The Coming White Minority

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE COMING WHITE MINORITY: CALIFORNIA’S ERUPTIONS AND AMERICA’S FUTURE explores the changes occurring in the racial balance of the state’s population, and the challenges the state faces as a result. By the end of the twentieth century, California will be less than half white, and by the year 2050, the whole country will be nearly half non-white. This change in balance is causing considerable shifts in population movements and community relations.

In a history of the state’s past dealings with racial change, author Dale Maharidge makes it clear that California has often had harsh reactions to the influx of newcomers, and has often made laws to control and intimidate them. Against this background, Maharidge introduces Martha Escutia, a member of the California State Assembly representing a Latino-dominated district in Orange County; Bill Shepherd, a consultant from Dana Point, California, who became involved in his community when a surge in crime made residents wary of the large Latino population that works in the local hotels; Maria Ha, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, who is too busy studying to get very involved in the politics of race; and Donald Northcross, a Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff who has created the “Our Kids” program for black teenagers in Rancho Cordova. Maharidge follows these four through the times that produced Proposition 187 in 1994 and the California Civil Rights Initiative in 1996.

The book employs startling and illustrative statistics, interviews with the four previously mentioned California residents and many others, and shocking predictions about the future. With extraordinary vision, Maharidge warns of potential disaster, identifies some progress that is being made, and hints at hope for solutions.