Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Periodically I succumb to a shameful love of statistics and demographic prognostication. So now I will treat you to some. LA county will be 80% Latino by 2050. If you’re 40 years old today, when you were born there were 3 million white people and 4 million Latinos in LA County, with a total population of 10 million. Now there are 2 million white people and 8 million Latinos, with a total of nearly thirteen million. So Whitey, you went from a third of LA County to a sixth, and Juan, you went from less than half to nearly two thirds. I think there’s more Asians in LA than Anglos now. Let me say that again: more Angelenos trace their roots to Guangxi than to Glasgow. How about that? And let’s not even talk about the decline in the local population of Americans of African descent. There were a million of us in LA County in 2000. Now there’s only 700,000. Put that together with two million of what my great-grandfather would have called ofays, and you only get less than three million out of LA County’s thirteen million. So why are all the road signs still in English? Thank God, and I mean this, thank God for the persistence of cultural hegemony. Without it, I’d have to learn Spanish. Fuck, who knows? Maybe I’d have to learn Tagalog. In a hundred years, there’s not gonna be a white man or a black man anywhere in Southern California. All we’re gonna have is shades of brown.

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