The Changing Demographics of the World

97 comments

I find this stuff really interesting. I read a book called The Death of the West, by Pat Buchanan, years ago that goes into depth on the subject. It’s an excellent read and a very interesting study.

It basically considers how different cultures in the world are changing (some declining, others exploding) and how that is going to change the planet in the decades to come. It’s not a racist thing or a case of xenophobia. It’s a serious exercise and an important one that will affect the borders, politics, governments, cultures and freedom of the future.

If you think that every culture and society in the world is equally just, true, and free, then don’t waste your time reading any further. Otherwise, read on. It’s not just the technology that is changing.

The truth is that some cultures are declining and will be virtually non-existent in a few decades. Other cultures are continuing to thrive. Culture doesn’t only include food, music, and language. It also includes values, societal norms, and power (military, economic and otherwise). It also includes religion – the moral foundation of every society that has ever survived.  It’s kind of important.

These changing demographics will drastically change our way of life in the coming decades. It’s a gradual process but it is happening a lot more quickly than most people realize.

That’s not to say change is bad. Some change is good. So what kind of change are we talking about here? That’s the question.

In terms of our Christian faith, how will things be changing? Will Christianity continue to thrive and grow? Or will it be confronted by something both hostile to it and outgrowing it?

We’d like to think we’ve gotten to a point in our world where truth and thoughtfulness usually become the prevailing wisdom. Our history, however, shows that high birth rates, strength in numbers, majority rule, and hereditary religion has probably more often won out. And I think it’s safe to say that our American cultural values (as flawed as they sometimes are) are very different than those of some other parts of the world.

Can we spread and pass on our values and truth to others when our own population is decreasing and those we aim to convince are increasing? I don’t know. Of course education, communication, and love will have a lot to do with any success in this regard. But is it enough? Do we need to also keep having babies and raising them right in order to keep it all alive?

The video below has some interesting points to consider.

97 comments Add comment

Phil May 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Pat Buchanan is an absolute loon. Yikes.

Phil May 27, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Oh, and RE: the video – it’s like a lame Nazi propaganda video.

The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!

C’mon sir. Laughable at best. I thought this blog was focused on real meat, not scary, conspiricy laced, “better have more babies or we will all be Muslim” videos…C’mon

Matthew Warner May 27, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Phil – I don’t think that’s very fair. My comments had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory or being scared of muslims. And i’m not sure which part of it is propaganda comparable to that of the Nazis (double yikes to that!).

I admit the video is a little overly dramatic. But I don’t think my commentary was. I think it’s a legitimate, important topic that will indeed have a big effect on what the future of the world looks like (and by that I mean cultures, governments, borders, etc.). I’m not sure how anyone can disagree with that. These are statistical facts. I just thought it was an interesting issue that raises some important questions. If you want to ignore that and dismiss it as loony propaganda, that’s your prerogative.

I’m not sure what you are basing your assessment of Pat Buchanan on, I guess you’ve read the book in question? If not, I found it very well done and it hits on a lot of interesting dynamics (that are not even mentioned in this short video) occurring throughout the world as the balance of different populations shift. It’s actually fascinating. I’m not just saying that because I want to spread lame nazi propaganda and make everyone scared of muslims – I promise.

Anyway, I think the only thing on this page not lacking any meat so far is the comment section. :-) But I’m a bit biased. Thanks for your thoughts though!

Tony May 28, 2009 at 5:13 am

I agree with you sir. By 2050, we are for the first time in history going to experience a decline in global population. Truly the fault of our materialist society and relativist philosophers, I honestly don’t see us recovering from this trend. Pray, pray, pray. And as for the Islam video, I agree it is not racist. The question is not fear of Muslims, but of what will happen to our culture when the crescent moon flies over Versailles. It’s a worthy discussion.

Artie May 28, 2009 at 7:11 am

Phil, sadly many people are uneducated about the Muslim world view in regards to the political structure.

Muslim understanding is that there is no separation between religion and government. In Christianity would be called the separation of church and state.

Secularist understanding is that the state should marginalize religion and discourage people from voting their consciences as Christians.

Christian understanding is that church and state are not the same thing and that they have different spheres of activity.

Separation between church and state was made by Christ himself.

“The notion that religion and political authority, church and state, are different and that they can or should be separated is, in a profound sense, Christian. Its origins may be traced to the teachings of Christ, notably in the famous passage in Matthew 22:21, in which Christ is quoted as saying: ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.’ This notion was confirmed by the experience of the first Christians; its later development was shaped and in a sense even imposed by the subsequent history of Christendom. The persecutions endured by the early Church made it clear that a separation between the two was possible.” ~Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis

For Muslims the state is God’s state, the army God’s army, and the enemy was God’s enemy. The law was God’s law, and in principle there could be no other. Muslim understanding = theocracy.

Artie May 28, 2009 at 7:33 am

Phil, sadly many people are uneducated about the Muslim world view historically and present day.

Europe for centuries had been terrified by the Muslim advance, with continual warfare on its borders to the west and to the east as Christians struggled at first to check the Muslim advance and later to reclaim their homelands. (Reason for the Crusades, even though popular culture demonized Christians for the Crusades as a pure attack against the innocent peaceful Muslims)

The Catholic Church shaped western civilization and helped it progress economically, technological, and through freedom of education and thus stagnated Islam and made things worse for their wants at political supremacy.

Today, whether you want to believe it or not there is a clash of civilizations. Samuel Huntington out of Harvard warned that the end of the Cold War would lead to a period he referred to as “the clash of civilizations.” A major flash point he envisioned in this conflict, unsurprisingly, was between Islam and the West.

The rest is recent history, anybody who has studied Islam from a pure political perspective would know this.

Mark Shea has a great article
http://markshea.blogspot.com/2009/05/police-foil-plot-to-bomb-synagogues-and.html

Rudy May 28, 2009 at 8:18 am

Study the statistics. Europe is committing genetic suicide. The native European population growth rate is now zero. ZERO! They are not replacing their populations. Countries like Germany and Russia are actually in negative population growth patterns. This does not mean they are not having children, it only means that the rate of births is so low that it is not enough to replace the older population. Russia has actually decreased in population (the abortion rate in that country is horrific, some woman report having as much as ten abortions or more in their reproductive lifetime). In the other hand, to make up of the lack of labor, the Europeans have allowed an influx of Muslim immigrants who have a high birth rate due to their religious and cultural mores. The result is that if the trends hold in the next fifty years there will be more Muslim immigrants than native Europeans. Europe will become a Muslim stronghold. Even today there are more Muslim temples and active Muslim worshipers in countries like England, France and Germany than there are Christian churches or church going Europeans. It is a reality and yes the Muslims are coming.

Rudy May 28, 2009 at 8:24 am

Actually I don’t know which one is worse; a Muslim theocracy or a European Union steeped in relativistic, post-modern One World order regime.

Bill May 28, 2009 at 11:22 am

Alternate view (Link was posted on The Curt Jester this morning)

Christian Demographics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqbdTZ8VOsQ

Pretty funny. I hope it’s an accurate forecast.

“Oh, no! They’ve chrismed Kenny!”

