Census: Minorities now surpass whites in US births

By HOPE YEN of the Associated Press

racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S.,

racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S.

For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing.

New 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the nation’s racial makeup and the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is now resulting in fewer Hispanics entering the U.S.

“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”

The report comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the legality of a strict immigration law in Arizona, with many states weighing similar get-tough measures.

“We remain in a dangerous period where those appealing to anti-immigration elements are fueling a divisiveness and hostility that might take decades to overcome,” Harrison said.

As a whole, the nation’s minority population continues to rise, following a higher-than-expected Hispanic count in the 2010 census. Minorities increased 1.9 percent to 114.1 million, or 36.6 percent of the total U.S. population, lifted by prior waves of immigration that brought in young families and boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years.

But a recent slowdown in the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations is shifting notions on when the tipping point in U.S. diversity will come — the time when non-Hispanic whites become a minority. After 2010 census results suggested a crossover as early as 2040, demographers now believe the pivotal moment may be pushed back several years when new projections are released in December.

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Room4Debate: Do barriers to interracial marriage still exist?

 By Kevin Noble Maillard of thegrio.com

Do barriers to interracial marriage still exist? Despite recent media reports that we are living in a “post-racial world” as the face of the American family changes, the numbers do not lie when showing that there is still resistance to black/white relationships.

Formally, all prohibitions on black/white interracial marriage have been removed. The Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional in the 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia. This case made it legal for people to marry the person of their own choosing, regardless of race. No state government can block an interracial marriage after the ruling, the case determined.

Hearts did not change overnight, however. Some states did not change their laws after the ruling, even though they could not have been enforced. South Carolina and Alabama did not officially amend their laws until 1998 and 2000, respectively, and not without resistance. In 2009, Keith Bardwell, a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana, refused to perform the marriage of a black man and white woman. And just last year, a church in Kentucky banned interracial couples from membership.

What are your thoughts?

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Watch a trailer for the HBO movie, The Loving Story.