general perception of ethnoracial identity. My data analysis includes greater precision, but it’s lost in a small chart, so Asians, Pacific Islanders, Dravidians, Sinhalese (and other Indians), Native Americans, North Africans, Middle Easterners, etc. are included in the “other” category. The Hispanic category represents all Hispanics.

I believe that this ethnoracial identity ontology more accurately depicts common public perceptions of race. You could reproduce my chart using these assumptions, and the citations for the source data (there are numerous sources required for the estimate). The citations are published within Economic Sovereignty. Instead, you could just cite the chart from my book, but I’d be very interested in any cross-validation of my result with other researchers who have used the same set of assumptions.

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