Artie May 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

~~~~~~~Actually I don’t know which one is worse; a Muslim theocracy or a European Union steeped in relativistic, post-modern One World order regime.~~~~~~~

Both do not provide true freedom.

Catechism states what freedom really is..

“As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.”

Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts.”

What is the definition of freedom in the muslim world view and for the secularist?

Bill May 28, 2009 at 11:26 am

But videos aside, it looks to me like the effort that will finally convert the Moslims to Christianity will come from Catholics in Asia and Africa. Europe may already be lost to Islam, and the United States may already be lost to secularism.

Sorry, having a bad day today. My optimism is majorly bummed.

Phil May 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

“Though Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core, a man who without compunction could commit murder and genocide, he was also an individual of great courage, a soldier’s soldier in the Great War, a political organizer of the first rank, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him…Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path” – Pat Buchanan

Like I said, he is a LOON. Calling Hitler “an individual of great courage” and a “genius” is laughable at best.

Many of his beliefs on race, ethincity, sexual orientation, etc. are borderline bigot. There are many more LOONY things this guy believes but I’ll let you read them yourself rather then copy and paste here!

Artie May 28, 2009 at 11:57 am

~~~~~~~But videos aside, it looks to me like the effort that will finally convert the Moslims to Christianity will come from Catholics in Asia and Africa. Europe may already be lost to Islam, and the United States may already be lost to secularism.

Sorry, having a bad day today. My optimism is majorly bummed.~~~~~~~

Do not be bummed! We can only do so much and that is to start a Catholic culture within our own families which is essentially a tiny seed that will blossom to something beautiful for the world to see.

Think of the first Christians and how they were fed to the lions, tortured in ways unimaginable, they died for the Eucharist, and it is my personal belief that many comprehended the beatific vision and that gave them so much happiness and joy, despite the evils that were done against them.

Being a Christian is quite counter cultural… It is…

…and remember they hated Him, before they hated us.

As Father Corapi has stated we know the last chapter!

Matthew Warner May 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Phil – not that this post has to do directly with Pat Buchanan (it doesn’t), but your example is not a good one.

Actually, most historians believe Hitler to have been a genius. And I think it’s reasonable to suspect somebody would need a bit of courage (albeit obviously evil) to do what he did. How does that make somebody a loon for acknowledging what most historians also believe?

And generic blanket accusatory statements calling somebody a borderline bigot without producing any evidence of it is pointless and counterproductive.

Finally, unless you want to argue the merit of some of the facts presented in this video or in the book mentioned, I’m not sure what it has to do with this post?

Artie – I think the CCC definition of Christian freedom that you mentioned is truly what is at stake here. And the big reason a secular, relativistic society is preferable to a theocratic one is because the latter denies the practice of that freedom to choose God for ourselves. However, relativism will also eventually lead to other forms of fascism and similar losses of freedom in the long run. America is in a better place than either Europe or the Muslim world to safeguard that freedom. I just hope it stays there.

These shifts in demographics are not reasons to lose hope. They’re just things to consider. Education of these changing demographics is key. We have to view it as an opportunity, not a crisis. But we gotta at least be able to talk about it to take advantage of it.

Bill May 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Artie, thanks for your reply. However, my bad day has more to do with Churchill’s “black dog” being around today than it does with any crisis of faith.

The dog will go away. It always does.

Joyce May 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Has anyone read this article?
U.N. Sees Falling Middle East Fertility Rates
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/un-sees-big-drop-in-middle-east-fertility-rates/

“Eight of the 15 countries that experienced the biggest drop in population growth since 1980 are in the Middle East, led by Iran, United Nations population experts say.”

“From 1975 to 1980, women in Iran were giving birth to nearly 7 children per family, according to the latest U.N. population report; from 2005 to 2010 that number is expected to be less than 2.”

Phil May 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I stand by my statements. He is a loon. You can believe whatever you choose to believe. All you have to do is read some of the loony things he has said in the past. I am not going to read them to you, just as you are not going to post on this site Chapter 3 of his loony book explaining to me how brilliant his ideas are. The loony things he has said are easily researchable. You can read them yourself.

And I really take issue that someone would go as far as spinning Hitler into a courageous genius to prove their point. That is utter nonsense. He was a complete coward, responsible for murdering millions. The victims of this horrible human being were the courageous, not Hitler. I’m sorry. Agree to disagree I suppose.

Phil May 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Also, what does Pat Buchanan have to do with this post you ask? Everything! I thought the first half of this blog was about how excellent his book is and how interesting a study he presents?

Point being, I personally (and I only speak for myself) think he is a total loon and any interesting study conducted by a total loon should be dismissed as silly talk. Just as I would dismiss that other loon Nancy Pelosi and any loony tunes ideas she has (in the interest of showing that this is not necessarily a partisan argument I am making).

Granted, folks should be given the right to cite ideas, studies, make arguments…but at some point one must throw in the towel with certain individuals that are so out of touch with reality that everything they suggest should be discounted as laughable…

Matthew Warner May 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I just think what you’re saying is unfounded and unfair. And you are purposefully misusing what Buchanan said. You don’t honestly think he was trying to lessen the courageousness of the victims of the holocaust do you? You make it sound like he is sympathetic to Hitler which, if you care to hear the man out, is quite obviously far from true.. This is the kind of partisan, nit-picking and spinning that is precisely the problem with politics in our country. I’m not playing that game.

I’ve listened to Pat Buchanan quite a bit (probably more than you as I’ve followed him for a while) and I love a lot of what he says. You may differ with him politically, but he’s no loon. From what I can tell I share a lot of his views – so I guess that makes me a loon to you too.

Either way, the facts being discussed in this post are what I was talking about. They happen to also be found in Pat’s book, as well as many, many other places. It’s a cop out to discount true statements just because they’re spoken by somebody you disagree with or think is a loon. Whether you like Pat Buchanan or not is moot. I could have cited numerous other sources to make the same argument and support the point of the post. It is the facts in question that are the topic.

Phil May 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm

He’s a loon in my book. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. Anyone who says Hitler was “a man of great courage” is a loon in my book. Those are his words, not mine. No spin, period.

If you find truth in saying that Hitler was a man of great courage then perhaps you too are a loon. I don’t know. Or perhaps your understanding of courage is different than mine. Agree to disagree I suppose.

Matthew Warner May 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Nobody is trying to strip you of your opinion. I just see quite obviously what point he was making and I don’t have a bias bent on twisting it into something it’s not.

Artie May 29, 2009 at 7:19 am

I personally do not know where Pat Buchanan stands in regards to Hitler, but I imagine if I read more of his writings I would have a better grasp on where he stands. Reading 1 paragraph and making a judgment about this individual seems intellectually dishonest and might I say a reach to make a valid point on the character of a person.

That being said I have heard well educated scholars on the matter that opposed the atrocities of Hitler, at the same time say that he was brilliant.

The funny thing about the English language is that people sometimes take words like brilliant as a moral good in all conditions. Fact of the matter is Satan himself is brilliant, but is quite opposed to anything good.

The thing about politics is that the moment somebody says something or writes something down it is usually taken out of context or the individual who spoke out on the matter was not very careful with their words.

It is kind of like if I said “Satan is brilliant.” Could you imagine what people would be saying about me… That Artie guy is a loon!

I simply was taken out of context and I probably did a disservice by leaving that statement out there for others to argue semantics. Like Matthew… that is why I cannot stand politics. Both sides are guilty of it as well.

It doesn’t matter if you think Pat is a loon or not, the reality is there is a divide between cultures and how things should be governed.

