The two-race model (1676- ) sees the US as divided by race into Blacks and Whites. Everyone else – third-race people like Native, Asian, Latino, Pacific Islander and biracial Americans – are seen as either not being truly part of the US or in numbers too small to matter.
For example, in 1997 when President Bill Clinton set up a commission for a “dialogue on race”, it had no Native, Latino or Asian Americans.
On this blog, racism often comes down to the relations between Blacks and Whites.
The percentage of third-race Americans through the years:
- 1850: 0.5%
- 1900: 1.1%
- 1950: 2.5%
- 2000: 18.6%
- 2050: 39.0% (projected)
- 2100: 45.6% (projected)
In 2010 the number was 24.1%. But that is the overall number. From state to state the picture can be markedly different. For example:
- 3.4% West Virginia
- 7.4% Missouri
- 9.2% Michigan
- 9.4% Indiana
- 11.8% Montana
- 13.2% North Carolina
- 13.6% Georgia
- 14.0% South Dakota
- 15.9% Maryland
- 19.7% Oregon
- 25.8% New York
- 26.1% Florida
- 32.6% Alaska
- 42.9% Texas
- 53.7% California
- 57.4% New Mexico
- 75.7% Hawaii
New York and Florida are thought of as “diverse” states that get tons of immigration, yet they are not far from the nationwide average.
In 1965 the US overturned its Aryanist immigration laws, allowing millions of Asians and Latin Americans to come to America, changing the face of race in the country.
But even before that, the two-race model was not a “good approximation”. Part of why only 2.5% of Americans were third-race by 1950 is because of genocide, massacre and deportation. A two-race model pushes that out of the frame. Given where all the land in the US came from, it is hard to see that as an accident. The two-race model comes with moral blindness built-in.
The two-race model is strengthened by one of the worst thought patterns of White Americans: dichotomous thinking, dividing the world into two, especially into good and bad halves – with themselves on the “good” side.
Since 1965, the two-race model has been held together by string, tape and glue:
- String: Asians are written off as a Model Minority which does not experience racism, at least not in a way that leaves marks.
- Tape: Latinos and Asians are written off as “being mainly immigrants”, not a true part of the country. Even those who are citizens are seen as foreigners. Especially Asian Americans, who are seen through the Perpetual Foreigner stereotype, even when native-born and speaking Perfect English.
- Glue: Politicians, and their running dogs in the media and think tanks, put a Black face on poverty and the other ills of society so that Whites vote against their class interests.
And Native Americans, as always, are out of sight, out of mind,
And so race in the US still largely comes down to a matter of Blacks and Whites. And even when people do talk about Asians or Latinos, it is mainly in relation to Whites.
Enter the three-race model: Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva says the US is moving towards three-race model. Whites will maintain their political majority by making enough lighter-skinned Asians and Latinos into “honorary Whites”, keeping anti-racists in the minority.
– Abagond, 2016.
- race models
- dichotomous thinking