Paradigm Shift

Listening to NPR the other day I heard an interesting statistic. In a few years the U.S. will become a country where so called “minorities” will become the majority. They went on to say that America will experience a racial paradigm shift and that Obama’s run (and I hope win) for the Presidency is a big sign of what is going on in America and logically enough it does frighten the members of the old “majority.

Hispanics are already the largest “minority” in the U.S. making up some 20% of the population. As I sat on the train mulling this idea over several questions came to mind. How are we spread out in this country? Are we to be found in every state or are we clumped in only certain areas? How are we perceived by the “majority” and what does this look like visually. My Uncle’s daughter married and moved to Kansas with her husband. I try to picture Puerto Ricans in Kansas; olive skin and yellow corn, black hair and golden wheat.

In my mind I can envision walking into an archetypal “General Store” the one I saw in all the black and white movies (okay, the Little Rascals) on TV and standing behind the counter is not Ol’ Bill the shopkeeper but Jose el tendero or Rahim or Kumar,  and all the whites don’t think twice. Then again in some place I think they might, and I see resentment and bitterness in their faces. The turmoil in the Economy, the lost savings, the debt,  and the lost skills of making, which gave way to the practice of imaginary numbers and slips of paper through the generations, twist their faces in bitterness and jealousy.

Of course I have never been to Kansas but I have, for the longest time wanted to travel across the country, much like Robert Frank and document this New America. Is there a grant available?


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