Phil May 29, 2009 at 9:59 am

Matt, open you eyes and see the anti-semite that is Pat Buchanan. Then and only then will you see what a total loon he is. Quit defending a man of such low moral fiber. Save it for folks who deserve it.

Catholic debating pro-life April 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Give us a good reason to believe you and maybe we will. Matthew has given us plenty of reasons to believe him.

Artie May 29, 2009 at 8:44 pm

(1 of 3)

In all fairness to Phil, Pat Buchanan did cause some controversy in regards to his “great courage” statement. I myself have to question why he would make such a statement. I also question why he is a “traditionalist Catholic”. As you may or may not know many traditionalist are accused as being anti-Semitic for some reasons. I say some because they appear to be for less reasons than I can count on 1 hand. Whether those reasons are fair or not is a different blog post all together.

I am sure Pat Buchanan has explained himself at some point in regards to the “great courage” statement… but I do not know.

If he did explain himself you fall into the camp of those who believe he spun away what he originally stated or you fall into the other camp where you believe he backed up what he really meant. This is a different debate all together.

However, only God knows if he is really anti-Semitic or not.

Artie May 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm

(2 of 3)

I find myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan on some things and disagreeing with him on others. I am not a Pat Buchanan apologist. That being said because I disagree with him on some issues or I find his “great courage” statement questionable, I am not going to call him a loon. I would say “I believe this to be an irresponsible thing to say Mr. Buchanan and what was the intent of that statement.

It is quite obvious from reading a little bit about him that he believed what Hitler did was a horrible thing to do. The controversy is merited, in my opinion, in that it directly opposes what he has stated in other places.

Artie May 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm

(3 of 3)

Now to the *REAL* point….

If you disagree with the idea that cultures are changing, then we would love to hear why you believe that the cultures are *not* changing.
Dismissing the content of “Changing Demographics of the World” because you feel that Pat Buchanan is a loon is an invalid argument.

I find it intellectually dishonest to claim that since Pat Buchanan is a loon than any idea that he brings is automatically null and invalid if it is supported by him. Can we not disagree with him on some issues and possibly agree with him on others?

Phil May 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Artie (and Matt) – I understand your points. But I guess that when looking at all the crazy statements this man has made over the years, about Hitler, about Jews, about Homosexuals, etc. there comes a point where he needs to be totally discounted. Maybe you are right. Maybe he is not a total loon. Maybe he is a very intelligent man with some good ideas who says some very dumb things at times.

I agree with you – cultures are changing. But what rubbed me wrong about this blog was using a book of ideas from an anti-semitic isolationist in combination with an overly dramatic anti-muslim video to try to explain how cultures are changing (ours vs. others). That’s not looking at this topic objectively.

Truthfully, as I am sure you are aware, I have not read Pat’s book. Maybe he makes some good points. But if I want to learn about changing cultural demographics and future trends, I would not be searching for them in a book authored by Pat Buchanan or some Muslim scare video. That was my point. In my opinion, both are just examples of subjective scare tactics provided to help shape an opinion based on fear of what’s to come. More Muslims bad. More “purebreed” Americans good.

Perhaps if P. Buchanan didn’t have such a strong track record of silly stataments I would be more inclined to read his books and consider his ideas. Perhaps if I didn’t see him all day on MSNBC calling newly selected Supreme Court Judge Sotomayor a reverse-racist that would help too!

Phil May 29, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Futhermore, since you were willing to concede that he has definitely said some silly things, I will concede that I think Pat Buchanan is an intelligent man who probably has *some* ideas that make sense. To say otherwise would be naaive on my part. But I refuse to concede that he is not loony. Either he’s nuts or very out of touch with reality.

Point being, I am not sure that demographics, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, etc. are topics where his ideas should be closely examined.

Matthew Warner May 30, 2009 at 12:46 am

I think we found the problem Phil. It’s that you’re watching MSNBC all day. Buchanan is the most sane person on that entire network. :-) lol. No, seriously, he is though.

Buchanan says a provocative comment that, when taken out of context, may seem by some people to be some type of praise of hitler…and that makes him a loon. Another man attends an anti-semitic church for decades of his life and so then we elect him president and call it change we can believe in. Go figure.

I think you just got caught up on who wrote the book I referenced (which the book was not a “subjective scare tactic” in the least, by the way). I understand that, though. Lord knows I’m not defending everything Pat Buchanan ever said or that I agree with everything he says. That has nothing to do with the post.

I believe my comments and discussion had nothing to do with being overly dramatic, scaring people, being anti-Muslim, or somehow inferring that “purebred” Americans were inherently better than Muslims or anything else. The facts are the facts and that’s what I went on to discuss. If you want to dispute those facts, I’m very interested in the convo cuz I think it’s an important topic.

Phil May 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

No, I think the problem is that you want to discuss and take seriously the ideas of an anti-semitic isolationist in a discussion about future cutural trends whereas I do not. Has nothing to do with MSNBC, or anything else. It’s just a difference of opinion on whether Pat Buchanan is a credible source on the given topic.

Matthew Warner May 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

Actually, that’s precisely where you continue to get it wrong. I didn’t want to discuss Buchanan’s ideas at all. I wanted to discuss some facts presented and accepted by any rational thinking person in the world – that these changing demographics are going to have a profound effect on the world as we know it. I’m not sure how else to get that across to you.

Phil May 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Well perhaps next time you will gather these accepted facts from sources other than an anti-semite and an overly dramatic video. That’s where you continue to get it wrong!

Phil May 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Look, if I wrote a post about pro-choice citing *facts* and *future trend predictions* from Nancy Pelosi that wouldn’t be an objective way to present these *facts*, assuming they would even be facts.

And then if I showed a pro-abortion video with scary music showing the .01% of Mothers dying during birth that wouldn’t be objective either. Alls I am saying.

Just as topics should be studied objectively, the origination of the *facts* and *ideas* therein should also be objective. A lot of *facts* can slip through the cracks as *fact* otherwise. Alls I am saying!

Matthew Warner May 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm

OH-EM-GEE, dude. That’s totally different. These aren’t controversial or significantly disputed facts. The discussion doesn’t have anything to do with whether the statistics are true (unless you are disputing some…in which case, please do so we can all learn – which is the point of this post). They are generally accepted. The discussion is (supposed to be) on their implications in the future.

Phil May 30, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Right, understand. And if you are suggesting we consider *views* on future implications, based on a book by Pat Buchanan, that would be indeed controversial (as was his book). Alls I am saying.

We can chat about facts, trends, etc. all day – that is time well spent. But chatting about Buchanan’s views and potential implications as he sees them are a waste of time. Alls I am saying dude.

Back to square one. His ideas are to be discounted because he has a track record of thoughts and statments that is sometimes the opposite of rational. Facts are facts, they come from reference guides. Not Pat Buchanan. Or Nancy Pelosi. They both see the *facts* differently, for some loony reason.

Matthew Warner May 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Ha, that’s not square one at all.

The only one that continues to want to bring the discussion back to the “views” of Buchanan (which you just said is a waste of time) is you.

Square one is what this post is about…which was MY OWN views of what those facts mean. Something you have yet to weigh in on at all.

Phil May 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I think we are missing each other on this one. I concede. Convo finished.

