'Caublinasian.' It's the racial identity of the golf legend-in-the-making
Tiger Woods. Woods' father is black or African-American to be politically
correct, and mother is Asian or Thai to be exact. But it is revealed
Woods' racial ancestry also includes some blood of Caucasian or white to be more casual, as well as American Indian
or Native American, again to be politically correct. So, go figure 'Caublinasian.'
America is quickly becoming a land of Caublinasians, people of mixed
blood. But before we get too much excited about
blood mixing, let us celebrate yet one more time the racial and ethnic diversity of America. After all, before we can start
mixing blood, we must have different kinds of blood to mix in the first place.
According to the results of the 2000 U.S. Census, the total population
of the United States now counts over 281 million people. This makes
America a distant third after China and India, which are fast running away
from the rest with a 1.3 billion and a 1 billion population, respectively,
thus collectively accounting for nearly 38 percent of the world's 6.1 billion
total population (Meanwhile, South Korea, with almost 50 million people,
ranks the 25th in the world, but it would climb to the
15th place once combined with the North Korean population). Indeed, America is a big country, not only geographically, politically and economically but also by headcounts.
In America a person is born in every eight seconds and another person dies in every 13 seconds. However, America boasts a very unique statistic that no other countries would possibly come close to. Namely, in every 35 seconds a new immigrant steps into this land of the free and the home of the brave. Born as a country of immigrants, America is still drawing hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world every year, and will remain forever as a nation of immigrants. As a Hollywood comedy flick would quip, America harbors only those people who, for whatever reasons, are kicked out of every decent and indecent country in the world. More seriously, however, this means that America is bound to be a multiracial country.
Of more than 200 races identified within America, Caucasians still count the most. These people are commonly called white but statistically labeled as 'Non-Hispanic Whites' (Hispanic means people from Latin America who speak Spanish as their mother tongue). Ever since the Mayflower brought some white people to this New World back in 1620, America was essentially formed and molded by those white people, who are traditionally and somewhat snobbishly recognized as WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants).
Although WASP has been the mainstay of the America's socio-politico-economic
scene throughout much of its history, it is now probably safe to say that
its significance in many meaningful contexts has been quickly fading in
recent time. In the late 18th century WASP accounted for nearly three
quarters of the total population. Since then, however, America's
spectrum has become more diverse and colorful. In fact, the 2000 Census reports that in California the white population is now less than 50 percent.
Since the mid 19th century America received many immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and other European nations including many European-Jews. Statistics show that between 1892 and 1954 as many as 12 million Europeans crossed the Atlantic and were greeted by the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. Sad but notable is the fact that African slaves were shipped into America since as early as the 17th century.
A wave of Asian immigration started with Chinese and Japanese laborers
who came to work for railroad construction and sugar plantation, among
others. Later the Asian immigration pool extended to include people
from South Korea, the
Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and India. The collapse of the Soviet Bloc also meant a tremendous influx of Russians and Eastern Europeans. More recently America finds in its salad bowl an increasing number of immigrants from the Middle East and African nations. However, the single largest immigrant group at the moment is the Hispanic people.
All told, today the melting pot of America contains about 200 million
whites (including over 5 million Jews, 40 million Irish-Americans, and
another 60 million Americans of German decent), 34 million African-Americans,
32 million Hispanics,
and 11 million Asian-Americans (Korean-Americans are about 1.3 million or 0.3% of the population). Interestingly, while five
million stowaways and wetbacks, a.k.a. illegal immigrants, reside rather comfortably in America, those who perhaps have the most legitimate claim to be the owner of this land, a.k.a. the Native Americans, are rather uncomfortably surviving this colorfully tumultuous time with only about two million people.
So, throughout the American history the table has been being set up
for blood mixing. As easily imagined, the number of multiracial people
in America is quickly rising. The 2000 census already counts 20 million
people who identify themselves as multiracial, but the number is expected
to triple by year 2050. Note that this does not include a typical
white guy in your
neighbor who would classify himself as a Caucasian yet readily admit that he is part Scottish, part Italian, part Norwegian, etc. Here, multiracial means only mixed-blood people à la Caublinasians, like Tiger Woods.
Nonetheless, all these people of different racial background bring things
of their own to America. As the first Pilgrims of the Mayflower did
after they stepped on the Plymouth Rock, immigrants from different countries
unpack their cultural baggage upon arriving in America. Thus, while
the white people of Christianity celebrate Christmas and Easter, American
Muslims observe their Hanukkah and Ramadan, respectively. Whereas Irish-Americans put on a green parade on St. Patrick's Day, Americans of German cultural background drink dark beer for their Oktoberfest. Likewise, African-Americans showcase a native African cultural festival of Kwanzaa, Asian-Americans feast on the Lunar New Year's Day, and Mexican-Americans bustle on Cinco de Mayo.
Hence, America is the world. A melting pot, salad bowl, mosaic,
rainbow, kaleidoscope, garage sale, hodge-podge.
Call it whatever you want to call it. Today America is really living up to its motto, E Pluribus Unum (one out of many). At this juncture, therefore, it really looms important for America to remind itself of one important idea that makes America one nation
under God. Let's suffice it to quote a phrase from President George W. Bush's Inaugural Address; "America has never been united by blood, birth, or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds."
Perhaps America is now showing the world how we should cope with all these seeming confusions and conflicts arising from diversity and pluralism if and when the world becomes one big global melting pot. By the way, welcome to the Land of Caublinasians, just in case nobody greeted you properly when you arrived here.