Race is a social construct, as the Wokesters endlessly remind us. It’s one of the few observations from the left that I mostly agree with… or, at least, I did agree with until reading, Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America, by George Mason University law school professor David E. Bernstein.
Now I’m more inclined to say that in the United States race is a political construct.
According to the U.S. Census, here’s the breakdown of Virginia’s 2020 population by race:
- White (non-Hispanic): 60.3%
- Black (non-Hispanic): 18.6%
- Asian: 7.1%
- Two or more races: 8.2%
- American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.5%
- Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Some other race alone: 5.2%
- Hispanic/Latino origin: 10.5%. (When categorized by race, Hispanic individuals generally are designated either White or Black.)
What does it mean to be “White”? What does it mean to be Black or African American? Or Asian? Or Hispanic? Who defines these racial/ethnic classifications anyway, and who decides how to classify individuals when disagreements arise?
Unelected federal bureaucrats and unelected judges make the decisions based upon a combination of evolving ideology, case law, and political pressure from racial/ethnic advocacy groups. The resulting classification system influences the allocation of billions of government dollars, and in so doing reinforces racial/ethnic constructs of how Americans think of themselves. Continue reading