New discussion: I see you pose many questions in this blog. From your research, what are your feelings on what happens in 2025 when the world Muslim population overtakes the world Christain population?

Phil May 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm

My feelings?

Life will go on. Cultures will go on intact. Christanity will not die. Muslims will not take over the world. The West fertility rates will level out and begin climbing again. “Mexicanization” will level off and begin dropping. All will be fine. Just my $.02.

Robo May 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Very well said Phil. The video is obviously full of hype regarding the change of demographics and most obviously very biased against those who are considered muslims. People in Islamic nations do not have the same culture all through out the world and that alone shows that even in Islamic nations the cultures are diverse and their religion in those nations has not completely changed their cultures into a single “Islamic culture” as our freinds are worried about! So even if the whole American and European nations turned into Islamic states, none of them would be something like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia!

As you said, statistics of Christians and Muslims (and also others) may go up and down but they will level off at some point. This should not be an excuse for hate mongering against followers of this or that faith with unfounded data and baseless materials.

As far as cultural invasion, I don’t think that anything worse than invasion of North America by Europeans has ever happened in the history of the world which resuluted in annihiliation some beautiful cultures that all humanity could benefit from some day. Now, crying about fertility in muslim families with a bunch of inflated numbers and with no clear scientific evidence to back it up, can not be characterized as anything but extremist nonsense!

Barb May 30, 2009 at 6:54 pm

There’s no doubt that the world demographics are changing. They have changed since the beginning of humankind and will continue to do so. The point is, we are all God’s children so why does it matter. Who cares if everyone in the U.S. is speaking Spanish vs English. Why is everyone against everyone else. Can’t we all just get along????? We’ve managed to adjust to any of the changes that have come our way and no doubt if we can all be secure in who we each are as individuals all will be well. Hopefully when the world is dominated by Muslims they will be more tolerant of us than we were of them……..

Matthew Warner May 30, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Phil, thanks for your thoughts. Do you have any rationale for believing those things will happen? Or is this just a gut feeling or something?

To answer your question though, I don’t know what will happen. I think it is likely that if we are able to share our sense and value of freedom and dignity of both women and men that we’ll manage in some way to still be around in 20 years. But we can’t just assume that will happen. History would tell us that is a bit naive. And certainly there are better and worse conditions we may be in in 2025…and perhaps we can have a say in that?

It’s frustrating and saddening, to be honest, that so many people respond to a conversation like this with accusations of intolerance and hate mongering. There is just no having a conversation about this topic with such people I suppose.

It’s not about what language we speak. I really don’t care in the end. This isn’t about being scared of different cultures or faiths or languages. It’s about trying to have an honest conversation about real changes in the world. It’s about values.

Nobody here is encouraging intolerance of faiths. Nobody here is encouraging hate. These are childish accusations.

It’s baseless to just say “things will level off” unless we have a basis for doing so. There is this prevailing ignorance in this country that we can’t lose what we have. And when I say that, I’m not talking about speaking English or maintaining a white majority or anything ridiculous like that somebody is going to accuse me of next. I’m talking about maintaining our value for human life (what we have of it anyway). I’m talking about protecting our awesome freedoms we have sacrificed so much to have.

Such liberties have come and gone over and over again in the past for various reasons throughout human history. Many cultures (even good, just ones) have NOT “gone on intact.” We have had very dark times in human history. If we don’t want to repeat them, it seems a good idea to assess how we will keep them. Assuming they will always be here or that things will just happen to work out is ignorant – with all due respect.

That doesn’t mean I’m saying to be scared of people. It’s not saying we shouldn’t work to just “all get along.” In fact, it’s challenging us to look at maybe some proactive things we can do to actually HELP US to all get along in the future as things change. That seems like an intelligent thing to do. Unfortunately, if somebody tries to do it they get labeled as a hate monger and intolerant.

Finally, it’s just an interesting conversation just for the sake of interesting things. Cultures are cool. And it’s neat to talk about how they will mix and interact and effect each other in a “globalized” and connected world. And recognizing that there could be some negative side effects, even dangerous ones (as there have been in the past), is not hateful. It’s smart. It truly is sad that we can’t talk about it without the emotional accusations and resistance.

Phil May 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Matt, why do you think we are going to lose what we have? Why do you think we are in jeopardy of losing our value for human life? I think it is more baseless to suggest that any of the above will occur rather than the alternative, if the argument is solely based on population trends.

Perhaps other cultures are growing at a faster rate than ours but that doesn’t mean our culture and values will be somehow be eradicated from existance. I think we are a highly skilled culture and that is the reason we have thrived. Personally, I think a culture with a distinct advantage in skill can and will remain intact irrespective of population trends.

Just look at how the US became a world leader in the first place. It’s not our population, the size of our territory, etc. – some countries are 3 times our population and size, yet we haven’t fallen off the map yet. We are a highly skilled culture. Now, if want to discuss whether or not this distinct skill advantage will remain, i.e. our declining cultural IQ, that’s another post. But this blog is about numbers and I don’t think that numbers alone can be used to predict the eradication of a culture.

Let’s look at Isreal. Muslims have been increasing at 96,000 per day while Jews are increasing at 140 per day. That’s almost 700 to 1! But yet Isreal still exists…their culture is intact. Point being, there are many factors aside from sheer numbers that determine whether or not a culture thrives or dies off.

Artie May 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Phil,

The Roman Empire more or less said the same thing that you have said. You remember how the Roman Empire failed? I will remind you that they were extremely advanced for their times as well.

Western Culture is *not* power proof. Do not fool yourself.

Barb May 31, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Rather than focus on demographics, I would focus on the radical elements in the world who could and very possibly might change or destroy the world as we know it.

Artie May 31, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Barb,

I believe it is a both/and, not an either/or in regards to the world changing as we know it. Demographics is just one of the factors that is going to help shift a culture change.

As far as destroying the world as we know it… “HOW DARE YOU mention *radical* elements in the world that could possibly destroy western civilization those are just scare tactics because you fear! Don’t you think global warming is more of a threat to the globe than what you mention?” ~ Sarcasm

Seriously, the other elements are moral decay, decline in patriotism, collapse of traditional work ethic, cost of big government (I.E. military/welfare system), gap between rich and poor widening.

I know I missed more elements, but if western culture is not destroyed it will be changed.

Bigger problem is that us Catholics need to do a better job of being Catholic. The culture is the way it is because we have not done a good job of being Christ like.

Barb May 31, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Yes, I also think global warming is a definite problem that needs to be addressed as well as radical elements in the world. I hope we survive to appreciate any culture shift that might happen. I believe that the majority of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddists, Protestants, etc. have no problem living side by side and allowing others their beliefs. It is the radicals in every group that pose a threat because they are intolerant and believe everyone should believe as they do.

I am not a Catholic but I live my life on the principles that Jesus Christ taught and I believe most religions follow this paradigm. I have a strong work ethic, understand the dangers of the large gap between rich and poor and use my voting power to elect individuals who I feel will help change this. I am patriotic and proud of my Country when it upholds the standards which we espouse to the rest of the world. I think that the majority of people no matter what their religion live in a moral and ethical manner. There will always be some outlyers in this regard; it is the imperfect nature of man. You need to be a good Catholic if that is what you believe. All cultures are changing and evolving. Be the good person that you are and by your example others will follow suit. I mean, how many really bad people do you know?? Maybe I’, just lucky but most everyone I know are pretty decent people and they’re not even all Catholic. Some are even Muslims.

