John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Demographics and Destiny

Posted on December 22, 2010
America is changing. Just look at the Census to figure out how.

The District of Columbia has added residents for the first time in decades. People are tired of commuting, and the white flight that commenced in the 1960 is reversing. White people are moving back into the city, which is probably good for a whole host of reasons.

More racial diversity promotes greater understanding. More affluence that comes from the reverse flight means better services for all the city’s residents. More attention will be spent fighting crime in bigger pockets of the District, meaning that more kids will be safer. The more white kids that go to city school means that more attention will be spent raising standards and expecting accountability.

Those are all good things.

More Yankees are infiltrating the South. The Census tells that story too. Ohio and New York are each losing two Congressional seats, while Michigan, Illinois and almost every other Midwestern state is losing population and representation.

Throughout most of the 20th century, folks moved north to get jobs in the manufacturing sector. Many of those people were black, and they moved up from Mississippi and Alabama to escape Jim Crow, but also to find jobs in the Industrial heartland.

The people who are moving south are mostly white and Hispanic; although there are some African-Americans who are moving back home. Some are looking for jobs. Some are looking for opportunity. Some are looking to retire. Some are looking to get away from the cold weather. Some are looking to pay a lot less in taxes.

The North used to be the heart of manufacturing in America. Now, the South is overtaking it. Southern states have a more business friendly environment, lower taxes, and no labor unions.

Southern states have had to pick up their game when it comes to education, and at the college level, they have succeeded. A lot of kids around this area are looking to go to school in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina because these schools have improved. And let’s face it; it is a lot more fun to go to their football games.

The Old South is changing, and while Republicans may lick their chops over the idea that Texas and Florida are getting more Congressional representation, they shouldn’t be complacent about it.

Many of those who moved to Texas are Hispanic (same in Florida), and unless the GOP changes its tune on how it talks to these voters, they could be in for a rude awakening come November of 2012.

America is changing. The old lines between black and white, between South and North, between rural and urban, are blurring, and things aren’t as simple as they once were.

That is probably a good thing for the country.