The Myth of the White Minority

In: Shades of Whiteness

In recent years, and especially in the light of Barack Obama's presidency, projections that whites will soon become a minority in the United States have proliferated. In this chapter, I will argue that such predictions are misleading at best, as they rest on questionable philosophical presuppositions, including the presupposition that racial concepts like 'whiteness' are static and unchanging rather than fluid and continually being reconstructed. If I am right about these fundamental inaccuracies, one must wonder why the myth of the white minority persists. I will argue that by re-envisioning whites as a minority culture struggling against a hostile dominant group, and by promoting white solidarity as a response to a (fabricated) crisis, such predictions actually serve to defend and legitimize white supremacy.