Artie May 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Barb,

I agree the majority of what you say except perhaps global warming which is politically driven. No doubt the earth is getting warmer, but by us humans? I remember in the 70s, at least I heard about it as I was not alive then, the “GREAT FREEZE”. The earth goes through hot and cold spells.

Even if the earth is caused by us humans with our emissions, we should still protect the earth in any way we can. I just do not believe it is as big of a threat as people *want* it to be.

Popular culture throws out the term “go green”. God has a name for it. He calls it good stewardship.

Fr. Thomas Dubay in his book Happy Are You Poor summarizes the problem very well. “We have had a Niagara of words, a trickle of action” . While environmentalists and politicians have many words and even some crazy ideas about how to handle the problems that plague planet earth, they will never have the solution to global poverty and environmental waste unless they factor in the One who made the world. The solution, as Fr. Dubay points out, is a radical readiness to Gospel principles. It means living like the saints. Americans – even American Christians – have great difficulty with this kind of stewardship. Fr. Dubay puts a fine point on it when he writes, “We are not perceived as men on fire. We look too much like everyone else” .

My point about us being good Catholics is that if every Catholic in the US, really took to heart the teachings of the Church we would not be in the mess we are in

Barb May 31, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I hope you are right and global warming is only politically driven, however, I don’t believe that is the case. In any event I feel that we need to start looking out for this old earth because once we go beyond the point of no return that will be the end. Why risk it when a few minor inconveniences would help to prevent this from happening. Natural resources will not last forever so we might as well start making the small changes that will help future generations. Stop reading online articles and listening to news reports and go to the peer reviewed journals of “Science” and “Nature”. These are reputaable journals written by the best scientists in the Country. Only articles that have been peer reviewed by reputable scientists are allowed to appear in these journals. There’s too much junk out there.

Artie May 31, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Barb,

I would first like to say the democrats nor the republicans have a monopoly on moral issues.

Al Gore, the spokesman behind it all, is laughable! The guy is concerned about carbon neutrality, yet he was flying private jets. You have a self-righteous politician who tells everybody to quit polluting yet he is flying around the world in a private airplane.

I also think it is funny to see recycling trucks that pick up recyclables use diesel to fuel their trucks.

It may come as a surprise to some on this board, but I love science and I love technology. For some reason many think science and faith are in competition with each other. I think people are missing the big picture.

As a Christian we look at science and also look at the moral aspect of it. For example embryonic stem cell research, I am totally against it. The agnostic/atheist would automatically say that I just don’t like science or that I am uneducated. Some get clever and say quit forcing religion on science… as if I was some how forcing dogma into the science world.

Back to the global warming aspect of it. Our family drops off recyclables to GreenStar 2 times a month. We do not a mandate to go green. We simply need to be good stewards of God’s riches. The earth. Food. Air. And even the gift of children.

Barb May 31, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I presume the reason the “recycling” trucks are using diesel has more to do with the fact that we are way behind in converting our cars/trucks to more energy efficient vehicles. Hopefully, this is now beginning to change. Yes, it is ludicrous to have recycling trucks powered by diesel fuel.

I do not believe science and religion or faith are in competition with each other. I think they are two totally different things. Science can usually be proven whereas faith is belief not based on logical proof or material evidence. How can those two things be in conflict? Faith goes beyond proof. You either have it or you don’t. I think it is perfectly possible to know the science of things and still believe there is a being that is responsible for all of it. Even if life on other planets were to be discovered, individuals could still believe in the existence of God…. I don’t think I have any dispute with you about any of this.

Artie May 31, 2009 at 9:46 pm

In regards to the “recycling” trucks it was more of irony.

Here is something for everybody to think about, energy efficient vehicles.

I see tons of these future non-gasoline vehicles being being 1 man and 2 man. What about big Catholic families? Are they going to make bigger vehicles to hall the kids around town?

Barb May 31, 2009 at 9:50 pm

If there’s a market for it American ingenuity will kick in.

Matthew Warner June 1, 2009 at 7:59 am

Good point, Barb! That’s why we shouldn’t need debt increasing, dollar weakening, paycheck jacking, federally controlled inefficient government subsidized programs messing it all up. :-)

Also, I think radicals or extremists are actually less “dangerous” in terms of this discussion than moderates. Radicals and extremists are easy to spot. Most recognize them and reject them immediately. In fact, they often do more harm to their cause than good because of their extremism. It’s the “not so bad”, “oh that’s not a big deal” kinds of things we need to worry about in the long run. It’s the whole frog boiling in a pot analogy.

And demographics are important not because we care about somebody’s race, sex, religion, or nationality. But because one’s family is the primary way that people learn their values. No matter how much education and logic and convincing you put before somebody, it is very often very difficult to change somebody’s beliefs from how they were raised. And this factor makes something like “how many babies are born” in a particular culture very significant…if not THE most significant factor in terms of the most common values you will find in the world in the future.

Barb June 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Do you think that I support debt increase? I don’t. No one wants the National Debt to continue to go up, however, Obama inherited quite an economic mess. I don’t blame the Republicans because the Congress was Democratic and I believe much of the responsibility for this mess certainly goes to them AND the greedy. I also have no clue what the right course would be to correct the problem as most economists also don’t seem to know (which is really kind of frightening). Obama may be making all of the wrong choices and only time will tell whether his glut of money into the economy will be beneficial or detrimental. On the other hand, denying that a problem exists and doing nothing with an economy that had become so malignant would have been irresponsible.

I disagree with you that radicals or extremists are less dangerous. It’s true they are easy to spot; the only problem is that once we get around to identifying who they are they have already invoked their destruction. I think the potential for serious consequences from extremists everywhere is very real and especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan. If you are talking about domestic extremists, I agree, they are usually exposed and damage the cause they are purporting to support. As in the case of Dr. Tiller which will undoubtedly hurt the pro life cause.

If you are concerned about demographics, then let’s address the problems regarding the struggles that families have. You have lived a very charmed life and are in a position to have values. Some people in the world have to steal just to fill their bellies. Some children have no role models in their parents; they are beat and raped and treated like trash and therefore will never understand what a value is. I don’t believe you really have an understanding of the ugly lives that many people are forced to live. Until we can educate and help people to help themselves the luxury of having values does not exist for many.

Artie June 2, 2009 at 6:59 am

—Some people in the world have to steal just to fill their bellies. Some children have no role models in their parents; they are beat and raped and treated like trash and therefore will never understand what a value is.—

Is the answer government funded programs or private charities? Also which one *really* works?

Joyce June 2, 2009 at 10:37 am

Artie, that’s why we each have to be Christ-like. That child may not have a role model at home, but he or she does interact with other adults on a daily basis. If the other adults he or she interacts with act morally than that child will observe and see what morality and values are. Also, teachers have to teach morality, not by specific words per se, but by how they conduct their classrooms. Sharing, respect for others, no bullying, etc. If the child is treated better in school than at home he or she may just grow up with the value system of those that treat them well, rather than the value system of those that don’t treat them well.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 1:08 am

As I said, Pat Buchanan is a total out of touch loon.

Not to mention uninformed – much of what he says here is not even factual. Wow.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/07/pat_buchanan_and_rachel_maddow.html

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 1:52 am

Phil – That commentary on that link is not even second-rate.

