(Second time typing this post; digital goblins must have eaten it the first one.)
Last month I posted a list of what I thought were the hot and not so hot racial trends for 2006. At that time, I promised to post a list of what trends I think will be popular in 2007. Here is my list.
1. Asia/Asians are Hip and Cool–Africa was hip in 2006, and I think Asians will be hip in 2007. I expect to see more attention given to Asian Americans and Asians on TV and in the movies. 2007 will be like the so called Latin invasion of the late 1990s. Get ready to hear about the “Asian Invasion.” Whether or not there really will be any substantive gains (or a lessening of stereotypes) for Asian Americans in politics, media, or other prominent positions is a different question, but I think media is going to frame it that way.
2. End of Voluntary Desegregation Plans–I’m not really going out on a limb here. The Supreme Court is reviewing voluntary desegregation plans in Seattle and Louisville, and I expect to see them to rule these plans unconstitutional, which really shouldn’t surprise anybody given the conservative bent of the current Supreme Court. This will continue the trend of resegregation, moving schools back to the segregation levels of the 1960s.
3. Biological Notions of Race– Not that this isn’t already popular, but I think the “health disparities” research and the current obsession with DNA testing are going to combine to make biological notions of race very popular. Even though mainstream biologists and most health disparities researchers don’t necessarily believe in biological notions of race, their research will be spun this way by media outlets and advocacy groups.
4. Latinos Becoming White– I guess I am going out on a limb here especially since I said in my last post that the anti-immigrant backlash will continue until the presidential election in 2008. What I think is going to happen is that we will see two competing frames one that discusses how “illegal immigrants are ruining the US” and another that discusses how “todays immigrants are just like the immigrants of the past.” I know some people will be critical of me on this one, so I should make it clear that I don’t really expect Latinos to become white in a year, but I think this will be the beginning of a trend where those Latinos who are lighter will be seen as whiter. There may be a backlash against this from radical and progressive Latinos who see themselves being aligned more with Black, Asians, and American Indians, but this is a big issue to watch out for.
5. Non-African American Blacks are Popular– Maybe it can be called the Barack Obama phenomenon. This will be the year that Americans discover that black people are diverse. I know it should be more obvious, but it’s not. I expect Black immigrants in the US to get tons of attention, and I expect to see them set up as “model minorities” compared to their American born black counterparts. Nowhere in this discussion will people discuss how immigration policy helps select the most educated and wealthy people (regardless of race). This will be part of a divide and conquer strategy that challenges traditional Civil Rights models of African American organizing, and I have a feeling that civil rights leaders really won’t know how to respond.
6. Anti-Racism/Pro-Racial Equality Blogs Blow Up– Call me optimistic, but I have been noticing an increasing number of blogs that focus mostly on race related issues. I think 2007 is the year of the anti-racist/pro-equality blog. These blogs are reaching a critical mass, but whether or not this will translate into on-line activism is unclear.
What do you think? What trends did I leave out? Where do you think I”m right/wrong?