“How Puerto Rico Became White”

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

In 1899, when Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States, Census figures indicated that 61.8% of Puerto Ricans identified as white. By the 2000 Census, however, 80.5% of Puerto Ricans identified as white. In other words, more than four out of five Puerto Ricans were white in 2000.

How did this happen?

There are three possibilities. The first two involve demographic changes. Large amounts of immigration or emigration could have altered the racial balance. Alternatively, life might have been so hard for non-whites that the relative survival rates of whites and non-whites would have been so drastically different as to also alter the racial balance.

A study titled “How Puerto Rico Became White”, by Mara Loveman and Jeronimo Muniz, rejects both these possibilities. Life was and is indeed harder for non-whites in Puerto Rico, but not enough that non-whites were dying at the extreme rates needed to change the racial balance. Puerto Rico also had relatively little immigration throughout the 20th century. Large numbers of emigrants have indeed gone to the United States, on the other hand. Of these emigrants, a far higher share identifies as non-white.

Perhaps this would explain Puerto Rico’s whitening. Or perhaps the higher share of Puerto Ricans living in America identifying as non-white is due to the third possibility: culture. That is, the definition of white shifted to being more inclusive in Puerto Rico. This would allow more people to claim the advantages of whiteness.

The study agrees with this last explanation:

…whitening was not the demographic process that both its advocates and its critics tended to assume. It appears that whitening resulted, instead, from a change in the social definition of whiteness itself. The boundary of whiteness in Puerto Rican society shifted during the first half of the twentieth century, and especially in the decade from 1910-1920. Individuals who were seen to be on one side of the racial boundary in 1910 found themselves on the other side in 1920. This suggests that the story of how Puerto Rico became white may be as much or more a story of racial boundaries migrating over individuals as it is a story of individuals crossing over racial boundaries.

Loveman and Muniz also describe Puerto Rico has having an inverted one-drop rule. While in the United States a drop of non-white blood is (sometimes) sufficient for an individual to not be considered white, in Puerto Rico the opposite occurred. One drop of white ancestry was all that was needed for one to be considered white:

…the specific terms used to describe this one drop rule shifted slightly from 1910 to 1920. Instead of alerting census-takers to be on the lookout for mulattos as “impure blacks” with any trace of black blood (i.e. individuals who were not “really white”), the instructions for Puerto Rican census-takers in 1920 cued census-takers to be on the lookout for mulattos as “impure blacks” with any trace of white blood (i.e. individuals who were not “really black”). The shift in the 1920 enumerator instructions in Puerto Rico, subtle as it was, created more wiggle room in the application of the one drop rule than was possible in the previous census. In both cases, race was construed to be determined by “blood.” But whereas in 1910, any trace of “black blood” was sufficient to keep an individual from being categorized as “white”, in 1920, any trace of “white blood” was sufficient to keep an individual from being categorized as “black.”

There is one final, and quite interesting note, about all this. In the 2010 Census the percentage of Puerto Ricans identifying as white dropped for the first time in more than a century. Whites decreased from 80.5% of the population to 75.8%. Whether this is due to actual demographic shifts (i.e. mostly white emigrants leaving to the United States), or a change in culture, is difficult to discern. It will be quite interesting to examine, in the future 2020 Census, whether this trend continues.

 

 

The White Gloves come Off.

Howdy folks. I'm just the messenger, so no pushin'. But in what sort of world is it okay to imply that Michelle Obama is an irresponsible unwed mother... but that it's so FREAKIN' wonderful that Bristol is having a Baby -- that they wanted to hide until she was safely married??

You look at this:
http://field-negro.blogspot.com/

You get the picture?

Show some solidarity, people. And breathe some flamin' bullets at folks like Billy O'Reilly. Because he was for blamin' the parents before he was against it.

Shotgun marriage to a date-rapist, as ordered by your kin.

Because it's only rape if he don't marry you after...

Is it only me who's having flashbacks to the Rennaisance?

There's more...

Debates Offer Peek at Old White Men

"Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (69 year-old white man) and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. (a 68 year-old white man), both co-chairmen of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), have announced the moderators for the 2008 general election presidential debates:

1.  Jim Lehrer [74 year-old white man];
2.  Tom Brokaw [68 year-old white man]; and
3.  Bob Schieffer [71 year-old white man].

In announcing the moderators, they might well have said, "we thought it was important that each of the moderators be a retirement age white man."

How did they decide that all of the moderators of presidential debates should be white men beyond retirement age? Were they trying to make John McCain feel more comfortable about being older than 88% of America's population? The Commission on Presidential Debates really cannot be said to be "non-partisan" since it clearly represents the O.W.M.P (Old White Men's Party).

We should call these the "Founding Father Debates" since all of the moderators are old enough, white enough and male enough to have been present at the first Constitutional Conventions!

There's nothing wrong with being an old white man, but is it really fair that, at all three successive debates, Barack Obama will be faced by John McCain and a moderator who looks just like John McCain in every demographic respect?

Is this not a subtle way of erroneously telling America that only old white men are responsible and wise enough to hold positions of responsibility?  That certainly would be a crazy and counter-productive message for Democrats to send right before a presidential election in which their nominee is a Black man. So, this is yet another example of old white men valuing exclusionary politics over broader Party self-interest.

We all love and respect Brokaw, Lehrer and Schieffer. Each of them is like our best image of a grandfather or great-grandfather?  But we also have great respect for (that old white lady who fucked the Black senator from Massachusetts), as well as (the old Black man who was an anchor at CNN) and (the Black guy who was on television as an anchor).

There's more...

Assaulted: True Experience

I don't even know where to begin cause over the course of the primary I've become a very active member here, but I've avoided the blogs this weekend, not because of the sadness of Hillary's concession (something on which I ordinarily would have been enthused to share an opinion) but because of a really bizarre and unforeseeable event.

There's more...

White Priviledge

That diary up there on the rec list has my collar steamed. So, before i go putting the crimp in it, I'm going to ask you to read this:

http://newstandardnews.net/content/?acti on=show_item&itemid=116

Thank you for your time and patience.

You see, when we start to talk white privilege, most people think about being stalked by security in a grocery store. I'm told that happens (and when you, as plainclothes security, are getting calls about a "suspicious individual" that just happens to be YOURSELF, I can acknowledge that yeah, it is happening).

But this world runs on currency, on money and the accumulation of money. And this is where Black people suffer. And will continue to suffer, for crimes long long past.

75% of whites can trace their wealth back to racist policies, be they FHA loans or the Homestead Act (you didn't know that was racist, now didja?)

I don't have time to write a full well researched diary right now, though I'll try and add onto this as the day goes on.

I'm calling for some action, I'm calling for this to get up on the Recommended list, because... America ought to recognize where she is, before she can go anywhere.

Those MILLIONS of blacks mentioned in the rec list are one Layoff away from being one of those POOR blacks. If you're white, you might not get that. But if you have a house, and you're laid off, you can get a second mortgage to pay the rent for a while. You got money, there, that you can depend on.  If you're renting, if the biggest wealth you can lay claim to is a car, which you happen to need to find more work, you don't got that cushion.

There's more...

Diaries

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