Could it perhaps be that you and Rachel are the ones who are out of touch? Judging by her show’s ratings, that would be my bet.

So you think Buchanan is a loon because he thinks nominations to the most important court in the world should be based solely on merit, regardless of race or gender?

We are so on totally different maps, dude.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

No, I think he is a loon because he’s a racist Matt. Her appointment IS based on merit.

What Pat doesn’t get through all his racist anger and his old school out-of-touch, red in the face rants is that affirmative action ONLY creates opportunity not results. The people themselves acheive the results themselves.

Pat Buchanan is an over the hill racist loon end of story!

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 9:53 am

So you believe that opportunities should be made available based on race instead of merit? Sounds a lot like the racism of the past to me.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 10:20 am

No, I believe Pat Buchanan is an out-of-touch racist loon and anything the man writes or says about race related topics should be discounted.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 10:29 am

Oh ok, so you agree with Pat Buchanan on this issue then? That we should administer opportunity based on merit, not race?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 10:39 am

Now, aside from talking about Pat Buchanan, who has a history of racial biases for white men and against women, blacks, latinos, and jews, I know you want to hear my thoughts on affirmative action.

I actually learned about affrimative at a young age. In 1993, my best friend and I both applied to the Unversity of Illinois. Given that we were best buds, we shared personal information like GPA, test scores, etc. We both applied early admission to the College of Liberal Arts. Despite the fact that I had higher grades, better test scores, and was enrolled in more advanced classes (only 1 or 2), he was accepted and I was not. He is black.

Of course I was upset. I called the University and pleaded my case to them. They asked me to apply again during the regular enrollment timeframe – I did and was accepted. Did it seem fair at the time? No. But, in hind sight did it seem logical? Yes.

The problem I have with our great country is that everyone talks about equal opportunity like it really exists. That’s fantasy world. It’s easy enough to say that opportunites should be based on merit. But that assumes that the playing field is even to begin with. The reality is it’s not.

We can discuss the social aspects of why certain races are stuck in a vaccum years behind others. Some would cite laziness, irresponsibility, etc. whereas I tend to believe that lack of opportunity and/or an uneven playing field tend to explain it more.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

So, when ask me whether or not opportunites should be based on race rather than merit, no, I don’t. But that assumes that all opportunities are created equal and in this country they are not.

I guess I see affirmative action as a counter balance to the opprotunity rasicm that we all know exists today but choose to ignore.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 10:50 am

Further to this point, Pat Buchanan seems to think that anytime anyone of a different race or gender than white male gets anywhere in life, it’s handed to them through affrimative action. That is crap.

Sotomayor may have gotten into Princeton with the help of affirmative action (just as my buddy may have also). But she certainly didn’t become one of the most qualified justices based on experience in 50 years because of it. And she didn’t make law review at Yale because of it either. She earned these things – a concept that Buchanan can’t seem to fathom.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 11:14 am

I don’t think Pat thinks that. Not based on what I’ve heard of him, and definitely not from that convo you posted. He is making a good point that Sotomayor is nowhere near the heavyweight in terms of a supreme court nomination as many others. You can disagree. But time on a bench does not an intellectual heavy weight make. He even suggests that we find OTHER more qualified women or hispanics of whatever to fill the position. His obvious contention is her merit and qualifications, not her race. There is good reason to believe her gender and race played a role in why Obama picked her. Let’s be honest. It doesn’t make anyone a racist for pointing that out. And he certainly wasn’t taking away from the things she DID earn and accomplish.

AA is supposed to give preference to minorities with EQUAL qualifications. Not only does it do much more than that in practice (as you experienced), but he was simply pointing out that he thinks there are more qualified people. A legit POV. You can disagree if you think Sotomayor is the absolute best pick Obama could have made.

Enough about him. I respect your point of view on Affirmative Action. And i understand AA supporters’ sentiments. But the underlying problem is that you are viewing people in terms of groups – not individual people. You think that catching up certain percentages of skin colors means we are treating people more equally or being more fair in presenting opportunities. That’s an illusion. Meanwhile, you trample on another individual based simply on the color of their skin. AND, you actually hurt the overall cause (perhaps the Supreme Court and therefore our country) by allowing race to play a role in who gets the job rather than just getting who is best for the job.

That’s fine if you want to give up your spot for somebody else less qualified than you. That’s your right. But it’s not the right of anyone else to take it from you.

It comes down to doing the right thing NOW. If somebody works hard for something, they should get what they deserve, regardless of whether or not they happen to be born with white skin or black skin or whatever. There is no justification for taking it from THAT individual. None. But Affirmative Action and your view is based on doing just that – taking a well-earned and deserved opportunity from an individual.

My former company engaged in many of the similar things. And not only did it hurt the company in being the best it could be because they hired people that were far less qualified, but it’s insulting to the minorities who did earn it but now have doubts cast upon them because many other minorities were indeed hired because of the color of their skin.

It’s simple. Just hire the most qualified person. If there are racial barriers or biases, remove them – don’t try to over compensate for them. While perhaps well intentioned – I think that’s just as immoral.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am

You can’t just remove racial barriers. That solves nothing. We tried that already. You are viewing this issue in a vaccum when it is nowhere close. Opportunity racism (biased towards whites) is still very prevalant in this country today. No one seems to want to admit it exists. People seem to think the playing field is now level for minorties. But it’s not.

This problem is much deeper than that. You can’t just state “As of today, all races should be considered equally for opportunites” and expect it to get better. Even if that were true in this country (which it CLEARLY is not true), it still doesn’t help resolve the root issue. AA is necessary to remove the racial bias that already exists.

What about the black inner city kid that could have been the next Michael Steele but went to a crappy school, got a ‘less priveledged’ education, or couldn’t afford college even though he was accepted? How will he be helped to get that great job and really make a difference? He won’t because he never had a shot in the first place. But if HIS Mom or Dad was given a shot at college years ago then maybe…

As for Buchanan, you can defend that racist all you want. Of course he would say that he wants other Latina’s considered – that is until one IS actually considered. He must be very descrete in his racism these days, unlike he was in the 60’s when it was more popular. The fact of the matter is that everytime Buchanan says she is underqualified his argument dissolves.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am

And many of the ‘facts’ about Sotomayor that Buchanan discusses just aren’t true. She didn’t get Yale Law Review because of AA, it’s voted on by the students. She HAS authored many law articles but Buchanan is ignorant to this fact because he has not done his research. She didn’t get the grades she got at Princeton because of AA (as he suggests). Either he is, in this instance, very uninformed or he is bending the facts to fit his case against her so that his racial undertones are less evident.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 11:58 am

Last point: let’s review the word opportunity. “A good chance for advancement or progress”.

Let’s pretend that AA does not exist. With that said, can we honestly say that minorities in this country today, with AA removed, are afforded the same “chance for advancement or progress” as whites?

I would hope that your realistic answer to this question would be no. I certainly think it is a resounding no. So, given that we have just established that the playing field is indeed uneven, what should we do to make this game fair?

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Hate on brother, hate on!

AA does not “remove racial bias” – it ADDS racial bias by its very definition. What are you talking about!?

“What about the black inner city kid that could have been the next Michael Steele but went to a crappy school, got a ‘less priveledged’ education, or couldn’t afford college even though he was accepted? How will he be helped to get that great job and really make a difference?”

