Michelle Norris’s anxiety about white americans and her optimism about the future.
In its race relations, national geographic magazine examined race relations in the United States, including the confirmation that the state of identity pervades its pages for decades of racism. One contributor to this month’s magazine: former NPR’s All Things Considered host Michele Norris.
Norris runs the “race card project” and asks people to publish ideas about race in six words. When she started the project in 2010, Norris thought she heard mostly coloured people. She was wrong.
“I think what’s going on, whether people think they’re in a conversation that’s not always popular,” Norris tells NPR’s Sarah McCammon. “A large number of white americans bought the project and decided to share their stories.”
In her national geographic story, Norris takes a deep look at some of the feelings expressed by white americans. Her story focuses on Hazleton, pa. In 2000, Hazleton’s population was more than 95% white; Today it is more than half Latin American.
When people talk about it, it’s often suddenly outnumbered — that’s what I hear over and over again. Go to the doctor’s office and suddenly look around and realize that everyone else is Hispanic. Go to the local walmart… And realize, “kid, they’re selling different things in the aisles,” or “there’s a whole aisle that’s in two languages, and I’ve never noticed it before.” …… “Suddenly feel this community, I know so well” – so what they are saying is they don’t like their “they”. …
And as the economy changes, jobs disappear. Plus – you know, for decades, the city’s immigrant population was very strong. There are people from Italy, from Ireland, from Germany, Montenegro, Slovakia and Slovenia, who have their traditions. Suddenly they had to enter the space for the new arrivals.
And this kind of situation has happened in the United States for decades, but when the new arrivals are brown, when newcomers to speak different languages, and when the new arrivals to assimilation method is not very interested in and suddenly speak English – they want to stick to them or they want to stick to their old language… Suddenly, the word “immigration” now has nothing in common with it.
They don’t necessarily say “those brown people,” or “those latinos.” There is usually a proxy – “food is different, music is different, town feels different.” There is a big “threat” narrative – security is a big problem. People feel that as the community changes, the crime rate goes up, or they feel less secure than before.
In some cases, there’s a good reason for that – someone has driven a car into their restaurant, or someone has taken a wallet. In many cases, however, that fear is based on the abstract things, rather than what actually happened to them – but worried that if they did go to the downtown, so bad things to happen, or if they really went to the store it as in the past no longer safe.
About intergenerational transfer.
Over the years, more senior people have talked differently than children. Because children is probably the most diverse environment – they all went to the same school, they play on the same team, they in the cheerleaders cheer together, to some extent they contact each other. …… They talk about these things more directly than people who still live in people who look like them or have similar backgrounds. …
I’m optimistic, but I’m pragmatic. So I know that when we say that race can be a much easier concept for young people… It’s easy, but it’s not easy. It’s not easy. A common mistake is to think that all problems are solved because they inherit the degree of integration that is completely different from the previous or two generations. It’s not true. …
I think the future is still something that we should be optimistic about, but it may take two or three generations before it gets easier. This not just because of the population, and ethnicity, and because we are faced with the economic turmoil, but also for technical confusion – I mean, people work in the very great degree were replaced by a technology, and created a certain degree of vertigo. So it’s not the same thing. There is a lot of Onions in the stew.