Replacement theory in the US
David Zetland writes on “replacement theory” (originally published at One Handed Economist)
Replacement theory in the US
“Replacement theory” is a semi-racist, often-hysterical belief that — in the US — White Christians will be “replaced” by others.
The racist part arises from the vapid conception of “race” and/or “White” which rests on no biological or scientific facts. As anyone can tell you, every country (or tribe or community) has its own ideas of race, purity, etc. (Here are some of my earlier thoughts on race.)
In the US, “race” discussions are dominated by its history of slavery, bigotry, migration and inequality, which means that “race” is often a code-word for some other issue that people would prefer not to address or solve, since that would require concern, action and sacrifice. Race, as a fixed label (recall octoroon and related nonsense), makes it easy to ignore change as an option.
The hysterical part arises with the implication of “replacement,” i.e., that Whites will be killed/subsumed into a non-White population. Although this definition includes genocide, let not forget that most (all?) genocides involve a majority trying to annihilate the minority, which often means Whites genociding non-Whites, e.g., English settlers and Native Americans/Aboriginals, Turks and Armenians, Nazis and Jews, etc. This fact leads me to think that Whites are projecting what they’ve done in the past to a fear of what may be done to them in the future. Either way, there’s little sign of anyone caring about “replacement” except White racists.
So with that pre-amble aside, let’s look into some data.*
First Whites and Non-whites in the US:
Disaster?! Let’s look a little deeper into White’s fall between 2010 and 2020:
So it’s more like people reclassifying themselves as less than 100% white more than “Whites” getting genocided.
What about the Hispanics? Although “Hispanic” is a vague and practically worthless descriptor, it seems like there’s a combination of self-identification and perhaps migration (kinda flat since 2005, assuming Mexico is representative) , so more like statistical displacement than physical replacement:
Now to religion…
At first glance, Christians appear to be losing market share:
… but a closer look at the data shows that they are more likely to be replaced by indifference (“none”) than Jews, Mormons and Other (Muslims, but also Pastafarians):
With more than two out of three Americans identifying with Jesus, it’s unclear how they are a threatened minority.
As usual, let’s remember the following caveats:
- All humans are more complicated in their thoughts and actions than a single demographic statistic.
- All demagogues try to ignore this while rallying “followers” to their scams, lies and shenanigans.
- Some people like to belong, so they forget (1) because they want to feel like they belong somewhere.
- The best way to overcome tribalism and othering is to “play on the same team” with other people (per my research [pdf]), which helps them see the complex human behind the cardboard facade projected onto them.
My one-handed conclusion is that “replacement theory” is not just silly and dangerous, but a misinterpretation of data struggling to display Americans’ evolving understanding of themselves.
*I used race data from Wikipedia and religion data from Gallup. Here’s my spreadsheet, in Numbers, PDF and .csv formats. (Excel is too bloated.)
Why is it that the same people that whine about replacement theory are the people that are also forcing poor women of color to carry fetuses to term?
Republicans are not monolithic. The ones who think abortions are a sin that they should monitor and control may even be one issue voters who are willing to hold their noses about a lot of conspiracy stuff as long as they get their judges and abortion laws.
While Republicans may not have monolithic beliefs, they certainly vote as if they do. If they are not, as they claim not to be, semi-fascists, then they have extraordinarily strong fingers and thumbs! What a pinch!
It looks like birth rates in 2020 & 2021 were somewhat higher among black & latina women than in other US groups.
But the meme presumably is that these rates could be much higher.
US birth rate increases for the first time in 7 years
The birth rate in the United States increased in 2021 for the first time in seven years, according to a report from CDC‘s National Center for Health Statistics, but experts say the increase doesn’t necessarily mean the trend of declining birth rates is over. …