Michelle Krupa’s article “America is changing. Bigoted slurs, immigration bans and racist rallies can’t change that” is a fascinating look at how far we’ve come in America from our first census in 1790 until the present day when it comes to immigration, sexual orientation, and minority business ownership, representation in government, and educational achievement.
The data provided in the article is comprehensive, full of background and context as to why things have developed as they have. Instead of separating it out by subject matter showing maturation from then until now as they have, I have decided to put it in a kind of chronological order of achievements and milestones. What emerges is a timeline of progress that shows the inevitability of what Trumpists fear the most being that by 2065, we will be a majority minority country.
Timeline of Progress
1790 – The first US Census counted 3.9 million people living in the brand-new United States: nearly 3.2 million white people and about 760,000 black people, of whom about 92% were slaves; no other races or ethnicities were tallied. Americans were sorted into just three categories when it came to race: free white males and females, all other free persons, and slaves.
1960 – The country had ballooned to 178 million people, approximately 89% of them white, 11% black, and a tiny fraction comprised of other races, including Native American and Asian and Pacific Islander. Hispanic ethnicity wasn’t counted yet.
9.7 million immigrants lived in the US, accounting for just 5.4% of the total population.
Americans were first allowed to identify their own race on the census instead of a census worker doing it for them.
Before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 – 3.5% of African-Americans older than 25 held a bachelor’s degree. The number of Asians with a bachelor’s degree was 11%.
1967 – 3% of couples had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.
1970 – 1% of babies born in the US were multiracial.
1980 – 8% of Hispanic people had a bachelor’s degree.
2000 – Americans can identify themselves with more than one race on the census.
2003 – Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same sex marriage.
2007 – Black business people owned approximately 1.9 million firms across the U.S. There were approximately 1.5 million Asian owned firms nationally. There were 2.25 million Hispanic owned firms.
2008 – America elects it’s first black President, Barack Obama.
2010 – There are more than 60 race options, plus ethnicity on the census. About 3% of all Americans chose more than one racial category to describe themselves (9 million of about 309 million people).
2012 – Black business people owned approximately 2.6 million firms across the U.S. There were approximately 1.9 million Asian-owned firms nationally. There were 3.3 million hispanic owned U.S. firms.
From 2007 to 2012, black businesses increased 35%, Asian businesses increased 24%, Hispanic businesses increased 46%. over the same period, the overall number of U.S. firms only grew 2%.
3.5% of American adults (8.25 million people) identify as LGBT.
2013 – 10% of babies born in the U.S. were multiracial.
2015 – The number of blacks older than 25 that held a bachelor’s degree is 22.5%, Asians is 54%, and Hispanics is 16%.
The number of immigrants in the US is a record 43.2 million, comprising 13.4% of the population.
10% of married couples (11 million people) had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. 18% of all unmarried couples who were living together had a partner of a different race or ethnicity.
The US Supreme Court legalizes same sex marriage in all 50 states.
2016 – Almost 20% of voting members of the House and Senate are a racial or ethnic minority, the most diverse in history. Minorities account for 34% of the new members in both houses.
All of this is bad news for Trump supporters who want to Make America Great Again. Seeing as how the majority of them oppose this timeline of progress, looking at the timeline, it seems they would believe America was truly at it’s greatest from 1790 until 1960. Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore told us this already.
It’s also clear, looking at this timeline of progress, that the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama were fundamentally transformational in our nation’s history. As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, Trumpists should remmeber the quote he popularized that probably originated from the sermons of Theodore Parker in 1853 and realize there is no stopping what they want to stop:
Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.