It was in October 1997 that the Office of Management and Budget or the OMB announced that the standards for the gathering of federal data on race and ethnicity in the United States of America would be changed from thenceforth, and that the minimum categories for race would be form then onwards, divided into the following categories: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African-American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and White. This meant that any individual, when choosing to self-identify himself, would not have to place himself according to the multi-racial perspective that had been in use earlier, but rather; he could select one or more races when he would have to identify himself for any purpose. In addition, the OMB has today made an added provision, which is known as the 'Some Other Race'. (Racial and Ethnic classifications used in Census 2000 and beyond)
According to the U.S. Census definitions, 2000, each race can be definitely defined. For example, 'White' would mean those people who have their roots and origins in any of the original people of Eurasia or Europe, the areas from Turkey to Northern Africa, and East towards Iran, and those people from Phoenicia and Babylon and Egypt, and also the people from the Middle East and from North Africa. The term White would also include those people who have indicated that they were Irish, or German, or Italian or Lebanese, or if they had indicated that they were White. Arabs and the Polish would also be included in the same category. (Race, U.S. Census) Whites are also known as 'Caucasians' in several parts of the country, because this is the general term that is used to describe people of ethnic European, Middle Eastern, and North African descent, all of whom have 'fair skin'. (Whites: Categories: U.S. ethnic groups, Ethnic groups)
As late as in the year 1986, the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone is known to have made a comment that the average American intellectual standard is definitely lower than that of the Japanese because of the proliferation of Blacks and Hispanics in America. In answer to this remark, the University of Texas Law School Professor Lino Graglia said that in general, in the United States, Blacks and Hispanics are not really academically at par or in the same level of competition with the whites, in cultural institutions, and even then, failure is never frowned upon in the United States, and in the same way, cultural achievement is not really encouraged to the extent that it should be. Some individuals have even gone so far as to state that 'race' is the plague of modern civilization, and in countries like Australia and in Great Britain, entry to other races is severely restricted, thus avoiding any sort of controversy or racial conflicts and problems, unlike as in the United States, where there are no real restrictions for any particular race. (Race and Ethnicity)
In the case of America, this country has indeed been 'enriched' by the waves of immigrants of all races and of all colors who entered the soil of America on an equal footing, and started to make a living there, with a memory of old traditions, in combination with the newly acquired ones. The American Census Bureau predicted in 2004 that in the year 2050, minority groups would effectively comprise one half of the total American population of 420 million people; Hispanics would make up to one quarter of the population, Blacks about 15%, and Asians, about 8%. Whites would make up the rest of the population, and this would mean that half of the United States of America is comprised of whites, and this would be the antithesis of the general opinion that there are more minorities than whites in the U.S.A. However, it must be noted that as the population of Hispanics and Blacks and Asians keeps growing, the population of Whites would start to decrease, as is feared by most Whites of the U.S.A. (Race and Ethnicity)
As a matter of fact, the world population has grown by about one billion people, in the past twelve years only. In 1999, the figure showed a staggering six billion people in the world. Out of this, half of the population is under the age of twenty five, and more than 90% of growth is in fact taking place in the developing countries of the world. This is in sharp contrast to North America, Japan and Europe, where the growth of population has virtually come to a slowdown, or even to a standstill. If there is a growth projected in the United States of America, then it would most probably be due to increased immigration population. In 1999, the population in the United States was estimated at about 272.5 millions, and this made it the third most populated country, after India and China. While the population in America increases annually by about 0.6%, because of births, legal immigrations contribute to another 0.3% in growth, that is, about 800,000 people every year. Executive Summary: A Population Perspective of the United States)
It is also estimated that of these additional people entering the United States, ethnic and racial minorities would comprise more than 90% of the total, by the year 2050, making it over 90% of the 130 million additional minorities who would have entered USA at that time. Some statistics show that minorities would make up about one third of the entire population of the United States, and this would lead to minorities making up about half the population of the U.S.A., in comparison to the Whites, by the year 2050. Today, the current U.S. population is "72% non-Hispanic white, 12% African-American, 11% Hispanic, and about five percent Asian and other." (Executive Summary: A Population Perspective of the United States) Therefore, it is clear that the Whites are today making up almost three quarters of the population in the United States, as against the popular misconception that minorities have a larger share of the population than whites.
Final Paper- Movie: 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
The movie 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that had been written by Harper Lee in the year 1960. The novel deals with the story of the racially divided town of Alabama during the 1930's, and how when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, the lawyer Atticus Finch decides to take up the case and defend the young black man, in the midst of stiff opposition from the people of the town who make several intensive attempts to force Atticus to withdraw form the case. The movie as such is told through the eyes and views of six-year-old 'Scout', who carries the viewer through the entire movie, and into the middle of the raging racial prejudices and controversies that ruled Alabama at that time, that is, during the 1930's, in which the movie is set. The movie is presented at the beginning as the sweet and lovely reminiscences of the narrator Scott, who thinks about the various events that occurred in her childhood, and then what happened when her father, Atticus Finch, the lawyer who decided to defend the accused black man, took up the case. What is predominant throughout the entire movie is the fact that not one single person is ready to believe in the actual and true guiltlessness of the accused black man, and this is the theme of To Kill a Mockingbird. (Plot Summary for To Kill a Mockingbird)
The viewers of the movie To Kill a Mockingbird are made to appreciate and admire the movie's excellently sensitive and probing treatment of race and racial relations and diversity, and also to admire the deep insight into human relationships and basic human behavior. Even today, both the movie as well as the novel continues to be a real inspiration for millions of readers all over the world. As stated earlier, the movie opens with the adult Scout Finch reminiscing fondly about her childhood that she spent in Alabama, a small town in the United States, during the 1930's, also the time of the famous Great Depression. The technique of 'flashback' is used throughout the movie whenever there is a need to go back and explain things further and in greater detail than what the narrator has been saying. The child Scout develops her basic values and ideals by interacting with the various people in Maycomb at that time, and she happens to learn about the values of justice and the evils of injustice when she watches the trial of an African-American man who has been accused of having raped a white woman, it is Scott's father who takes up the case, and this is also the time when she starts to recognize the basic divisions in her town that have been made on the basis of race and creed and class. (Study Guide for To Kill a Mockingbird)