There are people living in the United States who claim that America is inherently racist. They argue that the Revolutionary War was fought for slavery and that America has been racist since its day of founding. They use the argument of “original sin” of slavery to begin their argument, and they continue it with the way Indigenous people were treated, segregation, and Japanese internment camps.
All these events took place in the United States, and all of them are bad. However, they are not proof that systemic racism and white supremacy are inherent in American life. Ari Blaff does not agree with these arguments, and he gives one example to prove his point.
But a curious phenomenon has been silently unfolding against this intellectual backdrop. Immigrants the world over – from South America and the Caribbean to Africa – are still coming to America in search of a better future for themselves and their children. As a native Canadian now traveling in the U.S., I have been curious about this seeming dichotomy and what it says about the nature of racism in America.
Following the relaxation of U.S. immigration policy in the 1960s away from racial preference, Black immigration to America in particular climbed sharply. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the foreign-born Black population in America increased seven-fold in the next two decades. Between 1980 and 200 it tripled again. By 2013, Pew Research Center reported that Black immigration had more than quadrupled since 1980.
The latest studies now place the Black immigrant population around 4.6 million by 2019, nearly double the community’s size in 2000. The figures are even larger for Latin American immigration. In 2018, an estimated 44.8 million immigrants were living in the United States with more than half coming from Mexico or Latin America, according to a Pew Research Center report.
These numbers are difficult to square with the rhetoric of some writers today.
There’s no question that racism is still a problem in the United States and beyond. But if America remains an unabashedly white supremacist state, as some claim, it’s worth asking why millions of Black and Latino immigrants would desperately see entry?
More specifically, why bother immigrating to a country in which leading intellectuals maintain that all aspects of life are structurally aligned against people of color? If the answer is that economic incentives outweigh the purported systemic racism, it’s worth asking whether economic incentives aren’t also evidence of opportunity. Immigration as measured by “foot voting” is one way to discern how individuals and families answer these questions for themselves….
It's not just the success of immigrants, but also that of native-born citizens in the United States that challenge the rhetoric emanating from cloistered academics today. Warts and all, the American Project continues to lift individuals and families of all shades to previously unimaginable heights.
It is remarkable that a non-citizen from Canada is one to recognize that reality is different than what some people are claiming to be. America cannot be as bad as the socialists and Leftists assert. Otherwise, people of color would not risk rape, injury, and death to come. America has seen days when we did not live up to the ideals of Constitution, but America is not inherently racist. America is not perfect, but Americans are still moving to the ideals of the American idea.