Hold on man, I never said anything about not trying to help out people that have disadvantages. Back it on up.

My question to you is why would you help this black kid anymore than you would help a white kid who “went to a crappy school, got a ‘less priveledged’ education, or couldn’t afford college even though he was accepted? How will he be helped to get that great job and really make a difference?”

Why is race a part of deciding who you help?

Should we not help ALL disadvantaged people – regardless of their skin color? That seems fair and just to me.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

You are still missing the point. You are implying that we don’t already give advantages to white people! Do you see a problem with giving white people an unfair advantage?

As I have said repeatedly (and you seem to dismiss), racial opportunity in this country is not in a vaccum. If it was, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion.

In fact, you are really arguing my point! Race IS deciding who is helped, each and every day, for the last 200 years. WHITE PEOPLE. And breaking down racial barriers is not helping so more needs to be done otherwise whites will continue to reap the benefits of unfair opportunites.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Racism has come a far way in this country. We do the things that have gotten us this far. We educate. We punish people when they show racist bias.

And most of all, we set the example by treating people according to their merit and character, NOT by treating them different or affording them privileges because of the color of their skin. That is the opposite of what we should be doing.

What privilege should we give to a black kid and not to a white kid that are both equally economically and socially disadvantaged? My proposal is that we help both of them – as fellow human beings. Not as a black person or a white person. You are suggesting that we give preference to one kid in front of the other based solely on their skin color. That’s called racism. You can justify it all you want. It will never be right.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Let’s put it this way. Right now I am sure we can both agree that white people get the benefit or more opportunities in this country and have so for the last 200 years. Now Pat Buchanan would agure that this is their right because they wrote the Declaration of Independance but I tend to disagree with that ridiculous notion.

With that said, minorties thus have less opportunity.

To restate, currently whites = more opportunity, minorities = less opportunity.

So, which seems more fair to you? To leave things as they are or to try to make it so whites = minorites = same opportunity?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

You know at one point this country thought that women deserved less oppornity also. Men = vote, women = can’t vote.

Was our solution to that problem fair? Or should we have made the decision to not help women because that would be bias towards gender and unfair to men?

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm

And you are still viewing it in terms of groups of people instead of as individuals. Each individual has a right to be treated fairly. If you see a white bias somewhere, then we should work to correct it. It doesn’t make it right to then come over to a different place and give black bias in order to try and equal it out or something. You don’t end up with a net zero bias. You just end up with MORE racism.

I know lots of minorities who have done well without help. And the places I’ve worked have showed far more preference to minorities than to whites. So where are you saying all of this white bias exists? You can’t simply point to a percentage of whites and say, look, it’s obvious that white bias exists. Not so. Much of that, admittedly, is there from past injustices. But you can’t make up for past injustice by more injustice. It doesn’t work that way.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm

RE: women – what are you talking about? We gave them the right to vote because it was the right thing to do!

We didn’t give women TWO votes to make up for their past denial of a right to vote. And we didn’t make their vote preferential to a man’s vote. We made them equal and work to treat them both the same. You are making my point.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Ok Matt, apparently you and I live in different worlds if you can not come to terms with the fact that whites today are afforeded more opportunites then minorities. We are having a disingenious argument at this point.

That aside, let’s review my voting analogy. Men were afforded more opportunity than women – they were given the right to vote. Women were not.

Should we have ignored the fact that women has less opportunity stating that even though we mucked up in the past, it is now in present day unfair to men to grant them equal opportunity solely based on gender? Does that make sense to you?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm

sigh. If we gave women the right to vote and they only got a 1/2 vote out of the deal would we have given them two 1/2’s?

Now, can’t you see where I am coming from? Do you really truly in your Christian heart of hearts believe that minorites are now given EQUAL opportunites as whites? Or do we need to give them 2 votes to even the playing field???!!!

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Are you asking if minorities are disproportionately economically disadvantaged? Or are you asking if minorities are still frequently treated unfairly solely because of their race to the point that we need systematic racial discrimination in their favor to over compensate for it?

If it’s the former, I’d like you to answer my earlier question that asked why we wouldn’t help ALL disadvantaged people equally regardless of skin color? If it’s the latter, can you provide proof of this still current rampant racism?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm

This argument is not about disadvantaged white people vs. disadvantaged minority people. It’s about advantaged white people vs. disadvantged minority people.

Until you can understand that simple concept, upon which is the basis for my entire arugment, you will not get it. Case closed.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Ha, Phil. I’m sorry, I thought we were talking about affirmative action? Which is INDEED about preferring disadvantaged minorities over disadvantaged white people.

Otherwise, why not simply stick to helping disadvantaged people? That’s all I’m saying. Why does race have to be a part of it? If somebody is disadvantaged, whether they are black or white, shouldn’t we help them?

Why are you saying we should help a disadvantaged black person more than an equally disadvantaged white person? That’s racism.

You have to treat individuals with fairness and respect. You can not trample on what somebody else has earned because you have your own racial agendas for particular groups or percentages of racial make-up that will make us feel good about ourselves.

The answer is to treat each individual fairly and based on that individual’s merit and situation. You can not make blanket assumptions about advantage or disadvantage of people based on their race. That’s largely what has gotten us into this mess in the first place. Cut out the racial profiling. Treat people as equal human beings. If somebody deserves something, don’t deny it to them. If somebody needs help, regardless of the color of their skin – give it to them. I’m not sure why this is so difficult.

Yes there are lots of minorities who happen to be economically disadvantaged due to past injustices. But there are people of ALL races who are disadvantaged for one reason or another. Help them all equally…not sure why you would help one of them over the other based on the color of their skin.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I digress. Let’s talk about the Moon.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Actually, I can’t leave this one alone. You keep mending the discussion to fit your point which is flawed – and irritating.

First of all, I am not talking about helping disadvantaged minorites over disadvantaged whites. Let’s get that straight first and foremost. That is not my argument nor is it the underlying problem in this country. I think you know this but it doesn’t fit your argument. You are trying to portray that individuals have the same opportunities regardless of skin color, which we both know is not true.

Secondly, that is NOT the function that AA serves. AA is aimed at creating opportunities for DISADVANTAGED minorites instead of ADVANTAGED whites. And, yes, in this great awesome country we have being a minority right now is a disadvantage – economically, educationally, professionally, etc. and if you argue differently, again, you are being disingenious to your readers or Texas has suddenly become the La La land of equal opportunity.

So the paramount question is should we as a country look to help those at a disadvantage before we help those who are not? And if not, why? Because of race? Don’t we help the disadvantaged all the time? And if we helps others in need and we don’t help some based on their race isn’t that racist?

PLEASE quit trying to spin this argument into something it’s not. Disadvantaged vs. advantaged. Period.

Unless you really truly believe that we are a land of equal opportunity? Are we really Matt? Is that what you are saying?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Because if that IS what you honestly think then you are as out of touch as angry Gramps Buchanan! (which I don’t believe for a second)

Artie July 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I would just like to point out that my wife is Puerto Rican (100% boriqua) and she agrees with Pat Buchanan and she despises affirmative action, and she turned down scholarships that were based on her race. I actually admired that.

Also my wife’s dad who btw is also Puerto Rican (100%) said he would provide Caucasian scholarships if he could.

