Posted by: bkivey | 1 September 2010

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Recently it seems that various media outlets have been expressing surprise and dismay that certain populations and groups are made up mostly of white people. This observation is most commonly made when, but not confined to,  reporting on organizations that are seen as inimical to the Leftist agenda. The insinuation is that if a significant minority population is not present, as determined by the reporting media, then there must be some sort of anti-minority agenda. There can not possibly be any other explanation, because America is a racist country, and The Man is always trying to hold people down.

In Portland, OR, this mindset has been around for a while but has become more visible in the last couple of years. There has been much public handwringing, particularly in the alternative media, about how ‘white’ Oregon in general and Portland in particular are. It has become de rigueur among the twentysomething hipster crowd to make snarky comments about the local demographics. “Look how cool I am! I’m white but look how guilty I feel about it!” Yeah, I can see how you’re down with the struggle in your $20,000 Prius and your $5 latte.

The fact is that about 67% of the U.S. population consists of non-Hispanic white people. If the population were evenly distributed, you would expect that in any random location two out of three people would be white. Of course, ethnic groups are not evenly distributed across the country, due to historical factors and individual preferences, and there are places where minorities are nearly non-existent and places where white people are hard to find. I have yet to see the news story that bemoans the lack of white population in Atlanta or Chicago or Los Angeles, places where whites are a minority. Those on the Left are big proponents of proportional representation, except, it seems, where people of pallor are concerned. This leads me to think that their motives are less than pure.

I don’t see that it should matter who lives where or what the particular ethnic make-up of a community is. People are going to live where they want to live, usually because of job opportunities or a certain quality of life. But some folks on the left side of the aisle are obsessed with ethnicity and imbue certain traits to people based solely on their skin color. This sounds to me like a working definition of racism. If a community is mostly white then it must be because there is a conspiracy to keep minorities out. Yet no such stigma attaches to communities that are distinctly non-white.

I don’t think that it’s particularly useful or productive to worry about the ethnic make-up of a community. With an unemployment rate above 11% in Oregon and above 9% in the country, I would think that a more useful endeavor would be to create work opportunities.

Surviving the Cut

Ever wonder what it takes to become a soldier in one of the service’s elite units? Want to know what it takes to be an Army Ranger or Recon Marine? The TV show “Surviving the Cut” on Discovery Channel takes viewers into the daily routine of those training courses and more.

A follow-on series from last year’s “Two Weeks in Hell” show detailing the selection process for Green Berets, the series takes a look at men doing things that most people couldn’t conceive of. Deprived of sleep and food, candidates push themselves beyond what most would think of as human limits. While the series depicts people doing things I wouldn’t ever want to go through, I’m glad that there are men who do.

Wednesdays on Discovery Channel, check listings for times.

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