NY Times ' Brooks cited defender of eugenicists in touting new political constituency

››› ››› SIMON MALOY & MARCIA KUNTZ

In his December 7 New York Times op-ed column, David Brooks cited research by Steve Sailer -- a conservative who has written in defense of a group promoting eugenics -- in touting a purported "spiritual" movement of people he called "natalists." Brooks defined this demographic as people who are procreating more than other Americans, moving in droves to "clean, orderly and affordable places where they can nurture children from bad influences," and leaving "what they perceive as disorder, vulgarity and danger." They account for population increases in the fastest-growing regions in the country, Brooks suggested, and politicians will take notice. But his thesis is not supported by the data -- unless one limits the analysis, as Brooks apparently did, to one demographic, procreative white people.

In purporting to identify a significant political trend in states with the fastest growing populations, Brooks cited Sailer's findings: "As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, [in the November 2 election] George [W.] Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates." But aside from Sailer's reference to "white fertility rates," there is no other mention of race in Brooks's column. In fact, Brooks's thesis falls apart when broader data is considered.

In suggesting that these "natalists" account for the population increases among the fastest-growing regions in the country, Brooks ignored what is in fact the fastest growing demographic in the country and in these regions -- Hispanics. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in all ten of the fastest-growing states -- including six in the Southwest -- Hispanics increased their percentage of total population, while white population rates went down.

According to a National Center for Health Statistics report, the states with the top ten birth rates in 2003 (total births per 1,000 population) are: Utah (21.2), Texas (17.2), Arizona (16.3), Idaho (16.0), Georgia (15.7), Alaska (15.6), Colorado (15.2), California (15.2), Nevada (15.0), and New Mexico (14.9).

Hispanic Population White Population
State 1990 pop.
(%of total)
2000 pop.
(% of total)
1990 pop.
(% of total)
2000 pop.
(% of total)
Utah 84,597
(4.9%)
201,559
(9.0%)
1,615,845
(93.8%)
1,992,975
(89.2%)
Texas 4,339,905
(25.5%)
6,669,666
(32.0%)
12,774,762
(75.2%)
14,799,505
(71.0%)
Arizona 688,338
(18.8%)
1,295,617
(25.3%)
2,963,186
(80.8%)
3,873,611
(75.5%)
Idaho 52,927
(5.3%)
101,690
(7.9%)
950,451
(94.4%)
1,177,304
(91.0%)
Georgia 108,922
(1.7%)
435,227
(5.3%)
4,600,148
(71.0%)
5,327,281
(65.1%)
Alaska 17,803
(3.2%)
25,852
(4.1%)
415,492
(75.5%)
434,534
(69.3%)
Colorado 424,302
(12.9%)
735,601
(17.1%)
2,905,474
(88.2%)
3,560,005
(82.8%)
California 7,687,938
(25.8%)
10,966,556
(32.4%)
20,524,327
(69.0%)
20,170,059
(59.5%)
Nevada 124,419
(10.4%)
393,970
(19.7%)
1,012,695
(84.3%)
1,501,886
(75.2%)
New Mexico 579,224
(38.2%)
765,386
(42.1%)
1,146,028
(75.6%)
1,214,253
(66.8%)
All 10 States 14,108,375
(21.3%)
21,591,156
(26.9%)
48,908,408
(73.9%)
54,051,413
(67.3%)

Note: Percentages may be more than 100 percent because Hispanics may be of any race and may are included in other applicable race categories.

Brooks and Sailer asserted that Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and Kerry the 16 states with the lowest. But, according to data from a National Center for Health Statistics report, when the birth rates of all women are considered, regardless of race, "blue" states such as California, Illinois, and Hawaii are among the top 19 states, while other "blue" states such as Minnesota, Delaware, and Maryland make it into the top 26. Among the bottom 16 were "red" states such as Iowa, North Dakota, Florida, Montana, and West Virginia.

Sailer, whose work Brooks cited, has been a strong defender of the Pioneer Fund, an organization designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its support of eugenics, as Media Matters for America has noted. He writes for VDARE.com, one of the only websites that carried Sam Francis's recent column in which he decried the interracial casting of an ABC Monday Night Football promotional spot.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
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