07/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Are You Ready for the Year 2050?

It's expected that by 2050, the majority of the U.S. population, nearly seventy-five million Americans, will identify with more than one race. This is a powerful new force that cannot go unnoticed. Hey, goldilocks, step aside.

Where We Live

The 2000 U.S. Census Bureau analysis was the nation's first-ever count of our mixed-race population. In past years people had to select one box for race, while in 2000, the form allowed people to select from 63 combinations of race. I'd love to hear from someone who has all 63 combinations!

The results confirm our melting pot, and show a trend where multiracial persons live:
• 6.8 million U.S. residents chose more than one box.
• 43% of those live in the West.
• 27% in the South.
• 8% in the Northeast
• 15% in the Midwest.
• Among those of two or more races, 42 percent were under 18.

(Statistics from various internet resources.)

The four largest cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston -- have the most mixed-race people. The most live in California -- 1.6 million, about three times the number of its closest competitors, New York and Texas. Outside of Hawaii, California is the most populous and diverse state.

Hawaii leads proportionally, with 21 percent of the population of two or more races, followed by Alaska at 5.4 percent and then California at 4. 7 percent. Oklahoma comes in fourth with 4.5 percent reporting two or more races. Both Oklahoma's and Alaska's numbers are with large numbers of white/Native American mixes.

From what I've read, the West dominates because of two factors: several generations of high immigration levels, and an earlier end to laws against interracial marriage. California allowed interracial marriage in 1948, but nationally, the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down the last laws against inter-racial marriage and cohabitation in 1967.

Some of those who study mixed race communities say that new immigrants tend to marry within the same race, but that Latinos and Asians, by the second generation, start marrying outside their group.

No matter the statistics, or the studies, everyone needs to be ready for a new landscape: all shades and all hues of skin color and cultures.

Checklist: Are you ready for 2050?

This is my checklist for your personal use to see where you stand in readiness.

Not for Whites Only.

Ask yourself, "Am I prepared for 2050?"

Choose one answer:

A) Help! I'm not prepared! Please send me your 2050 pamphlet. How to Live as a Minority, as a one-raced person. I'll pay anything.

B) Yep, been ready all my life.

C) I'll be long gone by then.

If you answered A) then your checklist is:

1. First, order the pamphlet as your crash-course for how to live in this new world.
2. Study every word of it. Even pay attention to the spaces between words. Silence says a lot, too.
3. Carry your "I Took the 2050 Course" laminated card with you everywhere you go.

If you answered B), that doesn't mean you're on Easy Street. You still have a checklist for preparedness. Yours is:

1. Make sure you avoid the same wrong doings that other dominant races have inflicted.

Don't be fooled just because you have only one item on your checklist. It's a tall order. Power and dominance can be a drug, and adversely influence your behavior.

If you answered C) then I'd rethink this a bit. Not necessarily will you have checked out. You just might be old. Remember? Seventy is the new fifty, and fifty is the new thirty. So you might not be as old as you think you are by the time 2050 rolls around. You may not care what race you are, and you might even have to start over and learn your primary colors again before you know what color your skin is, but still, old is no excuse.

Your checklist for C) is:

1. Enjoy 2050 as best you can! And teach those younger than you all about the political, social, and economic climate during the years when many people said, "I never thought I'd see the day when a woman ran for President," or why, for most of your life you said, "We'll never see a person of color in the White House."

Thought for the day: Be glad for whatever you are. If you weren't blessed at birth with mutt genes, you can at least practice good mutt customs, and be tolerant of others. Be open to the perspectives of others. If you do, I'll send you a lifetime membership to MCLU, the Mutt Civil Liberties Union.

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This is another Musing for Mutts Like Me.

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Email: deborah.kjs [at] gmail [dot] com

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