Your argument would make more sense if it was not based on race, but my wife and their Puerto Rican family are proof that not all minorities feel that way, many find it as an insult!

Phil July 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Artie, in your best ‘be honest with yourself’ opinion are minorities in this country at a disadvantage, yes or no?

Artie July 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Honestly it is a class issue, not a minority issue. Does racism still exists, yes it does and there is a thing called reverse discrimination as well. After seeing my wife and trust me I have many friends who are considered “minorities” fair out just fine.

I have a good friend who is from Indonesia, she is female and Indonesian. She is another example of somebody who came over to the U.S. and didn’t use race as something to lean on. She is a minority and she worked her way up just like anybody else. She is a programmer.

I will say the people that are at a disadvantage in this country are those who don’t apply themselves or are raised in an unhealthy environment where they don’t know anything else.

How many examples does one need to show that minorities are not at a disadvantage in this country?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Actually, I don’t even need you to answer that – I know the answer. It’s a resounding ‘Y-E-S’

So given that we tend to help those at a disadvantage, why would we choose NOT to help a group because of race?

I don’t have to explain to you why I deem it appropriate to help the less fortunate. That would be silly.

However, you (and Matt) need DO to explain why you would choose to not assist those less fortunate.

Saying you won’t help the disadvantaged minorities because it is not fair to the advantaged whites due to race is laughable.

That’s like saying you won’t shelter the homeless because it wouldn’t be fair to those who already own homes. That makes zero sense.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm

An even better analogy would be like saying you won’t shelter homeless MINORITIES because it wouldn’t be fair to the WHITES who already own homes. That makes zero sense.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Phil, I think we’re misunderstanding some terms here.

When you say disadvantaged, you mean minority. When I say disadvantaged I mean the real actual ways somebody might be disadvantaged…economically, socially, etc.

Yes, there is a disproportionate amount of minorities (for obvious historical reasons) that are actually disadvantaged.

However, my way is based on the real evidence for the individual and takes into account how they may have been disadvantaged. Yours makes an assumption based on race that if the person is white then they were not disadvantaged and if the person is a minority then they were. Though this may be the case sometimes, it is not always the case. And therefore it is an unjust approach to treating people. You are sterotyping based on race (assuming that just because they are a minority it means they were disadvantaged and just because they are white they had an advantage).

What I’m proposing is that we actually look at the real, tangible ways a person may be disadvantaged and then act accordingly. Race is not needed in this approach.

Let’s get practical here so we can be clear and fair to each other. Please allow me to propose a couple scenarios and ask you a couple questions.

1) If two people are applying for a job, one black and one white. Both have the same qualifications and perform the same on tests – Who do you hire, is race a factor, and why?

2) What if they both have the same qualifications but the white guy came from a rich family and the black guy had to work two jobs to put himself through college? Who do you hire, is race a factor, and why?

3) What if the white guy had to work two jobs through college, had a dead beat dad, and has had to study extra hard all of his life because he suffers from dyslexia and the black guy came from a stable, rich family? Who do you hire, is race a factor, and why?

4) Finally, what if the white guy performs better on tests, is more qualified, came from a broken home, worked two jobs to pay for college, and takes care of his single mom and the black guy came from a low-income neighborhood, has a good family, has lower test scores, but interviewed well? Who do you hire, is race a factor, and why?

You’re the boss. Would you mind answering these quick short answers? I’m being sincere. I think they will help me understand your point of view and perhaps you might understand mine a bit better.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

And to your homeless analogy: I feel like you’re misunderstanding AA. Affirmative Action would say if you had two equally homeless people, you would shelter the minority first over the white person simply based on race. That’s Affirmative Action.

All I’m suggesting is that we drop the campaign to give shelter to minorities…and we just focus on giving shelter to ALL homeless people regardless of race. Seems reasonable right?

And whoa! Nobody is suggesting NOT helping somebody. Geez, where are you getting that? We’re saying help all who need help, be fair to everyone involved, and not discriminate by race. How is that saying to NOT help somebody of a particular race? What is your understanding of how Affirmative Action works, Phil?

Phil July 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm

“What I’m proposing is that we actually look at the real, tangible ways a person may be disadvantaged and then act accordingly. Race is not needed in this approach.”

Matt, that is not what you have been proposing at all. Your contention is (at least through 90% of this dialogue) it does not matter whether or not an individual has benefited from unfair advantages in soceity or not, who ever is most qualified should be given the opportunity.

And my whole arguement is that our society is flawed to begin with, skewing opportunities to whites already: economic opportunities, education opportunities, professional opportunities, etc.

So if society is giving unfair advantages to whites left and right then how can minorities ever be expected to be the “most qualified”?

Really the root of the issue is the fact that we say we are a nation of opportunity but the reality is that the available ‘opportunity’ only seems to apply to one race.

And, your interview questions are interesting but I am not suure they really apply to our convo. You pose these questions as if we don’t live in a society with a racial bias. But we do.

Phil July 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Take number one, for example. If we lived in this perfect world you have envisioned in your head where race does not play a role (which is not realistic), my answer to #1 would be which ever candidate I liked more, when all else is equal.

But the reality is we don’t live in your fantasy world, we live in the real word where diversity is important (ever hear of it?). So with all else equal, I would probably consider my staff as a whole and how I can make it more diverse. Likely, given the demographics of the USA, I would hire the minority.

And the same types of arguments can be applied to each of your questions. In a case where I have a staff of 9 white people and no minorities and I was to choose between adding a 10th white candidate who is slightly more qualified than a minority, I would probably not hesitate to hire the minority. Just as they have done at universities, corporations, etc. for years (see my prior U of I example). But surely these prestigious universities must be racist and you must be right! The audacity!

Let’s no get crazy here. I am not saying that you hire a highschool graduate over an MBA just because of race. But I do think that we need to continue to consider diversity and race as critically important factors going forward – why stop now, we have been doing so for whites for 200 years! Let’s just open up the race card for all races and not just keep it reserved for whites…

Matthew Warner July 22, 2009 at 7:27 am

Thanks, Phil! Interesting thoughts.

Artie July 22, 2009 at 7:40 am

Phil racism actually goes both ways. It is a prejudice to one group or the other. Reverse discrimination has ran its course for a while in this country. Your intent is good, but I believe it is misguided. Anybody in this country can get where they want to be in life if they work hard towards it. Yes there is reality in this world where people are racist and that goes for any and every skin color. It is narrow-minded in my opinion to look at ethnicity to determine qualification for an individual, I actually find it quite appalling that people go by emotions and correct a wrong by doing another wrong instead of objective reasoning.

Yes I see your point about how we live in an imperfect world, however imperfect world or not we do not correct a wrong by discriminating or promoting one race over another.

I believe you are right about what is wrong, but wrong about what is right.

I will bring up my wife again because I not only admire her, but love her. I actually brought this subject up with her again last night and she said something that just makes sense.

“Yes, there are prejudices out there whether it be race, religion, political affiliation, gender, etc. When a person uses any one of those things for or against somebody for an interview or college application it is intellectually dishonest. Can we stop it? No we cannot because people people will use the race card no matter what the color of their skin is. We need to pray for common sense!”

Diligent Dave July 30, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Jesus said, “The meek shall inherit the earth”. And who is more meek than a child? And are not babies children?

Those who have more babies will inherit the earth, in sheer numbers!

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