The Coming White Minority: California's Eruptions and America's Future

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Random House Incorporated, 1996 - Social Science - 331 pages
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Sometime after 2050, America's entire population will shift to minority-majority status, but before this century's end, California will have a population that is less than half white. How the state - which has had a major impact on American race relations in the 1990s - chooses to adapt to its changing population, and whether it can produce a civil society, has enormous national consequences. The fevered debate over United States immigration policy began in California and has produced calls from legislators, pundits, and presidential candidates to halt legal immigration, to ban affirmative action, and to deny public services to immigrants. Already, these possible shifts in national public policy are being voted on by Californians - from Proposition 187, the anti-illegal-immigration initiative that passed in 1994, to the CCRI initiative that would ban affirmative action and will be on the ballot in 1996. Dale Maharidge, a 1990 Pulitzer Prize winner, has listened to Californians as they responded to the coming seismic shifts in their population and searched for common interests and common solutions. Moving beyond the heated rhetoric, The Coming White Minority eloquently documents the experiences of four California citizens in the midst of this search. Don Northcross, a black sheriff in Sacramento, started the O.K. Program to help black teenage boys find responsibility and chart their way in a world increasingly turning against affirmative action. In San Francisco's Chinatown, Maria Ha, the Vietnamese-born daughter of Chinese parents, has joined the freshman class at the University of California at Berkeley, which is 41 percent Asian. In Los Angeles, Martha Escutia, a thirty-four-year-oldfirst-generation Mexican-American, wins a seat in the California legislature and enthusiastically goes to Sacramento to fight for economic improvements in her district, Southeast Los Angeles, whose residents are 89 percent Latino immigrants. Down the coast, Bill Shepherd lives in the Orange County town of Dana Point, an area Martha Escutia's grandfather passed through in the 1940s on his way to orange-picking jobs. Bill and his neighbors are alarmed when crime rises and their neighborhood deteriorates as Mexicans and Latin Americans arrive, desperate for the jobs at the new resort hotels. Bill has worked hard for his ocean-view home and wants to preserve the qualities that attracted him to the area; he is soon a community activist. He is against affirmative action and voted for the Proposition 187 initiative, but he is far less strident than many supporters. As he says, he is not racist but just wants people to conform to American culture.

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Review: The Coming White Minority: California, Multiculturalism, and America's Future

User Review  - Jimmy Ng - Goodreads

The book is very opinionated and does not really have much evidence to back up the claims. However, as a person who grew in California, specifically Los Angeles, I saw a lot of change that he wrote about happening around me. The book offers a bit of interesting history and is a very easy read. Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Dale Maharidge is a journalist and Pulitzer Prize- winning author of "And Their Children After Them, Journey to Nowhere, The Last Great American Hobo, " and "Homeland. "A visiting professor of journalism at Columbia University, he lives in Northern California and New York City.

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